Your Yacht Charter broker is the key go-to person when chartering a yacht. She should be able to provide not only quality photos, details and rates, but also answer the top 5 questions that you should ask in order to make your Yacht Charter experience memorable and hassle-free.
1. Location, Location, Location
Where is the home base for the yacht? What key amenities – such as an International Airport- does the location provide? If you wish to embark and/or disembark at another port will there be delivery fees involved? Are airport transfers or services provided to and from the Yacht?
Having this information at hand before you book costly flights and make other travel arrangements can make the difference between smooth sailing and being stranded.
2. What’s Included in the Rate?
Various Charter Terms apply to various Bahamas Yachts and even various locations for the same yacht. Some offer a base rate for the Yacht with Crew, while other expenses are added to the base rate (known as Advance Provisioning Allowance or APA). Others offer All – Inclusive rates – with food, beverage, fuel etc included but may exclude Fine Wines, champagnes, specialty foods and dockage at marinas. Most Yacht Charters do not include gratuity for the crew, but the amount of that gratuity can vary vastly depending on the location and other factors.
Having this information spelled out clearly in advance can help you save any unpleasant surprises.
3. Who’s the Crew?
The best charter experience comes from having a quality yacht with a great crew. The most beautiful Yacht in the world won’t compensate for an unprofessional or inexperienced crew. Ask about the Crew that will be aboard for your charter (keeping in mind that crew changes do, occasionally, happen) How many crew will be aboard? Is the Chef of high caliber and able to prepare the type of meals you will expect? How long has the Captain been with the Yacht and what is the level of his experience ? If activities such as fishing or family outings are important to you, does the crew have fishing experience and deal well with children? And, most importantly, will you be able to speak directly to the crew prior to your charter to discuss menus, itineraries and other matters that are of importance to you? A truly great crew is one that is professional, can handle unforeseen circumstances such as weather and mechanical issues with ease, and puts the guest experience aboard above and beyond their own needs or agendas.
4. What is the Refund Policy?
Things happen. Flights get delayed or canceled, hurricanes and other weather incidents arise, someone may have a death or illness in the family. If these circumstances arise, know up front what the policy of the yacht is in regards to refunds and rescheduling. Again, this varies widely from yacht to yacht, so make sure you read and understand clearly the refund policy and other pertinent clauses in the charter agreement – before signing and making a deposit.
5. Its all in the Details
Make sure you are provided with an up to date list of amenities and equipment aboard the yacht before making your decision . For example, Wifi is something most people take for granted these days, but in remote locations it may not be available or always available aboard your yacht. The same goes for phone communications. Some yachts provide a listing of water toys such as waverunners and jet skis, but you may be limited to where you are able to use them – places such as anchorages and marine parks can be off limits. At times, the listing of a Yacht’s equipment may change and be outdated, make sure what is included is spelled out up front, preferably in the Charter Agreement, so that all parties are on the same page and there are no unexpected surprises.
By asking these top 5 questions of your Charter Broker when considering a Yacht to charter you will maximize your Yacht Charter experience before even stepping aboard.