Why Charter a Crewed Yacht?
A private yacht charter is like combining the best features of a cruise ship and a luxury resort. – your own floating hotel, so depending on your preferences and your budget. You’ll travel to a different, unspoiled location each day with a degree of pampering and personal attention you may not have experienced before. Avoid the holiday crowds while going to the most desirable locations, no waiting in lines or fixed itineraries. Learn new skills that are valuable for a lifetime, your own private yacht with a dedicated crew, a variety of amenities and water sports for you to enjoy.
Being on a boat brings you much closer to your friends and family, because you have shared a magical experience enhanced by being free on the water together. Many people worry that they’ll be too cramped on a boat, and that the close quarters will lead to problems. Having put literally thousands of happy clients on yacht charters, we simply have not seen this occur.
What is a Crewed Charter?
A crewed charter is a charter on a luxury yacht where a permanent and experienced crew that is familiar with both the boat and the local waters, takes care of the yacht and passengers.
Crewed yachts provide a captain, chef, and any number of crew depending on the size of the yacht (stewardesses, deckhands, water sports guides, engineers, even masseuses and beauticians on some larger yachts) A crewed charter on a Catamaran in the Caribbean is an all-inclusive, customized vacation. Inclusive means you will have full use of the yacht and all of its amenities as well as the exclusive services of a professional captain and chef. Customized means it’s all about you!
You and the captain will determine when and where you go and you and the chef will determine the food and beverages to be served. Typically a charter is one week, however, longer and shorter charters can be arranged. You can start any day of the week (except over the Holidays Xmas and New Year, where the start and ending days are fix) Crewed charter on a Motor Yacht in the Caribbean or crewed charters in the MED are not inclusive.
What is included in charter rate?
The rates in the Caribbean are all inclusive (except. Motor Yachts).
The charter fee includes all provisioning and running expenses.
This includes the services of a:
- fully trained Captain and Crew
- meals (your chef will provide the kind of exceptional, personalized meal preparation that you would expect of a fine restaurant; any special diets, such as lactose or gluten free, vegetarian, kosher, or other dietary restrictions will be addressed in a Preference Sheet which I will send to you – more info at: How do I make sure I have everything I need on board (food, wine etc.),
- standard ship’s bar (if not it will be mentioned),
- all expenses related to running of the vessel
- use of on-board sports equipment
- Cruising taxes are included (if not it will be mentioned!)
The charter fee does not include: crew gratuities, premium beverages and fine wines, excessive alcoholic consumption, off yacht excursions, dockage, telephone, airport transfers or similar expense incurred by the charterer.
The rates on Motor yachts or rates in the Med are not all incl.
Charter rates include the yacht with full trained crew , their service and all necessary equipment, properly insured for marine risks. Rates do not include VAT, provisioning, fuel charges, electronic communications, canal fees, harbor dues, local taxes and specific marina fees. If embarkation and/or disembarkation take place at a different location from the yacht’s home port, delivery/return fees and expenses will also be charged.
Do I need to charter the yacht for the full week?
It is customary that you charter your yacht for a full week but it is not obligatory. You can choose to charter the yacht for less than a week or longer.
When, where and how long you want to cruise?
Keep in mind that many of these trips are often booked many months in advanced (holidays are booked up to a year or more in advance). The length of time you will spend on your charter will also be a consideration as to areas you wish to visit. Rates are based on a 8 day / 7 night Charter (start and end at noon)
Can I select which day of the week the charter starts?
Yes, you can select your best date that your charter will start depending always on the yacht’s availability.
Can I afford a yachting vacation?
Yes, you can. Prices for private yacht chartering actually varies remarkably based on some factors: the type of yacht, the size of the yacht, number of guests, and the location of the yacht charter destination. The rates may also differ from the low peak and high peak seasons.
How do I calculate the charter rate?
Charter rates are quoted per week. Charters, spanning for more than a week are divided by seven and multiplied by the number of charter days. Charters spanning for less than a week are divided by six and multiplied by the number of charter days. Charters commence from noon onward on the first day and terminate by noon on the last day. Some yachts have high season rates that apply to the most popular charter periods and low season rates that apply to all other periods.
Where might you like to go?
From the Caribbean to the Mediterranean there is a variety of cruising grounds to suit all interests. We are here to offer advice on the most suitable destination according to your preferences. We can then offer a tailored itinerary as a starting point for your cruise. The Mediterranean is perfect during the months of June – September, and the Caribbean offers year round cruising – the peak months being between November and May.
What type of yacht should I charter?
There are four primary styles of vessels available for charter, and these can range in size from around 14 metres (44ft) in overall length through to more than 82 metres (270ft).
- Motor Yachts
- Power Catamarans
- Sailing Catamarans
- Sailing Yachts (Mono-hulls)
- Motor Sailors and Gulets
How to choose a Yacht?
There is a luxury charter yacht and an itinerary to suit every taste, interest and inclination. Whatever you are seeking, it can be arranged, including the choice of yacht – power or sail – the size, number of guests, length of charter, destination, activities and itineraries – depending on what you’re interested in. We travel the world to inspect the premier luxury yachts on the market; our first hand experience gives us in-depth knowledge and enables us to provide personalized recommendations based on your needs and taste.
The choice of yacht is defined by your own needs. We can tell you what yachts are available that meet your criteria. It’s important for us to know the size and make-up of your party – including ages, interests and accommodation requirements. With this information we are better informed and allows us to present you with the best charter solution, matched to your specific personal requirements.
The modern catamaran has become extremely popular for its
-stability (minimum heeling and more stability can help to avoid seasickness),
– remarkably space,
– offer an excellent sun deck (most of them offer a flybridge)
– safety &
– privacy (the cabins are separated from each other)
– easy to navigate in shallow water (The small draft of a catamaran allows you to anchor in shallow bays or very close to the beach), as crewed luxury yacht. A must for the luxury yacht vacationer.
They offer equal accommodations making them ideal of groups of couples vacationing together. Total stability while enjoying beautiful surroundings, tropical cocktails and gourmet cuisine
Sailing yachts bring a great spirit of romance and adventure to a luxury charter. They can be both an affordable or a luxurious choice of a crewed charter vacation. Sleek and elegant Monohulls, combining exhilarating performance under sail with a luxury yacht.
Motor yachts are generally faster and mostly bring a more sophisticated level of elegance to your luxury charter.
They can be perfect for families, couples, a corporate meeting or incentive group. In nearly all cases these yachts charter for substantially more in the summer month in US, or Mediterranean cruising grounds and in the winter months in the Caribbean.
New technologies and better design have also greatly improved the ability to deliver a truly stunning holiday experience on a Motor Yacht, with plush accommodation and all the toys.
While these boats do not come cheap, again when compared to the price of a 5 star hotel for a week for 3-4 couples or a full family, you will often come out well financially and have the added benefit of the privacy and freedom that come from being on your own boat.
MOTOR SAILORS and GULETS:
The Turkish gulet is a handcrafted traditional wooden one- or two-masted motorsailer. She has the heritage of those ancient boats which sailed across the Aegean and Mediterranean seas for thousands of years.
Over the years and with a growing demand for sophisticated yacht charter vessels in Turkey, the gulets have evolved into very elegant and luxurious motorsailers meeting the requirements of a very discerning charter clientele.
Turkish gulets vary in size between 15 m (50 ft) and 50 m (164 ft) and depending on size feature 2-20 double cabins with en-suite bathrooms. They offer ample deck space, an airy lounge as well as elegant dining and reclining areas.
Gulets have become the best authentic way to explore the Turkish and Croatian cultures and coastlines, and provide superb holiday choices for families and groups of friends.
Are there Low and High Seasons for yacht chartering?
Yes, there are, depending on the type of yacht and the yacht charter destination.
Mediterranean seasons are:
High Season: July – August and special events
Low Season: April – June and September – October
Caribbean seasons for most motor yachts with plus expenses rates for charters:
High Season: Christmas and New Year’s Holiday period and some holidays.
Low Season: All other months.
Caribbean seasons for inclusive charters:
Holiday Season: Christmas and New Year’s holiday period. Premium is added to the standard rate with a minimum charter period required.
High Rates: Winter (December 15 – April 30)
Low Rates: Summer (May 1 – December 14)
High Season: Christmas and New Year’s holiday period and some holidays.
Low Season: All other months
Should we bring the kids?
The short answer is an undeniable “Yes!”
Many of our clients ask us if it’s a good idea to bring the kids along on a yacht charter – not just for the obvious safety reasons, but because they’re worried the kids will feel cooped up on the boat and ruin the vacation for kids and parents alike.
These are valid concerns, but from our experience children love being on a yacht.
There is plenty for the kids to do on charter – from playing on the beach, kayaking & snorkelling, test their balance on the standup paddleboard.
Your yacht’s tender is powerful enough to pull them on a kneeboard, wakeboard, water-skis or to take them on a thrilling ski tubing ride – there is plenty to keep them occupied and many new learning experiences too.
If you’re planning a family sailing charter, we strongly recommend a catamaran. Catamarans are wonderful for children – they offer a lot of inside play space, they don’t rock back and forth when tacking, and the children will love being on the forward trampolines and jumping off the stern deck.
Successful charter vacations with children, however, do require some planning and rule enforcement. In talking with others who have chartered with little kids, here are some basic suggestions:
Set clear safety rules. Discuss the rules of a charter before the trip and reinforce them the moment you get on the boat. Rules we’ve used are:
- Always wear life vests when not in the cockpit
- Never leave a boat without permission from an adult
- Never go to the front of the boat without an adult
- The captain is the boss, his word is law
Private yacht charters are a fabulous way to reconnect as a family. Cosmopolitan Yachting will provide you with a selection of our favorite yachts and crews that specialize in family charters.
What does the crew do?
Perhaps you have a vague idea of what a yacht crew is. The crew is minimally comprised of a captain, chef/steward(ess) but can also include multiple deckhands and junior stewards if the yacht is large enough. We will help you understand the different levels of service you might expect between a yacht say with 3 crew and 5 so you can make the ideal choice for you.
These are the people who will implement your itinerary, prepare and serve your meals, clean your stateroom, and give you advice on how to make the most of each and every port.
Your crew is fully trained and committed to your safety and enjoyment of your vacation.
One client mentioned for instance that they never were without a cool drink in their hands in the heat of the summer.
They know the yacht and the destinations well, and their only concern is your safety and satisfaction while on board.
What activities would be available on my yacht charter?
Based on your yacht and destination, there are a myriad of activities and water sports are available to do, such as:
- Scuba diving
- Wake boarding
- Stand-up paddle boarding
You will have many opportunities to visit ashore and take part in the on-shore side activities as well.
Am I allowed to use the watersport and scuba diving equipment?
In most countries a license is necessary in order to use certain water toys (e.g. jet skis, wave runners and other mechanically propelled watercraft) and there may be an age limit. Certain areas prohibit the use of motorized water toys altogether.
To use the yacht’s SCUBA diving equipment, if available, a certified PADI license or equivalent is necessary. If you do not have the required certificates, our team can usually arrange for an instructor to come onboard the yacht during your charter.
How many people are allowed on board on a yacht?
The number of guests allowed on each yacht is usually determined by the yacht’s size and number of staterooms.
On most yachts, the maximum number of charter guests allowed to sleep onboard by law is 12.
International Marine regulation generally states that once a vessel carries more than 12 passengers, even if it is being used as a private yacht, it is considered to be a passenger ship and has to comply with the SOLAS convention (Safety of Life at Sea) set out by the IMO (International Maritime Organization). This is obviously to promote passenger safety.
SOLAS involves adhering to a comprehensive list of stringent safety restrictions that are expensive to implement and this is reflected in the chartering cost increase between boats licensed for up to 12 passengers and boats licensed for more than 12 passengers.
If you require a yacht that can accommodate a larger party, we will make sure to find you a great selection of yachts that are appropriately registered with a larger guest capacity.
What if I have special dietary requirements?
Our new clients typically comment that the meals exceeded their expectations Imagine it this way, it’s like your private chef preparing just what you like to eat just for you every meal.
The joy of having a fully crewed yacht, and in particular a skilled chef, is that any dietary requirements and requests can be catered for. Whether you’re vegetarian, allergic to nuts, or only eat a specific type of meat (Halal or Kosher), we can find the very best yacht to suit your wishes.
Kosher is available on some boats, though often in ‘modified’ form due to the constraints of a yacht’s galley. The most important thing is to let us know and communicate your special needs early.
Part of our planning procedure involves you completing a detailed questionnaire to advise of your food and beverage preferences, and if there are any special dietary, details of any allergies or serious aversions or medical requirements for those in your party. This allows your Crew to fully understand your requirements and to provide you the most relevant service.
All of our charter yachts’ chefs are experienced and pride themselves on the high standard of cuisine they present their guests.
How do I make sure I have everything I need on board?
Several weeks before your charter begins, we will reach out to you and ask you to fill out a detailed questionnaire (Preference Sheet) including all preferences and special requirements for members of your party.
This sheet will cover dietary preferences, medical requirements, details on any allergies, favorite activities, sporting and entertainment requests. Knowing your preferences will enable us and the crew to make sure that you have everything that you need on board and that you have an unforgettable experience.
Will we be able to help sail the yacht?
As the yachts are fully crewed you can sit back and relax while the crew do the work, however if you are keen to take the helm most crews will be happy to involve you.
Let us know if this is important and we will select the appropriate crew.
How can I secure the yacht that I have selected for charter?
As soon as you have decided which Yacht and the dates I will check on yacht availability.
Once the availability of your chosen yacht has been verified I will put an “Option” on the charter for your preferred dates. An Option on the calendar does not confirm the Charter on the Yacht. You then have one – two weeks in which to send your deposit to officially reserve the charter.
However, another charter party can challenge you for these dates, which would give you only 48 hours to secure your reservation with a deposit.
All charters are subject to a fully executed contract.
You will receive a Charter Agreement, with a request for a deposit to secure the booking. The Charter Agreement defines the terms and conditions, obligations and rights of each party.
When your deposit clears the bank and the contract is signed you will receive a Confirmation number by e-mail. At this time your charter is officially reserved.
The funds will be placed on the Escrow account of the Management Company of the yacht.
How do I book & what are the payment terms?
Typically, upon signature a 25% deposit is taken, another 25% due six months prior to the charter and the balance 30 – 45 days prior to embarkation. If you are booking with six months of the charter start date a 50% deposit will be required.
The yacht is paid a deposit ten days before the charter, and the balance on the first working day of the charter.
Your deposit is held in a safe escrow account until just a few days before your charter begins.
We will email you the Preference Forms for your careful completion. This form will have your food, drink, activity, passport information, shoe size, food in-tolerances, and allergy information. It is important for your crew to know what is important to you and as much information as possible to begin planning your menu and itinerary.
Prior to your arrival at your yacht the crew will contact you to discuss your vacation plans and the preferences detailed on the Preference Form.
Once onboard your yacht, the captain will conduct an orientation and safety briefing prior to departing on your vacation. During the cruise it is important to communicate with the captain and crew with any questions and or requests. They are available and will assist you with arrangements. Your captain’s primary role is the safety of guests, crew and the yacht and he will be taking this into consideration at all times.
Why use a yacht charter broker?
There are key reasons to use a Yacht Charter Broker when planning your next charter:
– Free, unbiased advice to get you on the right boat.
They want to put you on the right yacht so that you will come back year after year. In consultation with you they will recommend suitable yachts from among our multiple owners and operators to assure the yacht you choose is right for you.
The best brokers have access to every fully crewed, private yacht available for charter, they know the managers of the yachts, and know the right questions to ask of the managers regarding the various yachts for which each manager is responsible. Why choose from a few yachts when you can have a choice of all available yachts plus have a broker suggest the ones that might best suit you?
We regulary attend seminars about marine law, contracts and destinations, so we can be helpful through the entire process of the charter, from your initial yacht search, to signing the contract, to arranging the charter logistics and provisioning, to seeing your happy faces in photos at the end of the charter.
Brokers are objective. They want happy clients, and they want repeat business. Personally, here at Cosmopolitan Yachting we look forward to your reviews after a successful charter. We strive for your total satisfaction so you can tell your peers about us with confidence!
– Someone on your side if something goes wrong.
While the vast majority of charters go flawlessly, if something does happen, you need someone on your side to help solve the issue.
– The same price than if you book direct.
The price you are charged is the same or lower than the price that the charter operator offers to the general public or propose on their Websites, and normally they will not reduce these prices for individuals.
In fact, if you’re dealing with a fully crewed charter yacht, the price is guaranteed to be the same no matter how you charter your yacht. So, the price that we propose to you is normally the best price you’ll receive and we provide you with the best service and knowledge.
What is the APA?
This is the Advance Provisioning Allowance, on yachts which do not offer an all inclusive rate (Motor Yachts, yachts in the Med). The APA essentially creates a bank account for the Captain of the boat.
The APA amount is used to cover expenses incurred during the course of the charter such as fuel, food, beverages, mooring fees, visa fees, harbour fees, park fees, taxes, and other expenses not included in the Charter Fee. In the event of cancellation of the charter the APA is refundable.
Normally a percentage will be added on to the base charter fee – depending on the type of boat and therefore fuel consumption. For sailing yachts expect 20 to 25% to be added on and for motor yachts 30 to 35%. You will pay this with your final charter payment. The captain of the yacht is responsible for accounting for all APA expenses during the charter, and the breakdown will be presented to you in a clear manner at the end of the charter.
If the costs incurred during the course of the charter are less than the APA deposit, then the difference will be refunded to the Charterer at the end of the charter.
If the costs incurred during the course of the charter that are over and above the APA deposit then this difference will be payable by the Charterer at the end of the charter
How much should I tip the crew?
While it is at your discretion, it is customary to tip the Captain and crew at the conclusion of a charter for excellent care and service. As a guide, a gratuity of 10-15% of the base charter fee is considered fair.
Crew work extremely hard to make a success of a charter and tipping is an appropriate way to show appreciation.
If the service has been exceptional, 20% and higher might be warranted. The tip is handed to the captain at the end of the charter to distribute fairly between all members of the crew.
Passport & Visa requirements?
All guests must carry valid passports for customs and immigration in the various ports of call. Visas, if applicable, are the responsibility of the charterer and must be secured in advance when you charter a luxury yacht.
If you have any questions, we can direct you to the proper authorities.
Should I purchase Yacht Charter Travel Insurance?
I highly recommend obtaining a trip cancellation insurance/Yacht Charter Trip Interruption and/or Cancellation Insurance.
We can provide you with contact information for agents that deal exclusively with this type of policy. You want to make sure that your travel insurance not only covers health and medical issues, but also force majeure (acts of God). With weather interruptions around the world, one can never predict if they will have trouble reaching their yacht.
Some types of insurance even include lost luggage, delayed luggage and medical expenses, including air evacuation!
A small premium goes a long way in protecting your valuable vacation.
In all areas of the Western Mediterranean VAT will be payable on the charter fee. VAT is a European tax (Value Added Tax).
This can vary, depending on the country.
Cosmopoplitan Yachting e.U. stays current on all tax issues and will give you exact VAT information.
Some other regions have a similar tax situation. In the Bahamas, the cruising tax is 4% of the charter rate.
What happens if the yacht breaks down?
If for any reason the yacht has a problem and is unable to take your charter we will be there to assist you.
We will move fast to find you the very best resolution to the problem – either another yacht or a refund in full.
How do I know the Charter Yacht I booked is in perfect and seaworthy condition?
A very important question! All the Charter Yachts I am offering to you are obliged with a committing contract to a management. These are committed to obey the control of their Charter Yachts and are in charge to fulfill the local maritime laws and regulations; these rules are quite strict.
Local Coast Guards constant checks paperwork and registrations of the Charter Yachts and the crew, if not in order a confiscation of the yacht is at stake; the fines are hefty and extremely painful!
Most cruising destinations require a “Trade License” or similar and without the proper paperwork or insurance proof, a yacht will not get their annual license issued. Crew’s need safety standard certifications (STCW95), work permit and must undergo regularly medical checks.
Also important, we visit every year the International Charter Yacht shows in the Caribbean and Europe, to check and see for ourselves. We pay high attention to the smallest details, our experience helps to see and determine quickly if a yacht meets our high standard and if we want to offer it to our clients.
The general rule “the newer – the better” works in most cases, but for example a owner operated Charter Yacht mostly is even after many years still be in pristine condition.
BVI Fishing License
If you wish to fish in the BVIs off this yacht:
Actually every person that wants to fish has to obtain a fishing permit in the BVI.
The BVI Government has recently changed their policies regarding fishing. Starting April 1, 2016, all vessels must have a BVI fishing vessel registration number in order to engage in any fishing activities in the BVI. If your yacht has the required fishing vessel registration number we will supply you with all the details approximately 30 days from the start of your charter. If they do not have the required registration number, they will not be legal for any fishing in the BVI.
Any reef fish that you may happen to catch on charter will have to be released and charter guests should realize in advance that fishing activities on these charters are simply for fun. Also, fishing in the Marine Parks is illegal, and fishing in the various anchorages is not allowed due to the fact that the same fish are being caught over and over again and are being injured or killed. Fishing while on charter takes place while you are trolling underway between the islands.
The fish that typically inhabit these shallow waters in the BVIs include barracuda, snapper, grunts and bottom fish. These reef fish can carry a poisonous toxin called Ciguatera and eating these fish is strongly discouraged and therefore not allowed aboard our crewed yachts.