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THE TRUTH ABOUT YACHT WEEK | 6 Things To Know Before You Go

July 6, 2015 by @VanessaRivers

Last summer, my friend Misha and I spent a week exploring Croatia, Slovenia and Montenegro then met up with The Blonde Abroad and the rest of our all-girls crew for a week of sailing in Greece with The Yacht Week. As a whole, I loved the experience, but there were several things I wish I would have know prior to booking the trip that would have allowed me to enjoy it to the fullest. So here are 6 things you should know before you go…

Yacht-Week-Vanessa-Rivers

1. It will be more expensive than you think. I budgeted around $75 a day for food and drinks for our seven day trip and quickly realized that that was not going to be enough. Upon arriving, we were told we needed to go shopping for costumes for the sailing competition and parties. Next, we had to put money in for the “Kitty Fund,” which is food and drinks for the boat for the week. We also had to pitch in money to tip our skipper and pay for gas for the boat. At the parties you usually get 1 or 2 free drinks with your wristband, but after, that you pay for your drinks. So it can get expensive, especially if you want to splurge on bottle service. It’s nice to have a heads up on all this so you can budget accordingly. Bottom line: if you plan to drink and eat out and don’t want to worry about running out of money, you should plan to spend around $130/day. Here’s a quick budget breakdown…

$150 Kitty
$50 Costumes
$525 ($75/Day Restaurants + Drinks x 7 Days)
$100 Gas/Tip for Skipper
$100 Bottle Service
_______
$925 TOTAL

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2. The Yacht Week is more about partying and less about sailing. Yes, you will sail from island to island (my favorite part of the trip!), but the main focus of Yacht Week is the parties they throw. There is a big welcome party the night you arrive, and for the rest of the trip, there are day parties and night parties every single day. I didn’t fully understand this coming into the trip so I wasn’t in the right frame of mind, but once I realized the basic agenda was sailing from party to party, I was able to just go with the flow and also plan some other stuff I wanted to do, without feeling like I was going to miss out.

With that said, I highly recommend skipping one or two of the day parties and exploring instead. On the Greece Route, forget the day party at Love Bay Beach (it’s a dirt beach and not that pretty) and check out Poros! There is a lot to see and you only get one night there, so skip the day party and wander around this cute little town. Also, Hydra Island (my favorite stop on the Greece Route) is another must see! Definitely ditch the day party and spend your time exploring this magical place. There are so many gorgeous spots to take photos on both islands.

Yacht-Week-Floaties

3. Unless you splurge on a bigger, nicer sailboat, you will not be able to use the toilet onboard for #2! You can go pee on all the sailboats, but you can’t flush toilet paper down the toilets, and on many of them, you cannot go #2. I am sorry. I know this is a disgusting topic, but it is even more disgusting and horrifying to find yourself on a boat, sailing for hours or docked somewhere overnight, and realize there is nowhere that you can go to the bathroom. My friend Misha and I stayed at several hotels along the way because neither of us wanted to handle not having proper use of a toilet for days on end, but many girls were not as lucky, and there are some very embarrassing stories that I will not repeat here. Had we known about the bathroom situation prior, we would have splurged on a bigger sailboat that could accommodate people using the toilet. So make sure you look into this before you book your boat!

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4. Your boat will get dirty real quick! We had an all-girls crew and our cabin still got crazy dirty every day. Make a pact to all help clean. If everyone pitches in, it takes just a few minutes a day to keep your boat clean. Stay on top of dishes. Do them right after you are done eating, and try to keep all your personal stuff in your own cabin. The last thing you want is to spend a week in a tiny cramped, filthy space. This is the real Yacht Week v. your Instagram Yacht Week…

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5. There is no air conditioning on the smaller sailboats. This is really not a big deal but when it’s very hot, it is hard to sleep in the cabins. I recommend bringing a yoga mat or buying one the first night you are there, so you can lay it out and sleep on the deck of the boat at night. And if you do choose to sleep on the deck, make sure someone sleeps next to you. A lot of people will be walking to and from the boats at all hours of the night, so it is safer to use the buddy system, especially for girls.

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6. You will have the time of your life! Just go! If you can’t find a friend to go with you, just go on your own. Every single girl on our boat was amazing and our skipper, Gregor, was one of the kindest and most responsible guys I have ever met! I had the time of my life and I can’t wait to go on another Yacht Week trip, especially now that I know what to expect. It is nothing like the real world and it will be an amazing experience!

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BOOK YOUR YACHT WEEK TRIP > THEYACHTWEEK.COM
READ MORE ON YACHT WEEK > The Beginners Guide To Yacht Week and The Best Route On Yacht Week
BUY BIKINIS FOR YOUR TRIP | $10 OFF CODE: YACHTWEEK10 > SUMMERLOVESWIMWEAR.COM

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Have you been on the Yacht Week? Please share your comments and questions below!

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36 Comments

  • Reply Becky van Dijk December 14, 2015 at 7:28 am

    Great article Vanessa! I have been on Yacht Week a couple of times now, its super fun, but its definitely good for newbies to Yacht Week to hear how to prepare to make sure they really enjoy it! Completely agree on splurging on a bigger better boat, we went for a much larger yacht for BVI than we had in Croatia and it made such a difference! (Having a stand up cubicle shower next to my cabin was a treat!!) Thanks for sharing your tips! You girls and the bikinis are really cute too!! xoxo

  • Reply Bob Andrew February 4, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    Done yacht week three times – great experience. But as you said its about party. Now moved on to Sailing Nations which focuses more on sailing and has super interesting sailing destinations.

    • Reply Vanessa Rivers February 5, 2016 at 4:00 am

      Hi Bob! Thanks for sharing! I will have to check out Sailing Nations. Sounds very cool! I love being out on the water. Sailing makes you feel so free!

  • Reply Liz July 11, 2016 at 10:43 am

    I’ll be leaving in a few weeks. Wondering what the currency will be like and how much to exchange. Did you use Euros? Or Kuna?

    • Reply Vanessa Rivers July 11, 2016 at 10:58 am

      Hi Liz! Greece is on the EURO. Are you coming from the US? Right now 1 USD = .90 EURO – Enjoy your trip! X

  • Reply Gil July 12, 2016 at 1:46 pm

    Great article ! really helpful for rookie yacht weeks . I will leave in a few weeks for the Italy route. Do the budget shown here applies for italy as well?

    • Reply Vanessa Rivers July 12, 2016 at 5:03 pm

      Hi Gil! I haven’t bee on the Italy route yet but the activities and cost will probably be similar. Have fun!!!

  • Reply Eloise September 25, 2016 at 4:08 am

    What currency is your estimated cost list in? Thanks so much!

    • Reply Vanessa Rivers September 25, 2016 at 9:06 pm

      Hi Eloise! It is in USD! X

  • Reply Chip September 26, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    Hello Vanessa. I’ve got a group of 4-6 guys who want to go to Croatia next June and definitely want a higher end boat. I assume we should be able to set this up as their must be others who are willing to spend more to get more. A couple of questions; are all boats single sex boats? Would it be wise to get a few hotels at some of the ports/stops? How about paying for a single cabin? Basically I’m trying to gather as much information as possible before booking starts in a couple of weeks.
    Thank you,
    Chip

  • Reply Juan September 28, 2016 at 11:33 am

    Hi Vanessa, excellent piece of work!
    I wanted to ask you few things because i’m planning to go with some friends of mine from Argentina. If you can answer, that will be appreciated.
    1. I read that a Hostess is really helpfull. But, the captain that is not included, is 100% neccesary?
    2. How much is the bottle service approximately?
    3. How much did you spend, between food, drinks, extras and yatch during the entire week?
    4. It’s recommended to make a reservation just for me and my friend, and then the company join us with another group for the 50% rate of men?

    Thanks!!

    • Reply Vanessa Rivers September 28, 2016 at 6:40 pm

      Hi Juan! Thanks for your questions! 1) You don’t need a hostess but I am sure it would be nice to have one. You absolutely need a captain or a skipper to sail the boat. 2) Bottle service prices vary depending on where you go. We did the Greece route and I think our bottle service was about 150 EURO for 1 bottle but again this varies. 3) In my post you will see the price breakdown. It was approx $925 USD for the week for my trip. 4) Yes, I would book spots for you and your friend and the rest of the boat will be filled with a mix of males and females for a 50% female/male ratio.

  • Reply sharita October 21, 2016 at 4:44 am

    Your review was so helpful! We just booked a yacht for Greece!! Cannot wait!

    • Reply Vanessa Rivers November 21, 2016 at 1:49 pm

      Hi Sharita! I’m glad my post was helpful! Have a blast in Greece!!! X

  • Reply Orane Williams November 21, 2016 at 11:42 am

    Hi Vanessa. Thanks for your blog post # 1 was most important for me as I definitely wanted to know how much additional cost I would be spending. I typically budget $100 per day for trips. Great blog post in general. I will be sharing this with my crew.

    • Reply Vanessa Rivers November 21, 2016 at 1:48 pm

      Thank you Orane! Glad you found the post useful! And thanks so much for sharing it. If you or your friends have any questions about The Yacht Week you are welcome to post them in the comments section here and I will try to get back to you as soon as possible. X

  • Reply Arly December 15, 2016 at 12:38 am

    Hi!
    When I think of yacht week, I want those typical parties where the boats link together in the ocean and create a mini village to mingle for the day. I’ve only heard of this on Croatia routes. Does this happen for Greece at all?

    Also what’s the age range like?

    Thanks

    • Reply Vanessa Rivers December 15, 2016 at 1:59 am

      Hi Arly! This does happen on the Greece route, and I think all of the routes! The age range is typically a majority of people in their early to late twenties, with some people a little younger and some people in their early to mid thirties. Most people you will be in there twenties. I think I was twenty-nine when I went, which is on the older side! Have a blast!

  • Reply Lindsey January 13, 2017 at 8:58 pm

    Hi Vanessa! Great article. My best friend and I plan on doing Croatia this summer! The $130/day you estimated, does that include the port fees and electric fees at each port? Thanks!

    • Reply Vanessa Rivers January 14, 2017 at 3:52 am

      Hi Lindsey – thanks for reaching out. I don’t remember specific cost for port fees or any electric fees but I know our Kitty Fund that everyone pitched money into at the start of the trip cover all the boat related costs on the trip, so yes, all your boat fees are included in the $130/day! X

    • Reply Kay February 9, 2017 at 6:37 pm

      Hey Lindsey, are you and your friend booking your own yatch? We’re looking for two girls to join our crew for week 25.

      Cheers!

  • Reply Kay February 9, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    Question: the catamarans seem a lot more stable (and thus probably a better place to gather people for the party) whereas the Beneteau Oceanis 60 is just a sexy beast. We want to make sure we can have people over at our boat to party (and that it is stable enough for it). Which one do you think is the way to go (from your observations)?

    Thank!

    • Reply Vanessa Rivers February 18, 2017 at 5:26 pm

      Hi Kay – I am not a boat expert but I think any sailboat would be fine to have people on to “party” as long as you don’t go over the max weight limit for the boat. The skipper will let you know how many extra people you can have. X

  • Reply Jami May 3, 2017 at 11:36 am

    Have you reviewed or compared the two routes? I can’t decide between Croatia and Greece. I have visited both and loved them both for different reasons. But, I am so torn between the two routes.

    • Reply Vanessa Rivers May 4, 2017 at 4:43 am

      Hi Jami! I have been to both Croatia and Greece but I have only done Yacht Week Greece. I can personally say YW Greece was amazing but don’t have any experience with the Croatia route. However I am sure it is amazing too! My friend Kirsten – The Blonde Abroad – has done both and she gives a good review here: http://theblondeabroad.com/2014/11/03/best-route-yacht-week/

      Hope this is helpful!

  • Reply lynette May 29, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    Hello Hello, may I ask what marina did you leave from and did you happen to see any yacht week prop stores near the marina are on your route? Someplace to buy floaties, temporary tattoos, UV body paint, and the like. We’re trying to maximize our carry on space by strategizing what we can buy in Athens.

    • Reply Vanessa Rivers May 30, 2017 at 4:05 am

      Hi Lynette! I took this trip a few years ago so sorry I do not remember the name of the marina but I remember stores for everything we wanted to buy were within walking distance of our boat including a place to buy floaties, body paint and costumes etc! So unless there is something specific you want you can just go buy stuff with your boat crew when you arrive! 😉

  • Reply JG June 7, 2017 at 9:43 am

    Where do the floaties go after Yacht week? I leave in about 3 weeks and am purchasing floaties now. But every photo I see everyone is on a floatie. Would it make sense to just buy some off of them instead of lugging them half way accross the planet in a carry-on? Or is somewhere in Split just the location of the worlds largest floatie graveyard

    • Reply Vanessa Rivers June 7, 2017 at 12:16 pm

      Hi Jason! On the Greece route there was a store right in the harbor where we bought floaties the day before we set sail. I don’t know what people do with their floaties after yacht week. Mine got holes along the way and deflated so I threw them away but I would have given them to someone if they made it to the end! You can probably just wait and buy them when you get there. Maybe buy one floatie before and then get the rest when you arrive that way you know you at least have one!

  • Reply Allen June 11, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    Vanessa,
    Great article. I’m planning on doing this with a few friends. I noticed that you kept bringing up bottle service as being expensive. What if we ended up buying a lot of supplies (booze included) before getting on the boat. Would that be an issue? Maybe you pointed this out already and I stupidly missed it. Thanks.

    • Reply Vanessa Rivers June 12, 2017 at 3:54 am

      Hi Allen! Thanks for your comment! I just mentioned that if you want to splurge on bottle service it is expensive and can add up quickly. You can also of course buy supplies and just drink on the boat and not spend money when you go out to the parties but you can’t bring alcohol with you the clubs obviously, so if you want to drink while there you will need to factor in the extra cost of drinks. TYW gives you a wrist band that usually gives you at least 2 free drinks at each party but you have to buy your own drinks after that so just be sure to factor in the cost if you plan to drink when going out!

  • Reply Jade June 28, 2017 at 12:34 am

    Great read, very helpful! I noticed you mentioned 100$ for tip/gas (how many people were on the boat total?) Just trying to get a rough estimate on how much we should tip our skipper, including myself, we have 7 people.

    • Reply Vanessa Rivers June 28, 2017 at 3:46 am

      Hi Jade! We had a crew of 8 girls. I think the amount you tip should depend more on how good your skipper is/ how much he does and how much your sailboat cost to rent. We had a small, cheaper boat but our skipper was really awesome so we wanted to tip him well. He went above and beyond to make sure we were all safe, happy and having fun! Hope this helps. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have more questions! Have fun!

  • Reply Alyssa Matt July 8, 2017 at 5:06 pm

    Is there a farewell party Friday night on the Greece route?

    • Reply Vanessa Rivers July 11, 2017 at 5:04 pm

      Hi Alyssa – Thanks for your comment. I don’t remember there being a farewell party on Friday night! X

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