The Complete Guide to Chartering a Fully-Crewed Yacht

1. They have a wealth of knowledge

Part chauffeur, part event-planner, part tour-guide… the life of a private yacht crew member is nothing if not varied.

Yacht crews are carefully selected, highly skilled individuals who are there to ensure charterers get the most out of their yachting experience. Their role is multi-faceted but generally includes:

  • Preparing high quality meals
  • Serving drinks
  • Cleaning: cabins, showers and bathrooms cleaned anytime you leave; deck spaces washed regularly)
  • Maintaining the yacht and keeping it safe
  • Assisting with water toys (Jet skis, Kayaks, Inflatables etc.)
  • Providing expertise based on insider knowledge
  • Planning ahead so you don’t have to
  • Entertaining children
  • Booking restaurants, taxis, helicopters etc.

Recommending the best spots for swimming and dolphin spotting, organising mainland activites, or securing entry to exclusive restaurants and venues around the world… there really is no limit to what the crew brings to the yacht charter experience.

2. They are adaptable

Yacht charters can be tricky. Their success is sometimes affected by:

  • Adverse weather conditions
  • Equipment malfunctions
  • Necessary changes of plan

But the flexibility of yacht chartering is part of its charm. A good crew is adaptable and equipped to deal with the unexpected. Whether it be:

  • Planning a new route for a safer or more enjoyable passage
  • Finding dinner reservations, or providing quality meals on board while you enjoy stunning views from a private setting
  • Organising spontaneous trips to destinations of your choice: it’s all part of the bespoke yachting experience
  • Coming up with fun activites on board
  • Welcoming unexpected guests

Crew members are always on hand to assist you during your travels. Furthermore, for those who want to be left in peace to enjoy quality time with family and friends, the separate cabins/crew quarters ensure guests can relax in privacy.

With as few as two crew members, the stewardess can prepare cereals and croissants fresh from the bakery for breakfast, as well as a picnic for lunch.

However, the abilities of the crew will, of course, be limited by the size of the yacht chartered and the number of crew onboard. For example:

With a crew of over ten people

  • the chef has support in the galley (i.e. a sous-chef)
  • and can therefore churn out all meals to a high standard.
  • E.g. it wouldn’t be uncommon for a gourmet burger to be requested at 3am!

However, for a crew with only one chef…

  • they might not deliver both a formal lunch and formal dinner.
  • So, it may be preferable to dine onshore once a day.

With a crew of two…

  • approx. 8 guests could happily lounge away on a 20-metre yacht.
  • In this case, the captain is responsible for driving and safety. The second crew member has multiple roles: cleaner, steward, deckhand etc.
  • As they cannot do this all at once, making it clear what matters most to you is the key to a successful charter.
  • E.g. The Sunseeker REHAB, located in the South of France, has two crew. Onboard, the stewardess can prepare cereals and croissants fresh from the bakery for breakfast, as well as a picnic for lunch.

With a good yacht broker supporting and guiding you, they will ensure you are clear on the realistic capabilities of the yacht crew, ensuring your individual needs are met.

How to make sure you get the most from your yacht crew

Before booking your charter, ask your broker:

  • How many chefs there will be, and what their specialties are
  • If other crew members have any specialist skills (water sports, massages, personal training etc.)
  • For their combined years of experience
  • If there have been any complaints made against them
  • What is the reputation of the captain (a great captain has often been on the same yachts for years)
  • To review crew members’ CVs if you have any concerns

Remember, the crew knows the yacht owner’s standards, but not yours.

Giving the broker an idea of your preferences will better allow them to select the right crew for you.

During your charter:


  • In terms of gratuity, crew members do expect a tip and are often working towards it
  • The standard in the industry is 10% on top of the charter net fee
  • If you guest / client is a keen tipper, let your broker know. This can be passed onto the crew to further inventise them to provide a first class service

3. Finally, a fully crewed yacht provides an experience unlike any other

While a luxury yacht’s facilities rival that of an upscale hotel, the service on private charters really goes the extra (nautical) mile.

Hotel staff are unable to prioritise you over other guests, meaning your requests might be lost amongst a sea of others.

On a private yacht, there are no ‘other guests’. Crew members are there for you and you alone, making for a uniquely personal and attentive experience.

Private yacht charters also provide a sense of freedom you wouldn’t find in, say, a villa. While many plan their Mediterranean yacht charter to coincide with an event, such as the action-packed Monaco Grand Prix, Cannes Lions or the star-studded Cannes Film Festival, others opt for a more relaxed approach, going where the wind takes them and selecting their destinations en route.

Many choose to book a charter to coincide with an event, such as the action-packed Monaco Grand Prix, Cannes Lions or the star-studded Cannes Film Festival.

Assuming the crew and yacht have the capabilities, you, the charterer, decides whatever floats your boat!

Ultimately, the fully crewed luxury yacht experience cannot be beaten, especially if you select the right crew, with the assistance of the right broker. 

With years of expertise, local knowledge and a wealth of strong relationships around the world, 212 Yachts are well equipped to find and secure the perfect yacht charter for you.

Contact us today to plan the trip of a lifetime.

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