Our 7 tips for a successful yacht charter
Before tasting the delicious pleasure of a yacht charter in the magical setting of the French Riviera, Corsica or Sardinia, it is important to have chosen the right yacht for your needs and expectations. The yachting market offers a plethora of products, from the most accessible to the most sophisticated. Budget, comfort, options, equipment, crew... So many elements to anticipate for a successful yacht charter. Excellence guides you in making the right choices.
1. Identify your needs and desires to choose the ideal yacht
The more you specify your needs, the more you can narrow down your choice and find the perfect yacht for your stay. We recommend that you list:
- The number of passengers who will embark. Please note that maritime law limits the number of passengers, excluding crew, to 12. Fortunately, some yachts are exceptions to this rule.
- The type of trip: business, couple, family, friends.
- The number and type of cabins desired: spacious or optimised cabins, several VIP cabins in case of shared budget, master cabin with office and dressing room, twin cabins for children or double cabins, bathrooms or showers… All this information are helpful to be able to charter the most suitable yacht.
- Your dates of stay.
- Your port of embarkation and disembarkation.
- A possible transfer from the airport.
Most yachts have a professional and experienced crew included in the charter price. The ratio of staff to passengers is considerable compared to mass cruises or luxury hotels. You may also need more crew than expected, and there are many possibilities:
- For intergenerational travel, ensure that the crew is used to families, or use a babysitting service to look after children and provide them with dedicated activities throughout the day.
- Security service.
- Sports coach. The crew onboard can accompany you in using your sports equipment, but you could call on a coach during a stopover or for your entire navigation for more advanced practice.
- Personal assistant.
- Therapist/masseur. Several yachts have a dedicated wellness area with massage tables. The presence of a professional is essential for an intense experience of relaxation.
- Additional hostesses.
- One of the most requested crew members on a yacht charter is the chef. This professional will be able to create personalised menus for all the cruise members, respecting the codes of luxury, including dressage and flavours. He can also vary the proposals, from formal dinners to banquets and casual food.
Identifying the facilities that will make your yacht charter more enjoyable or fun will make it easier to make the right choice. You may need or want a lift, a swimming pool or jacuzzi, water toys, a gym, a multimedia system, a cinema room, a wellness area or a helipad in addition to the usual spaces. You will also need to make sure that the common areas are large enough if you plan to host parties or banquets on your yacht.
2. Choose the right time to charter a yacht on the French Riviera
Chartering a yacht on the French Riviera can be enjoyed all year round. However, the ideal season is from April to October. You will enjoy mild temperatures and fabulous light. If you want to take full advantage of the joys of water sports and the Côte d’Azur’s energy, the summer period is more suitable. You can mix swimming with life on board. As the weather is not a cancellation clause, it is better to choose the most favourable period to enjoy all the advantages of a yacht charter on the French Riviera.
Choosing the right time also means booking at the right time. For maximum customisation and organisation, it is best to book your yacht in advance. The choice of yachts is more significant when you book several weeks or even months in advance. Also, to ensure the most sought-after professionals such as the chef, it is essential to book as early as possible.
3. Use the services of a yacht charter specialist
The specialist is there to make your life easier and, above all, to secure your yacht charter. He is both a market expert and a guarantor of the quality of your stay, ensuring the control and inspection of the yachts before each charter.
The specialist is your travel consultant. He is the one who is attentive to your needs and adapts to your preferences and habits to offer you the best yacht. He is also there to build your crew, an essential step for an exceptional stay, from the choice of the captain to that of the chef.
He gives you his best advice on itineraries and stopovers so that you can discover the jewels of the chosen destination.
4. Check your MYBA rental contract or transport contract
The delicate step of signing the yacht charter contract requires your attention. Your charter manager will probably submit to you a MYBA contract (except when the boat allows you to sign a transport contract), which contains precise information:
- The four parties: owner, charterer, stakeholder, broker,
- The unique serial number,
- The name of the yacht,
- The dates of rental,
- The port of embarkation and disembarkation,
- The defined cruising area,
- The detailed cost,
- The terms of payment. Payment terms often involve 50% of the fee when signing and 50% one month before chartering the yacht.
Remember to check whether VAT is included in the cost. Some charges are not included when you charter a yacht, such as:
- Fuel, which generally accounts for 30 to 40% of the extra cost (the transport contract allows for tax-free petrol and reduced VAT),
- Food and drinks,
- The crew’s tip, which depends on your satisfaction but is estimated at 10% of the charter fee,
- Local tax,
- The cost of repositioning the boat at the requested port,
- The Advance Provisioning Allowance (APA), which is an advance on onboard expenses.
- The balance of these costs will be adjusted at the end of your cruise.
5. Fill in your preference list carefully
Your charter manager will need precise information to organise your cruise. Once you have identified your needs, you will need to carefully fill in the questionnaire that will be given to you. Talk to the other passengers on the cruise to make sure everyone will have a good time.
This questionnaire generally includes questions about your travel habits (sporty, relaxing, discovering…), your state of health, dietary preferences and constraints (gluten-free, allergies…). You can specify if an event will be celebrated on board or if you have a favourite itinerary…
This questionnaire can also go beyond these basic questions to submit a choice of wines or champagne, for example.
All these questions serve only one purpose: to enhance your experience.
6. The suitcase, light travel or full dressing room?
You’ll still have to deal with the tricky luggage step. While some people opt for a light and comfortable trip and the barefoot protocol throughout the cruise, others want to take formal clothes and their precious heels to party in the big clubs on the Côte d’Azur. If you’re going to travel with a lot of luggage, consider including the dressing room in your list of needs.
7. Let go and enjoy your yacht charter
Once all these organisational matters have been settled, all that remains is to take full advantage of the view from your yacht: the blazing evening sun over the Mediterranean, the lively beaches of Pampelonne, the wild creeks of the Port-Cros national park, the snorkelling between the Lérins islands, the beauty of Corsica and Sardinia… Your only constraint will be to take maximum pleasure in living your yacht charter to the full!
And if you suddenly feel like taking a new route, don’t panic; your captain, who is always ready to listen, will guide you along the water to make your navigation as magical as possible.
Count on the Excellence team to make your yacht charter the first step in your dream voyage. By browsing through our catalogue of yachts, you will undoubtedly find the perfect one, and we are available at any time to guide you and refine your choice. Contact us for any request, and we will be able to help you tailor your trip on the French Riviera and throughout the Mediterranean.