Yacht Charter vs Cruise Ship

Cruise ship

Yacht Charters vs. Cruises: What’s the Difference?

A vacation at sea seems like the ultimate escape. Guests get to explore beautiful coastal destinations aboard a sailing yacht, catamaran or cruise ship and enjoy the open ocean.

When it comes to a seafaring holiday, travelers have two options: A cruise ship vs. a yacht charter.

Although these types of vacations share some similarities, they couldn’t be more different. Whereas cruises have set itineraries and serve groups of more than 3,000 guests, luxury yacht charters offer a more intimate and personalized experience. Yacht charter guests, for example, receive unparalleled service, amazing chef-prepared cuisine, they can plan completely customizable itineraries, and they have access to more exclusive ports in the world’s top luxury destinations.

Bottom line: If you want to explore beaches, islands and port towns around the world, consider a private yacht charter and enjoy an experience you won’t soon forget.

Here are some of the key differences between cruises and yacht charters:

  1. Explore More

Due to their size, cruise ships must stop in larger and deeper ports. For example, in the Virgin Islands, cruise ships can only access the largest ports like Charlotte Amalie (USVI) and Tortola (BVI). Therefore, cruise guests miss out on the smaller, more exclusive islands and destinations in those areas like Jost Van Dyke and Virgin Gorda.

Private charter yachts, though, don’t require such large ports, and therefore, yacht charters can go to smaller islands, hidden beaches, secluded anchorages, and dive spots away from the cruise ship crowds. Not to mention, larger charter yachts typically have a tender onboard, and therefore, guests can motor up to virtually any beach or cove.

  1. Enjoy the Ultimate in Privacy

The majority of cruise ships accommodate more than 3,000 passengers. These guests all share the same amenities and dining room spaces, and as such, a cruise tends to feel crowded.

Yacht charters, though, are much more intimate. Just you and your guests are sharing the yacht (along with your dedicated crew). Therefore, you can spread out and relax, and avoid the crowds and lines you’d likely experience on a cruise.

  1. Safety

Due to the crowds and shared activity and dining spaces, cruise ships are notorious for spreading germs and viruses. That’s a real concern for travelers, especially with the world’s new COVID-19 realities. Not to mention, social distancing is all but impossible on a cruise.

Charter yachts offer a much safer experience. For example, charter yachts are cleaned and disinfected before and during each charter, helping to limit the spread of disease. You can plan your vacation to be fully social-distanced – i.e. arriving on a private flight, avoiding crowded restaurants and ports, etc. And because you control the guest list, you know your fellow passengers won’t be spreading disease.

  1. Itinerary Flexibility & Customization

On a cruise ship, the itinerary and your onboard activities are typically set in stone. As such, you might have to miss out an activity or port of call that you had wanted to experience.

Yacht charter guests have much more freedom. Guests can control virtually any aspect of a yacht charter, including:

  • Itineraries – Pick what you see and where you stay
  • Menus – Help your chef plan the menu to your tastes
  • Shore Excursions – Explore the places you’d like when in port
  • Daily Schedule – Design your days to best suit your tastes, e.g. meal times, activities, etc.
  1. Exceptional Service

Yacht charters deliver a truly 5-star experience. Aboard a yacht, you’ll be served by a dedicated crew. In fact, most crewed yachts have a crew-to-guest ratio of one-to-one. That means you’ll always have a stewardess to top off your drinks, help you plan shoreside excursions, and provide top-notch meal service.

You’ll also have access to a deck crew that can help you plan and set up water sports, tender excursions, and beach picnics.

  1. Amazing Food & Drink

Charter guests are served by an onboard chef, who will design menus to meet your exacting preferences. In fact, prior to embarking, guests provide the chef with their food and beverage preferences. The chef then uses this information to develop menus that meet the guests’ preferences to a T. Available food and drink options include: tasting menus, pairings, themed dinners, birthday celebrations and more.

  1. More Activities and Water Sports

On cruises, the shore excursions are limited. One reason is time. You might only have a few hours in port, before you’re required to be back onboard. Another reason is the size the cruise ship. You won’t have access to the water, like you do onboard a charter yacht.

Charters provide guests with an amazing list of activities to enjoy. In fact, most charter yachts have an array of water sports toys and equipment for guests to enjoy, including jet skis, tenders, snorkel and scuba gear, and water slides. Another benefit: Charter guests have much more freedom to plan shoreside activities.

Children jumping off a yacht

Ready to Plan Your Luxury Yacht Charter Vacation?

When it comes to vacations at sea, a yacht charter offers the best in privacy, customization and service. Considering a yacht charter? Contact a broker with Worldwide Boat.

We provide yacht charters of all types in some of the world’s top yachting destinations including: the Caribbean, the West Mediterranean, New England and Greece. Let us help you plan a luxury yacht charter today.