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A Guide To Thailand's Island Party Cruises

Picture of Kyle Hulme
Updated: 7 December 2017
With a string of gorgeous, paradisaical islands, stunning bays, cheap and delicious drinks and clear, cerulean water, Thailand’s a great place to go if you’re looking to kick back and relax in beautiful surroundings. However, if lying on the beach all day doesn’t sound particularly appealing, then a party cruise might be the right choice for you. Boats depart for the calm, inviting seas every day, filled with tourists with just one thing on their mind, and that’s to have a good time. Keen to join them? Here’s more about what to expect on Thailand’s party cruises.

A boozy affair

With the sun shining, the water glistening and the boat full of fun-hungry, easy-going travelers, it’s only natural that alcohol consumption on a party cruise is high. More often than not, the price you pay for a ticket to a party cruise includes a free drink to sweeten the deal. For the more expensive tours, tickets often include an open bar, where alcohol is served on an all you can drink basis, either at a bar on the mainland prior and post you trip or on the boat itself. Whilst beer is easy and popular on these kinds of tours, this is Thailand after all — so expect buckets to feature on the menu too.

Enjoy a beer pre, during and post your cruise
Enjoy a beer pre, during and post your cruise | TarineeS/Pixabay

Nobody should drink on an empty stomach – and the party cruises will have you covered in this respect. Whether it’s finger food on the boat or a buffet amongst the stunning surroundings of Maya Bay, food is often served on these tours and, whilst it might not be too adventurous or exciting — think fried rice and sliced watermelons and pineapples — they’ll do the job.

Enjoy the surroundings

There’s no need to panic if you’re not into alcohol because that’s only one feature of these cruises. As well as the fun and the revelry on board, party cruises will also stop at various popular landmarks, combining a relaxed, social drinking experience with an engaging and in-depth tour. Party cruises around Phuket might take in various beaches and islands close to the mainland, whilst the boats in Koh Phi Phi will head to the typical Phi Phi tour hotspots of Pileh Bay, Monkey Beach and, of course, the unforgettable Maya Bay. Tour guides can speak English, helping to provide information about your destinations and turning your tour from average to unforgettable.

Enjoy your surroundings
Enjoy your surroundings | moritzklassen/Pixabay

Activities and safety

Thought the party cruises were just a fun day of drinking and seeing the sights? Think again. Most party cruises offer a range of other activities to keep you busy and having the time of your life. From snorkeling in the clear sea to kayaking to nearby beaches, there’s no need to sit on the boat all day, though nor is there any obligation to take part in any activities or leave the boat to see the tour stops. It’s your trip, and you can enjoy it however you want to. Regardless of what you get up to, you can count on being well looked after by the tour guides who’ll be with you at all times. Well trained and sober, they’ll keep an eye on you and steer you away from potential harm, and will make sure that you’re in the right state of being to partake in any activities before you do so — because nobody wants one of the most memorable days of your holiday to be memorable for all the wrong reasons.

Plenty of activities
Plenty of activities | qimono/Pixabay

Which party cruises are the best?

Phuket and Phi Phi are hotbeds for party cruises, with several fun companies to choose from. If you’re looking for a tour of the idyllic surroundings of Koh Phi Phi that’s a little different and features copious amounts of alcohol, then the Phi Phi Pirate Boat party is the one for you. Whilst many party boats are modern and clean, this tour uses an old-fashioned, pirate-style boat that certainly attracts attention from onlookers and is a unique, fun experience. Other boozy cruises around Phi Phi to enjoy are the Blanco Boat Party and Captain Bob’s Cruise, each with live music, activities such as kayaking and, of course, tonnes of alcohol. For something cut from a different cloth, the Hype Luxury Boat Club experience is a little more upmarket than some party boats, but with talented DJs performing on board and an extensive drinks menu, there’s still ample opportunity to cut loose and enjoy the beauty of your surroundings. Departing from Phuket, this stylish modern catamaran is not cheap, but tickets include a welcome cocktail and free food, such as sushi and tapas, so it’s well worth the entry price. A party cruise for the more discerning traveler.

There are many party cruises to choose from
There are many party cruises to choose from | Neramitevent/Pixabay