5 Dos and Don’ts for Luxury Yacht Vacations

Superyacht Etiquette: 5 Dos and Don’ts for Luxury Yacht Vacations

Your first trip on a superyacht charter should be far from stressful, but, if you’re early in the planning stages, you might still be concerned about the etiquette of chartered yacht cruises. If you’re not sure what to expect, we want to help you feel prepared.


There’s no such thing as a typical luxury yacht vacation. There are, however, some basic guidelines that will make your vacation more enjoyable. If you follow these basic rules, your time on board the yacht will be that much more comfortable.

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Itinerary Planning

Do: Do start with an idea of your own but don’t be afraid to ask for help! Unlike commercial cruise lines, chartered yacht cruises allow for custom itineraries. Planning the right destinations and the right number of days is a bit of an art.


Consider your personal travel preferences, not just the location itself. If you want nights filled with dancing and live music, you might be disappointed by more rugged locations like the Galapagos. If scuba diving is your top priority, be sure to head somewhere with healthy coral reefs and warm ocean temperatures.


Don’t: Some first-time yacht travelers get a little too excited about all of the itinerary options. Don’t try to hit eight different islands in a week-long yacht vacation. If you have more realistic goals and a flexible attitude, you’ll be able to really relax and enjoy each port.


If you’re not sure what’s reasonable and what’s too ambitious, consult with a charter broker for destination insights. Their information will be far more reliable than the average guidebook aimed at cruise passengers.



Do: Double-check all of your essentials! Avoid a last-minute panic by packing all of these items first:


  • Sunscreen, sunglasses, and protective hats
  • Summer clothing and swimsuits
  • A light sweater for evenings
  • Medications
  • Purse, wallet, and cash
  • Passports and charter paperwork
  • Copies of credit cards


Remember to fill out your charter agreement and preference forms in advance and to pack them with other important paperwork.




Don’t: Don’t bring expensive jewelry or other valuables that will be much safer at home. An oversized diamond ring could make you a target for thieves (or barracudas!).


Don’t bring hard-sided or oversized luggage if you can avoid it. It may seem like there’s a lot to pack, but be mindful of limited storage space on your yacht. Soft luggage or duffel bags are the most practical options for easy storage.


Don’t over-pack! Many new yacht charterers over-pack. Most destinations are casual, and swimsuits don’t take up much room. Once you’ve packed up your essentials, try to keep other items to a minimum. Superyachts offer a surprising amount of storage, but they won’t fit the full contents of your closet from home!


Crew Interactions

Help your crew out whenever possible. This includes simple things like providing your preference form and giving advance notice for special requests or parties. This may also mean giving them a little extra time and space to keep the yacht looking pristine. You can enjoy an exotic port while the crew gets things done on the yacht.


Don’t: Don’t enter the crew’s quarters without a specific invitation. Besides their sleeping quarters, the galley (kitchen) may also be off limits.


Don’t mistake the crew for babysitters! If you’re traveling with children, they are your responsibility while on the yacht and at destinations. Please don’t think that you can leave the kids on the boat and expect the crew members to watch them. Many crew members are more than happy to interact with and entertain children, but they can’t be responsible for them while you’re away.


Don’t forget to tip for a job well done! The service provided on luxury charter yacht vacations is unparalleled. The industry standard for a gratuity for the crew is between 10% and 20% of the charter fee. You can ask your charter broker for additional information about tipping if needed.


Life at Sea

 Do: Treat the yacht as if it were your own home. Just because you’re in the middle of the ocean, it doesn’t mean that you should feel adrift! Make yourself comfortable, and you’ll find yourself relaxing in no time.


Of course, no one says that you have to relax all the time. Many superyachts come equipped with all of the latest toys and gadgets. That means that your time at sea can be as action-packed as you desire. Do let the crew know if you’d like to use some of the water sports gear.


Try to conserve water when possible. Turn off the water while you brush your teeth and keep showers to a reasonable length. It’s important not to waste fresh water on a yacht. Your crew will likely provide tips that will help you reduce water consumption.


Don’t: Much like visiting a friend’s house, avoid wearing shoes on a luxury yacht. In fact, you may even come across a shoe rack on the boat just for this purpose. Shoes can be hard on a boat, so it’s best to enjoy the barefoot experience. If you’d rather not be barefoot, consider packing some socks or soft slippers.




Don’t ignore the safety briefings. The crew is responsible for your safety and enjoyment during your vacation. They will give you a safety briefing and will expect you to listen closely.


Don’t despair if weather causes changes to your itinerary. The captain will do everything possible to stick to the plan but will not risk bad sailing conditions or dangerous weather. The crew will make sure that you have an incredible experience no matter where you sail, so don’t let weather ruin your vacation.


Booking Your Luxury Yacht Vacation

Do: Simplify your booking process by working with an experienced charter broker. A broker will help you select the right destination, match you with the perfect crew, and design a one-of-a-kind itinerary.


Keep a yacht charter broker on your side to serve as your own personal ally. Brokers work with your preferences in mind and will help you have the perfect yacht experience.


Don’t: Don’t leave your luxury yacht vacation to chance! It may seem like a travel agent or even Google can help you plan a yacht charter, but, unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Only yacht brokers have the industry-specific experience to design a truly stress-free yacht vacation.


Don’t pay extra! A charter yacht broker works at no cost to you. Don’t be tricked into paying extra for this service.


If you want to work with the industry leader in chartered yacht cruises, let the professionals at Yacht Store guide you. We can handle the booking process and also any questions about etiquette, destinations, or planning.


You can call Yacht Store at 888-446-4141, or we can chat via email.