Step by Step Charter Guide
There are a few things to think about, which will assist us with offering you the best advice and service...
One of the most important questions when planning your charter is WHO do you wish to experience this holiday with you? Will it be a memorable family holiday or an escape with friends? Determine how many cabins you require & any special requirements on board. A family charter will require different components than a luxury getaway with a group of adults! If it's a group of couples you'll need equal cabins and if it's a family escape with children, a yacht outfitted with a lot of water sports & amenities and entertainment is a necessity!
What experience are you after? This may often determine the best destination to charter. Are you interested in a relaxed ambience, deserted islands, picturesque beaches and water activities? Then the Grenadines may be the answer? Or are you more inclined to enjoy a lifestyle oriented experience with golf, polo, culinary delights, nightlife, boutiques and effortless air access? If this is your desire, Barbados is your answer! We have an intimate knowledge of the Caribbean & can guide you! Please view our Luxury Yachting Destinations for ideas!
Another important factor to guaranteeing the perfect charter experience is your dates! Certain destinations are better suited at certain times of the year! Knowing when you can charter, will also help determine the best destination that suits you and your companions! For instance, Christmas/New Year and January to April in general are ideal for the Caribbean while Summer is the best time for a jaunt in the Mediterranean. Are you into motor sports? Then you'll want to travel the Mediterranean route in May for the Monaco Grand Prix! Everything from weather patterns, to events help determine what is best! Furthermore, rates tend to vary during certain periods.
The Perfect Yacht
Sourcing the perfect yacht depends on the experience you're after. Large motor yachts offer service, amenities & space; luxury catamarans offer stability & tranquility. Are you a sailing enthusiast? Choose a luxurious mono-hull. Tell us your preferred budget & any specific requirements so we may forward you suggestions. Rest assured we have inspected all yachts we offer (unless otherwise mentioned)! Your feedback will help us to fine tune your selection. Visit our Yacht Collection page or our World Wide Yacht Search to view options operating in a number of destinations. What catches your eye? We can refine your search to ensure you make the right decisions.
What is included ? Charter rates may vary dependant on season, number of guests, destination. Additionally some yachts offer all inclusive rates, others are plus expenses. It is important to fully understand each yacht’s rate structure, to ensure your charter’s success.
Rate are mostly found on motor yachts operating in the Caribbean and Mediterranean. The charter fee includes: Hire of the vessel, her equipment and insurance; crew wages; crew meals, and ship’s laundry. All other costs are paid by the charterer, such as: delivery/redelivery fees; all fuel costs for the vessel, generators, tenders and water-sports equipment; applicable local or national taxes; customs formalities; water and electricity taken from shore; harbor fees (dockage); pilots; applicable diving fees; food and beverages for the charterer’s party; guest laundry; all communications costs for the charter party; and crew gratuity. See APA - Advance Provisioning (Expense) Allowance.
Advance Provisioning (Expense) Allowance. This is an amount collected on all charters with the MYBA structure to offset the charterer’s expenses at cost to the yacht. APA is traditionally calculated at between twenty-five and thirty percent (25% to 30%) of the base charter rate; actual costs will vary depending on the yacht’s fuel consumption, itinerary, menu and other factors. APA is collected with the final payment and distributed to the yacht ahead of the charter so the crew can complete their provisioning. A full accounting, with as many receipts as possible, is presented to the charterer at the end of the charter, or at any time during the charter if the charterer requests an accounting. If there is a balance, the charterer will receive a refund. Shortfalls, however, must be settled with the Captain before disembarkation…in cash or travelelrs checks.
CT (Caribbean Terms)
A lot of sailing yachts and catamarans in the Caribbean use this structure. The charter fee includes the services of a Captain and Crew, meals, standard ship’s bar, fuel, and all expenses related to running of the vessel and use of on-board sports equipment. The charter fee does not include diving, scuba equipment, premium beverages and fine wines, excessive alcoholic consumption, off yacht excursions, dockage, cruising taxes and permits, telephone, airport transfers and crew gratuities, or similar expense incurred by the CHARTERER.
What is Generally Included in a Charter?
- Private yacht and services of a Captain and Crew
- Insurance for the yacht and the passengers (civil liability)
- Accommodation in air-conditioned cabins with en-suite bathrooms (please check details on yacht specification sheet)
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner including cruising snacks tailored as per your preferences. Please note some items are difficult to source in the Caribbean. Some items may incur surcharge
- Standard ship’s bar including soft drinks, house wines with meals, house spirits. Most boats generally budget 1 - 3 bottles of wine per meal. Wines are purchased in accordance with your preferred variety and usually in the USD 10-25 per bottle range. Upon receiving your preferences, your crew will aim to source. Should anything fall beyond what is included in the cost of the boat we will advise prior to purchasing so there are no surprises
- Bedding, towels and beach towels
- Fuel, and all expenses related to running of the vessel
- Water sports on board (please check details on yacht specification sheet/website)
- Board games, DVD’s, CD’s etc (please check details on yacht specification sheet/website)
The Charter Fee Does NOT Include:
- Cancellation and private insurance
- Diving, scuba equipment
- Premium beverages and fine wines, excessive alcoholic consumption, or preferred beverages not included in standard bar
- Off yacht excursions
- Dockage (minimal unless you are in the marina)
- Cruising taxes and permits (usually around USD250 to 300)
- Telephone (NA)
- Airport transfers
- Crew gratuities (10 – 20% of charter fee) or similar expense incurred by the CHARTERER.
Understand the charter yacht product of your preferred yacht to ensure your expectations will be met & exceeded. What level of service & amenities will you require? Is the chef in line with your dietary preference & requirements? How often are linens changed? For inclusive charters, what's the standard bar? Is there a turndown service? With regards to watersports, please note whilst yachts may offer a variety of watersports, for some, a Certificate of Competency is required to participate (jet skis, wave runners and other mechanically propelled watercraft primarily) in many countries. Who in your party will want to participate? We may be able to arrange for an instructor to come on board. In some areas motorised water toys are prohibited altogether. Use of personal watercraft is only permitted subject to the operator having the appropriate license & meeting with local operating regulations. Any liability arising from non-compliance is entirely at the operator's risk. If the yacht has SCUBA equipment on board, it may only be used by certified divers holding a certified PADI license or equivalent.
What's on the Menu?
Breakfasts generally consist of fruit platters, cereals, toast/croissants/jams, coffees, teas, juices etc with the option of either a special daily breakfast or breakfasts to order. This really depends on the clients and their preferences/diets etc. Lunches are family style and will generally do a couple of lovely fresh salads, a meat or seafood/fish dish and a pasta/rice/veggie dish for example. All will be served in the middle of the table, with fresh bread, oils and vinegars. Everyone can pick and choose as much as they want, at their own pace with a few glasses of chilled wine.
Cocktails/Aperitifs are usually served on the sundeck/bow at sunset with delicious nibbles if the diet allows! Dinners are generally 3 courses, and consist of a starter, main and dessert all tailored to the requests of the charter guests. Coffee and chocolates follow dinner service, along with Digestifs at the end of the meal. After dinner is cleared and the stewardess has checked that the guests have all they need or set up a bar area if they would like to continue drinking, then she will retire for the evening.
Once you are set on the yacht, you will be issued with their preferred charter party, a contract between a vessel’s owner & the charterer for the use of a vessel for one or more voyages or for a specific period of time. Terms of the Charter Party govern the rights and obligations of each party. Standardized Charter Party agreements have simplified the booking process. Clients have become familiar with terms used & do not have to consult the family attorney before committing to every charter. Warren Yachting only works with the most reputable charter yachts & contracts. Whichever contract is used, we will work with guests to ensure complete understanding of all particulars including what is included, excluded, payment schedules, cancellation policies and the rights of each party. Although it may seem very detailed, as you can appreciate you will be guests on board an expensive investment. We will work with you to ensure that all specifics, inclusions and exclusions are understood including but not limited to:
Custom Procedures & Fees: The contract will detail inclusions and exclusions. One item that varies from destination to destination are specific customs procedures and fees. Don't worry we will go through all with you!
Major expenses: Each contract will have different applicable expenses & most motor yachts exclude fuel. Understanding your itinerary & fuel consumption & perhaps selecting a fuel efficient yacht will ensure you are not surprised at the end of your charter!
Stakeholder: Understanding the security of charter funds. Within each contract, there is a stakeholder entrusted to hold a charterer’s payments & to eventually disburse them to the owner, according to the terms of the agreement.
More Charter Party Info...
Cancellation Policies: If the charterer cancels for any reason, some contracts result in the forfeiture of all prepaid deposits. Charter fees are refunded on a pro-rata basis if the yacht is rebooked for all, or a portion of the original charter dates, less the broker's earned commission.
Under the MYBA Agreement, the charterer is accountable for the full charter fee, allowing the owner to pursue full payment if he so chooses. If the owner cancels, the owner refunds the full amount paid by the charterer. MYBA and AYCA Agreements call for the owner to pay the charterer liquidated damages for cancellation due to causes other than Force Majeure.
Trip Insurance: Few yachts will issue refunds due to the threat of a hurricane or tropical storm. We recommend cancellation & curtailment insurance. Because of the above, your broker should recommend Trip Interruption & Cancellation Insurance.
Gratuities: These are customary, but are discretionary, with the norm at 5 to 20% dependant on area. Often higher gratuities are expected in the Caribbean than in the Mediterranean.
With all this is mind, once you have the preferred yacht selected, we shall take the necessary steps to confirm. This will include reviewing the charter party agreement which will protect your interest along with that of the yacht, as well as detail the deposit schedule, cancellation clauses etc.
Are your dates confirmed? Is your destination chosen? Have you decided on the perfect yacht? Now allow us to work with you to tailor the entire charter experience!
Cuisine and bar: We will issue a preference form which is a questionnaire that will enable you to communicate preferred cuisine, bar & other requirements from dietary components to preferred activities! This form will assist the crew with preparing any necessary documents & to ensure the chef & crew are aware of any special likes & dislikes that your party may have. At this stage we can personalize an itinerary with you. However once on board, the beauty of chartering is that you can take each day as it comes. At most, the only items that may be set in stone are where you embark & where you disembark!
Activities: At this stage you can also indicate any sporting/recreational activities that may require special equipment being onboard, as well as any other special requests such as flowers on embarkation which should be renewed during your cruise. Any special events or specific items you would like the captain to purchase on your behalf, such as tobacco products, magazines, books, etc.
Creature comforts: Whilst it is customary for some yachts to provide sun lotions, standard soaps, shampoos, tissues etc. some clients at this point may like to request special brands/types be purchased at an additional expense.
We will work with you to recommend air transfers, whether they be commercial or private. We will ensure all is seamless, with your captain greeting you as you exit the airport and looking after you, right until you board your aircraft back home! Should you need any shore accommodation before or after we are here to assist with details/recommendations.