There are many things to consider when choosing a yacht charter. Planning an ordinary family vacation can be difficult enough. What do you need to know, except how much a yacht charter costs, before chartering a yacht? Of course, there are many expert charter managers and brokers who are on hand to help you with chartering a charter. However, before you go, you pick your first charter yacht, there are several things to consider.
What is a Yacht Charter?
A yacht charter is a rental of a superyacht, typically for seven – 14 days. Throughout the rental, guests enjoy private use of the yacht, its amenities and its professional crew. Charter yachts can visit many locations around the world and a charter broker will create a bespoke itinerary for you and your guests on board.
5 Top Points to Contemplate Before Choosing a Yacht Charter
Your experienced yacht charter broker will be available to guide you through a yacht charter, but here are five points to contemplate beforehand.
#1 How many people can you have as yacht charter guests?
Many yachts are strictly licensed to only host a certain number of guests on board. This is for safety reasons and as part of the IMO regulations for this reason.
When chartering a yacht, it is vital that you have confirmed the number of yacht charter guests you need onboard your yacht.
Before you start planning your charter journey, speak to your charter broker and they will be able to help you choose your yacht based on
- the number of cabins,
- the cabin arrangements, and
- the makeup of your group.
For example, do you have children in your charter? Do you have a group of mixed adults? Is it a multi-generational family? The number of people and the group’s formation are vital in choosing a suitable charter vessel.
#2 What is your yacht charter destination?
Where would you like to go on your yacht charter? One of the most fun things about chartering a yacht is your ability to choose a range of worldwide destinations. Before you talk to a charter broker, think about where you would like to go and what you would like to do.
If you would like to visit the yachting hotspots of the South of France or Italy, advanced planning is very much recommended as these are popular charter yacht locations. Likewise, if you would like a more remote destination your charter manager will need a substantial amount of time to plan the trip. The destination is also important and varies at what time of year you would like to go on the charter.
Europe and the Western Mediterranean are most popular in the summer. However, in Southern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean, places such as Croatia, some parts of Western, Eastern or Southern Italy, and Greece have warm weather and offer lovely sailing from April to October. Charter destinations in the Caribbean are often best chosen when there are no severe weather seasons. This is typically between the months of October to March. Chartering a yacht also offers the opportunity to travel to very off-the-beaten-track destinations such as Indonesia, Australia, the Islands of Tahiti, Japan, and Antarctica. These charter destinations offer a much different charter experience but are fantastic places to visit onboard your private yacht.
#3 What type of yacht charter?
Charter yachts offer a range of amenities for whatever type of vacation you would like. If you are a highly active person who would like to learn how to windsurf or scuba dive or jump off the top deck onto an inflatable slide, there are several yachts that are perfectly equipped for an action-packed charter.
- If you have a family and you would like to have a child-friendly yacht with added safety precautions or a younger crew, there are many yachts available for a family-friendly trip.
- If there are elderly people in your group, there are charter yachts available with elevator access to each floor.
- If you are looking for a romantic, relaxing charter, there are yachts with spas, massage parlors, romantic setups on the deck for movie nights, and much more.
Ultimately, a yacht charter can be whatever you would like it to be. But being aware of what type of charter you would like is helpful for your broker to plan your dream vacation.
#4 Yacht charter provisions
Unlike staying at an Airbnb or hotel, your charter yacht must organize the provisions for guests ahead of time. You will be sent a preference sheet, and this will be your opportunity to make sure all your favorite food and drink are on board for your journey. It can be difficult to source rare items while at sea and although yacht chefs and crew will try their hardest to accommodate any last-minute requests, it is best practice to always fill out the preference sheet in as much detail as possible.
It will ask you
- what food you prefer,
- what brand of alcohol you like,
- if you have any allergies,
- if you prefer to have a large breakfast or a smaller breakfast.
The preference sheet will be an in-depth document for your yacht crew to create the ultimate experience for you and your guests on board. This is also especially important if you have any fussy eaters, people with severe allergies, if you’re pregnant, or any of the above as this is your chance to share any vital piece of information with the crew and your charter manager so they can understand what you need from day to day.
#5 Know the rules on board the yacht
Life at sea is one of the most amazing experiences you can have, and the professional yacht crew will offer the best quality of service you have ever received. It’s important to consider how a yacht runs before you go on your charter. The yacht crew and the captain are there for your safety and it is vital that you understand that the rules they put in place are to protect you and to prevent any accidents from happening.
There are also several nuances and etiquettes on board a yacht charter that crew request to help preserve the yacht, optimize their time to serve you and ensure a smooth flow of service.
- Do not wear high heeled shoes or any shoes on the teak deck. This protects the deck and prolongs the life of the floor of the yacht.
- The yacht crew is there to make sure you always have the best experience. However, it is important to be a gracious guest and understand that the yacht crew is trying their hardest to give you a six-star experience.
- Tipping of yacht crew is not expected but always appreciated. They will work incredibly hard to put on incredible dinners for you, play with children, set up activities and genuinely make your week or two on board the best holiday you’ve ever been on.
- Listening to the captain, understanding the regulations and being safe and respectful of their requests is an important part of being a good charter guest. If you have any questions or issues, your captain is there to help guide you through the process and inform you of best practices.
Consider these five things before chartering a yacht and it will help you ahead of your yacht charter, which will undoubtedly be one of the best yacht charter vacations you ever go on. Your yacht charter manager will be your go to resource for all questions you have.