Frequently Asked Questions

Let us help you arrange your perfect holiday experience! Here we deal with some common questions from clients looking to charter a yacht from us.

WHAT DOES A BROKER DO? WHY DO I NEED A ONE?

Every luxury yacht has a managing company authorised by the owner to deal with charter issues. This managing company looks after the interests of the yacht owner. An independent broker, on the other hand, protects the client’s interests exclusively. A competent broker is familiar with the majority of available boats and can give you detailed information on the crew, level of service and condition of a given boat. A broker who has never dealt with the yacht in question will refer to a trusted colleague from another company who has the relevant expertise. In either case, you will receive detailed and unbiased information.

Apart from identifying which options would best suit you, the charter broker is indispensable should any issues arise before or during the charter. Though problems are rare, a yacht is a complicated engineering structure functioning in a changeable environment and unforeseen issues can arise. It is also important to take into account the human factor (for example, a yacht crew that stays in a confined space for a long time) and the kinds of problems that occasionally arise as a result.

These are just a few good reasons for the practice of signing charter contracts by four parties: yacht owner, managing company, charter broker and charterer (client). Here again, the managing company acts in the interests of the yacht owner, and the broker acts in the interests of the client. If a problem arises, an experienced broker can settle it in your favour in the best possible way, even offering an alternative yacht if necessary (for example, if the yacht is seriously damaged).

ARE QUOTED PRICES NEGOTIABLE?

Charter rates for a given yacht are identified by the yacht owner and prices in the industry are not particularly flexible. It is nonetheless always a good idea to ask for a discount, especially if you are considering a charter in low season in a given destination (for example, outside of July/August in the Mediterranean or winter holiday periods in tropical destinations). To obtain the best terms, it is advisable to arrange the booking process through your dedicated broker and to do so well in advance.

WHAT DO CHARTER RATES INCLUDE?

The charter rate covers rental of the yacht; crew; equipment (all in good working condition); food supplies for crew; insurance for both yacht and crew; payment for using state-owned marinas, if applicable. (In Greece, the majority of marinas are state owned; this is usually not the case outside of Greece.)

The charter rate does not cover: VAT; fuel (unless specifically provided otherwise); food supplies for passengers (unless specifically provided otherwise); alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages (unless specifically provided otherwise); delivery/redelivery fee; fuel for tenders and water sports; channel dues; payments for entering foreign waters; cost of communications, laundry and other personal expenses; gratuity for the crew (5–15%).

WHAT OTHER PAYMENTS CAN I EXPECT?

In addition to the charter rate, the client usually pays an APA (Advance Provisioning Allowance) prior to beginning the charter, in order to cover the running expenses not provided for in the charter rate (see above). This deposit usually amounts to 30% of the charter rate under the provisions specified above.

The allowance generally covers fuel for four hours of cruising (depending on the yacht), port fees, all onboard meals and drinks for passengers as well as other onboard expenses during your trip. At the end of your charter, you will receive a detailed breakdown of these expenses (food supplies, fuel consumption according to the yacht log, etc.) supported by invoices. You will either get a refund of any amount outstanding or, if the expenses exceed your APA, you will be required to cover the difference by the time of disembarkation.

The captain keeps accounts of running expenses and warns both the broker and the client in advance if an overdraft is about to occur. This ensures you have sufficient time to make the necessary financial arrangements.

HOW DO I SECURE MY RESERVATION?

The yacht is considered reserved when you and the yacht owner have signed a MYBA (Mediterranean Yacht Broker Association) agreement and you have made a deposit of 50% of the charter rate.

A month before the charter start date, you will need to pay the remaining 50% of the charter rate, VAT (if applicable), tender fees (if applicable) and APA.

DO I ALWAYS NEED TO PAY VAT?

VAT is only applicable for yachts registered in certain countries and if you intend to sail in certain areas. Outside of the European Union (EU), commercially registered yachts usually don’t have to pay VAT. However, the tax legislation of the EU and local tax regulations of some countries require VAT payments. (The majority of European Mediterranean countries apply VAT.) Our brokers can give you a detailed breakdown of VAT for your chosen vessel and destination.

WHAT IF I WANT TO CHARTER THE YACHT FROM A DIFFERENT LOCATION TO ITS CURRENT MOORING?

Almost all yachts are assigned to a port, where they stay when not chartered or being used by the owner. If the embarkation and/or disembarkation points of your itinerary do not coincide with the base port, you will have to pay for the cost of relocating the yacht to and/or from your chosen charter location. This is known as a “delivery/redelivery fee”.

The relocation charge consists of two components: cost of fuel consumed for delivering the yacht to your embarkation point and, if the yacht has to travel a significant distance, some charter fee for the days it takes the yacht to travel to its destination.

CAN I ARRANGE ONE-DAY OR SHORT-TERM CHARTERS?

The majority of yacht owners prefer longer charters lasting for at least a week to ensure continuous yacht engagement. However, one-day and short-term charters are popular charter formats. The best time to enquire about short-term charters is about two weeks before your required start date – by this stage, the yacht owner will be aware of any gaps between longer-term bookings and able to respond appropriately to your request.

WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO DEAL WITH THE GRATUITY/TIP?

The charterer or any other passenger may leave a gratuity for excellent service and care provided by the crew. In Europe, the gratuity varies between 5 and 10% of the charter rate excluding extra costs incurred. In the US and Caribbean, the amount reaches 15 to 20%. Please bear in mind that the gratuity is at your discretion; neither the captain nor any other crew member may demand this extra payment. The best way to hand over the gratuity is to give an envelope to the captain on the last day of your voyage.

WHY DO I NEED TO PROVIDE REFERENCES?

If you have already determined what kind of vessel you would like to hire, be ready to provide references on your previous chartering experience.

Most owners of yachts measuring more than 40 metres in length request references to ensure the charterer is trustworthy and knowledgeable of chartering rules and norms. The owner usually requires the name(s) of the yacht(s) you have chartered before and exact charter dates. Sometimes owners of smaller yachts will require this information too. Any yacht owner can reject an applicant if the applicant’s charter history is flawed or non-existent.

WHAT IS THE CANCELLATION POLICY FOR A CHARTER AGREEMENT?

Upon signing of the charter agreement by all parties, the charterer (client) reserves the right to cancel the charter for any reason whatsoever; however, you may forfeit some of the charter rate already paid.

If you cancel the charter agreement and notify the owner in due manner before the beginning of the charter, the owner is entitled to retain 50% of the charter rate if the notice of cancellation is received more than a month prior to the charter period. The owner is entitled to retain 100% of the charter rate if the notice of charter agreement cancellation is received less than a month prior to the charter period.

Please note: a signed agreement sent by fax, or scanned and sent by email, is legally binding and is to be executed.

WHAT OTHER KINDS OF CHARTER FORMATS ARE OFFERED?

Event yacht charters and corporate yacht charters are both highly sought after.

An event charter gives you the opportunity to attend some of the most spectacular events in the world up close (e.g. Formula 1 Grand Prix, Cannes Film Festival or MIPIM). These high-profile events, and the exclusive parties and receptions that surround them, attract celebrities and VIPs from all over the world. A luxury yacht also gives you privacy and discretion, so you can always retreat from the adrenaline-laden activities to the sanctuary of your yacht.

A corporate charter, whether it involves hosting your most-valued partners, potential investors or a team-building for staff, is an excellent way to network, facilitate successful negotiations and strengthen relationships.

CAN I CHARTER A YACHT FOR A ONE-OFF EVENT OR OCCASION?

Certainly! We are experienced in arranging events on board luxury yachts. We’ll meet all of your requirements, whether for an exclusive dinner, small cocktail reception or a lengthy luxury cruise, with immaculate service on all levels.