Choosing the right charter yacht. 4 things to know before you book
Booking a charter yacht promises an unforgettable vacation experience, allowing you to explore picturesque coastlines and indulge in luxury while sailing the open waters. However, before you embark on your maritime adventure, it’s crucial to consider a few key factors to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey. This article will outline four essential things you should know before booking a charter yacht, helping you make informed decisions and create lasting memories.
Matching with the right crew
When shopping for a charter yacht, it is of high importance to read the crew bio’s and make sure its the right match for your group. The crew assigned to a particular yacht is permanent and cannot be replaced with other crew. Meaning, if you are interested in a certain boat but the crew doesn’t match your needs, you will not have the option to change the crew. Yachts and crew go hand in hand.
If your charter group is young and energetic, it would make sense to find a crew that has those two things in common. Otherwise, your charter may not meet your full expectations. You can read more about the importance of choosing crew here:
how many cabins do i need?
On average, a charter yacht can accommodate 8 guests while some can hold up to 12. Typically, the larger the yacht, the more cabins will be available. Each cabin will comfortably sleep 2 guests and will be equipped with a private ensuite. All guests will have a private bathroom.
A charter yacht can only accommodate 2 guests per cabin for the whole boat. Meaning, if the yacht has 5 cabins, the maximum guest count onboard is 10. An exception may be made for babies and infants sleeping in cribs.
Your charter crew will have cabins of their own and those rooms will not be included in the total ‘guest cabin’ count. If a boat lists that is has 5 cabins, all 5 of those cabins will be available to guests only.
where does the yacht cruise
It’s best to decide where you want to charter in the Caribbean first so once you begin shopping, you can narrow your search to only boats in that area. If you are chartering a catamaran, the low speeds of these boats (approx. max speed 10mph) will reduce the amount of ground you can over. This is a large reason why most catamarans are based in the Virgin Islands where the islands are all very close to one another.
The home port of each charter boat tells you a lot of what destinations the boat will cruise in. If the home port is St. Thomas USVI, the cruising grounds will be the USVI and the neighboring BVI. However, if the boats port is BVI, the cruising ground will be BVI only due to customs & immigration laws.
Learn more about Caribbean cruising destinations here.
staying within your budget
Chartering on a budget is possible but first you will need to know what expenses to expect. Keep in mind, charter yachts are completely private so the fees cover the entire boat, all food and beverages and the crew onboard. Most yachts charter at around an average of $30,000 p/wk which seems like a lot of money before you break everything down.
All Inclusive yachts provide 3 full meals a day plus snacks, a fully stocked open bar with all your favorites, professional captain, chef and crew. Also, the charter rate covers fuel for the entire week and cruising permits if applicable.
Additional expenses include airfare, optional excursions onshore and crew gratuity.
For an ideal week in the Caribbean onboard a private charter, it will come out to around $5,000 p/person considering all additional expenses.