By Todd Beechey
Yachting is a very specific niche in the travel industry and as more and more luxury consumers seek opportunities for bespoke vacations, it helps to understand yachting’s own rules and standards. Here’s what travelers can expect when considering a yacht vacation.
Rates for a yacht are very different than if you were booking passage on a cruise line. You’ll start with the “base rate” which is the cost to rent the yacht for a week (or whatever the prescribed time period is). In addition to the base rate, there are a number of other fees, which are additional and include taxes, fuel (for the yacht as well as any of the “toys” like jet skis and tender), food and drink provisioning, and crew tip. Base rates typically start at $45,000. Prices will be lower or higher based on the number of guests. The “extras” are traditionally 50 to 55% of the base rate. A good rule of thumb for calculating a “per person” cost for a yacht charter vacation is a $45,000 base rate charter will usually work out to around $8,500 per person, per week, based upon a group of 8 people chartering for one week including all accommodations on board the yacht, food and beverage on board, and activities. The crew gratuity is typically 10 to 20% depending upon the quality of service received and is included in the average per person figure noted above.
THE PREFERENCE SHEET
Yachting, by nature, is a very customized experience. In order for the yacht crew to understand the needs, desires, and tastes of the primary guest and their passengers, a “Preference Sheet” is required. This enables the Captain and Chef of your charter vessel to know the complete and very detailed provisioning preferences for you, your family and guests.
The Preference Sheet includes the basic information like the names of each guest, arrival and departure information, insights into the type of vacationer you are (e.g., on the go, relaxed, scheduled, or prefer to take each day as it comes), preferred activities you would like to enjoy, any medical conditions of the passengers or special dietary needs (gluten free, low salt, etc.), special occasions you will be celebrating, food preferences both in terms of meal times, but also what you like to eat for each specific meal as well as snacks, preferred preparation methods, any likes or dislikes for specific food items or cuisines, details for kids eating habits, beverage preferences, special requests that you would like the yacht to have on board, etc.