How Much Does it Cost to Charter a Yacht?
Because yachts vary in size and function, there can be quite a range for yacht charter costs that can go from around $2,000 per person per week for smaller yachts all the way up to over $150,000 per week for luxury superyachts. The superyacht known as the Flying Fox costs about $3.1 million per week plus expenses. You may also be able to find some discount sites, especially if you’re not picky about packing up and heading out at the last minute, where you can charter a yacht for under $1,000 a week.
It would be very rare to charter a yacht for less than a week at a time. Some charter companies may offer it, but it’s not likely. You can, however, charter yachts for more than a week.
Let’s take a look at how the price ranges work and what you get for your money.
Yacht Charter Cost Example
Just like flights, when you’re looking to charter a yacht you can get some deals if you are willing to book a last minute trip. There are websites that specialize in these last minute charters, the result of other people canceling their trips or various other things that pop up and allow for a quick turnaround if you can leave within a day or two.
The cheapest example I found after a short search was for a 31 foot Sun Odyssey sailing yacht with a one person crew that was 960 euros or about $998 US for a week. Because it was a last minute booking that was 20% off the regular price. Keep in mind, for a lot of people, 31 feet is stretching the definition of yacht to the extreme as it’s definitely on the small end of things.
Yacht Charter Extras
Keep in mind, many yacht charter prices that are quoted upfront are the bare bones quotes for pricing. This is pretty much how it works with hotels, flights and rental cars too. You can see the basic version but you can also get bumped up with extras that can add a significant amount to your cost.
As an example, let’s take our discount charter here. That $998 gives you a week on the yacht with bed linens and towels and a one-man crew. But that’s all. So what else can we add?
If you want wi-fi that can cost you an extra €50. You could bring your dog for another €150 a week. A cook plus provisions will be €140 per night. Another deck hand will be €100. So you can quickly get your discount charter up to around $2,000 per week. As you can imagine, crewed yacht charters will always increase your yacht rental costs pretty significantly.
Crew gratuities are also never included in fees you pay up front but you probably want to make sure you’re taking care of the people who take care of you. Some companies will include a gratuity as an option when you book so you can set that many aside at the moment you charter the boat if you want.
All Inclusive vs Plus Expenses
When you’re looking to book a private yacht charter, most companies offering them will have one of two options you can choose from. The first is all-inclusive and the second is plus expenses. If you’ve ever book a resort vacation before, you know how this goes. But for a yacht it’s obviously a little bit different.
In the simplest terms, an all inclusive luxury yacht charter means that the price you pay covers everything, or almost everything, you could want. They should give you a very detailed outline of what is included in that all-inclusive offer and you’ll want to make sure you know exactly what is included before you agree to it. Especially if there is something you expect, you’ll want to make sure it really is included. For example, here’s what is often involved in an all-inclusive yacht package.
- Food for the duration of your trip as well as drinks
- All the fuel that’s going to be needed
- The use of water toys like tubes, skis, jet skis and so on depending on the size of the yacht and what it’s able to keep on board
- A full crew to see to your needs and operate the yacht
- Water and electricity for the duration
Now, when you compare that to plus expenses charters that aren’t all inclusive, there are some important differences. On an expense added charter you’d only have the crew included and probably the toys as well. You’d be paying extra for the following:
- Food and drinks are added expenses
- Fuel, water and electric would also be added expenses
Those are some really big and necessary parts of your trip, so you’d really want top factor those in.
Additionally, charters may add things like dockage, wi-fi and communications, transport to and from the yacht as well as taxes but they aren’t covered even for all-inclusive, so keep that in mind.
All inclusive charters are usually smaller charters. These will offer you a flat rate based on the number of passengers who are going to be on board, while taxes and such are added later. Expense added charters are usually for larger yachts. For the running expenses like your food, drinks, fuel and more, the company will probably charge you something called an Advance Provisioning Allowance ahead of time. This will be around 35% of the based charter fee and you need to pay it before the charter.
There is a third option out there for yacht characters that are less popular but if you’re an adventurous type, maybe you’d be interested. You don’t need to charter a whole yacht, you can actually charter just a cabin on some yachts. This is sort of like booking a room on a cruise ship. If you aren’t traveling with a big group, don’t have the funds for a full yacht, or just want to meet new people then this could be a fun option
Yacht Size Price Comparison for Sailing Yachts vs Motor Yachts
Another consideration when it comes to the cost of your charter is going to be the size of the yacht and the type of yacht. Typically yachts are broken down as either sailing yachts or motor yachts. You can also charter a catamaran yacht as well, so it’s double hull vs monohull in that regard. One thing to keep in mind about catamarans is that they tend to be smaller overall so the final charter price could potentially be less depending on the size you opt for.
You probably want to define what size a yacht is before figuring out how to price them. Some people believe a yacht has to be a bare minimum of 33 feet but others believe that’s not big enough and a yacht must be at least 78 feet to qualify. Because there’s no solid definition for the term yacht it’s a big up in the air.
Most people consider a superyacht any yacht that is over 120 feet. A megayacht, again not a properly defined term, is often considered any yacht over 200 feet. If you want to go even bigger, yachts over 400 feet are often called gigayachts. Presumably we’ll have terayachts out there one day at 600+ feet.
Small Yacht Charter Costs
A small yacht is going to be under 80 feet. How much under depends on how the yacht owner/charter company defines what a yacht is.
The fee for a sailing yacht around this size can be anywhere from $2,000 at a discount for the very smallest of vessels, to $5,000 for mid range to as much as $10,000 t0 $20,000 per week for yachts that are between 70 feet and 80 feet long.
Motor yachts are going to have more expenses because you are paying for fuel as well. A small motor yacht may run you as much as $25,000 for a week.
Mid-Range Yacht Charter Costs
If you’re looking at a sailing yacht between 80 feet and 120 feet, which is where a lot of people feel the “superyacht” size betweens, then you may end up paying $20,000 to $50,000 per week, so we’re in some serious cash territory here.
If you’re looking at a motor yacht then the price can reach as much as $80,000 per week.
Super Yacht Charter Costs
Once you hit 120 feet you’re looking at a super yacht. Obviously we’re already in the range of prices that is far from pocket change but a sailing superyacht is going to cost anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000 per week. A motor yacht can add as much as $50,000 to give you a total of $150,000 per week.
Megayacht Charter Costs
Once you hit 150 feet and above for yachts you’re getting into the large range of superyachts into megayachts and some of the biggest yachts in the world. These are also the most expensive yachts and sailing yachts at this range can go from $100,000 to $200,000 or even more. The motor yachts of this size can easily reach $500,000 a week or more. But if you’re the kind of person who can pay $500,000 a week to charter a yacht, you’re probably not really concerned about the prices at all anymore.
The Flying Fox is the largest charter yacht in the world at 446 feet and, as mentioned above, it’s over $3.1 million per week.
Catamaran Charter Costs
Catamarans, as we said, are generally smaller than other sailing and motor yachts. An 80 foot catamaran would be at the very large end so if you’re chartering a catamaran yacht your smallest choices are under 50 feet but will still potentially cost around $10,000. The largest catamaran yacht, up over 80 feet, may run you anywhere from $40,000 to as much as $100,000 per week.
Yacht Charter Cost Variables
There are a few factors that can alter your yacht charter expenses, which is why there is a big range for some of the things we’ve already listed. Research has actually shown that the number of cabins and guest capacity have the biggest effect on charter cost, by the reputation of the yacht
Time of Year
If you’re looking to get a discount on your yacht charter, adjust your season accordingly. In the winter, everyone heads to the Bahamas so the prices of charters will go up. If you can go during the off season you can lower your fees.
Just like renting a car, if you want the newest and best model, you’re going to pay more for it. Older yachts are going to be a better deal for you overall.
This is a potentially weird variable that I can only like perhaps some famous hotels like you might find in Las Vegas. Some specific yachts develop a reputation which we mentioned above, that makes them more expensive to charter, even if a different yacht that is pretty much exactly the same may be cheaper. This can be because the yacht has been involved in something interesting, it was owned by a celebrity or someone noteworthy, or it was made by a famous company. If it has a specific reputation, you may pay more to charter it.
This is a factor you may not have thought of but where you plan to go with your yacht or where you charter it from can significantly alter price. Some places in the world have a lot of yachts available for charter, like in the Bahamas. Because there are so many yachts the charter fees tend to follow the rules of supply and demand. Lots of yachts means more options means more yacht owners are willing to cut better deals. You’ll pay more to charter a yacht ina location with few charters available.
Consider this like when you rent a hotel room. If you stay at a motel that has cable TV and nothing else, you’re going to be paying a lot less than you will if you stay at a hotel that has a gym, a restaurant, a casino, a pool and so on. A yacht that is just a boat is going to be cheaper than a yacht that has a pool, water toys, jacuzzi tubs and so on.
Green yachts may be cheaper than some older motor yachts that are real gas guzzlers out on the water. That said, because a lot of the green yachts are newer yachts, the novelty may offset the discount for some of them.
If you live in North America and haven’t chartered a yacht elsewhere before, you may be surprised to learn about VAT and other taxes. Value Added Tax (VAT) is an additional expense for chartering a yacht that changes based on where you are.
- The Bahamas – Tax: 4% plus 10% VAT
- Florida – Tax: 6% for Broward County, 7% for Miami-Dade County
- Spain– VAT: 21%
- Greece – VAT: 12%
- Italy – VAT: 22% but this can change based on the size of the yacht and whether you hit international waters.
These are just a few examples but, as you can see, there can be a wide variation. These yacht charter fees are never included with the initial yacht charter cost.
The Bottom Line
A bare bones small yacht charter for a week can cost you around $1000 to $2000. Depending on what you want included on your yacht and many other factors that include the size of the vessel, whether it’s a sailing yacht or motor yacht, as well as the reputation of the vessel can greatly increase your yacht charter price. A crewed yacht charter will be cheaper than other yacht charters, for instance. Average yacht charter costs can range from $5,000 to $20,000 per week. But superyacht and megayacht charter fees can get up to $50,000 and as much as $500,000 per week at the very high end of things.