Do I have to share a small boat with people I don’t know?
Never. You cannot book a true private yacht by the cabin. Instead, you get to have the whole boat, and you get to decide who joins you on board. The group you select is called your charter party.
How can I possibly afford a private yacht charter vacation?
Actually, in some cases, a family of four or a group of six adults will pay less for a private yacht charter than they would for a cruise ship vacation. Even couples used to traveling aboard high-end cruise ships can find comparable bargains when cruising aboard private yachts with their friends.
The rates you see advertised for yacht charters are usually base rates (for the yacht and crew alone) or, in some cases, inclusive rates (for the yacht, crew, meals, ship’s bar and taxes). Different rate structures benefit you as a client in different parts of the world. A reputable charter broker can detail the costs for you.
Do I have to know how to drive a boat?
Absolutely not. You can learn, if you want to, and you can act as your own captain if that appeals to you (those are called bareboat charters), but there are plenty of private yacht charter vacations that come with at least a licensed captain and more often a full-size crew with captain, chef and more, to tend to your every wish.
Are yachts as safe as big cruise ships?
Private yachts are actually safer than cruise ships, for several reasons. Yachts typically cruse far from the big tourist areas where pickpockets lay in wait. The only people aboard a yacht are you and your private crew, who are the yacht owner’s personal staff. Yachts rarely cruise where professional pirates do, and their crews are trained to international standards in case of the rare emergency aboard. Private yachts are also less prone to spreading diseases, since so few people are aboard at any time, and yachts do a heck of a lot less damage to the environment than cruise ships do.
If private yacht charters are so great, why hasn’t my travel agent suggested them?
Because travel agents make money selling cruise ship and other package-style vacations. Yacht charter is a unique segment of the travel industry that requires specialized knowledge of yachts and crews, and travel agents cannot compete with professional charter brokers in that area. Unless you work with a professional charter broker, you simply don’t know what you’ve been missing.