Not all yachts are created equal, so it’s difficult to nail down exactly what a luxury yacht charter costs. Much depends on the particular boat, what you want to do, and where you want to do it. A day-long jaunt down the beach is less expensive than a week of island-hopping.
But If you’re dreaming about the sights and sounds of the ocean, sipping champagne, eating gourmet meals served by attentive crew members who cater to your every whim, then it’s time to get serious. How much does it really cost? What are the various charges involved? Keep reading to get an idea of how deep your pockets need to be.
The Size and Style of the Boat
This is one of the most important factors that affect the total price of your charter. Generally speaking, larger ships are more expensive than smaller boats because they offer more space and amenities such as multiple decks, pools, water toys, and Jacuzzis. As a possibly heart-stopping example, an 80-foot yacht can be rented for between $4000-$5000 per day.
You’ll Pay More for Extravagance and Luxury
There are a number of factors that determine the final price but, in general, you can expect to pay between $1,000 and $30,000 per week. If that seems a wide margin, you’re right. The most expensive yachts are usually chartered by billionaires or celebrities who want privacy above all else (though some just buy the boat) and can afford to pay for it. These types of trips may include roundtrip transportation from the owner’s home to the boat as well as catering services once onboard.
The average and lower-priced boats are perfect for families or groups of friends (who can split costs) looking for an adventure on the water with amenities included (if possible) at no extra charge. You can compare it to the all-inclusive model land-based resorts have used for years.
Defining Luxury “Down”
Most people associate the word “luxury” with expensive things. But what does it really mean to be luxurious? The concept isn’t always directly correlated to price. Sometimes it has more to do with how you feel. You can experience a luxury yacht vacation on a budget if you’re head is in the right place.
And sometimes price gets turned on its head.
Personal finance site, FinanceStrategists.com, pointed out in response to a comment request that, despite an ongoing bout of rising inflation, the pandemic has caused some prices – such as for flights, cruises, and yacht charters – to drop drastically due to reduced demand. People are still skittish about travel and mixing with strangers.
Just take the time to read the fine print on that great deal before signing on the dotted line. Confirm how many guests are allowed on board and if the amenities are a good fit. If you like to toss back adult drinks, an open bar (they do exist) can be a money-saver. Sometimes overlooked is that seniors and kids cost a lot less – you’ll save as much as 50 percent on their rates.
Don’t Get Tunnel Vision
While it is tempting to focus on a single expense – say, cost per person or number of days – you want to consider all costs before booking. For example, if you plan on bringing your family along with grandparents in tow, make sure that there are enough facilities onboard for everyone’s needs – we’re talking about bathrooms primarily. Plus baby-changing stations if you need them.
Get creative about accommodations. If money is tight or you’re not able to book a luxury yacht for the entire trip, consider renting out only part of it. You can stay in an all-inclusive hotel or even a bare-bones motel and bring your own food (or purchase it at local markets). Rather than a whole week, look into booking a yacht for a day or two.
Here’s What You’re Paying For
Here’s the reality. For most people, even chartering a modest yacht can cause heart palpitations.
The costs involved fall into three categories: upfront, daily, and total cost. Upfront costs include the deposit you put down on the boat when booking, any fuel or food supplies you need to purchase before departing, and port fees which are paid at departure time. Daily costs include things like crew salaries, fuel expenses, food purchases, and other miscellaneous expenditures while out on the water. Finally don’t forget the taxes that get thrown on top of these expenses as well as insurance premiums.
As you can see, the overall cost of renting a luxury yacht may be more than you’re comfortable (or able) to spend on a vacation. That’s just one of life’s harsh realities. Not everyone gets to enjoy that particular kind of vacation of a lifetime. Some of us have to be happy sitting in a wading pool in the backyard.
Keep the following in mind as you set out to snare that elusive luxury yacht at a bargain-basement price. In some cases, you can rent the cabin only, much like on a cruise ship. You can expect to find strangers wandering the halls but you’ll still be able to use common areas. It’s not quite Below Deck luxury, but it might do.
Another option is to go “bareboat.” This is where you just rent the boat and have to hire your own crew. We alluded to this earlier. If the boat holds 12, then max out that occupancy among friends, neighbors, and whoever else you can convince to split the cost. It’ll be self-service all the way but you’re cruising on a yacht on the ocean – that’s a good thing.