If you could sail, swim, and celebrate on repeat each day for a week until you’re happily exhausted, you’d do it, wouldn’t you? Well, boating has just the event for that: Yacht Week. Haven’t heard of it? Here’s a Yacht Week Beginner’s Guide:
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First, what is Yacht Week?
If you’ve never heard of The Yacht Week, it’s called the original floating festival. You stay aboard a skippered boat with a bunch of your friends, cruising alongside other like-minded travelers.
A skippered boat is a boat with someone who is in command of it, more or less equal to a captain! This gives your crew opportunities to focus on the fun and potentially learn boating from an experienced guide.
Options exist for per-cabin bookings, too. Regardless, for seven days, you explore convoy-style, visiting picture-perfect destinations like Croatia, Turkey, Tahiti, and the British Virgin Islands. While you have the freedom to follow your own itinerary, you get your skipper’s first-hand knowledge of where to go and what to do.
You can dine onboard or ashore, soak up the sun on secluded beaches, and of course, swim. Come at nighttime, and join your fellow adventurers at organized parties on the beach and in clubs. Or, simply star gaze on deck before drifting off to sleep.
Yacht Week’s brief history
The Yacht Week got its start nearly two decades ago. Directors and founders Eric Biorklund and William Wenckel worked for the same company as charter-boat captains in Europe when inspiration struck. A two-week period in Greece was so much fun that they became fast friends with their guests. Figuring they could replicate the success, they reserved 10 yachts for traveling together for a subsequent summer in anticipation of attracting 100 guests. It worked. They then added another five yachts to that total, which also filled up. Guests had so much fun, in fact, that they requested Biorklund and Wenckel arrange more trips. Soon the duo had more cruisers than staterooms available. So, they turned it into a dedicated business, and The Yacht Week was born.
With another business partner onboard, Biorklund and Wenckel set their sights on growing The Yacht Week internationally. That, too, worked. The company went from booking 30 boats in 2006 to more than 1,300 within a decade.
Experiences you’ve never had before
The Yacht Week is more than just skippered boats; the goal is to provide you with experiences you’ve never had before! For example, if you’re into techno, house music, and similar styles, the Croatia Ultra Route dates in July coincide with the Ultra Europe EDM festival. Pro Tip: Your yacht package includes VIP tickets.
While music is a big part of The Yacht Week—and cruising in general—other itineraries are more about the destinations and camaraderie.
From May through September, for instance, trips depart from Athens, Greece, and head to a number of islands. To ensure you get to know your fellow cruisers, a raft-up (anchoring your boat side by side) kicks off the first day.
Each day for the rest of the week, you can explore ancient sites and towns with guides on foot or drive an ATV through the countryside. Fun costume parties, White Parties (where you wear all white), and more occur each day, too.
To cap off the summer in style, book one of two available weeks (at presstime) in Turkey in September. You’ll enjoy the country’s famed Turquoise Coast, along its southwestern shore, starting out in Fethiye. When you go sightseeing, don’t miss the chance to partake in a Turkish bath. You’ll emerge with your skin feeling invigorated and an amazing story to share.
Pro Tip: Speaking of sharing, you’ll be sharing picture after picture on social media with your friends and family back home. The Yacht Week also has professional photographers and videographers on hand during each itinerary to ensure the best moments get captured.
Get a feel for boating
If you’re curious about how the boat operates, feel free to ask questions. Captains love sharing their knowledge and passion, so you can take a turn at the wheel as well. Plenty of cruisers become friends, too, with their fellow passengers, planning future cruises upon returning home. That’s what ultimately makes The Yacht Week a week to remember for a lifetime.
Boatsetter is a unique boat-sharing platform that gives everyone — whether you own a boat or you’re just renting — the chance to experience life on the water. You can list a boat, book a boat, or make money as a captain.
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Images sourced from Yachtweek.com
A journalist with more than 30 years’ experience, Diane M. Byrne is the owner
of MegayachtNews.com, a daily website educating American superyacht owners, buyers, and
their circles of influence about the leading builders, designers, cruising destinations, and more.
She founded the website in 2007 as the first, and still the only, American-focused online media
outlet exclusively covering this market. It features all-original content, for real stories of real
Diane is additionally one of the most-sought-after journalists for expert editorial coverage and
commentary about not only superyachts, but also general boating and yachting. Her byline
appears in Boatsetter.com, DiscoverBoating.com, and the magazines Luxury Guide, Ocean,
Yachting, and Yachts International.
Additionally, Diane is the Chair of the U.S. Superyacht Association, having been on the Board of
Directors since 2015. Outside of yachting, she’s a trustee of Sempre Avanti, a non-profit
resource supporting Italian and Italian-American individuals, businesses, and organizations in the
United States and Italy.