What are Yacht Charters?

Mary McMahon

Many people looking for interesting and customized vacation ideas consider yacht charters, a form of boat rental which is especially common in tropical areas. In a yacht charter, a boat is rented for a set period of time, with or without crew, and used to sail around and explore an area. Yacht charters can vary widely from simple sailing boat rentals designed for a single couple to larger luxury yacht charters, which can accommodate large groups. Experienced and inexperienced sailors can enjoy yacht charters, as most companies have a number of flexible options designed to meet the needs of their clients.

Bareboat charters are only recommended for experienced sailors.
Bareboat charters are only recommended for experienced sailors.

In a full yacht charter, the charter company provides the boat, crew, and provisions. The staff of the boat cook, plan the itinerary, and handle the sailing, while the guests relax. Often this type of charter includes accommodations on shore, pick up at an airport, and other additional services. For people who do not know how to sail, this is probably the best yacht charter to choose, as the crew will be responsible for safety, although they may offer sailing lessons if their passengers are interested in learning more. A larger yacht charter can be split between members of a big group for a fun and personal tropical vacation.

Yacht charters, which are popular in tropical areas, provide a more personal touch than a cruise.
Yacht charters, which are popular in tropical areas, provide a more personal touch than a cruise.

In other cases, a yacht charter will come with a captain only. For people with some sailing experience, this is an excellent middle ground between solo yacht charters and fully crewed ones, allowing them to sail under the supervision of an experienced captain who knows the area well. These yacht charters generally do not include provisions or extra perks, although the staff of the charter agency may be able to make special arrangements for an additional price.

The final option is a bareboat charter. Bareboat yacht charters have grown greatly in popularity since the 1990s. In this type of charter, the owner of the ship temporarily signs it over to the renter, who is responsible for crewing the ship, obeying local laws, feeding crew and passengers, and traveling safely. This type of charter is only recommended for experienced sailors, as weather can be unpredictable, even in tropical areas. Usually, a bareboat charter comes with emergency backup, should the renters run into trouble. Many experienced sailors take advantage of bareboat yacht charters because it allows them to have the experience of sailing in exotic locales without having to maintain their own boat.

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