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How much does it cost to Charter a Yacht?
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How much does it cost to Charter a Yacht?

Camper & Nicholsons
27th May 2022

For many people, a yacht charter is the ultimate escape. Chartering is a luxurious and glamourous undertaking. Anything is possible: set sail to the French Riviera, dine under the stars in the Caribbean, or even explore remote and rugged Antarctica. The entire world lays before you; your only limitation is your own imagination (and the weather, of course!).

But one important consideration before chartering a superyacht is how much it will cost, what’s included, and what additional costs will be incurred.

 

What is a yacht charter?

First, it is key to understand what exactly a ‘yacht’ is.

While there are many definitions, most people agree that it is a boat mainly used for leisure, and of a particular size. There is no industry standard that differentiates a yacht from a boat, but they are usually over 25 metres long, and come with a professional crew that are responsible for maintaining the vessel and serving the guests. The yacht must be commercially registered registered (or similar, according to flag), but these are not cargo or assistance vessels, which are classified under different categories. A charter yacht can be a sailing yacht or a motor yacht.

Chartering a yacht is a seamless experience: whether you have a particular destination in mind, or you’ve found a particular yacht that you would like to spend your vacation on. Charter companies like Camper & Nicholsons have dedicated Charter Brokers who are experts in creating your dream vacation.

 

Yacht charter cost explained

It’s important to speak to a Charter Broker for a clear breakdown of all the inclusions and exclusions in your yacht charter. Specifically, you should be aware of the following:
 


INCLUDED IN PUBLISHED RATE

1. Base charter fee 

Your base charter fee is what it costs to rent the boat. It includes the vessel hire, Captain/crew, and insurance. This is likely the advertised per week rate that you will see.

This base fee depends on a few different things: the charter duration and seasonality, the size of the yacht is a major contributing factor, as is how new it is, its reputation, brand/shipyard, and toy list. In addition, some yachts have more capabilities than others. For example, a famous yacht like m/y OCTOPUS is a 126m megayacht, and capable of crossing oceans. The cost to charter a yacht like that, by necessity, will be higher than the cost of a smaller yacht that has been designed for coastal cruising in the Mediterranean.
 

Seasonality 

Just like shore-based vacations have high and low seasons, so too do yacht charters.
High season will see higher charter rates and depends on where the yacht is based.

Certain events may also see changes to the cost of yacht charters: a good example of this is the Monaco Grand Prix or the Cannes Film Festival, with charter rates in the nearby French Riviera rising in the weeks surrounding these world-renowned events. 
 

Charter agreements

Depending where in the world you choose to charter, you will be subject to a local charter agreement.

The agreement most commonly used is the MYBA Charter Agreement (Mediterranean Yacht Broker Association), owned and dictated by the Worldwide Yachting Association. Under MYBA terms, the charter fee includes the hire and insurance of the yacht, water sport equipment, crew food and salaries as well as on board laundry.

All other considerations such as food and drinks for the guests, fuel and dockage, to name a few, are an additional cost that will be covered by the APA (Advance Provisioning Allowance) and are not included in the published rate.

Often, this fee structure will be indicated by use of the term “plus all running expenses”.

However, while MYBA is the most common agreement, it is not the only fee structure. Your dedicated Charter Broker will be able to confirm these details with you, and advise you of any other costs pertaining to the yacht’s rental.

 

ADDITIONS TO THE CHARTER FEE

2. Provisioning (APA)

Regardless of the agreement your charter falls under, charter guests will need to pay the Advanced Provisioning Allowance (APA) to cover extra costs.

The rates mentioned include the hire of the yacht, the yacht insurance, the crew’s food, beverage and wages, and respective insurances. Items such as guests’ food and beverages, fuel for the main engines and generators, port dues, maritime agent fees, etc., are all additional costs that the Charterer will need to pay. An APA is the most common way to handle these and it’s typically 25 35% of the charter fee.

Charter costs can also depend on the type of yacht. Sailing yachts, for example, will save money on fuel costs but guests who have more expensive taste in food and wine will spend more.
 

Fuels

Keep in mind that fuel cost and consumption will depend on how far you are cruising and at what speed. Your toys and tenders also require fuel, as does time spent at anchor. Shore-side electricity is also factored in, and all of these can contribute to the additional cost of chartering a yacht.
 

Port Dues

Also called dock fees, these will vary based on where you are, and what time of year it is. Events can drive up prices—like the Monaco Grand Prix—as can high versus low season.

The Captain will submit accounts and any negative balance should be settled at the end of the charter by the Charterer. The good news is that any funds that remain unspent will be refunded to the Charterer upon disembarkation or can be used to cover the crew gratuity.


3. VAT and local taxes

Depending on where you choose to cruise, local taxes will be charged, and these will be based on your yacht’s base charter fee. A charge of 20% for VAT is applied in France, for example, and local tax in the Bahamas is 4%.


4. Delivery Fees

Repositioning fees when a Charter party requests to embark or disembark in a place where the yacht isn’t usually based, or a location not in accordance with the yacht’s planning, may also be due.


5. Tip/gratuity

Finally, a crew gratuity at the end of each charter is given to the Captain to divide amongst the crew. This is, of course, at the Charterer’s discretion, however industry guidelines recommend 5-15% of the charter fee.


6. Security Deposit 

Paid before the start of the charter, a security deposit may be asked for to cover any damage the Charterer has caused to the yacht during the charter period. This may be requested on different occasions: for very new yachts; when charterers bring children or pets on board; when the yacht is Chartered for special events such as during the Monaco Grand Prix; and more.
 

It’s true that Charter costs can be complex, but this simple breakdown explains some of the behind-the-scenes work that goes into making a yacht charter happen. Your Charter Broker, as well as the Captain and crew of the yacht you choose, want to make your vacation unforgettable.

If you’re interested in chartering a luxury yacht for your dream holiday, we will put you in touch with a dedicated Charter Expert who will craft your perfect escape.

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