The Yacht Week, Croatia South Route: Sun, Sand, Bikinis – The Best Damn Summer

The Yacht Week, Croatia South Route (August 2012).

This trip was one of my LIFE’S highlights, and I’ve been asked a lot about it. So I’ve put together a rough guide for anyone planning to do The Yacht Week to help you have a better of what to expect, and how to make the most out of it.

Haha I always had a policy of anti-bikini photos on my blog but oh well unavoidable when talking about TYW (since I was permanently in a bikini) so please ignore my Summer/Exchange bod I promise it’s getting better and more beach worthy 😛

So who should go for yacht week??

If you can see yourself in these photos

Sunset boozing~

Then, my friend, you were made for this.

SO:

How to Go

It’s real easy to do TYW. Everything’s online, and payment is in installments. It basically works like this:
1. Person A books the entire boat
2. Person A fills up the boat to capacity, each person added on shares the cost of the entire boat and pays Person A back directly.

I believe payment is due in three installments or something like that right up to 2 months prior to departure.

I started looking around for a boat around late May, made my payments by June and we set sail in early August. That’s for someone being added on though, if you’re doing the booking you’ll probably have to plan ahead a few months earlier. I think my boys booked theirs half a year in advance, but also to ensure they would have time to ask around to fill up the boat – we had a capacity of 12, they initially booked with just 4 of themselves confirmed!

I do also recall that it was still possible to book a boat in late May when I was having a looksy about, but boats fill up really quick so again, even if you have a crew ready, book early 🙂

Note that there are several types of boats, each with a different capacity (starting from 6 to something like 15) and cost!

Check out this site to see if bookings are open:
http://www.theyachtweek.com

Your yacht or mine?

How Much to Go

As I mentioned earlier, there’s a different cost for each type of boat so use my expenses only as a rough gauge.

I paid 650 euros to be part of my crew on a 12 man boat, and included in the 650 is a party band that grants you free entry to all parties. So that means 650 for accommodation (sleep on the yacht), the parties and one helluva experience.

There are also docking fees which everyone shares. We paid about 50 euros each for docking. You don’t always have to dock, but it’s where we fill up on fuel, fresh water and are just close to land for meals, walkabouts and showers (!!).

Ignore Kyle in a towel haha. Showing the inside of our boat

For food and drink, we did a lot of cooking on board (Thank God for Chef Emma) and bought most of our drink from supermarkets onland. Spent about 130 euros on food and drink, including the times we went onland for meals (roughly about 5 to 10 euro a meal).

With that in mind, I spent about 800 euros in total for a week on a yacht. That’s roughly $1200 SGD. NUBBAD HUH?

When to Go

TYW runs throughout summer from May to August pretty much weekly, but with each week having a different bunch of boats. I was on Week 34, one of the last ones. Really don’t know when the best time to go is haha GO WHENEVER YOU CAN MAKE IT HAPPEN! 🙂

Where to Go

TYW has lots of different routes. Depending on what you want and where you are, you’ve got different options. There’s Greece, Italy, British Virgin Islands, Turkey and Croatia. Apparently a new route in Thailand is in the works too! I went for TYW in Croatia.

Within Croatia there’s the north route, where it’s a lot more scenic and chilled out (you stop by a waterfall to splishsplash about ferchrissakes) whilst the south route was the crazy party one (the one I took. Also the original TYW!!).

Look up the route you’re interested in, and chances are, the bigger the crop of boats going (north was about 32 I think, South was 60+), the bigger the party it’s going to be.

Cliff diving – just one of the things you can do on the south route

What to Bring

Underwater camera if you have one. Croatian waters are ahmagad amazingly clear and blue, you definitely want to get some underwater shots down.

Kyle being an absolute legend with the goPro climbing to the top of the mast

One of our crew, Sam, had a go pro camera!! Had a lot of fun with that haha mostly privatized videos so that says a lot.

Goggles and scuba mask + snorkels are easily available in shops on land, grab some early to make the most of your swims! Will be well worth it.

We also had this retarded inflatable water netball set

Bring PLENTY of sun block and obviously swim wear.

Oh, and leave your dignity behind. You won’t be needing it.

Go with Who

I went alone haha. I first chose the week that I wanted to go, then checked out what routes and boats were available. There’s a facebook application from the official TYW page that lets people post if they’re looking for crew, so I basically short-listed a few that I thought would be interesting.

Link to the facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/theyachtweek?fref=ts

The boat I eventually got on advertised itself as an international boat with 6 countries, consisting of 2 DJs, a chef and a bartender. WOW?

Forgot to bring my Singapore flag 😦
Having a go at Kyle’s DJ stuff – DJ Mao in da house
Pot full of mojito chilled by red bull cans put together by bartender Mary!

Found out once I was on that there were also 2 craaazy Mexican beechez and a lovely Croatian couple (did all the haggling for us) haha man, best boat ever.

Seriously though, ‘facebook’ boats are actually pretty rare and can really go either way. Our skipper said we were one of the few amazing ‘facebook’ crews. In choosing, you’d probably have better luck if it’s a small group looking for a majority of add ons as opposed to one big group of friends looking for 1 or 2 pluses. That way everyone pretty much starts out as strangers and it’s way easier to go from that to friends then it is to try and break into an already set clique.

If you’ve already got a crew in mind, then I would suggest that you include someone who can cook onboard haha our Chef turned out to be our most valuable member. Also, go with people who can handle an entire week of drinking + parties every night but that one’s pretty obvious.

Skipper taking us for a ride…

You can also opt to have your own skipper (needs a navigation cert) to save some costs but I would really recommend hiring a TYW skipper. After splitting the costs, hiring isn’t all that expensive. Our skipper, Chris, was DA BOMB. Knew all the fun stuff you can (but shouldn’t) do with a Yacht, where all the best parties were and knew most of the other skippers as well so meant we had some really great boat parties going. All that expertise was really worth paying for.

Also, note in your crew formation that there’s a girl-boy ratio that has to be adhered to (50-50), with higher female proportions favored, else you end up paying A LOT more. Although if you reaaaally want a sausage fest, haha why not.

Note:
While on Yacht Week, you do have the choice to not follow the TYW route and skip parties or visit different islands, just let your skipper know. The parties are seriously amazing though haha there’s a party every night on different islands and in different settings. Picture old forts, beach parties, sunset parties, champagne showers…

Also, for the girls worried about how wild the parties get: don’t. Just go for the parties, relax and have fun. Take the usual precautions, but generally everyone is there for a good time and respects your space.

Do watch the stamina though. Make sure to take naps in the day, and bring the all-important sleeping kit I talked about in this post. Especially the ear plugs… You might end up rooming with someone nicknamed SingaSnore (cough)

Power napping before dinner arrived

Towards the end I was seriously crashing especially on Day 4, my day 5 was really wasted even though we were in a really beautiful beach club :S

Boat accomodation is okay, but stuffy because there isn’t much ventilation and if your crew isn’t vigilant, will get very uncomfortable and smelly, especially from food preparation. Make sure you take out your trash regularly and tidy up every day so your living area stays livable – or at least breathable.

Also, you can shower on your yacht but showers are really cramped and stuffy haha I only took 2 proper showers during the week, rest of the time was jump in the sea and rinse off with fresh water on deck. Proper showers I took on land at public toilets when our boat was docked.

Boats will also dock at least every two days, so take the chance to go on land and do a bit of cultural walkabouts. You should really try the famous Croatian seafood if nothing else! 🙂

Last Words 

JUST GO ALREADY!! It’ll be something you won’t shut up about for a looooong time haha sorry to my victims!

I leave you with photos from our last day:

Dedicated to Brandon Heng, Nicklaus Tang, Kriff, Daniel Tan and my amazing crew:
Bobby, Fernanda, Emma, Mary, Anita, Alen, Tyler, Sam, Kyle, Josh and of course Chris our skipper with the best bum.

And special thanks to Guo Ming for the link!

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