In the midst of the Coronavirus outbreak, many people are reconsidering their travel plans for summer 2021. But for those who charter superyachts, Covid-19 hasn’t put the brakes on summer vacations; in fact, the number of yacht charter bookings is increasing in certain regions.
Since making global headlines in 2020, the new Coronavirus (COVID-19) has wreaked havoc on the world of mainstream travel and prompted many of us to call our vacation plans into question.
However, while travel can never be 100% risk-free, we've seen more and more people turn to yacht charter in the midst of the Coronavirus outbreak.
As an ideal option for a hygienic, safe and socially-distanced vacation, superyacht charters have become a popular way to vacation in 2020- and are expected to increase in popularity in 2021.
This article was originally published in March 2020 and was last updated in January 2021.
If you're considering doing the same, here are 10 reasons to swap hotels and cruises for a luxury yacht charter this summer:
A chartered yacht is your own private space, which you only share with the crew and other people in your charter party. Therefore, your contact with other people is very low when compared to other types of vacation.
This also applies before and after your charter thanks to end-to-end private transport. Private cars will whisk you around on shore, and private aviation options (such as chartered flights) are on hand should you wish to avoid busy airports.
A yacht crew is typically made up of 4 - 10 members of staff, so it’s easy to track where everyone has been to minimise the risk of the Coronavirus. It’s not like hotels or cruises, where you can have hundreds or even thousands of members of staff to account for.
Plus, the crew live on board the yacht. They don’t go home at the end of the day; they barely even step on shore that often. So their contact with other people who could potentially have Coronavirus is very low.
Everyone in the yachting industry is being extra vigilant about potential exposure to the Coronavirus. Owners, brokerage firms and the crew themselves are taking no risks when it comes to potential exposure.
The yacht crew dedicates a huge amount of time to cleaning every day, ensuring a hygienic and sterile on-board environment.
New measures are currently in place to ensure that the yacht crew is being increasingly diligent about hygiene, so you know you’re stepping into a space that meets the highest standards of cleanliness.
This includes complete a full-scale sanitization of the superyacht between every charter, including interior and exterior areas.
Don’t fancy mingling with other people? Then don’t! The beauty of a yacht charter is that it’s flexible. Your broker can tailor an itinerary that steers clear of crowded areas or tourist hotspots, minimising your potential exposure to Covid-19.
If you choose to do this, your yacht crew will be able to recommend new ways to enjoy your favorite destinations. From secret beaches and secluded coves to unexplored islands and peaceful anchorages, there are a wealth of hidden spots that are off the beaten track.
Many of them can only be reached by boat anyway, so a yacht is the best way to discover all that these destinations have to offer.
Visit a new destination every day, and discover a new side to your favorite hotspots.
People have started to be extra vigilant about food preparation amid the Coronavirus outbreak. Luckily a yacht charter means you don’t have to dine in restaurants on shore- you can enjoy all your meals on board your yacht.
Superyacht chefs are in a totally different league to most chefs on land. They are highly trained and exceptionally talented with years of experience and a flair for different cuisines. Dining on deck doesn’t mean you don’t miss out on restaurants on land, because the food on board your yacht will most likely be better than any restaurant on shore.
Yachts have a huge selection of facilities for you to take advantage of. Most will have ample alfresco areas where you can soak up the sun, large salons for movie nights at sea and a locker of toys for splashing in the water.
Choose a yacht with a large sundeck if topping up your tan is important to you- look out for one with a large jacuzzi, a generous sunpad spread and some sofa seating for enjoying an evening drink with your nearest and dearest.
If you’re chartering with children, look out for the water toy selection. Jet-Skis, kayaks, Water-Skis and Flyboards will provide thrills on the surface of the sea, while Seabobs and snorkelling gear give you the opportunity to enjoy underwater exploration.
You can even choose a yacht with scuba facilities and an on-board instructor, so you can really get up close to the aquatic life around your cruising grounds.
Meanwhile, inflatable pools, climbing walls and toys are sure to delight charter guests of all ages.
If keeping up with your fitness regime is important to you, then pick a yacht with gym facilities. The best yachts have full gym suites, so be sure to mention this to your broker.
You might also want to look out for a yacht with a swimming pool, so you can swim some lengths or kick back in the water after a strenuous gym session.
For those who charter for rest and relaxation, look out for spa facilities. Steam rooms, beauty salons and massage rooms are becoming increasingly popular on board some of the largest yachts in the charter fleet.
Many yachts may also have on-board yoga instructors on board, so you can spend some time recharging and rebalancing while on your vacation at sea.
You might also want to consider a yacht with a home theater. Equipped with the latest selection of movies and entertainment options, you can expect hours worth of films and games at your fingertips.
Your yacht crew is there to make every day of your vacation extra special. If you think you won’t get the same atmosphere on a yacht as you would on land, think again.
If you’re spending more time on your yacht than on shore, your crew will pull out all the stops to make it memorable for you. Expect themed nights, dining extravaganzas, impeccably-presented beach picnics and elegant parties under the stars.
You can also enjoy games nights with a twist and yacht crew competitions where you're the judge. On some of the larger yachts, the yacht crew will even arrange fun activities for children, including treasure hunts.
Cruising down the coasts and hopping between islands, yachts are like little havens on the water. There's really no need to come on shore at all, with the exception of refueling, waste disposal or inclement weather.
Expedition yachts are great if you're looking for increased autonomy at sea, as many will have their own wastewater management systems and a much higher fuel capacity. They are usually equipped with helicopters as well, making access and disembarkation even more simple and straightforward.
Now might be the perfect time to discover new destinations. If you’ve always chartered in Ibiza, consider neighbouring Mallorca and Menorca. Equally beautiful and much quieter than Ibiza, they are filled with unique travel opportunities.
If you’ve always chartered around the hotspots of the Bahamas, consider venturing further afield. Nassau and the Exumas are great for yachts, but the lesser-explored Bimini, Acklins and Great Inagua offer so much natural beauty and serenity.
But if you want to travel even further from the yachting hotspots of the world, there are plenty of places to do that. Consider cruising the fjords of Norway, or heading off the coast of Ecuador to explore the incredible nature of the Galapagos. Tahiti, the Seychelles and the Maldives also represent great options for your next vacation.
Brokerage firms are starting to add addendums and clauses to their contracts to account for any cancellation that occurs as a result of the Coronavirus. In general, these clauses are designed to allow both parties to cancel without fault.
As the situation develops, we will more than likely start to see more brokerage firms following suit. Such amendments are designed to give you peace of mind when booking.
You can also elect to take out private travel insurance, with many companies now offering special coverage for Coronavirus and yacht charter.
Remember, the yachting industry wants to ensure the best possible outcome for all involved parties.