Photo Credit: Courtesy of Yacht Club Company
Inside Tulum’s Black-Owned Luxury Yacht Experience
Tulum, Mexico is the hotspot of all hotspots right now, as travelers across the United States flock there. As one of the few countries open with minimal quarantine requirements, it’s a place that people can pop in to cure their travel blues–however, to protect vulnerable populations we still advise anyone traveling to get a COVID-19 test.
For entrepreneur William “Bud” Lee, he found that the pandemic took a toll on his mental health as his startup company shifted to keep up with the changing times. Like most, he simply needed a break to clear his mind and reset.
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“A friend of mine had just returned from Tulum, and she told me how amazing it was,” Bud Lee, founder of Yacht Club Company told Travel Noire. “She said it was very easy to get in, so I packed my bags and booked a flight.”
It was his first time visiting Tulum, but he instantly fell in love with the vibe. He ended up extending his stay to really get a full feel of all the city had to offer.
During his visit, he wanted to check out the yacht scene. He booked a tour and ended up posting it on the ‘gram. His followers started hitting him up to ask more about the experience, and that’s when it clicked. Tulum needed a Black yachting experience.
“I ended up meeting with the owner of the yachts to pitch this idea of being able to curate customized yacht experiences for people of color in Tulum. He was on board, and the rest was history.”
From the alcohol they serve, to the food and music, it’s definitely an experience for the culture. Although they are still fairly new, the company has seen some amazing growth, and it has all been very organic.
“People continue to spread the news of our company, and we have grown so fast just from word of mouth,” Lee explained. “In our first 30 days alone, we did 31 tours. We’ve even gotten a few celebs to book with us.”
How it works
To book your customized yacht experience, you will need to set up an initial consultation via the website. Lee and his team get an idea of what you would like to include in your tour as well as providing tips and suggestions on navigating Tulum.
“I have really been able to make some amazing connections from being here, and I’ve been able to find some of the most amazing places for people to visit while here. Tulum is such a dope place, and people continue to come back.”
Yacht Club has a partnership with a local company that provides the boats for the tours. The yachts range in size, and they have access to the largest yacht in the marina. Post-COVID, that particular yacht can hold up to 80. However, they are currently limited to 60% capacity for bookings.
It is best to book your experience at least 3-4 weeks out, so that the company can ensure everything goes off without a hitch.
The tours last anywhere from 3-4 hours (your choice), and they start by taking you to a gorgeous reef about 45-minutes away. There you can snorkel and enjoy the underwater coral reefs. You are then driven to the party cove, where you will meet up with other boats.
“The party cove is really a vibe,” Lee said. “Now when our boats pull up, we aren’t the only people of color. I would say it’s about 50-60 people of color at the party cove on weekends.”
Tours can be booked for any day of the week, but as mentioned the weekends are the most popular time.