How To Plan a Yacht Vacation: 9 Tips
If you've been daydreaming about traveling across beautiful, blue waters under a bright sky with nothing on your mind but where to land next, it's time to start organizing a private yacht trip. There's a lot to think about before you go sailing, but with little preparation and these helpful hints, you'll be ready for the best private boat trip.
Choosing Where To Go – And When
Obviously, the first step is to choose a destination. There are many amazing destinations to visit throughout the world, so this alone might generate a lot of internet searches. The Caribbean, the Bahamas, Italy and the Amalfi Coast, Croatia, the British Virgin Islands, the South Pacific, the Mediterranean, and Greece are all ideal locations to go on a luxury yacht charter.
Other popular destinations for charter vacations include:
- The French Riviera
- New England
- Miami, Florida
When Should You Take a Luxury Vacation?
If you've already decided on a destination for your sailing vacation, the most critical factor to consider is when to travel. Avoiding terrible weather will most likely be your first priority, but you should also consider the high and low seasons. Prices are affected by the trip season you pick, albeit this is not necessarily linked to the best weather because pricing is generally dependent on demand.
The prime season for travel to the Caribbean, for example, is December to April, when visitors from the north go to escape the cold. While the weather is good and there is minimal rain throughout these months, the shoulder seasons in late spring and fall feature comparable weather, considerably fewer crowds, and often lower pricing (outside of school holidays). Even in the low season, July and August, bright sunny days and the greatest rates are available.
There's also the issue of availability to consider. The most popular places will be fully booked well ahead of peak season, yet there may be a problem with too few charter boats operating in a certain area during low season.
If you have some flexibility in terms of when you can go on vacation, start with one or more areas of interest and research weather, costs, and availability before settling on one. If you don't have much flexibility in terms of when you go, it’s best to let weather and availability drive your decisions.
Planning Your Experience
When you hire a boat, you have complete control over your itinerary. Some elements of your schedule may be dictated by time and money limits, but if you have a solid concept of where you want to travel and what you want to do, your yacht broker or skipper can help you arrange the perfect voyage.
Begin by deciding what kind of experience you want to have. Are you seeking cultural activities and day trips, or are you more interested in distant beach sites and diving spots? Do you want to escape crowds or be right in the middle of things? Or maybe you'd like a little bit of both? As a starting point for your preparation, do some reading on the region and designate sites of interest and activities you'd like to visit.
Choosing the Right Yacht and Crew
Unless you want to rent a bareboat, which is a yacht without a captain or crew that you sail yourself, you'll need to make some decisions about the sort of crewed yacht charter you'll need for your trip. Sailing yachts, catamarans, motor yachts, and even superyachts and mega yachts with luxurious facilities like swimming pools, gyms, and helipads are frequently available for rental as private yacht charters.
Each boat that you take to your charter destination will have varied occupancy limitations, lounging area on deck and below, amenities, cruising capabilities, and prices, so make sure you read the literature on each yacht carefully. Because they are more expensive to build and run, power catamarans and yachts are generally more expensive than sailboats.
As far as provisioning goes, there are also disparities. Some charter boats are all-inclusive, which means that the fee includes meals, beverages, fuel, and on-board amenities. Additional expenses could include premium beverages, specialty food items, scuba diving, docking, and other fees, depending on the business you book with.
On the other hand, plus-expenses yacht charter contracts will have a predetermined fee for the boat and crew, with all extra costs such as gasoline, food, and drink added separately. You can also discover charters that demand you to provide your own provisions, such as food and beverages.
Service levels will differ greatly from boat to boat, just as there are significant disparities in the sorts of boats and how they are equipped. You may do as much or as little as you like around the boat, from captain-only alternatives where you do your own cooking and housekeeping to fully-staffed yachts with complete on-board service, waiters, and a chef.
What is offered for your usage on board might vary greatly depending on the type of boat you lease. Watersports are where this becomes crucial for most individuals. Most boats will have at least a limited range of water toys, such as inflatable floats, tows, and snorkeling gear, but many of the bigger ships can supply whatever equipment you want, including diving gear, jet skis, kayaks, and stand up paddleboards. There are also some boats with a water slide.
Your devices are another factor to consider. Most yachts will include a comprehensive audio-visual system, as well as hair dryers and plugs for charging your own equipment. You just need to make sure you bring the correct adaptor for your destination.
Booking, Payment & Contracts
The majority of individuals prefer to book through a yacht broker rather than directly with a boat owner. The broker will assist you in finding the best boat for your needs and can help you organize every part of your trip, including transportation, onboard menu options, activities, and restaurant reservations. Your broker is also in charge of delivering the contract to you, so be sure the broker you choose is qualified. The American Yacht Charter Association is a wonderful place to start.
It's critical to know that an Advance Provisioning Allowance (APA) is necessary prior to the charter. The charter business utilizes this as an expenditure deposit to furnish the boat. At the end of the charter, the APA is resolved, and any unused funds are repaid.
Money & Tipping
Before you board, you'll want to make sure you have some local money on hand, since you may not be able to use your credit card everywhere. Some places may also take other major international currencies such as the US dollar, euro, or British pound. It is also customary to tip the skipper and crew. Although if you choose a charter broker, they will notify you of the tipping etiquette for your destination; 15-20% of the charter price is common.
Passports & Visas
If your destination is international, you will require a valid passport just like any other kind of travel. Bear in mind that certain countries require your passport to be valid for three to six months beyond your intended stay, so double-check that your passport fulfills the country's requirements.
Visa restrictions may apply depending on your nationality. There may be several visa requirements if you pass foreign borders during your voyage. Make sure you do your homework and prepare any necessary travel paperwork ahead of time.
What To Pack
When packing for your trip, less is more when it comes to sailing. Since yachts rarely have a lot of storage room, you'll want to pack light. If you'll be traveling to a warm-weather region, a small to medium-sized duffel bag should be plenty for your needs.
You'll generally want to bring a fancier look or two, as well as long pants and a jacket in case of poor weather or potentially chilly nights. You’ll also want to pack your favorite swimsuits; this is an absolute must when going on a boating trip! Don’t forget to add sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat, a cool cover-up, and sunglasses as well. These are vital for sun protection. You might also want to bring a camera, charger, additional batteries, and SD cards to take all the holiday pictures on, you can also simply bring your phone if you want to keep things easy.
Be Prepared With Medications
If you're on any prescription medicine, make sure you have enough for the duration of your trip and consider packing a backup prescription. If you're flying to your cruise location, keep these in your carry-on luggage.
Even though a first-aid kit should be provided, it's a good idea to bring along any items such as bandages, braces or bandages if you have joint difficulties, and pain medicines. If you're prone to allergy or sea sickness pills for this are also recommended, and Imodium can be a lifesaver in the event of traveler's stomach.
Of course, you'll also want to pack sunscreen, insect spray, and an after-sun lotion to make sure your skin doesn't suffer during your trip!
Now that you’ve got all the tips and tricks you need you’re that much closer to being ready to set sail! Keep in mind that weather might affect your plans, so be prepared to adjust them if necessary. Simply sit back, relax, and enjoy the experience that is sailing because the trip is what true travel is all about.
Head to the La Blanca website, and explore all the options we have available for you. Try them on at home without the risk when you enjoy complimentary shipping and returns on all orders over $79.