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COVID-19: Where Can I Travel from the US for Yacht Charters in 2021?

By Mairead Finlay   5 May 2021

Sun-kissed days lying supine onboard your own private paradise, the salty ocean breeze brushing against your skin: US residents yearning for their next yacht charter needn't wait a moment longer. As vaccination roll-outs are well underway and worldwide travel restrictions are responsibly loosened, combined with the unparalleled level of safety and seclusion these vessels bring, a yacht rental is an ideal summer pick. If you are unsure as to where you can go on yacht charters from the US in 2021, look no further: we've compiled a list of the very best destinations to cruise to.

But keep in mind that you'll need to be quick if you want to book a yacht rental this summer. Worldwide availability is already reduced this season as many planned 2020 charters have been rolled over to 2021 due to the pandemic. 

Note: a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to returning to the US will be necessary for all travelers regardless of destination. 

Where Can US Travelers Charter a Yacht in Europe?

A constellation of idyllic landscapes, the Mediterranean demands to be seen, and a superyacht ensures you'll be marveled on its shimmering shores. Here are the destinations currently open to US travelers for yacht charters: 

Croatia

Aerial helicopter shoot of National park on island Mljet, Dubrovnik archipelago, Croatia. The oldest pine forest in Europe preserved.

Replete with an aquatic tapestry of glittering anchorages across 1244 islands: from the verdant spectaculars of Mljet and Brač to the stark wonder of Kornati, Croatia's coastline is ideal for blissful seclusion.

Golden Horn; sandy beach at Bol on Brac island of Croatia in summertime
Aerial view at famous european travel destination in Croatia, Dubrovnik old town. / Selective focus

As for the country's COVID-19 entry requirements, US yacht charter guests have a few options at their disposal. Travelers must be able to provide either a full vaccination certificate or one that shows a negative PCR test taken no less than 48 hours prior to arrival. A medical certificate showing COVID-19 recovery within the past 11-180 days will also suffice.

Alternatively, you can take a PCR test upon arrival, and self-isolate until you receive your results.

Related: Find Your Perfect Croatian Island on a Luxury Yacht Charter

Greece

Door in Santorini with bougainvillea
Symi Island, Greece - October 07, 2018 : Symi Island harbour view in Greece.Oia, hillside view

Greece's island clusters are practically a utopian ideal — with more than 6,000 garlanding its shores (and only 107 of which inhabited) it is a heavenly choice for sun-drenched solitude this year. Island hop to your heart's content in the achingly pretty quartet of the Cyclades, Dodecanese, Sporades and the Saronic, or head to the Ionian for pine-fragranced splendor on your sundeck.

COVID-19 wise, Greece is open to fully vaccinated US tourists, or to those who have a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours prior to arrival, from the 14 May. All guests will also need to complete an online passenger locator form to enter the country.

Read more: 8 Days Exploring the Greek Islands

Montenegro

A gloriously rugged riviera made up of Venetian piazzas, soaring limestone cliffs and cradled by a butterfly-shaped bay, Montenegro has increasingly seen superyachts slinking into its ultra-luxe marina Porto Montenegro. Lap up its quiet, understated beauty, speckled with coves all along its indented Adriatic coastline.

Beautiful view of Perast town in Kotor bay, Montenegro.

The country welcomes US travelers for yacht charters. To enter, you will need to meet one of the following criteria: be fully vaccinated (with proof of a second jab being taken at least seven days before), have proof of a negative PCR test taken with the last 72 hours prior to arriving, or a positive test for IgG antibodies that is taken within 30 days before departure.

Read more: All You Need to Know About Visiting Porto Montenegro by Charter Yacht

Turkey

Aerial view of blue lagoon and pebble beach in Oludeniz, Fethiye district, Turquoise Coast of southwestern Turkey. Sunny summer day with clear blue sky in Oludeniz.Aerial view of blue lagoon and pebble beach in Oludeniz, Fethiye district, Turquoise Coast of southwestern Turkey. Sunny summer day with clear blue sky in Oludeniz.  Save  Try  Share Facebook Twitter Copy link Email Large • 4750 × 2670 pixels  40.2 × 22.6 cm • 300 DPI • JPEG   Select size / format Select license type   Standard License Included in plan Limited usage in print, advertising, and packaging. Unlimited web distribution.   Enhanced License €99.00 Unlimited usage in print, advertising, packaging, and merchandising. Unlimited web distribution.  What's an enhanced license?  Download Edit this image Royalty-free stock photo ID: 1038719602  Aerial view of blue lagoon and pebble beach in Oludeniz, Fethiye district, Turquoise Coast of southwestern Turkey. Sunny summer day with clear blue sky in Oludeniz.

Peppered with sedate, satin-soft beaches hugged by dreamy pools of turquoise, Turkey's Turkish Riviera is an evergreen superyacht charter choice. Come for ancient wonders of the world etched into tumbling cliffs, sarcophagi sunken into the depths of the sea, and to meander the bougainvillea-lined, sugar-cubed villages of Fethiye, Marmaris, or Bodrum, For magic and mystery which eludes the crowds, opt for a yacht rental here.

For US travelers keen to explore Turkey's ample cruising grounds, all you need is proof of a negative PCR test result taken 72 hours or less before the flight. You will also need to fill out a passenger form. 

Related: 5 Secret Islands to Discover on a Turkey Yacht Charter

Where Can US Travelers Charter a Yacht in the South Pacific?

The South Pacific woos yacht charters with its blindingly white beaches, lagoons a shade of unfathomable blue, and indescribably romantic ambiance. Check out the best areas to visit this upcoming season:

French Polynesia

Lizard in palm tree Fiji
Fiji island beach

Now's the time to relish this South Pacific region's remote location on a yacht, where there are over 118 volcanic islands stretching more than 2 million square miles to take your pick from. For unadulterated intrigue and celestial calm amid sumptuous retreats, be sure to put Fiji and Tahiti on the top of your must-see list.

Each destination has its own set of COVID-19 reasonable rules to abide by. Yacht charter guests in Fiji need to provide negative PCR test results within 72 hours of departure which should be presented prior to boarding. Vaccinated guests can also travel, but you must present proof of your CDC card. There are certain restrictions pertaining to the vaccine you receive. Those who received the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine can travel from the day of the second shot, but those receiving the Johnson and Johnson shot need to wait 14 days. US tourists who can show a positive serological test for COVID-19 antibodies are also permitted to visit. 

Underwater Scene With Reef And Tropical Fish. Snorkeling in the tropical sea

Yacht charter guests are exempt from the mandatory hotel quarantine in Fiji but must complete it onboard the vessel for 10 days. All guests must complete the ETIS form online before arrival.

In Tahiti, vaccinated travelers who have been in the US for more than 30 days do not need to quarantine but will need to provide a negative PCR test three days before departure and take an antigen test. An additional PCR test four days after arrival is also required.

Read more: How to Choose a South Pacific Island for Your Luxury Yacht Charter

Where Can US Travelers Charter a Yacht in the Caribbean and South America?

The multitude of startlingly pretty anchorages in the Caribbean and South America ensures a long-standing devotion among yacht charterers. Here are the destinations currently open to US travelers:

The Bahamas

Swimming pigs in the Bahamas
Bahamas diving
Bahamas beach in Exumas

Promising tropical perfection, dotted with beaches and bays that make your heart sing, the Bahamas is a perennial jetsetters favorite. Teeming as it is with isolated cays and islets, the destination is a superb option for this summer when tranquil oasis' are the most-coveted vacations going. For flora and fauna that's simply sensational, head to The Exumas for its famed swimming pigs and resident nurse sharks, delve through shimmering fronds of coral and angelfish in The Abacos, or meander barefoot along Harbor Island's flamingo-pink sands spotting dolphin pods.

US visitors to the Bahamas in 2021 who are fully vaccinated are exempt from testing, but evidence of inoculation must be uploaded online when applying for the Travel Health Visa, which all guests need to enter. If you are not vaccinated, you will need to have a negative PCR test that is no less than 5 days old before departure. Then you will need to apply for the visa and complete a daily health questionnaire. 

Related: The Top 14 Most Instagrammable Places in the Bahamas

The Galápagos

Galapagos Sea Lion

The Galápagos archipelago is home to more giant tortoises than people: only four of its main islands are populated. If avoiding the hoards is your main priority, what could be better cruising grounds than a location where plump sea lions, curious iguanas and blue-footed boobies are your only companions? It's one of the safest places you could possibly be.

US visitors considering this destination found off the Ecuador coast will need to provide a negative PCR test, plus a safe-conduct letter provided by your operator. Proof of travel insurance is also necessary.

Where Can Americans Charter a Yacht in the US?

You may be considering a staycation yacht charter this summer for convenience sake — but it's likely to be more difficult you might have first thought. There are some important aspects to consider beforehand: precious few yachts are available to charter in the US, meaning your choice is limited. The main reasons for this are largely down to registration and crew-related legal issues. 

Any vessel not built in the US  that hasn't paid customs duty cannot be chartered to US citizens in American waters. The same applies to US-built yachts that have been exported and are now foreign-flagged.

Mountains in Alaska
Fall colours in Franconia Notch State Park | White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire, USA
Sunset at Naples Beach Florida

Alaska

A glacial final-frontier wilderness, Alaska is where the intrepid traveler yearns to be. You'll need to submit a negative PCR test and fill out a Travel Declaration Form to enter.

Florida Keys

Boasting a year-round enviable climate, fabulous beaches and fiery sunsets, visitors to Florida do not need to undergo any pre-requisite testing.

New England

A vast, verdant melange of twinkling cities and scenery fizzing with green, New England is a treat to visit. There are currently quarantine restrictions in place, but it is expected that these will be reduced in the summer months.

Advice on US Yacht Charters in 2021

If you would like to book a yacht charter from the US this summer, we strongly recommend consulting your chosen yacht charter broker for personalized advice pertaining to your trip.

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