There’s an abundance of superyachts available for charter, so which should you choose? If you’re spoiled for choice, the first step is to think about the constraints you have regarding super yacht charter, such as size and budget, and then consider the style and features of different yachts: which amenities and luxuries are an absolute must for you, and which ones can you live without?
Remember too, that your range of options will be limited by the location of your holiday. Getting advice from a charter broker is a must before you charter a superyacht, but this article will hopefully give you some ideas.
Which basic features should I pay attention to when chartering a superyacht?
Before you decide on a yacht, you need to be absolutely clear on your budget. Other than the weekly charter rate, the price you pay to use the boat, remember to factor things such as food and drink expenses, docking and fueling into your costs: if you’re planning an expensive holiday, the last thing you want is to be saddled with a yacht that you can’t afford to run. A charter broker will be able to help you break down your costs and suggest a realistic price range for you. You can browse OCEDA’s range of superyachts for examples of weekly rates per boat.
If you were planning to rent a lodge for a family holiday or a trip with your friends, one of the first things you’d consider is the number of rooms. It’s the same with superyacht chartering: it’s important you have enough cabins for your guests so everyone is comfortable on the high seas. If you’re traveling with couples, check the number of double cabins your yacht has.
Children might do well in twin berths or bunk beds. Most charter yachts have a 12-person limit; but yachts may exceed this if they’re registered using cruise ship regulations. OCEDA has a range of superyachts to charter, of varying sizes, from a few meters to the 99.1m of O’Pari, the largest yacht in the Greek charter fleet.
If you’ve chartered a yacht before, you probably had the choice of a bare boat, or a yacht with a crew. However, when considering superyacht chartering, the vast majority of vessels will have a crew that comes with the boat; either just a captain and a chef/deckhand or even more than 50 for the bigger boats. The Crew is probably the most important parameter for making any superyacht charter a success and the reason why charter guests will charter the same yacht year after year.
Many yachts are child-friendly, and come with special safety features to make children more secure onboard (such as extra safety rails and barriers). Be sure to let your broker know that you want a child-friendly yacht: something else you might like to consider is getting adjoining cabins with them, to give your kids extra security while at sea.
Low mobility access
If you will have people with low mobility or disabilities on board, this is definitely something to discuss with your broker. Plenty of options are available, including crew who are trained to help people with disabilities, extra-wide passages for wheelchairs, and elevators between decks.
Super yacht charter – What else should I take into consideration?
- Food: Superyachts to charter are known for fine dining, so it’s worth doing a bit of research into the menu that’s available and the dishes the chef specializes in to find the right fit for you. You might like to check for vegetarian and gluten free options, or maybe you prefer a certain style of cuisine. Your broker can provide a sample menu for any of the boats a guest is considering.
- Exercise: Some yachts do have small or fully equipped gyms on board, so if exercise is important to you remember to check these facilities out. Your broker with the captain, in many cases can even arrange for special equipment to be brought onboard for your charter only.
- Watersports: Floats and toys are common on all yachts. Ask your broker for the list of equipment, usually ranging from fishing rods to seabobs, paddle boards, jet skis and much more. If you enjoy scuba diving, it’s a great idea to check whether a dive instructor and equipment are on board. Don’t pass up the perfect opportunity to pursue your hobby!
- Tender and Chase Boats: Most superyachts will have an auxiliary boat. A tender is a large, motorized dinghy that fits on board a superyacht. These boats can be used to reach the shore, or to go on an excursion in the ocean. Some tenders can be used for accommodation, so if the yacht you want to charter comes with a tender boat, it’s worth checking its specifications and features. A chase boat is another form of auxiliary vessel that might accompany a super yacht. Chase boats don’t have any size constraints and they can be more than 20 meters long; they might be towed or driven separately, or moored at a specific destination, and frequently they have their own crew. They can be luxurious with cabins, dining areas, and sunbathing space: perfect if you need some chill-out time.
- Other features: Spa baths, massage rooms, jacuzzis (a third of the boats in the Greek charter fleet have a jacuzzi on deck), bars on deck etc. Many larger superyachts have similar facilities to those in a luxury hotel.
Super yacht charter – Picking your superyacht style
With more than 240 yachts in the Greek charter fleet above 24m, you have a few choices when it comes to the type of superyacht you want to charter:
- Deciding on a look: You’ll find classic yachts out there with a 1920s look. The oldest boat for charter in Greece is S.Y AELLO, built in 1921. You’ll also get some sleek ultra-modern options. If you’re struggling to decide between types, see if you can get a peek at the decor, not just the body shape.
- Sailing vs motor: Sailing charter yachts have an amazing and more romantic look, and they usually tend to have all of the amenities available on motor yachts.
- Standard or expedition yachts: Whether these are available may depend on where you want to sail: expedition yachts are a bit more hardy and they’re built to sail to faraway places.
Don’t worry if you can’t sail: your crew will handle that for you!
When should I charter a superyacht?
You can usually charter a yacht all year round, but be aware that you may end up paying more in the peak season (May to October in the Northern Hemisphere). Think about where you want to go ashore; many places around the world are just as beautiful in the autumn and winter as they are in the summer, but your range of activities may be limited due to the weather.
OCEDA has prepared faqs for people considering chartering a superyacht, including information on the yachting seasons and the booking process.
Super yacht charter – Choosing a reliable charter company
Going via a yacht broker to charter a superyacht is always recommended; approaching the yacht owner directly is risky, if not impossible. Here are some key qualities your charter company should have:
How well do they handle your enquiries? Do they respond to questions in a timely way? If you run into difficulties, it’s important to have a company that keeps the lines of communication open.
It’s a good idea to do some research into the charter company, and check if they have a separate escrow account to handle client funds.
It’s a good sign if the company you’re dealing with is willing to help you arrange things like hotels and insurance. A good yacht broker will also be able to tell you about the crew and their level of experience and personalities, if you ask.
To find out more about what OCEDA can offer you, and to meet our team, take a look at our information page.
Super yacht charter – How much will it cost to charter a superyacht?
The cost of chartering a yacht will vary depending on the size of the yacht you want, when you decide to travel, and the features you require.
If the superyacht you’re interested in is a famous boat, or if it has special features (for instance a movie theater on board, or a celebrity chef working in the kitchen) the charter cost will start to climb. Sometimes you might be lucky enough to get a discount, for instance if the yacht has just had an unexpected cancellation.
We have provided a rough guide to cost below, based on the Greek charter fleet. There’s a significant difference in price between peak season and off season, so pick your dates carefully.
- Super yacht charter 15–30 meters: From 20,000 to 50, 000€ per week in the off season (23,000 to 53,000€ in the peak season). These yachts are designed to carry 8 to 12 guests. Occasionally you may find a yacht below 20,000€.
- Super yacht charter 30–50 meters: From 45,000 to 165,000€ per week in the off season (52,500 to 195,000€ in the peak season). These yachts are also designed to carry 8 to 12 guests.
- Super yacht charter 50+ meters: Between 165,000 and 200,000€ per week in the off season (200,000 to 220,000€ in the peak season). These too generally carry 8 to 12 guests.
Many of these yachts have VIP cabins and beautiful living areas, and it’s common for yachts of 15+ meters to have a pool or jacuzzi tubs. However, the 50+ meter options tend to have the most in the way of luxury add-ons and watersports options.
You can expect to pay a portion of your charter fee in advance (called an Advance Provisioning Allowance) to get the yacht ready to your taste: including stocking the kitchens, and getting your communication systems ready. An APA also includes all fuel requirements. Talk to your broker, to discuss your contract and how your APA and insurance will work.
Are you ready to charter a superyacht, for the holiday of a lifetime?