If you’re new to superyacht chartering, there’s a good chance your expectations might be as of yet unformed. This is totally fine, as much of the excitement of chartering a yacht for the first time is experiencing everything for the first time. Issues may arise, though, if your expectations have been coloured from raucous (and likely false) stories you’ve heard from friends, associates, or – worse – stories on the internet. To help adjust your expectations of what charting does and doesn’t involve, we’ve broken down superyacht chartering etiquette to make your experience as positive as possible for yourself, your companions, and your crew.
Don’t dismiss the crew
The crew on board a superyacht are the backbone of your pleasant voyage. Each has a very important role in making your expedition unfold flawlessly, and in most cases ensure your expectations are exceeded. Being polite and approachable will make their jobs much easier, which will in turn help you have a much more fulfilling time. Allowing them the proper time to clean cabins while you’re onshore, or passing on any necessary information as it unfolds on the ship, are key examples of this. If you decide to bring children along on your expedition, you must keep in mind that the crew simply don’t have the time to take care of your kids while you’re off partying or relaxing. Remember, they have important jobs, and forgoing these roles will be detrimental for all involved – if you need childcare, bring a nanny on board. Tipping on a superyacht is also customary, as employees on a superyacht are effectively in the hospitality industry. With this in mind, make sure to give gratuities accordingly. Generally, it is advised to tip the crew between five and twenty percent of the charter rate.
Don’t disrespect the rules
Safety, for obvious reasons, is an extremely important thing upon a superyacht. For this reason, you should listen to any safety briefings that may occur while onboard. You never know – it may save your life on the highly unpredictable ocean. Another obvious thing that charterers should keep in mind is the no-tolerance attitude to illicit behaviour. Illegal activities can result in yachts being seized by authorities and licenses lost, so it’s no surprise that a captain will have issue with guests being reckless. Rules in place requesting to go barefoot in some areas might not be appealing to all, but these rules related to shoes are to prevent scuffing and similar damage to vessels. There are a host of other rules that should be respected, such as smoking areas, pets and entry into certain areas, so those who need clarification should ask questions before they proceed with any kind of potentially unscrupulous behaviour. When browsing superyachts on digital platforms like Ahoy Club, many of these things can be asked in advance, so there’s no need to worry on your part.
Final rule: enjoy yourself!
Despite there being a host of rules aboard a superyacht, most won’t have an issue with them at all. Many are related to common courtesy, so will be abided by naturally. The entire goal of chartering a superyacht is to have an incredible time, and the crew will help you with this at every point possible – just make sure to exercise proper communication, and everyone can have a highly memorable time.