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What is Included in a Yacht Charter?

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The popularity of private luxury yacht charter vacations continues to rise.  One reason?   The desire of travelers to minimize Covid-19 exposure while on vacation.  Indeed, charter yacht holidays are considered among the safest vacation options.  When you are on a private yacht, only your family and your crew are present.  Important to note:  the crew is tested for the virus prior to your arrival].  Compare chartering to staying in a hotel.  Certainly, you and your family can potentially come into contact with many employees and guests in a hotel or upscale resort.


Perhaps you are considering your first vacation on a charter yacht.  Luxury certainly awaits you – but what else can you expect?  Specifically, what is included when you rent a yacht?


Aerial photo of yacht at anchor with an inflatable slide coming down from the top deck. Multiple jetskis and tenders are racing around in the water around the boat. The water is clear and turquoise.



Let’s begin with a small distinction – and an assumption.  For this blog, we are referring to “crewed”  (with crew) charter yachts. Alternately, some travelers rent a bareboat.  What is the distinction?




A bareboat is a boat you operate on your own. For example, in the same way that you rent a car, you rent a boat and operate it yourself.  Of course, this assumes you are qualified to operate a boat – and have a cruising resume to prove it!



In this blog, we are focusing on “crewed” yachts.  A crewed yacht simply means you are the onboard guests – not the operators.  A crewed yacht is a yacht with a crew.  A talented staff of professional mariners handles all aspects of operations – from navigating to cooking and cleaning.



The price of a crewed yacht for hire includes the yacht, the crew, and the use of onboard amenities and water toys.  However, there are more items that may or may not be included.

To understand what else is included in a charter vacation, we must begin with an important distinction:  Is the price quoted “all-inclusive” or “plus expenses?”


Most all-inclusive charters include your meals and basic beverages (sodas, water, and non-premium alcohol).  Furthermore, they also include the fuel needed to operate the yacht, as well as any dockage fees.  Normally, local taxes and requisite government cruising permits are included as well.

Please note – some “all-inclusive” yachts do not cover the local taxes and cruising permits.  Make sure to read the fine print before signing your charter agreement.


As a general rule of thumb, all-inclusive charters are commonly available on smaller (40 to 80 foot) sailing yachts based in the Caribbean.  Some smaller motor yachts also offer all-inclusive pricing in the Caribbean.  All-inclusive pricing is uncommon in the Western Mediterranean (Spain, Italy, France, etc.).  Yachts in the Eastern Mediterranean (primarily Greece) offer a hybrid version of all-inclusive pricing.  Specifically, food and basic beverages are included, but fuel and dockage are not.


SEE the Top Three Reasons Celebrities Love Yacht Charters




Many all-inclusive yachts offer extra services for an additional fee. For example, the yacht you are considering for your vacation might be all-inclusive, yet charge a separate fee for the use of onboard SCUBA diving equipment.



“Special requests” can also add to the total price of an all-inclusive yacht charter. As outlined above, beverages and non-premium alcohol are normally included.   However, requests for specific premium brands and/or vintage wines and champagnes will be charged to you as an additional expense.


Most larger yachts for hire opt for an a-la-carte approach to what is included in the charter fee. Yes, the charter rate includes the yacht and crew and the use of amenities and toys.  The similarity to an all-inclusive charter ends there.

Large yachts, both in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean employ “plus expenses” pricing.  The concept is quite simple and straight forward.  All expenses related to the operation of the yacht during the charter are the responsibility of the charterer.



Certain expenses are commonly referred to as “running expenses.”  They include but are not limited to, food, all beverages, fuel, dockage, and any applicable taxes and cruising permits.




At this point, you might be wondering, “How can I budget for these running expenses, since I won’t know the total expenditures until the conclusion of the charter?”  It’s a great question.  To avoid confusion and possible embarrassment, yachts that operate “plus expenses” collect a deposit from the charterer before the trip begins.  This deposit is referred to as an “Advance Provisioning Allowance” or  “APA.”  Most yachts require an APA deposit equal to 30-35% of the charter fee.  Historically, yacht captains have calculated a typical charter incurs about 30% more than the actual charter fee in running expenses.



Captains use the APA funds they have on hand to pay for the running expenses throughout the tip.  For example, they use the funds to pay for fuel, and for dockage.


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A Captain keeps a detailed log of all expenditures during the charter. At the end of the charter, the Captain presents a detailed expense report to the lead charter guest.  Any remaining funds are returned to the charterer.



Sometimes, there is a shortage. In this case, the charterer owes additional funds to the captain before departing the yacht.   Of course, you are probably thinking, “What if I don’t have enough funds on hand to cover the shortage?”   No worries!  Captains monitor the expenses throughout the charter. If they sense there might be a shortage, they will come to the lead charter guests and explain the situation.  If necessary, most charter guests simply wire additional funds into the yacht’s APA account.



In the event of an APA overage, the lead client decides the distribution.  Funds either return to the client or, as if often the case, the monies apply to a crew gratuity.



Whether you opt for an all-inclusive yacht or select a yacht that is plus expenses, one thing is always the same. In specific, The Experience. 1-800 Yacht Charters – exceeding expectations is the way we do business.  Our luxury yacht charter vacations deliver the highest level of service.  Private.  Discreet.  Confidential.  Elegant.  This top service, coupled with a fabulous destination, in a Covid-protected environment, delivers to you The Superyacht Experience™ every time.

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