How far in advance should I book my Luxury Yacht Charter Vacation?
The most popular boats will often book up to one year in advance, so plan ahead! We recommend booking 8-12 months in advance in order to get your desired dates and to have the best selection of yacht options. If you are in the 2-6 month range, do not worry–we will still be able to find quality boats and crews, but you may need to have some flexibility with your travel dates. Holiday weeks have a standard premium rate built in, so expect to pay more for a Holiday charter. Rates generally do not decrease, so holding out for a “last minute deal” doesn’t work well in the yachting industry.
How does the booking/contracting process work?
The Central Yacht Agency representing the boat will have a standardized contract outlining the charter date and fee and payment process. You will have an opportunity to review and ask questions about the contract. The contract can be signed and returned via a secured online docu-sign process. Upon signing the contract, proper payment must be wired within a designated 24-48 hour period to validate contract.
Do I have payment options?
Payments will be made via a wire transfer into an escrow account where the funds are safely held until the actual charter occurs. Contracts generally allow 2-3 payments depending on how far out the charter booking is done. If the charter is booked within 3 months of the departure date, then expect to make ONE full payment via wire transfer.
Are there hidden costs or fees?
Yachts are booked either as “All-Inclusive” or as a base charter fee plus A.P.A. If you are booking an “All-inclusive” charter, all fuel and mooring fees and food and drinks should be covered. Some yachts may have an upcharge for premium wines or liquor, so if you have a taste for extremely high end wine, expect to pay a little extra.
What is A.P.A.?
APA (Advance Provisioning Allowance) is the standard arrangement for paying your provisioning expenses on a luxury yacht charter. The APA essentially creates a bank account for the Captain of the yacht to provision on your behalf. A percentage is added on to the base charter fee, generally 20-25%. The fee will be included with your final charter payment. The Captain will make all provisioning payments out of this account, and is obligated to keep all receipts and balance the account for you. You can review the expenditure level at any time with the Captain, and he will let you know if it’s getting low and needs to be replenished.
Any amounts not used will be refunded to you at the end of the charter (and may be conveniently allocated for the tip). There are no mark ups on the APA – all of the expenses go to buying fuel, food, etc., and you can review every receipt if you wish. The APA system is a simple way of getting the yacht provisioned efficiently, with minimal hassle and straightforward record keeping.
What are the expectations for tipping the Captain/Crew?
The standard tipping rate is 15-20% of your base or all-inclusive Charter fee. Tipping is completely voluntary and based on your charter experience. It is suggested to take your cash tip on your charter and give it directly to the Captain as the charter ends and he distributes it to the crew.
How will the crew know my food/drink preferences? Will they make special diet accommodations?
About 1-2 months prior to your charter, we will send you a preference sheet to complete. The preference sheet will give you the opportunity to outline likes, dislikes and any special requests or diet restrictions. Provisioning in the islands does present some limitations, so be careful not to get your heart too set on specific brands. Your crew will do their best to provision based on your requests, but a certain level of flexibility and willingness to try new things is appreciated.
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Chillaxin’ Charters is a
Florida Limited Liability Company