Asia Thailand Travel

The Yacht Week: What it’s Really Like

It’s not uncommon for people to return from Yacht Week pronouncing it the best week of their lives. And the week I sailed around Phuket, Thailand with the travel company ranks pretty high up on my list too. I’ll be honest — these guys have mastered the art of leisure. Take a slew of (mostly) twentysomethings, plop them on a yacht in the middle of the world’s most gorgeous locales (Greece, Thailand, Croatia, BVIs etc), provide professional photographers, planned parties and copious amounts of booze and there you have it — a foolproof recipe for the best week of your life. 

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The team behind Yacht Week are genius marketers. If you’re reading this, chances are you may have seen one of their epic YouTube video recaps set to tropical house tunes and featuring drool-worthy drone footage of yacht circles and ocean floaties. Also, beyond the fact that they’re great at hiring attractive and fun skippers who keep the vibe alive, they also tightly manage an even guy to girl ratio of guests so that your chances of a week-long romance are high (see, I told you they know what they’re doing).

I don’t think you could possibly have a terrible time on Yacht Week. But before you commit to your first trip with the travel company, it’s best to know exactly what you’re getting yourself into, because we all have different travel styles and the Yacht Week definitely isn’t for everyone.  

Here’s a few things to think about before you put that deposit down for a yacht this summer.

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There’s a lot of drinking. 

I definitely like my wine as much as the next girl and drink socially with friends, family, etc, but I am in no means a “party girl” nor have I ever been one. Yacht Week can feel like a convention of such people and whether you can handle a full week of practically non-stop partying is only something that you can determine for yourself.

You’re not forced into anything and can absolutely opt out of any boozy activities or parties, but friends who want to join in your sobriety may be harder to come by. If you fall on the more conservative side of the party spectrum, just make sure you’re on a boat with other like-minded friends to ensure you have a great time. 

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You’re pretty much locked into the route’s itinerary.

If you’re a free spirit who wants to roam wild or a super-tourist looking to tick every site off your bucket list, you may have to manage your expectations on certain Yacht Week routes. Different locations will offer varying levels of free time, but some (like Thailand) will require you to advocate strongly if you want to get on shore and explore on your own. If you’re someone who likes to wander from the group, make sure to book a route where the boats are docked rather than moored so that getting to land doesn’t require tracking down your skipper and a dingy.

With that said, different routes will also have various optional activities your group can choose to partake in. One of my favorite memories from our Thailand trip was paddling a dingy through the pitch black Emerald Caves in Koh Mook to reach a hidden beach oasis in the center. All of the boats on our route joined in on this together, so opportunities like this do exist — you may just have less control over the what and when of it all.

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Type A personalities will need more patience.

The Yacht Week is notorious for being a bit disorganized. It’s all part of the fun and craziness of the trip, but when the crew is drinking just as heavily as the guests, you can’t always count on things going exactly to schedule. Patience is your best friend here, and a glass of wine always seems to help too.

“Yacht” Sounds Fancier Than It Is

I grew up sailing off the coast of Maine, and know my way around various types of boats, but those less informed might be in for a surprise. Certain rooms on the monohauls and catamarans that Yacht Week offers are larger than others, but the small rooms are small for two people. Imagine camping on a yacht – ie. sleeping above deck often because it’s too hot in the cabins, not being able to flush toilet paper down the toilet, having access to limited kitchen supplies etc. But honestly, who needs a big room when you’ll barely be sleeping anyway? The best advice I could give you: spring for a boat with AC and you’ll be a much happier camper/yachter.

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If you can handle all of the aforementioned points, here’s a few reasons why you should make your next trip one with Yacht Week.

You’ll meet new friends from all over the world (and maybe even a Swedish boyfriend).

You’ll spend a week straight dancing, laughing, soaking up the sun and witnessing unforgettable landscapes by sea.

You’ll be surrounded 24/7 by people who are living life on their terms, traveling around the world and having a blast doing it. 

Want more Yacht Week? Tune in to my ultimate Yacht Week playlist.

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  • Michelle Halpern August 9, 2016 at 11:01 am

    I love the Yacht Week!