Picture this: You are on holiday, and you're lying on your yacht under the sun, sipping on wine, with no care in the world or worry about who is controlling the yacht. You can simply sit back and relax.
Yes, such vacations do exist. These are called skippered yacht charters or crewed yacht charters. They include traveling on your yacht to a destination with a skipper, captain, and other crew members such as hosts and chefs. Depending on the amount of people you hire on your yacht charter, you can let them handle everything for you.
If you simply choose a skippered yacht charter, you get to travel with a skipper or captain who is a professional and controls the yacht. They also take care of the sailing for you. This means you can easily enjoy the yacht charter experience without worrying about anything else.
You might still have questions regarding skippered yacht charters and what else is involved in this type of vacation. This guide will include all the details you need to know and answer all these questions, so you can decide for yourself whether a skippered yacht charter is for you or not.
A skipper is a qualified professional sailor whose job is to control the yacht and look after the sailing to make your vacation as enjoyable and relaxing as possible. They will be in charge of navigating the boat and taking you to your destination for the entire duration of your trip. You have the choice to rent a skippered yacht that will come with this professional crew. Some yachts come with a skipper and a captain; the captain controls the boat while the skipper handles the sailing. Otherwise, some yachts come with skippers who do everything.
Not only that, but skippers tend to have excellent knowledge of the destination they are taking you as well. If you want, they can teach you some sailing basics, give you inside knowledge and tips on sailing, and provide you with useful information about the destination you are going to. Skippers can provide you with hotel and food recommendations and give you inside knowledge on the best-hidden gems, which can prove to be a huge advantage. Your skippers know where the best dining spots are and can even make the bookings for you.
You and your group will meet your skipper when you check in the yacht. They will likely tell you about the route they are taking, and you can discuss the details of your trip beforehand. After this, you can sit back and relax while they sail the boat. You can also go up to them and learn a few tricks on sailing, but for the most part, it entirely depends on your preference. Having someone control the boat means that you can sit back and enjoy your holiday. With a skipper, you even have free reign to swim off the back of the boat, snorkel, or simply sunbathe on the yacht.
The skipper will likely sail the yacht for three to four hours on average. However, how far you go and how long you sail primarily depends on your itinerary and destination. The skipper will dock the yacht in the evening at a port or harbor, wherein you can hop off and dine out or have dinner on the yacht.
Many people think hiring a skipper is quite expensive, but that is not the case. It is typically more affordable than you think. Anyone can go on a skippered yacht charter, but it is perfect for the following people:
Do you want to know more about what is involved in a skippered yacht charter? If you are considering getting a skippered yacht charter for your next vacation, here's what you should know:
For the duration of your trip on the yacht with a skipper, you will need to make sure that they get private accommodation, food, and drinks. There should thus be enough space and food in the yacht for all the people on the yacht, including the crew and skipper. Many yachts have separate designated skipper rooms with their own entrance, which can be great in maintaining your privacy.
If you are worried about your privacy with a skipper, you should not. The skippers are there to sail the yacht and provide you with guidance, all the while maintaining your privacy. Most skippers are only permitted to enter their own cabin and common areas on the yacht. You also don't have to take the skipper with you when you dine out unless you want to.
Though tipping is not necessary, it is preferred and recommended when sailing with a skipper. It is recommended to give them 5% to 15% of the charter price as a tip.
Your skipper is there to sail the yacht and give you guidance on where to go, and that is it. If you want additional services, such as preparing and serving food, keeping the yacht clean, and more, you will need to add more crew members. You can consider getting a hostess for these tasks because they will cook, clean, and serve for you.
You might still be confused about what exactly a skippered yacht charter includes and the difference between bareboat, skippered, and crewed yacht charter. Let's clear the confusion now.
A bareboat yacht charter is when you take your yacht out for a ride and vacation on your own without a crew, skipper, or captain. It's just you, your friends and family, and the ocean. You only hire the boat, and you handle the rest. The excellent thing about this type of arrangement is that you have complete independence and control over your itinerary. You also get all the privacy you want.
However, with a bareboat yacht charter, you are quite literally responsible for everything. This means that you will need to find the ideal yacht, make your itinerary, and gather all the necessary provisions on your own. Not just that, but sailing the yacht, checking it for damages and issues, checking the anchor are all part of your responsibility. And in case of emergencies, you will be the one dealing with them. This can get challenging and stressful for some people, especially those with no prior experience of sailing.
On the other hand, you will not need to worry about any such emergency situations with a skippered yacht charter. The skipper will be responsible for checking the yacht for damages, checking the anchor, and dealing with any problems or emergencies. You will leave the yacht in the hands of a qualified professional who will know about the yacht and destination so that they can provide you with guidance. The only con with them is that you might have a language barrier with them, or you may not be able to form a close bond with them. Otherwise, the best idea is to go for a skippered yacht charter.
A crewed yacht charter takes the skippered yacht charter one step further by including other crew members besides the skipper, such as chefs, hostesses, and captain. The crew can be a two-person team or a larger group depending on the size of the boat. Larger boats typically contain 30 crew members with engineers, mates, scuba divers, and more. Even if you have a small crew, you can enjoy several advantages since they will take care of everything for you. They will arrange your provisioning, safety, breakfast, lunch, and prepare drinks. All your needs are taken care of with a crewed yacht charter.
However, the biggest disadvantage of a crewed yacht charter is the cost, which is considerably high. Not only will you need to pay for each crew member, but also for their food and gratuity cost. Paying for one person is high in itself, but it can be significantly expensive for two or more.
Therefore, choosing between a bareboat, skippered, or crewed yacht charter entirely depends on your budget, preferences, your level of experience in sailing, and the size of the yacht.
You can find a skippered yacht charter at nearly any yacht provider. They will likely provide you with good yacht deals that come with a skipper. Having such a professional on-board can save you a ton of hassle in terms of maneuvering the yacht, routes, and knowing all the best spots and hidden treasures of your destination. They might be costly, but they are definitely worth it.