5 questions to consider about chartering

How not to make a mistake with the route?

Do not attempt to embrace the boundless. Of course, there are an unlimited number of routes for charter yachts. Naturally, you'd like to visit as many places as possible, but it's not advisable to include too many passages in a week-long charter simply because it makes it harder to enjoy the beauty of yachting. You'll have to keep moving all the time instead of stopping at the places you like. After all, the beauty of yachting is all about dropping anchor in a secluded bay and landing on a beach that is inaccessible from the shore, or approaching an unknown waterfront restaurant in the evening.

Let the whole world wait; after all, freedom and tranquility are the main values of a sea vacation. Together with the broker and captain, decide on the embarkation and disembarkation port. Then, after listening to your preferences, they will create a daily itinerary specifying places to visit, the duration of passages, stops, and so on. Everything needs to be planned in advance, and keep in mind that long passages are made late in the evening or early in the morning. Only on large yachts with a crew of over 15 people are night passages possible.

So, a week-long charter is ideal, for example, for visiting Sardinia and Corsica. Or Sicily. Or the Amalfi Coast. If you plan to visit, for example, both the French Riviera and Corsica with Sardinia, it's better to charter a yacht for two weeks. Additionally, you can often get a good discount from the yacht owner for a two-week charter.

How not to be disappointed in the chosen yacht?

It won't hurt to take a close look at good offers from your personal broker in advance, as they keep a close eye on all emerging options and special offers. You can ask them to send you the best charter offers once a month so you can track the favorable options that interest you and perhaps take advantage of last-minute deals.

Of course, everyone wants brand new yachts, not older than 2012, but you shouldn't count on such yachts in the absence of spring agreements, especially in July and August. Yachts built a bit earlier but recently refitted are a great alternative. From experience, it can be said that these yachts are not only as good but sometimes even better than the new ones. One significant advantage of yachts after refit is the updated list of water toys, while new yachts may not have three jet skis, two Seabobs, and a flyboard with an instructor.

Typically, the crew on yachts launched before 2012 and recently refitted is very close-knit and professional because they have been working together for years, and often they know all the best charter routes like the back of their hand. Choosing such yachts is also a tremendous cost advantage. For the same price you would pay for a new 40-meter yacht, you can charter a refitted 50-meter yacht.

How to ensure high-quality service on board?

Advance Familiarization with the crew profile, where all crew members will be described, including their nationalities, languages spoken, work experience, etc. The crew on charter yachts is usually very experienced and professional, aiming to provide a high-class level of service, which can even be called 6-star.

However, the service will be much better if you inform the crew about yourself and your preferences in advance.

To do this, you need to fill out several pages of a preference sheet, answering all questions about food, drinks, leisure, etc. The more details you provide, the better the chances for the crew to prepare for your arrival. Imagine that you will spend a whole week with the crew on board, and if they don't know that you want breakfast served at 11 am, not at 8 am, and that you like omelets on Mondays and poached eggs on Fridays, naturally, your expectations will not be met. It is also very important to communicate constantly with the crew during the charter, especially with the chef and the chief stewardess, to point out anything you don't like so that they have a chance to improve immediately.

How not to get bored at anchor?

Learn the Italian word 'farniente,' which translates literally as 'doing nothing.' But on a serious note, yachts today come equipped with a vast array of water toys that will delight both children and adults. Among the most popular are giant inflatable trampolines for jumping straight into the water, stand-up paddleboards, sea bobs for underwater exploration, inflatable climbing walls that can be set up from the deck to the waterline, the flying water board 'flyboard,' and the jetlev backpack that allows you to hover above the water. It just takes some advance planning to organize it all.

How to stay within budget?

Having a clear understanding of upcoming expenses. Yes, you have paid for the charter cost, which includes the yacht rental, yacht insurance, and crew wages. Taxes are paid separately.

But that's not all. There are additional expenses, and they typically amount to 20 to 40% of the charter cost (referred to in documents as APA, which stands for Advance Provisioning Allowance). According to the rules, these should also be paid in advance, in the form of a deposit, at the latest before the start of the charter, in cash if necessary. Why pay in advance? The APA amount is given to the yacht's captain so that he can take care of purchasing the necessary provisions for the journey before your arrival, and the chef can create a menu that fits your budget and preferences. All additional expenses during the trip will also be covered from this amount. After the charter ends, any unused funds are returned. For any overspending, an additional payment is made on-site in cash.

Overspending can occur if, for example, one of your guests suddenly decides to drink vintage champagne instead of coffee in the mornings and choose black caviar for a light dinner after arriving on board. And these products were specially delivered for you. To control additional expenses, it's essential to communicate with the captain. A broker can also handle this, but since you are on board, it's much easier to spend 10 minutes in the evening with the captain, review his report on purchases and fuel, and then continue the charter. Typically, the captain himself keeps an eye on APA savings for a simple reason: the remaining amount is usually left for the crew's gratuities, making savings beneficial for him as well.
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