Jesse's Hens Boat Party

How to Plan a Hens Party Boat Cruise on Sydney Harbour all the Girls will Love

July 13, 2021

Congratulations! You’ve been chosen to help plan your besties hens party. This might look like one helluva task, but once you get started, it’s easier than you think! And we’re here to help.

First things first, talk to the bride-to-be when planning a hens party boat cruise. It’s logical you’d like to keep most of the celebrations a surprise, however you wouldn’t want to disappoint the bride in any way by – for instance – inviting a frenemy. Or finding out she hates going out on a boat… but we expect if you’ve got here, you’ve already done that part. 😄

If you’re in charge of planning a hens boat party in Sydney, then go through our checklist to make it a success without going overboard. Steps 1 – 4 are things to agree on with the bride-to-be, before moving forward with the planning. Steps 5 – 10 can be done without her, to keep that element of surprise!

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1. Who do you want to invite?

This one is pretty important, so you want to make sure you get it right. You often hear it’s not where you are or what you do, but who you are with that matters. We believe that it’s very important to get the crew right on the day. Good crew = good vibes = happy hen. So get nerdy and get your spreadsheet ready. Make a list of everyone the hen would love to see on the day, and then do the best you can to make sure everyone can make it.

They are boats for hire from 7 people up to 100+ people, so don’t worry about group size when you start the initial planning stage. We will find you a boat suited for your hens party group.

2. When do you want the cruise to take place?

Does the hen want the boat party close to the wedding date? Or would she prefer having a few months in between? We’ve all seen the movies The Hangover and Bridesmaids, so if your group is anything like their crew, we suggest allowing at least a week or so in between hens party and wedding. 😉

Also check your invite list to understand if everyone can make the date / month you have in mind. If people have to fly in from a different state (or maybe even from overseas), it’s good to reach out to them and check how flexible they are.

Picking the time of year for the cruise also depends on the type of event you have in mind. If you’re planning a hot summer cruise where the girls can jump in the water for a dip and then sunbake on deck to dry off, then July is probably not the best month. But if you’re booking a closed boat with a DJ, you can cruise any time of the year and not be affected by the weather at all.

3. Do you have any absolute no-no’s or yes-yes’s?

Always good to check with the bride-to-be if there is anything she absolutely does or doesn’t want. Is she into a relaxing time on the water, or is she keen to get a bit wild & naughty? Or perhaps she’s crazy about a specific theme or doesn’t want anything too fancy. Or… maybe it is her dream to cruise on a luxury yacht, feeling like a movie star for the day!

Check with the hen how she feels, and how much control she is willing to give out of hand. Bear in mind that the hens party is all about the hen. Most of all, we want the hen to have the time of her life and if she is enjoying herself – the others will too. Therefore respect her wishes and all will be amazing!

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4. Let’s talk budget. What is your group willing to spend?

The budget the gals have for the day is something you’d want to find out as early into the planning stages as you can. The last thing you want is to spend hours and hours organising what you think is the ULTIMATE HENS BOAT PARTY and then realise the $250/pp budget is out of everyone’s’ price range.

The bride-to-be knows her invitees best, so it’s good to pick her brain to find out what she thinks. But chances are she’s modest, so once you’ve got a general idea, use the guest list and contact everyone with a proposed budget.

To give you an idea on boat hire rates, you can rent a BYO catamaran for 4 hours including all fees and a cheese platter, antipasto platter, wraps and fresh fruit all for less than $100/pp, and a luxury yacht for 4 hours including all fees, food, drinks and waitstaff for under $230/pp.

5. How long will we cruise for?

The recommended cruise time for a hens party on Sydney Harbour is 4 hours. This will give you enough time to get settled, take in the beautiful harbour views, have a coupla ‘cheers’ to the bride-to-be, have a swim (optional), eat some delicious food and enjoy a dance to your favourite tunes.

Anything shorter than 4 hours can feel a bit rushed, and depending on the group, 5 hours or more can feel like a bit too much. The time you lock in for the cruise, also depends on any plans you have before or after the cruise, and your budget.

Most boats are available from morning 10am – 2pm, then afternoon 2pm to 6pm and evening 6pm – 10pm. So when planning your day, keep these time slots in mind. The afternoons and evenings are the most popular time slots for hens party boat cruises.

6. What do we do for food and drinks, BYO or catered?

To choose what you’d like to do with food and drinks, is all about budget and ease. If you’re on a tighter budget, BYO will work out best value for money. Pretty much all the boats have eskies to store your food and keep your drinks nice and cold. The skipper will heat up the BBQ and cook your food for you, so even when you BYO you don’t have to worry about cooking yourself. You can also bring BYO platters that you’ve pre-ordered. Just bear in mind that everything you organise yourself, is your responsibility to keep fresh.

If you’re going for a catered option, you don’t have to worry about a thing and all will be taken care of for you. From $30/pp wraps & cheese platters to $50/pp charcuterie boards with dessert to luxury seafood platters, the options are endless. Drink packages start from $15/pp per hour and can include soft drinks, wine, bubbly and spirits.

Once we know your budget, we can find the perfect boat and suggest a suited catering option for you. Read more about BYO vs Catered options here.

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7. Onboard entertainment, yes or no?

We can beat around the bush but one of the big questions for any hen party is….  “Do we get a stripper?!” And often it’s the already married friends of the bride-to-be with a coupla’ kids who give this a HELL YEA! Butttt don’t forget it’s all about the hen! So if she – at step 3 – told you that a stripper is a hard no, then you probably shouldn’t entertain this idea. But if she’s given you complete creative freedom – then hey ho, let’s go! 😉

Most of us have heard of Wildboys Afloat, and let’s be honest girls, they do it well. 🤤 Hiring cheeky entertainment for your own boat might not to be as full on, but it might be more fun as it’s super exclusive, and just for your group. And with all eyes on her, the bride-to-be will feel like a true VIP.

A strip show on the boat goes for about 10-15 minutes and we can help you organise a stripper. If a stripper doesn’t completely fit into the vibe of the day, you could also opt for a topless waiter (or two), to make cocktails or serve drinks. They can join the cruise for 2 hours or stay for the complete duration of the cruise.

8. Any pick up / drop off wharf preference?

Depending on the program you have for the day, there is a variety of pick up and drop off wharf locations to choose from. If the cruise is the first event of the day, and this is where the group meets, we suggest picking a central Sydney location. A place which is easy for everyone to meet at. One of the most popular pick up wharfs is King Street Wharf at Darling Harbour. It’s easy to get to from Wynyard and Town Hall station, with a bottle shop just around the corner if you need some last minute bubbly.

With your drop off, have a think about the plans after. Will you party on or head back home or to the hotel? Let us know your plans and we will give you the best pick up and drop off tips. 

9. How do we organise payment?

After locking in your total group number and deciding on the time & date and the boat you can lock it all in! To reserve your boat, a deposit payment is needed of roughly 50% of the total boat hire. As soon as the deposit has been paid, the boat will be held for you. Then 15 days prior to your boat cruise, the remainder is due. You will get automatic reminders, so all will be looked after for you.

To avoid having the risk of being out of pocket if someone at the last minute decides not to come, we suggest collecting the total amount from the girls as early as possible. We will quote you a price per person for your boat hire, so you can easily communicate this number to your group.

10. Check check, final check!

A week before the cruise, share our Ultimate Boat Party Checklist with your group. This will help everyone decide on what to wear, which shoes to bring, and give them some general reminders of what they could be needing for the day!

What’s next? Plan your Hens Party Boat Hire with Sydney Harbour Days! Why?

  • Local Sydney business with a dedicated and experienced staff member to help you plan your day
  • An array of great hens party boats for hire
  • Exclusive and private skippered cruises with captain and staff
  • Range of hens party add-ons available (including the cheeky stuff)
  • Easy & fun booking process

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