Man in tender driving towards yacht

How to Charter

Chartering a yacht can open up a world of possibilities and allows access to distant oceans, extraordinary wildlife, secluded islands and unique experiences. If you are new to yacht charter, understanding how yachting differs from other forms of travel is the first step in getting you underway. Below, our yachting experts have compiled a list of FAQ’s to help you better understand yacht charter with Pelorus.

Our Frequently Asked Questions

How far in advance do I need to enquire?

We recommend you contact our Charter team 6 - 10 months in advance for peak times such as Christmas, New Year and high summer season (July and August). For more complex yacht charters in remote locations such as Antarctica and the Arctic, we suggest getting in touch at least 12 months in advance as we may need to acquire certain licences or permits, hire specialist guides and equipment and even arrange training for the yacht's crew.

When can I charter a yacht?

Pelorus has access to yachts in year-round destinations, so whether you're in pursuit of sun-soaked adventures or icy exploration, we can bring your charter aspirations to life regardless of the season. Some yachts charter throughout the year, catering to diverse locations, with winter options in Central America and the Caribbean and summer experiences in Norway, Svalbard, and the Mediterranean. Others, like LAMIMA, stay within the same region all year, exploring Indonesia’s Komodo National Park, and Flores during the summer and transitioning through the Spice Islands on to Raja Ampat and Triton Bay during the winter.

Most yachts are listed with two seasons - Summer and Winter. Summer runs from May to October and Winter covers November to April. Within these two seasons, charter yachts are often listed with a high and low rate. High season encompasses the months of July and August as well as the festive holidays and New Year period, low season refers to any time outside of these.

Motor or sail?

While both crewed motor and sailing superyachts offer an incredible level of luxury, high-end service and comfort, there are some distinct differences that should help you in choosing what type of yacht is right for you and your charter group.

Motor yachts are frequently preferable for chartering with smaller children, often equipped with safety features like elevated bulwarks (the walls along the side of the deck areas), safety gates, and unobstructed deck spaces. In contrast, sailing yachts appeal to individuals seeking a profound connection with the elements and a more traditional yachting experience.

Moreover, the inherent nature of sailing offers an emission-free, environmentally friendly mode of transportation by harnessing wind power, thereby diminishing dependence on engines. This eco-friendly approach is further mirrored in reduced fuel consumption costs, making chartering a sailing vessel often a more cost-effective choice.

Broadly speaking, motor yachts tend to provide greater deck space and storage capacity compared to sailing yachts. Additionally, motor yachts often come equipped with a more diverse array of water toys, and some are specifically designed to accommodate submarines and helicopters. However, should your chosen yacht lack the equipment required, we can source a support vessel to charter alongside it.

It is also worth mentioning here the Phinisi yachts of Indonesia. They showcase exceptional craftsmanship, embodying traditional boat-building methods with meticulous construction by skilled artisans using age-old techniques. These wooden vessels harmoniously blend cultural heritage and maritime expertise, featuring intricate woodwork, hand-carved details, and a unique sail design. Offering a luxurious and culturally immersive experience, Phinisi yachts are a stunning way to explore Indonesia's picturesque waters.

How many guests can a yacht sleep?

Most charter yachts whether motor or sail will sleep up to 8-12 guests, depending on how many cabins the yacht has. However, some larger commercial yachts that are fully compliant with the International Safety Management Code (ISM) are permitted to carry more guests.

What yacht can charter where?

Typically, the more remote the destination, the fewer charter yacht options you may have. However, Pelours Yachting stands out with its access to a robust and diverse fleet of yachts that frequent even the most secluded locations worldwide. It's important to recognise that charter yachts often adhere to a cruising plan tailored around the owner's usage, emphasising the value of maintaining an open mind and a degree of flexibility when selecting a yacht and planning the charter timing. Should you have a specific vessel in mind, there's potential flexibility beyond its intended route or home ports, provided the charterer is willing to cover repositioning fees.

It’s also key to understand that not all yachts can charter in all locations. For example, there are certain countries or regions that only allow locally flagged vessels or yachts that meet certain regulatory requirements such as Indonesia, The Galapagos and the U.S.

As a side note, it’s worth being aware that some locations do not allow the use of motorised water toys due to environmental conservation, noise regulation, local restrictions, community preferences or safety concerns.

How to choose a yacht for my charter?

Pelorus Yachting excels in off-grid, expedition yachting, providing access to outstanding exploration vessels globally, equipped with amenities for navigating challenging cruising locations.

If your yacht is required to tackle icy waters, you may need an ice class or an ice breaking yacht. The former is designed for operation in icy conditions and has a reinforced hull, and the latter is specialised in breaking through thick ice.

Your Pelorus Expedition Designer also considers a yacht's storage capacity, crucial for extended voyages without provisioning access. Adequate onboard space is necessary for storing food, fuel, water, and essential supplies.

While some charter vessels are equipped with helicopters and helipads, conducting heli-operations during the charter necessitates specific licensing and crew training. Additionally, certain yachts may carry or have the capacity to store a submarine, with specialised crew training required for submersible operations.

At times, it may be important to consider the draft of the yacht. This refers to how deep the yacht extends below the water’s surface. The draft of a yacht can have significant implications for navigation, especially in shallow waters or when entering ports with depth restrictions.

The cruising range of a yacht must also be taken into account. This is the distance that the yacht can travel at a certain speed without refuelling, particularly important when chartering in remote locations.

It is also useful to be aware of a yacht’s speed and whether it can cover the distances you require on your charter. Note that, despite sailing yachts relying on wind for sailing, they can also operate under engine power, and the listed speed for any sailing yacht refers to its motoring speed.

What costs are involved?

Aside from the quoted weekly charter rate there are other costs to take into account when chartering a yacht. Upon signing your charter agreement, a 50% deposit of the full charter fee is payable by bank transfer. The remaining 50% along with any applicable local taxes, relocation fees and an Advanced Provisioning Allowance (APA) is payable six weeks before the charter commences. The APA is usually 30-35% of the total charter fee and is intended to cover operating expenses such as fuel, drinks, food and dockage. At the end of your charter, you will receive a full breakdown of your account and any remaining APA funds will be reimbursed in full.

Additional costs include crew gratuity and insurance. Crew gratuities, typically around 10% of the charter fee, are discretionary and commonly given if satisfied with the onboard service. Tips can be handed to the Captain for equal distribution among the crew. Considering Cancellation and Curtailment insurance is advisable for unexpected circumstances affecting the trip. It's also recommended to have travel and medical insurance for all charter party members, along with coverage for theft, loss, or damage of valuable items brought on board.

Start Planning your Yachting Experience

Get in touch with our Expedition Designers to start building your bespoke adventure today.