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Yacht Charter FAQ

Ultimate survival charter FAQ for unforgettable yachting holidays

Sailing Yachts
If you’re looking for an adventure that combines traditional craftsmanship and the thrill of the open sea, a sailing yacht is the perfect choice. Imagine the wind in your hair, the salty spray on your face, and the sound of the waves beneath you. 

Motor Yachts
For those who love speed and comfort at sea, a motor yacht is the perfect choice. These vessels offer expansive accommodation spaces on board, making them ideal for longer journeys or entertaining guests. 

Explorer Yachts
If you’re looking to explore hidden locations that are off the beaten path, an explorer yacht might be the ideal vessel for you. These yachts are designed to travel to remote locations, allowing you to discover the beauty of untouched natural landscapes. 

There are basically 3 different types of yacht charter:
Static Charters: yacht rental with crew for events such as the Monaco Grand Prix, where the yacht is moored in the harbour.
Bareboat charter: a bareboat charter or demise charter is an arrangement for the charter or hire of a yacht or boat where no crew or provisions are included.
Crewed Yacht Charter: a crewed charter is where the crew is dedicated to the specific yacht, and take care of the maintenance, sailing, cooking, cleaning and navigation. Crewed yacht charters includes expedition charter, wellness yacht charter etc.

As an independent charter broker company since 2011, we have access to an extensive network of recognised professionals and yacht owners to promote hidden charter deals and the best charter offers before anyone else.
We also offer unbiased advice that is not tied to any particular charter fleet or charter company.

If you get an early booking discount or book a last-minute charter, you’ll get exactly the same service as if you paid the full charter rate: same charter terms, same qualified crew, same luxury yacht, same favourite food freshly prepared by your chef.

Our advanced search engine allows you to browse our special offers by type:
Best Value: book your ch

Early booking: book your charter months in advance and get a discount on the gross charter fee.

Free delivery: free yacht delivery is the process of relocating a yacht from a designated departure marina to the client’s chosen destination marina or port without charging the cost of the fuel and/or the time for the delivery.

Extra day: the owner offers extra day(s) of charter: for exemple, enjoy a 10 day yacht charter party for the price of 8. However please note that extra fuel, food and mooring etc. are not included in the offer.

Last-minute: the yacht is put back on the charter market due to a last-minute cancellation: this is an opportunity to book a sought-after yacht for a new client.

Fill the gap: the ability to book a yacht for a short period between two charter bookings.

Make an Offer: any reasonable written offer to charter the yacht will be considered by the owner/charter manager.

As the charter company, the yacht owner or their agent pays us a commission from the charter fee for finding the client and handling all the paperwork, charter contract, preference sheet and payments.

Charter rates are quoted per week for the rental of the yacht: 7 days (i.e. Saturday/Saturday) is generally the minimum charter period accepted by yacht owners/managers in the high season in the Mediterranean (July and August, Greece, Croatia, Italy, France, etc.).
The Caribbean is more flexible and the minimum charter period is usually 5 days. However, “fill the gap” charters can be from 3 to 5 days.

Please note that we only advertise special offers with a minimum charter period of 3 days. Check out our other website if you are interested in day charter.

Crewed yacht charters can start and end on any day of the week, subject to availability. The usual time for embarkation and disembarkation is 12:00 noon, but this can be changed on request if it does not suit your travel arrangements to or from the yacht.

MYBA stands for Mediterranean Yacht Broker Association. In Europe, large yachts are usually chartered on MYBA terms (WMT, Western Mediterranean Terms).
In the Eastern Mediterranean, the usual terms are called SEMT or EMT (Standard Eastern Mediterranean Terms), usually applicable in Greece and Turkey, while Standard Caribbean Terms (SCT) are usually applicable in the Caribbean.

In France, ECPY has introduced the Transport Agreement, which applies to any commercial operation involving a defined itinerary.

For MYBA contracts: A deposit of 50% of the total charter fee is payable by bank transfer on signing the charter contract. This confirms your booking. The remaining 50%, plus an advance provisioning fee, together with any taxes (passenger tax, VAT at various rates, etc.), delivery/re-delivery charges and any additional agreed charges, are payable by bank transfer one month before the charter.

VAT (Value Added Tax) is usually charged on the charter fee in European territorial waters. The rates can vary according to the place of embarkation (Greece 24%, France 20%, Spain 21%…), the charter contract (MYBA contract, transport contract in France, etc.), the length of the yacht (Italy) and the chosen itinerary (international waters vs. coastal cruise…). Your charter broker will be able to advise you on the current tax situation in each country you wish to visit and help you optimise your charter.

Sailing yachts (large sailing catamarans and classic monohulls) are generally the greener option for minimising your impact at sea.
However, newer motor yachts use advanced technology to reduce their impact even further (hybrid propulsion, LED lighting, etc.).
Our charter offers include sustainable details on each yacht where available.

Luxury charters have a flexible itinerary based on previous charters, berth availability and your interests and requirements. The captain will carefully monitor the forecast before and during the trip and plan the route according to your preferences. The captain and crew will always do their utmost to meet your requirements.

As with most luxury holidays, the less luggage you have, the better. To help you pack, imagine what you will be doing on your particular charter. Some of the time you may be swimming or sunbathing, some of the time you may be dining in a great seafood restaurant. The type of charter and location will dictate what you should bring. Some items to consider are: light summer cotton clothing such as shorts, tops, skirts, sun hats or caps, sandals, swimwear and warm clothing for the evenings. You may want to go out to dinner and socialise in the evening, so some more ‘smart casual’ and even formal clothing such as long trousers and collared shirts and perhaps a jacket might be a good idea.

Remember to bring any personal items such as passports and visas, as well as any medication or personal sports equipment. Softer luggage is ideal for fitting into cabin lockers and is more practical on a yacht.

While it is at your discretion, it is customary to tip the Captain and crew at the conclusion of a charter for excellent care and service.  As a guide, a gratuity of 10-15% of the base charter fee is considered fair, while exceptional service and attention to detail can warrant a tip of 20% or more, but always at your discretion.

Crew have their own crew quarter with en-suite facilities.

Most large yacht charters last between 7 and 14 days, with a minimum of one week in high season. You can ask your broker if you would like to extend your charter. However, most yacht owners are reluctant to charter their yacht for long periods.

The captain will do his best to accommodate a change of itinerary in the event of bad weather or if you change your mind. However please be aware that there are a number of key factors that need to be considered : berth availability, provisioning (fuel and food), booking calendar…

Some of the more common activities that yacht charter guests can enjoy include scuba diving (this may be onboard or rendezvous diving depending on the yacht insurance, charter contract and local regulations etc.), kayaking, jet skiing, water skiing, wakeboarding, parasailing, snorkelling, swimming, sunbathing, dining, night clubbing, tramping, shopping, fishing, sailing – the list goes on depending on your charter location.

There are two types of prices for crewed yacht charters: either ‘all-inclusive’ or ‘plus expenses’.

All-inclusive generally means that the charter fee includes the services of a captain and crew, meals, standard ship’s bar, fuel and all expenses related to the operation of the vessel and use of on-board sports equipment. The charter fee does not include (optional) crew gratuities, diving, diving equipment, premium drinks and fine wines, excessive alcohol consumption, off-yacht excursions, mooring fees, cruising taxes and permits, telephone, airport transfers or similar expenses incurred by the charterer.

“Plus expenses” refers to a charter rate that excludes items such as catering, fuel, communications etc. Your charter expenses will be charged at cost and included in an APA (Advanced Provisioning Allowance) to cover your operating costs. Expenses are estimated at 25-30% of the base charter fee, but may be more or less depending on your individual requirements. The Captain will be responsible for accounting for your expenses and will provide receipts. If you spend more than your estimated expense allowance, for example by ordering unusually expensive items, staying in expensive ports or cruising excessively, additional payment will be required during your charter. Conversely, any unspent APA will be refunded to you at the end of the charter. Please also note that a crew gratuity of approximately 10-15% of the charter rate is customary, but is at the discretion of the crew.

Under WMT (Western Mediterranean Terms) charter rates include: fully equipped yacht rental, crew, yacht insurance, crew catering.
Charter rates do not include: fuel for the yacht (main engines and generators), for tenders and water toys; guests’ food and drink; port fees (boarding fee, passenger tax, etc.) and taxes if any; water and electricity on land; personal laundry; personal communication costs (including Wi-Fi) and anything not mentioned under “Rates Include”.

Under SEMT or EMT (Standard Eastern Mediterranean Terms), charter rates include: rental of a fully equipped yacht, crew, insurance, crew food, fuel for 4 or 5 hours per day, port fees and taxes if any, except canal dues. Often, but not always, prices include water and electricity.
Prices do not include: fuel for the yacht for more than 4 or 5 hours per day, fuel for tenders, generator(s) and water toys, private marina fees, guest’s food and drink, communication costs and personal laundry.

Under SCT (Standard Caribbean Terms) charter rates include: fully equipped yacht rental, crew, insurance, guests’ meals, crew’s meals, fuel for a number of hours, often changing from one yacht to another.

Charter rates do not include: beverages, personal communication costs, personal laundry and harbour fees.

As a general rule, charter prices do not include the crew’s gratuity or any other extras. In addition, a repositioning fee may be charged to cover the cost of returning the yacht to the requested location.

APA stands for Advance Provisioning Allowance. The APA essentially sets up a bank account for the yacht’s crew to provision on your behalf.
The main provisioning items are fuel, food, drinks and harbour fees.
Normally a percentage is added to the base charter fee – depending on the type of boat and therefore fuel consumption/cost. For sailing yachts you can expect to pay 20 to 25%, for motor yachts 30 to 35% and sometimes more for large open yachts such as Mangusta or Leopard.
You will pay this with your final charter payment. The captain is required to keep all receipts and balance the account for you and you can check the level of expenditure at any time during the charter.

At the end of the charter the captain will give you a full statement of your expenses and any unused amounts will be refunded.
There are no mark-ups on the APA – all funds go directly into the purchase of fuel, food, etc.

Yes, when Charterminute SARL is involved in the charter of a yacht. KYC is the process of verifying the identity of a customer. KYC requires proof of identity and residence. This can be a passport or other government issued ID and a utility bill or similar. Originals or certified copies can be provided. The information is only required to comply with international anti-money laundering (AML) regulations.

In most cases you will be asked to pay a deposit of 50% of the total charter fee (by bank transfer) at the time of signing the charter agreement. The remaining 50% of the charter fee plus APA and any applicable taxes, delivery charges and security deposit are due one month prior to the commencement of your charter.

Most yachts welcome children and some are equipped with children in mind.
However, some yachts may have a minimum age for children and/or require a nanny to be on board during the charter.
The crew cannot provide babysitting services.

Most yachts do not accept pets on board. However, there are some exceptions: contact us for more information.

Smoking is not permitted on most yachts.
For safety reasons, smoking is prohibited in cabins and staterooms on all yachts. Some yachts allow smoking in designated outdoor areas.

Of course: your charter broker will ask you to complete a detailed questionnaire (Preference Sheet) describing the food and beverage preferences and special needs of all members of your party, together with any dietary or medical requirements, details of any allergies.
A completed preference sheet will ensure that your charter broker and the crew do everything possible to make your charter a unique and pleasant experience.

Personal Watercraft (Jet Skis, Waverunners, etc.) may be restricted in certain areas and guests will also need to have an appropriate operating licence. Please check with Charterminute first for any guidelines or if you have any specific requirements in this regard.

Communication equipment on board can include Wi-Fi, on-board telephone and email access to ensure easy and reliable connections with your office at home. Although standard wireless access is provided on most yachts, the service may be limited and cannot be guaranteed in certain areas (e.g. high seas). If you anticipate regular use of the internet or require high bandwidth during your charter, please let Charterminute know prior to boarding as upgrades may be subject to availability.

Charterers may wish to take out cancellation and curtailment insurance to protect their investment should unforeseen circumstances prevent or curtail their charter.
In addition, all members of the charter party should be covered by personal accident and medical insurance, and their personal effects should be insured against theft, loss or damage. Other forms of insurance, such as Charterer’s Liability, may also be advisable.

As with any trip, it makes sense to remember that you are a visitor to another country and culture.

Our top 10 do’s and don’ts:
1. Do Respect the crew and keep them informed

2. Do respect the barefoot rule on board.

3. Anticipate crew cleaning times

4. Be flexible with your itinerary (depending on the weather)

5. Fill in the preference form in advance

6. Do not pollute the sea and waste fresh water

7. Do not expect the crew to babysit your children.

8. Do not do anything illegal (drugs, weapons…)

9. Do not violate the smoking policy

10. Do not enter crew areas without permission

You must be in possession of a valid passport and the necessary visas and charter contract forms before embarking on your charter.
It is a good idea to have a copy of your personal documents with you when you leave the yacht. As always, ask the captain and crew for advice on what is best.

Even many superyachts are limited to 12 passengers by the International Maritime Organisation’s SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) Convention. However, there are some exceptions.

Street shoes, such as boots and high heels, are strictly forbidden on all ships as they can damage decks and floors and soil carpets and other decorations. The barefoot rule is therefore regularly enforced on board.

Short answer for crewed yacht charter: no.

Most yachts can accommodate up to 8/10 guests in 4/5 cabins and some rare mega yachts can accommodate 16 guests. Mini cruise ships such as RM Elegant can accommodate up to 30 guests.

Your booking will go ahead even if it’s raining. However, large yachts are equipped with jacuzzi, cinema, gym… and shopping is not forbidden. Your crew will advise you accordingly.

If you can’t find an answer to your question in our FAQ, or your question hasn’t been fully answered, please feel free to send us an email.

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