What do you mean ‘Crewed Yacht Charter’?

August 26, 2019
Posted by: Ryan

My husband and I worked on a crewed yacht for 5 years. We loved welcoming new guests every week, making their holidays a dream and showing them our secret places. Like all the other crew I know, we did it out of a passion for the sea and the service industry. It opened our eyes to the diversity of the world and its people in a way we could never have hoped for. We loved it and we are really thankful we did it.

That was our previous life, before we got married, had a baby, set our life on a new course and became charter brokers. We settled on land and to our delight, we met new friends! Those friends had no idea what we were talking about when we were sharing our past life stories. “What do we mean ‘crewed yachts’? What does this crew do? What does it mean for the guests?” Those are also the questions our clients often ask us.

It made me realize how much of a niche market crewed yachts are, how if you don’t know someone that has experienced it, there is very little chance you will get the full picture.

So… when we decided with Ryan – my husband & dear manager- to start a blog, it was obvious to me this had to be the first article.

In my opinion, spending a week on a crewed yacht is the best way to spend your holiday. That, and a week in a Safari lodge in South Africa, which is pretty much the same except that you trade the dolphins and whales for lions and elephants! This is why I believe it is extremely important I share with you the whole picture of what a crewed yacht is about. After all, along with the boat and the destination you pick, the crew is what makes everything so magical.

What is a crewed yacht?

A crewed yacht has a permanent crew working onboard. Picture a floating hotel with the entire staff living on board, dedicating their life to keeping the hotel running.

These yachts go anywhere from 40 feet to over 350 feet, depending on the size, you could have between 2 to over 15 crew. The service provided will be different depending on how many crew members are onboard, but the idea remains the same: the crew looks after the boat and after the guests that come onboard for their holidays.

Stewardess serving guests on flybridge – Grand Bleu Vintage

What does the crew do?

The crew duties depend on whether guests are onboard (we call it being “on charter”) or not (“off charter”). I will not go in details about the off-charter work, as I would need to write a book to cover it all! What really matters to you as a guest coming onboard is the end result: you will step onto a perfectly clean and maintained yacht that will look brand new, no matter how many weeks of charter and Atlantic crossings it has been through!

Once you are onboard, the crew will aim to provide you the best holiday experience ever. The level of service provided, and the duties of each crew member depend on how many crews are onboard. As an example, let’s look at a 3 crews’ catamaran of about 60 – 70 ft. like Vigilant 1 and Nenne. With only three crew members taking care of that many jobs, you will find them working as a team and constantly helping each other. By the way, often on such a size boat, the captain and chef will be a couple, however it is not always the case.

  • The Captain. Not only will he sail the yacht from one anchorage to the other, he will also advise you on the itinerary, fill you in with information on the islands, take you to do watersports, and much more. All of that while looking after your safety and secretly fixing the oven, the sound system or anything that has decided to stop functioning (trust me, the captain is always fixing something, it is a floating home after all!).
  • The Chef cooks your meals! Breakfast, lunch (one or two-course), snack, dinner (two or three course), every. single. day.! She adapts to your needs and food requirements, will know the best local recipes while feeding you your favorite home cuisine. You are vegan? Gluten Free? Dairy Free? Or, love it all? No problem she will know how to adapt, and you will not believe what will come out of the tiny galley. The food is always unbelievable.
  • The Stewardess will conjure up the tastiest cocktails, set a beautiful dinner table, pour your wine, play with your kids and keep the boat spotlessly clean throughout your entire holidays. She is 100% service oriented and you’ll be amazed by her capacity to multitask!

What does it mean for the guests?

By now, you will probably have understood a week holiday on a crewed yacht is simply amazing. But let me make it even more obvious. During your crewed yacht holidays, you will:

  1. Sit back, relax and enjoy. Making a shopping list, finding the nearest supermarket, preparing your itinerary, finding a safe anchorage, waking up in the middle of the night to check the anchor, hanging your towel, finding a spot to leave your dinghy while you chill-out on the beach… This is what you will NOT do. Imagine all the free space this leaves for your brain to just… Relax and enjoy your holidays.
  2. Receive a 5 stars service or a casual beachy vibe. The crew members are professionals of the service industry. They will look after you and provide you with perfect service quality. Now, the idea of perfect service varies among people. Some guests enjoy a casual vibe while others prefer high-end luxury resorts and most crew easily adapt to both. Discuss your preferences with your broker beforehand and he will advise you on the best crew for you.
  3. Get firsthand local knowledge. Your crew will have excellent knowledge of the area, they will take you to the most beautiful anchorages, make phone calls to their friends in the morning to check the weather in the next location, book the best taxi driver and tell you all about the history of the place you are visiting. All of those things that you couldn’t have access to without them.
  4. Make some new best friends. That is of course, only if you want to! I found that very often, you will love to get to know your crew, hear their stories and fill them in with what your own life is about. They will take you snorkeling, diving and hiking. They will be a full part of your holidays and you will love it.


Guests enjoying lunch in the cockpit – London Sky – BVI

Written by Maroussia Gust Spence.

Now that you know the whole story, I hope you agree that a week on a crewed yacht is the best way to spend your holidays! Have you ever been on one? Dreaming of one? Please, let me know in the comments below and make sure you contact us so you can start planning your once in a life time vacation!

1 Comment

  • This writing is fantastic, Marou! Well done! You brought it all back to life for me! All the best to you and Ryan on this journey. You are going to be fabulous!

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