“Yachting” is about more than being paid to party, it’s Hollywood’s murkiest open secret


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Entertainment And News

Celebrities Accused Of 'Yachting' In Hollywood — And What Being A 'Yacht Girl' Really Means

Rumors suggest some women are paid to play..

By Micki Spollen Written on Jan 11, 2022

woman on a man's shoulders partying

It’s easy to be envious when seeing the Instagram photos of young, carefree celebrity women seemingly having the time of their lives on yachts floating in exotic waters and in the VIP sections of the most exclusive clubs.

However, rumor has it there is much more than meets the eye when it comes to these ‘yacht girls’ and their extravagant lifestyles.

What is a yacht girl?

According to Urban Dictionary , a yacht girl is “an attractive young woman who finds ways to get access to luxurious surroundings by being available to wealthy men.”

For example, you may follow a woman or two on Instagram who always seems to be partying or vacationing somewhere expensive (notably without ever showing who she’s actually with). This is a person you could potentially describe as being a yacht girl.

And it’s not just those Instagram models and wannabe stars that are considered yacht girls. As you work up the wealth chain, you may be surprised to recognize some celebrity names synonymous with yachting.

RELATED:  Director Who Saw Robin Thicke Allegedly Grope Emily Ratajkowski Says He Only Did It Because He Was Drunk

What is 'yachting' in Hollywood?

In Hollywood, the term yacht girl essentially means a woman who works as an escort for high-end clientele , not just on yachts but for any social event.

While the practice has only somewhat recently gained mainstream notoriety, if you think back on the many tabloid photos of models and actresses on yachts from years past, it appears to be something that's gone on in Hollywood “for 60 years,” according to Elie Nahas, who ran a Beirut-based modeling agency before being arrested on charges of running a prostitution ring in 2007.

In 2013, "The Hollywood Reporter" ran a feature describing this so-called yachting during the Cannes Film Festival.

“Every year during the festival there are 30 or 40 luxury yachts in the bay at Cannes, and every boat belongs to a very rich person. Every boat has about 10 girls on it; they are usually models, and they are usually nude or half nude,” Nahas told THR.

At the end of the night, each woman would receive a “gift,” a generous amount of money that the client would put in an envelope for her.

And while many of these women were self-proclaimed local prostitutes and escorts, the Cannes Film Festival is, of course, known for its celebrity attendees — and it’s rumored that celebrity women trying to fast-track a name for themselves in Hollywood become yacht girls, too.

“Women installed on yachts in Cannes during the film festival are called ‘yacht girls,’ and the line between professional prostitutes and B- or C-list Hollywood actresses and models who accept payment for sex with rich older men is sometimes very blurred, explains one film industry veteran,” Dana Kennedy wrote for THR.

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Some women in Hollywood have accused their celebrity peers of being yacht girls.

A 2017 blind item (celebrity gossip that doesn’t outwardly name the celebrity) allegedly written by a struggling actress describes being lured by another actress into the world of yachting :

“The actress I was talking to made it sound super easy and that she only had [sex] a few times with guys while yachting and that it was mostly partying and being arm candy,” she writes, explaining that eventually she agreed to try it for $25,000 upfront, but admitting that the experience was less than glamorous.

Blind item readers guessed that Canadian actress Vanessa Lengies wrote the blind item and further surmised that it may be one of the Glee actresses Naya Rivera or Heather Morris that introduced her to yachting. None of these claims have ever been substantiated.

If you believe the rumors, it would seem that yachting is a rite of passage for women hoping to “make it” in Hollywood, and even some celebrities we now consider A-List are thought to be former yacht girls.

In an excerpt from her 2021 memoir , “My Body,” Emily Ratajkowski details being paid $25,000 at the start of her career to go to the Superbowl with now-disgraced Malaysian financier Jho Low, who "‘just liked to have famous men and women around,’” she explains her manager told her at the time.

She writes about attending the star-studded Coachella on someone else’s dime, having drinks paid for at clubs, and attending afterparties with Oscar-winning actors before actually becoming a celebrity herself.

One could infer from this recollection that, in order to be able to tell these stories, Ratajkowski was herself a yacht girl. “My Body” suggests as much, and in it, she subtly gives away the identity of another celebrity woman who yachted alongside her.

Ratajkowski describes watching as Low gave shots to a Victoria’s Secret model. While she doesn’t name drop, Ratajkowski gives just enough information for readers to figure who that model likely was.

“Now she kept her eyes locked on him as he took his shot, throwing her head back dramatically as he did, only to quickly toss the alcohol over her shoulder,” Ratajkowski writes. “When he faced her again, her eyes sparkled and the famous dimples appeared on her cheeks.”

Low has since become a fugitive wanted for allegedly running an international money laundering scheme, and in 2017, Reuters reported that model Miranda Kerr — known for her dimples — was being ordered to return “diamond pendants, earrings and other jewelry worth about $8 million” that Low allegedly gifted her to government agents.

In 2017, Ratajkowski also posted a video on Instagram potentially outing Bella Hadid and Hailey Bieber as yacht girls as they danced aboard a yacht during that year’s Cannes Film Festival.

          View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Emily Ratajkowski (@emrata)

Many people have also accused Meghan Markle of yachting (but then again, what haven't people accused Markle of at this point).

People have pointed to an old photo of Markle on a yacht as proof that she’s a former yacht girl.

RELATED:  How Meghan Markle Is Related To Prince Harry

Another old blind item also suggested the former actress was available to “rent.”

"If you see B actress post scantily clad photos of themselves on Social Media, this is often a Comm to [them] that this person is available to ‘rent’ for a weekend of ‘yachting,’” the tweet says, including a photo of Markle in a swimsuit.

"If you see B actress post scantily clad photos of themselves on Social Media, this is often a Comm to [them] that this person is available to “rent” for a weekend of “yachting”. Typically worth $30K for the “party” - Meghan Markle @3Days3Nights https://t.co/E3WfMjnVL9 pic.twitter.com/QFv476GL0b — yacht girl (@yachtgirlmm) November 27, 2019

Markle’s close friendship pre-Harry with actress Priyanka Chopra has naturally led some to guess that Chopra once yachted as well.

Another actress that faces endless rumors of yachting is Russian actress Irina Shayk , which according to THR, is par for the course as the outlet writes that yachting your way to stardom happens with “disturbing frequency,” particularly when it comes to foreign-born actresses.

According to THR, who claims to know “of at least one now-prominent actress who made her first connections on a Cannes yacht and quickly landed her debut role in a U.S.-shot movie,” such as with Shayk’s 2014 film “Hercules,” it’s “a red flag any time you see a foreign-born actress with no credits suddenly make her way into a U.S.-shot movie.”

Of course, when it comes to yachting in Hollywood, all of these claims appear to be unfounded.

These rumors make for good gossip, whether you’re talking about low-level social media influencers or high-profile celebrity actresses.

However, nothing is proven, leaving us to wonder any time we see a photo of women on a yacht.

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Micki Spollen is an editor, writer, and traveler focused on relationships, news, and pop culture. Follow her on Instagram .

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A Confession.. I have visited the "Dark Side" of yachting

  • Thread starter Vamoose
  • Start date 30 Oct 2009
  • 30 Oct 2009


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Active member

Guapa said: Phew - only a Mobo For a second thought you'd been Solent Sailing Click to expand...


Just a mobo? That's okay, it's not a yacht so it doesn't count. For one horrible minute I thought you'd gone racing and really let the side down. ;-) p.s. can you tell us what the 'wake shot' is all about? Is it to show how many other people you've pissed off?  

Slow_boat said: p.s. can you tell us what the 'wake shot' is all about? Is it to show how many other people you've pissed off? Click to expand...


Vamoose said: I thought it was the law ! But I must admit being on the wrong end of a Mobo's wake so often over the years, it was nice to be on the other end for a change.. Click to expand...
FullCircle said: Pedantic moment satisfied. Click to expand...
  • 31 Oct 2009


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9 superyacht crew members share what it's really like working for a billionaire on board

  • Superyachts are luxurious, but working on them isn't.
  • Insider polled superyacht crew members to find out what it's really like working for a billionaire on board.
  • They said their days are spent fulfilling requests and keeping the yacht in top shape — but it really all depends on the superyacht owner.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories .

Insider Today

While working on a superyacht sounds glamorous, in reality it can be anything but.

Insider polled superyacht crew members to get an inside look at life on board. When asked what working for a millionaire or billionaire is really like, they agreed on a few things, like long hours.

Many superyacht  crew members wake up before dawn to start their day, which typically involves a lot of cleaning and catering to the requests of owners and guests.

Read more: The super rich are hoarding cash — instead bartering yachts, $30 million mansions, and caviar to ride out the pandemic

But while some superyacht owners are demanding, others are less so — it really all depends on their personality. Some crew members said that owners and guests are more like regular people than you'd expect.

Here's what life on board looks like, according to nine superyacht crew members.

Note: Insider was able to verify each crew member's identity, but we refrained from publishing their full names to protect their privacy.

Working on a yacht can be lucrative.

yachting reddit

Insider previously reported that deckhands earn an average of $3,083 to $3,574 a month, depending on the boat size. Captains reportedly get paid even more — they earn $7,750 to $19,961 a month on average.

Kate Lardy of the Sun Sentinel reported that a captain in Fort Lauderdale once spent a total of $14,255 on day workers, who are hired temporarily for onboard services, during a two-month period.

But it's also tiring and demanding.

yachting reddit

One captain who works on a 120-foot boat alluded to tiring conditions. Working for a billionaire is "demanding," he said, with hours that begin very early — before 6 a.m. — and end very late.

Yacht crew members have to meet high expectations.

yachting reddit

One electronic technical officer who works on a 223-foot yacht stressed the pressure of delivering top-notch service while remaining level-headed.

Working on a yacht involves "very, very long days with little rest and expectations to perform at the highest levels of service while not losing your cool under pressure," he said.

They have to work hard to keep yachts spotless.

yachting reddit

Guests and owners can be messy and dirty — and it's up to the crew to make sure it doesn't look that way. A mate on a 92-foot yacht said he had to wake up before guests or other crew members to get the yacht's exterior ready for the day.

"They expect it to look like no one has touched it," he said. "So any rain or dew, water spots, bird crap, or salt spray has to be continuously cleaned, not to mention having to constantly wipe stainless [steel] and glass when guests move around the boat. They leave smudges and fingerprints everywhere.

"By the time I start at the top of the boat and move around drying the boat, washing windows, and prepping water toys, depending on where the guests are, it's time to clean behind them."

He said he then has to be available for whatever the day brings, whether guests want to take the tender out or play with water toys, the interior crew needs help with service, or any maintenance issues need to be addressed.

There's a lot of cleaning, smiling, and snacking.

yachting reddit

Nic, a chief stewardess, shared her typical daily itinerary, which extends from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., with a one-hour break for a power nap.

There's constant snacking, as she doesn't always have time to sit and eat, she said. She's also "always thinking and planning ahead for the next meal or excursion," like what guests "need to take with them and what they need upon return," she said.

"Always thinking of ways to make the day special and 'perfect' (as much as possible)," she said.

She added: "Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning, and lots of smiling. Behind the scenes, a lot of running around and working at high speed, throwing stuff into drawers and sorting it out later when you have time, laughing, and keeping crew spirits high. Never-ending laundry."

Work is easier when the owners are away, which is often.

yachting reddit

Billionaire owners actually don't spend a lot of time on their multimillion-dollar yachts. Neither do the guests who charter them.

"Owners or guests are typically not on the boat all that much, so most of the time the crew has the boat to themselves," said Michael, a former yacht captain who worked on yachts ranging from 130 to 170 feet.

"Work is pretty easy and consists of general maintenance and keeping the boat in perfect/ready state for when the owner does show up. If you have a good crew it can be very enjoyable. If you do not, it can be very stressful and miserable."

Everything depends on the owner's personality.

yachting reddit

Some crew members get lucky working for generous yacht owners, while others get treated like the help.

"It's hard work and long days when they are on board," said Martin, the captain of a 155-foot yacht. "It really depends on the owner. Some have treated me like family, and some have treated me like a servant."

But sometimes it's not the owner who's difficult.

yachting reddit

A chef on a 150-foot motor yacht also said that working for a billionaire could be unpredictable, as every boat and owner is different.

But it's not the owner of the yacht who's always difficult to work for.

"Bear in mind that the captain is every bit as much your boss as the owner is, and sometimes the captain is a bigger pain in the ass than the billionaire owner," she said.

Yacht owners are just your everyday people on vacation — with more money.

yachting reddit

According to Mark, the captain of a 114-foot yacht, billionaire owners are just like normal vacationers. Kind of.

"They're just people holidaying, but with more money and toys to fill their days," he said.

They can be more down-to-earth than expected, but their spontaneity can be frustrating.

yachting reddit

"It's really nice to find out that some of the wealthiest people you'll work for are actually more down-to-earth and normal like any person you'd meet on the street," a stewardess on a 112-foot sailing yacht said. "The saying is 'money screams, wealth whispers.'"

She added: "A typical day involves turning heads, beds, and laundry for guests and crew, which can be a lot if you're a department of one. Food and beverage service three times a day. A lot of plans and schedules change on the fly depending on the owners and their wants and whims, which can be a bit frustrating."

yachting reddit

  • Main content

International skipper's licences: which one is the best?

International skipper's licences: which one is the best?

  • Comparison: international skipper's licences. Which one is the best?

International  skipper's licences  attract prestige and the prospect of a hassle-free charter. But which will you get the most out of? What are their downsides? And are they worth it? We will be comparing the 4 most recognized ones — RYA, ISSA, IYT and ASA, as well as taking a look at ICC and IPC certificates.  

  The good news and the bad news. The bad news is that there is no international certification recognized everywhere. The word international may give the impression that it applies to all countries, but in practice it only means more than one. The good news is that in many holiday destinations, charter companies will somehow rent you the boat on both international and national papers. Sometimes, though, it isn’t easy.   

That's why it's important to check the validity of a country's certificate beforehand. When travelling on your own, you’ll have no choice but to Google it. But if you rent a boat through yachting.com, it will be completely hassle-free. We can help you with the certificate, or arrange it for you with the charter company.  

Is an international certification worth it? 

Now you're probably wondering what the advantage of international certification is. First of all, the quality and depth of the training. The programs are demanding (we won't lie), but when you complete them, it means you’ll actually know something. The courses also open doors to further your sailing education and to the global community. All four associations offer skipper's licences from inshore to ocean sailing. Today, we'll compare the basic ones that are the perfect starting point for new skippers.

Regatta racer team.

Royal Yachting Association (RYA) 

The criteria of the British Royal Yachting Association ( RYA ) are so stringent that they hold the reputation of being the most prestigious certification. Even the most basic RYA Day Skipper qualifies a captain for recreational and commercial sailing. It is fair to add here, however, that the conditions of employment as a skipper are governed by the laws of each individual country. The course is only available from certified partners, such as yachting.com . Strict requirements from the RYA and a sophisticated system of online study materials ensure the same quality of teaching globally. 

RYA Day Skipper 

As a captain you will gain a basic understanding of navigation, meteorology and the rules of the sea. You can then skipper a sailing vessel up to 15 m in coastal waters up to 20 miles on a day passage . The higher level RYA Coastal Skipper certification is required for night sailing.  

Recommended experience: At least 5 days and 4 night hours on a boat and 100 nm underway, which is roughly equivalent to the RYA Competent Crew beginners course.   

Validity: Unlimited  

Minimum age: 16 years   

Where to go: UK, Austria, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Netherlands, the Czech Republic and other locations     

Course time: 6-day practical course + 4 days of theoretical instruction .

YACHTING.COM TIP: An interesting option for those who don’t wish to be a captain is the RYA Competent Crew course, which trains complete beginners and develops them into full-fledged crew members. It is common practice for them to mix with future Day Skippers on practical courses which benefits everyone. Skippers get to try captaining straight away and the crew get to experience different captains with different outlooks.     

Racers yachtsmen at the regatta.

International Sailing School Association (ISSA)   

The   ISSA is an association that brings together sailing schools all over the planet. Thanks to this, and the fact that, along with the RYA, it is one of the oldest maritime certifications, it has managed to negotiate acceptance of its certificates almost everywhere you can think of. Its teaching system is not as sophisticated as the RYA's, but its quality and depth is on a similar standing. As well as English, tuition is available in the language of the sailing school's home country.   

Inshore Skipper  

As a skipper you can operate a  boat up to 24 m in coastal waters up to 20 miles, both day and night. The course includes instruction and a radio exam (VHF/SRC), which is always a plus.  

Recommended experience: Experience at least at ISSA Yacht Crew level, i.e. 3 days at sea 

Where to go: UK, Ibiza, Cyprus, Montenegro, Poland, Russia and other locations       

Course time: Approximately 10–14 days depending on the school. Practice and theory can be taught separately or on a practical course  

Man working on a ship, main mast.

International Yacht Training (IYT)  

The US-Canadian IYT was created as an alternative to the RYA and offers similar courses and credentials. However, it distinguishes between certificates for recreational sailing and for pro skippers and crew ( recreational and superyacht ). Teaching standards are high and courses meet ISO standards. However, again, it should be added that they may not be in accordance with the laws of the country you are sailing through.  

International Bareboat Skipper 

The certificate is comparable to the RYA Day Skipper and allows you to sail a sailboat up to 24 m up to 20 miles offshore , but again only in the daytime . To obtain the certificate you need a radio course (VHF/SRC). 

Recommended experience: Knowledge to at least IYT International Crew Certificate level and a full 10 days and 200 nm.  

Validity: 5 years, then renewal required. 

Where to go: UK, France, Austria, Poland, Slovakia, Croatia and other locations       

Course time: 10-day practical course (6 days with Crew Certificate) + self-study of theory online (access to material for 2 months includes radio).   

Crew on stormy sea, ship tilted.

American Sailing Association (ASA) 

The  US Coast Guard also vouches for the quality of ASA instructors and instruction. However, the length of the practical courses is almost half that of the others and the ASA lags behind in the number of online theory courses. ASA is most suitable for sailing in North America. For Europe you’ll need to upgrade to the International Proficiency Certificate (IPC) . This is where ASA comes back into play. In fact, it is commonly accepted in popular European sailing destinations.  


Bareboat Cruising 

As a skipper, you can captain a  boat up to 15 m in coastal waters up to 20 miles in good weather. The course teaches night sailing and the use of the radio (VHF).   

Recommended experience: Knowledge of at least ASA 101, Basic Keelboat Sailing and ASA 103, Basic Coastal Cruising and at least 6 days at sea.  

Where to go: Greece, Croatia, Canary Islands and other locations       

Course time: Approximately 6 days depending on the school. Practice and theory can be taught separately or on a practical course.  

A team of yachtsmen working together during a regatta.

How much do international licences cost 

There is no easy answer to this question. The fact that the courses are held all over the world means that location is reflected in the price. The associations themselves do not publish prices and the schools certified by them only sometimes include in the price the additional costs of issuing the certificate, the presence of a foreign examiner or the fees associated with hiring a teaching boat, etc. Expect a price of approximately €1,500 to €2,500. However, even an approximate price is not a reliable means of comparison, if only because certificates have different levels, value and applicability in practice. Rather, it makes sense to decide on a specific certification according to your own expectations, then choose a location and only compare the prices of providers within that location.  

Domestic vs. international certificates   

National skipper's certificates are issued by local authorities, it is an official document just like a driver's licence, so there are no issues for charter boats. However, international certificates from the RYA, ISSA, IYT and ASA are not official documents . Rather, they are confirmation of your sailing competence. The advantage is that you don't have to wait a month for them to be issued: just complete the course and pass the exam. You'll get your certificate practically straight away and you'll be ready to set sail within a few days. However, charter companies, insurance companies and marinas may refuse them because of local legislation that simply can't deal with the certificates (however well-known and prestigious).  

According to maritime custom, the law of territorial waters , i.e. the laws of the country in which you are sailing, takes precedence. For us sailors, this is nothing new. In Croatia , for example, you can't rent a boat without a radiotelephonist's licence. The captain or one of the crew must have it. In Italy , the law requires the skipper to have a licence issued by the country of their citizenship. In the Mediterranean, Greek charters are the strictest. These can sometimes require two captain's licences on board and they have the most trouble with international certificates. On the other hand, they do tend to be most willing to make exceptions based on the skipper's logbook and experience. 

YACHTING.COM TIP: The fact that they are designed as practical and theoretical preparation for an accredited exam makes their offer clear.

A young captain in a cap and a navy shirt.

International Certificate of Competence (ICC) 

The ICC certificate was an attempt by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe to establish a single certificate and uniform maritime rules for all. It is a separate course with practical and theoretical parts. It ends with an examination and is valid for 5 years , after which you must renew it. You can get it from the associations mentioned above except for the ASA, which has its own version of the International Proficiency Certificate (IPC) . However, even here you can't avoid a bit of detective work. For example, the RYA cannot grant the ICC to citizens of some countries.

Comparison of certificates by location obtained

What to take away from the article .

  • Unfortunately, there is no international certification that is accepted everywhere.   
  • International certificates from the RYA , ISSA, IYT, ASA or ICC are not official documents issued by government bodies. They are certificates of completion of practical and theoretical instruction from a yachting association.  
  • Whether a charter company will accept the certificates depends on its goodwill and local laws.   
  • You do not need to have previous levels of association certificates to take the courses, just comparable knowledge and experience.  

Choosing the right certification may not be such a big deal after all. The key is to be clear about where you want to sail and how serious you are about sailing. 

How and when can you become a captain? Read more:

Not planning to take the captain's course? We can arrange an experienced captain for your vacation on a boat. Ask us.

Denisa Nguyenová

Denisa Nguyenová

Faq what to know about international skipper licences.

Yachting association education systems are of the highest possible standard. When you take a course, you really acquire the know-how. You also don't have to wait a month to get your licence and you’ll receive it practically as soon as you finish the course.

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How much does it cost to charter a yacht? review

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How much does it cost to charter a yacht?

A comprehensive breakdown of yacht charter costs and fees

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By Editorial Team   15 January 2024

Navigating the world of crewed yacht charters for the first time can be daunting, with numerous factors to consider. To clarify and assist, we have compiled a thorough guide on yacht charter costs, complete with a handy checklist so you can estimate the total cost for your vacation before you start searching for your ideal yacht.

Cost breakdown.

Charter fee of xxx

+ xxx % APA ( xxx )

+ xxx % Tax/VAT ( xxx )

Total = $ xxx

In this article:

  • Base charter fee

Why do charter fees differ between yachts?

  • Charter contracts

Advanced Provisioning Allowance (APA)

  • Crew gratuities

Fuel and dockage fees

Insurance: what does it cover, payment structure.

Planning a yacht charter is thrilling yet challenging, particularly when it comes to budgeting. The starting point is the yacht's base price, the weekly rental fee. But what about additional costs such as meals, beverages, local taxes, or fuel? How do these affect the overall cost? The encouraging part is that understanding yacht charter fees is straightforward. With guidance from our seasoned professionals, you can gain a clearer idea of the expenditure for your dream vacation. Yacht charter costs vary based on several elements: the yacht type, destination, local taxes, dates and the age of the yacht. Yacht charter prices span a broad spectrum. For instance, smaller sailing yachts and catamarans may start at around $10,000 per week, whereas more luxurious motor superyachts can exceed $100,000 per week. Wondering about other expenses? Our Charter Advice Guide, a key part of our planning resources, delves deep into the specifics of yacht charter costs.

After you have chosen your desired yacht, your yacht broker will prepare a legally binding contract; usually a standard agreement with conditions set by the terms applicable to the destination. Before you sign on the dotted line, it is important that you understand what it is that you are paying for and when it is due.

Base charter fee: All-Inclusive vs Plus Expenses

When it comes to crewed luxury yacht charters, you can choose from two types of vacations- "All-Inclusive" or  "Plus Expenses" charter experiences. But what do these classifications entail? Let's briefly compare:

  • All-Inclusive Yacht Charters Certain charters, particularly small catamaran and monohull sailboat charters in the Virgin Islands, wooden Gulets in Turkey or Phinisis in Indonesia, offer different all-inclusive pricing packages. This means that the rates depend on the number of guests and cover some or all meals and beverages, water sports, and fuel expenses. However, dockage fees and taxes are typically billed as additional costs.
  • Plus Expenses Charters The rates for larger sailing or motor yachts are exclusive of operational costs, which are to be paid additionally. With these high-end charters, the base rate covers only the yacht rental. Extra charges, such as for food, beverages, fuel, dockage, port taxes, and other expenses, are billed separately. These running costs are usually covered by an Advance Provisioning Allowance (APA) payment, generally set at 20-35% of the base charter rate depending on the size and location of the yacht. This amount is paid before the start of the charter.

The table below gives a quick comparision of what is generally included in the price for both charter types.

Plus Expenses Charter Costs

In essence the base charter fee refers to the hire cost of the yacht itself, and implies that the yacht will be provided to you in full commission, with all equipment in working order and the yacht properly insured for marine risks.

In addition, the cost of the crew’s food, wages and clothing will be met by the owner for the entirety of the charter. 

Charter rates are typically quoted per week (7 days), which in superyacht terms is generally accepted as the minimum period for yacht charters – although this is by no means set in stone.

The APA in Plus Expenses charters is typically about 25-40% of the yacht's base weekly charter rate (based on the size of yacht, location and yacht's fuel efficiency). This fee is collected before the start of the charter and acts like an expense fund that the captain can utilize during the trip to cover costs such as fuel, food and beverages, dockage fees and ad hoc incidental expenses.  At the end of the charter the captain will prepare a detailed statement of the APA expenditures, along with any unspent APA funds returned in cash.

Should expenses exceed the initial APA, you might need to top up the fund during the charter. This replenishment can be done in cash, but many opt to establish accounts with their charter brokers. These accounts can then be accessed upon the captain's request for additional funds.

Taxes & Value Added Tax (VAT)

For most yachts, regardless of being All-Inclusive or Plus Expenses , local taxes or Value Added Tax are NOT incorporated into their charter rate. It falls upon the charterer to pay these tax expenses before the charter commences. Tax rates can vary greatly depending on the destination; here's an brief overview of tax rates in some of the most sought-after yachting locations:

In the European Union (EU) recent harmonising changes to tax laws have affected VAT rates across most of the Mediterranean region. EU tax laws state that VAT will apply to vessels embarking or disembarking within their waters, although rates for VAT vary depending on the European destination. In France the current rate is 20% and in Italy it is 22%, whilst Turkey and Montenegro both charge 0% for EU-flagged yachts cruising their waters.

VAT also applies to yacht charters cruising The Bahamas , plus may also apply in some Caribbean islands.

Please consult your yacht charter broker  for further personalized advice if considering chartering in any of these areas.

Charter Free: £100,000 p/w +30% APA + 14% TAX/VAT

Crew Gratuities

Although tipping is optional, it's customary to leave a gratuity for the crew. The typical range for tips is between 10-20%, and it should reflect the quality of service you and your guests experienced during your yacht charter.

It's best practice to hand over crew gratuities to the captain for distribution, ensuring that every crew member is fairly recognized. This approach is important because there are often less visible crew members, like the engineer and sous chef, working diligently behind the scenes to guarantee the success of your charter. It would be unfair for their contributions to go unrecognized.

Captain & Crew Gratuities (Tips): How much?

Cancellation Insurance

Charterers have the option to buy cancellation and curtailment insurance, akin to travel insurance. This insurance can provide coverage for costs in case the charter needs to be canceled or shortened. Charter brokers are equipped to assist in evaluating different insurance choices and typically offer a variety of options.

Delivery Fees

These fees are not typical for most charters, but if your charter takes place outside the yacht's regular cruising territory or a significant distance from its homeport, you might need to pay delivery fees. Usually, this will just involve covering the fuel costs for the journey.

The charter fee varies from one yacht to another for a number of reasons, such as its size, age, onboard amenities and time of year the yacht is chartered. We've listed below some of the most common factors that affect the base rate of a rental yacht.

Charter seasons

A yacht charter season can refer to the weather patterns of a particular destination or the peak times when demand for charter yachts is at its highest. Yacht charter seasons, therefore, are broken down into two distinct categories: Summer/Winter, and High/Low season. 

View of the French Riviera

In terms of the yacht's base charter fee, high season rates will apply to the most popular periods for yacht charters – such as July and August in the Mediterranean or Christmas and New Year in the Caribbean . Low season rates will generally apply to all other periods.

Yacht Charter Seasons

Event pricing

A car races by yachts at the Monaco Grand Prix

Major events such as the Monaco Grand Prix and Cannes Film Festival are generally categorised as high season events , regardless of where they fall in the season, with yacht prices generally higher around these dates due to popular demand.

Unless you are keen to charter a yacht for a particular high season event, it is worth considering your dates carefully.

Shoulder seasons

The months straddling the high and low seasons are known as shoulder months, for example April and September for yacht charters around the Mediterranean, and can share much of the same weather and beautiful cruising conditions as the peak season whilst charter rates tend to be lower, making these months a great time for chartering a yacht.

Off-Season Yacht Charters

  • Onboard amenities

Aside from seasons and events, yachts of the same size can often differ in price based on their onboard amenities. A yacht which boasts a cinema or lavish water toys may have a higher base rate compared with a yacht with minimal amenities of the same size.

Cinema room onboard MY Axioma

If the pricing is unclear, be sure to ask your yacht broker to explain any disparities. 

Once you are clear on the base charter fee of your chosen yacht, it is important to learn about the additional costs that will be applied on top, depending on the type of charter contract used.

MYBA Charter Agreement

The most widely used contract for yacht charters is a MYBA agreement (Worldwide Yachting Association, formerly known as Mediterranean Yacht Brokers Association), which operates under Western Mediterranean Terms (WMT) . 

This contract, often referred to as a "plus all expenses" contract, requires that you pay for items, such as fuel, delivery fees, food and drink, local taxes and dockage fees, as an additional expense applied over the base charter fee.

Typically, a charter party (this is the collective term for the total number of guests on a charter) will accumulate additional costs of between 25% to 30% of the base charter fee, depending on what is consumed. These expenses can be tracked through the use of an Advance Provisioning Allowance (APA) which we will cover in the next section.

Other charter contracts

Caribbean Terms Inclusive (CTI) – sometimes referred to as Standard Caribbean Terms (SCT) – is another contract regularly used by the yachting industry, the terms of which are generally employed by smaller yacht charters in the Caribbean. 

Otherwise known as a "mostly all-inclusive" agreement, CTI differs from Western Mediterranean Terms as it includes three meals, plus up to four hours cruising, per day.

In addition to the commonly used MYBA terms and Caribbean Terms Inclusive, there are also less frequently used terms such as Standard Eastern Mediterranean Terms (SEMT) and Greek Terms (GT). 

SEMT operates much in the same way as CTI, except it includes only two meals per day for guests instead of three, as it is assumed guests will dine ashore in the evenings. Greek Terms are similar to the MYBA terms apart from harbour and berthing fees, which are included under GT terms so long as they are within Greek waters.

If you are unsure what is included under the terms of your contract, be sure to ask your yacht charter broker .

For more in-depth information, please see our guide on yacht charter contracts below.

Yacht Charter Contracts

Typically, the APA accrues to approximately 25% to 30% of the base charter fee, though this does of course depend on your charter party’s tastes and requirements and could be far less or far greater than this estimation. For instance, charter guests who intend to regularly dine on caviar and vintage wine can expect to pay more, whereas guests on a sailing yacht charter that is anchored at sea for most nights can expect to save on fuel costs and hefty marina fees. 

You can request an APA estimate from your yacht broker based on your charter party's onboard expectations.

What happens next?

The APA is payable one month prior to boarding the charter yacht (see 'Payment Structure' below), and is generally paid direct to the Captain.

Once the APA has been paid it will then be retained as a bank account of sorts, from which the Chef can provision the yacht ready for your charter and the Captain can make expenditures while keeping a strict record of what has been spent. It is important to note that all additional costs incurred throughout the charter are charged at cost with no mark-up.

A captain's cap in a yacht bridge

At any point during the vacation you can request an up-to-date summary of the accounts as a way of keeping track of expenditures.

yachts docked in a marina at sunset

When you think of fuel costs, you may think of what is consumed by the yacht over the course of your charter.

However, there are further fuel costs to take into account that you may not have considered. These include;

  • Personal watercraft toys, such as jet skis
  • Tender boats used for transporting guests to and from the yacht, or for water sports activities
  • A yacht's generators whilst at anchor (shore-side electricty is used when docked at a marina)

Furthermore, the distance travelled and the speed at which the yacht cruises also affects the overall fuel costs, so it is important to bear these factors in mind when settling on your itinerary. 

Dockage fees

These may vary widely depending on the destination and time of year from minimal to extravagant (think Port Hercule in Monaco during the Grand Prix).

If you are interested in booking any nights in marinas during your yacht charter, you should liaise with your broker who can advise on the various options available, including prices, around your chosen location and dates.

In general, the base charter fee of a yacht will include insurance for marine risk and third party liability insurance, which covers accidental damage and personal injury. It will also cover use of the yacht's watertoys and equipment.

Additional insurance

Although insurance is not generally connected to charter costs, it is useful to consider should you wish to take out additional insurance such as Cancellation and Curtailment cover which is calculated at 2.5% of the charter fee for the unforeseen cancellation of a charter, and can prove a worthwhile investment as well as providing peace of mind.

You should check with your broker about the level of insurance built into your charter contract before signing. 

Other taxes 

Local taxes may also apply in certain countries, therefore it is important to speak with your yacht charter broker to clarify what additional taxes are applicable to your chosen destination and itinerary.

Whilst the payment structure can vary depending on the contract, in general charter payments are made as follows;

  • 50% of the charter fee is payable upon signing the charter agreement, which confirms the booking.
  • The remaining 50% of the charter fee, APA (usually between 25-30% of the base charter fee), delivery and/or re-delivery fees, applicable taxes, plus any additional agreed amounts are payable one month prior to commencement of the yacht charter.
  • Any balance of monies due are to be paid on the first working day prior to completion of the yacht charter.

For further clarification of the payment structure for your yacht charter, please speak with your broker.

The port side of a superyacht in a marina at sunset

The base charter fee for a yacht can differ for a number of reasons, including;

  • Size and age of the yacht
  • High/low seasons, and major events such as the Monaco Grand Prix

There will also be additional amounts to pay on top of the yacht's base charter fee, which can include;

  • Advanced Provisioning Allowance (roughly 25-30% of the yacht's base fee and includes all charter expenditure such as food, fuel and marina fees)
  • Additional insurance, such as Cancellation and Curtailment Insurance
  • VAT and other taxes

It is important for you to understand the entire payment structure to ensure no unpleasant surprises arise whilst enjoying your vacation.

If you wish to know more about costs relating to your yacht charter, please speak with your preferred yacht broker for more information.

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I want to do a sunset cruise and I was curious what the main differences are between these two companies?? I did see someone write they are different but didnt explain how!

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Sean 'Diddy' Combs allegations: Timeline and what to know

Sean “ Diddy ” Combs has been hit with a wave of civil lawsuits in recent months and is now a subject of a federal investigation, sources have told NBC News.

Federal agents this week executed searches of Combs’ properties , where guns were found, and his phones were seized at an airport as part of a warrant issued from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, law enforcement sources have said.

Since November, Combs has been hit with five lawsuits in New York accusing him of sexual assault, sexual trafficking and engaging in other criminal activity. Combs has denied all of the allegations, calling them sickening.

A source familiar with the matter told NBC News that at least four people have been interviewed about allegations of sex trafficking, sexual assault and the solicitation and distribution of illegal narcotics and firearms.

Aaron Dyer, an attorney for Combs, described the raids this week as a “gross overuse of military-level force.” Neither Combs nor any of his family members have been arrested, Dyer noted in his statement.

Sean "Diddy" Combs house.

Here are the lawsuits that were filed against Combs prior to the raid. Combs has denied all of the allegations individually through statements by his representatives.

November 2023: Cassie and two others file suit

The singer Cassie, Combs’ former romantic partner, shocked many in November when she filed a civil suit against Combs alleging that the music mogul sexually and physically abused her during the course of their relationship. She filed her case on Nov. 16 under New York state’s Adult Survivors Act, which gave adult victims of sexual violence a one-year window to file civil claims regardless of the statute of limitations.

In the suit, Cassie alleged that Combs raped her, beat her in fits of “uncontrollable rage” and exerted a “tight hold over her life.” She alleged that he would force her to engage in sex acts he called “Freak Offs” with other men, often sex workers whom he’d pay to travel with them, while he watched.

The abuse ranged from 2007 until Cassie left him in late 2018, the suit said.

Combs vehemently denied the allegations from Cassie, whose full name is Casandra Ventura. They settled the suit a day after it was filed.

Joie Dickerson-Neal said Cassie’s lawsuit inspired her to come forward and file a suit against Combs on Nov. 23, a day before the Adult Survivors Act was set to expire.

Dickerson-Neal said that Combs drugged her, sexually assaulted her and recorded the assault without her knowledge while she was a student in 1991. She agreed to have dinner with Combs on Jan. 3, 1991, in Harlem while on winter break from Syracuse University, according to her suit.

It was there that Combs “intentionally drugged” her and then took her to a place where he was staying, the suit said. Dickerson-Neal said she “lacked the physical ability or mental capacity to fend Combs off” as he sexually assaulted her.

She later learned from a male friend that Combs had filmed the assault and showed it to other people, the suit said. Combs denied her allegations.

On the last day of eligibility under the Adult Survivors Act, Liza Gardner filed a lawsuit accusing Combs of sexually assaulting her when she was 16 years old.

Gardner alleged that in either 1990 or 1991 she and a friend met Combs and R&B singer Aaron Hall at an event held by MCA Records in Manhattan. After the party, she was invited back to Hall’s apartment with Combs, the suit said, and the two offered her drinks throughout the night.

Combs then coerced her into having sex, the suit said, leaving Gardner “shocked and traumatized.” Hall barged into the room after Combs was done, pinned her down, and sexually assaulted her, according to the suit.

Hall did not return NBC News’ request for comment on the lawsuit. Combs denied Gardner’s allegations in a statement through his representative.

December 2023: Jane Doe says she was gang-raped at 17

Then in December, a Jane Doe filed a lawsuit alleging that she was gang-raped and sex-trafficked by Combs and Harve Pierre, a former longtime president of Combs’ record label. The unidentified woman said the assault happened in 2003, when she was 17 and Combs was 34.

Sean "Diddy" Combs.

According to the suit, she met Combs and Pierre at a lounge in Detroit and Combs convinced her to travel with them on a private jet to New York City. Before they left the lounge, the suit said, Pierre smoked crack cocaine and forced Doe to perform oral sex on him.

Doe was taken to a studio in New York City, where Combs, Pierre and a third defendant plied her with “copious amounts of drugs and alcohol,” the suit said. The three men took turns raping her in a bathroom at the studio after she was too inebriated to consent, according to the suit.

The men allegedly left her on the bathroom floor once they were done and she was flown back to Michigan, the suit said. Combs denied the assault allegations and Pierre called the suit “a tale of fiction.”

February 2024: Rodney Jones accuses Combs of ‘RICO enterprise’

In February, a man named Rodney “Lil Rod” Jones alleged in a federal suit that Combs and his associates engaged in “serious illegal activity.”

Jones worked as a producer on Combs’ latest album, but also lived and traveled with him from September 2022 to November 2023, according to his lawsuit. He alleged that during that time he was sexually harassed by Combs, pressured to engage in sexual acts, forced to procure sex workers for Combs and witnessed Combs giving drinks laced with drugs to people at parties.

The suit said that Combs required Jones to “record him constantly,” which resulted in Jones obtaining hours of footage in which Combs and his staff allegedly engaged in criminal conduct. Screenshots of video clips were included in the suit, described as being from parties in which underage girls and sex workers were present.

Jones alleged that Combs was attempting to groom him into having a sexual relationship with him. The lawsuit said that Combs sexually harassed and assaulted Jones while he lived at Combs’ homes in Florida, Los Angeles and New York, as well as on a yacht Combs rented in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Sean "Diddy" Combs' property.

Jones alleged that he and another man, Brendan Paul, were asked to travel with drugs and firearms on Combs’ behalf.

In amended filings, Jones additionally accused Combs and his son of being involved in a 2022 shooting at a Los Angeles recording studio , which both men denied.

An attorney for Combs said Jones’ “reckless name-dropping about events that are pure fiction and simply did not happen is nothing more than a transparent attempt to garner headlines.”

March 2024: Combs’ homes searched by federal agents

On March 25, agents with Homeland Security Investigations raided Combs’ properties in Los Angeles and Miami. Three sources familiar with the matter told NBC News that firearms were found at his residences, but no additional details were provided.

At the time of the raids, Combs was on his way to a scheduled trip to the Bahamas and was stopped at a Miami airport prior to departure. Officials seized his cellphones, sources said.

Dyer, one of Combs’ attorneys, issued a statement following the raids and said that Combs “was never detained but spoke to and cooperated with authorities.” He described the raid as an ambush, saying there’s been a rush to judgment based on “meritless accusations made in civil lawsuits.”

“There has been no finding of criminal or civil liability with any of these allegations,” Dyer said. “Mr. Combs is innocent and will continue to fight every single day to clear his name.”

Brendan Paul, 25, was arrested at the Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport at the same time Combs was stopped at the airport. A law enforcement source familiar with the matter confirmed that Paul is a Combs associate. It is currently unclear whether the arrest was related to the raids.

Paul was named as an employee of Combs’ in Jones’ suit, which described him as someone who acquires and distributes drugs and guns on Combs’ behalf. Combs allegedly required Paul and others he paid to carry black pouches that contained drugs such as ecstasy, cocaine, ketamine, marijuana and mushrooms.

A Miami-Dade police report showed Paul was charged with possession of suspected cocaine and suspected marijuana candy, and court records show he was bonded out of custody the next day.

According to the police report, local law enforcement was with agents from Homeland Security and customs officers at the time of Paul’s arrest. The contraband items were found in Paul’s travel bags, the report said.

Paul’s attorney, Brian Bieber, told NBC News, “We do not plan on trying this case in the media — all issues will be dealt with in Court.” A woman who answered the phone at a number listed for Paul hung up on an NBC News reporter.

Doha Madani is a senior breaking news reporter for NBC News. Pronouns: she/her.

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Diana Dasrath is entertainment producer and senior reporter for NBC News covering all platforms.

Andrew Blankstein is an investigative reporter for NBC News. He covers the Western U.S., specializing in crime, courts and homeland security. 


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