An ocean adventure on a beautiful and luxurious yacht sounds like the perfect summer adventure, doesn’t it? But how relaxing and enjoyable your trip will be, will depend to a large extent on the yacht charter you choose.
Not every yacht charter provides the same type of services. In fact, you’d be surprised at the range and diversity of ocean adventures offered by yacht charters. So, to help you make an informed decision, we’ve compiled a list of incredibly important questions that you need to ask any prospective charter hire.
Let’s get started.
1. What types of voyages do you offer?
Yacht charters specialize in different types of voyages. For example, some are experienced in luxury cruising, where you can indulge in the best of amenities as you cruise past various beautiful locations. Other charters specialize in fun sea-related activities, such as fishing or motor boat racing. Still, more may be reputed for their long-term expeditions, where you become an intrepid explorer, diving underwater to see sunken cargo or anchoring near a remote, uninhabited island for a night in the wilderness.
The sky is the limit when it comes to the type of voyages that yacht charters offer. If you don’t want any of these, you can always hire a private yacht charter to take you to any specific destinations or custom-create a voyage to suit your needs.
It’s important to ask prospective charter hires what they specialize in and how they’ll be able to create the perfect yacht travel for you.
2. What types of yachts are available to choose from?
First off, in most places outside of the US, yachts include sailboats and vessels that are fancier than a boat. However, these days, you also find motor yachts, which are different from motor boats. When selecting a charter, check with them whether they offer sailboats or motor yachts or both.
The choice between the two depends on what you’re looking for. Motor yachts are fast and fun, perfect for those seeking an adrenaline-filled voyage. Sailboats are more sedate and more authentic to our seafaring forebearers. But in terms of space on deck and below deck – motor yachts outperform sailboats. They also have more luxury-oriented amenities compared to sailboats.
So, if you have a larger group, choose a motor yacht. If you have a smaller group, choose a sailboat. If you seek speed and amenities, go with the motor. If you want to be more eco-friendly in your choices, choose a sailboat. If you have a larger budget, you’ll have your pick of motor yachts, but travellers with smaller budgets will love how inexpensive sailboats can be.
If you’re not sure, ask your charter if they have a multi-hull, which includes the best of both worlds.
3. Which places will the yacht cover and can we add on more locations en route?
Some yacht charters will have pre-planned routes that cover a specific number of locations. These may or may not include stopovers. Before booking a yacht, find out if the yacht you’ve selected will go to the locations you actually want to visit. Find out if you can request for more locations to be covered when en route, at sea.
Also, you need to find out what the charter’s policy is on wait times on-shore. Some charters are okay giving their guests an entire day to tour the locations they’ve stopped at. Others have more stringent timelines that may not allow you to explore a place the way you want.
If a particular charter does not offer the travel itinerary you want, it doesn’t make sense to hire them.
4. How many people will the yacht be able to carry?
Every yacht will have a particular weight limit it can safely hold. The charter will include the weight of the onboard equipment and the crew, to tell you how many guests can be onboard. This is a very important question to ask, to make sure you book the right yacht size for your travel.
5. Who will your crew include and what services will they offer?
The next question to ask your prospective yacht charter hire is the profile of your crew. Often, charters tend to allocate a particular crew for each individual yacht. Unless you specifically ask for a different crew or want additions to your crew, you will be allocated a pre-selected team of people.
This crew includes the – Captain, engineers, deckhands, chef and housekeepers. If you’ve selected a luxury yacht, you may also have a concierge, beauticians, a masseuse, dancers, casino dealers, DJs, bartenders, yoga instructors, fishing instructors and more. You may even have a doctor on board in larger yachts.
The services the crew offers depend on the type of yacht you’ve chosen and the voyage you’re going on. Starter-range yacht rental will get you foundational services such as cooking, bartending, safety management and simple housekeeping. Luxury yacht rentals will provide pre & post voyage transport, onboard postal services, local excursions at various locations, personal shopping, event management for parties, entertainment and any other last-minute demands.
6. Can the meal plan be decided by you?
While your yacht charter provider will have a pre-planned menu, almost all charters do accept certain cooking requests. For example, you can inform them about any allergens that they should not be using in the meals or other dietary restrictions you have (such as being a vegan).
However, not every yacht charter is equipped to support a custom menu when sailing. It’s only luxury charters that can do so. Plus, luxury charters do often help their guests get rare food or drink local to the region they’re in, by getting them shipped onto the yacht from shore.
You need to ask your prospective charter hire the type of menu customizations they offer and how soon you should let them know your requirements.
7. What are the safety protocols the yacht follows when at sea?
While everyone gets on a yacht hoping for the most perfect travel, the sea can be unpredictable and beyond everyone’s control. That’s why it’s very important to familiarize yourself with the safety protocols that are followed on board so that you and your loved ones can be safe.
If you don’t know how to swim, it’s important to keep the charter informed, so they can let the captain know in advance. Additionally, it’s necessary to find out what safety procedures will be followed for travellers with a disability or plus-size travellers who may need a different type of assistance.
8. What things should you carry with you on board?
Finally, you should ask the yacht charter what you need to pack and what you don’t, so you don’t end up carrying dead weight on board. Often, a lot of things we deem necessary are available on the yacht and you can just ask for them.
When it comes to medication, find out if the crew will have sea sickness medication available on board or if you should get any specific medication from home. Other medications should ideally be carried from home.
If you’re going to be sailing in international waters, find out from your yacht charter if any items are illegal overseas, so that you can pack mindfully.
Asking these questions and seeking their answers will make your sailing experience so enjoyable and safe. So, go question your local Cancun yacht charter hire and choose the right one who meets your bespoke travel needs.