As an island-state surrounded by sea, it's remarkable how many Singapore residents had not really explored our own waters. But Covid changed all that.
These days travel-starved Singapore residents are discovering a newfound love for the waters, in part driven by the government's push to rediscovering local attractions, and in part attracted by a fresh crop of activities and tours that have since been launched in the destination.
A prime example is EU Holidays, which has introduced private yachtcations for those seeking a quick getaway, a memorable escapade I recently had a chance to experience.
SUP boards and kayaks are available for rent.
Cooped up in a concrete jungle for over a year now, the change of scenery as we sailed off lifted our spirits immediately. All kids sail for free, with suitable life vests available on board, which could make a good opportunity to sell this as a family vacation too.
Otherwise, the yachtcation mostly hosts expatriates, keen for their own slice of privacy — including a sunbathing deck, exclusive dining area and tailored activities — essentially offering guests a VIP experience at a cost similar to that of a hotel staycation.
Comfy, yet elegant interior of the yacht's cabin.
Measuring 15m in length and 4.5m in width, this sailboat has three bedrooms and two toilets ideal for a group size of six pax, whether families, friends or small corporate groups. Pets are also welcome, but at guests' own discretions and with an additional fee for all furry pals.
Also included on board are the full set of usual hotel room amenities: toiletries, bath towels, bottled water with coffee and tea, complimentary breakfast as well as corkage services for those celebrating a special occasion on board.
Learning how to get the sails up really got our arm muscles working hard!
Amenities and Services
After checking in at Keppel Bay Marina, we were greeted by a friendly skipper and crew as we stepped onto the clean and pristine vessel.
The professional crew are at hand to power up the yacht and get the sails up, but for those interested in learning how to get the sails up or maneuver the vessel, the skipper is more than happy to give basic lessons during the trip.
Guests are welcome to help out with the crew — we gave it a try and the first-hand session turned out to be quite a workout for our arm muscles!
Weather permitting, SUP boards are available for rent at S$60 (US$45) per trip — or get free access with any 3D2N booking instead. Kayaks are also available for all sailcation options, and it's possible for guests to bring up their own water equipment although prior checks with EU Holidays is advisable.
Sunrise from Eagle’s Bay beach.
With a mini fridge, microwave and kettle on board, this will be a good chance for guests to pack their takeaway favourites. Ready-to-eat meals such as pizza, hummus, instant ramen and drinks make great pairing with the relaxed vibe and fresh sea breezes.
For those seeking to up the level of luxury, EU Holidays can also arrange special dinner onboard upon request.
What We Liked
Having a private charter means having the freedom to stop for a sunset picnic and short hikes, which is exactly what we did at Lazarus Island and St John’s Island.
From Lazarus island especially, Singapore's city skyline in the evening makes for quite an unforgettable experience. Remember to bring a torch light, as there are no street lamps on the island.
Back on board, it's possible to continue late into the night, which we did by laying out our sleeping bags out on deck while stargazing and catching some Netflix shows.
Sunrise is another experience in itself — in fact, the skipper gave us an insider tip to walk down to the beach at Eagle Bay. The view was incredible, taking us back to our Bali holiday where we would wake up in the wee hours to stroll along secluded beaches while the sun rose.
The yachtcation is gaining popularity, a lead time of booking one month in advance is recommended.
This was so different from the usual staycation in Singapore. We loved having access to a 360° view of the waters anytime of the day without ever leaving our boat, plus all the activities accessible by sailing out like playing watersports, dipping our toes in the sand or going for a hike on a whim.
The change of scenery was definitely an emotional booster. One night might be too short; we recommend the two nighter option to fully indulge in this private yachtcation out at sea. Returning customers can also pocket a 5% off a next yacht package.
A 2D1N yachtcation starts from S$238 (US$179) per pax, or a 3D2N yachtcation from S$428 per pax, both based on six passengers per trip. With the yachtcation gaining increasing popularity, EU Holidays recommends booking charters on weekdays, and at least a lead time of one month in advance.
Otherwise, EU Holidays could turn this into a land staycation with three-hours yacht charter tour, with a choice of accommodation at the Village Hotel Bugis or One Farrer Skyline Hotel.
On the domestic front in Singapore, EU Holidays is also working with UOB Travel to promote this sailcation package. The company is also keen to partner with travel agencies around Asia to sell this package.
Click here to view more to discover the Sailcation package by EU Holidays. If you are interested to work with EU Holidays, contact [email protected].