Superyachts by their very definition are mammoth, so why then can charter vessels often only accommodate comparatively few? The answer largely lies in PYC regulations which limits their capacity, as adhering to them can mean extensive costs, testing, and possible refits. Consequently, many owners refrain from going above the legal limit of 12 passengers plus crew. So whilst an 80m yacht with 10 staterooms might be able to sleep 20 guests, for charter it can often only offer the same as a 50m yacht with 6 staterooms for up to 12 guests. But what do you do if you want to charter a yacht for a party of 12 or more?
Larger charter vessels that meet PYC rules do exist. But make no mistake that adhering to PYC directives is a delicate tiptoe between style and substance. The charter superyachts featured below make this appear effortless: artfully crafting formidable spaces for large parties whilst still retaining the paradisiacal ambiance and character that such vessels are cherished for.
Here's our round-up of the best charter yachts available for 12 guests or more.
A former Soviet icebreaker, the 77m (253ft) motor yacht LEGEND metamorphosed into a powerful, rock-like explorer vessel in 2016, when she was refitted with chartering in mind. Up to 22 people can quench their thirst for epic odysseys on this ship (with capacity for 28 crew and 10 additional staff) across 13 lavishly appointed suites, each representing a sultry, sartorially different universe. While no two rooms are the same, all are linked by their sizzling drama: think intricately carved wood scenes on the ceiling and humbug striped seating that merges into a pool of monochromatic marble below, and all contained by rich mahogany paneling. Her eye-poppingly ornate interiors are paired with elaborate features, including a whisky bar, cigar room, 14-seat cinema and a complete Balinese spa offering almost every wellness aspect you could think of.
No two rooms are the same, with each representing a sultry, sartorially different universe
From the last great ivory wilderness of Antarctica to Northern Europe's chiseled fjords painted in big, bold brushstrokes of green, all can be experienced in the bubbling warmth of a 16-person, waterfall-fed, outdoor jacuzzi on the main deck. Combined with her bonanza of tenders and water toys (no less than two helicopters, 4 jet skis, one submarine, two wakeboards, two paddleboards plus snowmobiles) she's primed for practically every adventure imaginable.
Built to enthrall, the echoes of her former life as a 100-passenger cruise vessel are seen in truly exceptional entertainment zones spanning four decks. Sleeping 36 guests across 20 cabins (with room for up to 40 crew) and with a sprawling guest area of 1,800 sq meters, 90m (296ft) superyacht LAUREN L is for those seeking to dazzle their parties with every possible whim catered to.
Her highlights include a staggeringly comprehensive health and beauty center in its own right, featuring a beauty and hair salon, massage room, and an aromatherapy treatment room. But her crowning jewel is undoubtedly the spa, where one can leisurely soak admiring the ever-changing vistas from floor-length windows in a lavender mist, before gazing at their miniature onboard ocean in the aquarium located in the relaxation room.
Opulent living is undoubtedly 80m (263ft) motor yacht ELEMENTS modus operandi, masterfully evoked through designer Cristiano Gatto's Islamic and Ottoman architectural flourishes in a muted palette of arctic silvers and icy blues. Eyes trace from floor to ceiling a spectacular multitude of materials across four voluminous decks: where mother-of-pearl inlays are jointly presented alongside intricate mosaics, hand-tufted carpets and backlit onyx. This intensity is magnified in the sunlight-drenched main saloon, which is designed to be the epicenter of activity on this yacht. Pillars are draped in Italian marble giving structure to the undulating layout of the room, replete with as many intimate corners as it has wide, welcoming spaces.
Opulent living is undoubtedly ELEMENTS modus operandi
Built in 2018, she sleeps up to 24 guests across 12 staterooms. The grand owner's suite located forward is the focal point on this vessel, with the option of converting the VIP cabins on the same deck into a huge, all-encompassing family apartment featuring an office, cinema, private Jacuzzi and bar all cradled by wraparound windows.
Elsewhere, her beach club is clad with a hammam and massage room to pamper guests whenever their heart desires, and on the foredeck, a throng of sunloungers cover the helipad when not in use. Plus, she has an entire armada of water toys to choose from when the open water beckons.
The silhouettes of the world's most glittering icons are forever etched into its glamorous soul
The silhouettes of the world's most glittering icons are forever etched into its glamorous soul. Purchased in 1954, Christina O's former owner (Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis) transformed her from a Canadian anti-submarine frigate into a golden pleasure palace, single-handedly crafting the superyacht playbook for living la dolce vita. Decades on, she still embodies the tycoon's vivacious spirit, tempered by the timeless grace of his wife, Jackie Kennedy.
Decorated in a distinct English country manor style, the 99m (325ft) motor yacht Christina O is capable of carrying up to 34 guests across 17 cabins, and a whopping 38 crew can attend to every need. Last refitted in 2018, her original, undeniably indulgent finishes — such as the orca teeth carved into the walls and the whale skin stools in Ari's bar — still remain intact. Her much-loved minotaur mosaic swimming pool cum dance floor, the Onassis Suite, and concert room have also been carefully restored.
No need to reduce your guest list with 91m (299ft) superyacht Moonlight II: up to 36 guests can call this stately beauty their floating abode, amid 18 plush cabins. The embodiment of grandeur, her interior refit in 2015 (expertly helmed by Greek designer Lally Poulias) suffuses Grecian flair with aplomb across more than 2,400 square meters of guest space.
Santorini's unforgettable domed churches tinted azure and whitewashed, fig-fragranced lanes come to mind when marveling her outdoor areas: which includes a beach club, sun deck complete with a jacuzzi, al-fresco dining, and a bar that can be converted it a helipad space for last-minute getaways.
Bursting with entertainment options (featuring a cinema and gentleman's club) she also offers one of the most extensive spa facilities of any yacht charter. Her health and beauty center is filled with every conceivable luxury to cater to every need: from soothing tired toes to resting sun-baked limbs. Features include a massage room, plunge pools, salon, and sauna. There's also a thrilling amount of water toys to whip out for when adrenaline-fuelled capers call.
She commands attention as one of the world's most polished charter vessels
Once a cruise ship, now reborn as 83m (271ft) superyacht O'MEGA, she commands attention as one of the world's most polished charter vessels. Built in 1987 by Mitsubishi before her refit in 2015, she comfortably accommodates up to 30 guests across 14 staterooms, all of which benefit from lavishly large windows so guests can revel in their floating oasis in complete seclusion.
Her interiors are all high-gloss mahogany, fluted pillars, and pools of sumptuous silk across six expansive decks. O'MEGA oozes elegance at every turn, but hints of modernity are peppered throughout, evidenced with her state-of-the-art cinema.
Italian design house Studio Vafiadis has adeptly led both exterior and interior styling and bestowed guests with truly majestic outdoor spaces. Notably, the expansive alfresco dining area on the aft deck and on the sun deck, where a fully-stocked bar can rustle up a margarita or two whilst you sink shoulder-deep into Jacuzzi bubbles.
Charterers can dive into the twinkling blue or jet off one of O'MEGA's myriad tenders and toys from her retractable swim platform.
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