A yacht charter is the perfect way to celebrate that special occasion. A friend got in touch a while ago and asked for some recommendations of things to do for his 30th birthday if he were to come to Mallorca with a group of friends in June.
He really emphasized that he wanted the experience to be memorable and special for everyone involved. After some serious thought - I said to him, what would be a better way to ring in your thirties than spending a day on a yacht with your nearest and dearest?
Two months later, twelve of us chartered a 17m motor yacht from Marina Balear (between 1,480€ - 2,270€ depending on the time of the year) for the day. A few of us started the day by going to Carrefour, located in Porto Pi shopping centre (close to Palma Port) to stock up on the all-important supplies for the day which included champagne, wine, beers, olives, crisps and sun cream of course! Without further ado we met the rest of the group who had been eating breakfast at Palma’s Club De Mar marina restaurant.
Palma Port is massive but thanks to some useful directions, we quickly found our way to the boat and were met by the skipper for the day (a friend of ours), who was busy getting the boat ready for departure. It is worth mentioning at this point that if you aren’t lucky enough to have a friend with a Yacht Master license on hand like we did, there is also the option of hiring a skipper with Marina Balear (an additional charge of 200€-250€ on a boat this size).
We were all extremely excited to explore our yacht for the day, it seemed huge for twelve people, yet this was the capacity. Being 17m, the boat has three cabins, a fly bridge (the upper deck of the boat), a large indoor seating area and two outdoor seating areas, as well as a sunbathing platform at the front of the boat. It was certainly a boat designed for social occasions.
After the tour, people took to their positions for the journey and before long we were setting off on our exciting adventure. There was ample space on the boat with the sun worshippers sat on the sun beds at the front, the rest of us in prime viewing spot on the fly-bridge where the skipper took to the helm. We slowly left the port, taking in all the beautiful yachts and the city skyline of Palma as we drew out into what seemed to be an everlasting ocean.
Our chosen destination was a 20-minute drive along the coastline to one of the neighbouring bays of Illetas, where we would anchor and enjoy a swim and some celebratory drinks on board, before heading for a spot of lunch at the popular beach restaurant Balneario Illetas. As we approached Illetas bay, the deep wavy ocean merged with vibrant turquoise waters. It was paradise! Mallorca’s waters have often been compared to more exotic destinations like the Caribbean and whilst you can enjoy the views from the beaches, they tend to be busy throughout the summer and it was simply incomparable to experience this type of scenery from the water.
Once we anchored, the whole party gathered up on the fly bridge in the large dining area and our wonderful skipper served us champagne as we toasted the birthday boy. People were then in and out of the sea, chatting amongst friends and enjoying the beautiful surroundings. Two hours flew by and before we knew it, we had to get to the beach for our table reservation. The tender, a small dingy boat was set down in the water and the skipper, helped guests aboard and taxied everyone from the yacht to the shore.
As we arrived at Balneario Illetas restaurant, we were greeted by a friendly faced waiter and taken to a large long table with our own private terrace for the occasion, with a fantastic view of the sea and our beautiful boat. A delicious looking Cava Sangria, Gin and tonics, rose wine and beer accompanied our food and we were very much established for the next hour and a half.
By mid-afternoon, we were being taken back onto the boat and soon set off for Puerto Portals where we hoped to anchor next to Roxy Beach Bar to absorb some of the early evening atmosphere. Unfortunately, it was extremely busy and there wasn’t enough space for our boat (a word of advice if you fancy going - get there before lunch to avoid disappointment), we had to change our route and ended up anchoring off the coast of the exclusive community and private club, The Anchorage.
Early to late evening was my favourite time of day on the yacht, it felt like paradise. The water started to shimmer and the golden tones created the most amazing backdrop as we indulged in some sun-downers on the deck. By sun down, our twelve salty bodies were back in Palma's Club de Mar port and helping the skipper tidy up the remnants of the day’s activities. Luckily “many hands make light work” and within ten minutes we were off the boat. I can honestly say on behalf of the group, it was one of the most special and memorable experiences we have ever had on the island.
Marina Balear were an absolute pleasure to deal with, and have lots of different boats available. So whether you want a half or full day hire, a sunset trip, a long weekend or a week's charter in Mallorca I would highly recommend them.