If you’re looking for a once in a lifetime kind of experience, look no further. The Yacht Week is becoming wildly popular since the founders William Wenkel and Erik Biörklund first launched in 2008. Videos from 2008 went viral in 2009 showing amazing parties, beautiful people, sailing all day, lounging in the sun, & dancing to DJ’s. I jokingly told my parents I was going to “network” but after going, I can see how people really do build friendships during this week that lead to those connections and lifelong relationships. Joining an armada of about 50 boats for non-stop partying is not for the faint of heart but I’ll do my best to prepare you. Don’t be surprised if it’s the best week of your life.
The Yacht Week Routes you can pick from are: Croatia, Greece, Italy, Montenegro, Spain, or the Caribbean. I went on the Croatia Ultra route so my ticket included access to Ultra music festival and an Ultra Beach party. (Because if you’re going to go, why not go big, right?) While each route is different in it’s own way, Croatia has the reputation of being the biggest party route offered. Their sister company is The Ski Week.
Buying A Ticket
You can either purchase a 2 person cabin on a sailboat or your own boat and fill it up with your friends. A 50/50 gender ratio is enforced when booking. We opted for a 2 person cabin and TYW did a great job matching us up with our crew. Everyone on our boat was late 20’s to 30’s and all but one of us was from the U.S. We met up before TYW to hang out and again at registration the day before. At times it felt like we could be a cast off the real world we were all so different but got along so well and bonded in no time at all. We paid to have a skipper and a hostess which is definitely worth it in my opinion. It was nice to not have to worry about planning meals when you’re at sea or cooking. TYW culture encourages partying with your hostess & skipper so we invited them out with us and if you go out to eat, plan on covering their share. (also don’t forget to tip them at the end)
What To Bring
You get a towel but it’s yours for the week so I would either bring a lightweight one or buy one after arriving if you like.
Clothing: You’re pretty much in a bathing suit all day so I wouldn’t recommend packing much daytime clothing. Bring some nice outfits for dinners. Dress to impress. Leave the high heels at home I brought 1 pair of wedges. Girls may want to bring body jewelry, waterproof mascara, flash tats, captain’s hat.
TYW has a few themed parties. One theme was tropical retro, we went to a white party in Hvar, and there was a riviera theme another night. Your week also includes a regatta and each boat picks costumes/ accessories for whatever theme they want to do for their crew. I created a whatsapp group convo weeks before meeting so we could give each other packing advice and get to know one another. It’s so helpful to know if one person is bringing a lot of something so everyone isn’t bringing a lot of the same stuff. There is limited space so you’ll be happier if you pack light and bring a soft case luggage or duffel that’s easy to store.
I brought a deck of waterproof playing cards, some unicorn floaty drink holders for everyone, and a couple games. I also brought some decorations and stuff like umbrellas for drinks (blogger here can’t help myself) You will have some downtime sailing between destinations so I brought some books but mostly used that down time to nap and recover from the previous day. I wanted to bring a float but I was glad I didn’t have to lug it through the airport. My advice is to arrive at the marina early on registration day and buy a float from someone who did the previous week. You may only use it a few times but it’s nice to have and chances are they’d be happy to not lug it home.
Bring: aux cord, multiple port charging station (really helped because there’s not many outlets on the boat and everyone wants to charge their phone at the same time), adapter, waterproof phone pouch (someone always drops a phone overboard I loved that my friend brought these), battery operated fans (your boat may not have A/C), I would bring a cheap yoga mat or buy one when you arrive if you want to sleep on top of the boat where there’s more of a breeze. portable speakers (music definitely sets the tone so download some music on your phone before arriving and make a great playlist. Boats do have wi-fi but may not be dependable.) The outlets on the boat cannot handle hair straighteners or blow dryers. Pack medicine, dramamine, electrolytes, whatever you think you may need. Consider packing ear plugs or noise cancelling headphones if you’re a light sleeper. Bulky items like shampoo and sunscreen I would maybe buy at your destination and make them communal so not everyone has to pack it.
With love from where you’d rather be…
The day before departing you arrive to register at your assigned marina, get your passes, and have a few drinks with your crew. I definitely recommend arriving a day or two prior to do some sightseeing and to let your body adjust to the new time zone.Most nightsEveryone chips in for a “kitty” which includes docking fees, mooring, water taxis, gas. The group also starts a grocery + alcohol fund and a couple people will go shopping with the hostess. The hostess knows to also buy essentials like toilet paper, grocery bags, dish soap, mixers…The fridge on the boat is small so you’ll probably buy perishable food items twice on the trip. Stock up on ice when you can and get more water than you think you’ll need. We did go out to dinner most nights but I can’t emphasize enough how nice it is to have breakfast and most lunches and a couple dinners made for you and to not have to worry about washing the dishes and cleaning up so you can really enjoy yourself. You also put a card on file for a deposit for the boat during check-in.
The trip is what you make it so if you want to skip a party and go hiking or take in some culture plan ahead and let your skipper know what activities you’re interested in. See what excursions are available for your route if you’re feeling adventurous. We talked about skydiving and got distracted by all the fun we were having but made up for it by doing some of our own excursions in Croatia after TYW ended. Most importantly, go into it with a good attitude. Everyone is so excited to be there and have a blast it’s going to be the time of your life!