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Plus All – Understanding The True Cost Of A Luxury Yacht Charter Vacation

Photograph of superyacht crew in white outfits and standing at ease around owners of yacht who are wearing black. Man seated and woman in black dress standing over him. Crew in a v-formation around them.



One of the most common questions posed to charter brokers is, “What does, ‘plus all expenses’ mean?  A very fair question.  It is critical to understand the implications.  In specific, since the cost to enjoy a Mediterranean yacht charter holiday, for example, is more than expected. For instance, based on prices posted on most charter brokers’ websites.


Superyachts are the large, ultra-luxurious vessels that we associate with cruising. Specifically, the Côte d’Azur in the South of France in Monte Carlo for Monaco Grand Prix yacht charters.  These yachts set a rate for the rental of the yacht and the crew.  In addition, they list the price as, “plus running expenses.”  This means that the charterer pays a set price for the yacht.  Additionally, the charterer is responsible to cover ALL costs associated with the operation of the yacht while the charterer and his/her guests are onboard.

Typical running expenses incurred during a charter are food, beverages, dockage, and fuel. 


It depends first, upon the size of the yacht and second, the charterer’s penchant for elaborate menus. In addition, extended cruising and vintage alcohols.  These running expenses can vary greatly from yacht to yacht. Furthermore, from charterer to charterer. 
You might ask
“When and how do you pay for these expenses, especially since it is hard to itemize them prior to the conclusion of the trip?” 

APA – Advance Provisioning Allowance

The Advance Provisioning Allowance, or “APA” for short, is a deposit.  Specifically, it is paid by the charterer.  The yacht skipper collects this prior to the commencement of a superyacht holiday.  These funds are held by the skipper.  They are dispersed during the course of the charter. Further, they cover the ongoing running expenses as they occur.
During the charter, the captain provides a running account of the usage of the funds.  At the conclusion of the voyage, the captain presents an itemized accounting of expenses to the charterer.  In addition, a refund of any unused funds.


An APA balance sometimes runs low during the charter.  The client then provides the captain a sufficient amount in cash to cover the needs for the remainder of the charter.  Many charterers prefer not to carry quantities of cash.  The charter broker holds additional funds and releases them.  Usually via bank wire transfer, to the captain as needed.  

Before you book your yacht charter, ask your broker for a solid estimate of the running expenses that might be incurred. Your broker takes into account the food and beverage preferences you request, along with how much cruising you wish to do (which will determine the amount, and anticipated cost, of fuel needed), to create an estimate of your expenses.  


There are numerous variables to estimating running expenses.  The computation is best tabulated by your broker and the yacht’s skipper.  For instance, depending upon local market availability in your desired cruising ground, food prices may vary greatly from your hometown.  Dockage can range from no fees when anchored away from shore.  The dockage can run to thousands of dollars per day, when docked at exclusive marinas.  For special events, like Cannes Film Festival yacht charters, dockage can run two to three times the standard rate.   Fuel costs are important to estimate as well. As such, they skyrocket depending upon how fast and how far you cruise.


Fuel is also charged for the yacht’s generators when not connected to shore power. In addition, for tenders and water toys.  You pay for the fuel used while zipping around on the waverunners. 



As a general rule of thumb, the APA requested for sailing yachts is approx 20% of the yacht’s listed charter price.  On the contrary, motoryacht average APA jumps to 30-40%.  

Sample anticipated total cost of a proposed Italian yacht charter vacation. Specifically, for a fictitious client and nine guests for one week on a 180 foot Trinity yacht charter vessel. 

Motor Yacht Rental                                          € 350,000
Advance Provisioning Allowance (APA)*        122,500
Total Cost                                                          472,500
*estimated at 35% by the charter broker after discussing the charterer’s preferences as to food, drinks, and desired itinerary. Many exclusive alcohols and food items….lots of cruising costs to visit multiple destinations.


A question often asked about is the “optional”  crew gratuity. Gratuities for exceptional service are routine in the charter industry.  Charterers believing in tipping should budget for this optional expense.  


For a glimpse of the newest yachts available for hire, check out our website.  Visit 1-800 Yacht Charters online at

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About admin

Ms. Jana Sheeder is President of 1-800 Yacht Charters. Providing The Superyacht Experience(tm) since 1976. Private luxury yacht charter vacations in the Mediterranean, Caribbean, Bahamas, South Pacific, South Florida, Miami and The Florida Keys, Italian Rivera, Belize. Megayacht charter company focused on generosity, Pay It Forward, Random Acts of Kindness, Giftivism, giving back to the ocean, to the needy, and the environment with every superyachting charter. Providing eco-friendly alternatives while on yacht charters and known for 6-star customer service, experience, and generosity.

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