Guide to Yacht Vacation Pricing

Your choices are vast. Your destinations are worldwide. So how much does it cost to charter a yacht? 

With so many options, the cost of chartering a private yacht varies. Here are some basics to know when planning your best-ever vacation.

Type of Yacht 

Generally, a motor yacht will cost more than a sailing yacht, mainly because of the cost of fuel.  Charter yachts fall into these categories:

Sail | Catamaran | Motor | Power Catamaran | Motor Sail (Gulet) | Expedition

Charter Rates – Seasons, Terms, etc.

Generally speaking, High Season rates can vary significantly from Low Season rates, no matter where you travel.  Just a few weeks’ difference can really affect price.  Always check to see if you are planning to charter a yacht during High Season, and adjust your expectations accordingly.

aft deck lounge on motor yacht AQUA LIBRA

Travelers like to gather on the aft deck lounge on 131ft M/Y AQUA LIBRA for cocktails, reading, and to share stories of the day.

Term Charters 

A Term Charter is typically based on a 7night/8day schedule, with boarding and return times typically at noon.  Some countries and yachts can be flexible about the schedule (any day of the week).  Croatia and Greece tend to have a set schedule for Saturday to Saturday.  While our firm typically engages clients for a Term Charter of 7 nights or longer, some regions like New England (our home) offer Short Term charters, typically a minimum of 3nights/4days or 4nights/5days.  Always contact us for special requests in any region of the world.

All-Inclusive Rates

When you see an “all-inclusive” charter price, you can usually interpret this price to include your crew, all food (customized breakfast, lunch, cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and dinner) and beverages, as well as standard bar, water toys, fuel, and cruising taxes, unless otherwise stated by the yacht.  All-inclusive charter arrangements are quite common in the Caribbean region.

Captain Only 

Try out the adventure with less frills and more of a hands on experience.  You cook, you clean but you have a Captain doing all the navigation.  Click here for more Captain Only information.

Plus Expenses (“Plus all”)

This pricing arrangement usually means that your yacht, amenities, crew (plus food) and water toys are covered in the charter fee. Everything else is covered by a “Plus All” or “Plus Expenses” financial arrangement commonly called an “APA” (Advanced Provisioning Allowance).

APA – Advanced Provisioning Allowance Covered Expenses

Think of an APA as a sort of expense account, pre-funded by you before you embark.  This arrangement conveniently takes the day to day expenses and provisioning out of your hands, so you can enjoy your journey.  It makes the yacht captain your purser, handling any customized requests and other likely or planned expenses such as food and beverages, fuel, marina fees, and any special requests you may have during your charter.  The Captain reconciles your expenses at the end of your charter, and generally returns any unused funds back to you.

Types of APA Covered Expenses 

What types of expenses might cost more (or less) than expected?  Consider items like specialty food and drink, fuel usage for yacht and tenders, harbor fees and dockage fees, communications (internet, satellite etc.) delivery fees (if not home port), special personal laundry items, etc.

View from the Jacuzzi on 142' motor yacht LADY J in the Pitons of St. Lucia

View from the Jacuzzi on 142ft motor yacht LADY J in the Pitons of St. Lucia

Flyboard Oval Swing Slide M/Y ZOOM ZOOM ZOOM

Flyboard, swing and slide are among 161ft M/Y ZOOM ZOOM ZOOM’s many toys

Dining Table for evening dinner on the 70ft Sunreef sailing yacht catamaran Ombre Blu 3 moored off Positano, Italy on the Amalfi Coast

Dining table for evening dinner on the 70ft Sunreef sailing yacht catamaran OMBRE BLU³, moored off Positano, Italy on the Amalfi Coast

APA Rates can Vary by Yacht 

Sailing yachts typically require a 25% APA.  So, if your sailing charter contract is priced at $50,000, you should expect to add 25%, or $12,500, to an APA account to cover additional expenses.

Motor Yachts typically require a 35% APA, mainly because of the greater fuel expense than a sailing yacht.

Taxes (also called VAT in the EU and elsewhere)

Tax rates and VAT (Value Added Tax) rates can vary by country.  Here are a few examples: New York=8.6%;  Bahamas=4%, Croatia=13%, Greece=12%. Tax rates are, of course, subject to change. When we give you a quote for yacht options, we also quote the current tax or VAT rate based on your destination.


Gratuities are entirely at the discretion of the client. The amount you select should reflect your satisfaction with your overall yacht charter experience.

10% is customary in Europe / Mediterranean / Thailand

15% is customary in New England and Caribbean

20% reflects outstanding service from your crew and their attention to details

Escrow Account – protecting your charter funds

Carol Kent Yacht Charters International has fiduciary responsibilities to our clients.  A separate escrow account is used to protect your funds after your deposit.  Funds are released to the management company to disperse APA funds for your charter.  Charter fees are released to the yacht and owner according to the Charter Agreement terms and conditions.

Travel Insurance 

While travel insurance is a separate option and not part of a Charter arrangement, it is a wise investment. Unforeseen circumstances (illness, weather, etc.) could result in cancellation or shortening of the charter.  We highly recommend, and can help you obtain, travel insurance.  During the COVID-19 pandemic, we keep updated on the state of travel.  We will assist you in your planning and protecting your valuable investment.  Here are Top 10 Reasons to Insure (link).

Coverage may vary from state to state residency and personal preference. Also, many credit cards cover SOME travel interruptions but not all. It’s best to know before you go that your vacation investment is protected.  Get a Quote!

Travel Guard AIG logo gif

Other Factors 

Yacht charter pricing may also differ based on special features and offerings: Top Yacht Chefs, amount of water toys, scuba diving, number of crew, Jacuzzi on deck, and unique yacht designs are just a few of items that can affect your charter price.

Add onto your yacht vacation experience with land excursions, specialty services just for your charter guests which will only enhance your vacation memories.

Now the fun begins!  When you engage with our 30+ years of award-winning expertise, we go to work for you and research the options and available vessels to find yachts that fit your budget, destination, interests, preferences, travelling party and occasion.

Humpback whale underwater with snorkeler from sailing catamaran LOLALITA

Humpback whale underwater with snorkeler from 65ft sailing catamaran LOLALITA, chartering in the Caribbean.