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Cruises to Kusadasi

Kusadasi (Photo:muratart/Shutterstock)

About Kusadasi

Nearly 20 years ago when we first sailed to Kusadasi, our gulet, a traditional Turkish sailing vessel, docked in a modest marina across from a row of open-air shops. We came to explore nearby Ephesus, one of the Mediterranean's most impressive ancient sites whose ruins detail life in the once-powerful Greek and later Roman city. Upon returning to Kusadasi, our guide herded us into what he swore was "the best carpet shop in Turkey." In between sips of thick Turkish coffee, we haggled with the owner, eventually settling on a blue Hereke, which we stowed in the yacht before dining at the simple dockside eatery.

Remarkably, our rug's much the same, but everything else has changed. Now the former seaside village's population hovers around 50,000, streets bustle with tourists, rug shops bloom in high-rise buildings, and an air-conditioned shopping mall with sleek jewelry stores and European fashion boutiques anchors the modern port.

What Kusadasi lacks in charm it makes up for in locale. At Ephesus, about nine miles from town, you'll travel back thousands of years. The Terrace Houses, now open to the public, make the centuries-old city even more enthralling.

Despite Kusadasi's crowds, you can still find an outdoor cafe to sip Turkish wine, savor just-caught fish and enjoy the sea breezes.

  • Why go to Kusadasi?

  • Kusadasi Cruise Port Facilities?

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Marina

14 Night
Cruise to KusadasiDetails

704 Reviews
Leaving:Barcelona
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite
Riviera
Riviera
Riviera

10 Night
Cruise to KusadasiDetails

Leaving:Venice
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Nautica
Nautica
Nautica

7 Night
Cruise to KusadasiDetails

Leaving:Istanbul
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Norwegian Epic
Norwegian Epic
Norwegian Epic

9 Night
Cruise to KusadasiDetails

4,157 Reviews
Leaving:Athens
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Norwegian Jade

9 Night
Cruise to KusadasiDetails

Leaving:Rome
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Celebrity Apex

12 Night
Cruise to KusadasiDetails

4 Reviews
Leaving:Rome
Cruise Line:Celebrity Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Island Princess

111 Night
Cruise to KusadasiDetails

Leaving:Los Angeles
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Norwegian Getaway

11 Night
Cruise to KusadasiDetails

Leaving:Athens
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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MSC Orchestra

11 Night
Cruise to KusadasiDetails

370 Reviews
Leaving:Rome
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Zaandam

128 Night
Cruise to KusadasiDetails

Cruise Line:Holland America Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Island Princess

111 Night
Cruise to KusadasiDetails

Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite
Celebrity Reflection

11 Night
Cruise to KusadasiDetails

Leaving:Rome
Cruise Line:Celebrity Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Norwegian Getaway

10 Night
Cruise to KusadasiDetails

Leaving:Rome
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Celestyal Crystal

4 Night
Cruise to KusadasiDetails

Leaving:Athens
Cruise Line:Celestyal Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Celestyal Experience

7 Night
Cruise to KusadasiDetails

Leaving:Athens
Cruise Line:Celestyal Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Norwegian Getaway

10 Night
Cruise to KusadasiDetails

Leaving:Athens
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Norwegian Jade

11 Night
Cruise to KusadasiDetails

Leaving:Athens
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Celebrity Edge

12 Night
Cruise to KusadasiDetails

Leaving:Rome
Cruise Line:Celebrity Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Eurodam

24 Night
Cruise to KusadasiDetails

Leaving:Athens
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Eurodam

24 Night
Cruise to KusadasiDetails

Leaving:Venice
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Regal Princess

7 Night
Cruise to KusadasiDetails

Leaving:Rome
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Celebrity Constellation

10 Night
Cruise to KusadasiDetails

Leaving:Venice
Cruise Line:Celebrity Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Odyssey of the Seas

7 Night
Cruise to KusadasiDetails

Leaving:Rome
Cruise Line:Royal Caribbean International
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Enchanted Princess

21 Night
Cruise to KusadasiDetails

Leaving:Athens
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Regal Princess

14 Night
Cruise to KusadasiDetails

Leaving:Barcelona
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Why go to Kusadasi?

Pros:

Cruisers don't have to trek far to see the ancient city of Ephesus, which is roughly 12 miles away

Cons:

History and culture buffs usually need to leave the city to get their fix

Bottom Line:

Kusadasi is an easily walkable port, packed with alfresco cafes, beaches and stunning viewpoints

Kusadasi Cruise Port Facilities?

The modern cruise port terminal, just across the street from the main part of town, features shops, outdoor cafes, a seafood market and a modern mini-mall called Scala Nuova. Like malls in the U.S., some spaces are empty, but others stock European fashions, Western brands like Diesel and Birkenstock, and Turkish delight, pastries, and other sweets.

Starbucks fronts the sea, and the cafes serve wine, beer and mezze, the Turkish word for appetizers. The port contains a Burger King and several pizzerias. The facility also has a duty-free shop, which you can only access on your way back to the ship.

Good to Know?

Jewelry stores selling zultanite, a gemstone also known as Turkish diaspore. Mined only in Turkey's Anatolian mountains, the gemstone isn't widely distributed in the country. Many shops claiming to sell zultanite rings, brooches and necklaces substitute colored glass for the stone.

Getting Around?

On Foot: Kusadasi is easily explored on foot. Your ship will provide a map of the area, but you can also obtain one from the Kusadasi Tourist Information Office, across the street from the harbor in the Iskele Meydani (+90 256 6141103).

By Taxi: Ephesus is the focal point of a call at the port. If you're not headed there on a ship-sponsored excursion, organize a private taxi trip. Taxis are readily available. Make sure you confirm the price before setting off, and be sure your driver will drop you off at one end and pick you up at the other. Less expensive than private taxis, the minibuses (dolmus) accommodate up to 15 passengers.

By Car: Kusadasi has car rental agencies. It's best to reserve vehicles ahead of time. Make sure you have all the necessary licenses and insurance.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

The currency is the Turkish Lira, and ATM machines abound. Check xe.com or oanda.com for current exchange rates. Many shops and restaurants are perfectly happy to accept euros and dollars, although the exchange rate may not be quite what you expect.

Language?

It's Turkish, but most of the locals know enough English to get you by.

Where You're Docked?

You'll tie up very close to the action. Cruise ships dock at Kusadasi Port, built on an "arm" that stretches out into the main harbor. The shops spread out from there.


Kusadasi Cruise Reviews
Walking tour of Ephesus--among the ruins... Read More
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joans4860
Ephesus was fantastic. All the cats loved seeing us!... Read More
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cs9314
Good overview of Ephesus. Suggest there be a 10-minute photo stop at the Ephesus ruins and a lot less time at the carpet factory.... Read More
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Noble724
I was not sure whether to disembark because of the political situation. But there were no controls. The highlight Ephesus we knew from a previous trip.... Read More
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scheest

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