Superyacht charter: Choosing the right superyacht for your trip
Written by Sarah Rowland
Last updated: 13/07/2016
Just like choosing a holiday, finding the perfect charter can often be a sizeable task with an overwhelming choice of vessels on offer. With this in mind, Yachting Pages offers first-time charter guests invaluable advice on the ways to choose the best charter yacht for their next trip.
Points to consider when chartering a superyacht
Whether it is your first charter, or you are a seasoned professional, choosing your charter yacht doesn’t have to be difficult; simply choose your vessel like you would a hotel, apartment or villa rental, with consideration given to its size, style and location against your allocated budget.
Commissioning the help of any established yacht charter broker will be invaluable to finding the ideal vessel for your requirements, but below are some basic points to consider before approaching your broker, helping to speed the process up.
First and foremost, set a realistic budget for your charter. This should take into account any additional fueling and berthing costs, and the price of your flights, or travel to your yacht wherever it may be based. Having this budget will cut down the number of yachts on offer to you, making your choice easier.
It’s worth remembering here that the cheapest yacht may not necessarily be insufficient to your needs, or the most expensive option superior. For example, a larger, older boat may be the same price as a newer, smaller boat because of their respective ages, condition and on-board facilities. You do not necessarily have to blow your budget to find everything that you may need.
Yacht size - is bigger always better?
The larger the yacht, the larger the size of the bedrooms, bathrooms, saloon and exterior deck space, but, it’s worth remembering that, a four-cabin yacht that is 24m long is very different in interior size to a four-cabin yacht that is 34m long, although this is often subjective to the age and style of the boat.
Decisions of size will, of course, depend on the amount of guests you are catering for, as well as the purpose of your intended charter in terms of amenities.
Yacht and charter style
Regardless of its size, a charter yacht cannot always offer every amenity that you may wish for. Choose your charter yacht on your preference of its amenities and your lifestyle requirements.
Sailing vs. motor yacht charter
A luxury sailing yacht allows guests to feel the sea breeze in a way that a motor yacht will not. Guests on a sailing yacht can watch the towering sails, all the while enjoying the luxury amenities expected aboard any luxury superyacht.
Sailing yachts facilitate a unique kind of charter, as if not chartered for their authentic sailing experience and grace, they can also be chartered to enter into one of many regattas hosted around the world, allowing guests to enjoy racing and the many social activities that come with the lifestyle.
On the other hand, a motor yacht charter will offer exclusivity, privacy and a head-turning entrance to any port or marina. With life aboard akin to that of a five-star boutique hotel, these yachts offer optimum security, plus stability and comfort in rougher sea conditions. They also allow for faster travel across large distances, allowing guests to fall asleep while cruising one area and to wake up in a new destination.
A motor yacht is ideal for large group or family charters, parties and corporate events with a wealth of impressive amenities often found on board, depending on the size of yacht chartered.
Sedentary vs. adventure charter
While a sailing or motor yacht may allow for a more sedentary trip (if not being raced), expedition and explorer yachts allow for charter to faraway places that require a combination of seaworthiness and toughness, including the frozen scenery of Alaska or the deserted atolls of the Pacific.
Powerful and tough on the outside, these rugged superyachts allow for safe and efficient travel while guests enjoy the same opulent and refined interiors and on deck amenities expected of such a grand vessel. They allow for long-range cruising, plus there is often more room aboard for larger cabins, and more tenders and toys.
A family-friendly charter
When children are expected aboard your charter, you will need to consider finding a yacht that has safety rails around stairways and swimming pools, and the allocation of smaller or adjoining cabin(s) to allow for easy parenting. There are also yachts that offer the capability to remove breakable objects pre-boarding to avoid costly accidents.
A group or couples charter
On the other hand, a group charter with friends and/or couples may require some consideration towards the separation between cabin bulkheads (walls) to allow for sleep during noisy chatter, snoring or late night television viewing.
A charter with disabled-access
Charters can also be readily arranged to cater to those with disabilities, with yachts with elevators between decks (great for those who don’t want to take the stairs, also!), wide passageways for wheelchairs and walkers, and crews trained to deal with special needs and requests.
Space for parties
Impressive superyachts make for impressive party spaces. If you are considering holding a party or entertaining on board, you may want to consider the inclusion and size of the on-board amenities, including a swimming pool or two, hot tub or Jacuzzi, al fresco dining and seating capabilities, and overall deck or interior space.
Facilities for relaxation
Similarly, if your charter is intended for total rest and relaxation with the family, you may want to consider the range of on-board tenders and toys to facilitate on-demand watersports and shore pursuits, plus the inclusion of first-class catering and an unrivalled crew with knowledge of the charter destination(s). If you wish to work off your over indulgence, a state-of-the-art gym might also be a good idea.
Where are you hoping to explore? Once you have decided on your yacht preference and charter destination(s), your arrival and departure dates, and the duration of your trip, the rest should simply fall into place. Our seasonal yacht charter destinations guide sets out popular cruising destinations throughout the seasons.
Armed with this knowledge, we hope that reserving your charter yacht will be a simpler task. But, above all else, it will be your yacht’s crew who really bring the whole experience together.
Your charter broker should know a little about the crew aboard each charter yacht, so be sure to lay down your preferences and requirements for a happy charter trip.
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