Partying on land is waaaay overrated. Boats were created about 10,000 years ago and experienced hedonists have been using them as party vessels ever since. Take pirates for example, or the people on the Titanic, or the hordes of University students that head to Hideout, Dimensions or Outlook every year. They’ve all partied on a boat. Hot celebrities are doing it; away from the prying eyes of the paparazzi they set sail to drink and dance in comfort. In 2012 P.Diddy held a very cool party for his A List mates on board his $72 million yacht aptly named “Oasis” off the south coast of France during Cannes. Lavish images from the celebrities on board popped up on social media throughout, much to the dismay of the tabloid journalists who missed out on covering it in their usual sloppy and vilifying manner. The fact is, who wouldn’t want to party out in the waves, with the wind running through your hair and wobbly sea legs improving your dance moves?
Unlike land festivals where acts perform and then head off to their trailers or boutique camping quarters, the boat parties see musicians pull out one-off collaborative sets with other artists and interact with fans in a way they wouldn’t do usually as they are normally separated by buffoons in hi vis vests. A party on a boat enables music lovers to get up close and personal with the artists they love, often allowing the opportunity to tell them so. Also importantly – if the latter party aren’t keen, they’re on a bloody boat so it’s harder to avoid them.
The trend began in Ibiza around a decade ago where clubs like Pacha initiated sunset voyages away from the bustle of the island, and packages that included entry to the disco later back on land. Now it’s common practice for promoters like Ibiza Rocks (The Boat), Pukka Up, Zoo Project and Lost In Ibiza to hold parties at sea and they have become an important pillar in the island’s clubbing scene. Over the past few years, the market for them has risen considerably as the different brands promote their own music, concept and route. No holiday in Ibiza is complete without a voyage.
More recently, Croatian festivals have boasted boat parties off the Dalmatian coast and no wonder; with delectable line-ups and gorgeous sunsets to absorb, stylish young pleasure seekers descend there in numbers. A natural evolution of the traditional ‘boat party’ is therefore, the party cruise. Often stretched over three or four days, the huge cruise ships play host to some of the world’s top artists and dj’s in enchanting locations. They manage to combine the energy of a big festival with the intimacy of a small club, ensuing an attractive atmosphere for artists and revellers alike. They provide appealing retreats away from the music, including pools, luxury spas, casinos, sports courts and spacious living quarters. Food and drink are often included in the packages, as is access to all the music so you don’t have to worry about losing your wallet.
We’ve highlighted a few of the best for 2017 that you’d be silly to miss out on:
The Holy Ship, Bahamas 6th – 10th January & 10th – 14th January 2017
Now entering its seventh year, this popular cruise takes place in January split over the space of two weeks. It touches down at various points to provide some solid rest bite for the sea legs and the DJs take turns to host beach parties on a private island. There are silly games, crazy contests and activities to take part in and artists include Fatboy Slim, Boys Noize, Felix Da Housecat, Soul Clap, Claude Von Stroke, Rudimental as well as many more.
MDRNTY, Italy 16th – 20th September 2017
The five-day event dubbed MDRNTY Cruise will take place on an ocean liner sporting five restaurants, eleven bars, three swimming pools and a 1000-man crew as well as tennis and bowling facilities. It also promises to be the world’s first 100% underground electronic music cruise with 50 artists performing over five dance floors as the music runs for 24 hours a day. The promoters hold regular events at Caprices Festival amongst others as their director Maxine Léonard states “Our goal has always been to present electronic in an exclusive setting, where nobody would expect to hear the avant-garde of electronic music”.
The Ark, Spain & France 31st August – 3rd September 2017
The four day, 4000 people strong party cruise has teamed up with some leading brands; Fact, Elrow, and Ministry of Sound to name a few. Formally the largest passenger liner in the world, the vessel usually cruises the Caribbean but next year it will make a crossing to the Mediterranean to play host to some flavoursome electronic music across no fewer than seven stages. Each will be kitted out with their own unique stylish decor and production with a range of genres on offer so you can be sure to be dancing throughout. The ship will be visiting Barcelona, Ibiza, and Marseille on its voyage.
Anchored, Italy, Greece, France 11th – 18th June 2017
As well as Michelin star restaurants, a cinema, a theatre, spa and 24-hour casino, this week long party offers outstanding scenery as you island hop between breath taking locations. Accompanied by some hot acts, the Jewel of the Seas is a sensational playground to get away from everyday life and enjoy a festival like no other.
Swap a muddy field for a luxury boat next year, party in style – you know you want to!