If you have ever dreamed of sailing off into the sunset on a private yacht, you might be surprised to learn that such an experience is actually available for anyone willing to pony up the bucks.
There are a few different types of yacht rentals, ranging from boat charters to cabin charters and all-inclusive options. The key is to find the right charter experience for you and your family or friends.
Generally speaking, the cheaper option is a bareboat charter. In this case, you rent just the vessel and hire a skipper (or captain the boat yourself, if licensed) to take you out for a day or week. However, this also means you must bring everything else — drinks, food and equipment for fishing, water sports, etc. In addition, a bareboat charter usually has a minimum stay of one week, and prices do not go down for longer stays.
Next up the ladder are crewed charters, where you pay to hire a professional skipper and crew to sail you around a destination or region. In this case, your charter fees include a diligent crew, all fuel, food and beverages on board, and often an onboard chef. Some companies offer additional perks and amenities, like spa treatments onboard and on-shore excursions.
An all-inclusive yacht charter is a bit more expensive, but it eliminates the guesswork for travelers. In addition to a full-service skipper and crew, your charter fee covers all fuel, food, drink and water and electricity charges onboard, as well as an APA (Advance Provisioning Allowance), which the crew keeps track of and sends to you at the end of the charter.
Of course, all of these options vary in price based on location, time of year and the type of yacht you want to book. For example, Ziriakus says that Mediterranean charters tend to be more costly in the summer, while Caribbean yachting is highest from December through March, when many North Americans flock south. Also, some destinations have short seasons, which can also affect prices.