In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Moravia Yachting’s charter brokers have observed an increase in enquiries from first-time charterers as more and more people recognise the benefits of holidaying aboard a superyacht, particularly in terms of safety and independence. Navigating the many yachts and destinations available, however, can be daunting for those unfamiliar with the charter market.
First and foremost, finding a knowledgeable charter broker is key to ensuring the whole process is smooth, from finding a yacht and signing the charter contract, to ensuring that everything about the charter is planned to the nth degree. “If you start with a knowledgeable broker that has the proven expertise and experience, they can guide you on the perfect yacht for your specific criteria: sailing yacht or motor yacht, age, size, amenities, destination and itinerary,” explains Alastair Callender, Charter and Sales Broker.
Charter Broker Darina Posthuma-Veligora adds “It is important to be as open as possible with your charter broker and share all ideas and expectations for the charter so that they can ensure that there are no disappointments. The more information given, the better the charter will be.”
The on-board experience will define the overall charter and so often this will come down to the crew – you can have a better charter holiday on a 10-year-old yacht with great crew than on a brand-new yacht with less enthusiastic crew. As Charter Broker Lea Tintaud advises, “Don’t choose a yacht because it’s pretty; ask your broker to really do their homework on the crew as they can make or break the charter.”
A truly luxury on-board experience also rests on the ratio of crew to guests. “First-time charterers might consider a 20-metre yacht with two or three crew for 10 guests,” comments William Molloy, Head of Charter. “Yachting should offer a five-star service and above and, in my opinion, this can only really be achieved if there are more quality and professional crew than guests onboard. When you have double the amount of crew than guests, that’s when you’re really being blown away.”
First-time charterers might also be tempted to plan a jam-packed itinerary, visiting lots of destinations in a week and covering many nautical miles. Darina, however, advises against this approach, “If there’s a lot of sailing every day, the trip can become rushed, and a destination cannot be enjoyed to its full potential. I recommend carefully planning the itinerary with your charter broker so that all the guests can experience the charter in a relaxed and enjoyable way.”
Finally, as in any hospitality industry, tipping is a customary way of thanking the crew for their hard work during the charter. “Normally this is 10 per cent of the charter fee but feel free to give more – all positive aspects of the charter must be considered,” concludes Charter Broker Luisa Alesso.
As the Mediterranean cruising season fast approaches, Moravia Yachting’s team of retail charter brokers are on hand to guide first-time charterers through the process and ensure that their first charter won’t be their last!