There is no doubt yacht charters are affected due to Coronavirus. Coronavirus has created uncertainty and disruption to summer travel plans for many charterers. Charter guests who have booked a yacht charter or are planning to book one have questions about cancellations, insurance, and available destinations. Some common questions we are hearing include:
- Is it possible to book a yacht charter right now?
- Can I cancel a yacht charter because of coronavirus?
- And what areas are open for charters during the coronavirus outbreak?
The Worldwide Boat team wanted to provide our readers with helpful answers to the most common questions we’re hearing. This is everything you need to know about scheduling, rebooking or planning a yacht charter during the coronavirus outbreak.
How Does COVID-19 Affect My Yacht Charter?
Many countries around the world have greatly restricted international travel, and they’re using a variety of measures including suspending flights, border closures, and mandatory quarantines.
These travel restrictions will greatly impact yacht charters in the short term, with charters unavailable in many favorite destinations. Here are a few ways your charter may be affected:
- Summer 2020 – Most areas are open for charters this summer.
For up-to-date travel information, check with foreign ministry offices to determine what’s allowed. If you have a booking for a country with a travel ban or restriction, please contact your charter broker to learn more about cancelations and re-bookings.
What happens if I need to cancel my yacht charter because of the Coronavirus?
In general, most yachts do not offer cancellations. Yet, most will offer a complimentary rebooking if your travel will be disrupted due to a travel ban. This might include bans on incoming flights into the country of charter embarkation or bans on departing flights out of the country of disembarkation or the country of residence.
In the majority of cases:
- Rebooking Is Complimentary – Many yachts are waiving fees for rebooking, and will help make any adjustments as stress-free as possible. Typically, you can rebook for another date during the 2020-2021 charter season. One exception: If you will be rebooking for a more expensive part of the charter season, a surcharge may be required.
- Contracts for New Bookings Will Be Updated – Many yachts have updated their contracts to include clauses about coronavirus cancellations. This provides protection to both you, the charter guest, and the boat owner. These clauses typically include provisions for no- or low-cost cancellations.
- Updated Charter Insurance Policies – A variety of travel insurance policies are being created to protect travelers against coronavirus cancellations. On all new bookings, we highly recommend choosing an updated insurance policy.
Is it Safe to Charter A Yacht During the Coronavirus Outbreak?
The short answer is a resounding yes! Yacht charters are one of the safest forms of travel, and they provide unparalleled privacy, cleanliness, and seclusion. There are numerous reasons to consider a charter at this time:
- Limited Contract with Groups/Crowds
A yacht charter provides the best in privacy and seclusion. Plan an itinerary away from tourist hotspots, and instead seek out untouched beaches in the Caribbean, quiet fjords in Alaska or Norway, or hidden coves in Maine. If you’re concerned with air travel, you might also choose to charter a flight, to avoid crowds.
- Cleanliness and Hygiene Onboard
Your crew works hard to sanitize and clean the boat prior to your arrival and during your time onboard. This includes sanitizing all guest quarters, deck spaces, and service items. In addition, many boats have updated their hygiene guidelines to ensure the highest standards of cleanliness. Bottom line: You’ll have a crew working day and night to keep the space clean.
- Highly Vetted Crews
Many superyachts have small- to medium-sized crews. This close-knit unit ensures that any exposure is limited and that your contact with others is limited as well. Many captains and crew recruitment firms have increased their vetting to ensure that all crew have had a low-risk of exposure to COVID-19.
Can I Schedule a Yacht Charter Now?
With travel restrictions related to Covid 19 changing daily, it is difficult to plan a yacht charter in the next few months, not knowing what destinations will be open for charters. Luckily, many yachts are now offering Coronavirus penalty-free yacht charter cancellations for bookings made in the next month or two.
This way you can still plan your yachting holiday and have something to look forward to once this situation is over and travel restrictions are lifted.
Please let us know if you have questions about planning a yacht charter at this time, or how Coronavirus may affect your confirmed yacht charter.