If you are ready to finally take the cruise you’ve been dreaming of for a while, we are here to help you make it a wonderful experience! To start with, we’ll recommend choosing a small private boat, i.e., a charter cruise for a tailor-made experience. A charter cruise can fall in one of the two categories, full-ship charter and group space or partial ship charter. The full-ship charter is when a corporation or an entity approaches a cruise line and takes over a particular ship to a sailing trip. While group space or partial ship charter is not exactly charter in the true sense. It’s more of blocking several cabins so that a large group can go on sailing and use those cabins. It’s convenient for friend and family groups.
Since most companies plan their cruises it’s not uncommon to negotiate some terms when it comes to such cruises. You can negotiate to take over a trip that has been open to the public and make a booking. Here is a list of things you need to have in mind when booking a charter cruise.
How to book one
If you want to book a group event at sea or have a full-ship charter, you can take over the ship so it’s only for your event or organization. The cons of such booking are that you’ll be expected to sail to capacity so there are no fees due to fewer customers. It can be quite a commitment since people can cancel and reimbursement will be required in such cases. A charter cruise can go for as low as $700,000 for a three-night cruise on the Royal Caribbean ship. This is just an example so you can have a clearer idea of the costs and prices. The costs can be different for various trips and depend on the location, capacity, type of charter cruise, etc.
You will need to book in advance, so you spend less money and secure your place. Payment and cancellation enquiries can be stricter since some penalties may apply. But you will need to check this with the company.
The size of the cruise matters. It’s important to note the price is cost-effective, meaning it depends on the customers’ abilities to use most or all of the rooms. Be realistic about the number of rooms you’ll need because even one empty room is a liability. You will be securing the charter upfront, and you will need to sign a contract and make a payment in advance as a guarantee.
Booking a full-ship charter is not for people with weak hearts. Since you will be removing the ship from the cruise line and you will be the one taking ownership of it once you sign the contract, you’ll need to be on good negotiable terms. You can protect yourself and consult an expert that is familiar with this topic of charter territory. They can help you best when signing the contract, so you know what exactly you are signing.
People who book charter cruises often tend to add their personal preferences and create a unique experience. You can feel free to add banners, organise activity schedules, and have entertainment on your trip. There are a lot of activities you can do on such cruises since those who “rent” the ship on the cruise, will make sure to provide the best possible experience to their guests and customers.
Type of charter cruise
While we mentioned the two types of cruises, it’s important to know whether you will have a bareboat charter yacht or a crewed charter yacht. It’s an easy decision you can make upfront since a bareboat is just renting the sailing yacht where the charterers will behave like a crew during the entire trip. While the crewed charter offers services to a group of people who are familiar with the pros and cons of sailing. They will take care of everything, so you have the perfect sailing experience.
Helpful charter terminology
If you decide to go on such a cruise, you can make yourself familiar with some of the charter terminology, so you have a better understanding. Captain-only means that a charter comes with no crew and only a captain, while a sloop is a ship with one mast. Mainsail refers to the largest sail, while Monohull is a boat with a single hull. In other words, is something people refer to as a sailboat. Tandem-charter is used when more than one yacht is included in the trip, while Base Charter Rate refers to the rate paid for the crew and the yacht. This rate does not include gratuities, fees, fuel, port fees or provisions. Wet Head is a bathroom that contains a shower, toilet and sink. It’s called that due to the sink that gets wet when the shower is used. I guess it’s enough of terminology, for now, go and enjoy your trip!