No experience in the world compares to that of a superyacht charter. A bastion of exclusivity, a yacht charter vacation allows you and your guests to custom-make the adventure of a lifetime in the most luxurious surrounds imaginable. As a yacht charter guest, what you want is the priority and highly-qualified yachting industry professionals, such as charter brokers and yacht crew, are the trusted partners to ensure that all your wishes are met. Nickie Vincent and Charles Crane, two of Engel & Völkers Yachting’s experienced brokerage team, offer a unique insight into what to expect from a luxury yacht charter.
“The luxury, privacy and security on board your superyacht charter are second to none,” says Charter Broker Nickie. “The service is equal to that of a seven-star hotel. Bespoke is the word to describe a yacht charter as it is all about you and fulfilling your dreams – which can be changed at your every whim.”
An utterly distinct experience, created solely with you and your guests in mind, a yacht charter vacation transports you away from the crowds and the routine of the everyday to some of the most exotic and fairy-tale destinations in the world; from the remote untouched beauty of Indonesia’s West Papua islands to extreme Heli skiing in Alaska, without forgetting, of course, the eternal attraction of a crewed yacht charter in the Mediterranean.
“A yacht charter is an oasis of luxury and adventure,” Nickie continues. “You can choose from a deserted beach in the morning to an evening spent dancing the night away either on deck or in the hottest clubs, after having enjoyed a gourmet meal on board, under the stars, prepared by your personal chef.”
From sky deck cinemas to enjoy Hollywood classics on the big screen to wellness centres and state-of-the-art gym equipment, complete with fitness instructors as crew, today’s superyachts for charter ensure that no matter how far off the beaten track you cruise, all your favourite luxury touches will be close to hand. And, if they aren’t, all you have to do is ask your charter broker. That’s what they – and the yacht’s discreet and professional crew – are there for.
An unrivalled knowledge of the industry and the yachts currently available for charter means a charter broker is the partner of choice for both first time and seasoned charter guests. By listening to your every requirement and desire, a charter broker is able to match you to the yacht and crew guaranteed to create an unforgettable experience.
“Our expert and knowledgeable charter brokers are there to find the right yacht for you and your guests. Brokers visit each and every yacht, so it is important to give us as much information as possible,” Nickie says. From family-friendly yachts with crew who delight in igniting young imaginations, to sporty yachts which can zip between VIP parties in Cannes and St Tropez, there is a yacht for every group. “Whatever you are after, there is the perfect yacht out there waiting for you,” she affirms.
Communication – with your yacht broker and the yacht crew – is paramount and sales and charter broker Charles believes the more questions you ask, the better. “Be open with your broker – the more detail you offer as to your wants, requirements, tastes, ideals, activities, destinations, and lifestyle, the more they are able to not only meet, but exceed your expectations. We take note of every minute point to ensure that the whole trip is co-ordinated and organised to perfection,” he says.
More important than the specifications of the yacht, Charles says, are the people that work tirelessly on board it. “Don’t just focus on the yacht. A fantastic and suitable crew is just, if not more, important,” he advises.
Experienced yacht charterers will often tell you that what keeps them returning to the same charter yacht, season after season, is the crew. Not only is delivering you an out of this world experience the primary motive for these discerning professionals, but they are often leading names in their chosen industry.
“Your crew is multi-talented and includes experts in cocktail making, massage therapists, personal trainers, marine experts, certified divers, yoga instructor… you name it!” explains Nickie. “They will teach your kids to fish and snorkel and allow you to safely play with the myriad of water toys on board.”
The galley, in particular, is where some of the finest talent in the world can be found. “Quite a few yachts now offer Michelin-starred chefs for the ultimate epicurean experience. We can also arrange for a celebrity chef to fly in for one night and prepare an exceptional dinner for a special event you may wish to celebrate. There’s always the potential of a private cooking lesson in the galley the next day as well!” Nickie enthuses.
Your charter broker and Captain and yacht charter crew work tirelessly as a team to create a once in a lifetime itinerary that encompasses everything from rustic feasts prepared in an olive grove to an intimate concert on board by a renowned entertainer. “Even a deserted beach barbeque,” Nickie adds, “all set up by your crew under the twinkling night sky, to conclude with a private fireworks display for the marvel of your guests.”
“Depending on the makeup of your party and the itinerary chosen there are a variety of different yachts to consider,” Nickie explains. More than simply a choice between a motor and sailing yacht charter, “for some charter guests, greater deck space is important while other guests have a preference for a classic style or ultra-modern curves,” she continues. What about all important speed? “The faster yachts tend to have a high fuel consumption while the slower yachts and the new hybrid yachts consume less fuel, which will bring your costs considerably down” she continues.
Planning your itinerary in consultation with your charter broker and Captain is crucial and this is where the type of yacht comes into play. “The choice and speed of yacht is essential in deciding how far to go and how long to cruise for. I wouldn’t advise cruising more than four to six hours a day in order to fully enjoy your charter and not over extend the crew or spend too much time underway for the guests. It is important to take full use also of the water toys on board and have time to visit the diverse destinations and ports,” Nickie says.
A leading luxury yacht brokerage, the team at Engel & Völkers Yachting offer a wealth of advice for industry novices and veterans alike. Nickie’s best advice is to book early in the season. “So, May and June in the Mediterranean and November or late March in the Caribbean,” she says. While always fantastic professionals, this insider tip means your crew will be well rested and excited about the new season ahead. “You will also save thousands by booking off season. The conditions are still great and the crowds are few.” Book early – and plan ahead. “Both ports and popular restaurants end up fully booked during the high season months of July and August,” she continues. As do the yachts. “Repeat clients reserve yachts well in advance so by booking early you have access to the largest choice possible.”
While the turquoise waters, superb climate and host of untouched islands and secluded anchorages makes Charles name a yacht charter in the British Virgin Islands as his quintessential yachting destination, his best advice for someone new to chartering is to find a knowledgeable, trustworthy, enthusiastic and experienced broker. “Recommendations from an experienced charterer is ideal,” he says.
An ultra-modern 52m motor yacht for charter, M/Y SEVEN SINS was launched in 2017 by renowned Italian shipyard SAN LORENZO. Her eye-catching design includes a glass-bottom swimming pool which becomes the atrium of the spacious Beach Club. Equipped with state of the art gym equipment and a sauna, this Beach Club is the focal point for wellness activities on board. Currently chartering in the Mediterranean, the yacht can accommodate up to 12 guests in six well-appointed cabins.
Combining the comforts of a motor yacht and the liberty of billowing sails, S/Y NOHEEA is a 25.05m sailing yacht for charter in the Mediterranean that combines performance and sleek design. Built in 1991, the yacht underwent a full refit in 2007. Her generous deck spaces are ideal for al fresco entertainment and she can comfortably accommodate seven guests in three en-suite cabins. Her choice of tenders and toys include fishing and diving equipment and inflatables. At water level, her transom door transforms into a bathing platform, perfect for relaxed afternoons at anchor.
To make that first step towards your next superyacht charter, contact the team at Engel & Völkers Yachting today.