A yacht charter in the Mediterranean or the Caribbean is the ultimate vacation. But how do you go about chartering a superyacht? A yacht charter broker can help. Yacht charter brokers provide clients with destination and vessel expertise, insider’s knowledge of booking, and make the process – from planning to setting sail – smooth and stress-free.
If you’re interested in a chartering a luxury yacht, a broker is your best friend. Charter brokers manage the entire process – taking over all the tedious details like taxes, contracts, and negotiations, and provide you with unbiased advice and expertise about the yachts, destinations, and itineraries to choose.
But if you’re new to luxury yacht charters, you might be wondering: What exactly is a yacht charter broker? How do brokers help organize travel? And why should I consider using one?
What Is a Yacht Charter Broker?
In the simplest terms, a yacht charter broker helps clients plan, schedule and enjoy yacht charters everywhere in the world, from Cannes to Tahiti. Charter brokers, in a way, are the client’s concierge through the entire process – helping to answer questions, find ideal motor yachts and sailing yachts available for charter, and manage all of the legal, financial and logistical matters related to booking a once-in-a-lifetime luxury charter.
But there’s one thing to remember: Yacht charter brokers aren’t travel agents. Instead, brokers specialize in luxury yacht charters, not just travel in general. They have in-depth knowledge of the luxury yacht charter market, know the best destinations, have the scoop on available yachts, seasons to cruise, and research the legal requirements in each charter market.
They offer guidance and expertise in a few key areas:
- Choosing Yachts: Yacht charter brokers travel to all the major boating shows – like the Miami Yacht Show, or the Cannes Yachting Festival – to visit yachts, meet with crews and get a first-hand idea of the on-board experience charter guests can expect on available yachts. Brokers put this knowledge to work for you, helping you to choose the best vessel for your needs.
- Destinations and Itineraries: Want to explore the World Heritage sites in coastal Croatia, or take a diving trip in The Grenadines? A charter broker is your destination expert. Brokers stay up-to-date on the latest destination trends, know the best places to go – from the Caribbean, to Thailand – and can help you plan a once-in-a-lifetime vacation.
- Taxes and Legalities: Every charter destination has its own taxes, regulations and legal requirements. The charter broker manages these aspects for you and ensures you meet all the necessary rules. That means, on charter, you don’t have to worry – the taxes and permits are taken care of.
- Charter Brokers Work for You: Brokers don’t charge fees to you. Instead, they invoice yacht owners. Using a charter broker adds nothing to the cost of your charter – in other words, brokers add a lot of value to your charter experience.
In short: A charter broker is your personal concierge. Brokers walk you through the entire process, offering advice and guidance at every step of the way. That means planning your charter is stress-free.
Why Use a Charter Broker?
When it comes to booking a charter, you have a number of options: You can book yourself directly with charter operators, work with a travel agent, or partner with a charter broker.
So, why work with a yacht charter broker?
Here’s how the other two options fall short.
Travel agents, although knowledgeable about destinations, don’t have the industry knowledge that brokers do. They specialize in selling travel packages around the world and may do a few yacht charters per year. So, with a travel agent, you won’t get that great advice about onboard experiences or types of yachts to choose.
Plus, travel agents don’t have in-depth knowledge of the complex legal, tax and financial areas of chartering. And they typically book a fee on top of what you pay to charter the yacht.
You can book yourself, too.
But this means all the tedious details of booking a charter – from contracts, to setting up escrow accounts, to returning preference sheets – are your responsibility. You’ll end up spending a lot of free hours communicating, organizing and booking your vacation.
By using a charter broker, all of those responsibilities are lifted off your shoulders. You can relax while planning, and have confidence knowing you have a knowledgeable advocate in your corner. Here are few key ways brokers help:
- It’s free! Yacht charter brokers don’t charge you fees; you get all of the benefits – planning, advising and management – without any cost added to the total of your charter.
- Cruising knowledge. Get expert advice about lesser-known and up-and-coming destinations, adventure-packed itineraries, and most-see towns, beaches and sights along the way.
- Simplified communications. Your broker serves as your intermediary with the yacht owner and captain. This can save you dozens of phone calls, emails, and text messages. You ask your broker a question, and they return an answer to you.
- Emergency contact. Need to add funds to your Advanced Provisioning Account while on charter, or make a last-minute change to your itinerary? Your broker solves these emergencies for you.
- Customized trips. A broker works for you. They learn about your wants and needs, and then provide you with personalized options that fit exactly what you desire – from the perfect motor, sailing yacht or catamaran, to ensuring your on-board preferences are met.
Bottom line, yacht charter brokers work hard to make your charter experience perfect and worry-free. While on charter, you shouldn’t spend time thinking about finances, or preferences, or if the taxes have been paid. Brokers can help guarantee that.
How to Choose a Yacht Charter Broker?
There are hundreds of yacht charter brokers serving clients around the world. So, how do you find a broker that’s right for you?
For starters, choose a yacht broker with in-depth industry knowledge. There are a number of trade groups, for example, for charter brokers. Great yacht brokers belong to one or more of them:
- International Yacht Brokers Association (IYBA)
- Mediterranean Yacht Brokers Association (MYBA)
- Charter Yacht Brokers Association (CYBA)
- American Yacht Charter Association (AYCA)
Membership into these organizations is earned. Members, for example, must pass certifications, regularly attend industry events, visit yachts and crews, as well as adhere to a set of professional ethics. Look for these logos on your broker’s website – they’re a mark of trust in the industry.
Additionally, look for brokers who remain committed to your needs. Great brokers want to help you find a yacht to charter that matches exactly what you want. Need a great onboard gym? A broker should make that happen. It’s a bad sign when brokers try to push you to choose a yacht that doesn’t meet your needs.
Also, look for brokers who have in-depth experience with your desired cruising grounds. Many brokers specialize in a few destinations around the world. If you’re looking to book a charter in the South of France for example, choose a charter broker with connections and experience booking charter in that area.
In search of a yacht charter broker for your next luxury charter? Access Worldwide Boat’s network of experienced, friendly charter brokers today. Our yacht charter brokers help plan luxury get-aways all around the world.