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Luxury Crewed Yacht Charter Terms
Below is a general guide to the types of contracts, terms and conditions used for luxury yacht charters including what is and isn’t included in your yacht charter.
Charter yacht rates may vary according to the season, peak charter periods, special events and holidays, the number of charter guests, and the region in which the yacht is operating. The charter agreement will clearly define the terms and the charter rate. Items that are included in the charter rate and items that are additional vary according to the terms under which the yacht operates.
There are two main types of luxury yacht charters – namely ‘all inclusive’ and ‘plus expenses’.
Most yachts based in the Eastern Mediterranean or Western Mediterranean, regardless of size will usually operate on a ‘plus expenses’ basis. Some smaller yachts based in the Caribbean, Bahamas or America year round use the ‘all-inclusive’ way of quoting however most of the larger superyachts that visit the Caribbean seasonally will always quote ‘plus expenses’ regardless of their location.
Yachts quoted as ‘plus expenses’ means that in addition to the charter fee, 25-35% of the charter fee will be collected as an Advanced Provisioning Allowance for expenses. Provisioning and preparation is then done by the crew based upon your specific preferences. Food and beverage provisions are custom ordered, charged at cost price. Fuel is also charged on consumption. The benefit of paying for expenses additionally is that you have more control over your costs and you only pay for what is ordered.
The ‘Advanced Provisioning Allowance’ (APA): The Advanced Provisioning Allowance is collected with your final payment and is forwarded onto the Captain in order to prepare for your charter. The APA is estimated at between 20 and 35% of the charter fee depending on the yacht and the charter location. The final expenses may be more or less depending on your individual requirements. The captain will be responsible for the accounting of your expenses; he will advise you periodically as to the disbursement of the APA and will provide receipts at the end of the charter. Should you spend more than your estimated expense allowance, say by ordering unusually expensive items, staying in expensive ports or doing excessive cruising, additional payment will be required during your charter. Conversely, unspent APA will be refunded to you at the end.
‘Plus expenses’ terms are also known as WMT (Western Mediterranean Terms) and are often referred to as “MYBA terms” (Mediterranean Yacht Brokers Association). Under MYBA terms the charter fee includes charter of the yacht and equipment, crew wages and food, ship’s laundry, basic operating consumables, and insurance of the yacht for marine risk, third party claims, and the crew for employer’s liability insurance.
The charterer will be charged, at cost, for all other expenses. These expenses include but are not limited to food and beverages for the charter guests, fuel for the yacht and auxiliary craft, dockage, VAT if applicable, taxes, harbor fees, communications, guest laundry, shore-side electricity and water, onshore transfers and tours and anything else not specifically included in the charter fee.
Yachts chartering in the Eastern Mediterranean will usually use the MYBA contract or EMT (Eastern Mediterranean Terms). The terms quoted can differ depending on the type of yacht (motor yacht sailing yacht or Gulet) and will also differ depending on the country. Under EMT or Turkish terms, rates can include costs such as fuel for four hours’ cruising per day, local cruising taxes and local port fees . These yachts also tend to offer half or a full board menu options.
VAT – There is a VAT imposed by European Union nations. VAT can vary between 5.2% and 20% of the charter fee. Not all yachts are subject to VAT. Specifics of VAT will be discussed directly with you in situations where it might be applicable.
Gratuities – Crew gratuity is customary yet discretionary at 5%-20% of the charter fee based on service received. The recommended level varies depending on where the charter takes place. Often higher gratuities are expected in the US and Caribbean than they are in the Mediterranean and other parts of the world. The gratuity can be handed to the Captain for distribution to the crewmembers at the end of the charter or can be sent afterwards as a via wire transfer.
All inclusive Yacht Charters.
The charter rate for “All inclusive” yacht charters includes the fully equipped yacht, professional crew, fuel for up to 4 hours per day (in most cases), all meals and standard bar which basically means soft drinks, local beer & table wines. Some yachts also include basic spirits. Extra costs would be for communication, dockage and mooring fees, cruising taxes, fine or exclusive wines and foods, airport transfers and anything else not specifically included in the charter fee. Crew gratuity is also customary but discretionary at 10-20% of the charter fee.
In the Caribbean, the ‘all inclusive’ contracts used are primarily the CYBA the (Charter Yacht Brokers Association). AYCA the (American Yacht Charter Association), FYBA (Florida Yacht Brokers Association) are often used for charters in American waters and the MYBA – Mediterranean Yacht Brokers Association plus expenses terms are also widely used in the Caribbean for the larger yachts.
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