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Coronavirus: What is a Social Distancing Yacht Charter?


Social distancing yacht charters are expected to become the future of luxury travel amid the Coronavirus pandemic. Yachts are hygienic, self-contained and controlled environments that can offer extremely limited contact with other people. Where could be better for a social distancing vacation?

Experts predict that social distancing measures due to COVID-19 are likely to affect travel and vacations for much longer than many of us first thought.

Yacht charters are particularly well-suited to social distancing. Yachts are sterile, self-contained and private, offering flexible itineraries that allow you to choose where you charter. 

What factors are impacting yacht charter during the pandemic?

luxury charter yacht practising social distancing in sheltered cove

The biggest factor affecting yacht charter are travel restrictions. Travel bans, regional restrictions and airline suspensions can stop charter guests from being able to travel to meet their yachts. Ports can be affected too, meaning that many yachts are currently unable to leave marinas or move freely between ports.

What is a social distancing yacht charter?

charter guest relaxes in pool on superyacht while social distancing

A social distancing yacht charter is similar to a normal superyacht vacation, but it involves a few key differences.  These are put in place for your health, safety and peace of mind while chartering.

1. Preventative health and safety measures on board your yacht

yacht crew cleaning and creating super hygienic environment on board

A number of health and safety measures have been introduced to help ensure a safe and hygienic environment on board charter yachts. These include: 

  • Sanitizing the yacht regularly, including full decontamination of the yacht after charters.
  • Sanitizing provisions on the dock before bringing them on board the yacht
  • Control over who steps on board the yacht
  • Daily temperature checks for crew
  • Vaccination of all crew 
  • Obligatory use of face mask for crew

2. End-to-end private transport

woman arrives to private jet practising social distancing
tender of yacht in blue sea
private helicopter arriving at airport

End-to-end private transport ensures you have limited contact with people every step of the way, and it means you can continue practicing social distancing while en route to meet your charter yacht. 

Private jets is fast becoming the regular method of travelling to meet your yacht. By flying privately rather than commercially, you don’t have to worry about fellow passengers and the potential risk of exposure to COVID-19.  Once you’ve arrived in your destination, your chauffeured car will be on hand to transport you from the airport to your embarkation point.

3. More time mooring or at anchor, rather than berthed in port

yacht moored to allow social distancing

Marinas are busy, and it’s challenging for individuals to maintain social distancing in ports. However, we’re starting to see promising developments in technology that will facilitate contact-free reception services for superyachts arriving in marinas.

Until this becomes more widespread, your charter yacht will probably spend more time at anchor or moored close to shore to avoid busy ports. This also means that destinations with lots of coves, bays, and good anchorage spots are increasingly popular for yacht charters. 

This includes Greece, Montenegro, Croatia and the Bahamas, where there’s plenty of little islands and secluded beaches that make for superb spots to spend a night out of a port.

4. New ways to enjoy yacht charter

yoga on deck of luxury yacht
jet-ski riding alongside yacht
charter guest jumps off yacht into blue water
woman social distancing on luxury yacht charter vacation

While on your yacht, you will probably be spending less time on shore. This opens up so many possibilities when it comes to enjoying your yacht to the fullest, and taking advantage of the huge range of leisure and entertainment facilities at your disposal.

  • Opportunities to learn new skills
    A yacht charter presents an unmissable opportunity to try your hand at new skills and learn some new hobbies. From Windsurfing to sailing, there’s plenty to experience on the water.
  • Wellness charters
    Take some time to rebalance and refresh with a wellness charter. Look for a yacht with a well-equipped spa, on-board masseur and yoga instructor. Make sure you opt for healthy cuisine on your preference sheet.
  • Water toys and accessories 
    Choose a yacht with a huge toy locker, and you’ll experience incredible thrills on a yacht charter. Zoom around on the back of jet-skis, experience a Flyboard for the first time, or explore underwater with the help of Seabobs.
  • Work from home at sea
    If you’re working from home, you can escape office life even further with a yacht charter. Look for one with an office suite or conference centre, and it won’t be difficult to stay connected and keep up to date with any business that needs attending to while on charter. 

5. New itineraries

yacht in the open sea, with tenders alongside

As charterers continue to practice social distancing, itineraries will continue to change and adapt to offer a new type of charter experience. 

  • Less time on land and fewer on-shore excursions
    Itineraries aren't so heavily focused on land-based activities. Popular attractions and cultural sights onshore that generally attract large crowds are less of a key focus, unless you can view them from the comfort of a yacht. 
  • Less focus on restaurants and beach clubs 
    COVID-19 has caused many restaurants, beach clubs and other social venues to halt the number of people who enter.
  • An opportunity to spend more time on your yacht
    As yacht-goers adapt to spending less time onshore, there are now ample opportunities for enjoying the leisure and entertainment facilities onboard your yacht. From playing with water toys to enjoying wellness and relaxation, a yacht charter offers you the prime opportunity to unwind and recharge. 

6. Different destinations

a yacht anchored by a quiet cove with evergreen trees in the middle of summer where guests are enjoying their self isolating yacht charter vacation
the dramatic coast of greece is endless and makes a special anchorage for a self isolating charter where guests will be in complete privacy
the galapgos islands are an amazing place to charter as practically no one lives there, making it an ideal destination for a self isolating yacht charter vacation

As we approach the winter charter season, here’s how social distancing will affect yacht charter destinations.

  • Destinations close to the USA
    It’s possible that yacht-goers based in the USA will be looking to charter closer to home. There are some great destinations close to America, including the Bahamas, Alaska, Miami and New England.
  • Increased popularity in the Caribbean for winter
    Since many people will not have booked yacht charters in early summer, we can expect the winter Caribbean season to enjoy a bumper number of bookings on superyacht charters.  
  • Remote destinations
    For those looking to get truly off-the-beaten track on a yacht charter,  destinations such as Norway, Tahiti, the Maldives, Galapagos and the Seychelles will become increasingly popular.
social distancing on a superyacht

If you would like more information about booking a yacht, please reach out to your preferred yacht charter broker.

For more information about COVID-19, superyacht charter, travel updates and news, please refer to our Yacht Charter and Coronavirus Guide.

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