Sponsored by Bespoke Yacht Charter
‘How long is a piece of string?’ is the quick answer to this question. The variation in charter yacht pricing and facilities is simply breathtaking, with crewed motor yacht charters on the French Riviera beginning at around €20,000 per week for smaller yachts, and soaring stratospherically upwards to over €1 million per week for the finest megayachts - complete with helipads, elevators, beach clubs, and infinity pools.
It’s fair, then, to say there are some gaps in pricing and facilities. And in those gaps lies your opportunity to join the superyacht set. You may have to sacrifice the infinity pool, but you don’t have to sacrifice the dream.
With more superyachts joining the charter fleet every year, yacht charters are more affordable than ever before. And once you factor in sharing the cost of your charter with a group of family and friends, yacht charter at the small to medium motor-yacht range becomes financially comparable to other luxury holiday options on the French Riviera such as high-end hotels, villas, and cruise ships. And when it comes to experiences…well, luxury yachts win that contest hands-down.
Yet there’s still a great deal to know before booking your first charter yacht. Yacht charter costing is not as simple as paying the weekly charter fee and cruising off into the sunset. Just like other holiday options, there are extras to pay such as food and beverage costs, as well as yachting-specific costs such as fuel and berthing fees.
There are also some great free inclusions, and ways to save yourself money— if you’re clever about it. Your charter broker will be able to take you through all this in greater detail, but it's nice to have an idea beforehand about average pricing and what you get for your money.
So it's time to ask yourself what's an entry level yacht, what you will get at difference price points, what's included, what are the hidden costs and how you can reduce your outlay. Thankfully Bespoke Yacht Charter has answers to all of these questions.
A superyacht, by most definitions, is any crewed leisure yacht over 24m, or 78 feet. But don’t get too hung up on length, as there are some luxurious and attractively-priced yachts in the 18-24m range too, and this is where many first-time charterers choose to start their yachting journey.
Size and price ranges: What can you expect?
The descriptions and prices below are guidelines only, and modelled on motoryachts rather than sailing vessels, which tend to be cheaper.
18-24m: In this size range you’ll usually get 3 luxury cabins sleeping 6 people, although some have 4 cabins sleeping 8. Many of the yachts in this sector are sporty yachts with modern interiors which can streak down the Riviera coastline in a blur of speed and fun, but there are also a few older displacement yachts in this fleet too, with bigger interior volumes, two decks, and a more classic luxury yachting feel.
What you prefer is entirely up to you. Where the sport yachts have the speed, displacement yachts have stability. Yachts in this size range will normally have 2 to 3 crew, including a captain, chef and/or stewardess. This range of yachts normally charters out in the €18,000-32,000 per week range, although this figure can be higher for newer yachts with certain facilities or a particularly strong brand name.
24-30m: In this size range you'll generally have 4 cabins accommodating 8 guests, although some yachts will also have a fifth cabin. Again, there is a mix of sport yachts and displacement yachts in this sector, although the displacement, two-deck yachts become more common in this range.
Expect larger deck and interior spaces, as well as the appearance of special features on the newer yachts, such as drop-down balconies and swim platforms. These yachts normally run with 2-4 crew. Yachts in this size range can vary quite dramatically in price based on their size, age and facilities, but an average estimate runs between €30,000 and €60,000 per week.
31-40m: This size range has an incredible amount of variation. As the yachts move towards 40m, you''ll find the first tri-deck yachts, with onboard Jacuzzis, an upper and lower salon and swim platforms. There are also quite a lot of older superyachts in this range, so you may get some fantastic bargains on classic motoryachts which have been refitted.
In the 30-40m range you'll often have 5 cabins for 10 guests, and 'cabins' become 'staterooms', with more space and amenities. Generally yachts in this range have all of their guest accommodation on the lower deck, sometimes with split-stairwells to give privacy to the master cabin or for shared family charters. Some yachts will have the master stateroom on the main deck- an extremely attractive feature.
You can generally expect 4-7 crew, and a much larger selection of water-toys and onboard equipment, due to larger storage space. As you can imagine, pricing varies hugely in this sector, beginning at around €35,000 per week and ranging up to €150,000.
41-50m: We've talked about price variation before, but in this sector there's the biggest range of all. For many years, the richest people on earth had yachts in this size range- and many still do, despite being able to afford much larger yachts.
The 40-50m size range is extremely attractive, as you'll find main deck master suites which stretch the full beam of the yacht, often complete with offices and huge bathrooms. At the upper end of the range, you'll frequently find a VIP stateroom on the upper deck, as well as four staterooms on the lower deck, bringing guest capacity to 12.
Sundeck Jacuzzis are fairly standard at this level, and the tri-deck yachts will offer three or more exterior dining and entertaining spaces. There are also classic yachts in this size range that can present good charter opportunities. 40-50m yachts will generally run with 7-12 crew, providing an exceptional level of service, and charter out from anywhere from €75,000 to the high 200,000s.
50m+ In this range you take all the wonderful features of the 50m yacht, and start adding to them. A private owner's deck is relatively common, as are tender garages with a wealth of watertoys and boats. Gyms are a popular addition, and elevators start becoming a feature too.
Over 65m is where you generally start to see helipads, beach clubs and cinemas, as well as the occasional onboard spa. Yachts over 70m take things even further, with all of the above, plus infinity pools, split-level master suites, and dance floors. We can dream, can't we?
100m+ enters the realm of the small ship, with swimming pools, huge suites, and sporting courts. Crew numbers start at around 12 for over 50m, rising to around 20 in the 65-70m range, and can go as high as 50 crew for the 100m+ yachts. As for the cost? If you have to ask, you probably can’t afford it. On average, 60m+ will be around €400,00 per week, rising up to around a million.
Things to consider
One important thing worth noting is that large yachts normally also only accommodate 12 guests, as this is the general passenger license for luxury yachts. The exceptions to this rule are those rare yachts which have a commercial passenger license, such as the very large megayachts or, more affordably, expedition yachts which were converted into luxury superyachts from commercial vessels. There are some good bargains to be had on these large expedition yachts if you have a larger group, so ask your broker for recommendations.
You may also find that there are some huge differences in charter prices that can’t be easily explained by the age of the yacht or even the onboard facilities. This is where your charter broker’s expert industry knowledge comes in, as these pricing discrepancies may come down to different brands of yachts or the names of certain designers. Your broker will be able to explain why a yacht commands a certain price.
What's included in the charter fee?
Quite understandably, many first-time charterers think that their charter fee covers all costs, but unfortunately that’s not the case. Your charter fee includes the use of the yacht and its facilities and watersports for the week, the professional crew, including captain, and chef/stew for the smallest yachts, ranging up to large crews with specialist skills such as watersport instructors and masseuses.
Your charter fee covers crew salaries and their food, but not tips, which will be covered in the next section. These days, almost all charter yachts have Wi-Fi and advanced entertainment systems with movies, music, and games onboard. As far as value goes, you have a luxury hotel to yourself, with a private staff entirely dedicated to your group and no-one else, free watersport usage and instruction, and your ‘hotel’ takes you wherever you need to go. No need for spending time in summer traffic or moving hotels from one end of the Riviera to another!
What's not included in your charter fee?
Just as you’d pay for food and other extras on a hotel or villa holiday, a charter yacht vacation comes with extra costs. None of these expenses are hidden as they’re very clearly stated in the charter contract, and your charter broker will explain them to you in detail before booking.
At Bespoke Yacht Charter, we’re not in the business of luring you in with a low price and then signing you up for a vacation that will pressure your finances. We want you to remember your first yacht charter forever - for all the right reasons.
Charter agreements can vary, but the following items are normally not included in your charter fee: fuel costs, including fuel for the generator, yacht tender and watertoys such as jetskis, berthing fees, as well as any shore power or water you use in the marina. French Riviera charters have 20% VAT applied to the charter fee. This can be reduced by entering international waters, a cruise to Portofino, Corsica or Sardinia for example.
Food and drink. All meals, snacks, alcohol and soft drinks are charged. Water on yachts is not drinkable, so bottled water is also extra. Other consumables. Some yachts charge for consumables such as sunscreen and toiletries.
While tipping is not compulsory, it is industry standard, with a recommended rate of 5-15% of the charter fee, which is given to the captain and shared between the crew evenly. (You may never see the yacht’s engineer, but you may not get far without them…)
Most contracts will include a provision to say that if damage is caused to the yacht where the client is at fault, the charterer will be liable. A common issue on yachts is damage of teak decking and furniture due to unsuitable suntan oils, and cleaning or replacement fees of linen due to heavy waterproof makeup that the crew cannot launder successfully onboard.
Communication costs such as the use of satellite phone and sometimes internet. Any other incidental costs, such as getting masseuses to the yacht on your request, newspapers and magazines, or buying fresh lobster from the fishermen who come to the back of the yacht.
Delivery fee. If you are not chartering in the yacht’s normal cruising ground, you may have to pay delivery costs for the yacht to arrive in the area for your charter. This would be uncommon in the case of French Riviera charter yachts.
How does the money work?
When you sign a charter contract, you’ll be asked to give a 25-30% deposit to the broker called an Advance Provisioning Allowance (APA), which will be forwarded to the yacht so that the captain and crew can stock the yacht with food, drink, and fuel before your arrival, as well as pay for berthing fees and other up-front costs.
The captain keeps the APA for the duration of the charter, and will present an extremely detailed account at the end of the charter, and refund any monies not used. You are also able to get daily updates on your spending. Overall, the average cost of extras on your yachting holiday is between 25 and 50% of the charter fee, depending on how much you’re pushing the boat out (or what kind of bargain you found on the base charter rate!).
How to reduce the cost of your yacht charter holiday?
Looking at the list of extras may seem daunting, but there are many ways you can reduce your spending on a charter yacht holiday if you need to.
A sailing yacht can slash your fuel bills (for obvious reasons), while a fast, sporty motoryacht expends a great deal of fuel, but covers a lot of ground fast. If you’re looking to economise on fuel costs but want a motoryacht charter, look for a full-displacement yacht with a cruising speed of around 10 knots, which is a wonderful speed to float along the Riviera: you’ll easily be able to make it from Cannes to Saint Tropez for lunch at this speed.
Also remember that the yacht’s electricity will run on generator fuel at anchor, and on shore power if tied up to the dock. Bigger yachts cost more to run. And don’t forget to factor in the fuel for the tenders and motorised watertoys. Sometimes a slightly bigger yacht will work out more economically because it has an extra cabin, so you can increase your group numbers and push down your spend per head.
If you want a fabulous yacht with all the trimmings but are loathe to pay high season rates, consider chartering on the French Riviera in May, June, September or October, when charter rates drop dramatically and there are some splendid deals to be had. Weather-wise, June and September can be particularly lovely, while May and October weather is more variable but often still superb.
Marina fees on the Riviera can be expensive in the summer, but again, there are ways to minimise or even totally avoid this expenditure. There are stunning anchorages along the Riviera from Cap Ferrat along to Saint Tropez, so unless you are determined to go into port for the night, you can really reduce the cost of your yachting vacation by anchoring off. There are also lesser-known marinas that don’t charge quite as much for berths, so speak to your broker about planning your itinerary around reducing berthing costs. Also, remember that berthing rates are calculated on yacht length, so smaller yachts cost less.
If you leave your requests for food and drink until the last minute or don’t fill it out at all, the chef will almost certainly have to depend on a specialist yacht provisioner to source and deliver the supplies to your yacht when you make requests. If on the other hand you send your provision sheet in with plenty of time to spare, the chef should have time to provision at major supermarkets, wine merchants, fishmongers and markets, thus taking out the middleman and reducing your bill significantly.
Also, filling out your preference sheet gives you some control over how much the chef spends - ie, if you say your favourite foods are lobster and caviar and vintage champagne, expect to see a hefty bill at the end of your trip. Eating onboard the yacht is still far cheaper than eating in restaurants as you would on a conventional holiday (and you have a private chef creating exactly what you want!) But don’t fall into the trap of thinking the food is free- there’s no such thing as a free lunch, on yachts or anywhere else!
So, can luxury yachting be a cheap vacation option?
Well, no. If superyacht charter becomes dirt-cheap, it simply stops being super. The luxury is what you pay for. But as more yachts join the charter fleet, superyacht charters become more affordable than ever before, and compare favourably with other luxury travel options on the French Riviera.
A Cote d'Azur yacht charter doesn’t have to cost as much as you fear, as long as you make the right choices. Get in touch, and we’ll help you do just that. We know not everyone’s made of money, but we believe that chartering a yacht on the French Riviera is one of the great experiences of life, and not as expensive as you might think.
Rafael Nadal, the world famous tennis player currently ranking #1 in the men's singles rating, has now become the star of the latest marketing campaign for Monte Carlo Yachts on board his personal 23,5-meter MCY 76, Beethoven.Delivered in the second quarter of 2016, Beethoven was penned by Italian design studio, Nuvolari Lenard. Reaching a speed of up to 31 knots powered by MAN engines, the MCY 76 has a beam of 5,65m and a draft of 1,6m. Accommodating up to 8 guests, the MCY 76 can carry a crew of 2.Pro tennis player since 2001, the 31 year old Nadal has already secured 5 titles in 2017 including two Grand Slam tournaments, Roland Garros and, most recently, the US Open bringing his total to 74 ATP World Tour titles during the course of his career getting him a total of near $90 million in prize money.The Spanish's star decision to buy a Monte Carlo Yachts 76 has already caused a certain uptick for the brand on social media with one MCY 76 owner joking on Instagram that he was really proud of having the same yacht as Nadal and that demand for them may have just gotten up. Three MCY 76 yachts are currently on the market asking between $2,3-$2,8 million.
September 22, 2017
ISA Yachts, the Italian shipyard now part of the Palumbo Group, has found a buyer for their new 65m project scheduled to be delivered in 2021 developed on an enhanced engineering platform from the 62m Mary-Jean II and Kolaha.Designed throughout by Enrico Gobbi of Team for Design, the 65-meter ISA will have a gross tonnage of over 1,250GT, a full beam master cabin forward of the main deck as well as 6 guest cabins with the option to convert a 7th cabin from a multipurpose room. A beach club is also planned aft of the lower deck with two side opening doors.Upon completion, the 65-meter will become the second largest yacht ever built by ISA Yachts, trailing just under 1m behind the 66-meter Okto built under the shipyard's previous ownership.Facing severe financial issues following a slowdown in construction in 2014, ISA Yachts was looking for a buyer or investor for a substantial time before it was eventually acquired by the Maltese Palumbo Group for €11 million."From the very first meeting with the new team team at ISA, it was obvious that the Palumbo Group's new ownership wrought some very positive changes" commented Simon Goldsworthy, the broker at Edmiston that introduced his client to ISA for this new build. "We are so glad that another experienced yacht owner chose ISA to build his dream and we have no doubt that this yacht will turn heads in every marina." added ISA CEO Giuseppe Palumbo.
September 22, 2017
52-meter Sanlorenzo flagship, Seven Sins will be on display at this year's Monaco Yacht Show. The yacht is for sale through Yachting Partners International, who will also showcase the 37m sailing yacht Shogun in the show.The largest yacht ever built by leading Italian shipyard, Sanlorenzo, Seven Sins boasts a high degree of innovation and quality for which the shipyard has become known.Penned by design studio, Officina Italiana, her innovative use of glass can be seen throughout, including her glass bottom swimming pool aft the main deck, which allows light to filter down to an extensive beach club area below. Seven Sins is now asking €32 million.Seven Sins represents a rare opportunity to own a brand new 2017 launch with unique onboard features not found on any other yacht in this size range. Having been put through her paces on the water, she is offered fully owner-ready - and with the wait time for the next model in this range currently at 4 years, now is the time to buy.Matt Albert, Yacht Broker, YPIYPI will be showing the exceptional 37-meter sailing yacht, Shogun at berth T26. Custom built in 2006 by Holland Jachtbouw to a Dixon exterior design with an interior by John Munford, she was refitted as recently as this year. Accommodating up to 6 guests in a master cabin and two twins, Shogun has just completed her 10 year Lloyds survey showing her in top condition with a new AV system and paint job. Ready for a new owner, she's asking €5,750,000.To arrange a visit onboard, please contact Yachting Partners International on firstname.lastname@example.orgSponsored by Yachting Partners InternationalE.
September 22, 2017
Startup brand, Dynamiq Yachts has confirmed the launch of their second yacht, the GTT 115 designed in conjunction with Porsche. Asking €13,950,000 the GTT 115 is set to make her debut at the Monaco Yacht Show in just under a week.The second largest model in the company's Gran Turismo Transatlantic range, after their 39m GTT 130, the launched 35m yacht has a beam of 7,1 meters and a shallow draft of just 1,45 meters letting the yacht access sheltered bays.Built out of aluminium, the GT 115 can boasts 3 or 4 cabins for a total of 6 or 8 guests and carries a crew of 6. With a gross tonnage of 198 tons, she can reach a top speed if 21 knots and cruise for up to 3,400 nautical miles at 10 knots. At 9 knots, she consumes just 52 l/h.According to the shipyard, production of the GT 115 will be limited to 7 units to make the yacht a collector's item, with prices starting at €12,500,000, going up depending on customisation. Moored in front of the Monaco Yacht Club during the yacht show, the GT 115 will be joined by the yacht builder's flagship 39m Jetsetter at anchor in front of Monaco.
September 21, 2017
The Monaco Yacht Show remains to this day the main event in the superyacht industry despite rising competition from other venues. A position that Informa, the parent company of the MYS, recently consolidated by acquiring FLIBS and other US-based shows. Ahead of the show's start on September 27, we've created a list of the largest yachts attending the event.#1 JubileeLength: 110mBuilder: Oceanco (2017)The largest yacht ever built in the Netherlands, Jubilee was delivered earlier this year by Oceanco to an exterior design by Igor Lobanov. The yacht can carry a total of 31 guests in 16 cabins catered to by a crew of 45. Key amenities onboard include a swimming pool with a built-in aquarium, a helipad and a large beach club.#2 AquariusLength: 92mBuilder: Feadship (2016)92-meter Aquarius (Project Touchdown) was launched by Feadship in September 2016. The superyacht features a resolutely contemporary exterior design with a number of archetypal Feadship elements, such as a conventional bow and raked superstructure shape. The profile comes from the boards of the Dutch company Sinot Exclusive Yacht Design, which was also responsible for the interior design together with the owner's design team in close cooperation with Feadship De Voogt Naval Architects.#3 AretiLength: 85mBuilder: Lurssen (2017)Designed throughout by Winch Design, Lurssen's Areti features a large master suite with 8 additional guest suites. Amongst her amenities are an extensive spa area featuring a sauna, a hammam, a jacuzzi and a plunge pool located near to Areti's beach club.#4 LegendLength: 77mBuilder: IHC Holland / Icon Yachts (1974/2016)Launched in Harlingen in March 2016, 77,4m yacht Legend features naval architecture and exterior styling by Diana Yacht Design, interiors by Thom Beerens and Jan Verkerk. Originally constructed in 1974 by the IHC Holland shipyard, the tranformation into an icebreaking passenger ship with a 1B-Swedish / Finish classification took place at Icon Yachts. Moreover, the vessel was lengthened in the stern by 3,6m, whilst her superstructure was completely redesigned and her mast rebuilt.One of the most alluring features is Legend's swim platform and a large swimming pool/Jacuzzi. In addition, she has a luxurious submarine for underwater exploration. Other amenities include a fitness room, movie theatre, medical suite, bar and BBQ areas. Performance wise the superyacht is powered by Smit-Bolnes engines, providing her with a top speed of 16 knots and a cruising speed of 13 knots. #5 Silver Fast Length: 77mBuilder: Silver Yachts (2015)The 77m superyacht Silver Fast was launched by Silver Yachts in 2015. The exterior was designed by Espen Oeino, representing the most advanced, eco-fuel efficient vessel in the revolutionary silver series. Silver Fast is the fastest long range cruising yacht-4,500 nautical miles at 18 knots and 6,000 nautical miles at 14 knots with an already proven capability to effortlessly complete long passages in every sea state. Moreover, this superyacht represents the world's largest and fastest aluminium motor yacht with conventional propulsion in terms of length to speed ratio. Silver Fast is capable of crossing the Atlantic at approximately 22 knots cruising speed. #6 Cloud 9Length: 74mBuilder: CRN (2017)Delivered by Italian shipyard CRN, part of Ferretti Group, Cloud 9 became a replacement for her owner's previous 61-meter CMN of the same name. With an exterior by Zuccon and an interior by Winch Design, Cloud 9 is able to accommodate up to 16 guests (12 when chartering) in a master suite, a VIP suite and 6 guest cabins catered to by a crew of 22. #7 Project 783Length: 74mBuilder: Nobiskrug (2010)Designed by Reymond Langton Design studio with contemporary interior conceptualised and furnished by the renowned designer Mark Berryman, the 73,5-meter built in Germany by Nobiskrug was formerly known as Flying Fox.Among her features are a luxury beach club, gym on Sun deck, fully equipped private indoor cinema and its outdoor sister. The vessel offers accommodation for 12 guests (cruising and sleeping) in six cabins.#8 Martha AnnLength: 70mBuilder: Lurssen (2008)70.2m Martha Ann was built for Warren E Halle and is the latest of three yachts commissioned by the American entrepreneur from Lurssen. Refitted in 2014, the yacht is classified by Lloyds and MCA compliant. Her 6 cabin-layout can accommodate 12 guests in a full beam master cabin, a VIP on the upper deck and four double cabins on the lower deck. From a technical standpoint, Martha Ann is powered by twin Caterpillar engines of 2,010 hp each giving her a maximum speed of 15.5 knots and a range of 6,000 nautical miles at 13 knots. For maximum comfort, this yacht for sale is fitted with zero speed stabilizers.#9 Game Changer Length: 69mBuilder: Damen (2017)Built by Dutch shipyard Damen the 70-metre Game Changer was launched in March 2017. The support vessel features a fully certified helideck so owners can take larger helicopters on long range flights to their mother yachts and land safely in a wider weather window. Lowering the helicopter into the hangar protects it from the elements so it is refuelled and available for take-off without causing hassle, disruption and noise on the mother yacht.#10 SeasenseLength: 67mBuilder: Benetti (2017)Benetti has launched 67m superyacht Seasense, previously known as FB268, for an experienced owner who has chosen the Italian brand for the first time. The exterior lines of Seasense are by the Dutch designer Cor D. Rover, while the naval architecture was developed by the shipyard’s technical office. The contemporary styling of the interiors, on the other hand, is the result of collaboration between the Benetti’s architects team and the design studio AREA from Los Angeles, making its debut in the world of superyachts. The layout includes six suites that can accommodate up to 12 guests.#11 Infinite ShadesLength: 65,7mBuilder: Amels (2011)65.7m Infinite Shades is one of the largest yachts ever delivered by Amels. Her Andrew Winch designed interior allows for seven spacious cabins and upper deck spaces. Features include a touch-and-go helipad, wet bar and swimming pool, self-contained tender garage, beach club and a glass elevator serving four of the five decks.
September 19, 2017