How to Charter a Yacht in 2024

luxury yacht. Chartering a luxury yacht is a great way to see the world. Learn how to charter a yacht with our tips & insights to start planning your next yacht charter.

Chartering a luxury yacht is going to be unlike any other vacation you’ve taken. From the high level of privacy and exclusivity to the attentive crew and private chef to cater to your every dietary need and request, to five-star accommodations and the ability to customize your itinerary to drop anchor where and when you like, a yacht charter puts you in the spotlight to design the ultimate getaway on the water.

If you’re looking to rent a yacht for your next vacation, YATCO can help. Whether you are wondering how to charter a yacht, or the cost to charter a yacht, read on for our in-depth guide on chartering a private yacht this year.

How does yacht charter work? 

A yacht charter is when you book a yacht rental for a weekly charter or more with a full-time crew. You will see a weekly rate, or “base price” listed on all charter yacht listings and need to factor in an additional 50 – 55% of this base price to get your all-inclusive price for the week. You’ll want to search the database of all charter yachts available to rent and then contact your experienced charter broker to help get you started.  

What do you pay for when you charter a yacht? 

When chartering a luxury yacht, you will be required to pay for the following in your charter rates:  

  • The yacht rental 
  • The private yacht crew  
  • Water toys 
  • All of your food and drinks  
  • Local taxes  
  • Fuel  
  • Optional crew tip 

This will be broken down into two prices – your base yacht charter price which includes the yacht rental and crew (you do not need to source your own crew – each yacht will have their own full-time staff), and the “extras” which will encompass the advanced provisioning allowance (APA), the local taxes or VAT, the fuel and your crew tip. To get a better idea on how much it costs to charter a yacht, and get your “all inclusive” price, we recommend adding 50 – 55% of the base rate. In this example, a base price of $100,000 a week yacht charter will end up costing you around $150,000 total. 

Yacht prices will also vary based on high season and low season and depend on the size of the yacht. Weekly charter rates will generally be higher in the summer months in the Mediterranean when it is high season there, and higher in the winter months in the Caribbean when it’s high season in this region. If you’re looking at weekly rates in the off-season or shoulder seasons, the weekly charter rates will usually be lower, but you may not always have access to the entire charter fleet as they often move to warmer destinations in the colder months. 

luxury yachts on a pier. If you’re looking at chartering a luxury yacht for your next vacation, YATCO can help. Whether you are wondering how to charter a yacht, or how much does it cost to charter a yacht, read on for our in-depth guide on chartering a private yacht in 2023. 

How to Rent a Yacht Checklist 


Questions to Ask Before Chartering a Yacht 

Is there a transfer included from the train station / airport?  

A transfer won’t be included in the booking of your yacht charter; however, the yacht crew or yacht management company will usually be able to help arrange this for you.  

When arriving the night before: Where to stay?  

It’s usually a good idea to arrive at your destination the night before your yacht rental begins so you can be fresh and ready to get onboard as soon as the charter is available. If you need advice on where to stay in port the night before, your yacht charter broker or the yacht crew will be able to provide some suggestions.   

When will the check-in procedure take place?  

The check-in and departure times will be explained in your yacht charter contract.  

How much will the deposit cost?  

When chartering a private yacht, your deposit will usually be 50% of the total weekly charter rate including all extras. Your remaining 50% is then usually due a month prior to the yacht charter departure date.  

Is there a possibility of card payment?  

Most yacht charter bookings still require a wire transfer to secure and pay for the balance of your yacht rental. Smaller day charters may offer card payments depending on the size of the yacht, however, during standard weekly charters or longer, wire transfer is the preferred payment method.  

Any additional services ordered? 

A luxury yacht rental will come with everything you need, including your full-time crew and water toys. As such, there is nothing for you to secure or look after while on board. The only thing that won’t be included in your yacht charter pricing is your personal travel insurance. It’s recommended you purchase this prior to your travel dates to ensure you are covered should anything happen.  

Which maps/charts are on board, and is there any further area information available?  

On a yacht charter, your captain will have all the local maps, charters and navigational systems to take you to the best places on your itinerary. As an experienced yacht captain in the area, they will have plenty of hidden gems to show you or happily show you some of the options to cruise to. While where you go will depend on the size of the yacht and the type of charter you’re interested in, your captain will do everything they can to incorporate your destination and activity requests. 

Any further supplies included on board, such as: towels or bed linen?  

When chartering a private yacht, everything is included. You will have luxurious sheets, ample towels for both showering and use in the sea, so there is no need to pack a thing. Your yacht crew will ensure your room is tidied every day, any soiled linens are taken to the laundry and fresh ones will be provided as needed, without you even needing to think about it.   

Ask about any other necessary documentation. 

If you are visiting places where your passport requires a visa or special accommodations, you must have this before arrival.  

luxury yacht. If you’re looking at chartering a luxury yacht for your next vacation, YATCO can help. Whether you are wondering how to charter a yacht, or how much does it cost to charter a yacht, read on for our in-depth guide on chartering a private yacht in 2023. 

Is there a supermarket nearby?   

Depending on your preferred itinerary and type of charter you’re interested in, there will be more than a few stops in the local ports where the yacht crew and chef can go into the local markets and pick up any additional provisions. If you would like to peruse them yourself, or even go with the yacht chef to see how they select the food for the menu or get to know the local cuisine, they will be happy to oblige.  

How long until the yacht has to be back? When is check-out?  

Depending on the term length of your charter, the yacht might return after one week onboard, or longer if you book for two weeks, one month, etc. Most yachts will have a check in and out time of around 12pm, however, this depends on when the last yacht charter guests departed and how quickly they can turn the yacht around for the next booking.  

Can the last night be spent on board?   

Yes, of course. If you book a seven-night yacht charter, you have access to the yacht right up until check-out on the last day. Like your arrival, it’s usually recommended to stay one night in port or nearby on check out day, so you don’t have to worry about rushing back for a flight.  

What if the weather turns bad? Is there another route recommendation due to the current weather situation?  

Your yacht captain will be keeping an eye on all-weather situations and updates. Should there be a last-minute adjustment to your itinerary due to inclement weather, your captain will be able to provide suggestions on other cruising routes or stops along the way so you can enjoy your yacht rental to the fullest.  

Who is the person of contact in case of problems with the ship?   

As your yacht crew will be handling all of the details of your trip, they will be able to contact the yacht owner, or yacht management company should any issues arise while you are onboard. However, this is a very rare occurrence, and your yacht crew will usually be able to help with anything as it arises. More often than not, you won’t even know there’s been an issue since yacht crew are highly trained and professional individuals who will take care of everything behind the scenes so you can simply sit back and enjoy your vacation.  

If there is certain route recommendation, please inform the yacht charter company as well.  

During the planning phase of your yacht charter vacation, you will work with your charter broker, the yacht management company, and the yacht captain to include any special location requests or cruising itineraries. The captain will be able to consider your requests and create an itinerary as close as possible given any limitations (distance between destinations, weather, time of year, etc.). 

sailboats in the ocean around islands. If you’re looking at chartering a luxury yacht for your next vacation, YATCO can help. Whether you are wondering how to charter a yacht, or how much does it cost to charter a yacht, read on for our in-depth guide on chartering a private yacht in 2023. 

Working with a Charter Manager 

Whether you are the yacht owner, or the charter guest, you will likely be working with a yacht charter manager. The management company helps the yacht to manage their charter schedule and acts as an intermediary between the yacht crew and the yacht owner. This allows the yacht owner to avoid being bogged down with the day to day running of the yacht.  

For more information on working with a yacht charter management company, please refer to our guide here.   

Yacht Provisioning 

When chartering a mega yacht, or other luxury yacht, you will come across the term “charter yacht provisioning” which refers to the food and drinks that will be onboard for the duration of your yacht charter. You will work with your charter broker or the yacht management company to submit your preferred food and drinks list so the yacht crew can prepare for your arrival.  

For more information on yacht charter provisioning, please refer to our guide here. 

motor yachts, sailboats and catamarans on a pier. If you’re looking at chartering a luxury yacht for your next vacation, YATCO can help. Whether you are wondering how to charter a yacht, or how much does it cost to charter a yacht, read on for our in-depth guide on chartering a private yacht in 2023. 


Checklist for When You Are Onboard 

While you won’t have to think about the running of the yacht or any of the admin that the crew will be thinking about, there are a few things you should prepare for when onboard:  

  • Pack for your destination and the expected weather conditions.  
  • Bring your passport and any visas.  
  • Remember to stay barefoot on board and only use footwear when off the yacht.  
  • Don’t forget your favorite hat(s), sunglasses, and sunscreen (there will usually be extra sunscreen onboard if you forget).   
  • Try to use a soft suitcase for easy stowage onboard.  
  • If you plan to dine on land or enjoy a formal beach picnic or dinner on board one night, be sure to pack a few special occasion items.   
  • Any prescriptions or sea sickness tablets you might need.  
  • Have fun!  


When the final day of your yacht charter arrives, you will almost certainly be counting down until the next one! While you aren’t responsible for any cleaning or turnover (that’s what the yacht crew is there for), there are a few things people like to do on departure day.  

If you find your crew services were exceptional (and they almost always are), it’s customary to give a crew gratuity. This is usually around 10-20% of the base price of the yacht charter fee. So, if you booked a yacht rental with a base price of $100,000, you would tip around $10,000 or more to be split amongst the crew for their high level of services and attention during your yacht charter.  

The next thing most people do is contact their charter broker to book their next trip! Once you see the unmatched service and experience available when chartering a private yacht, you won’t want to travel any other way. 

yacht charter in Venice

Yacht Charter Caribbean 

It’s no secret the Caribbean is an excellent place to hide away from the winter blues during the high season. Chartering a yacht in the Caribbean offers stunning islands, buzzing ports and a plethora of cultures and cuisines. Explore some of our Caribbean Yacht Charter Guides below:  

Yacht Charter Mediterranean 

From the popular Western Mediterranean destinations like Spain and France, to the emerging Eastern Mediterranean regions like Greece and the Greek Isles there are now plenty of countries and ports to explore in the culturally rich Mediterranean region. The best time to visit the Mediterranean is during the high season summer months of June – August. 

Discover more about yacht rentals in the Mediterranean with YATCO’s guides: 

Yacht Charter Italy 

From the sun-drenched coastline of the Italian Riviera, to the east coast of Italy and Venice’s ancient canals, with every port in between, a yacht charter in Italy is the perfect way to enjoy a beautiful western Mediterranean yacht charter.  

Learn more about chartering a yacht in Italy with our guide here.  

Yacht Charter Turkey 

Turkey is quickly becoming a burgeoning yacht charter destination and it’s easy to see why. With a coastline stretching across one sandy beach to another, and a mix of cultures and traditions at every port, a yacht charter in Turkey is where the east meets the west, and you get to be a part of it all.  

Learn more in our Luxury Yacht Charter Turkey Guide.   

More Charter Destination Insights 

For further yacht rental destinations insights, please refer to our Off the Beaten Track Yacht Charter Destinations for those looking for a more adventurous type of charter, and the Top Yachts to Charter in Croatia.  

Yacht Charter Advice for First Timers 

If you’re new to the yacht charter experience, YATCO has you covered. Learn what to do before your first yacht charter, help in deciding whether to sell a yacht vs charter a yacht, chartering a yacht versus going on a cruise ship, and learn about whether you should charter a yacht or buy a yacht.  

If you’ve never chartered a yacht before, you might be wondering where to get started or what the experience is going to be like. Through the above, we hope you can see how chartering a luxury yacht not only opens the world up to you to view from the bow of your own yacht, but to also do it with an attentive crew and in style. 

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