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Planning Retirement Online

Let's Party!

January 2012  

Let's party in later life article series...

This series looks at some of the more unusual ideas to help you celebrate with style and panache – at affordable price levels, of course!

To see the full list of articles see the main Celebrating in Later Life page

by LaterLife features editor Sally Smith

Let's Party!  Special celebrations, this month: All at sea.

We had a good response to the story we did earlier this year on arranging a weekend trip overseas to mark a special celebration. It seems, like stag and hen nights, the modern trend for key celebrations is to go away with a few very close friends and relations. This month we look at the growing popularity of booking a private yacht for that very special occasion.



Popping off to a private yacht for dinner or a short trip used to be a phrase only used by the very rich and famous! Not any longer. Today modern yacht charter companies are increasingly offering fully crewed yachts for short charter or rental at very affordable prices that can make a fabulous venue for very fun celebrations. Imagine inviting your family and friends to celebrate that special birthday with a “why not join me on my yacht for a night or two”!

Flexibility is key and today you can charter yachts of all shapes and sizes and crew that can offer just sailing and seamanship abilities to crew that can take over full itinerary planning and on-board gourmet catering.

It might sound complicated but it isn’t. Walking onto a fully prepared boat, with your comfortable bed already made up and a drink and meal ready, is today very easy indeed. There are many yacht charter companies that can offer a wide range of ideas and boats at different price levels that can provide everything from a fun weekend afloat to the real celebration of a lifetime.

In the UK, there are several companies that can offer a range of options perfect for small parties, from just one day out on a boat with lunch or an afternoon and evening sail down a river with drinks to a full weekend away.

For instance, SeaJay’s Yacht Charter (07764 465 773) has a luxurious sailing cruiser that you can charter by day, weekly or weekends. With a fully qualified skipper, you can cruise gently in the river area, sail elegantly over to the Isle of Wight, maybe for a celebration barbecue on board or on a beach, or even cross over to the Channel Islands and France. Currently they charge around £450 a day including the skipper, and considering that also includes five or six berths, it can all work out as quite affordable for special occasions.

SeaJay's yacht charter
If you really want to splash out, then a week’s trip further afield might be just the answer, especially if some of your very close family or friends are willing to help cover the cost to make this a truly memorable celebration.

Again there are many charter companies that are increasingly catering for non-sailors who wish to enjoy the fun of being on water. The Moorings for instance (0844 463 6386) has a very wide fleet of beautiful yachts right across the world, in celebrity status locations such as Nice, the Bahamas, the British Virgin Islands and the Seychelles.

Dining out  Cabin  

Here you have to take into account the airfares to reach your destinations, but after that a crewed luxury yacht or catamaran can cost less than a luxurious hotel. The Moorings say everything can be included such as fine meals and light snacks from an onboard gourmet chef, watersport equipment and an open bar - all with a very professional personalised service. Most of their boats can accommodate up to six or ten guests, or for a cheaper celebration, you can join a yacht on a cabin basis only; still enjoying the exotic locations and wonderful service, but sharing the boat with a small group of other paying passengers.

Of course, a sailing trip isn’t for everyone; but for people who haven’t spend a night on a small boat before, it can be a fabulous way to celebrate a special birthday or anniversary with memories and photographs that really will last a lifetime.


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