What do yacht charters really cost?
The hidden costs
of yacht charter
What do yacht charters really cost?

Chartering a yacht is one of the most exclusive holidays on the market; a holiday that is glamorous, elite, luxurious and where you will receive the highest level of service, unlike anything you have ever experienced.

You are able to travel to the world’s most beautiful locations in the luxury and comfort of your own yacht, which not only provides your accommodation but your transport as well, making every second of your holiday filled with adventure and relaxation alike.

So how much does a yacht charter actually cost? Many people think it is reserved for the millionaires and billionaires of the world when in fact, when you divide the cost of chartering a yacht with family or a group of friends, it becomes a relatively affordable holiday.

West Nautical are here to explain what a charter fee includes as well as all other “hidden” costs of yacht charter.

What is included in the charter fee?

Most yachts on the market are priced on a ‘plus-expenses’ model, which means that the base price of the yacht will include the rental fee for the duration of your charter, a full crew and the use of all water sports toys and equipment on board. Items such as food, beverages, crew gratuity, mooring fees and fuel will be paid for by the Advance Provisioning Allowance (APA) but more on that later…

What are the factors that determine the charter fee?

The charter fee is mostly determined by the size of the vessel but other factors such as the age, build and design of the yacht as well as the yachts reputation in the charter market can affect how much a yacht will cost per week.

Is there a more affordable time of year to charter a yacht?

All charter yachts will have high and low seasons depending on where in the world they charter. This is mostly determined by the seasons in each location. For example, the summer months in the Caribbean are classed as the low season as most charter guests prefer that location in the winter months. It is all about demand. Chartering a yacht for events such as the Monaco Grand Prix or the Cannes Film festival will be at a higher charter fee.

What about taxes and VAT?

Charter guests are charged VAT or Value Added Tax on the charter fees. This is typically between 0 and 22% depending on which country you embark and disembark the yacht. Charter brokers are experts when it comes to VAT so the best option is to use a reputable charter broker who will be able to do all VAT calculations for you.

What additional costs can I expect?

APA – The Advance Provisioning Allowance is a sum the charter guests will pay to the yacht in addition to their base charter fee. This is typically 25 – 35% of the fee and will cover expenses such as food and beverages, fuel and marina fees. The captain or yacht purser will keep a detailed expenses file in order for the yacht and charter guests to keep track of their expenses throughout the charter. This will be presented to the charter guests at the end of the trip to ensure the balance is paid back to the guests if any remains. If the guests are spending more than their APA at any point during the charter, the captain will politely inform them, at which point, additional funds will need to be transferred or given to the yacht in cash.

Delivery fees – If the yacht you are chartering is located elsewhere from your embarkation or disembarkation destination, there may be a delivery fee chargeable to the charter guests. This will pay for fuel to reach the destination where you join or leave the yacht.

Fuel – The consumption of fuel depends on how far and how fast the yacht will need to travel during the charter. The further the yacht needs to travel, the more fuel the yacht will consume. Fuel is also used when the yacht is at anchor as it is required to keep the generators working whereas in a marina, the yacht will be able to plug into shore power, which will too, be an additional expense.

Fuel is also required for some of the water sports toys as well as the yachts tender.

Excursions – Any shore based or additional excursions you would like booked on your holiday will be at an additional cost. For example - wine tours, restaurant bookings or a diving trip. These can be pre-arranged by the broker or yacht crew and come out of the APA if you so wish, it will simply require forward planning.

On shore transport – Transfers to and from the yacht can be pre-arranged by the broker or yacht crew and come out of the APA if you so wish. All additional taxis or transport will however be at your expense and not included in the charter fee.

Crew gratuity - Typically, crew gratuity is between 10 and 15% of the base charter fee and is given to the captain at the end of the charter to be divided amongst the crew evenly. There are often crew that charter guests will interact with less on board; however, all roles on board are important in order to make the yacht run at the highest standard possible.

How does a yacht charter work?

Your charter broker will initially get all the details from you required to find you the perfect yacht such as itinerary, dates, number of guests, budget and if there are any particular events or activities you would like to part take in on your holiday that require a certain type of yacht or particular location. Your broker will then present you with a number of options for all your specifications at which point you will select the yacht and the booking process will begin.

Once the charter contract has been signed and confirmed and the deposit or total charter fee paid, you will be asked to complete a preference sheet, which will inform the crew of any and all information required to have the yacht stocked and set up to you and your loved one’s preferences. These will include food and beverages, cabin configuration, if you require any additional water sports toys to be rented, if you require any specific amenities or if you would like restaurants or shore excursions reserved.

This allows the crew to make your yacht charter a tailored, luxurious experience for you and your guests.

West Nautical Client Manager, Claire Sinclair adds “Whatever your budget and requirements are for your perfect charter yacht, we will make your dream charter a reality. We are experts when it comes to calculating VAT and will be delighted to talk you through any and all questions you may have when it comes to the costs of a charter.”

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