Everything you need to know about chartering a superyacht

Considering setting sail on a chartered vacation but don’t know where to begin? We spoke to charter broker, Molly Playfair, from Camper & Nicholsons International, to cover the most-commonly asked questions before weighing anchor.

By Camper & Nicholsons International
Photographs By Camper & Nicholsons International
Published 7 Sept 2021, 12:05 BST
Built in 2004 by the renowned Benetti shipyard, JO I is a magnificent 50m motor yacht ...

Built in 2004 by the renowned Benetti shipyard, JO I is a magnificent 50m motor yacht offering a relaxing and luxurious charter experience. Set over three decks, JO I offers a wide range of amenities such as a bar, jacuzzi, multiple outdoor seating areas and an extensive range of water toys – perfect for soaking in the surrounding views of the Montenegro coastline. 

Photograph by Camper & Nicholsons International

Molly Playfair joined Camper & Nicholsons International as a charter broker in 2006, and quickly fell in love with the world of luxury yachting.

Photograph by Camper & Nicholsons International

What’s the traditional duration for chartering a superyacht?

One to two weeks is the most common length of time. However, any length is possible, so it really depends on what you’re looking for. Brokers scour the market to find owners willing to accommodate all sorts of charters, even long-term ones lasting a month or more. 

What does the typical charter rate include?

Most yachts for charter operate under MYBA Terms, this means the charter rate includes the hire of the yacht, insurance, crew wages, crew food and the ship’s laundry. All expenses such as fuel, running costs, berthing, food, drinks, shoreside transportation, VAT, other local taxes, and cruising permits are at additional cost to the charterer.

Aside from VAT, which is charged on top of the charter fee, expenses are calculated by way of an advance provisioning allowance (APA), which is usually 30% of the charter fee and acts as an onboard account – at the end of the charter the captain will present the charterer with an itemised statement of account and any difference is settled at the end of the charter. Usually, at the end of the charter, there is money leftover in the APA account to return to the charterer. Crew gratuities are customary but discretionary, usually in the region of 10-15% of the charter fee.

How much prior sailing experience is required?

All Camper & Nicholsons chartered yachts are fully crewed, so all your needs will be met. All you need to do is sit back and enjoy the view — unless, of course, you want to be shown the ropes, in which case, the crew will be more than happy to oblige.

BLUSH is one of Camper & Nicholsons many luxury sailing yachts available for charter. Newly refitted in beautiful metallic and pastel pink hues, Blush's interior is stylish and offers a multitude of relaxation, dining and accommodation options, hosting up to 10 guests across five ensuite rooms.

Photograph by Camper & Nicholsons International

Do most superyachts accept children on board?

Absolutely. The included ‘water toys’ (as they’re known), such as jet skis, diving equipment and inflatable slides, all lend themselves to plenty of family fun.

What are the main benefits to this type of getaway when compared to a traditional beach resort holiday?

A yacht allows you to enjoy a holiday with family and friends in complete privacy, which is a hugely attractive prospect — especially these days. Superyacht charters offer an unrivalled service tailored to your particular requirements; a chef to meet your dietary needs; and a crew whose job is to look after you and your group. Moreover, the itinerary is up to you. You can anchor in an empty bay one day, then berth in a bustling town the next.

Where in Europe would you particularly recommend for a sailing holiday, and why?

The Adriatic offers idyllic, lush scenery and crystal-clear, azure-blue waters. What’s more, it now has the yachting infrastructure to rival that of the western Mediterranean.

The coast of Montenegro is particularly compelling, especially when explored by yacht, dotted as it is with jagged mountains, charming ancient harbours and fortified towns.

What specific regions or towns in Montenegro are a must-visit, and why?

The fjord-like Bay of Kotor is exceptionally beautiful. No visit is complete without exploring the star-attraction and the namesake of the Bay itself: the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kotor. Don’t miss Perast, a sleepy, seafront hamlet with few inhabitants but a rich history and two islets with twin chapels. Built during the 17th and 18th centuries, Perast benefitted from a free trade agreement with Venice due to its geographical situation on the border of the Ottoman Empire and the Venetian Republic. This former prosperity is clear to see in the town’s ancient architecture of baroque churches and crumbling bell towers.

However, for a little glitz and glamour, head to Tivat — now home to the famous Porto Montenegro marina development, it’s worth a visit for a spot of shopping and a dip in the huge infinity pool. 

Breakfast aboard JO I superyacht, with the Bay of Kotor, Montenegro, as a dramatic backdrop. The motor yacht offers an unrivalled service tailored to your particular requirements; a chef to meet your dietary needs; and a crew whose job is to look after you and your group alone.

Photograph by Camper & Nicholsons International

Molly Playfair is a trusted charter broker at Camper & Nicholsons International, where her knowledge of the industry and attention to detail is used to expertly match a wide range of clients to their ideal yacht and most sought after location. For more information, and to view the fleet of luxury yachts available for charter, visit camperandnicholsons.com

Published in the October issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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