On January 7, 2020 Oscar-winning actor Michael Douglas visited Ephesus with his daughter and son.
His wife Catherine Zeta Jones and his family were in Istanbul Turkey couple of days and after his wife left for US, Michael Douglas came to Izmir Selcuk Airport with a private jet and had a private tour of Ancient City of Ephesus.
It is stated that Michael Douglas specifically wanted to see the Terrace Houses, and in there he was accompanied by former director of Ephesus Museum, Archaeologist Cengiz İçten.
Anyways we first saw a picture of Michael Douglas and a friend of ours at Ephesus, who is also a private tour guide for Ephesus, and we thought maybe she was the lucky one to take him on a tour.
But later we found out it was a coincidence that she saw him at Terrace Houses in Ephesus.
And later that day, we also saw my favorite cook and a good friend Hatice Mercan’s facebook profile. Hatice and her son Celil had Michael Douglas as their guest for lunch.
I am sure Michael Douglas and his family loved the food prepared by Hatice and her team.
They have the best food around Ephesus.
Coincidentally Hatice’s daughter Cansu who lives in Germany was also at the restaurant and she gave Michael Douglas the Turkish Cookbook that she authored.
This must have been a great memory for Hatice and her family.
Arzu was about to fly to Germany that day, so she was just prepared to take off for the Airport and she gets a chance to meet Michael Douglas in person and was able to give him her cookbook.
By the way I was in Ephesus on jan 4, 2020 Saturday with Cengiz İçten on an educational tour and I am preparing a short video sequel about Ephesus that features Mr. İçten as the expert unveiling many mysteries of Ephesus city in detail. So please stick around to see these videos.
As Cengiz İçten says, Michael Douglas found Ephesus way more well-preserved compared to the iconic Roman City of Pompeii of Naples, Italy.
Michael Douglas coming to Turkey and visiting important world heritage sites like Ephesus is so important for the image of the country for sure.
I also had a small reminder of the celebrities who visited Ephesus in the past,
The earliest one was Liv Tyler in 2019
Frodo of Lord of the Rings Elijah Wood had also visited Ephesus on Aug 22, 2015
Pope Benedict had visited Ephesus on November 29, 2006
Prince Charles visited Ephesus on November 27, 2007
Bill Gates and Melinda Gates visited Ephesus on October 6, 2005
Bill Clinton, Hilary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton visited Ephesus on February 21, 2003
Elton John had a concert in Ephesus in 2001
Sting had a concert at the Great Theater of Ephesus on July 2, 1993.
Jethro Tull had a concert at Ephesus Ancient Theater on July 15, 1991.
On January 5, 2020 Kusadasi Cruise Port welcomed Celestyal Cruises Crystal Ship.
The cruise ship arrived at Kusadasi Cruise Port early in the morning around 06.00 am.
It is an important day because it was the first Cruise ship of the Year but the Last Cruise Ship of the 2019 -2020 Winter Season.
It was a bright and sunny winter day for us in Kusadasi, so I took the chance and made a video about how to get to Ephesus from Kusadasi Cruise Port by using the Public Transportation.
I will edit the video and publish it hopefully in the following weeks, but for now you can find the text and the picture version on this story I posted on ephesuskusadasiguide.com here is the link.
So there will not be any cruise ships docking at Kusadasi Cruise Port until March 6, 2020.
And in March the Cruise Season of Kusadasi will again start with Celestyal Cruise Lines Crystal Ship.
To see the Cruise Ship Schedule for Kusadasi Cruise Port in 2020 you can click on this link.
The ship will start its journey on Sat 29 Feb 2020, and It will be a 7 night cruise visiting 3 different Continents.
Starting from the Port of Piraeus in Athens and Continuing to Alexandria in Egypt doing the Continent of Africa, then Port Said in Egypt. After Egypt The Crystal Ship will continue to the port of Ashdod in Israel then cruising in the mediterranean to Limassol port of Cyprus, the next day the ship will continue more to the northwest to visit the Greek Island of Rhodes, finally it will arrive in Kusadasi Turkey on March 6, 2020 at 07 am the next day the ship will end it’s one week journey back in Athens.
Today on December 7, 2019 Marella Dream ship of TUI Thomson arrived in Kusadasi Cruise port.
Marella Dream ship is also known with former names Thomson Dream, Westerdam, Homeric.
The ship has a capacity of roughly 1500 people and 600 crew and she carroes a Maltese flag.
The Marella Dream Cruise mostly functions as a chartered vacation for UK based tour operators where most passangers are from.
The ship started off in Cyprus Limassol on December 4, 2019 and arrived in Kusadasi on the 4th day of the itinerary visiting Alanya in Turkey and The Greek Island of Rhodes.
This is a 7 Night Itinerary on The Mediterranean named as Ancient Kingdoms.
After Kusadasi it is going to visit Israel's Ashdod ending back in Cyprus.
Although it has a weekly schedule arriving Kusadasi more often than other Cruise Lines Marella Dream doesn't have much private shore excursion potential Compared to other Cruise Lines such as Holland America Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Oceania Cruises. Still it creates a little job opportunity for a limited number of vendors in Kusadasi, tour guides in Kusadasi and travel transportation companies.
Still it is a nice temperature for sightseeing, and sometimes with clouds in the background Ancient Ruins of Ephesus look more dramatic in pictures.
The contrast between the white and beige Marble and the Dark cloudy skies as a backdrop makes a good combination.
Our hope is that cruisers of the future look more for individual, personal tour and travel services so the wealth would be spread to actual local people rather than one handling company.
Instead of going on tours with bus loads of people, cruisers should be looking rather smaller groups where there is more of the personal touch, that way we believe travelers will make the best out of their limited time at each port and get a better sense of the culture, history and daily life of the country they are in.
Stay tuned for more stories on Cruises stopping at Kusadasi Cruise Port for visiting Ephesus.
Today Friday December 6 2019, Norwegian Cruise Line (Norwegian Spirit) docked in Kusadasi Cruise Port with 2500 cruise passengers.
It is not an ordinary winter day in Kusadasi as we are used to quiet winters when shops being closed.
Shops near the Cruise port hybernate for all winter until late March when they will be reopened.
Today all the shops near Kusadasi Cruise Port will be awake from their hybernation for 1 day only with the hope that they will make their dime for the day
As I walk towards the Port passing through old neighborhoods of Kusadasi watching bakers getting ready from that early 4 am in the morning.
I wonder how it was once Ephesus Ancient city was still an active port 2000 years ago. According to an inscription found at Basilica of St. John, the text tells us that Ephesus Ancient city use to receive 65-70 ships a day.
Yes, that's true, 2 Millennia ago, Ephesus Harbor was a major trade hub and received 65-70 ships a day for trade. Now I wonder How were they getting ready for a trade day at the Port of Ephesus.
Norwegian Spirit cruise ship is built in 1998 and has Bahaman flag. She is 269meters (883) feet long and has 912 crew.
The ship started on December 2nd in Civitavecchia Port in Rome Italy and will follow a 9 day itinerary on the Mediterranean visiting Greek Islands, Israel and will finally end on December 15 in Italy.
The port call for Kusadasi comes to the 4th day of the Cruise Journey.
Most cruisers got off the Ship with the plan of visiting Ephesus Ancient City and the top tourist attractions around Kusadasi and Ephesus.
Early in the morning starting around 6.00am there was a huge organizational rush hour at Kusadasi Cruise Port.
Bus drivers gettting ready parking their spots at the Parking Lot, maneuvering their huge toys with such mastership.
Then around 6.30-7.00 the tour guides started arriving at the Cruise Port. Passing from 2 security checkpoints before they arrive at the Welcoming Point.
Once they gathered for the briefing by the tour operator, to discuss various ephesus tours with different itineraries, and timing arrangements, admission arrangements and the rest of the paperwork is done and they are ready for the cruisers to get on the bus.
There will be different tours for example Biblical Ephesus for Cruisers who want to visit Ephesus with a Christian emphasize.
There probably will be an Easy Ephesus tour for cruisers with less mobility, elders, handicapped and wheelchair user travelers.
There will probably be a Village Tour for Cruisers who enjoy the Pastoral and Rustic local village life.
So all these tour types and itineraries will require separate planning.
It's another brilliant day, new faces, new stories to go home with.
And around 8.00 cruisers start disembarking and walking towards the Port's Customs Premises.
First bus left around 8.20 and then one after another all left by 9.00pm
After the tour of Ephesus, House of the Virgin Mary the passengers returned around 3pm and started walking around the shops in Kusadasi town, spice stores and turkish delights are the most popular among all the other leather, jewelry and carpet stores.
There were totally 35 Busses ready for the Cruisers to get off.
Norwegian Spirit will have 2 more departures this year in 2019 being on on December 15 and the last one on December 22.
But these last two itineraries will not include Kusadasi (Ephesus) or any other stops in Turkey.
To see the arrival schedule of Norwegian Cruise Line for 2020 for Kusadasi Cruise Port please click here.
Here below is the List of Cruise Lines that will arrive in Kusadasi Cruise Port in 2020.
Please Click on any of the Cruise Line to see their Arrival Dates for Kusadasi Cruise Terminal