Everything You Need To Know About The Yacht Week
Trying to decide if The Yacht Week is for you or simply looking for more info on what exactly it entails? Here is everything you need to know!
WHAT IS THE YACHT WEEK?
Since going to The Yacht Week I’ve been surprised by how many friends and other people I come across that have no idea what it is, so let’s start at the beginning! If you want to know the full story, watch this:
If not, here’s the high level overview: you + a bunch of your best friends + up to 50 other boats full of your new soon-to-be best friends from all across the world sailing around one of the most beautiful places on earth for 7 heavenly days.
“Everything is online social, we’ve kind of forgotten a bit how it is to hang out. And suddenly you have this concept where you bring all these people together and it’s nothing about online socializing, it’s all about being there present in the moment"
Sound amazing? It is. Best week of your life amazing.
WHO GOES TO THE YACHT WEEK?
Young professionals from all corners of the world! The average age for attendees is 27, with everyone being at least 20 or older. One of the best things about it is that it's all like-minded people - ones that love to travel, adventure, meet new people, and have fun.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Their website does a good job of guiding you through this, but here’s the gist:
- Pick a location - There are now nine different options!
- Pick a week - each event is 7 days long and generally start and end on Saturday. The options vary by location, with the Europe routes running in the summer and the rest in winter/spring
- Find some friends! - 1 to 12 of them, to be exact. There are two ways to book: you can either book an entire yacht and fill it yourself, or you can grab a friend and book a cabin as a duo. When you do the latter option you don’t have a say in who you’re with or which yacht you’re on. They do have a crew finder which allows you to join existing crews or find people to fill up any open spots you may have on your boat
- Pick a yacht - this is where pricing comes into play. Depending on your budget, your crew size, your necessities (AC?), pricing will obviously vary. If you’re going on a route in the middle of summer, splurge for the AC!
WHAT WILL THE WEEK LOOK LIKE?
The exact route details don’t come out until shortly before your event starts, but you can rest assured that you’ll be visiting a new spot everyday and you’ll never have a single second of boredom. If you look at the destination page on The Yacht Week site for whichever location you’ve chosen, you’ll see an example route, route highlights, and what a typical day will look like there.
This was the itinerary for my week (Croatia, original route):
- Saturday - Milna
- Sunday - Palmizana
- Monday - Hvar
- Tuesday - Komiza
- Wednesday - Vis
- Thursday - Natural Bay
- Friday - Split
- Saturday - go home, cry, plan your next Yacht Week
WHAT DO YOU ACTUALLY DO EVERYDAY?
Here's what a typical day looked like for me in Croatia:
- 8am: wake up, head upstairs, drink iced coffee on the deck (hostess for the win!) while people watching and waiting for the rest of the crew to wake up
- 10am: eat breakfast on deck as a crew, usually laughing at each other about the previous night
- 11am: crank up the music and start sailing towards that night's destination
- 12pm: stop at a bay for some fun in the sun! Splash around while your hostess whips up a delicious lunch. Eat lunch before taking sail again
- 2pm: drop anchor at that day's destination. Head into town for drinks or coffee or sight-seeing by foot or vespa
- 4pm: get ready for the night (and by get ready I mean shower off the back of the boat and maybe put some mascara on)
- 5pm: head out for the first party of the night - the famous Hvar white party, Hula Hula beach bar, or something else depending on the day!
- 7pm: eat dinner at whatever amazing restaurant your wonderful hostess booked you reservations at
- 9pm: head to the next party, dance all night with hundreds of your new best friends :)
Repeat x7. I know, sounds horrible, right?
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
As mentioned above, this will vary depending on your yacht, your route, your crew size, etc. but we paid $1,175/person. What’s included in the price you pay differs depending on if you booked an entire yacht or a cabin as a duo.
If you book a boat, on the top of the yacht rent and skipper + hostess fees you'll have:
- Food and drink (including for your skipper and hostess)
- Port fees
- Yacht fuel, water, shore power
- Skipper and hostess tips
- Yacht security deposit
- Water Taxis
Full details are here.
If you want to keep it cheap you could book an economy level boat, skip a hostess, etc. The group I was with was pretty laid back financially so we splurged a lot for the highest level of bottle service, nice dinners, etc. but it’s up to you how you want to live your week!
IS IT INSANE?
Yes and no. I can’t tell you how many times I get asked this question because it definitely has a reputation and not everyone wants to have a trip like that. From what I’ve been told, it’s mellowed out a bit compared to what it used to be but yes, it is still crazy.
However, it doesn’t have to be super crazy. Each night there are 1-3 different Yacht Week organized events. If you want to drink all day, go to all three parties, and stay out until 6am, you can. We, on the other hand, spent most of our days adventuring sober (saving our drinking for the organized events) and some nights even headed home early to lay on the boat star-gazing and talking about life together.
Get a hostess. Why? Imagine waking up on a boat, possibly sea-sick, possibly hungover, and having to cook for yourself and/or for your entire crew in a hot yacht kitchen below deck possibly during stormy weather. Sound fun? No. There's nothing better than a hostess because they make the magic happen - they cook for you, they make dinner reservations for you, they really do everything your skipper does not. If you want to have a relaxing vacation, free of work, you need one. They are worth it 100 times over, I promise.
The official hostess responsibility list, according to The Yacht Week site:
- The food shopping on arrival and throughout the week (accompanied by a crew member)
- Clean the galley, saloon, cockpit and toilets, but not the bedrooms
- Whip up something special for breakfast, lunch and dinner (dinner x2 nights a week)
- Guide you and your crew through the bewildering array of exotic delicacies
- Serve drinks with dinner
- Wash the dishes and clean up after meals
Tips! You gotta tip your skipper and hostess. Their site doesn't tell you a suggested amount so we asked a friend that works at The Yacht Week who suggested 10% each. If your yacht booking is really low, you might want to instead think of it in terms of days and tip each ~$15/person/day (~$105 each). Most crews give them the tips on the last night (usually Friday) in case some people leave early.
Couples - to go or not to go? Most things I read online say no, and I have to say I agree for the most part. We had a couple in our group which worked out wonderfully for two reasons: (1) they are the most chill, awesome couple ever and (2) they didn't do couple-y things. Instead we all hung out as a group, or the girls would hang and the boys would hang separately. If you and/or your relationship are crazy or you don't want to spend any time apart, skip The Yacht Week. This is not a couples type of trip ;)
SO, WOULD I RECOMMEND THE YACHT WEEK?
Yes, yes, a million times yes. I have done my fair share of traveling and have been on many an adventure but never have I had a week like this. It was hands down the best week of my life and something I will remember forever. I'm already counting down the days until my next one - Greece 2017! If the info above sounds like something you'd enjoy, then you will absolutely not regret your decision to go.
What do you think? Are you gonna take the plunge?