Vacationers want privacy, safety, peace of mind and convenience. They want to rejuvenate, unwind and remember some amazing travel they’ve missed out on pre-pandemic. Naturally, many are heading down to the Caribbean. The one thing they’re missing out on? Chartering a yacht. In fact, when you charter a yacht in the Caribbean, you experience a whole other side of the Caribbean very few see — not to mention, the pampering is unforgettable.
While cruise ships may be starting to set sail once again, there is another alternative – a private sailing charter. With Sail Luna, you can share the experience with up to 5 of your closest friends and family and experience unsurpassed privacy, personalization and safety when you charter a yacht in the Caribbean with the company.
To plan a yacht charter for the perfect Caribbean vacation, Travelbinger spoke to Sail Luna’s Captain Nim, a US Coast Guard certified captain and an experienced PADI Divemaster who sailed extensively throughout the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Aegean, Adriatic, and the Andaman Sea, as well as Chef/First Mate Fabiola, an island girl with a European heritage who literally grew up on sailboats. She has undergraduate and graduate degrees in business and worked for many years in Wealth Management before moving full time to life at sea, and she’s also an award-winning chef.
Here are Sail Luna’s 6 tips for chartering a yacht in the Caribbean
1. Don’t confuse a bareboat charter with owner/operated charters
Charter yachts vary wildly in size, cost and location (for this story, we cover owner/operated sailing yachts typically in the 40-50 foot size range based out of the Caribbean.
The difference between a bareboat charter, an owner/operated charter and a charter company is huge, so don’t confuse the two. A bareboat charter means that you are responsible for captaining the yacht yourself. You do not have any crew onboard to attend to your every need. An owner/operated charter boat is run by crew that live on the boat and know they yacht inside and out. The yacht is usually their home and they welcome you aboard like family friends. They are used to working together and are often husband and wife teams.
Lastly, a yacht owned by a charter company is staffed with a Captain and crew member who don’t own the boat and who may not have worked together before. A quick Google search will bring up hundreds of options for all kinds of charters, therefore you may want to book through a charter broker who will help you narrow down your search.
Most charter yachts will boast an overall design that is well-considered and effortlessly combines style and comfort. There will be well-appointed guest staterooms, high-end details such as sustainable teak floors, full showers, vanity and toilet facilities and open space to relax and unwind.
An experienced crew will offer guests service and attention to detail that is unmatched in typical pre-packaged style vacations. From private beachside barbecues with grilled fish and lobster, to snorkeling lessons or stand up paddle boarding instruction through aquarium-like waters, it’s the personalised touches that make chartering an owner/operated yacht stand out from their competitors.
If you want a yacht charter in the Caribbean that specialized in a particular skill, such as fine food, kiteboarding, sail instruction or even deep sea fishing, be sure to enquire about your hosts experience and credentials before setting sail.
2. Know that there’s virtually no limit to your personal preferences
Even before setting sail, your first mate and Captain are working hard in the background, doing all they can to ensure your private yacht charter in the Caribbean is perfectly suited to you. There is no doubt that owner/operated charter hosts go the extra mile when it comes to catering for their guests. These charter companies are often run by husband and wife teams who will have painstakingly poured over your preference sheets, in order to deliver a personalized vacation experience.
From your favorite liquor to dietary requirements, bucket list desires and dream experiences, your crew will do all they can to ensure your yachting journey is based entirely on your specifications (weather and sea conditions permitting), and it will be as active or relaxed as you wish. Each morning your captain will invite you to help map your day’s journey.
Being aboard a private yacht means that you are free of timetables; if you stumble across a secluded beach or incredible snorkeling location and you don’t want to leave, you don’t have to!
3. You can set your own sails on a Caribbean yacht charter
One of the greatest things about a private yacht charter in the Caribbean for your next vacation, is the fact that you can travel at your own pace. Forget lining up for the dessert bar or tour bus excursions with a boat-load of your shipmates. The itinerary of a private charter is created by you for you! Your hosts will ensure your vacation is not only perfectly tailored to you and your guests, but will be THE vacation of a lifetime.
Visit private islands, snorkel in waters teeming with sea life or sip rum punch at a picture-perfect beachside bar. Fancy a little more adventure and exploration? That’s the beauty of a chartered vacation aboard a yacht, the itinerary is completely flexible. Perhaps you’d like to hike a mountain or swim with stingrays, or visit bustling seaside villages to discover local arts and crafts, casual bars and colorful markets. The choice is yours.
After a long day of exploration or relaxation, you can sit back and relax in privacy while sipping artisan cocktails in the cockpit, while your chef prepares your favorite meal in the galley and the sun sets over what was a perfect day in paradise.
4. Expect privacy and discretion
Vacationing aboard a yacht gives you complete privacy from the outside world, and in today’s climate, that’s important. Not only is the service provided on a private charter yacht in the Caribbean unsurpassed by any hotel or cruise ship, but the fact that you only share your space with your own guests, almost makes busy resorts and hotels a thing of the past. Not to mention the fact that you can simply pick up anchor and sail away, should your anchorage feel a little too crowded.
Vacationing aboard a floating luxury hotel means that your view is forever changing and no two days are the same. And, whether you wish to share your location with the whole world via Facebook, or escape from the world and create your own private haven, your Captain and First Mate will be happy to follow your lead.
5. You have a personal crew on a private yacht charter
While your Captain and First Mate will always be available to ensure you have everything you need, be it a friendly chat, a freshly made cocktail or snack, some water toys, or even a sailing lesson, they are also acutely aware of your need for privacy.
Charter crew are adept at making themselves scarce at just the right time; being discreet and reading the room is their speciality. That’s why charters are also the perfect option for honeymoons, micro-weddings, anniversaries and romantic getaways. Think of your yacht as a floating island, complete with everything you need to have the holiday of a lifetime and the crew to make it happen!
6. A yacht charter in the Caribbean is healthy and safe!
Chartering a yacht in the Caribbean means that you are away from shore or cruise-based crowds and the threat of the pandemic. At sea, there are no masks, no PCR tests and no temperature checks – just pure, unadulterated luxury. Your crew will be trained in first aid, CPR, health and safety standards and responsible service of alcohol. They should be vaccinated (don’t forget to check) and will have procedures in place to ensure they are upholding the highest level of safety standards.
For a yacht charter in the Caribbean, check out Sail LUNA’s website www.sailluna.com.
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