This summer we finally did The Yacht Week. I’ve had the yacht week on my Bucket List for years! And this year we were finally able to make it happen.
The Yacht Week is a world famous yachting experience geared towards young individuals wanting to party on a yacht for a week, with themed parties, group meals and circle rafts. The only way I can really describe it is… Epic!
You can book in three different ways; book a entire yacht and hope to fill it with 6-10 other people, book a cabin as a duo and get randomly paired with 3-4 other duos, or, join the Yacht week crew finder group on Facebook and try to find another group who have booked a full boat and are looking for others to fill it. For the latter option you’re best off being pretty flexible on your dates.
We would also highly(!) recommend either booking a boat with a hostess or if you’re joining someone else’s yacht to make sure they have booked a hostess. Otherwise you’ll spend the week eating cereal and snacks. Because no one wants to wake up after a night of partying and then cook themselves (and their skipper) breakfast/lunch in 30 degree heat with no AC.
Because we were set on which week we wanted to do, we decided to just book an individual cabin and get paired with random people. We were a little worried about the people we could get paired with; apparently some cabin booking boats can be quite disastrous if the people don’t get along. Luckily we were paired with a pretty great group, minus this other couple, who were more concerned about themselves than spending time with the group. Not really sure they were aware of exactly what the Yacht Week was about. They weren’t really “like minded individuals” like the rest of us. This wasn’t a couples cruise type of trip. But I digress.
On the topic of couples, the Yacht Week isn’t really a place for them. If you’re more concerned about being together than socializing with everyone else then this isn’t the place for you. Will and I aren’t like that when we do group travel. We’re not attached at the hip, and mostly enjoy getting to know others as individuals not as a couple. If you’re this kind of couple too, the yacht week is right up your alley, if not, consider another company, maybe Med Sailers or Sail Croatia. Or book a full boat of your own and fill it with other couple friends.
The Yacht Week is literally just a week, living on a yacht and partying. They’ve got three themed events, two parties and the regatta. Each week runs from Saturday to Saturday. We chose to do the Yacht Week Ultra Route, which gave us Saturday and Sunday VVIP tickets to Ultra. Our week looked like this:
We checked in Saturday morning and met our group later that afternoon. This is the first night spent on the boat. Some people who do the Ultra route decide to get a place to stay in Split itself because some of the marinas that the Yacht Week use are outside of Split. The Yacht Week has buses that run from the marina to the stadium and from the stadium back to the marinas. Last bus back to the marina goes at 5 am (roughly when the last set finishes). The first acts at Ultra start at 7pm and the last one starts at 3:30am, ending around 5am. I don’t know why but I was surprised by how late the sets started! We made it for the last bus at 5am with the rest of our Yacht Week crew both nights.
After getting home sometime after 6am, we woke up late on the boat and had breakfast prepared by our awesome host Lara. You can relax on board or explore Split for the day. We chose to relax on board, nursing our hangovers and spending the day getting to know everyone. In the evening we headed back to the festival.
Both Saturday and Sunday we didn’t head out until sunset and didn’t get in till sunrise.
Split – Hvar
The one and only rule our skipper Rowen gave us the night before was to “be back on the boat by 8am!”, because that’s when we were setting off for our next spot. We made it back for 7am (ish) and went straight to bed. We woke up late that morning, on board and at sea. I guess the route can differ depending on weather and other things. Ours put us into Hvar on Monday. That evening was spent at Hula Hula bar where we got table service and partied while watching the sunset. The rest of the evening was spent in little Croatian night clubs that spilled into the tiny little alleyways.
Tuesday we woke up late (again! Do you see a pattern happening here, haha, surprise surprise). This was the day of the Riviera Chic party which is pretty much a white party, where the dress code is white and nautical. Think french riviera, whites, blues, and stripes.
We spent the day chilling on the boat, washing off the night before and getting ready for the party.
After the party most people head for dinner, to soak up the afternoon of drinking, but in my case, I was taking Will back to the boat because he went waaaaay too hard during the day party. After making sure Will was safely in bed on the boat, I headed out with the others to Carpe Diem Beach Bar. The only way over to Carpe Diem is via water taxi. It’s a night club on its very own island. The dance floor is covered in trees that make a canopy of branches and leaves that are strung with lights and lanterns. Honestly, whether you do the yacht week or not, if you’re in Croatia and on Hvar, definitely head to Carpe Diem.
I’ll just leave this here to show how Will’s night went 😂
Hvar – Stari Grad.
Wednesday we woke up on the water again. Today was the day of the Circle Raft, made famous by the Yacht Week itself. Basically all the yachts get together and raft up in a circle, the buzz boat (oh yeah, the buzz boat is the DJ boat that has a bunch of massive speakers on it) gets tethered into the middle and plays music while we all party on our floaties for a few hours. After this we headed towards Stari Grad and rafted up again but this time in a Tunnel Raft and we stayed like this for the night.
Stari Grad is just a different spot near/on Hvar. All the yachts raft together in the form of a tunnel, the Buzz boat gets hooked up at one end and then you all just party, in the water on your floaties. That evening is spent on board and boat hopping around, finding other people/boats to party with.
Stari Grad – Vis
In Vis we rafted up again, but this time only in a line and pretty close to shore, close enough that we either took dingy’s to shore, caught water taxi’s straight from the boat, or pulled ourselves across on the floaties we had. We spent the day just walking through Vis trying to find somewhere to rent scooters from. Unfortunately all the places were sold out so we just ended up walking around and then heading back to the boat to get ready.
We had dinner at a restaurant that served a traditional Croatian meal called a Peka. You can choose between seafood/fish, octopus, or meat (which came with chicken, lamb, and something else I think). The dish is huge and comes in a big sharing platter that it was cooked in. It comes with veg, potatoes, and whichever protein you’ve chosen. It’s all cooked together in a big dish that is covered and baked in an open oven and covered in embers.
This was the night of the Tropical Retro party, the one I was looking forward to the most. Think 1950s Havana with head scarfs, big hoop earrings and bright colours. The venue is at Fort George, an old fort converted into a venue, with the dance floor outside covered in trees and lanterns, it’s incredible.
Vis – back to Split
Today was the day of the Regatta, the day when all the yachts race for a finish line (back to our marina in Split) in hopes of winning bragging rights and the best VIP table at the closing party. If you hope to win, its not just about getting there first, its about team costumes and the vibe on the boat during the race. We didn’t win, not even close, and to be fair we didn’t really try. We didn’t have any themed costumes and the vibe of our boat was pretty tame all around but it’s so cool seeing all the yachts together, racing, and what other boats have come up with for costumes. That night was spent at the closing party in Split, dancing the night away.
And that was The Yacht Week.
The next morning we packed up, jumped on a bus and spent the next 3 days in Dubrovnik relaxing and recovering from such an epic week.