HOW TO HAVE THE BEST CHARTER
Spending a week at sea and taking part in unforgettable experiences is a bonding experience! Is your vacation on a charter yacht a family adventure with your closest kin, or an extended family reunion? Maybe you plan a romantic trip for two in the place under the palm tree. Just a weekend getaway with a few friends? Always make sure you surround yourself with people worthy of the wonderful memories you’re bound to make.
Don’t wait until the last minute to book your charter. The largest, top quality and newest yachts can often book up months ahead of the season. First discounts for the next season starts at the end of November. Don’t miss out on getting the yacht you want. Yachts for Monaco Grand Prix or Cannes Film Festival get booked pretty fast. If you wait last minute, you can get in a situation that on market does not have the appropriate yacht for your vacation.
Find the right yacht
Whatever you are after, there is a yacht out there that will suit you. Whether you’d like a fast-flying sailing superyacht to race in a regatta, an explorer yacht to tour uncharted waters, a yacht large enough for the entire family or a glamorous classic vessel, there’s a boat out there that will be the right match. Work with your trusted and knowledgeable charter broker to find the right yacht for you.
Let your broker guide you
A knowledgeable yacht broker will dip into their many years of experience to guide you every step of the way. They know what’s on offer in the market and study all the new yachts and destinations; they are an invaluable resource for you. Your broker is your partner in this process, and they want nothing more than to connect you with the right yacht, crew and location to best suit your needs. If you enjoy your vacation, they know you’ll be back. Build a strong relationship with your broker and they will learn all your requirements and always be on the lookout for the yachts to suit your particular needs.
Communication is key
Communicate early and often – with your broker, chef and captain. Everyone is working hard to make this the best experience for you and your guests, and they can better meet your needs if they know what they are. Likewise, if there is a problem let your crew and broker know so a solution can be found. They need to know if you have a health problem, what kind of food you like, what kind of vacation you like, as more they know, they will better fit all your needs and make your vacation unforgettable.
Don’t judge a book by its cover
While the newest yachts might seem exciting, don’t let the age of a more established yacht turn you off. Many yachts in the charter market have undergone thorough and excellent refits, so even an older yacht can be a great choice, especially if you’d like to save money and not pay a premium just because a yacht is brand new. A yacht with good bones, an updated interior and a wonderful crew can be as enjoyable as a shiny new yacht – and sometimes considerably cheaper.
Seek out a great crew and go early
A good Crew is a key on the yacht, the most important consideration – look for a yacht that has a crew with a great reputation who can make your vacation unforgettable. Especially if you are on holiday with children, the Crew can really do for your children that holiday unforgettable. Catch the crew at their freshest by booking at the very beginning of the season – May for the Mediterranean, November for the Caribbean. While the crew is always great, this insider tip means you’ll get the crew when they are extremely well-rested and excited for the new season.
Go somewhere new
While you can go nearly anywhere on your travel wish list with a luxury yacht charter, it’s good to have an open mind as your broker will suggest alternatives you might have overlooked. The Mediterranean and Caribbean will always be popular – and for good reason. But you might enjoy other areas you never considered, such as New England or the Pacific Northwest, which can be beautiful in October, or even as far afield as New Zealand, Australia, or Fiji, where November through January are the best times to go.
If your dates are flexible, try to visit some of the most popular cruising grounds in their shoulder season or off-season, when cruising conditions can still be great and crowds are few. Skip the high season of July and August in the Med and save thousands by booking in June or September instead. For the Bahamas, visit in April to August – while technically the low season, it can be one of the best times to visit as the windy winter cold fronts are over and you can enjoy perfectly still days.
Embrace the off season
If your dates are flexible, try to visit some of the most popular cruising grounds in their shoulder season or off season, when cruising conditions can still be great and crowds are few. Skip the high season of July and August in the Med and save thousands by booking in June or September instead. For the Bahamas, visit in April to August – while technically the low season, it can be one of the best times to visit as the windy winter cold fronts are over and you can enjoy perfectly still days.
It might be tempting to pack your days with myriad activities – whether it means embarking on shoreside diversions or taking advantage of all your own yacht has to offer. But remember, one of the advantages of the yachting experience is embracing the laid-back lifestyle and slipping into a slower pace of life. Make sure you leave plenty of unscripted downtime for simple relaxation.