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Yacht Charter Questions and Answers (FAQ)
Questions and Answers (Frequently asked questions -
What is the cost of a charter? What activities are there? What type of food and drinks are served? What is our itinerary? What should I bring? Where can we cruise to? Are there special types of cruises?
Q: What is The Cost of A Crewed Charter?
A: The cost of crewed charter vary depending upon several issues like: the size of vessel, power or sail, number of people on board, etc. The duration of the charter is usually a week, but can be shorter, and could be inclusive of food, drinks and most watersports. Diving is usually extra. Depending on the type of charter, the price per person on western style vessels starts around $1,200 / $1,800. Turkish Gulets are generally less costly. Motor yachts cost more than sail. Groups on larger yachts can often be less per person than a couple on a small yacht. Yachts are available for parties of 2 or more. Large groups may prefer to charter more than 1 yacht and travel as a flotilla. This is very common, especially for corporate groups.
In the Caribbean, the summer season is generally less expensive than winter. Summer season is May 1st to December 14th. Winter season is December 15th to April 30th. Xmas and New Years usually have an additional fee. Dockage and shore excursions are extra.
In the Med. peak season, July and August generally carry a premium.
Gratuities are the norm when the service merits it. Remember that your crew work hard to ensure your vacation is a great one. They are your chef, bartender, tour guide, waiter, ....
Q: What kind of activities are there to do?
A: All vessels offer watersports and will vary depending on equipment and regulations specific to that area. These might include snorkeling, Scuba Diving, kneeboarding, water-skiing, windsurfing, kayaks, fishing and, of course, sailing. Jetski's and Jet bikes are becoming more controversial and in some areas they are banned from use, or can only be rented from a shore based company. Most watersports are included in the charter fee, but some are charged as an 'extra' (mostly only fuel). Unusual activities, such as diving (Turkey) and parasailing can be arranged by your crew via a shore based company. On shore activities can be recommended by your crew and will vary depending on the destination. As you will not be covered by the vessels insurance while taking part in shore based (rental - car, jetski, dive etc.) activities, always sign a rental contract that will give you cover under the rental agreement.
Q: What type of food and drinks are served?
A: The menus are designed around your food preferences. The chefs are excellent and can usually prepare any dish requested. The cook on a Turkish Gulet will be much less experienced and 'going native' can be very rewarding. Drinks such as wine, beer and alcohol are included as part of the "ships bar". The amount and variety will vary depending on the cost of the charter with larger, more expensive yachts providing finer wines and premium liquors with top quality cordon blue chefs.
Q: Where do we go?
A: The itinerary is based on your preferences or special interests. Although your broker will offer initial advice, the crew know the territory very well and will tailor the cruise to fit your requests. The Virgin Islands, The Grenadines (Caribbean) and the Mediterranean, (South France, Italy, Balearics, Dalmation Coast -Croatia, Greece, Turkey) offer a tremendous variety of bays, islands, anchorages and towns to visit. Regardless of where you may travel, it isn't possible to see everything in one visit, however, and you may need to adjust your itinerary to accommodate your schedule and activities you have chosen or return again in the future for another charter. It is never advisable to travel too far each day (Max. suggested; 1 or 2 hours per day; 10 to 15 miles) and as always, it's weather permitting.
Destinations / General
What Should You Bring
Firstly, whereever possible (particularly if you are on a yacht under 100'), bring only soft sided luggage since space is limited and storage is easier. Also hard luggage can damage woodwork and paint. For clothing bring casual wear, mostly shorts and t-shirts, and swimsuits. A few of the more formal restaurants require long pants and collared shirts and occasionally a jacket, but "smart casual" is the norm. Your own mask and snorkel if your inclined, but all yachts carry an assortment of sizes. If you are expecting to scuba dive, check with your broker to make sure of the available equipment on board the yacht. Most yachts carry sunscreen of the type they prefer used, so generally it is on board. If you bring your own, please don't use oily lotions as it stains the yachts upholstery and teak decks. Mid summer charters may require 'off' insect repellent for sand fly and the odd mosquito, particularly if you like walking, exploring and beachcombing.
Where Can We Cruise
The world is virtually 'your oyster'. The Mediterranean is superb during the months of June to October. The famous Cote d' Azur, French and Italian Riviera's have a shorter season covering may to early September. Then there are the Pacific and Indian Ocean Islands and so much more. Far too much too deal with here.
The 3 most popular cruising areas in the Caribbean are:
The Virgin Islands: US & BVI. Leeward Islands: St Martin & St Barts to Antigua. Windward Islands: St Lucia to the Grenadines. The beautiful islands of St.Vincent and the Grenadines are very un-spoilt and under publicized as compared to the BVI. This is my favourite area of the Caribbean (Andrew Hanna).
Generally your cruising would be contained within the island group mentioned above. To cruise other areas in the Caribbean is possible, but it will require more planning and usually cost, due to airfare, provisioning, etc. Check with us for more information.
The most popular cruising areas of the Med. are:
South France / Italy and Turkey followed by Greece. (No VAT in Turkey, so the cost of charter is very competitive here)
Destinations / General
There are cruises to meet almost every need. Some of these include:
Historical Cruises: Many yachts includes cruises which cover areas of historical interest. Naturally there are various areas. One particularly favourite area is Turkey where good 7/14 day itineraries are available.
Scuba Diving: Many programs are available for diving from beginner up to Advanced Diver. The variety of diving and the beauty is unmatched in the Red Sea and Caribbean. These include reef, night, cave and wreck dives.
Learn To Sail: Most smaller yachts are happy to share their knowledge of sailing with you and there will be opportunities to steer the boat and adjust the sails if your want. There are, however, captains that are qualified sailing instructors for those charter guests that are interested in learning more.
Captain Only: A few yachts are available with the captain only. The yacht is available with the captain at a lower rate than fully crewed and the charter guest pays all the expenses. These would be provisions (including enough for the Captain), fuel, water, taxes, etc. Also, you prepare the meals and look after your cabins. This might be a good choice for those that want to eat ashore frequently and don't need the personal service that a fully crewed charter includes.
Charter terms explained.