The process of choosing the most suitable super yacht for your next charter starts with one of the following:
Prices on super yachts can vary considerably. The size of any super yacht is most of the time a good pointer as to how much the charter will cost, yet this is not always the case. A 40m classic yacht is likely to cost much less than a 40m modern Sunseeker. The same is with the type of yacht, as although some gullets can be classed as super yachts, they do usually cost much less than a proper designer super yacht from well known builders such as PERINI NAVI or BENETTI. You also need to consider extra cost such as fuel, provisions, mooring fees and crew tips. We can work out with you what the total of your charter would cost and provide appropriate advice on which type and size of yacht to select.
In some destination such as Cote d’Azur in the South of France, the Mecca of Super Yacht Charter, finding a suitable yacht is relatively easy. In more remote locations such as Thailand, Seychelles or even less frequented ones such as Croatia and those where tax arrangements make it difficult for super yacht owners to keep their yachts, for example the Balearics in Spain, selection of yachts is very limited.
Most of the time you will know the number of guests on board. The likelihood is that this number will be less than 10 adults or under circumstances the maximum will be 12. The cost of yachts which can accommodate more than 12 guests can be prohibitively expensive, and finding such boats could be very difficult. In those cases, we can recommend tandem charters. Yachts which can accommodate more than 12 guests would have to be registered under a special SOLAS regulation for ‘’cruise ships’’. Should you require such a yacht, for example the lovely O’Mega or require a less expensive boat such as Gulet Barbara, we can provide relevant information and quotes.
You will probably have your own set requirements in terms of what is very important to you. In terms of super yachts, this is usually well equipped master cabin, extensive range of water sports equipment, specific size of the tender or zero speed stabilizers. Whatever the requirement is, do let us know about it as we will be able to advise which super yacht will be most suitable for your charter, initially without regards to the cost, but where necessary, we can also find the perfect boat for your requirements.
If you are a small family, super yachts with owner’s stateroom are likely to be your first choice. With group charters, where a number of couples will sail together or where you will be taking your staff, boats with higher number of master or VIP cabins will be required. With children on board, flexible arrangements with twin cabins that are perhaps near the master cabin. Whatever the case with your charter party set up, we can provide suitable advice as to what boats will be most suitable
For the ultimate in safety and luxury, a typical super yacht would probably be a motor yacht. They offer more space and space is indeed the ultimate luxury. However, in case you are a keen sailor, charter a super sail yacht or super catamaran, which equally can offer great space areas, is likely to be your best choice. Expedition or Explorer yachts, which are increasingly becoming the norm in all fleets, are for the serious adventures. Exploring remote Pacific atolls can indeed be done in a motor yacht or even better in a super sail yacht, but an explorer yacht, thanks to their possibilities to venture far away where seaworthiness is the key.
Whatever your charter requirements, if you will have children on board, you will mostly need to consider water sports on board and entertainment facilities. We can also provide tips as to the best crews as some yachts will refuse charters with children, while others will specifically welcome them.
Some super yacht charterers prefer to have no major interaction with the crew, other than with service staff during meals or captain when setting up an itinerary or arranging for the cover of expenses. In case where you require special service, either specific cuisine, access to a specific itinerary, or additional services such as a nanny, fitness trainer, chauffer or a bodyguard, we can suggest the most suitable yachts or indeed arrange specialised professionals.
One of the most complex issues with super yacht charter is matching the skills of the chef with the taste of the charter guests. While at times it is possible to choose the yacht on the basis of its chef, most of the time this issue will be considered only once the charter is already secured. If you wish to have a certain type of cuisine served on board, it is always best looking into this issue as soon as type and size of the boat is chosen. Where this is not possible, we can advise on providing a suitable menu suggestion, arranging a preference sheet and provisioning order in advance. This is especially important in more remote locations where access to provisions is not ready available.
Most super yachts will have an extensive range of relevant equipment on board. Some will also agree to put required items on board for your charter. Where the equipment on board is not suitable, we can also arrange them to be either delivered (often at no cost to you) or in case of larger, super tenders, charter a suitable one as part of the existing charter.
While we have tried to cover most of the topics that are likely to be of interest or even greatest importance for you, this list should not be seen as the final one. Issues such as flights, airport transfers, helicopters or specific itineraries and fuel costs and so many others will also be looked at or will be discussed during your booking process. We would therefore advise that you do let us know of your most important requirements, and we will look into the rest.
As a super yacht charter client, you will rightfully expect highest level of service, best facilities, top cuisine and best of an experience. At the same time however, there are also a few issues you need to consider as a guest and this includes some of the following:
Appropriate clothing and shoes are the most important issue to consider. If you charter in the peak of Summer season is likely to require you to bring different clothes then if you are setting sail to explore the glaciers of Alaska. As storage can be an issue on the biggest yachts, consider taking soft luggage and do enquire if bathrobes and deck shoes are provided on board.
Smoking on deck on most of the yachts will be allowed. Smoking below deck or in any of the cabins and balconies on the other hand is likely to be strictly forbidden. Even where smoking on deck is allowed, smokers should consider when and where to do it, as smoking on the dining table, while the dinner is still being consumed by others is not always welcoming even if your best friends are around you. Taking a stroll to an area of the yacht where the smoke will be blown downwind is the name of the game.
Most of the super yachts will have a strict rule about what to wear on board. In terms of shoes, be it on deck or below deck, you are likely to be requested to wear ‘’soft sole’’ boat shoes or to walk barefoot. High stilettos or shoes that leave marks are not allowed as they can damage the yacht irreparably and this can cost a lot to put right. In terms of clothes, this will mainly depend on the members of your party. Bikini’s are allowed by most crews as long as everyone on board is aware of it in advance. Nude charters may not be allowed as some crews will refuse nudists on board.
Service on yachts will usually be at a level of a 5* hotel. On the largest of yacht this can even reach levels of 6 or 7*. Whatever the charter yacht, you should always treat the crew with respect. They are obviously your servants during the charter yet any abuse or mistreatment is not appropriate. Service on yachts will also be more formal on some yachts, while on others they can be outright informal. This will depend mainly on you as a guest, but also on the charter destination ie. European and Asian Yachts are likely to offer formal charters, while Caribbean and American yachts will have a more informal crew service on board. Where you wish to have a more informal type of service, you should be aware that both captain and individual members of the crew will not always be able or ready to get involved in your own experience, thus dinners on shore or various activities are likely to be refused by the crew, even if you do invite them. The reason; the crew can simply be busy with preparing your cabins, the next meal or ensuring relevant paperwork and safety of the boat are covered.
The first rule is that crew are not there to take care of your children. If your children require constant attention, you will either need to bring a nanny with your or arrange one to be on board during the charter. Most boats will have suitable entertainment facilities such as a CD / DVD library, Play Station or Nintendo, games and plethora of water toys. You, as the head charterer will always be ultimately responsible for your children as you are at home however.
You should get a thorough briefing before the yacht leaves the port. The captain or head stewardess should make you aware of how to behave when cruising (stern and fly bridge are likely to have to be avoided) and how when the boat is stationery. Crew areas also have to be avoided at all times unless specifically invited, to captain’s quarters for example. This applies to the galley and sleeping quarters in particular and you should always honour the chef’s and captain’s privacy and guidelines.
You should always remember that a yacht is extremely expensive environment. The boat is also owned by someone who has agreed to charter the boat assuming guests such as yourself will treat it with full respect. We therefore suggest that regardless if your charter is running smoothly or not, you always treat the yacht as your own property as your safety if nothing else will depend on it.
As always, the safety is the most important aspect of any super yacht charter. Maritime and insurance laws and requirements need to be adhered to and crew will and should always prirotise your well being on board. So should you, thus being aware of emergency procedures, use of life jackets and life rafts as well as bad weather regulations (no sailing in bad weather) must be adhered to.
Using the boat for any illegal or illicit activity is not what the super yacht charter is for. The crew will have a zero tolerance to any such attempts of behaviour, thus you should not even consider it. As a head charterer, you should also ensure none of your guests does too. Implications for any such activities can be enormous, from heavy fines to arrest or the yacht being seized, in some locations even a death penalty is not worth the while.
We will be happy to discuss with you any special occasions or parties you wish to have on board. The crew will also be very happy to show their best skills and provide the perfect party for you and your guests. The crew will not be ready to provide a service in the middle of the night however, when you may decide to return on board from a long night out. Bringing guests on board which are not announced or part of the group is also likely to be refused unless cleared with the captain or chief steward. If your party has such high demands however, we can suggest best yachts and best crews for such occasions.
Understand why you should charter a Super Yacht: A modern tourist, has a great choice in terms of luxury holiday options. A fully inclusive 5 or a 7* hotel or resort arrangement, a top private villa, the luxury ocean cruise or the bespoke trip of a lifetime are only some of those. Nothing compares to a super yacht charter however and here are the main reasons as to why:
During a super yacht charter, you decide on your itinerary, not the captain or a travel agent. If you like the location you are in and you feel you want to stay an extra day or just an hour longer, you can do it only on board of a super yacht. 2. Privacy The true luxury is not always the service or the facilities on board. It is the feeling of privacy you can get only on your own super yacht.
There are no limits as to what is possible on board of a super yacht. All arrangements can be discussed and agreed in advance or during the charter, avoiding any surprises. You can dine as long as you wish, choose the perfect al fresco service in any location you desire or request a barebeque on the beach party in that perfect deserted beach of your own.
There is no service, other then a super yacht service. The best, most experienced and most qualified hospitality providers are to be found on board of a yacht. Rest assured, whatever your service requirements, there is a suitable yacht for the occasion.
In the past it was difficult to get a yacht of your choice and in a suitable locations. While there are still more limitations to the choice of yachts, than to the choice of hotels, the likelihood is that nowadays you will find what you are looking for.
When in a resort, your options may be unlimited, yet only on a super yacht can you decide when and how long will you use the Jacuzzi on deck or water ski on your own.
Even the most remote villa is likely to disappoint you in some way. Only on board of your own super yacht can you find that remote and hidden anchorage where no one else will care to venture on the day.
When you choose a hotel or a cruise, you will have booked either an adventure or a relaxation. What if your mood changes in the meantime ? Only on board of your own super yacht can you allow for such scenarios where one day you enjoy a peace and quite while on the other day you wish to go shopping, partying or whizzing on your jet ski through boats anchored in a busy bay.
It is almost impossible to get the right food and service in hotel or even on a cruise. Your private chef and chief hostess on the other hand will know exactly what you wish on any given day and both will be more than capable of satisfying your individual requirements to the finest details.
There is a limit as to what a villa owner or a hotel staff can do for you. On board of a super yacht, the individual requirements of head charterers simply have no limits. As long as you can define your wishes, the crew or ourselves can arrange and execute it.
The price of a super yacht charter can vary from affordable to outright extortionate. Here is a brief guide as to what you need to know about the fees, APA expenses and other costs when planning a super yacht charter:
Each boat has its advertised price. This can be the same throughout the year or it can be subdivided in high season or low season, and in some cases even to off season or special rates. The advertised rate can also at times be negotiated, especially if the charter is to run more than 7 days or if it is in the lower season bracket. It is important to know that the charter fee usually includes;
In most cases, the clients pay charter fee in advance and APA expenses together with balance payment. APA expenses stands for ADVANCED PROVISIONING ALLOWANCE. The APA are usually set between 20-35% of the charter fee. Thus, if you charter a yacht which costs 100.000 Eur / week, you would pay:
There are two major charter agreements use in super yacht charter or any luxury crewed charter. These are usually known as the Mediterranean terms and the Caribbean terms. Under Mediterranean Yacht Brokers Association (MYBA) charter contracts, which are at the same time, although arguably the most common, the clients ares charged for all extras. This is paid under APA expenses as explained above and such extras are for food and beverage (crew food and drinks are paid for by the owner usually), fuel, dockage and harbor fees, and miscellaneous expenses. As stated under APA expenses, these are set anywhere between 20-35% (usually) or even higher ie. Up to 50% of your charter cost, in case there are deliveries, longer itinerary or expensive drinks consumed. On the other hand, Standard Caribbean Terms as the Caribbean Terms Inclusive are usually called, luxury breakfast buffet, gourmet lunch and dinner as well as fuel for up to 4 (four) hours of cruising per day are included. Most yachts will also include soft drinks and house wine served during meals. All alcoholic and in particular expensive drinks such as wines, champagne etc, are always an extra expense and use of facilities such as communication like faxes, internet, satellite phones and local tourist or national park taxes etc, are also charged as an extra.
We will always provide an estimate as to what expenses you can expect during the charter and agree APA expenses or in terms of Caribbean charter an assumed budget for all your costs. We can also negotiate on your behalf and request from owners and captains to include some of the obvious expenses in the charter fee ie. First night at home port or delivery to the closest airport for pick up. As your charter agent, we will be on your side but will also advise where any unsuitable requests are made or expected.
This issue is or can be the most complicated cost. Some crews will expect to be given tips, most others won’t. In any case, the crew tips are NOT OBLIGATORY although they will be expected in most cases. For that reason, we will always advise that you budget at least 5% of the charter fee ie. 2.500 Eur if your charter fee is 50.000 Eur, for crew tips. This is the minimum we would recommend, although the going rate for satisfied client is rather 10%. In some cases, you may wish to leave even 15% or 20%. On the scale of satisfaction, we would recommend 5% for charters where you have been satisfied, 10% where everything worked out as expected. 15% where you have really been surprised and enchanted by the level of service and 20% if the crew was exceptional, it made your charter the most successful holiday in life or if you really feel like it. We would not recommend a scenario where no tips are provided, even though you may only have been satisfied with crew service or if some things have gone wrong. This is because the crew on some yachts do not have big salaries and they only work for a few months a year. Tips are therefore an extra but a required income.
Cost of charter can at times double or even triple during certain events. The most common ones are Monaco Grand Prix, Cannes Film Festival and Dubai Grand Prix. Securing a berth in Port Hercules during Monaco Grand Prix or in St Tropez during August (here mainly due to corruption), will inevitable increase your charter costs. We will therefore advise if your charter falls during a special event or if there are any other aspects of the charter that will increase your costs considerably.
When it comes to securing your desired super yacht charter, various contracts can be used. In most cases these will be approved by a major yachting association such as MYBA. In some cases, alternative contracts will be used and this will mainly depend on the location where you wish to charter and in some cases on the yacht itself. In any case, we will provide relevant details on time.
Here are general information you need to know about such contracts.
MYBA association contracts are created by professional maritime lawyers and designed to protect all parties, including the charterer, the owner as well as the agents equally. Under the MYBA contract written and endorsed by this professional maritime organisation, the basic charter fee includes the yacht and all its equipment and facilities on board. This also includes crew wages and their food and drinks provisions as well as yacht insurance and crew insurance. If you charter a yacht under the MYBA CONTRACT terms, you can expect to be responsible for all other expenses. It is worth noting that such expenses are to the benefit of the charterer and no commissions or mark-ups by the owner or the crew will be added. Those expenses are well described under APA Expenses and will usually include all food and beverages for the charter guests, fuel for the yacht, jet ski’s and tenders, mooring fees, use of communication facilities, guest laundry, dockage and shore-side electricity and crew tips (not obligatory). These terms used to be called Western Mediterranean Terms (WMT). Apart from being used in most cases, they are also most popular because the contract allows an a la carte approach to services without mark-ups. This concept mainly came into being, due to clients themselves who preferred to eat ashore in the Mediterranean and wanted to avoid paying for unused food and beverages on board and which they would pay for as part of the ‘’increased charter fee’’. These MYBA terms have proven to be fair to both the charterer and the yacht over the years. As a result, most large charter yachts operate on MYBA terms and we also recommend these in most cases.
Standard Caribbean Terms (SCT) are best described as all-inclusive terms. SCT terms include luxury buffet breakfast, gourmet lunch and dinner and most of the time fuel for up to four hours of cruising a day. In most cases, soft drinks served during meals are also included, but this may not be the case on all yachts so please do check or ask before committing. These SCT terms are common in the Caribbean aboard sailing charter yachts but larger and most if not all motor yachts, often remain with MYBA terms simply because four hour cruising on a large motor yacht can cost a lot in fuel fees and these costs cannot be fairly included in the charter fee.
Eastern Mediterranean Terms (EMT) contracts are still sometimes used, and these are the same as SCT terms, apart from dinner being excluded from the offer. This is because in Greece where the terms originate, the guests usually prefer to dine ashore in the evenings.
Thousands of yachts have already been chartered by clients who used one of the contracts as explained above. However, if this would be your first charter, as with any contract, it’s only a common sense for everyone to read it carefully and assure themselves about the validity of all terms. If necessary we can provide advice or replies to any queries you may have, yet it is wiser to have your legal advisor review the contract. You do need to be aware however that any changes to the contract are usually refused. In such cases, additional ADDENDUM to the contract is drawn up and specifics of your requests are approved in advance and counter signed by all parties. We would be able to both advise as well as draw up such an addendum on your behalf.
Your super yacht charter is usually confirmed by a faxed or scanned copy of the contract which is signed by all parties. Once the deposit payment is received, original contracts (3 or 4 or 5 copies) are drawn up and posted to everyone for signature. A few weeks after you have booked your super yacht charter and paid the deposit, you can therefore expect a package from us with a relevant number of copies which you will need to sign and forward back by FEDEX/UPS/DHL in case of any urgency.
We as your charter agents, but even more so the charter crews have an obligation for being discreet and highly protective about you as a charter client. If necessary, depending on who you are and your requirements about privacy, a non-disclosure agreement can also be drafted. Whether you’re a celebrity who wants to avoid the paparazzi or a corporate executive carrying insider documents, such an agreement will serve to emphasise your need for privacy and will be prioritised even before any charter is agreed, in fact immediately at the first point of contact.
One of the most important aspects of any super yacht charter is the crew on board and new members you may require during your charter:
Super yachts come in all sizes and as a result, the numbers of crew on board will vary considerably from yacht to yacht. At the lower end, small yachts usually operate only with a captain and a hostess or a chef, who also doubles as a deckhand (mainly due to legal reasons). At the other end of the scale, largest super yachts have crews as large as forty or even fifty members. Most of the time the crew numbers vary from 4 and around 15, and this usually includes a captain, chef, chief stewardess, an engineer or a deckhand and/or a hostess. It is important to know that while all crew are usually trained to highest industry standards and have interchangeable roles or individual responsibilities, the crew will fall into five basic categories. All guests on board or at least the head charterer will preferably be versed into these roles so they understand as well as appreciate what each of them can and (and cannot) do during your charter.
The usual, most important contact of any charter client on a super yacht is with the captain. His word on board is your maritime law you should follow in any case. The captain will decide on the final itinerary even though you may have requested different route, simply because he carries the overall responsibility. The final decision of the captain, if it is against your wishes as the client, is simply because he has to ensure the safety of the yacht as well as all guests and all crew on board. This does not mean that you as the charter guest do not have any rights. In fact, you are encouraged and requested to state or list your requirements and preferences on time, so that the captain can make them a reality or at least consider them at every possible occasion. In real life, you should indeed expect from the captains to do everything in their power (without risking yacht or crew or you as a guest) to fulfil all of our wishes. If the captains do not want or cannot respond to your wishes, you should obviously expect an explanation. We as your charter agent can also act to avoid any misunderstandings. Overall, managing the relationship with the captain is in your interest. A briefing in the morning, during the day and in the evening, either in form of a short conversation or a more formal discussion or even a presentation is encouraged.
Many will argue that captains should be left to do their job and you as a guest should concentrate on enjoying your super yacht charter. Being on board of a super yacht where the chef specialises in cooking a specific cuisine you do not like or prefer is not a good option. In that case, the chef is usually the most important individual on board and in any case you should try and create a special bond with him or her. Some guests will prefer not to have a direct relationship with the chef for their own private reasons. Given that scenario, chief stewardess or a hostess you get on well is the person you will liaise most of the time. Before you book any boats, you should make certain the chef on board does know how to cook food you prefer. Even if you did not discuss your menu requirements with us, when on board, you should ask to see sample menus from past charters to make sure your tastes are compatible. Again, a briefing or a more formal discussion once or twice a day is recommended and you should or could take either interest in it or at least try to get informed. As all charter guests are usually different, chefs on board of super yachts are both highly experienced as well as one of the best qualified food masters in the industry. They are therefore very flexible and can provide both a luxury six-course gourmet dinner or a basic beach barbecue and canapés for deck parties. They are also used to work long hours and will be happy to react to most if not all of your reasonable wishes (if off shore and you did not request a water melon for your fruit salad, you should understand that it simply is not on board).
Deck crew are usually the ones you will use most either on larger super yachts, and especially on smaller boats. They include everyone from deck hands who will simply assist the captain to the First Officer who is his replacement. Some of the deck crew can therefore plan your itinerary with the captain, provide weather forecast, organise your rendez-vous diving, or simply clear the lines and prepare water sports and tender equipment for your fun time on the water. Depending on the super yacht you choose, the line of communication with the captain (when he is not in your vicinity) is usually cleared through deck crew. All aspects of your time spent on board are always best communicated through chief stewardess, yet in some cases individual deck crew members will replace her or him in this task. You should use deck crew as much as you can, as they are there to help you move around the boat and find your way at any time and in every situation.
This crew usually includes chief stewardess, a hostess and assistant stewardesses. In general, they take care of the service during and between meals, and take care of your cabins after the sleep. They will do such complex things as order your favourite champagne, wine or locally sourced speciality or arrange luxury limousine or a helicopter (chief stewardess) or such mundane issues such as refresh your cabin and clean the living areas as well as serve any type of a drink or food you consume on board. If you have any special requests, such as extra towels or pillows, a favorite sparkling water in the refrigerator, or even a wake-up call, the chief stew (as they are called) is the one to inform.
They are the people you will have the least direct contact with. And that is good so. They ensure the engines and all on board systems run smoothly, so if something does go wrong it is them who will sort it out, yet your communication will probably be limited to speaking with chief stewardess or the first officer. On smaller boats engineer jobs will usually be covered by the captain.
Finally, apart from providing highly personalised customer service which without your specific request will go above and beyond the usual, we will only be asking all the right questions about what kind of yacht charter experience you envision, and unobtrusively going over every detail from menus to shore excursions to make your exclusive private sailing holiday the trip of your lifetime. Whether it’s an adventurous family vacation to one of the Mediterranean medieval cities, an exotic sailing holiday of a lifetime in Pacific or an exclusive romantic getaway to the Caribbean islands, your personal super yacht charter agent will understand the important details of your planning regardless if it is the reduced cost, ultimate experience or best alternative.
Overseeing your charter at all times, professional yacht managers with more than 12 years of experience working in the world of chartered luxury yachts, we will ensure that your private yacht charter will be an amazing and unforgettable experience. Contact us now at email@example.com for your bespoke and fully customised yacht charter quote.
Sandy and Doug chartered a luxury ASTONDOA 105, a 31.5m super yacht in South of France. A meticulously planned charter went exceptionaly well and we even arranged for a JET SKI instructor to come on board so the clients could get their Jet Ski licences.
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