From a family vacation along Indonesia’s coast to a million-dollar per week super yacht, this is what it’s really like to privately charter the seas like the elite.
Luxury is a state of great comfort or elegance, especially when it involves something that not everyone can have. To charter a super yacht is the epitome of a luxury experience,” says Marta Iglesias, Senior Retail Charter Broker who has nearly 30 years of expertise in the industry when it comes to finding a private yacht to charter.
Private yacht vacations are on the rise as the pandemic continues, due to the safe nature of this type of travel. Luxury small cruise ships, like Kontiki Toquilla Yachts, also offer a healthier way to navigate this years’ coastal adventures with their boutique size and modern amenities. When it comes to luxury yachting experiences, Camper and Nicholsons International is the leading expert in chartering mega yachts and are also the longest established superyacht brokerage company worldwide, exclusively tailoring expeditions for families, friends and associates.
Iglesias, who works for the esteemed company says, “chartering a super yacht is about discretion and exclusivity. There are only about 5,000 superyachts more than 100 feet in the world. It’s simply not out there for everyone.”
ICONIC LIFE spoke with Iglesias to understand what it’s really like to set out to sea for an unforgettable dream vacation or work trip in the form of a private cruise. And it all starts with connecting to an experienced broker through the company’s concierge service. Iglesias has perfected her ability to pair clients with the right private super yacht to charter and their accompanying crew by taking you through a personal consultation to identify your particular needs and expectations for the charter.
This includes such details like drinks, food, activities, lighting, music and preferred off-shore adventures. The broker works with the captain and crew to tailor the yacht to your exact needs, so when you board, you are greeted by a crew that knows who you are, your likes and dislikes as well as the room arrangements, so suites are readied before departure.
At ICONIC, we love the opulent and innovative designs of prestigious superyachts, and because all of the yachts offered at Camper and Nicholsons are privately owned, they are architecturally designed and outfitted according to their owner’s particular lifestyle. This can actually help brokers pair clients to a yacht by aligning their needs and interests with that of the boat owners.
Each private yacht to charter comes with their own captain and crew who know these boats from the inside out. This staff includes a deck crew, engineers and an interior crew, like the chef and stewards who prepare and serve meals. “The crew needs to be extremely professional, they are normally multi-lingual and multi-national,” says Iglesias, “and more importantly, they operate as a team, so they have formed dynamics to best attend to the client’s needs.” Most yachts are designed for 12 guests to live spaciously during their time out to sea, and the staff typically outnumbers the visitors.
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When it comes to dining on-board, clients can get as creative as they want, but Iglesias notes there has been a growing demand for locally-sourced ingredients for those whose diet is environmentally sensitive. The crew ensures that food is gathered from the regions they are traveling near to and they avoid shipping specialty items from long distances, (not to say that extravagant requests don’t happen, like ordering a particular cheese or rare seafood from a far location straight to the chartering yachts’ private dining table). All food allergies and dietary requirements are taken into careful consideration, while wines, champagnes and spirits are hand-selected prior to departure by clients.
In her well-heeled experience, Iglesias gives us a peek into a day-in-the-life on one of these privately chartered super yachts. Just imagine beginning your morning with a tranquil swim, then breakfast on the deck followed by indulging in the plethora of water toys that many big or small yachts come equipped with, like jet skis or inflatables for the kids. A semi-formal lunch or buffet is served beneath the spacious and unpolluted skies then chased with an afternoon siesta or perhaps a visit to the on-board wellness center, where anything from massages to yoga classes can be set up.
The time before dinner can also be spent on-shore to enjoy the culture and landscape of the region you are visiting (think: rock climbing, wine-tasting and cultural events). Upon returning to charter your private yacht, sundowners can be sipped or jacuzzi dips taken before preparing for a formal dinner with friends or associates. Theme parties are a highlight for many guests and can include Jazz nights featuring composers and pianists, and typically one night out of the trip that is meant to honor local culture and the traditions of the region.
Most charters are a week to ten days long, but some people take a few months to enjoy these seafaring beauties, while future buyers may even charter them for half of the year. While on the water, cruising time averages around four to five hours a day with a week-long charter generally not exceeding three hours a day and with only one or two overnight passages per week. Here, we take you through three of the world’s most exclusive mega yachts, from Southeast Asia to the Western Mediterranean, and reveal how much it really costs to charter these extraordinary yachts.
SARASTAR | Western Mediterranean
Sarastar is a 197-foot yacht designed and built in 2017 by Italian superyacht company MondoMarine. The opulent regality of this design elicits an elite clientele, perhaps for businesses associates or to dazzle potential clients. The cascading decks of the boat are decadently appointed with back-lit onyx, chrome accents and expansive skylights that reveal the glittering interiors.
The six suites are designed in distinct colorways and textures, like glistening gold, semi-precious stones and Stefano Ricci silk, as well as a master bedroom with expandable balconies and a blue-marbled walk-in shower in the his-and-hers bathroom. Sculptural chandeliers, marbled flooring, tinted glass and innovative lighting design makes this one of the more visually-striking private yachts for especially posh guests to charter.
Blending business and pleasure, the yacht is ideal for hosting gala-style dinners to be enjoyed on the aft or sun deck, and the yacht’s touch-and-go helipad is perfect for clients to drop in for meetings and events without having to commit to a week at sea.
When speaking of Sarastar, Iglesias emphasizes that although the interiors surely impress, most of the time on this superyacht is spent outdoors. The al fresco spaces feature sun loungers, a beach club, cactus garden and even an amenity-laden gym. Blending business and pleasure, the yacht is ideal for hosting gala-style dinners to be enjoyed on the aft or sun deck, and the yacht’s touch-and-go helipad is perfect for clients to drop in for meetings and events without having to commit to a week at sea.
Traveling across the Western Mediterranean near Italy and France, the cost to charter this private yacht is €364,000 per week in the low season and includes a crew of 15 and has a cruising speed of 18 knots.
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This is a very limited opportunity to charter one of the largest yachts in the world with truly exceptional capabilities.
TRANQUILITY | Southeast Asia
Falling into the giga yacht category for its length of 300 feet, Tranquility is truly a yacht-enthusiasts dream realized. Executed in 2014 by the prestigious yacht builder Oceanco in the Netherlands, Tranquility superyacht is available for charter starting at a cost of €1,100,000 per week in Southeast Asia.
“This is a very limited opportunity to charter one of the largest yachts in the world with truly exceptional capabilities,” says Iglesias. The ocean-crossing world explorer cruises at an above average speed for its size at 20 knots, accommodates 12 to 22 guests and is available with a crew of 31.
The interior design was masterfully-done by yacht experts at the internationally acclaimed firm Andrew Winch Design. Emphasizing an understated yet luxury aesthetic, the boat is crafted with glass, Travatino Veluto marble, bleached oak, and cream and white colorways adorning suites and lounging spaces. Iglesias says, “this yacht is more favored by clients over the age of 45 to 50 years old, because it is more about the elegance of style than the minimalist or informal style that newer, younger clients have.”
Chartering this private yacht is like being on your very own private cruise ship which means convenience at every turn, like a glass elevator, beauty salon, fully equipped gym and an expansive outdoor swimming pool. On-board entertainment is limitless while interior spaces can be transformed into conference rooms to host both celebratory gatherings among friends or a business-focused location for a product launch.
Whomever has the fortune of occupying the master suite will enjoy a private study, hotel-inspired bathroom flanked by a standing tub and some of the best views of the sparkling sea. To keep the adrenaline going while cruising the coastline, there are plenty of water sports activities on the yacht, including SeaBobs, wakeboards and two Hodgson tenders to accommodate ventures for the entire guest list.
Two helipads on the man deck make for easy access on and off the yacht, whether flying from Thailand or Indonesia. We recommend rounding out each day spent chartering this private yacht at the serene and stone-tiled spa where a sauna, Hammam and plunge pool create a wellness journey at sea you won’t soon forget.
Both in location and yacht, it’s not about having an experience, it’s about being the experience.
AQUA BLU | Indonesia
Originally built as a mini cruise ship by Brooke Marine in 1968, Aqua Blu is a high-performance yacht with a storied history. Named after Charles Darwin’s globe-trotting ship, it was once a British Naval Explorer and then the private yacht of an aristocratic family in Europe. In 2002, the yacht was refitted to be a four-deck luxury yacht and comes recommended for large families who want both luxury and adventure in equal parts. Iglesias describes this private yacht charter that departs from Bali or Canggu in Indonesia, as an “immersive experience into the natural world.”
“You will have the glamour on board, no question, but you will not have the ‘let’s be seen factor,’ for that you head to the Caribbean or the Mediterranean,” says Iglesias. “Both in location and yacht, it’s not about having an experience, it’s about being the experience. This is the perfect yacht to help younger guests become more conscious of the world, for example, you could bring a specialist on board, like a conservationist, to show them the natural world and contribute to it the best possible way—with knowledge.”
For an extended private yacht charter, parents have the option to convert rooms into classrooms while taking advantage of the experiential learning opportunities, like guided expeditions and excursions along the Coral Triangle, the most bio-diverse region on the planet. “Time is spent really getting to know the area, like going to a secluded bay or a white sandy beach where they can anchor and then all of the water toys can be used,” Iglesias shares. This includes kayaks, stand up paddleboards, snorkeling equipment and fishing gear.
Dutch yacht designer Cor D. Rover is behind the interiors, which are brass-and-ivory themed sanctuaries spread across the decks, including the 15 suites. Gathering spaces include a main salon and a sun deck punctuated with wrap-around loungers and a supreme place to practice yoga for the sunset and then stargaze come nighttime. The cost to charter Aqua Blu yacht starts at $264,000 per week and can accommodate a crew of up to 25 people.