May. 26th, 2009

Luxury Yacht Charters 101


1. Determine your budget. It is very important to establish an amount before proceeding. Tim qualified his position by stating, "My idea of luxury may be the $700,000-a-week boat, while yours may be the $5,000-per-week package. Both are nice but obviously do not offer the same level of luxury features."

2. Provide specific dates and book in advance when chartering a yacht. Most firms require a minimum charter length of three days. Keep in mind that when a chartered trip is less than seven days, many companies will charge a premium for the charter.

"Plus," Tim quipped, "if you go for less than a week, I know that you aren't going to be ready to leave the yacht after only a few days aboard!"

It also is a good idea to book well in advance of the trip date. Some outfits prefer to have up to six months to book the arrangements. This is not an ironclad industry standard. However, it is a good benchmark.

3. Know the total number of guests and children who will be traveling. Some charter companies have a minimum age for children. Keep in mind that crewmembers are not permitted to serve as babysitters due to potential legal ramifications that may arise. Children at all times will need to be under the supervision of a member of the charter.

4. Know your desired destination and the forecasted weather conditions of the area. The primary charter areas are the Mediterranean for the summer months and the Caribbean for the winter months. Also, Greece and New England are excellent options for the summer months. Florida and the Bahamas are nice for the winter and spring seasons. Conversely, June 1 to November 30, which is the hurricane season, is not a good time for Florida, the Bahamas, or the Caribbean Islands. The rep of the yacht-charter firm should offer clients complete details regarding such matters.

5. Down payments of up to 50 percent are generally expected at the time arrangements are made. Many times deposits for mega-yachts are done via wire transfers. Some smaller yachts with minimal crews do not accept credit cards for down payments. In most cases, the balance owed is to be paid 30 to 45 days prior to the charter date.

6. Don't forget about the APA fees. APA means "advanced-provisioning allowance" and includes such items as the cost of fuel, food, wine, liquor, dockage, communication systems, and so forth. The fee is normally 30 to 35 percent of the charter fee and is due in full 30 to 45 days prior to the charter date. If less is spent on the APA, the difference is refunded; and vice-versa if the amount is higher.

7. There are few more additional costs that should be stated. Tipping the crew can range from 10 to 20 percent of the charter fee. Tipping is not as common in European countries. However, a gratuity of five to 10 percent of the charter fee is recommended. Additionally, a broker should inform clients whether their chartered yacht is subject to taxes.

Recommended Sources
Obviously, we strongly recommend Seven Seas Yacht Charters. This seaworthy firm offers yacht excursions worldwide in mono-hull sailboats, powered catamarans or motor yachts that lavishly accommodate as few as two or more than 10 guests. SSYC obtains appropriate vessels for trips involving any of the seven seas for seven-, 14-, or 21-day charters. The organization, with its 19-plus years of know-how, is firmly established in the yacht-chartering industry. Luxury mega-yachts, such as the Alexander and the Turama are approximately 400 feet long and can accommodate 50 to 60 guests, are also available.

Inter Yacht Charter has more than 1,300 yachts available at more than 130 locations. The firm's goal is to provide the largest accessible network to clients seeking yachts from 10 to 70 meters long. The company's FAQ section hooked us with its vast serving of across-the-board, worthwhile information on how to prepare for an outing on a yacht.

Allied Yacht Charter has more than 25 in-house charter yachts and is capable of securing hundreds of others through a vast network of yacht chartering services. Trips are available from the coast of Africa to the island of Zanzibar. Visit the Mediterranean Sea and stop off at the Greek Isles, or take in the Caribbean or the Bahamas. Check out Allied's 94 Ferretti. It has four staterooms and a hot tub on the top deck. It accommodates eight overnight guests and up to 12 day guests. Prices of private luxury yacht charters for a week range from $5,000 to $150,000. Power or sail yachts are available.

For JustLuxe James Rothaar
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