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Yacht charter – what is it?

August 03, 2023

Yacht charter is becoming more and more popular in seaside resorts all over the world. If you have never tried to rent a yacht before, be sure to read this article, it will be useful for you.

What does yacht charter mean?

The term “yacht charter” means the lease of a vessel for a specified period (usually from one to 7-14 days).

At the same time, you can rent the ship itself, or additionally order the services of a professional team.

You have probably heard the word “charter” in relation to an aircraft, when your flight is not registered in the schedule of regular flights, that is, it is performed once. The principle is the same with yachts.

yacht charter

Initially, yacht charter was practiced by the Germans. They managed to translate this kind of sea sport into the category of tourism and active recreation.

The popularity of this type of leisure is promoted, firstly, by the development of infrastructure in many countries, and secondly, by its relative availability.

So, the average sea cruise on a small yacht may well be afforded by a representative of the middle class.

But at the same time, a sea cruise cannot be compared with the usual rest in a hotel – traveling on a yacht is a much more exciting option, in addition, you get access to places that are completely inaccessible to tourists on land, for example, the pristine beaches of uninhabited islands.

yacht charter

Varieties of yacht charters

As we have already said, a charter is possible with a crew (crew charter) and without a crew (bareboat charter).

In addition, the charter is classified according to the type of boat: charter of a motor yacht / sailing yacht / catamaran.

If you want to charter a yacht without a crew, you must have an international skipper license, and in some cases you will need another person with such a license.

This is a rather rare situation, so if you do not have such a document, it does not matter, the charter company will certainly offer you its skipper.

But if you really enjoy yachting, you regularly rent boats and want to feel like the captain of a ship 24/7, you should consider getting this license.

In some countries of the Mediterranean Sea (mainly in Turkey), there is a special type of vessel that was previously actively used for fishing, transportation of goods and small travels – the gulet.

Due to the fact that this is a rather large vessel, and at the same time the cost of renting it is very affordable, the charter of gulets is actively gaining momentum, so that this type of vessel is experiencing its new dawn.

The gulet can be rented in the “Privat charter” format (you yourself define your route as a customer) and “Cabin charter” (you only rent a separate cabin and travel along a predetermined route).

Several factors contribute to the success of gulets. Firstly – the rental price is almost the same as on a regular sailing yacht, while there is noticeably more space, so even a company of 20 people can go on a cruise, secondly, fuel costs will be minimal, and thirdly – a unique flavor … Yachts and catamarans are everywhere, but gulets are almost exclusively in Turkey.

Yacht charter price

Yacht rental prices will depend on a number of factors.

Lease term. Yachts are usually rented for a day, a week, or two.

Almost everywhere the charter week starts on Saturday morning, and on Friday evening you need to drop the boat.

yacht charter

Place (region). There are more expensive countries and those where yacht charter is much cheaper.

For example, in the Mediterranean Sea in Turkey, Greece and Croatia it will be much cheaper to rent a yacht than the same vessel for the same period in Spain, Italy and France.

Crew. The crew includes not only the skipper. So, on large and comfortable ships you will be served by a cook, hostesses, waiters, animators, etc.

The cost of a weekly rent of a superyacht with a crew will cost you from 5 to 50 thousand euros (sailing – cheaper, motor – more expensive).

Naturally, without a crew, the cost of a yacht will be noticeably lower, but you must have a skipper’s license.

Skipper services are paid on a daily basis and therefore depend on the duration of your trip. In the Mediterranean countries, such a specialist can receive about 200-300 EUR / day.

Season. Anywhere there is seasonality. The weather is better suited for sea travel in high season, so the cost will be +/- 30% higher than in low season. In Europe, the high season is May-September.

When is the best time to book a yacht charter?

It is impossible to answer this question unambiguously. The optimal time for a sea voyage will vary in different parts of the world. In the high season it will be dry and warm, and there will be no storms in the sea.

If you are going to go on vacation in the summer, it is best to pay attention to the countries of the Mediterranean Sea.

More budget options are Turkey, Greece and Croatia. True, the quality of service will be lower than in the more expensive countries of the region – Italy, Spain and France. Which of these is better – you choose.

In winter, the Mediterranean Sea is already cold, so it is better to go south, for example, to the Canary Islands (Spain), or even farther – the Caribbean Islands, Maldives, Seychelles, Indonesia, Malaysia.

True, in this case, you will have to spend more money on a long-distance flight. In terms of value for money, the best options are the Caribbean and Thailand.

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