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Planning and booking a yacht charter during the Coronavirus pandemic 2020- latest updates

Fleet Updates news

By Katia Damborsky  11 June 2020

Thinking about booking a private yacht charter vacation this summer? You might have questions about which destinations are open and concerns about making a booking. Don't worry; we've put together all the latest essential travel and safety advice you need to know as Coronavirus travel restrictions relax and we look ahead to a future of social distancing yacht vacations this year.

As COVID-19 travel restrictions start lifting across the globe, the world is beginning to reopen for travellers looking for a much-needed summer vacation after months of lockdown. 

A luxury crewed yacht charter is the ultimate way to enjoy a safe, social distancing vacation during the Coronavirus crisis, as yachts offer you a controlled, self-contained environment with minimal contact with other people- all while exploring new destinations with your loved ones.

While chartering, you'll have a world-class private chef and an attentive and friendly crew at your disposal, as well as access to the most impressive luxury leisure and entertainment facilities at your fingertips. 

Whether you’re a first-time charterer or you’ve chartered yachts before, there’s a lot you need to know about making a booking in 2020 and beyond. 

The situation is evolving rapidly so we will be monitoring the news and updating this page daily, so please bookmark it so you can stay up-to-to date with all the latest developments in real-time. Scroll down if you’re interested in official travel information about a specific yachting destination. 

Use our comprehensive guide below to help you plan and get in touch with if you have any questions or you’d like to book your yacht charter

We're here to help: The number one trusted source for news and advice about yacht chartering during COVID-19

luxury yacht swim platform with jet skis approaching

Whether you’re a first-time charterer or you’ve chartered yachts before, there’s a lot you need to know about making a booking in 2020 and beyond.

Even before the Coronavirus crisis became a pandemic, the entire team at YachtCharterFleet has been working vigilantly to provide charterers, brokers and the wider industry with all the latest news on COVID-19 and yachting to help you navigate the crisis safely.

Every day, the editorial team liaises with a network of yachting experts based across the globe to provide you with Live reporting on the travel status of the world’s yachting destinations, and what you can expect when chartering in each country. 

We also coined the term ‘Social Distancing Yacht Charter’ and have been working closely with third-parties to provide you with brand new ‘How to Charter Guides’. These include advice about chartering safely, information about Coronavirus protocols and a selection of specially-tailored social distancing itineraries, which we have adjusted to ensure you’ll still have an incredible experience on the water while maintaining social distancing every step of the way.

You can find out more by taking a look at our Coronavirus Yacht News

Our team has been monitoring the situation closely from the start, and we are now a trusted source of unbiased advice for all things related to booking a yacht charter during Coronavirus.

Key advice for charterers during COVID-19

charter guest steps on board superyacht via swim platform, aerial view

A luxury crewed yacht charter is the ultimate way to enjoy a safe, social distancing vacation during the Coronavirus crisis.

  • Start the booking process well in advance to allow for more time to organize and plan

    You'll need to kickstart the planning and booking process as early as you can to allow your broker to spend more time liaising with third parties, ironing out all the details and organizing your dream itinerary. Things like sanitizing the yacht between charters and making sure the necessary parties have undertaken COVID-19 tests (if necessary) are new things that brokers have to factor in to ensure a safe vacation for you and your charter party. 
  • Plan ahead to secure your dream yacht

    As travel restrictions relax, many people are considering yacht charter as a safer luxury vacation alternative in the context of COVID-19. This will lead to extremely high demand for superyacht vacations from first-time charterers. There will also be a rise in bookings from charterers who missed out on yacht charters earlier in the season, when travel restrictions were still tight. You’ll have to act fast to secure your dream yacht on your chosen dates. Book now for the Mediterranean, and start planning now if you’re considering a Caribbean luxury yacht charter.   

  • Don’t rely on big deals or major discounts

    As ever, there may be a few deals to be had for charterers looking to make a saving on a last-minute yacht charter booking. However, initial sentiments from brokers suggest that there will be far fewer ‘fill-the-gap’ offers this summer, as charterers are booking longer vacations on the water because of the travel disruptions. In general, Owners are not accepting heavily-discounted offers as the demand is so high and there are fewer yachts available for charter as many Owners would rather use their yachts themselves.  Owners are also facing higher running costs to deal with additional COVID health and safety procedures and will also be keen to recover from a disrupted start to the Mediterranean yacht charter season, so bear this in mind when booking with your yacht charter broker.
  • Use our Social Distancing charter inspiration to help you understand what to expect from your next vacation

    For hotels, ski chalets and cruises, travel and vacations may be permanently changed until a vaccine for SARS-COV-2 is widely distributed. The same cannot be said for yacht charter, which is already a much more exclusive type of vacation. However, there will be some changes you might expect on board luxury yachts, particularly in the first few months after lockdown ends. Our editorial section on Social Distancing yacht charters will help you to get to grips with what to expect from the moment you step on board until the time comes to disembark.
big fish superyacht underway in tahiti
Running Shot with Tender

It's predicted that there will be far fewer ‘fill-the-gap’ offers this summer, as charterers book longer vacations on the water to account for travel disruptions.

little chartered plane flying in the sky above the caribbean
man dives into water from the deck of a luxury superyacht
  • Consider getting away for longer

    When booking your yacht charter, you’ll need to be aware that there will be significantly more planning involved than you might be used to. Many yachts will now be catered more towards longer charters, so that the extra steps you go through will be worth it when you get on board. While we’ve touched on the fact that there may be fewer yacht charter deals and discounts, savvy charterers might be able to snap up a saving when they book longer charters. 
  • Considering chartering closer to home

    You don’t always need to fly overseas to enjoy a superyacht vacation; for most of us, there’s a great selection of charter yachts available to book in destinations closer to home . For our American-based readers, the charms of Alaska, New England, Baja California, Chesapeake Bay and the Florida Keys await. For those in Europe and the UAE, there’s plenty of yachting gems right on your doorstep. 
  • Get all the facts on flying privately

    Flying privately doesn’t have to cost the earth. Smaller, chartered flights are simple and straightforward to arrange; particularly in the Bahamas and Caribbean. New safety protocols are in place to ensure these types of flights meet the highest standards of hygeine, so you can experience door-to-deck transport with complete peace of mind.
  • Get off-the-beaten path

    After weeks of lockdown, many of us will be experiencing a deep desire to explore further afield. The Maldives, the Seychelles and Tahiti are great destinations to satisfy your wanderlust, escape the crowds and experience the delights of a tropical paradise. For those with the spirit of adventure, there’s a fantastic selection of explorer yachts for charter which you can book in destinations like Norway, the Galapagos and Antarctica.

Can I book a yacht for charter with flexible booking conditions?

yacht in the water with jet skis alongside

Yes, you can still book yachts this summer with flexible booking policies.

At the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic many yacht Owners generously offered flexible booking conditions on their yachts for a set period to help charterers book with total peace of mind.  As travel becomes more feasible, these flexible booking policies are starting to come to a close. 

But don't worry, you can still book a yacht charter with peace of mind thanks to the newly introduced addendums to the MYBA charter contract. These allow for flexible bookings which have been specifically designed to be fair and protect the interests of both parties. 

The addendum acknowledges that the Coronavirus has created a lot of uncertainty around travel and vacations, and aims to offer a flexible solution to give people the option to book a yachting vacation in the coming weeks and months.

You can still book a yacht charter with peace of mind thanks to the newly introduced addendums to the MYBA charter contract.

Where can I book a charter yacht right now?

luxury yacht with jetpacks alongside
family relax on swim platform of luxury crewed yacht
luxury yacht home by heesen, glass canoes sailing alongside

If you’re looking to get away sooner rather than later, there are a number of destinations that are open to yacht charters. For the full list, you can take a look at our article; Where can I charter a yacht right now? 

Below, we’ve rounded up all the most popular yachting destinations and their current status for yachts. For each destination, you need to be aware that there may still be travel restrictions in place that would prevent you from flying out to meet the yacht. You may also need to adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols before boarding your flight and during your entire visit in the country.

A note about international travel restrictions and air bridges 

In some countries, you may be subject to quarantine depending on the country you are arriving from if there are no ‘air bridges’ in place between countries. Air bridges- or air corridors- mean that you don’t have to quarantine if you are travelling between two countries which share an air bridge, and they apply to both commercial and private aviation. 

For some countries listed below, we have specified that there are no quarantine measures in place. This is because we have received direct confirmation that there are no quarantine measures being enforced, and it does not mean that the other countries in this roundup will be enforcing a quarantine. 

If you’re looking to get away sooner rather than later, there are a number of destinations that are open to yacht charters.

Booking a yacht charter in the USA during Coronavirus

two bears walk along the river in alaska, with pine forest in background
palm tree and sandy beaches in florida keys
gingerbread houses on marthas vineyard in new england

Alaska

Open for yachts now.

New England

Open for yachts now.

The Florida Keys

Open for yachts now. The Florida Keys reopened for travel and charter on June 1.

Booking a yacht charter in the Caribbean and the Bahamas during Coronavirus

bahamas aerial view with two boats
canoe on the clear water of the usvis
caribbean bay with little boats on the water

Antigua

Open for yachts now. The first international flights from the USA began arriving into Antigua on June 4, and travel from Europe and other overseas destinations is expected to resume in July. Under proposed new measures, visitors looking to travel into Antigua would have to undergo a COVID-19 test prior to boarding a flight.

The Bahamas

Bahamas yacht charter will resume on June 15. From June 15, the Bahamas will be welcoming all superyachts and private aviation, with all other types of travel set to resume on July 1. You can take a look at all the best yachts to charter right in the Bahamas- we have rounded up a great selection for every type of guest. 

The BVI’s

Open for yachts now. The British Virgin Islands reopened for travel on June 1.

US Virgin Islands

Open for yachts now. The US Virgin Islands reopened for travel on June 1.

St Lucia

Open for yachts now, however, there are quarantine measures in place.

Booking a yacht charter in Europe during Coronavirus

woman stands on yacht overlooking the south of france
santorini town of oia with sunset in background
croatia yachts in the water surrounded by islandshistoric towns of croatia

Greece

Open for yachts now. Greece reopened for yachts at the end of May, and now allows charter yachts to cruise freely across Greek waters. The country has managed to maintain an extremely low COVID-19 case rate, particularly across the islands away from the mainland. Luxury yacht charter in Greece is the perfect way to explore all this country has to offer. There are no quarantine restrictions in place.

Italy

Open for yachts now. Yacht charter in Italy got the green light to go ahead at the beginning of June. Direct, international flights will resume on June 15. The beautiful islands of Sardinia and Capri have been declared free of COVID-19, and are ready and waiting to welcome you and your yacht. The Amalfi Coast is another lovely option for a crewed yacht charter, and offers scenic beauty and cultural landmarks. There are no quarantine restrictions in place.

France

Open for yachts now. The South of France and Monaco are two popular yachting destinations which are currently open for charters. There are no quarantine restrictions in place for travellers arriving from certain countries. In St Tropez, all the major restaurants and beach clubs along Pampelonne Beach are beginning to reopen.

yachts on the water in sardinia
clear blue water in sardinia, italy
statue on the island of capri overlooking the blue sea

Spain

Open for yachts now. However, there are a lot of travel restrictions in place which will make it difficult to meet a yacht in Spain if you are not already based in Spain. This is expected to change in the coming weeks, making yacht charter in Ibiza feasible again later on in summer.

Croatia

Open for yachts now. Croatia was the first yachting destination in the Mediterranean to open for private yacht charters. Yacht charter in Croatia has been going ahead since mid-May, and the country is great for maintaining social distancing at sea. If you are interested in booking a yacht in Croatia, you can take a look at the all the best yachts to charter in Croatia right now.

Montenegro

Open for yachts now. Montenegro has remained open for yachts throughout the COVID-19 crisis, and Porto Montenegro was one of the first superyacht marinas to introduce a digital reception service for arriving superyachts. There is no quarantine in place. 

family of charter guests sit on the edge of superyacht hottub

If you would like to know more yacht charter during the 2020 COVID-19 crisis, or you'd like to book a yacht, please get in touch with us.

We will be able to connect with you a yachting expert in your timezone, who speaks your language and has the specific knowledge needed to plan your yachting vacation in your dream destination. Our international network of yacht brokers are on hand and waiting to assist you. 

For Social Distancing vacation ideas and itineraries, check out our Coronavirus Yacht News


 
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