And why you should consider doing so.
Following covid-19 pandemic, we have seen an increase in enquiries about superyacht charters and luxury yacht charters in particular.
Social distancing rules and self-isolation have become increasingly popular and in demand, therefore sailing and yachting holidays have by their nature become of a more interest to many families and couples. Given the lack of specific information for these type of clients, who are about to charter their first yacht or who are likely to consider a luxury yacht charter or indeed a superyacht charter in the coming months and years, here is a top 10 breakdown of what needs to be known before you embark on such a project. For more information, you can also follow our superyacht charter guide available on SuperSailYachts.com.
- What is a superyacht charter?
Yacht chartering in general is the practice of renting, or hiring or indeed chartering a sailboat, motor yacht or a gullet and traveling to a number of different coastal or island destinations. Usual duration is one week, from Saturday – Saturday, yet many clients opt for 10 days, 2 weeks or even long-term charters of up to 2-18 months on some occasion. The usual charter is completed during your summer or winter holiday time, but it also can be a business event for some. Cannes Film Festival and Monaco Grand Prix are typical events where business may hire a superyacht. In terms of superyacht charter, this includes crew of at least 4, including professional captain, chef, engineer or deckhand and a stewardess or hostess. Biggest yachts may have crew of up to 30+ to include bodyguards, nannies, chief stewardess, yoga instructor, fitness instructor and personal concierge. Midweek charters or embarkation on any day is possible on most superyachts, in particular in destinations such as the Caribbean or Indian Ocean. Some Mediterranean yachting destinations, such as Croatia, may limit embarkation and disembarkation times to specific days ie. Saturday, yet this is usually the case on smaller boats
- How much does it cost to charter a super yacht?
This really depends on a variety of factors such as size, type and age of the yacht. A typical superyacht will cost around US$ 100,000 per week plus APA expenses. If you opt something smaller, older or with less appeal, the price varies between US$20,000 and US$80,000. For a megayacht rental (boats from around 200ft/60m, and much bigger than a superyacht), you can expect to pay upwards of half a million dollars. The larger the yacht, the higher the cost, although classic yachts may at times cost much less than a much smaller new superyacht.
- What are APA Expenses?
These are all costs one can incur during a superayacht charter. This can include all fuel, marina fees, costs of food and drinks consumed, tips to the crew, any local tourist or boat taxes, National Park fees, special requests and arrangements, even airport transfers. They are usually set at around 30% of the charter fee, thus US$ 30,000 in case the charter fee is US$ 100,000 but can be higher, around 40%, on fast superyachts such as Pershing 115 or Sunseeker’s Predator range or newest Sunseeker 131 yacht, while sailing catamarans such as Sunreef 60 or the new Alegria 67 by Fountain Pajot may accept 20%.
- Is a superyacht charter holiday worth it?
Yacht charter is an absolute best way to enjoy a summer or sea holiday. Changing your overnight location every day is an amazing experience, in particular if you enjoy sailing experience itself and feeling the lovely breeze on your face. Waking up to a new view, sights, smell and expeirences every day is just a mesmerising feeling and nothing beats it. If you and your family are sailors and want to explore different parts of the world, chartering a boat in a different location, depending on the season and your budget, is a very fun and rewarding experience.
- How much is a super yacht per night?
At times you may wish to charter just for a night, weekend or a shorter period of time. All superyachts are offered from around 3,500 US$’s per day plus expenses and the longer you rent, the average costs may be lower. Superyachts are classed as boats bigger than 80ft or 25m, yet some newer boats that may only be 70ft, can have a bigger volume than a classic 100ft superyacht, thus may offer better value despite costing more. All charter fees are always subject to local tax/vat and this can add from 4-22% on top of the usual charter rate. APA Expenses are on average 30% too.
- Can I bring more than 12 guests?
Most superyachts or yachts in general are limited to maximum 12 guests sleeping. During the cruise this number may be increased and for stationary events in secured ports many will accept 50 guests on board, others even more than 100. Smaller yachts may carry only six people, but even many superyachts are capped at 12 passengers. This is mostly due to the SOLAS Convention (Safety of Life at Sea) set in law by the International Maritime Organization. If your party has more than 12 guests, in location such as Croatia in particular, there is a range of high quality superyachts which can accept up to 40 guests on board. Some mega yachts, which can cruise in various locations from the Caribbean to the locatioins in the Arabian Sea can also accept up to 32 guests for overnight stays as well as cruising.
- Is food included in superyacht charters ?
All superyachts have a trained, professional chef on board. The crew is also trained to provide 5-star service and often multiple course meals with specialties ranging from sea food, Mediterranean, Thai, Japanese or Chinese even and in most cases cater for all types of foodies, from vegetarians, gluten-free, vegan or an specific allergy-free menu’s. However, food is rarely included in the charter fee and requires separate payments. In most cases this is part of APA EXPENSES, but on some yachts, in particular in the Adriatic Sea or in Seychelles, a set menu cost is offered, either for half-board (breakfast and lunch or dinner) or full board (half-board plus dinner) with drinks added to the bill from ships bar or as part of expenses. Where APA expenses are applied, superyacht charter clients may often bring their own drinks. Some clients for example drink only certain brands of wine or may also own a vineyard and will bring their own bottles on board.
- 8. Do you have to tip on a superyacht charter ?
In general, all professional yachtcharter brokers advise tipping 10 per cent of the charter fee total in the Mediterranean. On US registered boats in the Caribbean or any boat hired in the US waters, the recommended tip is 20 per cent of the base charter fee. Tipping your crew is a customary practice at the end of all and any superyacht charter, yet it is in most cases not obligatory. Some boats, in particular those in the US waters or US registered ones, will advise on obligatory amount of tips before the exchange of the contracts. In case your superyacht charter was a disappointment for some reason and crew may have played a major role in the experience, you are not obliged to leave a tip of course. If however your experience was amazing, or even life-changing adventure, you can tip as much as you like.
9. What’s the best way to charter a superyacht?
The best way is to decide on your ideal or maximum budget and approximate time or period you wish to charter. You should than approach a superyacht charter broker such as SuperSailYachts and provide as much as other information as possible, such as total number of guests (split into couples, singles, children) and type of yacht required (sailing monohull, sailing catamaran, power catamaran, gullet etc.). Indeed, some gullets can be classed as superyachts too but most of the superyachts tend to be luxury motor yachts above 25 metre in length. Nowadays, the most popular yachts are sailing catamarans and those 80ft and longer are considered superyachts, Sunreef 80 and Lagoon 77 being the most desired ones. For example, sailing catamarans of around 70ft and below are considered luxury or de-luxe charter yachts and are also very impressive but may not be seen as superyachts, while gullets must be new, 5-star service vessels and at least 120ft to be considered a superyacht.
10. Where and when to charter a superyacht?
The best locations to see and to be seen on a superyacht tend to be in the Mediterranean during the summer and the Caribbean in the winter. If you want to be amongst others who charter superyachts, you should consider turning up for Cannes Film Festival or Monaco’s F1 Grand Prix for example. End of July and early August is probably time to visit South of France and locations such as Cap d’Antibes or Porquerolles and inevitably St Tropez. Mid August you are best going to Ibiza and private island Tagamago as well as neighbouring Formentera or indeed Greek Island of Mykonos. Dubrovnik and Island of Hvar in Croatia are popular throughout August and late July, while Portofino alongside Italian Riviera and Sardinia’s Costa Smeralda coast can be hit at the same time when visiting South of France, in particular if you are on a long-term charter of sailing on a fast cruising motor yacht (25kn+).
There may be a number of other variables that you should consider before chartering a superyacht, yet one cannot cover them all in a blog. Most importantly, if you can afford it, you should definitely consider luxury yacht charter experiences, regardless of what type of yacht, period of the year or duration you are considering. Making the experience will certainly be the best way to check if you will enjoy it and given the possibility to hire a superyacht for a day or long weekend, there is nothing in the way to stop you doing so. On top, superyacht charter can takes place during your regular school holidays period at the end of July and August or last one or two weeks typically. The most popular charter times are during Christmas and the NEW YEAR, when most superyacht charterers head to Virgin Islands (BVI’s and USVI’s) and ultra-popular Saint Barths. Billionaires and Multi-millionaires tend to charter yachts throughout the year as and when the need arises and the latest special offerings are transatlantic crossing which start around mid-November and last up to mid-December each year. Other clients, albeit very few, tend to charter yachts for longer periods only, enjoying a full blown long-term sabbatical yacht charter vacation. Lately, clients have also enquired for ONE WAY charters, the most popular being between Split and Dubrovnik in Croatia, Athens and Mykonos in Greece and St Tropez and Portofino (in France and Italy respectively). The most adventurous of all, are one way charters from locations such as the Grenadines to ABC Islands, Martinique to San Blas in Panama or even Cuba to Galapagos!
Published by Eldin Basic (TpMBA) of SuperSailYachts.com