If you’re looking for a private getaway, some one-on-one time with your significant other, or the perfect way to throw a party, a chartered yacht provides you with a perfect way to set sail in style. The fantasy of setting sail for parts unknown is glamorous and exciting, but the details that go into your voyage definitely aren’t the stuff of fantasy. If you’re looking to charter a private yacht for the first time, you’ve got plenty to be excited about. But before getting carried away, spend a few minutes getting your facts in order. From destinations to dining to choosing your captain and crew, here are a few basic details to think about before setting sail.
1. Not All Charter Brokers are Created Equal
Whether you’re using a prestigious line like Luxury Yacht Charters or hiring someone based on a recommendation, knowing about the different types of charter brokers out there will help you get the most out of your trip. Your charter broker will help curate everything from your vessel to your crew to your cuisine choice while onboard, so you’ll want to make sure you choose someone you absolutely trust. Before deciding on a broker, make sure you’ve done some background research. You’ll want someone who’s been in the business for a while and has an expert knowledge of yachts and charting. Brokers who served in the navy or worked as travel agents often make an excellent choice. You’ll also want someone who is accredited through association with CYBA, AYCA, MYBA, or another respected accreditation association.
2. Bookings Fill Up Early
When planning your trip, think of it like a wedding or an overseas flight. You don’t want to wait until the last minute to put down your deposit on a boat, especially not if you’re choosing to go during the busy summer season. If you’re planning on setting sale anytime between June and August, book early in the year to make sure you’ll have your pick of the best boats. You’ll also be able to spend more time planning out the details of your trip and communicating with your charter broker to make sure everything’s in line with your expectations.
3. Off-Season Cruises Offer More Bang for Your Buck
While most travelers love chartering a yacht in warmer weather, it’s not always necessary to plan your getaway during peak summer months to have an excellent time. Depending on where you’re headed, you can save big by choosing an unconventional time to travel, such as later in the year or at the very tail end of summer. The weather will still be beautiful, and you’ll have less competition for the best boats and crews. If you want your crew to be in really top-notch form, choose an earlier month like May or June to take your vacation. You’ll be getting your crew right at the start of the season. They’ll be fresh and ready to take you on the adventure of a lifetime.
4. Choosing Your Crew Wisely Will Enhance Your Experience
When planning your vacation, your choice of destination, company, and craft might be foremost on your mind. But don’t underestimate how crucial the choice of a crew can be to creating a memorable, hassle-free trip. While en route to your destination, you’ll be assisted by a number of trained professionals who are ready to take on everything from cooking and cleaning to childcare. Make sure you communicate with your charter broker about what you want in a crew. If you’re looking for a more casual experience, with crew members present during the entire voyage, let your broker know that, lest you end up with a more formal experience that you’d like. Don’t be shy about detailing exactly what you want to your broker. Remember, you’ll be traveling with your crew for any number of weeks, and you’ll want the atmosphere on board to be to your liking.
5. Additional Costs May Come Up
As with any luxury vacation, you’re likely to end up spending more than you planned during the course of your trip. As long as you know what you’re paying for, this shouldn’t create an issue. If you’re clear with your charter broker about what you’re willing to spend, they should, in turn, be upfront with you about any additional costs that might be incurred, such as the BVI cruising tax, Value Added Tax in International waters, and the basic costs of gas and fueling. Your charter broker should be able to break these costs down for you so you can stay on top of costs throughout your trip. In terms of trip etiquette, you’re also expected to tip your crew around 10 to 15 percent of what you paid for the full charter, so be sure to factor that in before the end of your voyage.