There is something magical that calls us to the sea. Many people dream of sailing off into the sunset. If you don’t own a boat, your best bet to have this experience is chartering a yacht.
Whether for an afternoon or an extended voyage, there is a lot to consider when choosing a charter. Aside from the experience and reputation of the charter company, you also need to think about your budget.
How much to charter a yacht? We breakdown the costs of your sea voyage.
What To Consider When Chartering a Yacht?
When it comes to yacht cost, there are several things to consider. Your choices will ensure that you stay safe and give you the opportunity to relax.
- Yacht size & type
- Destination & season
- Length & type of the trip
Let’s jump into each of these categories so you can determine your needs. This will make it easier to break down costs for each category and the trip as a whole.
1. The Captain
Is someone in your group going to be the skipper? Who is qualified to operate a sea vessel? If you plan to captain the ship yourself, the charter company will want to see a yachting license.
If you don’t have an “in-house” captain, most charter companies will provide one.
You will also need to decide on a crew. You may need one depending on the size of the yacht and the number of people in your party. A good crew will ensure you actually get to relax and enjoy the voyage.
2. Charter Yacht Type and Size
Your next big decision should focus on the type of yacht you want for your trip. There are three main categories of boats, sailboats, catamarans, and motorized yachts. Some yachts operate using a combination of sails and a motor.
They type of trip, the size of your party, and the number of crew members will determine your decision. There may be other considerations, such as the level of comfort, amenities, and service you expect.
The larger and more luxurious the yacht, the more it will cost. A larger yacht will require more crew, which will also increase your costs.
3. Destination and Season
Your destination will be a big factor in determining the cost of a charter. If you’re chartering a day trip while on vacation, you won’t have to worry too much about travel costs.
However, if you plan to sail to another destination, expect your expenses to rise. If you live in the U.S., a sailing trip to the Caribbean won’t be as much. Exotic destinations in the Mediterranean or Asia will be much more expensive.
The time of year will also be a factor. Heavy travel seasons are more expensive. For instance, high summer is the most expensive in the Mediterranean while winter is the most expensive in the Caribbean.
4. Length of Trip
The cost of your trip is dependent on how long you plan to sail. The average yacht charter is one week, however, you can go for two or more weeks. Unless it’s a day charter, most companies require you to book at least 5-7 days.
Pro Saving Tip: Save money by starting your trip during the week rather than a weekend.
5. Cost of Food
Even if you are only sailing for an afternoon, you will likely get hungry at some point. A long trip will require at least three meals a day, multiplied by everyone on board. The skipper and crew will need to eat, too.
You could do the cooking yourself, especially if it’s a short trip. If you don’t want the hassle, you could hire a private chef or use one provided by the charter company.
Charter Price Structure
There are two basic price structures when it comes to charter cruises: All-Inclusive and Plus Expenses. They work in very different ways.
This structure means that everything is included. The rate is based on the number of guests and includes the skipper and crew, food, drinks, water sports, and fuel. Only dockage fees and taxes are calculated separately.
You’ll find these kinds of charters mainly in the Virgin Islands.
Plus Expenses Charters
If you’re choosing a large motor yacht, you will most likely be dealing with this cost structure. You’ll pay a base price for the yacht itself, but all of your other costs (called “running expenses”) are calculated separately.
Running expenses are paid by an Advance Provisioning Allowance (APA), which ends up being about 35% of the base price.
How Much To Charter a Yacht?
How much is a yacht for rent? Let’s break down the cost based on boat type and size for a week-long outing.
Average Weekly Sail Boat Charter Rates:
- Under 80ft = $10,000 – $20,000
- 80ft – 120ft – $20,000 – $50,000
- 120ft – 150ft = $50,000 – $100,000
- Over 150ft – $100,000 – $200,000
Average Weekly Catamaran Rates:
- Under 50ft = $10,000 – $15,000
- 50ft – 65ft = $15,000 – $30,000
- 65ft – 80ft = $25,000 – $50,000
- Over 80ft = $40,000 – $100,000
Average Weekly Motor Yacht Rates:
- Under 80ft = $15,000 – $35,000
- 80ft – 120ft = $35,000 – $80,000
- 120ft – 150ft = $80,000 – $150,000
- Over 150ft = $150,000 – $500,000
How much does it cost to rent a boat for the day or for a party? The average price can be anywhere from $500 – $5,000 per person.
Taxes and Added Value Tax
No matter the type of yacht or charter, you will have to pay either a local tax or Value Added Tax (VAT). The tax amount will depend on your destination. Here are some examples of popular destinations for charter excursions.
- Bahamas = 4%
- British Virgin Islands (BVI) = $6 – $16/day depending on the flag of the boat
- Florida = 6% (Broward County), 7% (Miami-Dade Country)
- France = VAT 20% or 10% if the trip includes International Waters
- Greece = VAT 12%
- Italy = VAT 22% or 6.6% or 8.8% if trip includes International Waters
- New England – No Tax
- Spain = VAT 21%
Find out more in-depth information about what goes into determining yacht charter pricing.
Get Ready To Set Sail For an Adventure at Sea
Chartering a boat or yacht for an extended vacation or even for the day is the ticket to a high seas adventure you will never forget. Do your research to determine how much to charter a yacht.
Be sure to explore our site for more travel tips. You can also find information on our blog as well as popular destinations in North America and the Caribbean, Europe, Asia, and Australia/New Zealand.