While many yacht owners are content to offer their yachts for hire in the tried-and-true winter cruising ground of the Caribbean, Jan Verkerk is always looking for new destinations in the hopes of enticing potential charter customers to explore land and sea far from the beaten path.
This year, Jan has committed his 70 meter expedition-style yacht, M/Y SHERAKHAN to Antarctica.
Earlier this week, we received an email from the yacht’s manager: “Motor yacht SHERAKHAN has just crossed the equator on her way to Antarctica! (She) will arrive in the Falkland Islands on the 6th of February to start her Antarctica adventure.”
One of the largest yachts available for rent, the 70 meter SHERAKHAN offers accommodations for up to 26 passengers in thirteen staterooms. If Antarctica is too remote, Jan is open to accepting trips along the east or west coast of South America, or Panama, or even head back to the ever-popular islands of St Barts and St Martin to accept a traditional Caribbean yacht charter booking.
Her rates begin at €350,000 EUROS per week, plus expenses.
Pop superstars Beyonce and Jay Z enjoy a boat ride
Want to experience a Caribbean yacht charter like a celebrity? Then look no further than the exclusive island of Saint Barthélemy, better known as St Barts.
Aerial view of beautiful St Barts in the Caribbean
Always sunny with very little rain, the tiny island has become famous for celebrity sightings, especially during the year-end holidays where all-night New Year’s Eve yacht hops and parties capture the attention of the global newswires.
Singer Gwen Stefani talks on telephone at the back of yacht
A playground for billionaire superyacht owners and pop culture icons, the scene in St Barts between Christmas and New Years is unlike anywhere else in the world. From Mariah Carey and Sean “P Diddy” Combs, to Beyonce , Jay Z and Ashton Kutcherand Demi Moore – all have spent time lounging on the sundeck of a multi-million dollar luxury mega yacht charter vessel dockside in the island’s Gustavia marina.
Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore seen leaving motor yacht A, to go ashore in St Barts
So just where is St Barts, the island paradise dubbed, “Hollywood South?”
St. Barts is a tiny island situated in the French West Indies. Located 17°55’ north and 62°50’ west, just below the Tropic of Cancer, and north of the chain of the Lesser Antilles. Puerto Rico is 240 km (about 160 miles) to the west.
St. Barts – Caribbean map
St. Barts lies 35 km southeast of Saint Martin, separated by the Saint-Barthélemy Channel. It lies northeast of Saba and St Eustatius, and north of St Kitts. Some small satellite islets belong to St. Barts including Île Chevreau, Île Frégate, Île Toc Vers, and Île Tortue. A much bigger islet, Île Fourchue, lies to the north of the island, in the Saint-Barthélemy Channel. Other nearby islets include Coco, the Roques (or little Turtle rocks), and Sugarloaf.
Seven thousand kilometers separate St Barts from Paris, but it is just 2500 from New York (about a 4 hour flight).
We’ve all seen the images. For instance, a silhouette of a sailing yacht, lying at anchor near a secluded beach, the sun setting in the background, or the massive superyachts docked side-by-side in a marina along the Côte d’Azur. It’s not hard to imagine you and your family inserted in those yachting images, enjoying la belle vie.
Think you can afford a holiday at sea on a private yacht?
THE REAL QUESTION
Let’s start with understanding exactly what a yacht charter is all about…
WHAT Is A Luxury Yacht Charter Vacation?
If you’ve ever stayed at a resort, you’ve already experienced the premise of a yachting vacation on a crewed yacht. From accommodations, to meals, activities and amenities.. Everything you and your family need are available in one location. The biggest difference is that your location “moves” when you charter a yacht!
For example, a Virgin Islands yacht charter vessel. Other travelers stay ashore and see the same view from their hotel window. For you, on the other hand, each day you can wake up and experience a new location. Your yacht cruises from island to island. Forget a virtual online slideshow. This is the real deal!
WHAT HAPPENS ONBOARD?
While onboard, you’ll be pampered by a crew of trained professionals. From a captain to navigate, to a host/hostess to serve you, and a chef to prepare your meals. The actual number of crew depends on the size of yacht you charter. It also depends on the level of service you request. There are often be more crew members than charter guests!
Just like the resort, the yacht offers accommodations, areas to relax and socialize, and a wide variety of recreational toys to enjoy. For example, snorkel gear and sandup paddleboards. The larger yachts offer a wider variety of toys and amenities. For instance, waverunners, cinema rooms, exercise equipment, and even ondeck Jacuzzi wellness spas.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN YACHT AND RESORT
There is one more distinguishing difference when compared to a resort – it’s completely private – only you and your family and friends and your crew are onboard – no one else! Your confidentiality is assured with 1-800 Yacht Charters.
WHERE Are Luxury Yacht Charter Vacations Offered?
Again, the comparison to seaside resorts best illustrates the locations available for enjoying a yachting holiday – if it’s on the ocean, chances are there are yachts in the area available for hire!
Here’s a partial list of the most popular destinations for chartering a crewed yacht:
Caribbean – the islands of the Caribbean are popular in the winter and spring months, with sailing yachts heavily congregating in the breezy Virgin Islands, and larger motoryachts based in the celebrity-popular uber cosmopolitan areas like St. Martin and St Barts.
Mediterranean – the summer playground for Europeans, charter yachts can be found throughout the Greek islands, as well as along the Italian and French Riviera. In recent years, new cruising grounds in the Med have become increasingly popular, such as the Spanish Balearic Islands and Croatia.
Florida and the Bahamas – unlike Europeans who often take long, multi-week vacations, Americans take shorter holidays, often for no more than a long weekend. Staying closer to home becomes important when travel days are limited, so the idea of a Florida yacht charter escape is very popular, with the nearby Bahamas a strong option, as well.
HOW Can I Afford A Luxury Yacht Charter Vacation?
If you guessed that we would once again go back and look at a resort for the answer – you’re right!
The price options for enjoying a crewed yacht directly compare to the prices of staying at a resort. Basic resorts in popular destinations can be very affordable for a family vacation, and so too can be the cost of a private yacht charter. Conversely, ultra exclusive resorts in posh settings charge premium rates – as do the most luxurious private yachts.
To put this into realistic perspective, here’s a sample of yachts and their prices:
SAILBOAT – sail yacht MORE MAGIC is a 68 foot Virgin Islands yacht charter vessel with accommodations for up to 6 guests in 3 staterooms. Her all-inclusive charter rates start at $18,000/week
MOTORYACHT – the 80 foot motor yacht JODI LEE offers both Bahamas and Florida yacht charter vacations for up to 6 passengers. Here base rate is $26,000/week plus a little extra to cover food, fuel, and dockage.
SUPERYACHT – up to 12 affluent travelers can explore the Mediterranean onboard the 2017 Amels yacht HERE COMES THE SUN, a 272 foot yacht with a crew of 25. Weekly rate is Euro €1,200,000 with additional fees for food, fuel, and dockage.
WHO Do I Call To Plan A Luxury Yacht Charter Vacation?
The owners of charter yachts rely on a network of professional yacht charter brokers to serve as the go-between for owners and anyone interested in securing a yacht for hire. 1-800 Yacht Charters has been delivering The Superyacht Experience to their clients for over 30 years, and maintains a database of more than 500 crewed charter yachts around the world.
Only 1-800 Yacht Charters offers a Best Price Guarantee and makes a donation to a recognized charity in your name when you make your reservation.
Q: I’ve read a few yachting articles that referred to superyachts seeking new cruising grounds as an alternative to the traditional “Milk Run.” What is a milk run in yachting? Amy S.
A: Thank you for your question, Amy. Let’s start with a quick peek at the definition of milk run in an online dictionary.
“Milk Run” – Noun…A routine, uneventful journey.
In the world of megayacht rental vacations, there are two primary offerings that account for the bulk of the charter business: Caribbean yacht charter vacations in the winter and spring, and Mediterranean yacht charter vacations in the summer and early fall.
Caribbean yacht charter scenery
WHAT DO CHARTER CLIENTS WANT?
Charter clients are like most other travelers – they want to “get away,” but most prefer to get to their intended destination quickly.
For North Americans, this means a short flight to the balmy Caribbean to sail, cruise, and visit islands like St. Thomas and St Barts.
The same holds true for Europeans, who can take drive or take a train to seaport destinations like St. Tropez, Positano, or Monaco.
CROSS THE POND
Like any business, demand dictates the industry. First, the owners of the megayachts instruct their crews to position in the Caribbean for winter/spring. Second, they “cross the pond.” Third, they reposition in the south of France or Monaco for the summer season.
Thus, it is this routine, somewhat uneventful journey between the Caribbean and the Mediterranean that boaters refer to as the, “Milk Run.”
Side notes: A handful of yacht owners have recently made efforts to entice potential customers to break away from the traditional cruising grounds, and consider yachting holidays in more exotic locales. Some of the new up and coming destinations include:
She represents one of the major challenges in yacht design, for instance, creating a look that is distinctive but not outlandish. Trinity yacht MINE GAMES, a trideck superyacht, has just the right balance. Her deck house side windows nest in elongated ovals to create a sleeker superstructure. Her prominent bow and raised bulwarks make her look much larger.
At last news of a $1.5 million price reduction for the 49.9m superyacht. St. Martin yacht charter enthusiasts need not worry – MINE GAMES remains available for luxury yacht charter. She is available in both the Bahamas and the Virgin and Leeward islands of the Caribbean.
MINE GAMES is a 2007 build – conforming to ABS class and MCA compliance. She accommodates up to 12 guests. Her accommodations include a master, three doubles, and a twin. Her twin includes a Pullman berth. The yacht cruises at a swift 18 knots.
EXTERIOR AND TOYS
Mine Games is helicopter-capable, and she has a very large swim platform/beach deck. To sweeten the deal, a Triton two-person submarine (a favorite toy for yacht charter guests) is included in the new asking price of $31.45 million.
COMPANY PRESIDENT COMMENT
Jana Sheeder, President and Co-owner of 1-800 Yacht Charters and SailAway Yacht Charter Consultants says of the yacht,
“MINE GAMES has always been a favorite in the yacht charter marketplace. Her submarine, in particular, has made her a standout, and it has been a huge draw for people interested in a new experience during their vacations. Unique toy + gorgeous yacht = winning combination.”
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