The Secret’s Out! You Can Celebrate Your Birthday with a Yacht Rental
By Janine Devine
Come back! Don’t scroll past this piece. Yeah, we get it. We laughed at Loony Tunes reruns, too, and will always remember: “I am Elmer J. Fudd, miwwionaire. I own a mansion and a yacht.”
But it’s not that loony. Families and close friends are looking for ways to spend quality time together and enjoy birthday parties or other special events. Yacht charters may seem like an astronomic luxury but especially during these current uncertain times, they are naturally self-contained bubbles. Yacht charters enable you to control your environment in ways that are simply not possible at resorts and cruise ships, the more traditional venues for reaching your 40th, 50th, or 60th spin around the sun.
Yes, I’m saying to celebrate your birthday with a yacht rental!
These are not party boats either, unless, of course, you wish them to be a venue for a hen party with your closest friends something similar. Those infamous ‘greek’ cruises and bachelor parties out of Miami are out of the question here.
By definition, a yacht charter has a minimum period of seven days, although many charter specialists will contract for four days. Party boat rentals can be by the day, or even by the hour.
Why should I charter a yacht for a birthday party?
Chartering a yacht makes a lot of sense, especially now. When you consider ongoing travel restrictions which may be subject to change, a luxury yacht charter means you are traveling in your own bubble with your friends or family. The crew will be wearing masks around you and adhere to the health and safety guidelines currently in place, both in the part from your embarkation as well as to where you are headed. They are licensed, insured, and will be verified by the yacht rental company.
1. It’s just you, your friends, your family around on your private yacht charter. Plus the crew… but they’re your lifeline. Not only do they make sure their job gets done, but they are also key to seeing that you’ll have the time of your life on this charter. Service is everything and that idea has been ingrained.
2. You’re in command. Aye aye, captain! You get to eat and drink what you want, when you want, get up and go to bed when you want. Feel like dancing on the deck or going snorkeling at night? You can do that, too. Dine at night beneath the stars. Catch your own dinner if you want. Interested in learning to sail? Sure, the crew will be happy to show you the ropes. Need a change of scenery? Your crew will pick up anchor and move, if it is safe to do so, of course.
3. You will have an ocean view, waterfront accommodations, as well as a swim-up bar.
Pricing and Cost Comparisons
The price to celebrate your birthday with a yacht rental depends on a variety of factors. Many yachts are privately owned; the charter company manages them. Often the owner may have input into the pricing. The age of the yacht and its type matter. A motor yacht will cost more than a sailing yacht of the same size, mainly due to fueling costs. Size also matters, of course, and the bigger you go, the more you have to pay; larger boats mean more fuel, more passengers require more food, and more crew to run things.
Even the type of crew and its reputation can impact pricing, especially for the superyacht category. Seasonality also plays a role. Celebrating your birthday with a yacht rental in summer in St. Barth’s is priced lower than in the winter; chartering a yacht in Monaco in summer is much higher than in the winter months.
For a small group, say, from six to 12 persons or three to four couples, chartering a yacht makes financial sense. So, much so that even corporations are beginning to make use of charters for incentives and corporate events.
Say you find the ultimate destination to celebrate all the wisdom and beauty accumulated over your decades on this earth. A luxury resort in the Caribbean or along the French Riviera: Deluxe room (not a suite) for 7 nights would likely run you about $12,000. You combine the cost with the other rooms for your friends, you are looking at about $48,000 and that’s just for rooms, no food, no beverages, no festivities or venue hire, plus you’re stuck in one spot that never changes.
Even if you want it low-key, someone is going to tell the head waiter it’s your birthday, and attention that will cause embarrassment will ensue. Not the way you want to remember a milestone birthday.
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Instead, take that $48,000, those same lovely people, and experience yachting around the same destination. For this comparison, we selected the same winter dates in St. Thomas, at a luxury resort and a yacht charter request, no specific type).
Results? Amid the returns, we found an exquisite Azimut Grande S10. This motor yacht is the second of a brand-new line, produced in 2021 by this renowned shipyard. She’s 94 feet (or just under 29 meters), 4 cabins with en suite showers and heads (aka “toilets”), starting from $45,000. This amount does not include provisioning for guests, because that’s up to you, but you are already starting lower than the luxury resort.
We also found a 67 foot (20 meters), Fontaine-Pajot sailing catamaran which was built in 2016 and can accommodate up to 10 guests in five cabins, all en suite. The extra cabin you can use to stow stuff. She comes equipped with plenty of toys and guarantees a premium dive experience: her two crew are also certified dive masters. She can be chartered from $37,000, excluding provisioning.
We haven’t ventured into superyacht territory yet, where you can expect to pay upwards of $150,000 per week, not including the crew, but you can see what is possible to have on the lower side, with absolute privacy and freedom. Of course, if you want to emulate the Kylie Jenner who chartered the 300 ft. Tranquility, from luxury superyacht firm, Camper & Nicholsons, to celebrate her 22nd birthday for a mere $1.2 million for the week, that’s a different ball game. When you celebrate your birthday with a yacht rental it might be a little smaller scale.
What to Expect When You Celebrate your Birthday with a Yacht Rental
How do you find a charter company and get that dream yacht for a celebration to remember? You can work with your travel advisor if you have one. They are privy to excellent, reliable supplier resources. You can also go with a local charter company for the destination in which you plan to charter your yacht.
Don’t know where to look besides a Google search? If you intend to remain local, i.e. near where you reside, say, Santa Barbara, Newport Beach, or Fort Lauderdale, head for a marina and ask for recommendations. Explain you want to celebrate your birthday with a yacht rental, and you’ll find recommendations for how to do so.
There are, however, larger experienced brokers with many locations throughout the world as well as many relationships with smaller, local charter firms they trust. If you’ve already started browsing, before you discuss with a charter specialist, ask about the prices they are listing. All-inclusive? Bareboat? MYBA?
→ All-inclusive is simple, although variables like insurance and port charges will apply.
→ Bareboat means the price includes no crew; you either hire one yourself or sail it yourself, which is not recommended for a joyful celebration when one of your party needs to focus on cruising.
→ MYBA? It’s an acronym that means the price includes the yacht, its crew, and insurance, everything else is paid by you, including fuel, communications charges, etc.
Important to Note: prices will not include taxes, damage insurance, your travel insurance (which is always recommended), port charges, and mooring fees.
It’s not all champagne wishes and caviar dreams, although you can certainly have that if you want. This is just a taste of what’s possible. Yacht charters are a practical and even cost-effective way — in some cases — of making a special day even more memorable. They offer total privacy, undivided attention from your crew, the ability to do as you please which, no matter the size of the yacht, is pure luxury in and of itself. All this, accompanied by your loved ones, with food and all activities catered just for you is the ultimate expression of freedom.
If you’re hoping to go further than a boat will take you, consider flying internationally for your birthday instead. Interested in renting a yacht? Contact our friend, Melissa Biggs Bradley at NYC-based Indagare Travel, firstname.lastname@example.org, or call her at 212-988-2611. Tell her Finer Things sent you.
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