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How to Make the Most of Your New Year’s Eve Boat Party

By / November 20, 2018

What could be dreamier and more glamorous than starting 2019 on a boat? Imagine holding a glass of champagne, your smiling face tilted toward a sky bursting with fireworks, lungs full of crisp air. You’re wrapped in the thrum of live music, the glint of your New Year’s finery lit by the moon’s reflection, bobbing over the water. Perfection.

So once you take the leap and book those water-bound New Year’s Eve plans, what should you do next? How can you make your cruise into the new year as fantastic as possible?

We chatted with Gabriela Mihailescu, Marketing Director at Sailo and resident boat party expert, about living it up on the high seas. Gabriela knows her stuff. Sailo is not only a year-round boat and yacht rental paradise, but it’s also hosting NYE dinner cruises in major cities across the country. Gabriela has hopped on countless boats, chatted with tons of attendees, and has the inside scoop on how to guarantee your good time.

New Year's Eve Boat Parties

Why spend New Year’s Eve on a boat?

“I’m very romantic about it because I really believe this is extraordinary,” says Gabriela. “For many people, spending New Year’s Eve on a boat is a one-of-a-kind, bucket-list type of experience. It combines one of the most important moments of our life every year: the renewal of the new year, which is full of hope and optimism, with the unique feeling of being on the boat.”

Fresh air and open water can create an auspicious and picturesque start to your year. If the scenery doesn’t sell you 100 percent, the convenience will.

“You have everything in the same place and it’s organized for you by professionals,” says Gabriela. Sailo’s dinner cruise packages include food, drinks, live entertainment, festive decor, and a DJ or live band. Instead of planning your own party, you can book a table and round up a group of friends. You can also skip the mad search for the perfect fireworks viewing spot.

“You really have front row seats to see the New Year’s Eve fireworks,” says Gabriela. “Usually, the boat is positioned in the best place so you can see the fireworks no matter where you are onboard. And you get these beautiful, picture-perfect views of your city’s skyline.”

New Year's Eve Boat Parties

Ready to go? Start here.

What to bring on your New Year’s Eve cruise:

  • A fully charged phone: Don’t miss out on those glorious NYE photos! “There are outlets where you can charge your phone, but I expect them to be quite busy, so make sure it’s fully charged before you go aboard,” says Gabriela.
  • Your photo ID and credit card: Make sure you pack your ID and the credit card you used to book your tickets. These two items are typically checked as part of the boarding process.

What to leave at home:

  • Champagne: “People should understand that these boats are like restaurants on the water, so you’re not allowed to bring in your champagne or your food,” says Gabriela. Save your special bottles of bubbly for pre-gaming or post-cruise drinks.
  • Wrapped gifts: If you’re giving a gift to your favorite New Year’s Day birthday girl, or surprising your significant other with a 2019 treat, put it in a gift bag. Wrapped items will often be unwrapped during the boarding process.

Nautical wardrobe advice for your boat party adventure

Shoes: It can get wobbly out on the high seas. “For your own safety, we recommend flat, closed-toe shoes. Better safe than sorry,” says Gabriela.

Check the dress code: Some NYE cruises have a specific dress code for the night, like cocktail attire. Double-check before you settle on your outfit.

A coat or wrap: “It gets breezy on the water and it feels colder than on land,” says Gabriela. Bring a few warm layers that you can easily throw on when you hit the deck.

Have fun: “It’s New Year’s Eve! Dress for the occasion; it’s a celebration!” says Gabriela. Bust out all the fancy accessories and glitzy sartorial goodies you’ve been meaning to wear all year, and start 2019 with a bold new style.

New Year's Eve Boat Parties

Get ready for the best New Year’s Eve ever

Take your seasickness meds, if you need them: “With event boats, you don’t feel the sea that much and the vast majority of our guests do not experience any discomfort,” says Gabriela.  “However, if you’re prone to motion sickness, take advantage of the preventative measures.” Motion sickness medicine is available on the boat, but it’s wise to bring your own and to time it correctly. You may need to take your meds up to an hour before the cruise.

Ask questions: Have a food allergy? Want to celebrate a special occasion like a birthday or an anniversary? Trying to get seated with your friend on a dinner cruise? Check in before the big day.

“We encourage our guests to ask questions and to send emails, like if they have special food requirements or need assistance for boarding,” says Gabriela. “Let us know beforehand so we can make the necessary arrangements.”

Nix the fashionable lateness: “Departure time is strict, and the captain doesn’t wait for anybody. If you’re late, you’re late: The ship will not wait for you,” says Gabriela. Traffic jams and packed parking lots make it easy to accidentally show up late. Make a transportation plan ahead of time, like leaving early or taking public transportation, so you can guarantee that you make it onto the boat.

Make your New Year’s Eve plans

Looking for a super dreamy NYE cruise? Sailo has dinner cruises in tons of cities nationwide. Check out their NYE 2019 offerings to find the boat party that’s right for you.


Claire Margine is a writer living in San Francisco. She’s a fan of daycations, dumplings for breakfast, and bottomless coffee. You can usually find her at the beach, or asking if she can pet your dog.

More articles by Claire Margine



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