Yacht Charter Pricing Guide
What does a yacht charter cost and how do I get the best value for time and money?
The price of chartering a yacht has many variables, including:
• Size, type and age of boat
• Time of year you plan to sail
• Your chosen sailing destination • Early booking discounts
• Long term discounts • Last minute discounts
• Promotional discounts in advance of season
• Promotional discounts during season for fleets with surplus capacity
• Repeat client discounts • Cancellation fees
• Exchange rates
• Strategy of the charter operator in a particular destination
• Volume of trade Sail Connections places with charter operator
As well as the cost of chartering a boat you also need to consider:
• Cost of travel to your destination • Cost of living while cruising
• Cost of mooring fees while cruising
There are a number of charter boat databases that provide real-time quotes on-line. These give a good indication of rates for a boat in the destination you are looking at. However there are usually more options, and certainly a lot more variables, than those seen at first glance. Theses listings are subscriber-based, only representing charter operators that pay to use the services.
At Sail Connections, we have access to just about every boat that's available for bareboat and skippered charter in the classes of vessels we promote. Our industry networks enable us to give you all the choices of boats you can wish for, in the widest range of destinations, on the best terms for the dates you are considering for your charter vacation.
Our service is a direct and personal one - providing best value by doing our job and tailoring our service to you - with the best boats in the best places.
Size of boat In selecting a charter yacht, it is important to consider the amount of space and accommodation required for you and your crew. Space, layout and level of private facilities all affect price.
Catamarans offer a larger platform with the cockpit and main saloon on the same level, more private cabins and conveniently located ensuites. A given living area on a catamaran requires a much longer monohull to achieve the same outcome. So you pay more for a catamaran on a per foot of length basis, but less on total volume. Your instructions to us on crew numbers and desired comfort level are first and foremost in determining the boat(s) we recommend to ensure you get maximum value from your budget. Age of boat New boats generally book out first, and there are obvious reasons for this.
Production yachts have become progressively cheaper to buy, and this keeps the charter cost down. The price of a new boat is not necessarily more than that of an older boat. There is something of an anomaly in the market, in which new boats in some fleets are cheaper to charter than comparable older boats in other fleets. This happens when a charter operator has fixed contracts on their older boats, and are forced to charge a premium for new boats even where their capital cost is lower.
Time of year Naturally, charter companies base their prices on demand, and that's normally highest in peak holiday periods. However these holiday periods do not necessarily coincide with the best time to sail. Shoulder seasons can be very attractive times to charter a yacht, saving you money, giving you less crowded waters, and making your holiday more enjoyable.
Destination The charter price of similar boats can vary significantly by destination, driven mostly by competition and length of season. In the Caribbean for instance, boats can very cheap to charter in the low season, and given the charter season runs all year round, that presents some great deals. Invariably however, when the high season arrives in the Caribbean, prices increase in accordance with demand in this highly desirable cruising ground. In the eastern Mediterranean the season is just six months long. There list prices are generally higher, but can be subject to attractive discounts when the operators find they have surplus capacity.
World events can play a part in early bookings, an example being bad press about Athens that dampened demand for the Greek Islands. Some operators relocated boats to Turkey, then when trouble broke out in Syria, Turkey lost bookings. Tahiti was highly competitive when a new operator entered the market. This destination has remained good value for catamarans, of which there is now surplus capacity. Small monohull charters in Tahitian waters remain expensive due to a shortage of boats.
There have also been issues in the Pacific around flight access. Accommodation capacity has at times exceeded the local airlines' capacity to fly people to outer islands. The result is that operators have encouraged early bookings with attractive advance discounts, enabling clients to secure their seats on available flights.
South-east Asia is relatively new yacht-charter territory following the removal of a 200% boat tax, here prices tend to be middle-of-the-road. But with travel to this destination and cost of living considerably cheaper than elsewhere, the overall cost of a charter can be relatively low, especially if you sail in the low season which is not that bad.
The cost of chartering a boat in the Indian Ocean is all about getting there. If you live in Europe, South Africa or Perth you are very lucky to have these pristine areas within easy reach. Similarly, New Zealand and Australia can be attractively priced, if you live on that side of the world.
Early booking discounts Discounts for booking your charter yacht early vary by operator and by destination, and can be as much as 15% in the Mediterranean. Charter operators like to fill their books early so they can assess demand and organise resources accordingly. The early booking discount provides a big incentive to plan your holiday well in advance, especially as new boats tend to book out first. To get the best boat at the best price with the best operator, the most valuable piece of advice we can give is - book early!
For bookings committed to well in advance, we can often arrange favourable cancellation terms. Long-term discounts Again these can vary between operator companies. But as a general rule a two-week charter attracts an extra 5% and three weeks 10%. Bookings of more than three weeks are open to negotiation. Last-minute discounts These are published monthly, and we keep a file on surplus short-term charter capacity. If you find yourself in an exotic part of the world and stuck on the beach for bit too long, you may be surprised what we have on offer. Charter companies really don't like their boats tied up lying idle and costing marina fees.
Promotional discounts in advance of season As mentioned, charter companies like to have their boats booked well in advance, and often issue promotional discounts for bookings made before a given date. We are constantly aware of current specials, and with our experience can often anticipate when deals will be released, enabling us to make savings for our clients.
Promotional discounts during season for operators with surplus capacity If the season is underway and operators find their boats are not booked for charter, there is bound to be a special deal on the way. Even if it's not publicised, we know who is short on bookings and has surplus capacity at any given time, and we're very willing to ask for a discount on your behalf. Repeat client discounts Sail Connections know who clients have sailed with and will look for suitable boats in their fleet first and claim any repeat client discounts that may apply.
There is a practice with some companies of having extra margin built in to offer discounts so we will show other charter companies boats in the quote for comparison. Often the boat with the loyalty discount will be more expensive. This is an old trick that is now easy to expose.
Discount on a cancellation Occasionally a cancellation releases a good boat that the operator is keen to re-book quickly, creating the opportunity for an attractive discount.
Exchange rate Charter company rate sheets are generally fixed annually, and currency movements can change the price you pay in your currency. We are often able to quote in multiple currencies, to your advantage. At times a foreign currency quote is cheaper than the sovereign currency of the charter operator.
Strategy of the charter operator in a particular destination Prevailing business dynamics in a particular market can at times artificially lower prices. We keep ourselves abreast of such issues, and will sometimes work proactively to book boats being offered at a lower price, providing we consider the operator concerned to be professional in all respects. A lower charter price should never be at the cost of poor service.
Volume of trade Sail Connections places with charter operator Wre have been arranging charters worldwide for over 20 years now, and do a conservable number of bookings per year. Naturally we have developed strong relationships with our preferred charter operators. That loyalty works all ways, helping our competitiveness in quoting on their boats and giving you the best deal out there.
Cost of living while cruising The price of your bareboat charter is only a part of the overall holiday cost. The great cost benefit of chartering is that your boat is your hotel and transport rolled into one. More than that, on your charter boat you can live like a local and self-cater. And there are fewer opportunities to spend money while on a boat. The cost of a sailing vacation in some destinations, such as Southeast Asia, is lower due to cheaper costs of living, low or no marina fees, and accessibility to major hubs for discount airfares.
In the Mediterranean as a rule of thumb, the further east you go the cheaper the cost of living and marina fees. In the Caribbean, use of the US dollar is attractive to some, but as a general rule you will spend more money ashore. In the Pacific the cost of being a tourist can be expensive. But when charter boating, local produce and the lack of marina fees keep the cost of living low.
At Sail Connections, we have a good understanding of the onshore costs you can expect in your chosen destination. It's an issue we are pleased to discuss at any point in the planning stages of your charter holiday.
Yacht Charter Pricing Guidelines This price guide is based on the average standard charter for one week during the 2014 season using quality yachts and operators as a benchmark. With all the variations explained above,this guide is only that - a guide. The best way to assess all your charter holiday costs is to contact us for a personalised proposal that includes current prices for your chosen travel dates and destination.
Pricing is in US Dollars.
Late Oct - Dec
Late Dec - April
|52 ft monohull||3500||5600||6800|
Aug - Oct
April - July & Late Oct - Dec
Dec - April
|52 ft monohull||2400||4000||8000|
Oct - April
April - June
July - Sept
|52 ft monohull||3000||3700||7300|
Dec - March
April - June & Sept - Nov
July - Aug
|52 ft monohull||2900||3600||4400|
Please do not budget your holiday based simply on the above guide. There are so many factors affecting the price of a charter holiday, the only way to find out what it will cost is to contact us. It costs you no extra to book through sail Connections, and we are always at your service.
Talk to us today about your sailing holiday plans and we will help make your charter more affordable and enjoyable.