Perhaps you’re dreaming of an island-hopping adventure or a family vacation in the Caribbean. Regardless of the type of holiday, you’ll want a safe and secure environment to enjoy time with family and friends. Experience the heights of luxury, immaculate service, serene surroundings and Life Enhancing memories. Every detail is tailored to your tastes, making your yacht charter truly special and unique. Here are just a few frequently asked questions about chartering a yacht.
Sail or Motor: Selecting the best charter yacht to suit your needs
Each type of yacht for charter has different advantages and disadvantages. As a charter broker, it is my job to guide you through the process of selecting the perfect yacht to charter, which meets your requirements. I will ask a series of questions to get a clear sense of your desires, expectations, and budget. I will then carefully select a range of yachts best matching your requirements. Each proposal is a selection of yachts that I believe may be suitable, to fit your needs – this requires a consultative approach. Your careful consideration and honest feedback is much appreciated, as this allows me to find the perfect yacht match.
Where to charter
There are yacht charter opportunities around the globe. The Caribbean, West & East Mediterranean are most popular, but the industry has expanded to include Antarctica, Australia, South Pacific. As well as North and South America. Wherever you may dream of exploring I will help curate a wonderful charter experience. No matter what destination you have in mind, I can help organize your dream charter in all corners of the globe.
When to charter
There are two main seasons in yachting – summer and winter.
The summer season runs from May through October, with the peak summer season (and peak rates) in July and August. The winter season runs from November to April, with peak season running primarily over the holidays and into New Year. During the northern hemisphere summer, the most popular destination is the Mediterranean. Locations such as the French Riviera, Balearic Islands, Corsica and Sardinia, Greek Isles and Croatia are favorites. During the winter months, The Bahamas and Caribbean are the top charter spots. Shoulder-season charters are often a good option for those looking to avoid the crowds in the more popular cruising grounds, and you may have more choices in terms of yachts.
I am happy to advise and suggest carefully planned itineraries based on your desires and plans. However, it is the yacht Captain and crew that often knows the truly best spots to visit, and how weather may or may not affect your planning. Once you have booked your yacht, have a sense of the area you plan to cruise and what your desires for your yacht charter are, then we will begin to craft an itinerary just for you.
Disembark the yacht for a select period of time to explore or eat at a restaurant
You can disembark at chosen towns to explore, eat and drink. In many destinations it would be a crime not to go ashore and explore! Please communicate this with our team if you are aware of stops of interest prior to your yacht charter, or alternatively if you want to spontaneously explore a pretty seaside town, communicate your desires with your captain who will do his/her best to accommodate. To get to shore, your yacht can pull into a berth, you may travel by tender to shore, or a restaurant may organize a tender to collect you from the anchorage and transfer you to their property. The crew often have a wealth of knowledge regarding the best places to dine and drink around the world. Inform us of your select dining spot and any special preferences that you may have (style of food, atmosphere, etc.) and we will suggest a number of ideal options, or ask your crew to advise while on charter. Land excursions such as horseback riding or dining off the vessel are at the client's expense
Start a yacht charter in one country and disembark in another
Although some countries may have restrictions there is always the opposability you can board your yacht charter in one port and disembark in an entirely different country. Please be aware that delivery/redelivery fees may be applicable here.
Length of charter
On most yachts, a minimum of one week is desired and usually how the yacht is priced. Depending on availability, yachts can be chartered for as long as you wish. If you wish to charter a yacht for a prolonged period of time (+1 month), it is best to book well in advance to ensure availability. Most yacht owners usually priorities bookings of over a week. For some yachts, owners are happy to charter their yacht for just one or two days. This will depend on the yacht and the time of booking. It is my job to have connections and relationships with many captains and yacht owners, giving us the best chance to negotiate on your behalf. We will always do our absolute best to find the right solution for you.
Food and beverage preference on charter
When you charter a private yacht, it becomes your home. You may request (at a cost to you) any items, foods, drinks, or other that you wish to have on-board. As a yacht charter broker, I will do everything I can to ensure that all components of your yacht charter are suited to your tastes and the crew are briefed and prepared well in advance of your arrival. Prior to departure, we will send you a preference sheet, giving you the chance to outline your preferences in categories such as general cuisine (French, Italian, Thai, etc.), meats, breads, fruits, coffee, wines, champagnes, soft drinks, magazines/newspapers and flowers. You can state a preference for the times meals are to be served, the way drinks are prepared and the type of ingredients to be used. Any special dietary requirements or restrictions can also be outlined here. Once on-board the yacht, the chief stew is ready to assist arrange any other details requested.
Bringing your passport on charter
Every passenger on-board a yacht must have their passport on-board at all times. Most professional, luxury yachts are commercially registered vessels, just like stepping on a plane, your passport is required. Ensure that you and all of your guests have their passports with them when preparing for your yacht charter, or your captain may have to refuse entry to the vessel.
The role of the crew on a yacht charter
Yacht crew are carefully selected, highly skilled individuals who will join you on-board your yacht charter to ensure that you have the time of your life. The number and organization of crew vary from yacht to yacht, and we will outline the number of crew (and their positions) prior to booking. Your Captain will control the navigation of your vessel, and additional crew members will carry out tasks such as preparation of cuisine, serving of meals and drinks, cleaning, keeping all mechanical components in perfect running order, teaching water sport activities, and many, many more. Crewmembers all have a broad array of skills and specialties and are there to add the finishing touches to your yacht charter experience.
Charter cost: The difference between all-inclusive and plus expenses All-inclusive Rates include the hire of the yacht and crew, all meals, snacks, open standard bar (champagnes, vintage wines, extraordinary brands, and excessive consumption are additional), the use and instruction of all onboard watersports equipment, cruising taxes, and port fees. This type of rate structure is found on most catamarans and sailing yachts under 80’ in the Caribbean. A handful of motor yachts operate at an all-inclusive rate.
Plus Expenses include the hire of the yacht, the crew, and the yacht's insurance. The Charterer pays for all of the operating expenses of the yacht "at cost". These expenses include the Charterer's food and beverage; consumables; fuel for the yacht, tenders, and watercraft; dockage; port fees; cruising taxes; communications; personal laundry; shoreside water and electricity; port agent fees if required; etc. Typically, these additional costs are called Advanced Provisioning Allowance(APA).
Fuel costs depend on a number of factors, including engine size, engine consumption, the distance traveled and weather conditions.
The reason for the “plus expenses” rate structure is that on motor yachts, superyachts and higher-end sailing yachts, the cost of additional expenses varies widely from one person to the next according to the itinerary (and the fuel used), the types of food, and beverage that is ordered, parties, whether you dock each night or anchor out, etc. with “plus expenses”, you only pay for what you consume.
Value Added Tax (VAT)
VAT is usually not included in the yacht charter fee. The rate of VAT differs between countries. I will outline the applicable rate of VAT when proposing yacht charters.
APA Advanced Provisioning Allowance APA is a simple way of getting the yacht provisioned properly for your specific requests, so you can enjoy your yacht charter with minimal hassle. The APA is essentially a bank account for the Captain of your yacht charter to purchase fuel, food, drinks, mooring fees, and other items on your behalf. Normally a percentage will be added on to the charter fee (allow an average of 25-30% depending on your itinerary). The Captain is obliged to keep all receipts and you can check the expenditure level at any time.
Note: the captain and/or charter operator will not pay for provisions on your behalf without a down payment of an APA. If during a yacht charter your APA begins to run low you will be informed of this and will be required to pay the captain in cash directly or organize a transfer of funds. Any money not used will be refunded to you at the end of the yacht charter period or can also be used toward your crew gratuity.
Paying for your yacht charter
Once you decide to book a yacht for charter we will do our best to provisionally hold that yacht for you. However, it is not confirmed ‘booked’ until contracts are signed and an initial deposit payment is received. The most common way of paying for your yacht charter is by bank transfer. Before you make a payment, we will give you a full invoice that shows the payments due in the currency of your charter and bank transfer instructions.
Crew Gratuity is customary and is not included in the total charter fee. No doubt your captain and crew have been very helpful and professional during your yacht charter and you, therefore, would like to give a tip, As a general rule, a 10% to 15% tip is customary when chartering in the Mediterranean while a 15% to 20% tip is more common in the Caribbean. Ultimately, it’s up to you how much to tip. Most guests, though, base it on the quality of service. But remember: Most crew members are working 16- to 18-hour days, and a tip rewards them for all that hard work and service.
On your last day on your yacht, it’s customary to put your entire tip in an envelope and hand it directly to your captain who will distribute it accordantly to the crew.
I hope this answers some of your questions but don't hesitate to reach out if you need more information.