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8 Travel Tips For Your First Yacht Charter Vacation [Guide]

July 21, 2020 10:58 am

Your charter is booked, but are you ready? Use our 8 tips to prepare for the trip of a lifetime, covering everything from packing, to itinerary, meals and more.

Once the charter is booked, what do you need to do next? What about childcare? And are there any rules? Prepare for the ultimate yachting vacation with these simple tips.

tips for charter yacht vacation

#1 – Customize your charter

Before boarding your yacht, you’ll fill out a preference list on everything from your favorite Champagne to what you’d like to eat for breakfast. The more precise you are, the easier it is for your crew to prepare for your charter and make sure they have everything on board. Likewise, letting the captain know what you want to do in advance is highly recommended for creating the optimal itinerary. If you want to go places that are quiet and remote it would be silly for the captain to take you to Monaco, and if you want to see and be seen, it might not make sense to go to a remote island in the South Pacific. Brokers, captains and crew like to research what guests will enjoy so they can personalize the itinerary to suit your needs. Let them know what you want so they can deliver it with aplomb.

tips for charter yacht vacation

#2 – Dividing the rooms

Many charter yachts are designed with multiple chartering parties in mind and there will be more than one sizable suite, so that no one feels demoted in a smaller cabin. Typically, the largest suite goes to the principal charterer – the one who is inking the contract and footing the brunt of the bill. But if you are planning to travel with couples only and will be sharing costs equally, look for a yacht that has a few master-worthy VIP cabins, and have a discussion in advance about who will get which rooms, to avoid any awkward situations once you step on board. 

tips for charter yacht vacation

#3 – Eat well

The chef is here for you. Sometimes that means a midnight snack, other times that means not having breakfast until midday, but it always means getting exactly the cuisine you’re after. A private yacht chef is better than going to a restaurant. It’s more personal. Rather than having to please an entire restaurant, it’s all about one table and making you and your guests happy. It’s an added level of attention not found on most luxe vacations. Any dietary requests can be met, whether you’re a vegan or just have a specific craving. Food can be flown in and couriered to the yacht if not available in local markets, making Beluga caviar, Japanese wagyu beef and jamón ibérico as ubiquitous as Cristal Champagne.

wellness charter vacation

#4 – Mind the rules

Some yachts don’t allow smoking – and some areas where you cruise don’t allow jet skis, so heed your captain’s and crew’s advice before lighting up or going for a spin.

tips for charter yacht vacation

#5 – Nanny on board

Don’t assume that the crew will be your nanny. While many crew are excellent with children and can plan fun activities for kids, teaching them watersports and more, if you are looking to unwind completely, then perhaps consider bringing your own childcare. Taking along your nanny is like bringing a part of home – the comfort it brings a child, who’s suddenly thrust into a new environment, cannot be underestimated. Your nanny will know you and your child’s routine and keep them on it, despite any jet lag. If your kids are happy and entertained, you’ll be happy, too.

tips for charter yacht vacation

#6 – Pack smart

Exploring the Arctic? Leave the tux at home. Wintering in the Caribbean? Pack light materials but also something to cover up with in the evenings. Yachts have a no-high-heels policy to protect the decks, so be prepared to go barefoot – but there should be no problem having a pedicure on board if need be. Many charter brokers recommend bringing fewer shoes than you’d pack for other trips as so much time is spent barefoot – or with your toes in the sand.

tips for charter yacht vacation

#7 – Utilize the boat

Make use of every bit of the boat. The yacht will have amazing toys, enabling all sorts of watersports, and maybe even a yoga instructor, masseuse, hairdresser and diving instructor. You might want to wake up in the morning and do a yoga session, go diving and get a massage. The best part of a yacht? It’s like a floating hotel, but one you have all to yourself. Use it to the full. 

kid friendly yacht vacation charter

#8 – Work with your captain

Heed your captain’s advice on itineraries, transit times and places to visit – there’s no point trying to travel too far and not enjoying the journey. Captains know how to get the most out of the time available on board. They can also sometimes “trick” the itinerary by covering some of the longer distances when guests are asleep – the evening can often be when the weather is calmer as well. Your captain’s experience is a vital ingredient of a successful charter.

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