Chartering a luxury yacht is considered by many to be the ultimate luxury holiday experience. One of the most important and unique qualities of a luxury yacht charter is the exceptional standard of service on offer from the yacht’s crew. The article below will give you an idea of what to expect when you charter a luxury yacht!
So, after much discussion and debate with your charter broker and with family and friends, you’ve chosen your luxury charter yacht, and are looking forward to a holiday of a lifetime! Often conversations thus far are focused around the yacht itself, the style, how many jet skis it has and where you’ll be cruising, but no charter will go to plan without the perfect crew!
Your broker will discuss your plans and organise the perfect itinerary directly alongside the yacht’s Captain. As a charter client you will “meet” your Captain in advance via email, Skype or telephone and have the chance to get to know each other well before you actually meet face to face. By which time the first and most important foundations of a great charter will have been laid, and all that is left to do is to have the most amazing vacation!
Standing on the aft deck when you arrive, the entire crew will be there to greet you. The chief steward/stewardess will serve welcome champagne or the yacht’s signature cocktail, or your favourite holiday drink. The Captain will introduce you and your guests to his crew, who will offer a warm welcome to everyone and make you feel immediately comfortable and right at home.
After introductions, the steward/stewardess and his/her team will show guests to their cabins and ensure any specific requests made on the earlier preference sheet are all in place. Feel free to freshen up, or just head straight to the sun deck to relax. You may prefer to unpack yourself, but the crew will be happy to do this for you, just mention to them anything in particular to take care of. However, yacht crew at this level instinctively understand what should go where and are trained in handling fine and delicate garments and are totally discreet with personal items.
Just before everyone heads up to enjoy the sundeck, whilst the yacht prepares to head out of port, is usually the best time for the Captain’s safety briefing. Not the most thrilling part of the charter but necessary, and guests usually, whether they are seasoned charterers or heading out to sea for the first time, are comforted by a quick prep talk from a confident Captain so all safety aspects of life onboard are covered. Key crew members will be reintroduced so you know exactly who to go to for what, and of course the Captain will always be available to assist in any way possible.
All that’s left is to make yourselves comfortable and enjoy your first cruise. Perhaps out to a secluded anchorage to enjoy a delicious grilled fish lunch prepared by your very own private chef. As you relax, crew will become invisible, whilst being ultra attentive, they will serve you another Mojito before you even realise you want one, the empty glass you set down just before you began the next chapter of your book has vanished and the fruit bowl has been miraculously replenished and you haven’t seen a soul (or at least you don’t think you did…)
For children, there is plenty for them to do onboard and deck crew will be delighted to open the “toy box” as soon as the anchor is dropped. Many yachts now have fabulous waterslides so whilst some crew set this up from the fly bridge, another will be getting ready with the tender and towable toys to whizz around the bay with excited children – some considerably older than others!! There is always a crew member on the swim platform or close by who can assist with flippers and snorkels whilst waiting their turn on the donuts. Don’t forget that yachts turn on their anchor, so whilst swimming take care to remember that the swim platform may well have moved since you jumped in! A crew member will keep a watchful eye and ensure your safety at all times. Once children (young and old) have enjoyed the first pleasures of invigorating salty water and worked up an appetite, crew will be on hand to assist, if necessary, with the swim platform shower and plenty of fresh towels so you can dry off before heading to enjoy lunch on the sundeck.
A perfect family lunch table is now set on the bridge deck and your steward/stewardess is ready to serve pale chilled rose, chosen to match the delicate fresh fish starter. One of the best reasons to charter has to be the food. Cuisine of the very highest standard, the main elements chosen by you and then transformed into the most divine dishes ever seen, prepared just for you. Perfect service where the staff are never too busy with another customer – everything is just for you in your very own private, alfresco restaurant!
After lunch, as the yacht moves to your next destination, why not take a quiet siesta, followed perhaps a little later by a massage in the yacht’s spa. Many yachts now have a professional, fully equipped spa with dedicated staff, but for the smaller yachts, a member of the crew is usually trained in massage techniques, manicures, etc. that can be carried out in your cabin or out on deck.
Before heading into port for the evening, your Captain will often drop the anchor once more in a quiet location for a final swim of the day, to revitalise yourself after a lazy afternoon in the sun. The chef will set out a platter of fresh fruit, refreshingly delicious to enjoy after a salty dip. The steward/stewardess can prepare vibrant afternoon cocktails, with or without alcohol for the entire family to enjoy – what better way to end a wonderful day than standing on the aft deck of your very own charter yacht with fresh mango, pineapple or coconut in one hand and a Pina Colada in the other!
Finally, the yacht will enter the port where you’ll spend the first evening. Whilst guests take to their cabins to prepare for the evening, the crew will take this opportunity to replenish fresh towels, plump up cushions, put away toys and wash down the yacht, removing the salt water and leaving gleaming stainless ready for you to welcome guests on board for pre-dinner drinks in style – they also prepare themselves for evening duties and will be ready to greet you in formal evening uniforms as the day moves smoothly into an elegant evening. Served in the cool saloon, you and your guests will be treated to the finest champagnes and delicate canapés, before taking your place at the aft deck table for dinner. Again transformed from the afternoon’s swimming and sunbathing, the aft deck is now the perfect romantic restaurant setting. With full silver service, enjoy a taste sensation of a formal fine dining experience in the privacy of your very own restaurant. And after dinner, as you are the only guests, the chef will be delighted to chat to you and divulge any culinary secrets you always wanted to ask!
Throughout the evening, a crew member will be on hand to assist with anything at all, be it a quiet scotch on return from a late evening walk, or a camomile tea at 3am, or if you haven’t quiet switched off yet, toast and coffee at 5am for early risers. Luxury yachts operate 24 hours a day and crew pride themselves in being there at all times, at your service!
This article was written by Rachel Blundy, charter broker at Bespoke Yacht Charter. Bespoke Yacht Charter are a London based company specialised in crewed luxury yacht charters in the south of France and throughout the Mediterranean.