Q

QUESTION:

We are a same sex couple travelling next summer and want to know what is legal/illegal with regards to chartering a yacht and which countries are best to avoid.

ANSWER:

Editorial Team

When deciding to charter a yacht, while it is not absolutely necessary, if it will make you feel more comfortable, tell your broker at the outset that you are in a same sex relationship and that you and your partner will be chartering the yacht together.

It will be down to the individual owner of the yacht to decide if he is not happy with you as a client, but by all accounts this would be very rare.

It is also important for you to research the potential destinations that you wish to travel to, since you will be going on land during your trip at some point. Some countries of the world resolutely do not recognise same sex relationships as 'legal' and have laws in place that would ensure you would be charged with a criminal offence.

It is best to stay around the coasts of the USA, Carribean and the Mediterranean, where laws are more relaxed and accepting but since countries are changing their laws all the time, it is best to do the research yourself before travel.

The only legal restrictions you will have onboard a superyacht during a charter are those imposed by the international maritime regulations and the legal frameworks of the countries the superyacht you charter goes to during your stay onboard.

Nothing that is legal is an issue onboard a private charter yacht. Everything that is illegal would be, and evidenced unlawful behaviour will lead a Captain to disembark the guilty guests without warning. But it would seem rather far-fetched for anyone to try and prove the presence onboard of a same sex couple when cruising in the national waters of a country that forbids same sex couples in order to get them jailed.

The widest majority of standard charter cruising grounds happen to be in countries that do not object to same sex couples.

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