FAQ about yacht charters and sailing vacations
1. What are the Pros and cons of using a yacht charter broker versus booking directly with a charter company?
Yacht charter brokers have a much wider range of yachts to choose from (as they usually have several charter companies in their portfolio) and they are therefore able to select from a greater number of yachts the one that better suits your needs. Furthermore, a charter broker has no interest in offering charters aboard any yacht he or she feels is substandard.
However, brokers often don't have thorough or firsthand knowledge of any given yacht as they are usually based in another country and must therefore rely on what the charter company feeds them. It can be a trade off in some cases.
Intercharter only works with selected high reputable and trustworthy companies.
In the unlikely event of a dispute between you and the charter company, the broker will act as your advocate. It also has to be noticed that there is no price difference regardless of whom you book with.
2. May we book our sailing vacation through our travel agent?
Some travel agents know a few things about yacht charters and may have a charter specialist in their company ... but for the most part, they do not. Some charter companies deal with travel agents while many more do not, because it is two completely different types of worlds, each with its own rules and know-how. This is why many brokers actually don't accept to cooperate with travel agents. So, before engaging with a travel agent try to find out how much experience they have with yacht charters and if they have direct contacts with the charter companies or not. Otherwise they will simply do some hunting on the Internet (exactly as you would) and then will add their percentage onto the actual charter cost. A good yacht broker will provide much better information much more quickly.
3. What type of service will we find on board?
There are many ways of living at sea and it is important that you choose a boat and a crew that suit yours. If you are looking for a totally relaxing cruise, it’s advisable to have at least a crew of 2, a skipper and a hostess/cook, who will take care of sailing the yacht for you, cooking your meals and tiding up the common areas. On “skipper only” charters, guests are required to lend a hand (if needed) during docking maneuvers, to take care of the cooking and to do their part in taking the boat tidy and clean.
On more luxurious yachts, with 3 or more crew, you can get a first class service, with daily cleaning of the cabins and high level cuisine.
Even on a bareboat yacht charter you can hire a hostess/cook but the service you get is often going to be very basic: meals will be based on salads, cold dishes or ready foods and cleaning service will be restricted to tiding up the galley and the dining area. If you wish a better service we’ll do our best to try and find a hostess/cook who can satisfy you needs, but this is not always possible: the best professionals usually work on crewed yachts.
4. What is a bareboat charter?
A bareboat charter is a boat rental without crew or skipper - you will need to skipper the yacht yourself. Depending on the country, you will need to hold and adequate sailing license and/or previous sailing experience.
5. Do I need to charter for a whole week?
No. While many operators will ask you to charter for a whole week, usually from Saturday to Saturday, a few others will accept shorter charters. The daily price will be slightly higher than 1/7th of the weekly rate, because the operator has to do a lot of work to get the boat out and back in again. But it's often possible to book a short charter. The only time when this is extremley difficult is during July and August in the Mediterranean Sea, because during high season most operators can fill all their boats with full-week rentals. Contact us for any charter needs you may have from 2 days and up, we'll be glad to try and find a boat for you!
6. What sailing qualifications do I need to charter a bareboat yacht?
This varies by country and charter operator. Generally some formal qualification such as RYA Day Skipper (or equivalent) and VHF license is obligatory and most operators also require previous sailing experince.
In some countries, like France and the BVI it's sometimes possible to charter a bareboat yacht if you can show experience and competence even if you don't hold a sailing license. Any documentation of previous charters you may have will be helpful. Do not leave it to risk however - your documentation and qualifications will be reviewd prior to the charter to make sure you can skipper the boat!
If you do not qualify to charter bareboat or do not feel confident enough you can hire a skipper. Most skippers are wonderful and add to the holiday, while also letting you relax when you want to!
7. What is a skippered charter?
Skippered charter means that the yacht is rented with a professional skipper recommended by the charter company. The skipper will have complete knowledge of local waters, bays, marinas, etc. Sailing with a professional skipper is more relaxing, you don't have to worry about the route, the ropes, the sails, the anchor... Contractually speaking, the skipper will be hired by you, not by the charter company.
Skipper's daily fee can vary from € 120 to 200 €, depending on the country, the type of yacht and skipper's qualifications. You will also have to provide food for the skipper, just add one more plate to the table. In case you dine out, the old yachting etiquette suggests that you invite the skipper to join your party as your guest, but exceptions to this custom are nowadays accepted. The skipper sleeps on board in a separate cabin, although some skippers accept to sleep in the saloon (provided that the boat is suitably equipped).
The skipper is responsibile for your safety and for the yacht, this is why it is essential to follow his/her instructions at all times as well as safety rules.
In Italy at the moment it is quite complicated to comply with applicable law when hiring a skipper for a bareboat charter and often the customer is not fully guaranteed. Skippered bareboat yacht charters are nevertheless very popular because they are often significantly cheaper than crewed charters.
8. How do I choose the right yacht for me?
The choice of the right yacht depends on many factors: your budget, your party size and composition, your sailing experience, required equipment or technical features and, last but not least, your personal taste with regards to design or your preferences for a specific model or brand. Generally speaking, the more comfort you seek, the higher the budget will need to be. Number of cabins and passengers being equal, a larger yacht will also have more head room. Many yachts have 1 or 2 additional berths in the saloon, but they obviously do not offer the same privacy and comfort of a cabin.
The built year is another important element to consider. In comparison to an older yacht in excellent conditions, newer models will generally be more roomy, better designed, with more advanced technical solutions and with better performances thanks to newer engines.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you wish some advice.
9. Is it possible to go on a sailing vacation even if you are just one or two people?
Some yachts and mini-cruisers are specifically dedicated to cabin charter, a unique way to take your first steps onboard a yacht and make new friends. Mini-cruisers offer the same comfort of a big cruising ship, a professional crew taking care of everything on board, but with much more privacy, with a number of cabins between 18 and 36. Even on sailboats no previous sailing experience is required, because a professional skipper will take care of all aspects of sailing. Obviously if you wish to actively participate in the sailing of the boat and improve your sailing abilities, the skipper will be happy to involve you and to lend his knowledge and skills.
The only limit is age: in most cabin charters young children are not accepted. Please enquire for the specific conditions of each boat/cruise.
You can find a selection of boats with cabin charter programmes in the section Cabin charter: sailboats, catamarans, gulets and luxury mini-cruisers.
10. Weather forecast.
The following websites provide useful weather information:
The Italian Air Force new website, provides simple and effective maps of wind and sea forecasts from 24 - 36 - 48 to 60 hours (concerning the seas around Italy).
Meteo Aeronautica Militare
The croatian website Meteo.hr provides accurate forecasts about the sea conditions and the strength of winds in Dalmatia.
The Meteo France website provides the current situation and climate and winds forecasts in the Caribbean.
The NOAA website provides maps and forecasting weather situation, very professional and very useful for the offshore sailing management.
Noaa Marine Forecasts
11. What are the requirements to participate to a sailing cruise?
Very often we think of sailing as a sport for tough sailors, but yachting is actually and ideal choice also for a relaxing family vacation, or to spend some time enjoying beautiful and unreachable places all over the world.
You don't need any sailing experience to take part to most cruises, because a professional crew takes care of everything on board.
While sailing addicts can take part in the skippering, the other participants can just enjoy the sun and sea.
12. Luxury yacht charter
Nothing is more exclusive than an holiday on a luxury yacht, entirely at your disposal, with the services of a competent crew able to exced your expectations at all times.
Inter_Charter offers a selection of luxury yachts of any type, built by the most prestigious shipyards, furnished with precious details by the best yacht interior designers.
Motor yachts, sailing yachts, catamarans and gulets are available in the most beautiful places in the world to enjoy a memorable cruise.
Visit intercharter-luxuryyachts.com, the website dedicated to Luxury Yacht Charter: Italy and Worldwide.
13. Useful links
World's Marinas Directory
Understanding Italy - Everything you ever wanted to know about Italy