As the days grow shorter in the Northern hemisphere, my mind flashes back to the last two winters with cold temperatures and record snowfall… and I wonder if the coming winter will bring more of the same. I glance at a sign on my office wall that says “We cannot control the wind but we can adjust the sails” and I realize that the time to plan for a winter escape is NOW! Not only because of being assured of a better selection of flights and better pricing but I know from experience that once you have planned a vacation, just having that to look forward to can make the winter cold somehow not seem so bad or at least a bit more tolerable. I believe that there is no better winter escape than the Caribbean – with its warm tropical sunshine, white sandy beaches, pristine waters, steady trade winds… In addition the islands of the Caribbean offer an exciting variety of cultures and culinary flavors… some islands offer shopping, restaurants and nightlife while others peace and quiet and a chance to connect with nature. Many of the Caribbean islands are chock full of historical ruins and museums – just don’t make the mistake of telling your children that they are “educational” – but that is another story!
When considering Caribbean vacation venues there are hotels, apartments and even high-end villas or if you prefer to be on the move and see more islands, perhaps a cruise ship. But have you ever considered renting or chartering a yacht or boat? Maybe you have wondered about those boats out there and thought they are privately owned or just something for the rich and famous. Well, you may be surprised to learn that this can fall well within the cost of a hotel stay or cruise ship. So how much does it cost to rent or charter a yacht or boat? Just like there are a range of budgets for hotels, villas and cruise ships there are boats / yachts for charter / rent at all budgets.
Boat or yacht – so what is the difference? A yacht is just a name for a leisure or pleasure boat or vessel. Charter yachts are typically outfitted with an assortment of watersports toys and all the linens, towels, furnishings and amenities to have an enjoyable vacation – like a floating guest house or villa. A yacht can have a mast and sails (as well as a motor) or just a motor. Yachts can have one main structural part or hull or multiple hulls – two hulls and it is called a catamaran, with 3 hulls a trimaran. Motor yachts and catamarans tend to be wider or have a larger beam – to use a nautical term, and therefore more square footage of living space. They also tend to be a bit more stable.
But will I get sea sick? If you get queasy on a cruise ship or ferry boat you may feel seasick on a yacht for the first day or so. We recommend taking one of the over-the-counter remedies for this be sure to select one that does not cause drowsiness as a side effect. Many yacht chefs and or yacht stewards will have a special recipe beverage that they swear by!
Like a villa rental you can rent / charter a boat / yacht with or without crew. Charter yachts can be sailboats, powerboats or catamarans – all the way up to large luxury superyachts. Smaller boats without crew are called bare-boats, however if you do not have experience navigating the waters of the Caribbean, a yacht with crew is certainly advisable. By chartering / renting a crewed yacht, with crew who are employed by the yacht’s owner, you are assured that the crew will know that yacht and its systems well, and that the yacht is well maintained. Think of a professional yacht crew as your own on-board tour guides who cater the trip just to your individual group or family needs or requirements. A crewed yacht typically has a licensed captain and a trained chef. As a rule of thumb the larger the yacht the more crew members are required to operate it and care for charter guests. The yacht chef will obtain your food and beverage requests and any dietary needs or restrictions in advance and plan a menu unique to your party.
Okay, if you are still reading than you may now be wondering – so how do you charter a yacht? A charter broker or charter yacht broker is a travel professional who specializes in boats and yachts for charter. A good charter broker will be with an established yacht company whose main focus is to arrange yacht charters. He or she should take the time to get to know you and understand your needs and requirements and will work within your budget to research suitable yachts for your group and handle all the details of securing the booking on your behalf. The broker should regularly attend charter yacht shows to inspect and have first-hand knowledge of available charter yachts and their crew. A reputable charter broker will be a member or one or more professional trade associations such as the Charter Yacht Broker’s Association (CYBA), the American Yacht Broker’s Association (AYCA), or the Mediterranean Yacht Broker’s Association (MYBA).
At Nicholson Yachts we believe the best way to enjoy the Caribbean is from the deck of a chartered (rented) yacht with professional crew as your tour guides and a chef to prepare your favorite meals. This is what a yacht charter is!
For more information please email Nicholson at: email@example.com
Or visit our website: www.nicholsonyachts.com