How to plan and book a yacht charter
Once you have made the decision to embark on a luxury yacht vacation you will need to consider all the different elements that will make up your charter. From the type of yacht, to destinations and activities, planning a charter is a highly personalised process aided by the expert advice and handling of a charter broker. It is important to start planning well in advance of your vacation so that you are given enough time to create a truly unforgettable experience tailored specifically to the needs and expectations of you and your guests.
Choosing a Yacht
With a huge variety of spectacular charter yachts available, all offering an array of luxury amenities, accommodation and toys, you will need to consider what type of charter you are looking for and also the activities you intend to experience whilst you are on board. Explore our extensive guide to the world’s luxury charter fleet, browsing through images and searching by type, toys, tenders and facilities to get a feel for what is suitable to your needs. Whether you want to go on an extreme voyage on board an expedition yacht, experience the true essence of the sea on a sailing yacht, indulge in the ultimate luxury of a motor yacht or host a corporate event, there are a variety of fantastic options open to you. You will also need to decide the number of guests who will be joining you in regards to the number and arrangement of staterooms that is required and also that everyone’s needs are met.
Contact a Charter Broker
An experienced yacht charter broker is there to do all the hard work for you, including dealing with contracts and costs to menu options, and the service is completely free of charge as the fees are paid by the owner of the yacht. All that will be required from you will be clear and concise details of the type of charter you are looking to experience, when and where you want to go and what yachts you are interested in. For more information on the benefits of using a yacht broker and how to find the right one for you, read our guide to Finding a Yacht Charter Broker.
Planning Your Itinerary
Once you have booked your charter, the next step is to start making your dream vacation into a reality by planning your tailor-made itinerary. Your yacht charter broker will offer their own suggestions from previous experience, but your own preferences are crucial to getting the most out of your vacation as possible. Whether cruising the glamorous coastlines of the Western Mediterranean over the summer or heading to the Caribbean for a winter break there are endless possibilities for travelling the world in style. Browse our destination guides and sample itineraries to get some ideas of where to go and what to while you are there.
Once your charter booking has been confirmed you will receive a preference sheet which is to be completed and returned in advance of your vacation. It is a form detailing everything from travel reservations, food and wine preferences, guest list and any medical issues that allows your charter yacht and crew to be fully prepared to cater for your exact requirements. Your yacht charter broker will pass the form on to the Captain who can then assess it and take action to pre-book any required berths, arrange activities, order specific foods and brief his/her crew. It is this type of personalisation that makes a luxury yacht charter vacation unsurpassed in five-star service and comfort.
The Charter Agreement
The Charter Agreement is compiled by your broker and includes details of each component of your chosen charter, including the yacht, dates, intended destinations and cost, all of which will be discussed with you. The most commonly used Charter Agreement is provided by MYBA (Worldwide Yachting Association, formerly known as Mediterranean Yacht Brokers Association) which operates under the Western Mediterranean Terms (WMT). Other types of agreements include the SEMT (Standard Eastern Mediterranean Terms) and the Caribbean Terms both with different variations. To read more about the various contracts applicable to yacht charters, read our detailed guide on Understanding Charter Contracts. This is also when the first payment will be required which is generally about 50 per cent of the fee but terms will need to be discussed with your charter broker before.
Advance Provisioning Allowance (APA)
APA is in addition to the charter fee and amounts to around 30% of the charter fee cost. This is to cover the cost of fuel, food and other provisions, such as special equipment. If you wish for a berth in port, or to attach your yacht to a permanent mooring, this additional cost should also be included in your APA. Berth and mooring fees vary depending on the port and season. For more information about what is included in the APA, go to our Understanding Charter Contracts page.
The final balance of the charter fee and the APA amount will be expected between one month to one week prior to you departing on your luxury yacht charter vacation.