Luxury yacht charter is simpler than you may think, and is an experience like no other. So it’s understandable that even the most well-traveled guests may not know the ins and outs of this exclusive and one-of-a-kind experience—it will be the time of your life. To that end, here is a resource of insider knowledge, listing the ten things you should know before you climb aboard your yacht charter, before you book your yacht charter, and indeed even before you make your first enquiry into chartering a yacht. So without further ado:
You may find yourself saying, “I don’t even know how to charter a yacht.” There’s your first mistake. You don’t have to know anything about it to do it, provided you’re willing to trust in the knowledge of the yacht charter brokers at Merle Wood & Associates. Understand that when you walk through that door you don’t need to know anything about the kinds of yachts available or even where they go. You just need to be able to answer a few simple questions about your personal preferences for vacations, and the likes and dislikes of those in your charter party.
The answer, at least at Merle Wood & Associates, is that a yacht charter broker turns dreams into reality. Your yacht broker will research the best yachts available, propose bespoke itineraries, negotiate the best rate, and cover all the details of booking your yacht charter holiday. Even if your family and the friends you want to bring along have diverse interests, there’s a charter out there that will let you each pursue your own desires while still spending time together in some of the most beautiful settings in the world. Crewed yacht charter was basically invented with the idea of keeping people happy, feeling safe, and enjoying themselves.
Now that you’re curious, you may be asking, “How much does it cost to charter a yacht?” The answer is, you won’t ever know until you call a yacht charter broker. Ask for everything you want, get a sense of your budget, and be upfront about details and expectations. Maybe you won’t think the experience is right for you, but it doesn’t make sense to base that assumption on some unfounded ideas about yacht charter costs without exploring the options. Some things you should know: beyond the charter rate, there are additional expenses including food & beverage, fuel, dockage, and taxes. All will be spelled out in advance. Then there is the matter of crew gratuity, where the industry standard is 10 to 20 percent of the charter fee, paid to the captain for distribution among the crew.
When you come aboard, you’re just like a guest in someone’s home. Sure it’s a yacht, and it has a crew to help tidy up after you (more on that in a moment), but the yacht owner expects a certain level of respect for the yacht (more on that, too). The crew is there for you to make sure everyone has a safe, fun, and relaxing time, and for the yacht, to make sure that she performs her duties. If you have questions about what you should or should not do, the crew can answer them. A luxury yacht charter is a guided vacation. Put yourself in the crew’s hands and have an unforgettable time.
Here’s a good rule of thumb: If you wouldn’t want guests doing something in your home, chances are it’s an activity not to do on a crewed charter yacht. Such things may include smoking and assuming someone will care for your young children (unless expressly included in the charter agreement prior to the beginning of the charter), bringing drugs or firearms aboard (never okay), and entering the crew areas on the yacht, or mistreating the crew.
And about your shoes—you won’t need them on board, except if you charter a yacht for an Alaskan summer cruise up the inside passage. In fact, some of the most sumptuous surfaces await your feet, from the sun-warmed teak decks to the beautiful soft carpets, cool tile, and, yes, even smooth stone flooring surfaces. Your feet will be happy while your shoes go in the basket to be brought aboard. Embrace the barefoot life—you’re on a luxury yacht charter.
A crewed yacht charter means you are accompanied by crew –people who take pride in their work. They will make up your staterooms, serve meals and clean up after you; prepare your water toys, suggest sightseeing jaunts, and far more. Allow them to do their job, so you can relax and have a wonderful time. But here’s a secret: perhaps it’s the romance of working on a yacht, but charter crews attract some of the best people in the world to the job. They are experts in caring for guests, creative people who anticipate your every need and ensure the experience is complete, from start to finish. These are not the cabana boys and housekeepers of landbound resorts. From different themes each day, to local specialty cocktails (and special kid-friendly options), you are in the hands of resourceful people with the training and problem-solving skills to make a magical experience for you and your guests.
Tell your charter broker early on about any special dietary needs and preferences. If you think there’s a chance that one of your teenagers may turn into a vegan (even if it’s just for the week), tell anyone you can as soon as possible (preferably before you board the yacht). It will be managed, provided they have the information, and your luxury charter yacht holiday will be all the better.
Don’t expect to be bored by the food when you board. Foodies know a secret: good eats make everything better. Crewed charter yachts often secure the talents of some of the best chefs cooking today. Charter yacht owners who want you to book with them for your luxury yacht charter know that you probably like to eat well (because they do, too), so don’t be surprised if you’re amazed by what’s on your plate at every meal.
Last but not least, don’t keep anything to yourself. If there’s a problem or issue, or you feel something on your luxury yacht charter is not as you were led to believe it would be, by all means share that sentiment with the captain. He can’t make it right if he doesn’t know about the problem. And the charter brokers at Merle Wood & Associates will only point you to charters where the attitude is in line with you having the time of your life.
For more information about luxury yacht charter or for expert knowledge from a qualified yacht charter broker, simply contact the luxury yacht brokerage firm of Merle Wood & Associates for assistance.