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Escape to the High Seas with Our Movie Recommendations

You may be itching to finally get out of the house and get back out onto the water. Yachting has always afforded people not just a sense of luxury, but a sense of freedom and adventure as well. The ability to take to the water means that we are not bound by land, and we can explore the untamed wilds, a frontier that was always on the horizon but elusive to us until we learned to conquer the waves.

At Anita Dee Yacht Charters, our passion is sharing the allure of the water with others. Passengers aboard our premier vessels get to escape into another world, enjoying the sights and sounds of the water and a taste of luxury, too. Have we whet your appetite to get on board yet?

If you can’t make it out onto the water just yet or have a reservation for later in the season, never fear, we have you covered. Take a look at our list of the best boating movies. Go ahead and binge-watch and get ready for your own adventure on the open water!

Take to the Water With These Movies

Mutiny on the Bounty 

Let’s kick things off with a classic. With all due respect to Brando, we are talking about the 1935 version staring none other than dashing ladies’ man, Clark Gable. If you aren’t familiar with the film or the novel of the same title, Mutiny on the Bounty is the story of the overbearing and cruel captain of the HMS Bounty.

His ship is bound from England to Tahiti, but soon the crew becomes fed up with his tyrannical ways, and his lieutenant stages a mutiny to overthrow him. A tale of treachery, revenge, and the ocean. Where do the crew and the ship end up? Who is left standing in the struggle for power out at sea? You’ll have to watch to find out.

The African Queen

Keeping with the classics, there is the 1951 film The African Queen, starring Hollywood powerhouses Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn. Throw two people as different as night and day onto a small steam launch, called African Queen, during the onset of World War I and watch the sparks fly. The dynamic between the two stars is magic to watch on the screen. While the boating scenes may seem lackluster compared to today’s modern movie CGI magic, the characters more than make up for it.

Life of Pi

We hate watching ships go down, especially when it happens in the first half of the movie, but Life of Pi is an exquisite film depicting the life and death struggles of a young man stranded at sea – trapped in his lifeboat with a tiger. This film explores the tired “coming of age” story in a new and dynamic way, set against the backdrop of a beautiful and yet unforgiving world of water.

The visuals are stunning and capture the frightening power and isolation of the open ocean. However, it also shows us the breathtaking beauty of the sea, as well, in a way we so often fail to notice.

Wind

Wind wasn’t a huge box office smash, but it is a fascinating movie starring Jennifer Grey of Dirty Dancing fame and Matthew Modine. The movie centers around the 1987 America’s Cup, a yachting race that was held off the waters of Australia. While there is some poetic license – it is a movie, after all – the yacht scenes are nicely done. It is a story not many people outside of yachting circles will know of, but it’s still worth a watch, especially if you have been yearning to get out on the water and experience the waves and maybe a little romance.

In the Heart of the Sea

We can’t talk about boating movies without mentioning the story that may have been the inspiration for one of the most iconic boating novels ever written, Moby Dick. In the Heart of the Sea is a historical film directed by Ron Howard. The story comes from a book about the sinking of an American whaling ship in 1820.

It is this event that is thought to have inspired Herman Melville to write the 1851 classic novel, Moby Dick. A classic tale of man versus nature and man versus himself, an all-star cast leads this movie, which received mixed reviews from critics. Yearning for some action on the water? Give this one a try.

Titanic

No “boating movie list” could ever be complete without the granddaddy of all boating movies, Titanic. James Cameron spared no expense in recreating the Titanic down to every last rivet, but his attention to detail and painstaking work paid off to the tune of raking in $2.187 billion dollars worldwide, to date. A love story set amongst the backdrop of the ill-fated maiden voyage of the Titanic, this movie reminds us that beauty and pride can be overwhelmed by the wrath of Mother Nature.

More Movie Options

There are a number of great films that we couldn’t put on the list, but honorable mentions go to Pirates of the Caribbean, because who doesn’t secretly love a pirate, The Poseidon Adventure, and of course Jaws. As a matter of fact, we can think of lots of movies that show the beauty and power of the water, but this list is a good start to your boating-filled movie marathon.

Get Out on the Water

We know you are aching to get out and enjoy the water. At Anita Dee Yacht Charters, boating is not just our livelihood, it is our passion, and we love sharing it with guests. If you are dreaming of being out on the water for any reason, a wedding, social gathering with family and friends, or even a corporate event, now is the time to make your plans.

We want to help you create the event of your dreams by treating you and your guests like VIP’s. Call us today at (312) 379-3191. It’s never too early to start planning your next charter aboard one of our luxury yachts. The open water is calling, pick up your phone, and let us help you make it happen.


Best Sailing Destinations on Lake Michigan 

When people think of the word “yachting,” they typically think of sun-drenched sandy beaches, crystal clear blue water teeming with brightly colored fish, and mega-yachts anchored right offshore. People are smiling, sipping fruity cocktails, and smelling like coconut sunscreen.

Here at Anita Dee Yacht Charters, we know that yachting can be all that – and so much more. Chicago is nestled on the shore of Lake Michigan, and for anyone native to the area, you know the Great Lakes are a treasure trove of breathtaking sights and a wealth of sailing lore and legend.

There is a rich history in these waters and a beauty that is just as captivating as what you’d find in any of the more tropical waters. For centuries, sailors have navigated the Great Lakes in search of trade routes and goods that could help them make their living. What they left us is even more valuable – rich stories and legends intermingled with sights you’ll remember forever. These are some of the best sailing destinations in Lake Michigan.

Navy Pier

Let’s begin in our own backyard, Navy Pier, which dates back more than 100 years. There is no shortage of fun for all ages at this destination, one of Chicago’s most celebrated entertainment hubs. There are rides and games, cruises, and public art exhibitions that celebrate the rich naval history of the area, plus more contemporary artistic endeavors.

In case you work up an appetite exploring all the sites at the pier, there is an abundance of restaurants to cater to any taste and, of course, plenty of shopping. Let’s not forget one of the most popular attractions at Navy Pier, the biweekly Summer Fireworks show. This amazing display is synchronized to music on Lake Michigan and is a must-see event if you are in the area from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Chicago Harbor Lighthouse

Just east of the busy and bustling Navy Pier is the Chicago Harbor Lighthouse. This lighthouse was built in 1893 for the World’s Columbian Exposition before it was moved in 1919 to its present site. In 1925, the steam fog signal was replaced by an air diaphone one to increase its range on the water. Today it is an automated active lighthouse with modern technology that hasn’t lost its sense of history.

Bowers Harbor

Amidst the calm waters along the west coast of Lake Michigan sits Bowers Harbor. These relatively peaceful waters offer wonderful views and a perfect place to relax and take in the sights. Bowers Harbor boasts an amazing onshore history, as well, like the Bowers Harbor Inn. Built as a private residence back in 1928, it has since been renovated into a restaurant, but still holds the charm of the past. Bowers Harbor also has its own vineyard, in addition to the beautiful Bowers Harbor Park and Lighthouse Park.

Beaver Island

Towards the north end of Lake Michigan, you’ll find Beaver Island. This area is an outdoors man’s paradise. Also known as America’s Emerald Isle, Beaver Island is the largest island in Lake Michigan. Not only are there the expected fantastic spots for fishing, but there are also great areas for scuba diving and snorkeling. The island itself has abundant hiking trails, and its own unique version of Stonehenge called the Stone Circle. It is also one of the best places in the U.S. for stargazing because of its isolated location and dark skies.

Indiana Dunes National Park

Looking to enjoy the water and the sand? You don’t need a ticket to Florida, look no further than Indiana Dunes National Park, situated on the southwest coast of Lake Michigan just 50 nautical miles from Chicago. There are picture-perfect images of blue water lapping against soft sand along the park’s 15 miles of shoreline. There are plenty of outdoor activities, hiking trails, geocaching, and a host of other special interests.

There are also a number of secluded spots on the water that offer nothing but peace and solitude for those looking to get away from it all. This park has something for everyone. It is a diverse natural landscape that is well-deserving of a spot on our list.

Great Travers Bay

We admit it, the Great Lakes have a reputation for being unforgiving in times of inclement weather. They can be some of the roughest waters to cross, and there are numerous shipwreck stories to prove it. Nestled in a well-protected area is Grand Traverse Bay, where the water is calm pretty much year-round.

The bay is filled with ports worth exploring like Traverse City, which claims to be the Cherry Capital of the World due to their abundant cherry orchards lining the bay. Not to be outdone, there are also grapes that produce a healthy wine scene in the area, as well. There are smaller historic ports worth exploring. You’ll even find the town of Charlevoix, the old stomping grounds of a young Ernest Hemingway.

Explore with Anita Dee Yacht Charters

There is so much to explore on the Great Lakes, especially Lake Michigan. Food, culture, history, natural beauty, it is all here on the water ready to be discovered.

Yachting is the perfect avenue for exploring what the water has to offer. At Anita Dee Yacht Charters, we are passionate about sharing the beauty of Lake Michigan with others and proving that yachts don’t just belong in the Caribbean.

Are you ready to set sail and see what the waters around Chicago have to offer? Give us a call and let us help you take to the water in style. We are Chicago’s premier private yacht charter group. We cater to you to make your wedding, social gathering, corporate event, or any other special occasion something memorable. We have two vessels to choose from that can accommodate small intimate gatherings or large parties. We even offer catering and onboard event planning, so you don’t have to lift a finger.

Let us show you why we think yachting on the Great Lakes is something special. Call us today at (312) 379-3191 for more information.


The Best Cocktails for Your Next Yachting Trip

Heading out onto the open water with the breeze blowing through your hair is an experience like no other. There is a sense of peace and freedom that comes over you and washes your cares and worries away with the tide. A few cocktails couldn’t hurt either! Whether you are gathering family and friends for a social event on the water, celebrating a milestone, or even playing host to a corporate event, the perfect selection of cocktails can help set the mood.

That’s why, at Anita Dee Yacht Charters, we have gathered a selection of some of the most popular and yacht-worthy cocktails you may want to serve during your private yacht charter. Mix in a few alcohol-selection tips, and you’ve got the right recipe for making sure that you and your guests can make the most of your special event.

Yachting Cocktails

We would be amiss if we didn’t start with some of the most commonly thought of drinks when it comes to yachting. It doesn’t matter if you’re in Chicago or the Florida Keys, if you are on a boat, you are going to expect to see some of these signature cocktails.

  • Pina Colada – Yes, this may be the king of classic boating drinks and long walks on the beach. The pina colada is a blended drink mixed with rum, pineapple juice, and cream of coconut. This sweet concoction is almost synonymous with spending time out on the water.
  • Margarita – If you’ve got a margarita in your hand, it must be 5 o’clock somewhere. This cocktail goes hand and hand with relaxation and balmy getaways. The traditional margarita is a mix of tequila, triple sec, and lime juice and can be either blended or served on the rocks. Salt lining the rim gives this yachting cocktail the perfect finish. The margarita is a versatile cocktail, as well. In addition to the traditional lime cocktail, try making variations for your guests with strawberry, mango, or even watermelon.
  • Mai Tai – Another tropical drink that reminds people of the water is the Mai Tai. The perfect yacht party drink, the Mai Tai is a mixture of rum, orange curacao, lime juice, and orgeat syrup. There are other versions of the drink that include pineapple and sometimes grenadine. No matter which recipe you follow, the Mai Tai is a popular cocktail in yachting circles.
  • Rum Punch – You may also know this drink by another name, Planter’s Punch. This cocktail comes in a variety of different forms, but the most popular combination is rum, pineapple juice, orange juice, and grenadine. The colors mimic a perfect evening sunset.
  • Mojito – What could be more perfect than sipping something light and refreshing while enjoying the wind off the lake. The classic version of this drink includes a mixture of light rum, club soda, simple syrup, and mint leaves. Top it all off with a twist of lime.

Chicago Cocktails

We’ve done our duty and covered some of the most popular yachting cocktails people expect to see on board a fabulous ship, but let’s face it, we’re not in the Caribbean, we’re in the Midwest. While these may not be considered your “typical” yacht fair, they are uniquely Chicago and would be the perfect accompaniment on your next Anita Dee Yacht Charters yacht trip.

  • Chicago Fizz -This cocktail is sure to warm you up if you are feeling a bit of a chill coming off of the water. The Chicago Fizz is a mixture of rum, port wine, powdered sugar, egg whites, and carbonated water.
  • The Chicago – Inspired by the Windy City itself, this creative cocktail is a mix of vanilla, orange cognac, Cointreau, sparkling wine, and amontillado sherry. It blends into a deep amber hue and would make the perfect cocktail for a wedding or social gathering aboard a yacht.
  • Water Taxi – The Water Taxi, we like Water Yacht better! This cocktail was created by a riverfront restaurant and is a sensational mix of Pisco, rum, Suze, passionfruit, and pineapple-jalapeno kombucha.

Beverage Options

Let’s not forget that not everyone is a fan of mixed drinks. The ultimate king of the yachting community has to be Champagne. Bubbly has always reigned supreme and is the perfect drink for any special occasion or party. In addition to mixed drinks and Champagne, it is a good idea to provide a reasonable mix of both red and white wines in both a sweet and dry variety. This will ensure that no matter who is in attendance, there is a flavor that will suit all taste buds.

Beverage Quantity

Now that you have some ideas on what to serve, here comes the big question, how much do you serve? As a rule of thumb, it is a good idea to plan on two beverages per guest, per hour of your event. If you are serving wine, it is recommended that one bottle will serve two guests at a two-hour event. A bottle of Champagne is typically 750 ml to a bottle. That means it can fill about six champagne flutes.

The amount of Champagne you need to keep on hand also depends on the type of event you are having. Will the Champagne be used only for a toast? Will it be served all evening? Determining how you plan to use Champagne will be how you determine how much you need. As for spirts for the mixed drinks, a 750 ml bottle can typically make about 17 drinks. You’ll want to plan on at least three drinks per-person for a two-hour event. Find the drink recipe and multiply the volume of the mixer ingredients by three. Don’t forget, make sure you have plenty of water and non-alcoholic drinks to offer your guests as well.

Your Yachting Adventure

There you have it, the perfect drink guide for your next yachting trip! These ideas are sure to spark your thirst for adventure and need to get out on the water. While we have given you a great guide to picking drinks, here’s another tip for you, you can let us do all the work. Our charter service works with some of the finest Chicago catering and entertainment companies. We can help take the guesswork out of how many bottles of liquor you need to have on hand for your special event.

At Anita Dee Yacht Charters, our number one priority from start to finish is making sure that you and your guests get the VIP treatment. If you’re dreaming of a yacht getaway, call us at (312) 379-3191 for more information about how we can make your dream a reality.


Luxurious Celebrity Owned Yachts 

When you are one of the most famous people on the planet, where do you go to get away from it? We mean really get away from it all. It seems as if the prying eyes of the paparazzi are everywhere. For many celebrities, they have turned to the one place where luxury meets the ultimate in privacy, the open sea. Yachts have become the new playground for the rich and famous, offering them an escape from the world, at least for a time, without having to skimp on the amenities they are so accustomed to. It’s no wonder that the bigger the star, the more extravagant the ship.

At Anita Dee Yacht Charters, we wanted to get a glimpse into the yachts that cater to some of our favorite celebrities and personalities. From singing sensations to mega-hit directors, here is a look at some of the most extravagant yachts on the ocean.

Steven Spielberg

With hit movies like E.T, the Indiana Jones series, Schindler’s List, and Saving Private Ryan under his belt, Steven Spielberg is a Hollywood heavy hitter. He is arguably one of the most prolific and influential directors in the history of cinema. A man with those credentials can’t settle for anything less than a blockbuster, and that goes for his choice of yachts, as well. Yes, the director of Jaws isn’t afraid of the open ocean, not when he is sailing on his yacht, Seven Seas. Seven Seas is a $200 million megayacht that boasts one of the best pools on the high seas. It also includes floor-to-ceiling windows, a jacuzzi, gym, and, of course, a movie theatre sized screen. It’s Steven Spielberg, would you expect anything less?

Oprah

The reigning “Queen of Daytime Talk” is also competing for the title of “Queen of the Open Seas.” Billionaire Oprah Winfrey owns a $60 yacht that she calls Trending. The ship can accommodate up to 12 of Oprah’s most fabulous guests and includes a gym, jacuzzi, and multiple bars, in addition to a wide selection of water toys. Want to try and live like Oprah? It’s going to cost you—you can charter the ship for $238,500 per week plus expenses.

Beyonce

Not to be outdone, Beyonce lays claim to the 213-foot-long Galactic Star. It can accommodate up to 12 guests just like Oprah’s Trending, but it also includes a heated swimming pool, jacuzzi, spa, and helipad. This yacht is decked out with the finest amenities fit for a queen, Queen B that is.

Nicolas Cage

Nicholas Cage is no stranger to indulging in his every whim. In addition to his numerous homes and real estate, he has also spent his hard-earned Hollywood money on some 22 cars, 47 pieces of artwork, and even a dinosaur skull. One of his more down-to-earth purchases was the yacht, Sarita. The yacht is decked out with wood-paneled walls, lush carpets, and manly leather furniture. It also features a pool, a large sunbathing deck, and a jacuzzi to unwind in. If relaxing isn’t your speed, it also includes fishing gear, Wave Runners, water skis, kayaks, and snorkel equipment.

David Gilmour

You may not recognize his name, but you’d recognize his guitar work anywhere. David Gilmour is the legendary guitarist for Pink Floyd, and he owns one legendary ship. The Astoria may look old-fashioned in appearance, but this is one modern piece of luxury. The Astoria is considered one of the world’s largest superyachts. Of course, it includes your typical yacht amenities, but this is the yacht of a guitarist, so it’s only fitting that it also includes a recording studio. Gilmour recorded parts of the last three Pink Floyd albums from aboard the yacht.

Roberto Cavalli

His name is synonymous with luxury designs. That’s not only true of his fashion empire, it’s true of his yacht as well. Italian designer Roberto Cavalli took inspiration for his yacht, Freedom, from Hollywood. The black and grey ship, with its sleek design and tinted windows, is meant to be an homage to the Batmobile. While the exterior may be the Batmobile of the sea, the interior of the ship is 100% Cavalli. The cabins and saloons are adorned with his signature animal-print furnishings, a far cry from the utilitarian look of the caped crusader’s signature vehicle.

Family of Steve Jobs

The late founder and genius behind Apple never got to see the yacht, Venus, to fruition. It was completed after he lost his battle to cancer. Owned by his family, Venus would make any tech-junkie proud. It is extremely private and features a variety of high-tech devices. Not surprisingly, it is outfitted with numerous Apple computers, and it also has seven Mac screens on the bridge. What other secrets does this luxury liner hold? No one really knows, it’s so private that no interior images of the ship have ever surfaced.

Yachts offer our favorite celebrities unlimited entertainment with maximum privacy. They are the perfect mix of luxury and sweet escape. It may seem like the yachting lifestyle is out of reach for everyone but celebrities, but that isn’t the case at all. Anita Dee Yacht Charters is Chicago’s premier private yacht charter company, and we offer you the VIP experience of a celebrity.

Docked in the heart of downtown Chicago, we have vessels that can cater to large celebratory gatherings or small intimate affairs. We are the place to go-to for the celebrity experience of a lifetime aboard one of our luxury yachts. From special events, weddings, or even corporate gatherings, let us show you why we reign supreme in the waters of Chicago. The VIP experience is not out of reach, contact us at (312) 379-3191 to find out how we can turn your yachting fantasy into a reality.


Innovative New Yachting Technology

Being in the yachting business, we are always very excited to see the latest trends and technology emerging in the yachting world today. The industry has come a long way from the transportation ships of yesterday to the sleek luxury liners of today. The yachting industry is embracing new technology like never before. The result—innovations in manufacturing and design, and luxury the likes of which we haven’t seen before.

At Anita Dee Yacht Charters, we’ve gathered what we think are some of the most interesting and promising innovations happening in our industry right now. The ideas of today are turning into the trends of the future, and we couldn’t be more thrilled.

3-D Printing

3-D printing is offering new and interesting ways to create things. While we love the fact that 3-D printing is being utilized for everything from toys to medical devices, we have to admit, we are a little shocked to hear that a Canadian yacht designer thinks that 3-D printing is the future of yachting technology.

Gregory Marshall thinks that it could be possible to print an entire yacht using the technology. While an entire luxury yacht being printed may be hard to swallow, Marshall thinks it’ll only be a matter of time. He sees the first step as printing large component parts with a 3-D printer and, from there, he believes the jump to a full-sized vessel is only a few more years away.

Wi-Fi

Today, Wi-Fi is just another piece of technology we’ve come to take advantage of. We rely on it every single day and yet rarely think of what our lives would be like if it were suddenly unavailable. When it comes to taking advantage of Wi-Fi at sea, those in the know understand that coverage on the sea is spotty at best, and extremely expensive at worst.

Imagine being able to sail the ocean and have access to live entertainment, sporting events, and other streaming services. That’s what the incredible minds at Google are working on right now. Project Loon by Google is an enterprise that seeks to deliver Internet access to even the most remote locations. Balloons could give you access to the world, no matter where in the world you’re located.

4K Ultra HD video

The 2019 Monaco Yacht Show gave us a glimpse into the future, and that future is 4k. Today, 4k video resolution is a must in today’s luxury yachts. 1080p is so last year. The most decked-out, private yachts are upgrading their entertainment centers with the latest in 4k technology, offering more vibrant colors, deeper blacks, and a picture so sharp, it could slice through butter.

Multihulls

The demographics of yachting is beginning to change. We are seeing younger generations become interested in yachts. These younger people have new ideas and different priorities when it comes to vessels, and that is helping to change the industry. One of those changes may be that multihulls could become the new normal. Multihulls are more efficient and that is important to a growing section of the yachting community. There is more talk about hybrid propulsion, eco-friendly boats, and more interest in lessening environmental impact.

Green Technology

Along those same lines, we are also seeing technology being used to create more eco-friendly yachts. The Black Pearl is considered one of the largest sailing yachts in the world, but it is also one of the greenest, as well. It uses a hybrid propulsion system and also utilizes solar power. It even includes a waste-heat recovery system. All of this technology combined may make it one of the most environmentally friendly ships on the seas, but utilizing any one of these green technologies in more yachts is a move in the right direction.

World Explorers

It isn’t enough anymore to just get away. More and more owners are pushing the boundaries of exploration and their yacht is the perfect means. Yacht owner Neville Crichton sees the future of yachting as one where owners seek out new and exciting, even more remote destinations. It feeds the thrill of adventure while letting people explore the world away from the hustle and bustle of others. It offers more privacy and more opportunity for seeing the world in ways no one else can, plus with the advances in technology and the ability for yachts to carry more toys, no matter how far you roam, you’re never without comforts or entertainment.

Just as our world continues to evolve and transform, so too does the yachting industry. No one is content to sail against the winds of innovation. The industry is expanding and finding new ways to use technology for the betterment of owners and the environment. This glimpse into the latest technology making its way into yachting is an exciting picture of the future of the industry and sailing in general. Innovators are always pushing the boundaries of what is possible.

At Anita Dee Yacht Charters, we love looking ahead to what is possible and what our future could hold. Incorporating these types of technological advancements may start at the top, but we look forward to being able to utilize technology in new ways in our own fleet. Our goal is to always be on the lookout for the newest and most innovative ways to keep our guests in the lap of luxury.

Whether you’ve been out on a yacht before and loved every minute of it or are new to the experience, Anita Dee Yacht Charters is Chicago’s premier private yacht charter service. We pride ourselves on offering you a VIP experience you and your guests will never forget. Weddings, social events, corporate events, we can handle it all with elegance and luxury. Take in Chicago as you’ve never seen it before with a yacht charter from Anita Dee Yacht Charters. Give us a call for more information on how to book your next event. We are passionate about helping you make memories that will last a lifetime.


Hosting a Corporate Event on a Yacht? Read Our Catering Tips Here

Thinking about hosting your company event on a yacht?

Anita Dee Yacht Charters‘s yachts are versatile enough to comfortably host a range of guests, from about 50 to up to 400 people. From a product launch to an employee or client appreciation luncheon, a yacht is an ideal venue for your next corporate party or event. Plus, the yacht charter service will provide you with a team of hospitality specialists who have years of experience providing their guests with top-notch attention to detail.

One of the most, if not the most, important aspects of a corporate event is the food you’ll be serving your employees, clients, or guests. An event cannot be successful if the food isn’t up to par. Many yacht charters have hand-selected catering companies that they use for each event. These catering companies are chosen for their customer service, presentation, efficiency, variety, and quality of food, so any charter-approved catering company should be excellent. Whether you are looking to serve a grazing or stationary crowd, a catering company can create a specialty menu just for your guests.

Your Choice of Hors d’Oeuvres

A staple at any corporate event is tasty hors d’oeuvres. As with every other course of the meal, there should be enough options for the vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free guests. Also, it might be difficult, but try to take a survey of your guests’ allergies and special requests.

Hors d’oeuvres can be served either hot or cold. They should be bite-sized, easy to eat, aesthetically pleasing, and above all, delicious. Caterers and yacht charters understand that at corporate events, the guests are trying to stay professional-looking and polite, so the food shouldn’t pose any threat to a white blouse or ball gown. Some of the best cold hors d’oeuvres to serve are shrimp skewers, avocado deviled eggs, cucumber summer rolls, and stuffed baby bell peppers. If you’d like to mix in a few hot options, chicken or beef skewers, tiny tinga tacos, mini meatballs, and cauliflower flatbreads are good picks.

Choosing the Main Dishes

When it comes to the main dish, there are a number of avenues you could take. It depends on the nature of your event, how formal it is, what time constrictions might exist, how many guests are present, and what time of day the event is taking place.

If you are hosting a breakfast or brunch, you would probably forgo hors d’oeuvres in favor of coffee, orange juice, and pastries as a starter while people mingle. Some caterers, such as Chicago’s Beyond Catering, offer various breakfast buffet options to fit any budget and serve any number of guests. A traditional breakfast buffet of scrambled eggs, bacon, and breakfast potatoes suits the lower end of a budget and still leaves guests full and satisfied.

If you have a bigger budget, you could spring for a French toast bar or a breakfast taco-building bar, which are a few dollars per guest more expensive. As always, be sure to have options for even the pickiest eaters. This could be an array of fresh fruits, steel-cut oatmeal, yogurt parfaits, or an assortment of fresh-baked muffins.

Dinner is a bit more complicated because there are so many options. Do you want a themed meal? A buffet? A sit-down dinner served by waiters? A set menu? Different food stations? If your event is leaning toward the formal end of the spectrum, you might want to opt for the sit-down dinner with a set menu.

But if you are hosting a friendly staff appreciation meal or team retreat, a buffet or food stations might work better because people can mingle, chat, and move around more. Chicken piccata or pecan-crusted whitefish are good options for either buffets or a sit-down dinner. Quinoa stuffed portobellos or vegetable pasta are good options for vegan and vegetarian guests. The sides can be just about anything, like roasted vegetables and rice pilaf.

A Range of Beverages

And what would a special event be without drinks? A general rule of thumb is to have a basic selection of white and red wines and beer on hand. A cabernet sauvignon, merlot, or pinot noir will likely have broad appeal to red wine drinkers, while a sauvignon blanc or chardonnay should appeal to those who prefer white wine. Beer drinkers will appreciate the choice between domestic, premium, and craft beers. Your caterer will probably let you choose one of each tier. For domestic, choose between Coors Light, Miller Light, or Bud Light. For premium, Goose Island or Stella Artois. And for craft, either Blue Moon or Lagunitas would be appropriate choices.

A formal event might call for a full bar, which would offer liquor, mixers, wine, and beer. This is a premium option because the drinks will need to be made and served by a bartender.

Don’t Forget Dessert

Last but not least, you should treat every guest to an indulgent dessert before they leave. Each catering company offers a variety of their own special treats, so be sure to take their dessert menu into consideration when choosing which company you want to hire.

Fresh-baked cookies are always a crowd-pleaser, but if you are hosting a formal event, you might want something a couple of notches better. For the classier crowd, consider banana bread tiramisu, warm mini churros, or homemade cream puffs. The cherry on top of any dessert is an espresso or hot chocolate station where guests can customize their own desserts.

Consider a Chicago Yacht Charter for Your Next Corporate Event

Let us help you plan your next big company event on a yacht in Chicago. With the help of our artisan catering companies, state-of-the-art sound system, and our team of dedicated staff members, your event will be sure to impress. Call (312) 379-3191 to start planning your next great event.


Everything You Need to Know About Hosting a Yacht Wedding

Yachts are one of the most unique venues for hosting weddings because they are elegant, offer scenic views, and provide entertainment and food. If you are considering planning your Chicago wedding on a yacht, this article will give you some tips about how to pull it off and what questions you should ask the chartering service to ensure the day runs smoothly. 

One of the most attractive features of a yacht wedding is that the ceremony, reception, and dinner can all be held in the same venue, so there’s no need to worry about transporting people or asking them to relocate. The festivities are contained to the yacht, which will provide you and your guests with all the food, entertainment, and amenities you could want. The two yachts at [firm name] are staffed with a team of only the finest hospitality specialists who will cater to your every need with attentive thoughtfulness. 

Because the charter service offers a variety of packages, you won’t need to worry about coordinating the entertainment, catering service, linens, and china, etc. The yacht staff is a dream team of specialists who have tons of practice hosting events with hundreds of guests and will take care of the logistics, so you can focus on having fun with your guests. The captain on [firm name’s] yachts can officiate your ceremony, and you have the option of having the ceremony by the dock or out on the water. When you use a yacht charter service, you can customize every aspect of the event to make it your dream wedding. 

The yacht charter service will advise you on which parts of the ship are best suited for each phase of the event. 

When it comes to catering, [firm name] has hand-selected six of Chicago’s finest catering companies to serve their guests. It’s up to you to choose what sort of dining experience will best suit your wedding, but you do have some choices: a sit-down dinner with waiters delivering plated food, a buffet, food stations offering different options, a family-style dinner, or an extended cocktail reception with no dinner. The yacht charter can help advise you on which dining option would best suit the timeline and budget for your wedding. 

Though there are innumerable benefits of having your wedding on a yacht, there are also some hypothetical situations you should prepare for. For instance, if the weather turns bad, you need to have a backup plan if the ceremony or reception were set to be held on the top deck. Consult with the yacht charter service about what indoor areas would be equally scenic and appropriate as the top deck in case it gets too windy or starts raining. 

Additionally, be prepared for time being more of a consideration than it would be on land. If you choose to set sail and have the ceremony out on the water, [firm name] will give you the option to return to the dock before the reception to pick up any guests who, for whatever reason, could not make it to the ceremony. 

Emergency situations, related to a guest’s health or otherwise, are impossible to predict and might require quick access to land. If you are concerned that some guests might not want to be on the yacht for hours, or perhaps physically can’t, there are options to accommodate them while still having your dream yacht wedding. 

You can always keep the yacht docked so that guests can get on and off the ship easily while maintaining the nautical feel. You could also coordinate with the yacht charter to have only the ceremony on the water and then drop everyone off on shore to host the reception at the yacht club. Or you could do it the other way around and have the reception on the yacht so your guests can party the night away on the water with a view of the skyline. 

Before booking your wedding with a yacht charter service, there are a few basic questions you should ask them. First, you need to know what their seating capacity is. This number will probably fluctuate depending on where on the boat the ceremony and dinner will take place. For example, there might be less room on the top deck for the ceremony than there would be on a lower deck. Additionally, ask the charter about wheelchair accessibility and accommodations for people with disabilities if some of your guests have special needs. 

You might also want to know whether you can do a rehearsal on the ship the day before or if you would have to pay extra to reserve that block of time. Some other common questions people ask are whether children and pets are permitted on board, whether they can bring their own decorations, where guests will park before getting on board, and how soon they can arrive to begin setting up and getting ready. 

Thinking of Having Your Chicago Wedding on a Yacht?

If you want to get married on a yacht, Anita Dee Yacht Charters offers unrivaled luxury and unparalleled service. We’ve helped countless brides and grooms make their dreams come true on our yachts, which provide food, entertainment, ambiance, and even a wedding photographer. We would love to host you and your guests for a magical day on the water looking out at the Chicago skyline. Is there a more beautiful setting for a wedding? Call us at [phone number] to start planning today. 

 


Best Lakes for Yacht Charters in the Midwest

One common misconception of the Midwest is that there aren’t many good options for boating or yachting. When people think of taking their boat out, they usually picture a coastline with water that goes out for miles and miles. But there’s plenty of coastline in the Midwest! The huge lakes in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Illinois make for prime yachting. Consider taking the boat out to one of these pristine locations next time you want to get some salt and sun.

Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri

Located in the heart of Missouri, Lake of the Ozarks is a prime vacation destination for locals and out-of-towners alike. The lake is actually a reservoir that was created by damming off the Osage River, creating 1,500 miles of sunny shoreline for visitors to explore. The lake itself twists and turns, looking more like a dragon than a body of water from an aerial view, which earned its nickname “The Magic Dragon.” Visitors congregate for boating, fishing, tubing, and swimming before taking a lunch break at the nearby smokehouse. Hiking trails and caves offer extra ways to explore this Missouri gem.

Elk River Chain of Lakes, Michigan

This 75-mile long waterway consists of 14 connecting rivers and connecting lakes of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, which empty into Lake Michigan. The watershed covers over 500 square miles, offering bounteous scenery to locals and visitors alike. During the summer when the sun is at its strongest, the strong light pierces the water, making it crystal-clear and blue, like Caribbean water. This one characteristic, coupled with the mild climate and gorgeous scenery, draws thousands of visitors to the Lower Peninsula each year. Torch Lake is the biggest and most beautiful body of water in this chain, but boaters won’t want to miss the sandy beaches and quaint Michigan towns that dot the way along the chain.

Lake Wawasee, Indiana

Indiana’s largest natural lake, Lake Wawasee, covers about 3,000 acres of surface area and boasts two islands. It is named after Miami chief Wawasee, who lived in what is today known as Kosciusko County, Indiana, in the mid-1800s. With three marinas and a yacht club, Lake Wawasee opens its arms to boat and yacht enthusiasts. The Wawasee Yacht Club was founded in 1935 and promotes the sport of sailboat racing; its members race 28-foot E-Scow, 19-foot Lightning, and 13-foot Sunfish class boats. With over 25 miles of shoreline, golfing, paddle boarding, shopping, and dining, Lake Wawasee is a vacationer’s paradise.

Lake Winnebago, Wisconsin

Lake Winnebago is one of Wisconsin’s finest lakes, being the largest lake contained within the state. Winnebago has shallow freshwater, making it perfect for boating, kayaking, swimming, and waterskiing. It has 88 miles of shoreline and covers an area roughly 30 miles by 10 miles across. Named after the Native tribe who inhabited the area before colonization, Lake Winnebago is a popular boating destination and even surpassed the Mississippi River in terms of boat traffic in 1989. Fishing is a popular pastime because of the high concentration of various desirable fish, such as white bass, bluegill, largemouth bass, perch, and northern pike. High Cliff State Park borders the northeastern edge of the lake, offering visitors the opportunity to hike, camp, and picnic.

Lake Okoboji, Iowa

Located in the northwest corner of Iowa, nearly on the border of Minnesota, is one of Iowa’s premier vacation destinations. “Okoboji” originates from the Dakota tribe’s name for the lake. Today, Okoboji offers a myriad of fun activities for people of all ages and interests. Whether you are interested in the arts, entertainment, nightlife, museums, golfing, swimming, or hiking, there’s something for you to do at Okoboji. One of the biggest draws of this vacation spot is its fishing. They even offer fishing expeditions led by top competitive anglers who can teach you where and how to catch the biggest fish in the lake. But if fishing isn’t your cup of tea, sailing around the 3,000-acre body of water is still a great way to spend the day.

Lake Michigan

This sprawling lake borders four states: Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin. It is bitter cold in the winter, but come summertime, the lake turns into a vacationer’s dream. Michigan residents are never more than six miles away from a lake, river, or stream, so there’s always an opportunity to get out on the water. Boating is one of the most popular activities on Lake Michigan, making it easy to waterski, tube, fish, or sail around the 22,000 square miles of water. Lake Michigan also plays host to boat races throughout the year, such as the St. Clair powerboat races.

Contact a Chicago Yacht Chartering Service

For more than three decades, Anita Dee Yacht Charters has specialized in fully customizable events aboard our two private & exclusive luxury yachts. Come find out why we’re Chicago’s finest luxury yacht charter. Call us at (312) 379-3191 or reach out to us online to book your event with us today!


The Top 10 Chicago Sights to See from Lake Michigan

Chicago’s shoreline neighbor, Lake Michigan, provides some of the most breathtaking views of the city. While walking or cycling through Chicago will surely give you a specific perspective of the architectural grandeur of our home, you can’t truly experience Chicago unless you get out on the water.

Chicago’s location on the southwestern edge of Lake Michigan is integral to the city’s identity. The Windy City, the City of Big Shoulders, Mud City, the City that Works: Chicago wouldn’t be Chicago without Lake Michigan, and vice versa.

Although about 12 million people live along Lake Michigan, if you look out in one direction, all you’ll see is the water meeting the sky, an expanse that covers about 22,300 square miles. When you turn back to look at the city, make sure you don’t miss these sights:

Shedd Aquarium

Shedd aquarium

Chicago has excellent seafood, but you can’t eat the marine life in Shedd Aquarium, sorry. Gifted to the city by philanthropist, John G. Shedd, since its opening in May of 1930, the aquarium has been a well-loved cultural fixture.

From the water, you’ll notice the unmistakable neoclassical architecture. Inspired by a specific style within classic Greek architecture called Beaux-Arts, Shedd Aquarium boasts bold Doric columns at its entrance, marble and terra cotta detailing, and its signature octagonal dome.

Shedd Aquarium is home to over 32,000 of species, from small fish to sharks and whales. It draws interest from tourists and researchers alike. Some important work conducted by Shedd researchers includes the treatment and handling of beluga whales.

The Field Museum of Natural History

The Field Museum of Natural History, also known as the Field Museum, is located on the same campus Shedd Aquarium. Built in 1921, the Field Museum is one of the premier natural history museums in the world. Boasting about 2 million visitors each year, there are permanent and rotating exhibits ranging from ancient artifacts to dinosaur reconstructions. If you are a natural history buff, this museum is not one to miss.

Interestingly enough the architectural firm Graham, Anderson, Probst & White designed and built both the Field Museum and the Shedd Aquarium in the same neoclassical Beaux-Arts style. This architectural firm produced some of Chicago’s most famous structures, including Union Station, the Wrigley Building, and the Civic Opera Building.

875 N Michigan Ave

Formerly known as the John Hancock Center, 875 N Michigan Ave is one of Chicago’s taller skyscrapers. If you look up, you’re likely to see it. With 100 floors, it is 1,128 feet tall and has a large observation deck called 360Chicago, where you can get a panoramic view of the city, Chicago River, and Lake Michigan.

Northerly Island

The manmade peninsula, Northerly Island, like many landmarks in Chicago, is accompanied by a particularly interesting history. In 1909, city planners Daniel Burnham and Edward H. Bennett, authors of Plan of Chicago, envisioned Northerly Island to be a public park. After its construction in the 1920s, the plan for Northerly Park evolved and eventually the lakefront airport, Meigs Field was constructed and opened in the 19040s.

In 2003, Meigs Field airport was demolished, and Northerly Island was converted back into the space that city planners initially envisioned: a destination for the public. The island, adjacent to the Museum Campus that includes both the Field Museum and Shedd Aquarium has been turned primarily into a hybrid destination of parkland, nature preserve, and a concert venue.

Adler Planetarium

Alder Planetarium

Northerly Island is also home to Adler Planetarium, the first planetarium opened in the United States and the western hemisphere for that matter. Since 1930, the Adler has been part of the Museum Campus’s appeal, indulging interests in physics and astronomy while inviting all visitors to get a better look at the great beyond. Pro tip: if you ever make it into the Adler, it also offers one of the city’s best views of the Chicago skyline.

The architectural style of the Adler Planetarium is a marked departure from the Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum’s neoclassical style. Designed by Ernest Grunsfeld, Jr., the architectural style of the Adler is considered to be Art Deco. As you pass by the Adler from Lake Michigan, you’ll notice the structure’s streamlined geometric design with a touch of opulence. This style was incredibly popular in the 1920s.

Willis Tower

The Willis Tower, also commonly referred to as the Sears Tower, was completed in 1973. It is one of Chicago’s tallest skyscrapers standing at 1,729 feet. After the One World Trade Center in New York City, Willis Tower is the tallest free-standing structure in the United States.

In 2009, the structure was renamed from Sears Tower to Willis Tower. This same year significant renovations were performed on the sky deck. If you ever make it up there, we hope you’re not afraid of heights.

Navy Pier

Navy pier chicago

One of Chicago’s more famous landmarks, the Navy Pier was built in 1916 and has had many purposes within that time. Before 1927, Chicagoans referred to the pier as the Municipal Pier. It was only after World War I that it was renamed in honor of naval veterans.

Now a destination for entertainment and recreation, the Navy Pier was initially a dock for both freight and passenger ships. While the pier served as a dock a couple of decades, in 1941, the pier became home to nearly 10,000 Navy sailors training for World War II.

The Centennial Wheel, one of the pier’s most iconic features, is noticeable from both land and the water. The current Ferris wheel which is relatively new, was unveiled in May of 2016 after its predecessor was retired the previous summer.

Grant Park 

As you cruise along Lake Michigan, you’ll see one of Chicago’s most famous parks, Grant Park. Named after Ulysses S. Grant, Grant Park covers over 300 acres and is also home to numerous famous Chicago landmarks like Millennium Park, the Cloud Gate sculpture also known as “The Bean,” the Petrillo Music Shell, the Art Institute of Chicago, Buckingham Fountain, and many other historic sites. The Museum Campus and Northerly Park are included in the larger acreage of Grant Park, but in our humble opinion, those spots deserved some extra consideration.

Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago is an international tourist draw for the whole city. The institute is one of the premier museums and art schools in the United States. People visit from all over to see priceless works of art created by the likes of Picasso, Edward Hopper, and Mary Cassatt.

Petrillo Music Shell

Chicago is famous for many things, our pizza, the Cubs, the Bears, the White Sox, the El Train, Second City, and most of all, our music. Inspiring the genre of Chicago Style jazz, and the source of inspiration for blues and jazz artists like Muddy Waters and Nat King Cole, Chicago has a rich musical history.

If you’re focused on all things music during your Chicago pilgrimage be on the lookout for the Petrillo Music Shell as you pass by Grant Park. First opened in 1931, countless concerts and festivals have been held at this outdoor venue in over the years.

 See Chicago From Lake Michigan!

Like other iconic American cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C., Chicago has its own culture, architecture, myths, and customs. Join us on the water and experience it for yourself!

We genuinely believe that everyone will enjoy sightseeing from the waters of Lake Michigan. Get in touch with Anita Dee Yacht Charters today at (312) 379-3191 to rent one of our luxury yachts for your sightseeing adventures.

 

 

 

 

 


How to Plan Your Private Yacht Event

When planning any event, there’s always the fear that what you envision will not become reality when the day comes to greet your guests. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be that way. Instead of hoping for the best, why not guarantee that it is something special by planning your next event on a private yacht in beautiful Lake Michigan?

Booking a yacht is a great way to take your event to the next level without adding stress to your life. At Anita Dee Yacht Charters, we make it easy to host the best event ever by recommending handpicked caterers, decorators, photographers, and entertainment.

Of course, if you have someone else in mind, we can work with that, too! The important thing is making sure your event is what you want it to be. Here are some of our tips for doing just that:

Booking

Whatever the reason for celebration, make sure you book your date early. There’s nothing worse than finding out too late that the date you wanted is already taken. When picking a date, keep in mind the weather and how long you’re going to be out on the water, as well as what time of day you want to embark.

Anita Dee offers breakfast, lunch, and late-night cruises so that you’re not tied down to any specific kind of event. For example, breakfast times can be great for corporate events. If you’re looking for an evening or night out, however, you might want to plan around seeing the Chicago firework displays between Memorial Day and Labor Day. It’s always a big hit, and a show like that is sure to stay with your guests long after they step foot on dry land again.

Decorations

While the Chicago skyline seen from Lake Michigan is already quite the view, you’ll undoubtedly want to make sure that you set the perfect mood for your event through the decorations and floral displays you choose.

If you’re looking for a florist for your event, all of Anita Dee’s preferred florists are beautifully creative, customer-oriented, and comfortable working on our vessels. Whatever you choose, you can rest assured that your event’s backdrop will already be beautiful.

Photography/Videography

Don’t let a moment slip by! Hiring a photographer is crucial to making sure that your big day is remembered forever. While your guests snap selfies, let a professional capture the big moments – the things you won’t want to be behind a camera for. Anita Dee’s preferred photographers will keep your event alive through beautiful pictures and videos you’re guaranteed to love.

Catering

As anyone knows, the best part of a party is the food. You’ll want to plan ahead to get the best caterer for your event. Of course, sometimes this can depend on what kind of event it is and what time of day it’s taking place. Is it a company breakfast meeting? A wedding rehearsal dinner? Maybe a Sweet 16, or even a prom? Anita Dee can accommodate up to 400 guests for an event on the water.

Whatever the occasion, the right food can turn a good party into a great party. All of Anita Dee’s preferred caterers serve delicious, inventive meals without sacrificing customer service. And with full-service galleys on both of Anita Dee’s vessels, you already have the perfect setup.

Entertainment

No party is complete without a little entertainment. Whether it’s a DJ or a band, you’ll want someone who’s able to get your guests on the dance floor. Anita Dee’s preferred entertainment companies can do exactly that. Our vessels also come with state-of-the-art sound systems, ensuring that your guests are entertained no matter where they are on the yacht. When planning your event, make sure not to skip over this crucial element. The importance of getting amazing music for your event just can’t be overstated.

Schedule a Memorable Event With Us Today

The most important thing to remember is that great people are the best part of any get-together. We know you want your event to be something that wows the people in your life, and we want the same thing. That’s why we offer completely private yachts, outstanding service, easy access to trustworthy Chicago companies, and even an on-board event coordinator to help you with all the details.

Booking a private yacht for your event is easy, and your guests will talk about it for years to follow. For more information on Anita Dee Yacht Charters, feel free to contact us at (312) 379-3191, or send us a message online.

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Anita Dee Yacht Charters 200 N Breakwater Access Chicago, IL 60601 (312) 379-3191
Docked at Dusable Harbor on the Chicago River at Lake Shore Drive Download Full Directions