Pegasus Boat Hire - Group Photo Opera House

Birthday Boat Party: How to Plan a Cruise that Floats Everyone’s Boat

May 6, 2022

We would like to talk about boat hire for birthday parties. A birthday boat party in Sydney is without a doubt one of the most incredible ways to celebrate. In this blog we’ve laid everything out for you so you’ll be prepared when planning for your big day. If you’re setting up a friend’s surprise birthday, hats off to you, let’s get you started. 

Just imagine how good it will be to get all the friends together in one place, just to celebrate another year on this beautiful planet. To sing, dance, eat, drink and be merry. And this all on your own private boat with your own private skipper.

Birthdays are great for celebrating life, and life is great when celebrating birthdays! The majority of our birthday party boat charters are milestone birthdays. People celebrating their 18th, 21st, 30th and 40th birthday partying on a boat. But of course you don’t have to wait until you hit one of the big numbers, you have a birthday party boat cruise for any birthday! 

Without further ado, here is everything you need to know to plan your birthday boat party on Sydney Harbour!

Looking to Hire a Boat for your Birthday Party?

1. Who will get invited to your birthday cruise?

Alila Boat Hire - Group Picture

First things first! Who do you want to be celebrating your birthday with? There are boats available for all group numbers. So no worries if you only fancy a small gathering for 7+ people, a medium sized boat party for 20-43 people, if you’d like to go big with 43+ or even huge with 100+ guests.

It is your party and you can invite whoever you want to! When you contact us with the group size, preferred date and budget (we will get to that soon), we will let you know which boats are available. Every boat has a maximum capacity, and you pay per boat hire and not per person, so you may as well pack it out! The more, the merrier!

2. What’s the budget for your birthday boat party?

Rockfish 2 Boat Hire - People On Bow

The next thing to consider when organising a birthday party boat cruise is your budget. Will you be forking out all the cash or will you ask your guests to chip in? Don’t be shy about asking your mates to contribute, hiring a boat will probably be a little bit less expensive than you and they think. And it would be an amazing experience for everyone involved!

Boats are rented by the hour, and typically are rented for 4 hours. Some boats allow for a minimum rental of 3 hours depending on the time of day of the rental. Hourly rates can vary from $200 – $2,800/hr, depending if you’re looking at a fun cruiser catamaran for 20-30 people or a luxury superyacht so jaw-dropping-epic that it would even make a Saudi Prince turn his head.

To give you an idea of the price of one of the most popular vessels we rent for birthday parties, here is the breakdown for a catamaran day cruiser that has a capacity of 43 customers. Average peak season (Sep – March) 4 hour hire is $2,600 ($650/hr), BYO Fee is $100, Wharf Pick Up and Drop Off $100. This makes the total $2,800 for the day, and if you divide this by the total passengers 43, it works out to be just $65/pp. Bargain!

If you’d like to dive deeper into the cost of boat hire on Sydney Harbour, we recommend you have a read of the blog post How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Yacht or Boat on Sydney Harbour. Here you can learn more about costs per vessel type and what this works out to be per person.

Organise Your Birthday Boat Hire Today

3. When will you cruise?

Things are getting real, it’s time to choose the date and time! Boats go out every day of the week, and the majority have 3 daily time slots available. You can choose to cruise in the morning from 10am – 2pm, in the afternoon from 2pm – 6pm or have a boat party in the evening from 6pm – 10pm.

The afternoon is perfect for if you and your crew also want to have a little swim in the harbour. Plus, this also leaves you with time to schedule an afterparty! The captain can drop the anchor at a secluded bay so you can dip in your toes or dive in! Hire a water mat so even the not so strong swimmers will be able to make the most of their day on the water.

The evening time slot is awesome for sunset lovers. Watching the sun set over the Sydney Skyline is something else! Plus, dancing in the dark always adds to the experience.

When you get in touch with us with your group size and budget, we will check availability for suited boats for you. Please note that Saturdays book up months in advance, so it’s recommended to be a little bit flexible if you’re booking last minute, to avoid disappointment.

4. What do you want to eat on your birthday boat party cruise? Will you opt for catering or BYO?

Sydney Boat Hire - Catering Options

If you’re on a budget, you can ask your guests to BYO food and drinks. Most smaller vessels and catamaran cruisers up to 43 passengers have eskies and an onboard BBQ you can use for a small BYO fee.

You can also opt for one of the catering options, such as a $20/pp BBQ sausage sizzle package, or order a few basic platters (from $40/platter, feeds 6) and add this to the bill you’ll send your mates.

If you’re cruising on a larger boat, or a luxury yacht, you can opt for one of the fine dining options. Think canapés, luxury seafood platters and tasty buffets. Want to know more? Have a read of our blog “BYO or Catering for your Sydney Boat Hire“. We are here to help you decide all the way!

5. Music for your boat hire ️🎵

DJ and people dancing on private boat cruise Sydney Harbour

It’s time to have a think about the vibe you’d like to create. We all know how important music is. What do you like? And what will your guests like? If you want everyone to dance the day or night away, without having to worry about the music, you could look at bringing a DJ on board.

Some of the vessels we can book for you have power sources allowing DJs to plug in their equipment. Options and pricing are available upon request, but on average expect to pay $125+ per hour with a minimum play time of 4 hours.

If a DJ is not necessary, you can simply play your own tunes through the Bluetooth speakers, or plug in your device with an AUX cable. We suggest downloading a few playlists to your phone, so you don’t have to deal with any streaming difficulties if your 4G decides to take a little break. Looking for some musical inspiration? Have a look at our Sydney Harbour Days Spotify Playlists.

Ready to book your Birthday Boat Hire?

6. Where should the boat pick up and drop off?

Major Tom - Group boarding at the wharf

There is an abundance of pick up and drop off locations around Sydney Harbour. You can have a look here to get an idea how many wharfs there are, and where they are located. The question you should ask yourself is, what is convenient for everyone?

If you are organising a BYO cruise, it might be handy to organise a pick up from a wharf close to a bottle shop. If you are organising a fully catered cruise, it might be better to choose a location as central as possible, so everyone can get there easily. A few things to consider… will people take public transportation? If so, which wharf is close? Will they Uber? If so, which wharf works best without people getting stuck in Sydney traffic?

Another thing to consider regarding the drop off is will there be an after party?! If you are planning to head into the city after, perhaps to one of the bars in Darling Harbour, you’d best get dropped off there!
We are here to help you with these decisions. As soon as you reach out to us, you will get access to a dedicated team member who will assist you with all your considerations.

Once we’ve decided on the best wharf for your group, it will be booked as a reservation is required. Wharf bookings are booked in 15 min time slots, to give you and your group enough time to enter and leave the boat. Please note that if your group is late, the boat won’t be able to wait if another boat has made a booking for the wharf. It’s important to make sure everyone is on time.

7. Keep your guests in the loop!

Morpheus Cruises - Group photo

Last but not least a reminder to keep your guest informed. If you’re organising a BYO boat cruise, make sure everyone knows what to bring.

Also let your group know exactly where to meet and at what time. As we mentioned before, the wharfs will have been booked for a specific time which means that the boat cannot wait for latecomers. We suggest telling your guests to meet at the wharf 30 minutes prior departure. You will see that most people will then arrive 10-15 minutes prior to the departure time. 

People who have never cruised before, might require a bit more information on how to prepare for a birthday boat party. Think about what to wear, what to bring on the day and if they should bring something for the after party. We’d advise you to pass on our Boat Party Checklist to everyone to make sure everyone is on the same page.

Are you ready to hire your perfect boat for your Sydney Harbour Birthday Boat Party?

We hope that our blog on boat hire for your birthday party has been helpful for you! And that you’re excited about celebrating your birthday out on Sydney Harbour! If you’d like to read more about private birthday party boat hire, check out the dedicated birthday page on our website.

A Sydney Harbour birthday boat party is perfect if you are looking for a small intimate gathering or that ultimate birthday party on a catamaran or yacht.

We’ve helped plan birthday boat parties of all kinds so know what to look for when narrowing down your options. Best of all, you don’t pay anything extra when booking through us compared to booking directly with a boat owner!

Ready To Set Sail Or Find Out More?

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