Before You Set Sail
Yacht charter vacations are a wonderful and unique experience. Select Yachts wants your yacht charter to be perfect. We have prepared a few tips for yacht charter clients to help insure a flawless experience. If you have not decided on the type of yacht best suited to your vacation, read our overview: Charter Yacht Types.
Your charter vacation is customized to meet the desires and needs of your charter party. When selecting a yacht, crew and itinerary, consider your options carefully to ensure everything is ticked off on your wish list.
- Private or interactive charter – Would you prefer a very discreet or interactive crew?
- Anchorage or Marina – Do you like anchoring out in quiet coves or docking in a marina, going ashore to visit shops, restaurants, bars, museums, nightlife, etc.
- Food and Beverage likes, dislike and allergies – the crew needs time to procure everything you require and plan appropriate menus. While most chefs are highly skilled in restricted diets, some specialize in charters for foodies, vegetarians and kosher restrictions. Comfort food is especially important for children.
- Medical issues – For example, if there is medical concerns the crew can plan an itinerary that will avoid remote anchorages or rough crossings.
- Watersports – Provide fin sizes to your crew. For children, either bring gear that fits or confirm sizes available aboard. Guests who wear prescription glasses should purchase prescription masks. Rendezvous diving, kite surfing and other sports may require advance arrangements. Some areas have restrictions on Jet Skis, many require permits for fishing. Inform the crew what you like to do to allow for adequate preparation.
- Air Conditioning – While most yachts have AC, some do not. Some that have AC charge an additional fee to run the AC overnight. Make sure you understand and are in agreement with the operating procedures of your yacht.
- Write-in Preferences – Shore excursions to golf courses, spas, archeological sites, theater performances, horseback riding, hiking, zip lines, etc., are all activities that may be incorporated into your itinerary but advance reservations are recommended.
Yacht Charter – All Inclusive
What is included on an all-inclusive charter varies somewhat depending on the vessel. Most include yacht, crew, all meals and ship’s bar. Unless otherwise stated, the rate does not include premium wine, champagne and liquor, excessive alcohol consumption, cellular communication, rental water sports equipment, rendezvous diving, sportfishing, some permits and fees, marina dockage and other incidental charges that are incurred as part of a customized itinerary. Please be sure to calculate the additional funds you will need to meet these expenses, your charter broker can assist you.
Yacht Charter – Preference Sheets
You will be asked to fill out a Preference Sheet with details about the likes and dislikes of you and your guests. This is the only way for your Captain and crew to properly provision your yacht, plan the perfect itinerary, make reservations and obtain permits. Please fill out the sheets personally, completely, and in consultation with your charter guests. Your PA may not know the answers to many critical questions. Consider your yacht charter preferences:
Yacht Charter – Packing Tips
On most luxury charter yachts storage space is limited and many toiletries and amenities, such as hair dryers, sun tan lotion, beach towels and snorkel gear are provided for you on board. To avoid bringing unnecessary items, check with your broker to confirm what items will be supplied. It is preferable to bring soft, collapsible luggage if possible, as it is easier to stow. View our feature: Luggage Aboard: Bags that Adapt from Ship to Shore
Yacht Charter – items you should pack:
- Charter Agreement
- Passport and required Visas, expiration dates must be 6 months or more from charter date
- Photocopy of your passport and credit cards, front and back
- Eyeglasses and sunglasses
- Sun protective clothing, hats, long-sleeved shirts/blouses. For snorkeling, long sleeved rash guard or T-shirt
- Non-marking, soft soled shoes or socks (motor yachts only) for walking on decks, shoes are not allowed
- Cash in local currency for incidentals, shore excursions, tips, etc.
- Contact information for your yacht, Captain and charter broker
- Cancel mail delivery and newspapers
- Provide contact details and itinerary to a neighbor, relative or friend
- Debit/Credit Cards: Inform your banks that you will be out of the country and where you might use your cards to insure they are not declined.
The Captain and Crew
The Captain: Be sure to talk to the Captain at the beginning, and regularly throughout your charter. Captains are generally extremely knowledgeable and well connected. They are your private concierge and can provide excellent suggestions about your itinerary, available activities, and arrange for special services such as guides, reservations and transportation.
The Captain will make every effort to customize an ideal itinerary that matches your interests. After you have a plan, you may wish to change it, linger an extra day in a particularly beautiful spot, or head to an event in a different destination. You are free to make changes; it’s your vacation.
Sometimes the Captain must change the itinerary due to mitigating factors, most often weather, please be flexible. While an alternative destination may be a departure from the original plan, it is likely to be equally enjoyable while ensuring the highest levels of passenger safety and comfort.
The Crew: Yacht charter crews are trained professionals with many responsibilities, from sailing the yacht to anticipating and meeting the needs of each guest. The crew is very busy so your respect and patience is greatly appreciated.
Most yacht charter crews love having children aboard and have many great ways to entertain them. If the crew offers to watch your children for a few hours that is fine, but it is the responsibility of the parents, or an accompanying nanny, to care for the children during the charter.
Crew Gratuity : A gratuity equal to 15% of the charter rate is customarily given for excellent service at the conclusion of your charter and is entirely at your discretion. To avoid travelling with a lot of cash, Select Yachts will accept and hold funds for the gratuity included with your final charter payment and at your request distribute to the crew at the end of the charter.
If something is not right, please inform the Captain immediately so that the issue can be addressed and resolved. This includes any equipment or mechanical problems and air conditioning, issues with the accommodations, food or the crew, or concerns with your itinerary. If you are uncomfortable addressing the Captain, contact your charter broker as soon as possible. Please do not wait until the end of your charter to voice your complaints.
A Polite Reminder: The possession and use of illegal drugs constitutes a criminal offense punishable by law. If the crew becomes aware of illegal substances on board, the owner, clearing house and/or crew reserve the right to end the charter immediately and put guests ashore at the nearest port.
Contact us for specific information regarding your luxury charter yacht and detailed regional information about your destination.