â–º Speed limit…
â–º Jumbo shrimp…
"OXYMORONS." The English language is filled with them – figures of speech by which a locution produces an incongruous, self-contradictory effect.
Here's another one:
â–ºAffordable luxury yacht charter…
After all, a yachting vacation can't be both luxurious and affordable, right?
Well…maybe it can!
With the right information in hand, savvy travelers can find affordable tricks to keep down the cost of a yacht charter vacation.
Here are the three top tips to minimizing the costs of a yachting holiday without sacrificing any of the luxurious amenities of a typical holiday at sea:
1. AVOID delivery fees.
Pick your destination first, before picking a yacht. All too often, customers visit websites and fall in love with a particular yacht, only to find out the yacht is based in a location far away from their desired destination.
Jana Sheeder, President of SailAway Yacht Charters explains: "Many websites will show that a yacht is 'available' for hire in a certain destination, such as the Bahamas, without mentioning that the yacht is actually based several hundred miles away, like Fort Lauderdale, and will charge a delivery fee to relocate. These delivery fees, for fuel and crew time, can add thousands of dollars to the cost of a charter."
To avoid costly relocation fees, select a desired location and then ask a charter broker to focus on identifying yachts that are already in position at that destination.
2. Travel OFF-Peak.
This sounds like a no-brainer…take a vacation in low season and pay lower rates. But who wants to go boating in the middle of hurricane season, for example, just to save a few bucks?
The trick here is to go in a "shoulder" season – a period of dates immediately after the conclusion of the high season. The traditional high season for Caribbean yacht charters concludes after Easter – in April. For the few weeks in between high season and the beginning of low season in the Caribbean, many yachts sit idle once the tourists have gone home.
Here, in this shoulder season, yacht owners are often willing to offer fantastic incentives to secure bookings. It is not uncommon to find price breaks from 10% to 30%, as well as free days for every day booked.
Professional charter brokers receive weekly updates from fleet managers, detailing ongoing specials. If you have the flexibility to travel in a shoulder season, ask your SailAway broker to check for special deals.
3. Choose a COMMERCIALLY-registered yacht.
This tip applies more to Mediterranean yacht charters than other destinations. While the laws vary from country to country, many private charter yachts are registered by their owners as "commercial" vessels. This registration in many cases means the yacht can avoid paying any VAT (value added tax) on the price of a charter as well as certain purchases made during the charter, such as fuel.
"In some countries, the VAT percentage can be in the double digits," says Sheeder. "This can add thousands of dollars to the total cost of a charter vacation."
Most charter brokers will present a prospective client with several yachts for consideration. Remember to ask if the yachts suggested are commercially registered and exempt from VAT
By following these simple tips, savvy charter customers can save in some cases up to 50% of the cost of a yachting vacation. It seems, "Affordable luxury" is not a conflict of terms after all…
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