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Yacht Charter 101

Everything you need to know before

chartering your first yacht 

Yacht Charter 101

Privately owned and professionally crewed, there’s a reason why luxury yachts are often referred to as ‘floating palaces.’ From the outsider’s perspective, the super yacht sailing industry looks small. There are just over 5,000 superyachts built that are over 30m in size. The numbers, however, don’t lie. Yachting is a significant part of the $545bn luxury travel industry, estimated to be worth $6.5bn in 2020 and reach $9bn in 2025.


This wasn’t always the case. Luxury yachts started becoming a status symbol amongst HNI circles during the gilded age, with JP Morgan’s 240-foot yacht, Corsair. It was only then that yacht manufacturers started to place focus on the quality of the ships, this was the main driving factor that differentiated between luxury and non-luxury yachts. 


Chartering one of these grand vessels may cost the same as your average lavish summer retreat; but unlike a luxury hotel or resort, the benefits of renting a yacht for a week includes complete independence, seclusion and a highly trained crew that only caters to you. How much is this little slice of paradise going to cost? 

Apart from the base charter fee which covers everything that the yacht provides like fees of crew, the price may include additional costs such as food and fuel. This not only depends on the type of yacht you charter but also if it is high season or low season. The busiest seasons happen in the winter in the Caribbean and the summer in the Mediterranean. Peak seasons occur during any major televised events that happen through the year like the Monaco Grand Prix or Cannes Film Festival. Travelling during high season can hike up your total by 15- 30% 

If you’re not looking to engage with large crowds and even larger price tags, Low season (any time apart from peak periods) is an ideal time to charter. Last minute bookings are sure to leave you stranded as most yacht companies take reservations up to a year in advance. 


As with all transactions, chartering a yacht comes with a contract detailing the payment structure including any additional costs that may be incurred. This, most commonly will include an Advance Provisioning Allowance (APA). The APA functions as a tool to streamline additional expenses like fuel and docking fees. These charges typically amount to 25% of the base charter fee and are meant to be paid directly to the captain of the yacht. 


It is important to note that fuel and food are charged without a mark-up and guests can request to see a breakdown of the APA account at any point during the trip. 

When it comes to choosing a charter, you might find that you’re spoilt for choice. You can base this decision on the nature of your trip and the company you’re traveling with. Interior designs vary from lavish and opulent to stylish, modern and minimalist. From on board facilities to layout and accommodation, every charter service can be personalised to your taste and preference. Chartering a yacht is truly one of the best ways to enjoy traveling privately at your own pace and your crew’s only job is to personalise your experience from food, activities and other expectations.


While holidaying with friends and family on a yacht is the norm, It is also common to charter a yacht for business or corporate purposes. This might require a different set of considerations. Corporate charters will need to take into account the number of people, large outdoor spaces and meeting rooms. It would also be beneficial to look for an experienced crew that has dealt with corporate events so that they can work seamlessly with outside caterers and event planners.

While packing for a luxury resort may involve a lot more luggage, it is important to bear in mind that there is often smaller storage space on yachts. Hard suitcases may be difficult to put away and may even get dented with travel. Opt for soft luggage and duffle bags that can be folded away with ease. 

As one might guess, light summer clothing and bathing suits will be the most essential part of your wardrobe. Many boats ask guests to remain bare feet or wear flip flops on board as land shoes, heels or black soled shoes could scuff the deck. Lastly, make sure to remember sunblock, waterproof cameras, multiplugs and medications.

Yacht Charter 101
Yacht Charter 101
Yacht Charter 101

Quite possibly the most enticing part of your booking process is choosing the activities that you’d like to partake in. Whether its adrenaline fuelled water sports or visiting enthralling islands and hidden caves, charter guests can look forward to an assortment of toys and tenders like wave runners, jet skis, inflatable toys and waterboards. Snorkelling and scuba diving are also options that can be arranged before your trip begins. Guests looking to enjoy the solitude and calm of the sea can soak in on board jacuzzis, tan on sun decks and even explore remote islands. Luxury yachts also offer an extensive movie library for those looking to ease into the evening with a screening. 


Once the booking is confirmed, guests are asked to fill out a preference sheet detailing their choice of food, activities, liquor and any medical conditions.


When it comes to preparing an itinerary and preference sheet, it is good to give the Captain and crew a few ideas of what activities guests are looking to do. This in turn ensures that all guests' needs and requirements are catered for. Guests can even meet with and speak to their on board chefs to further detail their specific taste and dietary restrictions. No request is too big, as guests can ask for a specific brand of liquor or meal made exactly to your preference.


Whilst on your luxury holiday, following a few rules can ensure a smooth and seamless journey with your 5-star crew. Treating the yacht with the same care as you would  your own home is essential. This includes wearing deck shoes or going bare feet while on the deck to avoid scuff marks, avoiding staff only areas that are meant for the crew and chef, smoking etiquette varies from boat to boat and is usually permitted in open areas. 

In the unlikely event that there is a grievance or complaint, it is customary to handle the matter directly with the Captain.

The above information has been compiled for your convenience and we would be happy to assist you further along your charter journey with tips, bookings and expert advice. 


Bon Voyage

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Quality involves everything from the size of the motor, design of interiors, style, liveability, amenities and professional staff. The most coveted function that the market looks for? Privacy. In a world that is increasingly connected and always in contact with one other, chartering a yacht promises the ultimate escape to those who can afford it. Yacht experiences are tailored to fit the client’s needs and specifications. From small things like temperature and bedsheets to big things like in-built casinos and dance floors, clients are offered the prestigious treatment of being spoilt for choice.

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