Peter Sommer Travels
Exceptional cultural tours and gulet cruises in Turkey, Greece, and Sicily. We design inspirational trips of a lifetime: stimulating and luxurious tours, educational and relaxing cruises. Our carefully crafted journeys will take you to some of the world’s best preserved Greek and Roman ruins, with a friendly and knowledgeable guide ready to bring their history to life.
A UK-based specialist tour operator, we provide holidays - primarily gulet cruises - with a professional and above all personal touch. We take only small groups (max 16 on land, 14 by sea) of like-minded people, travelling in an easy-going, friendly, and informal style.
Member since: 09 Apr 2009
How the minimum criteria of the responsible travel standard was met...
- We strive to respect and benefit local people. Our tours provide important employment and income. In the countries we tour, we employ local crew on the boats we use, local accredited guides and location managers, and local drivers. In Turkey we have used the same locally owned ground-handling agent, employing Turkish staff, since 1996. This ensures that money goes directly into the pockets of local people, so it is the local community that benefits.
- We prefer to use and recommend hotels, pansiyons, and restaurants that are small, locally owned, and family run, rather than large international chains.
- We encourage shopping with local stall-holders, artisans, and village craftspeople. When it comes to bartering, which is almost expected in Turkey, we emphasise the difference between haggling in an expensive carpet shop in a big city and bargaining over small handicrafts in rural villages where people’s livelihoods depend on this interaction and income. We therefore recommend that our customers do not haggle aggressively in such circumstances.
- At our main office we use green electricity and aim to use as little as possible. We reuse and recycle materials (such as paper, cardboard, glass, tins and food waste) whenever feasible.
- We try to keep our paper waste to a minimum. We regularly clean our database to reduce the numbers of brochures we print and send out. All our printing is done using recycled paper and/or on paper approved by the FSC, the Forestry Stewardship Council. Most of our communication is carried out by email, and our brochure is available online to reduce the amount of brochures we need to print and send.
- Where feasible, we try to use local boats that can sail rather than just motor, and so use less fuel. On the boats we use we encourage customers to turn off lights etc. when not in active use. The use of air conditioning is strictly controlled aboard our gulets.
- We try to avoid wasting water. Most of our tours are by boat. By virtue of being on board a boat, water needs to be used sparingly as the amount available is limited. Only showers are provided, not baths, and we advise customers to reduce their use of water by taking short showers, not turning on the tap when brushing teeth etc.
- We always respect the local culture of the countries we visit and ensure our customers respect as far as possible local dress codes and traditions.
- We provide customers with an information guide on the historical, political, social, and economic background of the country they are visiting. We also inform our customers about local customs, eating habits, dress codes, religion, traditions and body language to avoid causing offence.
- We aim to foster cultural exchange, interaction, and mutual understanding i.e. – to meet and speak with local people, rather than simply look at them. Where possible we have lunch with the guardians of archaeological sites we visit, promoting a better understanding of different worlds and cultures, while at the same time giving vital income to families often living in very rural situations. In a number of cases we have been visiting the same local families and paying for them to prepare local traditional food for our groups for over 10 years.