Our 5 key tips for booking your perfect yacht charter


A good vacation doesn’t get any better than cruising the mesmerizing blue waters of the Mediterranean on a yacht. But the process of chartering a yacht can sometimes seem confusing or intimidating. Here are 5 of our tips for a smooth yacht charter booking experience. Don’t hesitate to get in touch, we are here to assist with your yacht rental enquiries and answer all of your questions.

A table set up for lunch on the aft deck of a yacht
A woman sitting on the swim platform of a motor yacht
The bay of Villefranche-sur-mer in the south of France
A luxury flybridge motor yacht moored in a Mediterranean port ready for charter

Use the services of a proficient yacht charter planner

Calling on yacht charter specialists for your yachting holiday is essential. Thanks to their experience and knowledge of the charter market, they will be able to advise on the best yacht options and destinations for you. Luxury yachts are designed and laid out to meet the requirements of their owners, they differ in features and layouts as well as conditions while crew differ in capabilities and characters. Only experienced professionals who inspect the yachts, meet with the crew and experience the amenities, can direct you to the boat and crew best suited to your needs.

Be specific with your expectations and requirements

With a huge number of charter yachts available across the Mediterranean, you may want to be specific about the type of charter you would enjoy and the facilities/activities you plan to experience onboard. When enquiring about availability, give as much details as possible to your yacht charter planner and in particular number of guests and composition of the charter party (adults/kids), size of the yacht or alternatively budget, preferred dates and cruising area. All details are important. Let us know if you have kids requiring a family-friendly crew, if you need master and VIP cabins of equal size because you are sharing the charter cost with a friend, if members of the charter party require special amenities such as an internal lift or a swimming platform for easy access to the water, if you are expecting silver service dinners, if scuba diving is on your agenda etc Whatever is asked by your charter planners, do give detailed answers so they can refine their selection of yachts.

Once you’ve chosen a yacht, your charter planner will offer suggestions for your cruising itinerary. Your feedback is essential to make your yachting vacation unique and memorable for your charter party. Whether focusing on water-based activities or exploring ashore, there are endless possibilities during a yacht rental. Take in the advice, it would be unfortunate to turn what should be a stress-free yachting vacation into a gruelling race to complete a tight and stiff cruising itinerary.

Check the terms of your yacht charter agreement

Once a suitable boat has been found, your yacht charter planner will draw up a charter agreement. For Mediterranean yacht charters, the most commonly used legal binding document is a standard contract provided by MYBA – The Worldwide Yachting Association. Each contract has a unique serial number and will usually be signed between 4 parties: the Owner, the Charterer, the Owner’s representative and the Charter Planner. The document should include details such as the name of the yacht, the charter dates, the port for embarkation/disembarkation, the cruising area as well as the detailed cost – all of these items will be discussed with you beforehand. The charter agreement also gives indication for the payment. Usually, the Charterer deposits 50% of the charter fee upon signature of the agreement and transfers the remaining 50% as well as the local tax and the APA one month before the charter starts.

Fill in your preference questionnaire thoroughly

After the charter agreement is signed, the main Charterer will be asked to fill in a preference questionnaire. This document contains different questions about the charter guests, their habits, medical conditions, preferences regarding food and drinks as well as dietary requirements. When filling in the document, make sure you have a little chat with the rest of the charter party. This document will be passed on to the Captain of your chartered yacht to help the crew get ready for your charter and provision the yacht prior to your embarkation. The Captain will also pre-book any required berths in marinas and arrange activities. The more detailed the document, the better prepared your crew will be to cater for your exact requirements. The preference questionnaire is absolutely key in making your yacht charter vacation absolute luxury in terms of service.

Make sure you understand the payment structure

Be aware that the charter fee is not the total cost that you will end up paying.  Your yacht charter planner will inform you about the additional charges including the local tax and the APA (Advance Provisioning Allowance) and sometimes repositioning fees to cover the cost of delivering the boat to the preferred embarkation point. You can read more about yacht charter prices on our blog. As far as tipping is concerned, it is customary for a Charterer who was happy with the service provided to say thank you by extending a crew gratuity. The general rule is to leave around 10% of the charter fee - % adjusted upwards or downwards based on your level of enjoyment – for the Captain to distribute to all crew members.

Our team is here to guide you through the exciting process of planning your yacht charter. Whenever possible, we strongly recommend you plan in advance so that we have enough time to create a truly memorable yacht charter experience tailored to your personal needs and expectations. We are looking forward to working for you! 
Photo credit: M.Y. Marino / Princess Yachts