How to Book an Amazing Yacht Vacation

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Does a yacht vacation sound like something you need round about now? If you’re among the unusually high percentage of Americans suffering from stress at the moment, you’re probably right. 

There are a few factors that can help alleviate stress, vacations are one of them and proximity to water is another. So, why not enjoy them both?

Whether you choose a yacht vacation to Greece, or something a little closer to home, getting out on the water under sail is bound to do the trick.

Here’s how to find the best yacht vacation rentals for your needs.

Decide Where You Want to Go

You’ll find yacht charters available wherever there’s a large body of water to explore, both inland and offshore.

If you’re heading out to sea, remote destinations, like the Galápagos Islands, always cost more.

You should also pay attention to seasonal variations in price. Mediterranean charter yacht vacations cost more during the busy summer season, and places with a short season, like Alaska, are more expensive too.  

There’s a high demand for charters during summer, so you might not get the vacation you want either. 

Choose The Type of Yacht You Want

There’s no universal consensus on the definition of a yacht. Huge luxury vessels easily comply with common ideas of what a yacht is. Smaller ones are a little harder to define. 

Some people say that 33 feet is the minimum length for a yacht, while others place the lower limit at 78 feet. 

Generally, the term ‘yacht’ implies a boat where people can spend a significant amount of time in comfort. Even the Encyclopedia Britannica offers various descriptions of the word.

So, while searching for a vessel to transport you on your dream vacation, it’s best to get in touch with a charter company in the area and see what they have to offer.

There are four main types of charter yachts. These are:

  • Mega-yachts
  • Motor yachts
  • Sailing yachts
  • Catamarans 

You’ll find a huge variety of cabin sizes, capacities, and onboard facilities in each class. What’s more, you’ll also come across different options for your charter.

These include:

Bareboat Yacht Charter

This is the equivalent of a self-catering vacation. Your bareboat charter company provides the boat and necessities for sailing. You do everything else yourself. 

It’s an affordable option and there’s no crew involved, so you can enjoy intimate privacy while you sail.

Skippered Yacht Charter

These charters come with a skipper, but no other crew. They’re ideal for those with no sailing experience who don’t feel confident enough to go it alone.

Crewed Charters and Cabin Charters

Crewed charters provide everything you need for your trip. You don’t need to lift a finger throughout the experience, and your fare includes catering.

Cabin charters offer the same luxuries, except you don’t rent the whole boat. They’re like a mini-cruise, where you only book and pay for one cabin on a group charter.  

Consider Activities for Your Yacht Vacation

You can only sit around lapping up the rays for so long. So, always consider options for entertainment during your yacht vacation. 

Does the boat come with any water toys? These include things like jet skis, scuba gear, snorkeling equipment, or fishing gear. Some yachts offer extravagances like sea pools and slides coming off the top of the boat. 

On a bareboat charter, you can bring your own toys, or hire what you need before you leave. 

Compare Prices of Yacht Charter Vacations

Private yacht vacations are expensive, and they’re not all created equal. Just because you’re splurging on your vacation, doesn’t mean you must pay more.

While you’re looking at the prices, make sure you’re comparing apples to apples. Yacht cruises can cost anything from $25,000 to over $1 million for a five-day cruise. 

A more expensive yacht isn’t necessarily better than its cheaper counterpart, but it might have some handy extras that help you save money overall.

Find out if there are any extras included that you don’t need or want and if you can take these off the price. There’s no point paying for things you don’t need. 

There are two main types of yacht charters. These are:

All-Inclusive Charters

You pay a set rate for these trips. Food, fuel, sports equipment, and beverages are all included in the price.

Charters With Separated Charges

These charters charge a base price for the boat and crew. You pay everything else through an Advance Provisioning Allowance (APA). 

You book these and pay for them in advance. If you don’t go overboard, the APA is usually about 30% of the yachts rate. 

Take Extra Expenses Into Account

Look carefully at the charter agreement to see what’s not included. You usually have to pay your own docking fees, so find out what these are if you want to stop off at any ports.

In addition to docking fees, you’ll need to pay insurance as well as taxes and if you’re traveling to foreign lands, you’ll need a passport and perhaps a visa too.

If you’re going to spend time onshore, be sure to plan for the cost of meals and excursions. 

Fuel isn’t always included in the charter costs, either. One last thing to keep in mind is a gratuity for the crew. As a general rule, you should pay between 15 and 20% of the base fee for gratuities. 

Plan Your Getaway

It’s no accident that traveling by yacht is usually associated with the rich and famous. Yet, there are affordable ways to enjoy a yacht vacation if you exclude all the bells and whistles.

Regardless of how much you pay for your oceangoing adventure, you’ll experience the same outcome. The freedom of the open water, utter relaxation, and truly stress-free experiences don’t cost a thing. 


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