7 Things to Know If You Plan to Charter a Luxury Yacht

Planning to charter a luxury yacht? Although there are a few private resort marinas in Los Cabos that will let you bring your own vessel, some travelers prefer the convenience of simply chartering a luxury yacht at their destination.

This option is particularly advantageous for those who are:

  • • Visiting Los Cabos for a short period of time
  • • Sampling multiple vessels before making a purchase
  • • In need of a bigger vessel for a larger group
  • • Residents with a dock or slip and private marina access
  • • Seeking an experienced local captain and crew for the best sport fishing spots
  • • Wanting different amenities than their own yacht provides

If it’s your first time planning to charter a luxury yacht, consider these tips as you begin the process:

  1. You’ll need to start with the logistics

    When you contact a luxury yacht charter company, they’ll need to know your preferred dates for the voyage, the duration of the trip, and how many cabins you require. Because there’s always a chance that your dream vessel won’t be available for those dates, it’s helpful to have some flexibility with your timeline before you call.

    If you’re traveling with kids, specify their ages to determine if they’ll be sharing a cabin with their parents or bunking in a kids’ room. This information will also help the charter company determine which amenities and provisions might entertain children and teens, such as a small theater area for watching movies at night, a crib for infants, or additional youth-size life preservers.

  2. Charters let you curate the experience

    Don’t be surprised if the charter company asks you and your guests to complete a form highlighting your preferences for the trip.

    Do you want to shop in seaside villages? Drop anchor to snorkel by a coral reef? Take the kids out on stand-up paddleboards? Spend some time deep-sea fishing? Your responses will help personalize your voyage to match your vision.

    If you’re headed to Los Cabos, an area known for customized chartered yacht experiences, no ask is too big. The key is communicating your wants and needs in advance.

  3. A personal chef can cater to your tastes

    Using the information you provide on your questionnaire, a personal chef can create a customized menu for your friends and family.

    Beyond just allergen warnings, dietary restrictions, and preferences of red vs. white wines, this is your chance to ensure that your meals, snacks, and beverages will meet—or even exceed—your expectations. Some luxury charters will even ask you about specific champagne, scotch, or tequila brands.

    Be sure to let the chef know if you have any special occasions to celebrate, such as a birthday or anniversary, and provide the guest’s name and food or flavor preferences to have a cake or other dessert prepared in their honor.

    In Los Cabos, you’ll find an array of world-class chefs who will combine their knowledge, experience, and high-quality locally-sourced ingredients to prepare exquisite meals for you and your guests.

    Using your food preferences and details about the type of meals you want throughout the trip, the personal chef will focus on flavor, presentation, and experience. Think cocktails at sunset, a formal late dinner on the first night, a late champagne brunch on day two, or a picnic lunch on the beach for the kids on day three.

    Don’t forget to specify what snacks to keep on hand for both kids and adults.

  4. Consider bringing someone to help the kids

    Although a nanny can be very beneficial for tired parents who are hoping to get some rest and relaxation on the trip, don’t rule out bringing someone who can also entertain or instruct older kids and teens.

    What better way to ensure that your guests all enjoy their vacation than with an experienced water sports instructor who can teach the kids to sailboard or take them out on jet skis?

    Although some superyachts come with experienced crews who can manage your party’s activities, most don’t offer babysitting within their realm of responsibilities.

  5. Pack appropriately

    In Los Cabos, it goes without saying that bathing suits and sunscreen should be at the top of your “must-pack” list. But you’ll also need to bring a light jacket for the summer breezes and cooler evenings when you sit out on the deck.

    Your planned excursions will also dictate whether you need to bring slightly dressier clothes for dinner at a seaside restaurant, walking shoes for exploring local villages, or hiking boots to sightsee from higher peaks.

    Planning to bike, horseback ride, or zip line? You’ll want to pack suitable attire to be comfortable and safe and avoid chafing. If you’ll be exploring reefs, rocky shorelines, or hot sandy beaches, consider taking rubber water shoes.

    Be sure to warn your guests that most charter yachts will ask them to leave their high heels and hard soles ashore. The general rule is that guests should be barefoot inside the boat, while boat shoes with rubber non-slip soles should be worn on deck.

    Don’t assume that your guests will know—or remember—what to pack. A short checklist mentioning medications, travel documents, cash, identification cards, and chargers for devices can help increase the chances that everyone will be prepared.

  6. Tip your crew

    Depending on the size of your charter and its crew and the type of experience they’ve provided (like frequent anchorings, assistance launching and returning watersports, or fishing instruction), you should plan to tip between 5 and 20 percent.

    Give your cash tip to the captain, who will distribute it among the crew members.

  7. Communicate with your captain

    Although your captain will have the skills and knowledge to provide you with a safe, fun, and stress-free trip, he or she can also recommend some must-see attractions.

    Ask for a sample itinerary based on your party’s interests and potential destinations but feel free to ask for more (or less) time at various ports or anchorages.

    After all, one of the benefits of chartering a private yacht is that you can set the pace. Barring a safety issue, most captains will be happy to comply with requests to keep the group happy. The keys to a great voyage are flexibility, communication, and curiosity.

Prefer to bring your own yacht to Los Cabos but don’t know where to start? Reach out to the experienced team at Costa Palmas’ Marina Village.