Sydney has the most beautiful harbour in the world and amongst other things, it’s the perfect backdrop for a celebration. But what if you want to do more for your celebration than just go to a bar or restaurant with harbour views. Did you ever think about celebrating on the harbour itself… on a boat?
We recently celebrated a birthday while cruising around the harbour and it was an amazing day. What we wanted was a nice sunny day on a boat where everyone could just come and have fun without having to worry about bringing food or drinks. We wanted to make sure it wasn’t cramped and that there would be heaps of space for mingling and lounging around. Without knowing a thing about planning this type of event, we managed to pull it off in a week, thanks to Sydney-based boat chartering company, Any Boat.
Our first step was googling ‘Sydney boat hire’ to see what we could find. A bunch of boat chartering sites appeared but nothing really stood out in the results, it was hard to know who to go with. We went through a number of the listings and sent out some enquiries. One site responded within a few minutes giving us the impression that their customer service was on the ball… and it turned out that they were.
We had a few criteria for this party, such as available dates, duration, the number of guests and a budget to stick with, which we thought would make the whole thing hard to organise. Actually, all we had to do was give that to our customer service rep at Any Boat and they came back with a set of digestible options.
To organise the event, there were just 3 simple steps that they stepped us through. Firstly, we had to pick a vessel, one that would support the number of guests we wanted and also fell within our budget. Secondly, we had to determine which wharf to be picked up from and finally, catering. Any Boat offered three menus with an extensive variety of hot, cold and sweet canapés provided by Hatrick Catering. The menu was broad and even had a good selection of vegetarian-friendly options, so we had a pretty hard time deciding what to order. Any Boat also gave us a couple of beverage packages to choose from.
The boat we chose was The Element, a 25-metre yacht that could accommodate up to 36 standing guests. It was really spacious and had multiple zones for people to hang around. The large teak afterdeck made an ideal spot to catch the sunlight and sea breeze while enjoying a beer or two over some canapés. Sunbakers made their way to the front of the boat where some daybeds awaited them. Those who wanted to enjoy the view in the shade had the option of the top or main deck at the back of the boat. Anyone who wanted to cool down a bit from the hot sun could also lounge around inside in air-conditioned comfort.
We were really lucky to have had amazing weather on the day but if it’s cold, rainy or windy, The Element has ample indoor space for your guests to enjoy the harbour in a warm and cosy environment, shielded from the elements (see what we did there?). In fact, when the sun set and it got colder on the harbour, most of our guests did venture inside where they seemed very comfortable.
On the day, we gathered at Rose Bay wharf to board The Element. Guests turned up excited and stress-free as they didn’t have to bring anything. That’s definitely a great way to start a party. Upon boarding the boat, we were handed welcoming drinks. Weather-wise, we couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day – the sun was in full blaze and it was warm but not overbearingly hot.
We departed from the wharf and made our way calmly to a more secluded part of the harbour. Along the way, we were served canapés from Hatrick Catering, which were amazing. The highlights were the Sydney Rock Oysters and the Duck Pancakes. A few bites and some beers later, the boat anchored in a quiet spot for us to go for a dip in the water. We enjoyed being surrounded by just friends and family with no strangers cramping our space. Who would have thought that the harbour water would actually be so nice and warm. When we were done swimming, towels were brought to us by the very attentive staff – this was quite unexpected and a very nice touch. As the day was drawing to a close, the captain treated us to a spectacular sunset tour of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House.
These are the kinds of days that your family and friends will be talking about for years. The memories, photos and videos of that awesome celebration where, you could sit back, relax and enjoy the beautiful people and scenery around you. We couldn’t have had such an incredible day without the help of Any Boat and the amazing staff on The Element. Thank you!
To book your celebration on the harbour, go to anyboat.com.au