How much it costs to rent a yacht isn’t always a very clear cut answer. There are numerous ways to charter a yacht and different factors can significantly increase or lower the cost of a yacht rental.
Here are the main costs to consider to estimate the total yacht rental price of your next yacht charter.
To calculate the price of a yacht charter, you need to sum the base fee of the yacht charter (the price you see displayed on websites), taxes (varies depending on destination), APA, crew gratuity and insurance cost.
Depending on the details of your yacht charter, you will need to add between 30% and 100% on top of the base fee to have the total cost of your rental.
Here is an idea of the ranges you can expect for the yacht charter base fees:
- Motor Yachts – Sailing Yachts under 50ft: €4 000 – €15 000 / week
- Motor Yacht – Sailing Yachts between 50ft and 65ft: €15 000 – €40 000 / week
- Motor Yachts – Sailing Yachts between 65ft and 80ft: €40 000 – €70 000 / week
- Motor Yachts – Sailing Yachts between 80ft and 100ft: €70 000 – €100 000 / week
- Motor Yachts – Sailing Yachts over 100ft: €100 000 – up to 1,000,000 / week
To know the estimation of your total yacht rental cost based on your situation, use our free calculator below, or read the next paragraphs to make the calculations on your own.
How is the total price of a yacht rental calculated?
There are two main categories of yacht charters: all-inclusive or separated charges.
The all-inclusive yacht rentals option (rare)
The all-inclusive option isn’t very common in yacht charters, and tends to be for smaller yachts and cruise where it’s easier to package a standardized offer.
As the name implies, all-inclusive yacht charter offers a price that includes everything: fuel, food, beverages, and entertainment (diving and fishing equipment).
The “usual” option: base charter rates and separated variable charges to add on top
In most yachting websites, the price of a yacht charter only refers to the base price of a boat at its lowest possible charter time.
It doesn’t include many variable costs such as food and beverage, fuel, taxes, insurance and so on.
To understand the total cost of chartering a yacht when it’s not all-inclusive (which is almost always the case), it’s therefore important to split the costs that are included in the base rate of the yacht (the price you’ll see displayed on a website) from the costs that are not included in that base rate, that you will therefore need to add yourself if you want a precise estimation.
Don’t worry, the math isn’t rocket science.
The formula goes like this:
Total yacht charter price = Base charter fee + APA + Taxes + Insurance
We’ll detail each costs in the following paragraphs.
The base charter fee of a yacht rental: Costs and factors included in the calculation
The base charter fee of the yacht rental is essential in calculating the total cost of your charter. Most variable costs are calculated as a percentage of that base fee and are simply summed up together along with the base fee to get the total cost.
Here is what you should know about the base charter fee.
The base charter fee follows a simple rule: the longer the yacht, the higher the charter cost
The boat’s size affects the base charter fee considerably. It determines the number of cabins and guest capacity, the number of staff on board, along with a lot of amenities that tend to get more spacious and more luxurious the longer the yacht gets.
Everything that comes with the yacht (including the staff!) is included in the base charter fee.
The more reputable and in-demand the yacht is, the higher the base fee gets
A yacht reputation and popularity can also affect the base fee, even for boats within the same size range.
Boats are by definition limited in stock and follow supply and demand laws. When a particular yacht is in high demand, whether it’s thanks to its reputation, its features, the season or its recent appearance in a movie, series or TV shows the price of the charter can shoot up.
For instance, chartering a yacht featured in a James Bond movie such as luxury yacht Regina won’t cost the same as a regular model. Likewise for most yachts that are a part of the popular Below Deck TV show.
It can also be true for some classic yachts that had famous builders or previous celebrity owners.
The season does influence the yacht rental prices at the base fee level
Your yacht charter base fee depends to some extent on your date of departure.
If you take your vacation during the busiest weeks of the year (high season) of a destination, you’ll pay a higher base price than someone who charters a yacht on low season dates.
In the Mediterranean, the high season is in summer while it’s in winter for the Caribbean. The yacht charter base fees will be at their highest during these months.
Sometimes just a week or two can make a big difference to the price. Chartering a yacht in shoulder seasons can be a good idea when you are looking for good deals.
Likewise, since some destinations have very short seasons, it has increased demands and makes it more expensive.
International events will also increase the cost of a yacht charter. Expect to pay more if you want to attend the Monte-Carlo Masters (April), the Cannes Film Festival (May), or the Monaco Grand Prix (May) during your yachting vacations in the Mediterranean.
The destination you pick can affect the base charter fee of your yacht rental
Your vacation destination is an essential factor in the yacht charter charge that is included in the base fee.
As the supply and demand law dictates, the more competition there is, the less you have to spend. It is why locations with large charter fleets are less expensive.
The Bahamas, BVI and the Mediterranean are for example more affordable than remote islands without established yachting industries.
The water toys are usually included in your base yacht charter fee and influence its amount
On a yacht, water toys don’t refer to your average backyard inflatable unicorns. Think instead of big equipment for marine activities: jet skis, kite-surf, kayaks, paddleboards, submarines, and expensive high-powered yacht tenders.
Some vessels come with sea pools or a giant slide to glide from the top of the boat straight into the ocean.
Most of these items, especially when they are in high numbers, can come at a cost that will be on the bottom line of your yacht charter invoice.
All the water toys specified in the yacht brochure when you make the reservation are generally included in the base fee . But it’s up to you if you want to rent others or even buy them. Make sure you ask your broker for advice about the cost of these extra if your budget is limited.
The base fee of your yacht charter is fixed and proportional to its duration
Most yacht charter companies only work ‘per week,’ and yacht owners rarely accept a shorter duration. Many companies have minimum stays of ten days, however some boats accept day charter or short periods, you can always ask your broker for an appropriate selection.
You can rent a vessel for two weeks or more, but the price won’t go down for longer holidays.
Yacht rental costs that are NOT included in yacht charter base fee
Now that we’ve seen what is usually included in the charter base fee, let’s find more about all these costs that you’ll have to add to the base fee to estimate your total yacht rental cost.
APA: the main variable cost of your yacht charter (add 20%-40% to your base fee)
The charter fee usually covers the cost of renting the yacht and the crew’s salary. But you still need to pay for fuel, provisions, and other extras for your trip.
A fee covers all these additional costs: APA or Advanced Provisioning Allowance. Find out more about the APA here.
APA is the standard system to pay your expenses on a luxury yacht charter, and it is generally a percentage of the charter fee. You’ll usually end up paying between 20% and 40% more than the base cost of the yacht charter in APA.
The amount varies a lot, depending on the ship and your activities. It will increase if the yacht has a higher fuel consumption, if you plan on cruising more than 4 hours a day, if you want to have onboard particular expensive brands, etc.
What does the APA cover?
APA covers all the day-to-day operating expenses. It also includes any special requests you might have while you’re on board.
Here are the main costs of your yacht rental the APA covers:
Food and drink
On your yacht charter, the chef can prepare all the dishes you want, whether you are vegan or low carb, whether you have allergies or require kosher meals. Make sure that you explain your food preferences to your broker.
Your fuel costs will depend on your boat, your itinerary, and whether you choose to cruise or stay at anchor. A sailing yacht charter can cost 10% less than a motor yacht charter because the fuel consumption is smaller.
This amount also includes the fuel expenditure of any water toys and tenders you use during your charter.
Harbor fees and dockage
The harbor fees and dockage will be more or less high-priced depending on your destination and season. All these costs will be included in your APA.
For most people, yachting is about enjoying life outside of the daily routine. If you can’t survive without the Internet or satellite communications, you don’t have to worry. Your yacht charter will provide you all the digital connections needed. They won’t add much to the APA, but it’s still something that comes at a price.
If you board or disembark the ship outside its usual harbor, you’ll have to pay a transportation fee to cover the fuel required to get your yacht to your requested destination.
Interiors and Laundry
The APA fee includes interiors and laundry costs to keep the yacht immaculate. But if you request unique decoration, it may add an extra charge.
Personal laundry services may not be covered depending on the yacht.
Taxes: a cost that varies a lot from country to country (add between 0% and 35% on top of base charter fee)
Taxes do have an impact on the total cost of your yacht charter, especially in some destinations.
For example, in Europe, chartering a commercial vessel is subject to VAT. But fees vary significantly according to your destination and itinerary. Some countries have a 0-tax rate (Montenegro, New England), while in others a passage in the international waters can lower the VAT rate.
The taxes can vary from VAT, national parks entrance (la Maddalena in Sardinia for example), countries taxes etc. the VAT and taxes will be based on the charter fee, so make sure you discuss this with your advisor to anticipate the cost.
Here are some VAT rate applied on luxury yacht charter in 2022 :
– Charter in France will be at 20 % VAT based on charter fee
– Charter in Italy will charge 22 % VAT based on charter fee
– Charter in Spain will charge 21 % VAT based on charter fee
– Charter in Croatia will charge 13 % VAT based on charter fee
– Charter in Greece will charge 24 % VAT based on charter fee with a discount of 60% on charter of more than 48h ending usually at 12% VAT, this is subject to change in 2022.
Moreover some countries such as Spain or Greece charge a licence for a yacht to be able to embark passengers for a paid charter in their waters, this explains why not every yacht can cruise in all countries.
Crew gratuity: a good practice to include in the cost of your yacht charter (add 15-20% to the base charter fee)
The crew on a yacht work even if you don’t notice it.
Serving, cleaning, preparing, fixing, they are the key elements that make your charter a success.
Even if tipping is not strictly mandatory, it is common practice to include a tip to the team when you are satisfied by their services.
The suggested amount is around 15-20% of your base charter rate. It is therefore important to include this amount in your yacht rental price beforehand.
Yacht charter cancellation insurance: a small cost that can save you a lot (add 15% of your base fee)
Cancelling or shortening a yacht charter can be very expensive if you don’t have cancellation insurance.
It is a small price to pay to ensure that all the money spent on your yacht charter will not go to waste if some unfortunate event leads you to miss your yacht rental.
As a charter company, we will help you select the best insurance options among several different offers.
In most cases, your cancellation insurance will cost around 15% of your charter base fee.
A typical yacht rental total cost isn’t as hard to determine as it seems when you know all the variable costs and your base fee.
Once you have your base charter fee in hands, add the following costs to estimate the final amount you’ll see on your yacht rental invoice:
- 20% – 40% on top of your base fee for APA (low end for sailing vessels, higher end for motoryachts)
- 0% – 30% of taxes and VAT on top of your base price. Highly dependant on your destination.
- 10% – 15% on top of your base fee for crew gratuity
- 15% on top of your base fee for cancellation insurance
Get in touch with our team to estimate more precisely the cost of your yacht charter project.
FAQ about cost of yacht charter and APA
Small motoryachts and sailing yachts under 50 ft (15m) can be chartered from 4,000€ to 15,000€ weekly.
Chartering motoryachts and sailing yachts between 50ft and 65ft costs between 15,000€ and 40,000€ weekly.
Between 65ft (20m) and 80ft (24m), you can expect motoryachts and sailing boats charters between 40,000€ and 70,000€ weekly.
Between 80ft (24m) and 100ft (30m), the cost of chartering a yacht ranges between 70,000€ and 100,000€ weekly.
For yachts over 100ft (30m), the cost of charter ranges between 100,000€ and 1,000,000€ weekly.
APA stands for Advance Provisionning Allowance. You pay this fee in advance to cover food and drinks, fuel charges, harbors fees and dockage, communication, delivery fee various fees such as cleaning or interior design.
Advance Provisionning Allowance varies depending on your travel plans. Usually, it represents a surcharge of 20% to 40% on top of the yacht charter base price.
The APA is due one month before you set sail when dispensing your final charter payment. The captain directly receives the money and will supervise all the purchases made before and during your journey. He will be responsible for ensuring the crew stays within budget and will provide receipts upon request.
APA estimations are usually accurate. The captain will keep you updated during your trip. If you decide to go over the initial payment, you can top up the APA in cash or pay the balance during your trip.
With transparent communication, realistic budgets, and advanced provisioning, you may spend less than the APA and have the difference returned to you at the end of the cruise.
Get the base charter fee of your yacht rental, add taxes, APA, crew gratuity and cancellation insurance and you will have a very close estimation of your yacht rental cost everything included.
The base charter rate includes everything that is on a yacht: cabins, amenities, water toys along with the crew. Everything else (fuel, food, taxes…) come at an extra cost.
Crew gratuity is usually comprised between 15% and 20% on top of the base charter fee for most yacht rentals.
For sailboats in tax free areas, you can get away with a total cost of 30% on top of the base rate. In extreme cases (motoryachts in high taxed countries with big tips for the crew and cancelation insurance), you can more than double the base price. Most charters should be in between within the 40-80% on top of base fee range.