The main reasons for choosing a crewed yacht charter when planning a sailing holiday are the safety, comfort and freedom that come with having an experienced skipper and crew who operate the boat and handle every detail of daily life on board. Crewed sailboats are the best option for anyone who does not feel confident enough or does not have the proper certificate to operate a sailboat. They can still gain invaluable experience and get many useful tips from the skipper, but without missing out on any destinations that they would not have dared to visit on a bareboating holiday.
There are two types of crewed yacht charters: skippered and fully crewed. Skippered charters are ideal for family and group holidays, as they give the passengers the freedom to explore all kinds of remote, exotic destinations without worrying about how they will get there. The skipper can suggest the sailing route best suited to the charterers’ needs, but the decision is ultimately made by the charterer. For larger groups of people, large motor yachts are generally only available for crewed charter because they require an experienced skipper and crew and, because they are more expensive, the owners want to make sure that they are in good hands.
Fully crewed yacht charters are significantly more expensive than bareboat and skippered boat rentals and they are considered the luxury option for a yachting holiday. They typically come with a skipper, cook or first mate and sometimes a host to take care of passengers’ other needs. With a certified skipper in charge of navigation and other members of the crew taking care of food and drinks, crewed charters are an ideal way to have a completely carefree, relaxing vacation. Charterers can simply enjoy a restful holiday without worrying about the technical details of sailing and anchoring, food provisioning, fuel and other requirements.
Crewed boat charters come with an experienced, professional staff, which alleviates any concerns that the crew may get in the passengers’ way or disturb them during the journey. Members of the crew have their own cabin and bathroom to ensure that passengers have a high degree of privacy, as well as the freedom to behave as they normally would around friends and family.
The skipper and the crew make excellent tour guides because they are usually either locals or have plenty of experience travelling to the destination in question. They can offer advice on local customs and make recommendations for everything from the best beaches and sights to see to the best restaurants, bars and places to go shopping.
The Caribbean Sea is home to some of the world’s most popular destinations for crewed boat charters. With warm weather, steady breezes and excellent diving and snorkelling opportunities, the British Virgin Islands are perfect for a first-time sailing destination. The archipelago is a perennial favourite thanks to its many great anchorages, short sailing distances, and unworldly beaches.
Saint Martin, Anguilla and Saint Barth make for a colourful Caribbean island hopping itinerary, combining the electric nightlife of Saint Martin with the secluded coves of Anguilla and the glitzy, laid-back charm of the celebrity haven known as Saint Barth. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines are famous for their nature parks and spectacular coral reefs and, with greater distances between the islands, the archipelago appeals to those looking to spend more time on the open sea.
Cuba offers a blend of culture, lifestyle, great food and stunning scenery, with the Canarreos Archipelago providing shelter in many hidden coves and on palm-fringed beaches. The nearby Turks and Caicos Islands are ideal for diving and snorkelling excursions and home to some of the most popular beach destinations in the Caribbean.
Mediterranean yacht charters are perfect for discovering some of Europe’s oldest and best known historic cities, as well as some of the world’s best cuisines. From the picturesque volcanic landscapes and black and white sand beaches of the Canary Islands, the laid-back charm of the French Riviera and Italy’s Amalfi Coast, across Croatia’s popular beach destinations, national parks and culture-laden cities to the rugged landscapes abundant with historic ruins in Greece and Turkey, Europe has a lot to offer to every traveller. Chartering a full-service yacht for an all-inclusive sailing holiday in any of these countries guarantees that, when visiting all the majestic destinations on the Mediterranean coast and islands, passengers will never miss a single beat.