So you’ve decided to get away and you’re looking for a fuss-free vacay? You’ve come to the right place – a yacht charter is just the right balance between adventure and relaxation. There are a lot of yacht charters to choose from and they provide anything from birthday packages for the kids to that fully tailored family function turned romantic getaway. It might be tempting to go with the first option that pops up in your search but we’ve scoured the high seas to give you a cheat sheet for the next time you want to jump into the deep end.
Whether it’s a birthday celebration, a dockside party or just a day trip to the islands with the fam, it’s important to know what the trip is for and who’s going. Yachts can only hold a certain number of people so try to confirm your crew as early as possible. Anyone, including kids and their preggo mums, can definitely board yachts, although you’ll need to check if your fur babies are allowed on board as well.
Typically boat charters are about four or eight hours long but others have more flexible charters, letting you have a free and easy trip chillaxing to your heart’s content. Don’t worry if you run out of time – for a small fee, some boat charters do allow you to extend your trip. Timing is key, as weekday trips are cheaper than weekend trips, and evening jaunts are more scenic (that is, if you’re keen on breathtaking sunsets, the Marina Bay Sands laser light show and the fireworks off Sentosa Island). For a full-blown holiday adventure, why not spend up to a month cruising to islands offshore Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand?
What’s on deck?
Features such as bathrooms, bunkers, TVs, cooking facilities, open-air dining areas and other amenities all depend on the type of boat you charter so think carefully about what you’ll need. If you can’t be bothered with the cooking (and why should you on your holiday?), some charters offer food and beverage catering services or even hire private chef services to prepare food fresh on board. Check whether your boat charter provides catering and corkage, especially if you’re thinking of having a tipple or two.
Why confine yourself to the boat? Yacht charters sometimes provide a whole host of water sports equipment, either inclusive or available to rent, such as kayaks or stand up paddle boards. You can dive into the clear waters to do a little snorkelling and reef watching, or just have a leisurely float about in banana boats. Fishing rods and karaoke machines are also available for rent so no matter what floats your boat (sorry), there’s no excuse not to have fun. When everyone’s all tuckered out and famished, head up to the beach for a lounge while waiting for the BBQ.
Now that you’ve decided what kind of trip you want, it’s time to pick a boat:
Who should I charter from?
Charter firms own a certain number of boats or act as brokers to charter out private boats. There are private companies who only charter out one boat and package, such as EagleWings Yacht Charters, but charter firms like ONE15 Luxury Yachting have a wider range of choices and packages for crew and catering. But you don’t have to rely solely on them, it’s up to you to tailor your ideal yachting experience.
Choosing your boat
If the kids are tagging along you’ll want something with a bit more deck space. The catamaran is a favourite, not just for its size, but for its stability and speed – definitely best for those who haven’t gotten their sea legs yet. But if zipping around the islands at top speed takes your fancy, you can always charter a speedboat and slice through the sea spray. Or, if you know a seafarer, you can charter a bareboat and captain the yacht yourselves. Otherwise, best to play it safe with a crewed yacht so you can just kick back and relax.
Time to pack those bags
Beach things sorted? Sunscreen and – if you want to look fabulous – a hat and sunglasses are a must. Don’t forget to prepare a chill out playlist for the trip as boats usually have speaker systems and USB or phone jacks to plug in your music player of choice. Pack a picnic (if you haven’t booked catering) and just in case, seasickness medicine, sea bands, or oranges (whichever you prefer). Finally, the finishing touch – that book you’ve been meaning to read.
Before you set sail
Mind your yacht etiquette. Watch your belongings, especially the kids. Listen to the captain, be nice to the crew and follow the rules. Bon voyage!
Want more suggestions for boat charters and charter firms? Head over to our sister site Honeycombers.