The Hype Luxury Boat Club is an all-day party on the high seas
Phuket is a great place for boating, but if you don’t happen to own your own sea-going vessel you can always book a trip on the Hype Luxury Boat Club, which is a large, twin-hulled catamaran that departs daily from the Ao Chalong Pier. The seven-hour trip cruises around the bright blue waters of Chalong Bay, in Southern Phuket, making two stops along the way and treating passengers to an afternoon DJ party that truly “rocks the boat”.
Basically the concept is a beach club at sea, and the package includes comfortable lounge spots, plenty of food and drink, a professional crew and helpful hostesses, and a dedicated DJ to keep the beat. Boarding begins at around 11am, and by 11:30am the boat sets sail, heading first to Koh He (also known as Coral Island). Over the course of the next 90 minutes or so, lunch is served—a selection of tapas-style Thai food, sushi, and other dishes—along with a welcome cocktail, while guests settle in for a relaxing trip across the bay.
There are two tiers on the boat, and they reflect Hype’s two-tiered ticket pricing system. The Hype Experience (B2,900 per person) entitles guests to a welcome cocktail, soft drink, meal, fresh fruit, and towels, while the Hype VIP Experience (B3,900 per person) gives guests all that plus access to private couple-sized day beds on the boat’s upper level. It’s a nice luxury to have, and the views are a bit better from this level as well.
The stop at Coral Island gives passengers a chance to disembark, walk along the beach, take a swim in the clear waters, and relax on the sand. It’s hardly peaceful though, as numerous other boats bring hordes of holiday makers to these same shores all day long. In fact, it’s really quite crowded, which is testament to the allure of this part of Thailand.
Once everyone’s back on board, the catamaran heads to the much quieter Racha Island for some snorkelling. All the gear is provided, and guests simply leap into the waters and then take their time gazing at the colourful sea creatures and corals below.
Shortly after 4pm the boat heads in the direction of Promthep Cape for the sunset portion of the cruise, and this is where the party really kicks into high gear. The bar on board is stocked with an extensive list of beers, cocktails, and even fine champagnes, and as the DJ notches up the rhythm, the happy passengers (who by now have gotten to know each other a bit) take to the dancefloor on the ship’s main deck. To be honest the whole ship becomes a dancefloor eventually, and by the time you return to the pier—with a magnificent sunset to the port side—the party reaches its peak. It’s hard not to get caught up in the “spirit” of things, as the party mood is quite “intoxicating”.
Words and photos by Bruce Scott