Once you’ve decided that a luxury yacht charter is your dream vacation, how do you choose from the overwhelming selection of yachts available in destinations around the world? The charter experience can vary widely, so understanding the options before you book will ensure you enjoy the trip of a lifetime.

Where in the world to go?

If you don’t already have a specific location in mind, it’s worth reflecting on what you enjoy doing while on vacation and what time of year you want to travel. The Mediterranean Sea offers the opportunity to visit charming harborside towns and cities, learn about local history and culture, or see and be seen at some of the best resorts, restaurants and nightclubs. Established western Mediterranean locations such as the South of France, the Amalfi Coast and Corsica will differ from eastern Mediterranean hotspots such as Croatia, Albania and Turkey. The Caribbean offers crystal-clear waters and pristine white sandy beaches that many charterers dream of, plus food, culture and watersports draw visitors to the various island groups scattered throughout the region. Further afield, intrepid travelers can consider expeditions to the Antarctic, the Galapagos Islands or the Great Barrier Reef.

Each location will have a peak season when the weather and conditions are perfect but popular destinations will be busier. Consider the shoulder season in the Mediterranean in May and October, or a place where weather is not the most important consideration, perhaps the Norwegian fjords or Southeast Asia where every day can feel like summer.

Do your research before contacting a professional charter broker who should be well traveled and have first-hand knowledge of the best charter regions around the world.

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How much should I spend?

Work with a charter broker who will help you navigate the best value yachts in your price range. Be honest with them about your budget, so they can recommend options that meet your ‘value’ expectations – which can differ between charter groups.

Charter prices may vary depending on yacht size, onboard amenities, destination and number of crew. If there is a popular event – for example, the Monaco Grand Prix – in your chosen destination around the time of your charter, this can also affect the price.

Cabin configuration will be an important consideration if you are traveling with extended family, children or groups of friends, and splitting the costs makes for a more affordable vacation than you might think. The price of a luxury yacht charter, including expenses (APA and gratuity), compares favorably with a vacation in a first-class hotel or luxury villa, where dining, sightseeing and other experiences can be expensive. On a crewed yacht charter, other unique advantages are: the freedom to explore vast areas at your own pace; the comfort of not having to pack and unpack when you move; the luxury of service and cuisine tailored to your own taste; and complete privacy.

There are yachts to suit all budgets, with the Caribbean and Greece offering a wide range of catamarans and Turkey being home to traditional wooden gulets – options that can be more affordable. Larger yachts that can accommodate 12 or more people are worth considering for special family celebrations, corporate events or parties.

What types of yachts are available?

Motorized or sailing, traditional or modern, intimate or grand … Like homes, yachts come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s important to consider what defines ‘luxury’ for you and your guests.

Motor yachts can be sleek and sporty with eye-watering top speeds or huge superyachts with premium al fresco lifestyle features, such as hot tubs and water toys. They generally offer fast cruising, making them ideal for trips that cover a large area and have generous accommodations with flexible cabin arrangements.

Sailing yachts are perfect for those who want to experience a unique sense of freedom and calm cruising – if you like the thrill of competition you can even charter sailing yachts to enter regattas. Traditional sailing yachts are a thing of beauty with classic and timeless decor, while contemporary versions are more spacious than ever and are on the cutting edge of sustainable yacht design.

Motor or sailing catamarans have the added advantage of stability, affordability and maneuverability – with less draft, they can navigate in shallow coves away from crowds. If your sense of adventure draws you to wild or exotic destinations, then an explorer yacht can host you in comfort and luxury as far south as the Antarctic or as far north as the Norwegian fjords.

What are the facilities on board?

Yachts come with all sorts of amenities on board, so the choice is yours when it comes to water toys, wine and dining, cinema and sound systems, spa and gym facilities and layout.

The opportunity to try water sports, toys and diving is an integral part of the charter experience for many, especially if you are traveling with children. Most yachts will carry stand-up paddle boards, kayaks and snorkeling equipment, while larger superyachts may have an extensive list including jet skis, seabobs, water slides and this season’s favourites, e-foils and inflatable water parks. A chase boat, towable tender or rib tender is a great addition that can carry water skis and inflatables as well as guests ashore.

A private on-board chef is the ultimate luxury for food and wine connoisseurs or those just looking forward to a break from cooking while on holiday! The crew will often specialize in local wines and beers, ensuring the best options are available on board. An experienced charter broker will know the captain, chef and crew with a good reputation, so will be able to recommend the best. Before you board you will be asked to complete a preference sheet so that your specific needs can be met by the chef and crew.

It’s important to have a TV with the family on board while the adults enjoy dinner, or for a family movie night. Most yachts are equipped with state-of-the-art TV and sound systems, with some even boasting outdoor cinemas and indoor screening rooms. Bluetooth speaker systems throughout allow guests to access their own playlists and crew can arrange live music on board for special celebrations.

Exercising and indulging in sauna and spa treatments are becoming increasingly popular for charter guests, so if you have a routine you’d like to maintain or pamper yourself with a massage or facial, ask your charter broker for details on the amenities and services available here. ask Your chosen yacht.

There has never been such a choice of yachts, amenities or destinations to experience so it is important to work with a professional charter broker to bring your dream charter vacation to life.

Trina Howes

Director of Trina Howes Charterworld America. CharterWorld America is a luxury private yacht charter company that creates outstanding vacations around the world with great yachts at incredible prices. If you would like to become a guest blogger on a luxury travel blog to raise your profile, please contact us.

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