Superyacht charter should be a pleasant experience, both for the owner and in particular for the yacht charter clientele and the crew!
Quite often we assume, and rightfully so, that superyacht charter is the ultimate type of holiday. UHNW and HNW individuals and families indeed enjoy such vacation at least once, if not two or even a number of times per year. A vacation dreams are made of, and best way to enjoy your well-deserved luxury type of a getaway. Sailing between the best hotspots one can find on this planet, eating best and freshest food, served by the best in business in the most beautiful way possible, visiting the most historic, newest and exclusive sites, beach clubs and restaurants is a fabulous experience. In particular as this is done while island hoping in the most amazing corners of the planet, which makes it a pleasure worth naming as the holiday of a lifetime. This in particular when it is combined with a luxury environment one can only find or experience on a superyacht or a mega yacht.
The best type of a vacation there is:
Indeed, both luxury yacht charter, superyacht hire and mega yacht charter fall into the similar type of a holiday that can only be beaten by a specialized package. This package may include private charter flight, high-end luxury yacht charter experience, coupled with a 5-star villa holiday and helicopter transfers, submarine excursions and Micheline star menu in local restaurants along the way. In reality, such package does not exist however, as pricing it and arranging it would be very expensive, in particular matching all services with available private charter flights. Celebrity concierge service available with SuperSailYachts.com can certainly make such a package a reality, but on a day-to-day basis, all these are in most cases packaged individually and based on specific desires and requirements of each client separately.
Superyacht charter clients enjoy top menu’s prepared by highly skilled and experienced chefs, most of which have worked in Micheline starred restaurants in the past. Captains are highly organized professionals who sailed international and itinerary-based national waters numerous times before and can plan a fantastic yacht charter itinerary that would include best hot-spots of the Mediterranean or the East Caribbean in most cases. Best of all, a typical itinerary will include rarely visited and secluded anchorages with private beaches where carefully chosen crew can prepare a birthday party, even a wedding or just a romantic BBQ dining experience. These type of luxury charter yachts are also full of water toys and gadgets that allow yacht charter clients to be as adventurous as they wish and enjoy such activities as kite surfing, windsurfing, jet-skiing or water-skiing and simple staff as just sunbathing, snorkeling or rendez-vous diving.
What can happen to turn exceptional into a problem?
Experiences made on these exclusive yachting holidays are mesmerizing, unforgettable and irreplaceable in the memories of most guests. That is one of the reason, most of them come back year in and year out or may charter twice a year, during the summer in the Mediterranean and during the winter in the Caribbean or as far as South Pacific and Indian Ocean. However, there are at times unexpected issues that may prop up and here we analyze two that can occur most often. One of them is a technical issue with the boat that may not allow the crew to set off on a carefully planned itinerary. This can be for variety of reasons, but the simplest one can be an engine or hydraulics issues that for obvious or safety reasons may not allow the captain to leave safety of the port. In that case, the clients will face a choice of giving up on their bespoke yachting holiday or looking for a replacement vessel. Given that specific nature of lastminute charter, this may mean lack of any choice or poor choice or indeed end of their yachting holiday as such. The clients may have to reconsider and rent a high-end villa or just rooms in luxury hotels. In most cases, such accommodation tends to be booked out and unavailable however and replacements boats either not in the area or simply not suitable. This is where the clients may choose to stay on board and put up with waiting times and hopes that engineers will repair the yacht in good time, allowing for the planned superyacht charter to continue. There is not much wrong with this option, given that crew are likely be even more attentive, chef will prepare sublime menu and captain or chief stewardess will be able to advise on local excursions, alternative dining outlets or local cultural offering such as museums, galleries, theaters or archeological sites. In case the repair will last a day or less than 48hrs, and charter is at least one week long, any such experiences of delayed departure could be minimized. This is where the main problem can occur. Namely, the pick up location may be in a non-touristy type of a port or away from usual tourist trail, forcing the clients to stay on board in a unpleasant industrial marina and a location not made for superyacht charter client. If than repair takes more than 48hrs and charter is indeed just 7 day or less, the clients are likely to be frustrated, unsatisfied and in expectation of a major refund. The owners may see the situation completely differently though and claim that clients have stayed on board for the duration of the charter, have used the services of the crew and their yacht and as such do not deserve any refund. It is therefore of ultimate importance that you make a sound decision if staying on board is best choice or if you are better off putting up with an alternative solution until the boat is fully repaired and ready to go, or accept delay.
Anything else one has to be aware of ?
The other main issue that can cause stress or change the expected experience for the worse is differing views on the final or ongoing fuel consumption. This is in particular the case with motor yachts that cruise at higher speeds of 20kn+ and where weather can come in play. As an example, your boat may have quoted fuel consumption of 600L/H at cruising speed of 25kn. However, what if that cruising speed is only 20kn, yet your fuel consumption is higher ? This can happen in case the waves are bigger than say 1m or swells are continuous for long distances. You may not reach a destination you desired on time, yet your bill can be 20% higher. On top, if situation extends to a full week charter and your bill at the end is 000’s of Euros higher than assumed, yet you only managed to cover 50% of your itinerary, a dispute or dissatisfaction can be very bad. It is therefore advisable to confirm expected fuel consumption both at calm weather, and if adverse weather kicks in. This is especially important on superyachts that cruise at speeds of 25kn+ but it can be even more frustrating on sailing catamarans that may cruise at only 8kn, yet their expected 2,000 Eur bill after a weeks charter, turns out to be 4,500 Eur. Fuel prices can often play a major role too, especially if there is a major pricing change as it happened in 2022 following the war in Ukraine. You will in most cases book your yacht 6-12 months in advance namely, and fuel prices can change substantially before embarkation takes place. If the price of fuel is 50% higher and your expected bill is 10,000 Eur, suddenly, this can turn into a 15,000 Eur bill due to increase in pricing and maybe even 20,000 Eur due to higher waves, bad weather and slight or bigger variance in actual fuel consumption, cruising speed and information given by the captain. The suggestion is therefore to plan for such adverse scenario in advance, double check rates at different cruising speeds and by change of prices and than decide if motor yacht or any superyacht you are keen to charter is indeed within the budget or desirable enough to ignore such potential adversity in final costs.
There are indeed a few other scenarios, experiences or issues that can occur, unexpectedly or in case of poor preparations. These two are the most likely ones; yet a professional charter broker can indeed identify many others and ensure most are dismissed well in advance of the start of your next luxury yacht charter or superyacht hire in the most popular yachting destinations of the East Caribbean or the Mediterranean.
Published by Eldin Basic (TpMBA)
Yacht Charter & Sales Broker at SuperSailYachts