Click the icons on the  left, clicking the icon. for explanation of these
Caribbean terms

Standard Prices quoted are for 7 nights and 8 days (noon to noon) aboard the yacht. A charter may be of any length however sails of less than 5 or fewer nights aboard a yacht are not always acceptable to the yacht and have a surcharge( usually10%) added to the pro-rated charter fee.

Sailing vessels are typically offered "All Inclusive". Provisions,  operating expenses, crew salaries about all expenses necessary to operate the yacht  with these exceptions: 

1 Guest communications- Cell phones and satellite communications are available on most charter yachts. Communication is increasingly easier but rates in many areas of the  Caribbean have changed little in the past decade. Those anticipating the need to "keep in touch" more than a minimal amount, might consider setting up a temporary account for the duration of their charter. Most US cellphone carriers with national plans include service in and around St. Thomas. Check with your provider before arriving!
2 Dockage - Most smaller and midsize yachts rarely choose to spend the night in a marina  while on charter, preferring a quite anchorage instead. If you elect to go to the dock, this is at your expense. Dockage the first and last day to facilitate provisioning, cleaning and guest boarding is typically included in the charter fee. It is not unusual for the captain to elect to go to a marina, at his expense, in time of foul weather in the interest of guest comfort.
3 Taxes - Cruising taxes, licenses, customs clearance fees and the like are difficult to precisely state.  They  usually do not amount to that much money. Typically they are additional. Most Virgin Island based yachts include the BVI cruising tax and license fees which would otherwise amount to about $5 per person per day. The Grenadines now have a cruising tax and park charges in several areas.
4 Fine Wine and Champagne -  Catamaran  Jo's Crew  knowledgeably enjoys wineGenerally any style of wine, variety of grape, is included in  a yachts "Standard Bar". The vintage or specific vineyard is at the discretion of the crew. If you wish to specify these, the crew will attempt to acquire them, at your expense. Mid to higher- priced yachts generally include more and better quality wines in their provisions. 
5 On-Shore Activities - Costs associated with island tours, dinner or drinks ashore, shopping, parasailing, basically any activities taking place ashore or with purveyors not a member of the crew are at your additional expense. 
6 Special Requests - Special activities or fulfilling unusual requests are often possible but understand, this is at your expense. Illegal Drugs are the exception! They are strictly prohibited!  Yachts in the Caribbean face seizure of the vessel and maintain a zero tolerance policy on illegal drugs.
7 Crew Gratuity - Crewed Yacht chartering is a service-oriented business and, as in any service business, a gratuity is appropriate and appreciated.  Most guests are comfortable with a tip to a deserving crew of about 15 % of the charter fee, but the decision, of course, is up to you. .



Yacht Base





 The Caribbean is the preferred Winter Location for the majority of term charter yachts. Caribbean Sea is a big place, for a weeks trip, selection of a more specific area is necessary. Different yachts and crews have varying preferences on where to charter, most keep fairly close to their indicated "Base" in the winter months. Briefly, lets consider the more popular cruising areas in the Caribbean.

Take a look at our locations page

VI  Virgin Islands  This group of 100 or so islands and cays 50 miles east of  Puerto Rico continues to be the most recommend location for 1st time charters and those seeking a  relaxed vacation. Distances between islands are short and quite anchorages are numerous. Flights are easily obtained from Europe or North America to San Juan, with connecting flights to either St. Thomas or Tortola. St. Thomas offers scheduled direct flights from Atlanta, Miami, New York, Charlotte, Chicago. Charter flights in season arrive from Philadelphia, St. Paul and London.  Basically you get more "Bang for the Buck" in the Virgin Islands, and something for everybody.
Lee  Leeward Islands Those looking for longer sail and more cosmopolitan sites select the area around St. Martin, St. Barts and as far as Antigua. Dockage is often recommended do to the Limited anchorages in this area. In the winter season larger more sail worthy yachts are indicated due to the exposed conditions of these islands. Flight from France and from the North America either direct or connecting in San Juan make reasonably good connections to St. Martin. Antigua has some direct flights from several Cities in Europe and more difficult connection to the states.
FWI French West Indies Yachts which are not French Flagged continue to have difficulty chartering in these islands which include Guadeloupe, and Martinique.  Flight Connections to Europe are good  connections to the states usually call for creative scheduling.
Grn Grenadines This string of islands stretching from St. Vincent to Grenada offer good sailing conditions for more experienced sailors . Flights to this area are generally easier from Europe than from the states. Barbados and Trinidad have good connection to those areas and decent connecting flights to St. Vincent and several of the smaller islands of the Grenadines. 
Car  Great Eastern Caribbean  Larger yachts,  especially those which relocate to the Mediterranean or the East coast of North America in summer frequently roam the different Caribbean cruising grounds according to their bookings. Delivery fees may apply if your preferred area conflicts with the yachts schedule. 


Special Pricing
Special Pricing

Special Pricing

Special Pricing

Special Pricing

Most yachts are priced fairly, keep busy, and rarely offer "Special Pricing". These yachts typically represent established boats with experienced crews, known to provide quality sailing vacations. Special pricing is not need to fill their schedule. 

Yachts offer Special Pricing for a variety of reason. When appropriate to your request, 1st Class Yacht Charters includes any special pricing on yachts appropriate to your proposed charter. These may included advertised specials or ones which we can exclusively offer due to our close working relationship with the yachts.  Specials are not necessarily a reduction in the charter fee. Some 'Specials" include additional days at no additional cost or "Special Activities" or "Special Benefits" not normally included in the charter.

Some reasons for  Special Pricing include:
1 Introductory offers - New-to-charter yachts, or new crews of established yachts often offer specials. These incentives are intended to help get an yacht or crew started or restarted chartering and can be very attractive. Often, printed brochures are lacking or a yacht may have been too late to attend a boat show making it impossible for non-Caribbean based brokers or brokers who depend on brochures to properly represent the boat. 
2 Close to charter discounts, designed to fill open weeks which remain unbooked. These are valid about 1 month prior to charter. A number of excellent yachts offer this to fill weeks which were somehow overlooked by clients.
3 Destination based Specials are intended to encourage bookings in less popular destination which a particular crew finds attractive or may have some existing charters in those locals.
4 Early Booking Discount- are rarely offered by yachts. Most yachts will honor current year pricing until next years rates are published. Increasing expenses force many yachts to increase charter fees on a yearly basis, in effect extending an early booking discount to those able to plan early, before the new higher rates are announced.
5 Special Events such as  Honeymoon or Anniversary Specials  Honeymoon, Anniversary or for Special Childrens Pricing.children are discussed in those areas.
6 Price Adjustments
- Some yachts were initially not properly priced and compensate for this and gain bookings by offering "Special" prices. In some case this reduction in price only makes the yacht competitively priced.  Often, one yacht's regular price may offers better quality and more  value than than another's Special Price. We gladly offer our experienced recommendations to help  evaluate these special offers.


Plus Bar

Plus Bar

Plus Bar

Plus Bar

All packaged beverages cost additional in yachts offering Plus Bar terms. This includes soft drinks and mixers as well as alcoholic beverages. 

Parts of the Caribbean has long been know for their Duty Free Status which makes packaged alcoholic beverages attractively in those  areas, especially  the Virgin Islands, and St. Martin areas. Yacht charters in these areas typically included beverages because of low and predictable pricing. 

Except for the French Islands, most of the  islands further to the east (Down Island) have protective tariffs on spirits which tax imported goods and encourage locally produced spirits (rum) and beer. As a result, beverage can be quite expensive, especially in formerly British Colonies, now independent nations such as Antigua or the Grenadines. Beverages are purchased at your expense. Assume double the average retail price found in North America or Europe.  It is important to communicate your beverage requests early, especially in the Grenadines. Availability of specific beverages is often difficult. Policies vary on a yacht by yacht basis.

The Bar Expense for the often exotic tastes of guests chartering Megayachts is so variable, Plus Bar terms are only logical solution. Plan on an additional to the basic charter fee as a minimum for a 1st Class Bar. 



Dinner Ashore
Dinner Ashore - at guests expense, one or more times, are part of the terms

Dinner Ashore - at guests expense, one or more times, are part of the terms

These yachts ask that one or more dinners be take ashore at your expense. 
There are a number of restaurants conveniently located throughout most of the cruising areas. Taking dinner ashore is
always a good idea when your group has the maximum capacity of a Yacht. The quarters may be close and a break will be appreciated by you and the crew. Invite the crew if you like or not. They may or may not join you for the dinner ashore.

1/2 Board option, long the fashion in Europe, is a recent trend, in the Caribbean. Exact terms vary but generally include all breakfasts, snacks and beverages and either all lunches and no dinners or 4 lunches and 3 dinners with other meals taken ashore a guest expense.

Originally the "all inclusive" Caribbean terms were developed due the lack of quality shoreside facilities. This condition only starting to change. Yachts with a quality chef onboard are unlikely to offer this option, the thought being, chef is onboard, earns their regular wage. The only savings for the yacht is the incremental price of reduced provisions, far less than the cost of dining ashore. Other yachts, typically those with less experience cooks, value the reduced work occasionally to the tune of $200pp/week. While this is likely less than the costs of those meals ashore, groups seeking more time off the yacht may find this option attractive. At holidays, and other peak weeks many shore side restaurants are challenged to maintain a quality level of service and promptness.



Family Only
Family Only for maximium capacity

Family Only for maximium capacity

When chartering at maximum capacity, privacy is compromised  on yachts with this designation.

The Maximum capacity of these yachts include more than double accommodations in some cabins, compromised head facilities, privacy or space limitations which makes it unsuitable for all adults, unless family. This may include cabins with 3 or more berths, salon also used as sleeping berths. Typically most yachts with this designation, when chartered with 2 guests less than maximum capacity would be comfortable for all adult charters. 

#Pax with Children only- When stated this means that some cabins are smaller than adults will find comfortable, the yacht does not have adequate space, or head facilities to comfortably suit the maximum occupancy unless some guests are children. The maximum number of guest must include children of a certain age.


Special Children's prices
Special Children's Prices

Special Children's Prices

Special Children's Prices

Special Children's Prices

Some yachts and their crews are well suited to the needs of families and offer special pricing incentives to encourage charters of this nature.

Many yachts which quote "Family Only" rates encourage family charters by offering special prices for children. The special pricing is usually not offered over the December Holiday period. Terms of these special Kids rates vary considerably. Ask!  It is usually incorrect to assume that charters with children are easier or less expensive for the boat than groups with all adults. Soda and juice are as expensive as alcoholic beverage in the Caribbean. Special menus for children may include less expensive foods but they require separate preparation. If "Special Kids Prices"are not indicated for a specific yacht it is usually not available.  Chartering with very young children should be carefully contemplated. Many yachts will not accept babies and young children. Ask! 

On most yachts, the crew should not be considered "Baby sitters"! They have many other responsibilities which prohibit proper attention to this important task. It is not their responsibility! Some Larger yachts are able to add an additional crew member for this purpose, ask about costs, or bring someone with you to assist with young children to give Mom a break.



Pets Onboard
a Dog or Cat is onboard

a Dog or Cat is onboard

Many crews, especially owner operators keep a dog or cat onboard. Bringing your own pet is rarely possible.

Hygiene is not an issue of having pets onboard, they are well trained. Pets on some yachts are rarely seen but, if one of the charter group has serious allergies, this yacht may not be the best choice. Often, yachts with pets have slightly lower rates than other yachts in their class to compensate the pets onboard. Most dogs and cats are well behaved and friendly enough. Usually they are big hits with children.



No Smoking
No Smoking

No Smoking

Smoking is never allowed below decks on any of the charter yachts.

Most crews do not smoke on charter themselves, Yachts with this designation, do not allow smoking aboard the yacht by anyone. On other yachts, smoking is limited to the cockpit, after deck, swim platform or other designated location. 



USVI
No Smoking

No Smoking

Uninspected Yachts Less than 79' allowed to cruise in the US Virgin Islands with more than 6 guests in exception to US Coast Guard regulation.

This yacht complies with "Howard Cobel Act of 2014" allowing them to cruise in US Virgin Island waters with 7 to 12 guests. Charters with up to 12 guests may now (again) take advantage of direct flights from US mainland landing and then boarding in St. Thomas (STT). Some yachts may charge a delivery/clearance fee for this service to offset expenses incurred. This represents a major saving in time and cost of flights for charter in the US and British Virgin Islands.

 



Scuba Diving
Scuba available

Scuba available

SCUBA Diving - is offered to certified divers. Please inquire or check the yacht's webpage for details of the equipment and pricing. Yachts which have a "Divemaster" as part of the crew have insurance covering dive related activities. Yachts quote prices for up to # dives per week, $Cost per/ dive, or some include a certain number of dives per person per day or per week in their charter fee. Exceeding the number of dives quoted may be possible for an additional fee. Charters shorter than a week  do not prorate the fee for Diving. 

Dive Instructor Onboard

Dive Instructor Onboard

Dive Instructor Onboard

Dive Instructor Onboard

 

SCUBA Instructor onboard - A dive instructor is qualified to teach a variety of courses. Cost varies, the most popular course are : 
1) "Discover SCUBA"
course are offered to guests who have no prior training, allowing them to safely go on supervised dives. (aka "Resort Course)
2) "Open Water Course"- Also called a referral certification. Where the student takes the classroom instruction, equipment familiarization,  and basic skills from an instructor at home prior to arriving. Only the "open water" portion of the course is conducted in the warm waters tropical of the Caribbean. Usually this includes 2 or 3 dives spread over a couple of days and a minimum study other than actually diving.
3) "Full Certification" - There is a considerable amount of studying, classroom work, reading and physics involved in the full certification course. Time requirements of this course reduce the time available to enjoy other activities available on  your charter. Unless all onboard are taking the course or their are 2 or more dive professionals among the crew, this is normally not recommend for 7 day charters.
3) "Advanced or Specialty Courses" - Only a few yachts which have more experienced Instructors and multiple dive professionals onboard offer advance courses. Usually they are included in the cost of diving except for any course materials which may be necessary. 
 


Honeymoon or Anniversary
Honeymoon or Anniversary Specials

 

These yachts specialize in Romance. 

Most of these have special pricing for those celebrating the beginning of their married life at sea. Some additionally offer incentives to those celebrating special Anniversaries, usually the 25th. We also include this symbol to those yachts which specialize in one couple charters. Comfortable cabin is always a feature.



Learn to Sail
Learn to sail

sailing instruction offered

These Crew on these yachts are specially trained to give Sailing Instruction to those who wish to learn this skill.

Most Captains gladly give casual sailing instruction and let you participate to the extent you wish with the actual sailing of the boat. The type of instruction offer by skippers with the "Learn-to-Sail" Designation is much more comprehensive. Different courses are offered, the most popular is designed to prepare the student to safely and confidently charter a small bareboat. Other more advanced courses prepare a more experienced sailor for offshore passages and to hone skills gained by previous instruction or experience. Usually the Skipper relies on course material developed by a national organization. All guest generally participate in the learn to sail program. 



Captain Only
Captain Only

Captain Only

These yachts provide fully equipped yachts with only the captain and the yacht provided. Purchasing all provisions, as well as obtaining them and all other crew functions such as cooking, cleaning and helping sail the boat are part of the deal. Few larger yachts are offered under these terms. In most cases you get a much better equipped yacht in good condition with a knowledgeable captain than the alternative, a bareboat with a hired captain. In all cases aboard "Captain Only" yachts, the owner of the boat is the captain, you have no hidden liability, and someone who can solve any random problem in short order, unlike the bareboat hired captain scenario. 

Unless you see a Captain Only rate posted, the yacht is not available under these terms. Although these charters are offered on a Plus all Expenses, this differs from the Fully Crewed yacht term, discussed below. Here you are the crew.

A handful of yachts post a variation of this where Capt is Crew. A partially inclusive or even all inclusive program where conditions are more casual but capt. does it all. Exact terms vary.



Plus All Expenses
Plus All Expenses

Plus All Expenses

When you see "or" next to this icon,  the yacht is offer either  All inclusive and on a Plus all expenses basis. 
Outside the Caribbean this is the most widely used pricing system. A deposit against the Anticipated Provisioning Allowance (APA)is kept with the captain. As expenses are incurred they are paid out of the deposit. 
A complete accounting is provided: . .  .. if deposit becomes insufficient to complete the trip;
 . . at the end of the charter
. . upon your reasonable request.

Most larger yachts, acknowledge their clientele have such varied requests that "plus expenses" rates are the only realistic method to offer the yacht. The crew, all  equipment, and insurance is included. You, the charterer are responsible for all consumables used onboard, the cost to obtain them, plus  any taxes, and fees. In the Mediterranean, Dinners are almost always taken ashore.

Motoryachts nearly exclusively charter on this basis, typically an additional 30%to 35% of the charter fee is requested for the APA..


You may also find the Pricing Page useful 

Yacht Charters in the Caribbean Scuba gourmet food BVI St. Thomas St. Maarten full service all inclusive crewed yachts
 

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