Exploring any part of the world in a chartered sailing or motor yacht opens it up in a unique way and this is why yacht charter is becoming an increasingly popular holiday choice. Yacht charter options are endless in all types of vessel, for all levels of experience and in as many Destinations as you can imagine and you always set the pace and agenda.
Set sail on your own voyage of discovery with total freedom to go where you choose and stay as long as you like. The vessel is yours for the charter period to explore the cruising area at your own pace. 'Bareboat' yacht charter means a fully equipped sailing or, if you prefer a few hundred horsepower to play with, motor yacht without skipper or crew.
The nominated skipper is responsible for the safety of the vessel and crew and must be experienced in all aspects of boat handling and navigation. A formal qualification such as RYA Day Skipper or ICC is often a requirement and it is advisable to check with individual companies for their specific requirements before confirming a booking to avoid disappointment. Some countries also have strict competency requirements for bareboat yacht charter and documentation is required.
There are two options - either Skippered or Fully Crewed.
Skippered Yacht Charter means the services of a qualified skipper are provided along with the vessel, who is responsible for the safety of both vessel and crew. The crew will still be involved with boat handling and setting the pace and itinerary but the skipper's knowledge of the cruising area can really add to the experience.
With Crewed Yacht Charter vessels no experience is required. The skipper and crew take charge but there may be an opportunity to assist with boat handling if desired.
Luxury Yacht Charters tend to be fully crewed with staff to sail the vessel as well as look after the guests so just sit back and enjoy the services and comforts of a small, intimate and mobile hotel.
Join a Flotilla sailing holiday if you want to sail your own charter yacht with the added support of a lead boat crew and enjoy the social side of cruising in company. Less experienced skippers appreciate the help, advice and support from the flotilla skipper and the more experienced often join a flotilla just for the social life.
The itinerary is usually set and briefings are given on the day's destination along with local hazards to avoid en route. Some boat knowledge is required of the nominated skipper and individual companies will advise their requirements.
If you like the idea of a sailing or motor yacht holiday but don't necessarily want to steer or do the cooking, but equally don't fancy a traditional cruise ship, then there is a solution. Some companies offer individual berths or cabins in charter yachts following a fixed itinerary. These vessels are fully crewed and accommodation is offered on a half or full board basis. Many of the Gulets operate on this basis and there are other Specialist Cruises available. They are ideal for singles and couples who want the experience of cruising but don't actually want to pull on the ropes.
Guide to destinations worldwide with links to companies offering holidays and charters in each location
Sailing in Paradise: Yacht Charters Around the World
If you want to charter a yacht but are not sure where to go or what to expect when you get there then this is the book you need. A truly comprehensive and practical guide to the world of chartering.