7 tips for getting charter ready this summer

Take advantage of having a private chef

Once the charter is booked, what do you need to know? Captains and crew share insider tips on exactly how to get ready for the ultimate superyacht vacation.

1. Take advantage of having a private chef

The chef is here for you. Sometimes that means a midnight snack, other times that means not having breakfast until midday, but it always means getting exactly the cuisine you’re after. A private yacht chef is better than a restaurant, it’s more personal. Rather than having to please an entire restaurant, it’s all about one table and making you and your guests happy.

It’s an added level of attention not found on most luxe vacations. Any dietary requests can be met, whether you’re a vegan or just have a specific craving. Food can be flown in and couriered to the yacht if not available in local markets, making £1,100 pots of Beluga caviar, Japanese wagyu beef and jamón Ibérico as ubiquitous as Cristal Champagne.

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock.com / Kzenon

Be specific

Before boarding, you’ll fill out a preference list on everything from your favourite Champagne to what you’d like to eat for breakfast. The more precise you are, the easier it is for your crew to prepare and get a head start to make sure they have it on board.

Likewise, letting the captain know what you want to do in advance is highly recommended. If you’re interested in going places that are quiet and remote

it would be silly for the captain to take you to Monaco, and if you want to see and be seen, it might not make sense to explore to a remote island off Corsica. Captains and crew like to take time and do research into what guests will enjoy so they can personalise the itinerary to suit your needs. Make sure you let them know what you want so they can deliver it with aplomb.

This goes for events and celebrations, too. The chief stewardess can arrange all sorts of events, from barbeques on a private beach to themed parties – how about a Harry Potter birthday soiree for the young ones or a disco night for the adults? Entertainers can easily be flown in to join the yacht – anyone from magicians to DJs and singers – really giving the party some pizzazz.

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock.com / Dudarev Mikhail

Bring a nanny

Don’t assume that the crew will be your nanny, even on the most family friendly yachts for charter. While many crew are excellent with children and can plan fun activities with kids, teach watersports and more, if you are looking to unwind completely, then perhaps consider bringing your own childcare.

Taking along a nanny is like bringing a part of home – the comfort it brings a child, who’s suddenly thrust into a new environment, cannot be underestimated. The nanny will know you and your child’s routine and keep them on it, despite any jet lag. If your kids are happy and entertained, you’ll be happy, too.

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock.com / Alliance

Pack smart

Exploring the Arctic? Leave the tux at home. Spending winter exploring the best scuba diving spots in the Caribbean? Pack light materials but also something to cover up with in the evenings. Yachts have a no-high heels policy to protect the decks, so be prepared to go barefoot – but there should be no problem having a pedicure on board if need be.

Many charter brokers recommend bringing fewer shoes than you’d pack for other trips as so much time is spent barefoot – or with your toes in the sand.

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock.com / Creative Lab

Jet skis

Some areas don’t allow jet skis – either owing to environmental or noise protection – while the South of France is cracking down on reckless jet ski operation. Heed your captain and crew’s advice before going out for a spin.

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock.com / PhotoStock10

Dividing the rooms

Many charter yachts are designed with multiple chartering parties in mind and there will be more than one sizeable suite, so that no one feels demoted in a smaller cabin.

Typically, the largest suite goes to the principal charterer – the one inking the contract and footing the bill. But if you are planning to travel with couples only and will be sharing costs equally, look for a yacht that has a few master-worthy VIP cabins, and have a discussion in advance about who will get which rooms, to avoid any awkward situations once you step on board.

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock.com / Syda Productions

Listen to the captain

Heed your captain’s advice on itineraries, transit times and places to visit – there’s no point trying to travel too far and not enjoying the journey. Captains know how to get the most out of the time available on board. They can also sometimes “trick” the itinerary, by traveling when guests are asleep – as the evening can often be when the weather is calmer as well.

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock.com / Grigory Galantnyy

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