How Much Does a Private Yacht Charter Cost?
Let's Talk About Types of Charter Yachts and Expectations!
Chartering a yacht is available to anyone, not just the rich and famous! If you dare to figure up all your costs including food & entertainment on your last vacation, we guarantee that you spent more money than you realize. A private yacht charter can cost anywhere from $2,500 per person per week for 4 couples in four cabins to thousands. It can be affordable or as extravagant as you choose. We will help you choose the right yacht and crew for your expectations and budget.
What Determines the Yacht Charter Cost?
Age, Size and Actual Cost of the Yacht
The Year the Yacht was Refitted
Level of Luxury & Experience of the Crew and Training of the Chef
Watertoys onboard and Additional Amenity Options
If the Owner Wants the Yacht Booked, or if He Wants to Keep More Weeks for Himself
Catamarans and Sailing Yachts UNDER 60’: Affordably priced, a catamaran or sailing yacht under 60' in the Caribbean Virgin Islands with all meals and an open bar starts around $2,500 per person. That is considerably less than what most people expect to pay and competes with the cost of a high-end cruise ship or luxury shoreside resort.
Catamarans and Sailing Yachts OVER 60’: If you love higher-end hotels, then you’d feel most comfortable an a 62’ catamaran that charters for $4,000-$4,500 per person for 7 nights.
Motor yachts: Motor yachts tend to be more expensive than sailing yachts or catamarans for two reasons – they are typically more expensive to buy and fuel as well as how fast you want to cruise adds to the charter cost.
Power Catamarans: These are rising in popularity quickly because they offer more living space than a typical motor yacht at a better rate. Power Catamarans start at $3,000 pp/week all-inclusive in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean.
How to Pack for a Yacht Charter Vacation
Let's talk About Packing Only What You Really Need for a Charter!
Consider the idea of not checking any luggage:
Please use soft-sided, collapsible luggage such as a duffle bag or a small rolling bag that will fit in the overhead compartment on the plane. Remember, if you can take 2 personal items on the plane such as a backpack & small carry-on, you will have everything you need. While on board the yacht, you'll be in bathing suits & cover-ups by day, shorts & t-shirts at night. You might want a lightweight, long-sleeved shirt or windbreaker for cooler evenings in January. Most yachts require you to be barefoot while onboard. Bring a comfortable pair of sandals or walking shoes for excursions ashore, something that’s easy to slip on and off.
Take just what you need:
Packing 2-3 swimsuits is a great idea so you always have a dry one to change into, a beach cover-up or sundress, 3 pairs of shorts (or capris), a few tees or lightweight shirts, sandals, and you’re good to go. We wear one pair of sandals on the plane and take another easy-on, easy-off pair of flip-flops for going ashore. Bring tennis shoes if you want to hike. You might want to consider bringing a UV swim shirt to protect against the tropical sun while swimming and snorkeling. We like to use them so that we don’t always have to be covered with sticky sunscreen!
Your Packing List:
5 Pairs of Shorts
1-2 Pair of Sandals that you don't mind getting wet
Ladies: 1 casual sundress/ Men: 1 button-down shirt and dress shorts
Small amounts of toiletry items, medications, spare sunglasses and passports
Other Typical Questions:
Should We Dine Out?
Yes! Now don't worry. The cuisine onboard the yacht is excellent and included. The Chef has planned for your every need, your every snack, your every beverage and certainly, your every meal. The reason to dine out or visit the beach bars is to explore and enjoy the unique ambiance of the islands. A relaxed lunch at the new, luxurious Scrub Island Resort, a pina colada lunch with a view at The Baths or a barefoot-on-the beach dinner at Foxy's famous buffet & dancing on Friday & Saturday nights hold the promise of fun Caribbean memories that you will cherish. If you choose to dine out, yes-you pay the bill; but it will be worth it. Most guests find that one lunch and one dinner ashore provide variation to the week that's very enjoyable. You might invite the crew, it would be a special treat, but it is not expected. The point is that you enjoy and experience the flavors of the islands.
Does the British Virgin Islands Accept U.S. Currency?
Yes, the BVIs accept U.S. dollars, traveler's checks and credit cards in most places. BUT! ATM machines and banks are not located on every island. Please bring a sufficient amount of cash for the week. Banking conveniences in the islands are not as easily available as they are stateside. Visa & Mastercard is the preferred credit card at bars and restaurants. American Express is accepted at a few places.
What Other Expenses Should We Expect?
It's always hard to guess how much cash to bring. You will need cash for transfers to and from the airport or ferry. Cabs in the islands are not always a bargain. You may be grouped with other riders and take a circuitous route. Even so, $8-$10 or more per person for each cab ride can put a dent in your cash quickly. Other adventures ashore are at your discretion. Some places may accept credit cards, some not. There are a few ways to incur extra charges on your yacht. They include special requests for food or beverages, spa services, requests for overnight dockage in marinas, and additional costs for rendezvous scuba diving.
It is customary to tip your crew at the end of your charter. The amount is totally at your discretion. The suggested industry standard rate is 15-20% of the total charter cost. We would like to note that the majority of our charters in the past tipped 18%-20%. Tips were our main salary and we worked hard to earn them. The amount you leave should be based on the level of service you receive, much like a restaurant. If your charter did not meet expectations, you would leave less. If it far exceeds your expectations, your crew won’t say no to more. And while it is a lovely gesture, taking the Crew out to eat or buying them drinks should not be considered part of the gratuity. (Giving your Chef a night off and/ or having lunch ashore is always appreciated. Your Crew knows all the best places to dine on shore and will make recommendations to meet any budget).
Can I make a phone call or access the internet from the yacht?
Bring your cell phone. With new digital roaming services offered by AT&T, Sprint & Verizon, all stateside cellular phones will receive & make phone calls in the British Virgin Islands. Note~AT&T works best in the USVI & BVI for receiving 4G & LTE non-roaming signals almost all the way up the channel in the BVI because of stray signals from the towers in St. John. Check with your carrier for roaming rates. If you have a smartphone, you'll be able to check your email for FREE at the hot spots ashore. Do try to unplug yourself from your life and enjoy a bit of peace of mind. You'll want to bring your iPads or Kindles for reading as well as the internet. Skip bringing the laptop unless you just have to have it with you.
Is the water safe to drink?
Yes, your yacht will provide plenty of safe-to-drink water from the yacht as well as bottled water. Most yachts have a reverse osmosis filtration system that will supply water during your vacation. Our islands are truly struggling with the lack of local recycling facilities for plastic bottles. Yachts in both the U.S. Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands are now asking their guests to bring along a personal water bottle if they choose. The decision is yours, but we would appreciate your help in making our islands future greener!
Do I need to bring sunscreen, beach towels, shampoo or hairdryers?
The yachts typically provide all of the above. If you want to bring a travel-sized version of your own shampoo & conditioner, please do so. Your yacht will have plenty of beach towels, floats, quality snorkeling equipment, etc. A hair dryer along with shampoo & conditioner is available.
Can I bring my iPod, CDs, and videos?
Yes! Feel free to bring any of your favorite tunes or movies! Most yachts have an extensive music library with lots of songs, but your Crew will always enjoy listening to something new. They can play music on their stereo systems from your electronic devices. Also, you will probably find many of today's most popular books on board to read while relaxing on the deck. Don’t pack a lot of heavy books. Bring an iPad or Kindle instead. You'll typically find regular 110V outlets for recharging all your devices.
Will There be Games On Board the Yacht?
Most likely! We always had Cranium, Yahtzee, Mancala, Apples to Apples, Dominos, Bingo, Checkers, Backgammon, Left, Right, Center, Rook and lots of decks of cards onboard. *Note: Watch out! Many a crewed yacht Captain is just like Capt. Randy... a “card shark”!
Can We Go Fishing?
For every person 18 and older who wishes to fish from the yacht, you will need a BVI Fishing License. These need to be purchased in advance. Check before you apply as many yachts do have a yearly license. The cost to register is $60 per person for Last Stop Sports to do the legwork and have them ready for your arrival. Kindly let us or your Captain know if you purchase fishing licenses online & will be bringing gear.
Want to make friends quickly with the locals and be immediately respected? A very important rule is to remember to greet the islanders with a "Good Morning", "Good Afternoon" or "Good Evening." A smile and a polite greeting is very much a part of everyday island life. Try it! The shop owners will bend over backward to assist you! In town, the West Indians generally prefer that you wear a cover-up over your bathing suit. Casual T-shirts and shorts are fine, shoes are optional.
Do I Need Travel Insurance?
While you are not required to have trip insurance, the U.S. Department of State highly recommends it if you are traveling outside the United States. We are required to discuss it. There is a box on the last page of the contract that must be checked as to whether or not you "Accept" or "Deny" insurance. We'll quote policies per couple or family if anyone feels that he or she need one. It is available through AIG Travel Guard or Allianz Trip Insurance via our website. We're licensed agents with both companies. Both are reputable companies and our clients have been satisfied with their prices and service.
We suggest that clients purchase trip insurance if they have anyone in their family in poor health whom they may need to return to if an emergency situation arises during their charter. Here is what we need from you to generate a quote:
1. Full Legal Name
2. Date of Birth
3. Home Address
A Good Reason to Purchase Trip Insurance: As per the contract, if you have to cancel the charter before the term begins, deposits will only be refunded if the yacht is re-booked for the same period or portion thereof and refunded pro rata. If no one re-books the yacht, no refund is made. If the owner of the yacht cancels, the owner will reimburse through our company, for all deposits paid as of cancellation date. Cancellations by OWNER or CHARTERER are to be in writing through the BROKER and acknowledged by both parties.
A standard trip-cancellation or interruption insurance policy covers the nonrefundable financial penalties or losses you incur when you cancel a prepaid tour or flight for an acceptable reason, such as:
You, your travel partner, or a family member cannot travel because of sickness, death, layoff, or a list of other acceptable reasons;
A family member at home gets sick (check the fine print to see how a family member’s pre-existing condition might affect coverage).
You miss a flight or need an emergency flight for a reason outside your control (such as a car accident, inclement weather, or a strike).
So, if you or your travel partner accidentally ends up in the hospital a few days before your trip, you can both bailout (if you both have trip insurance) without losing all the money you paid for the trip. Or, if you’re on the charter and have an accident on your first day, you’ll be reimbursed for the portion of the tour you weren’t able to use. Contact Us for a free quote.