Booking the ideal luxury yacht charter vacation involves many considerations and choices. And there are a host of internet booking websites and agents who can help you book your getaway. However, if you want a personalized itinerary, a seamless booking process, and a catered experience, an experienced yacht charter broker is the way to go.
A broker has knowledge of the industry that simply cannot be matched. Not only do they know how to charter a yacht, but they have “been there, done that”—on the yachts and in the specific yacht charter destinations. They can make a customized dream yacht charter vacation a reality by providing first-hand knowledge on a day-to-day cruising basis for a terrific personalized charter itinerary with great “Insider Recommendations.”
What is a Yacht Charter Broker?
A yacht charter broker plans and schedules the charter experience. They are essentially your partner in the planning and booking process. Not only do they manage the entire process and take over all of the tedious details such as taxes, contracts, and negotiations, but they also provide you with unbiased advice and expertise regarding yacht choices, destinations, and itineraries.
Brokers travel the globe to keep up with market trends, see the latest onboard amenities, meet crew members, and inspect yachts from the lower deck to the top sun deck.
What Can a Yacht Charter Broker Do for You?
An internet booking agent’s services may be sufficient for those who want to plan a bareboat yacht vacation without crew and without having all that having your own private crew on board adds to your charter experience. However, if you are looking for someone with first-hand knowledge of individual yachts, the best itineraries, the best crews, the best chefs, and all of those little extras for added sparkle in a yacht charter vacation, a yacht charter broker provides you with unparalleled insights. Below are ways that your yacht charter broker can expertly make your dream vacation the absolute best it can be.
They provide first-hand experience
In a nutshell, charter brokers make recommendations based on years of first-hand experience. An internet booking agent may be able to show you a collection of charter yachts and destinations through online brochures and photos, but chances are good that they haven’t experienced the yachts and destinations themselves.
They share unparalleled insight with you
Private yacht charter brokers check out the yachts for themselves top to bottom, and spend a great deal of time on them. This gives them insight that can’t be matched with online booking agents that sit in an office all day. Online brochures are always filled with pretty pictures; however, those may be pictures of the yacht from when the yacht was brand new and first launched, rather than the actual present state of the yacht.
It is always important to actually experience the yacht, touch the fabrics, bed linens, and towels, put the nose to work and hope to only smell lovely smells on board. No one can smell an internet brochure, touch the bed linens of an internet brochure, or check the china mark on the back of a plate. This can only be done in person.
Charter brokers are invited to cruise on board various yachts in different locations, where they can really get to know the crews and experience the location. These cruises are not vacations—they are an opportunity to fully inspect the yachts. This inspection considers everything from the quality of linens and bath products in all staterooms, to the overall maintenance of the yacht. In return for the opportunity to explore a particular charter location and yacht and the ability to spend time with the crew, charter brokers are expected to absorb as much information as possible.
Charter brokers even consider how the yacht is outfitted overall for a fun time on board, including all of the necessary water toys and beach gear for an exciting excursion. If there are any problematic smells, such as a fuel odor or dampness, the broker inspection will notice them. Simply put, if something is not up to standard, the charter broker will report it to the captain and owner’s agent and work with the yacht to have everything brought up to the right standard. The Charter Broker will then reinspect the yacht again at a later date to assure all has been done before offering the yacht for charter.
An important point is that there is no minimum standard to which an owner must comply in order to offer their crewed yacht for charter. In fact, there are no minimum standards worldwide in yacht charter. That means you must rely on the charter broker to help you select the best yacht. The best brokers know first-hand the true (and current) state of any given yacht.
Charter Brokers attend boat shows, inspect yachts, and interview crews to provide first-hand knowledge to their clients. Working with a full-service charter broker who travels constantly to these industry-only charter shows can help ensure that a particular yacht is the best decision for a price range of interest. At these shows, the charter broker can make decisions on whether to offer a yacht or not to an interested charterer.
They organize, book, and draw your charter contract
Yachts are listed for charter on an industry multi-listing system that includes prices, and only charter brokers have access to the system. Yacht charter is overseen by admiralty law, which makes it a specialized industry. A charter broker must know the maritime laws that come into play for the yacht flag state (the country’s flag that flies off of the stern of the yacht), and the waters in which the charter takes place. They must also have knowledge of VAT and sales tax requirements, as well as crew licensing requirements for the flag state.
A travel agent is unable to draw the yacht charter contract. They must always work with a charter broker to book a yacht vacation—only a charter broker has access to the industry listing system for pricing details, and only a charter broker can draw the contract to bind the charter.
It’s a charter broker’s job to be available and communicative
A charter broker uses effective communication to make the trip seamless for charterers, down to every detail. They make sure that families get family-friendly crews and disabled charterers have what they need on board. A yacht charter broker has experience dealing with many different charter clients, and will know exactly what questions to ask both you and the yacht owner in order to get the right match. It’s a broker’s job to be available by phone, email, or chat to answer any questions or concerns.
They have the latest and most up to date industry information
There are other ways that a full-service charter broker can learn important information about a yacht, the crew, and changing and emerging worldwide rules and regulations. One way is to be a member of various trade organizations, such as the American Yacht Charter Association (AYCA) and the Mediterranean Yacht Brokers Association (MYBA). Membership in important trade organizations is an industry-information pipeline to not only the good, but also the bad. In order to become members of AYCA and MYBA, a charter broker must be proposed, sponsored, and stringent entrance requirements must be met.
Charter Brokers know all of the extra “Insider Recommendations” in every charter location. There are many other things a broker does to arm themselves with the best insider information to add extra sparkle to your customized yacht charter vacation, such as:
- Checking out the best local restaurants
- Exploring what to do and see ashore in the area
- Experiencing private guided tours of local historic sites, such as the Newport, RI “Summer Cottage” Mansions and national parks, such as the Komodo Dragon National Park in Indonesia
- Touring important ancient Greek archaeology sites
- Knowing where the best Black Pearl Farms are in French Polynesia
- Checking out beaches worldwide such as those with pink sand in the Bahamas, white powdery sand in the Caribbean, and black volcanic sand on Santorini Island, Greece
- Exploring grottos by ship’s tender in the Italian Pontine Islands
- Trying wines at local boutique wineries on Hvar Island, Croatia
- Sampling local olive oils on Brac Island, Croatia
- Experiencing the private nighttime spotlite reveal of St. Marks gold mosaic ceiling in Venice
- Learning the best snorkeling spots in the Caribbean
This type of insider information is what makes it worthwhile to work with a yacht charter broker to book your vacation.
Charter brokers work for you
Brokers don’t charge you fees. The owner pays their commission, and this is paid whether you book your charter through a charter broker or an internet booking agent. This means that using a private charter broker does not add any cost to your vacation. They work for you, and they add a lot of value to your experience.
How to Choose a Yacht Charter Broker
There are many options available when it comes time to select a yacht charter broker. So it’s important to know what to look for to make sure you work with a bonafide charter broker who has both the knowledge and the passion to help you plan the vacation of your dreams. Read more about what to look for in a yacht charter broker to make sure you get the best level of service available.
Northrop-Johnson Luxury Yacht Charters provides perfect yacht charter itineraries and the highest standard of service for your yacht vacation We offer a hands-on approach that involves just a few steps. All you have to decide is where you want to go and what you would like to do. We’ll take care of all the rest. Contact us today to make your dream luxury vacation a reality.