Do you remember when you were 9.5 years old? and then 9.75 and then finally 10!!?? Do you remember the days when another year’s passing couldn’t come soon enough and you were absolutely thrilled to add another year to your lifetime tally? It’s been a long time since I waited rapturously for another year to pass and another birthday to come. There seems to be a bell curve of birthday excitement that peaks around your mid-twenties and then starts to rapidly decline…….I think this makes it even more important that when another birthday does come and another year is added to your total – you absolutely must mark the occasion in a noteworthy way. Of course “noteworthy” becomes more and more difficult to accomplish with so many birthdays under your belt and so many reasons to invalidate proposals – “nah, we did that last year,” “we did that for xxxx’s birthday,” “we do that all the time,” “we’re too old to do that!!!” But then I conceived the BEST idea for a 30-something birthday that would take advantage of our fabulous location on a tropical island and mark the day with the appropriate level of pomp and circumstance – yachting in Singapore!!
The birthday man, myself and 9 other friends rented a “luxury yacht” called “Pure Lust” and it was pure genius. We brought a cooler of drinks and food to grill and headed off from the Changi Marina (NOTE: it’s on the farthest eastern edge of the island). The yacht was pretty awesome – lots of lounge seating, a cool indoor cabin, drink fridges, a grill, bathroom, etc. We left about 5pm sailed over to the southern islands past all the huge tankers to a pleasant cove with clean water – we swam, we grilled, we drank, we chilled – we were supposed to sail to Sentosa and watch the fireworks but we weren’t fussed so we didn’t. We got back to the marina at 10pm and the only downside was getting a taxi in no-man’s land – I recommend you order some ahead. It was not quite as fabulous as P.Diddy’s white party but it was just right for breaking the norm and celebrating with friends. We would all definitely do it again some time.
There was some leg work involved in the planning. I’ll share what I uncovered in case you have the same tremendous idea and hopefully it will be easier to plan. First of all – I recommend booking well in advance if you can because there are limited options and if they’re booked then you’re out of luck. I planned a week before which complicated things….Also – pricing is really based on group size, length of trip and requirements so use the prices below as only a rough guide.
Pure Lust was clean, nice and the 2 Singaporean brothers who own and operate the boat are very chill (which is important because they’ll be on the boat with you the whole time). It technically fits 10 guests (we had 11 plus 2 crew) and it worked out to roughly $100 a person for a 5 hour cruise and leaves from Changi Marina. They also have a yacht that can fit 20 people and a fishing charter: http://www.purelust.sg/ , TEL +65 8388 7655 , EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org
Cutter Ketch was unfortunately booked already but the old school yacht looks nice and has sails! It accommodates about 8 people for an evening cruise/ 12 for a day cruise and prices/timing ranged from 4 to 8 hours and from about $80 per person: http://www.cutterketch.com/
SAF Changi Marina has some options but these are more along the lines of a “boat” than a “yacht“. One accommodates 7 people and the other 11. Pricing for 5 hour trips would be in the $60 to $70 a person range. http://www.safyc.org.sg/index.phpoption=com_content&task=view&id=474&Itemid=446
Raffles Marina is on the edge of the west coast but Lady Olivia can accommodate 10 people for a 4 hour cruise. Pricing would be about $70 a person and there is no grill. http://www.rafflesmarina.com.sg/whatson_mar_boa_boa.htm
Mana Mana Beach Club – This is decidedly un-yacht like but if you wanted to get out on the water in smaller groups it would be fun. Their “VINDALOO” 21-foot, sloop rig keel boats only accommodate 5 people and don’t have real seats. With a skipper it would be about $50 a person for a few hours on the water. Mana Mana also rents all kinds of water sports equipment (kayaks! windsurfing! kitesurfing! etc.) and is conveniently located next to the East Coast Lagoon Hawker stalls: http://www.manamana.com/
Cruise Whatever: Leaves from Sentosa Cove, they accommodate up to 18 people on the yacht and also offer dockside rental for up to 30 (I think that means they don’t move the boat). They had complicated food service and corkage requirements which made things confusing but it seems to be about $100++ a person. Their yacht seems perfectly designed for a party. http://cruisewhatever.com
Lastly, if you have a big party and/or are a baller, their yachts are fabulous, luxe and expensive! http://www.yachtlongranger.com/