Header image courtesy of Hong Kong Asia Boating (via Facebook)
Originally published by Sophie Pettit. Last updated by Min Ji Park.
Junk season is finally upon us! But as fabulous as parties at sea can be, organising them can be a chore when you have to consider when and where to go, which junk company to use, and which catering package to go for. Luckily, we’ve done all the groundwork for you with our ultimate guide to junking—all you have to do is pick one that fits your budget, round up all your buddies, and climb aboard for an epic party at sea. Just make sure you get in there quick because these junks get snapped up fast.
The popularity of junking means there are now more options than ever when it comes to choosing what company and package to go for. These can range from all-inclusive junks that provide food, alcohol, and water-based sports to ones that require you to BYOB.
While the all-inclusive junks are more expensive, we recommend them if organising is not your strong point and you’d rather just rock up on the day and know everything is taken care of. However, if you’re on a budget, the bring-your-own option is definitely more appealing—just leave plenty of time to stock up at Wellcome or 7-Eleven on the way to the pier.
There are various locations that junks depart from, including Central, Tsim Sha Tsui, Causeway Bay (Noon Day Gun), Aberdeen, and Sai Kung. Depending on the junk company and the weather, you can usually ask for a certain pick-up point and destination.
Sai Kung and Clear Water Bay are popular spots to anchor, but some companies do offer to sail further afield to more remote destinations such as Tai Long Wan for an additional fuel charge. Wherever you end up, the trick is to not be too ambitious, because you’ll want ample time in the water, and don’t forget you need to make your way back to land later.
As the weather starts heating up and everyone starts hitting the water, why not do so in style? Your own private sanctuary awaits you on one of Simpson Marine’s yacht charters, so tip your toes into luxury. With classic junks, catamarans, cruiser yachts, and superyachts available, there is something for any kind of party and budget in this fleet. Book a specific vessel and deck it out to experience all that Simpson Marine has to offer, with water slides, trampolines, and ocean pools, plus fully catered food and drinks packages.
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Saffron Cruises offers a huge selection of junks and luxury yachts at different prices, with food and drink packages to suit all needs and budgets. If you are looking to tailor-make your party, this is a good option to go for. Choose either the buffet menu or canapés menu—provided by Shamrock Catering—and wash it all down with either the beer and wine or champagne and cocktails package. Added treats, such as a banana boat and speedboats for wakeboarding experiences, come at an additional price.
Poseidon Yachting represents a passion for ocean lifestyle culture and provides sensational experiences for people who enjoy the sea breeze (and we are not just talking about the cocktail). Experts in creating bespoke cruising experiences, Poseidon has a beautiful fleet on offer, including a Saba 50 catamaran which accommodates up to 36 guests.
Luckily, the company also believes in hassle-free enjoyment, offering all-inclusive food and drink packages to keep everyone onboard happy and full. Dig into the Coast menu offering appetisers like smoked duck breast with mango, a wide selection of salads, and hot dishes such as Malaysian chicken curry with rice. If you are looking to experience the freedom of the sea at one unforgettable party, then these yachting pros are for you.
With a small fleet of junks named Swissy and Wet Dreams, you know you are in for a good time with Hong Kong Junks. It offers a range of charter packages, including an all-inclusive option with unlimited food and drink, making this company one of the best for variety and meeting any budget. Menus are provided by Spoonful and feature goodies such as chicken sliders, beef meatballs, and an assortment of baked goods.
There are also separate add-on packages available, such as a food and drinks package in collaboration with Bingaz and a stand-alone drinks package, and you can throw in a banana boat and wakeboard rental as well as your own private DJ. It even has a minibus pick-up from Central for an additional cost. These guys really have thought of everything!
Whether you want to travel in luxury or cruise in style, Viking Charters has a boat with your name on it. Choose one of 10 different catering menus or simply bring your own food and drink—great if you’re on a budget. If you want to spice things up a bit, throw a banana boat, water ski, and wakeboard into the mix for an additional cost. Just note that the boat rental costs vary depending on the size of the boat, time of year you book it, and catering package you choose, so it’s best to call the Vikings first to get a quote.
For a family-friendly junk boat party, look no further than Lazydays. With cheeseboards and fruit platters featuring on the menu, and an infant paddling pool, karaoke machine, and Xbox making an appearance on board, this is a great option for those with little ones.
In an attempt to avoid the crowds at sea, the captain will offer to take you to quieter, more remote locations where you can unwind with delicious food (think roast beef and sweet cakes) and free-flow drinks—Prosecco, anyone? But if you do want to liven things up a bit, the banana boat, wakeboard, and speedboat are on hand for an additional cost.
If you want to tingle your taste buds during a day at sea, then let Hong Kong Asia Boating take care of business. An inclusive package with seven Thai dishes on offer, including spicy papaya salad and green curry chicken, as well as unlimited beer, wine, spirits, and cocktails.
Stand-alone boat rentals and additional amenities are also available, such as a banana boat, speedboat, wakeboard, and water ski rental. With pick-ups and drop-offs from two different locations and four different destinations to head to, you won’t be short on choice.
If you’re looking for flexibility, then Island Junks has the answer. It offers several different menu options including Western, Thai, and picnic hampers from Maison Kayser, as well as packages for menus at Lamma and Po Toi. Free-flow beer, wine, spirits, and cocktails are included, so this is a great option for those who love to scoff as much as they drink.
Several packages are available through the day with additional treats on offer, such as a massage, stand-up paddleboarding, and speedboat hire with a banana boat and wakeboard. With pick-up and drop-off pretty much anywhere you desire, the world really is your oyster. As well as its regular junks, ask them about its new ultimate party boat, Ibiza, which comes with a big sound system, floating bean bags, and an inflatable seapool.
If you want to get really wild this junk season, invite Tarzan and Jungle Jane to your party. Hong Kong Yachting’s two ultimate junks come with an inflatable slide, inflatable trampoline, bar, bean bag lounge, and sunbeds, making them the best entertainment junks around.
With the choice of a delicious barbecue buffet cooked on board, or a seafood menu, along with unlimited beer, wine, spirits, and sangria, you definitely won’t go hungry or thirsty. Larger parties with up to 100 people can even get these “head-turning” junks together and have them anchored side by side with a special connecting gate to allow guests to enjoy double junking. Why have one when you can have two, right?
If you want to experience junking in ultimate luxury, then this is the vessel for you. Michelangelo Cruises is a fully-restored, eighty-foot classic motor yacht that can accommodate up to 59 passengers over three decks, making this the swankiest of them all. While it’s certainly not cheap to hire, it really is a stunning option for the day, evening, or overnight boating, and perfect for celebrating special occasions.
Enjoy cocktails and canapés, seated dinners, and buffet dining, or organise your own catering as you kick back and relax in 4,000 square feet of space, including teak sun decks, a living room, dining room, master suite, four guest cabins, full kitchen—the list goes on. We can already hear the Titanic references—and luckily, there are no icebergs in Hong Kong!
Living up to its name, Delicious HK offers a big buffet aboard its fleet of Chinese wooden junks and Western cruisers, which vary in size. You can choose from several catering packages, which come with salads, cold cuts, gourmet sandwiches, hot dishes, dessert, and an open bar. Throw in a banana boat and you have yourself one epic junk boat party!
Whatever company and package you go for, we hope these little junking tips help you enjoy an epic party at sea.