What is the Etiquette in a Luxury Yacht Charter?

Being at sea provides a distinct sensation of independence, the luxury of waking up in a different location every day, the chance to explore hidden bays and coves, and a different perspective of the countryside. Those who go on a luxury yacht charter are in for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. However, a lot of people tend to overlook or are unaware of the proper manners while on board a yacht charter. Whether it is your first time on a yacht, you are an experienced sailor, or a guest on someone else’s yacht, there are specific unwritten rules you should always observe.

In this article, we will be giving you helpful insight about the proper etiquette that all people on board a luxury yacht charter should follow at all times.

Etiquette in a luxury yacht; Do’s and Don’ts

Travellers who want a pleasant holiday aboard a yacht charter must adhere to a few rules of etiquette. A relaxing environment, solitude, and excellent service are essential when chartering a luxury yacht. Here are a few etiquette dos and don’ts that will make your journey that much more enjoyable:


  1. Be respectful towards the captain, the crew, and the ship

During your yacht charter, the crew will strive to satisfy all of your needs and exceed all of your expectations so that you have an unforgettable experience. However, this in no way implies that you should be disrespectful. It would be best if you treated them with utmost respect. Please treat the captain and crew with respect and patience throughout your charter, as they will be swamped; each crew member is there to offer an experience that exceeds your expectations.

Experienced crews frequently report that having well-behaved visitors on the boat motivates the crew members to make the extra effort. In addition to fulfilling your desires, the captain and crew of a superyacht are responsible for your safety. Attending the safety briefings at the outset of your superyacht rental is mandatory. During the briefing, they will tell the guests about the safety rules and any accessible safety equipment, such as life jackets, life rafts, etc. During your time on board, you should also regard the yacht as your home and maintain order as much as possible. Moreover, every charter yacht has a proud owner who appreciates passengers who care for their magnificent vessel.

  1. Always keep your crew informed and updated

One of the perks of chartering a yacht is the possibility to host lavish parties, but only if you prepare beforehand. Before your arrival, a preference sheet will be sent to you. This is a document in which you supply as much information as possible to the crew, including dietary restrictions and sleeping arrangements. Your Captain, chef, and crew would always welcome as much information as possible in order to be as prepared as possible for your journey. Share any information you believe will make your charter a vacation of a lifetime.

  1. Be ready to be barefoot

Due to the unique nature of a yacht and the fact that many yachts include custom carpets or exotic floor coverings, many Captains enforce a no-shoes policy, requiring guests to walk barefoot, wear yacht-provided slippers, or purchase a new pair of boat shoes. This will be communicated upon your arrival, and you are expected to adhere to it at all times. There will always be a clean and secure spot for shoe storage.

  1. Remember to leave a generous tip

The crew members have your comfort and well-being at heart. They endeavour to provide you with exceptional service throughout your cruise. If you believe a crew member has gone above and above, be sure to inform the captain. It is customary to thank the crew for their efforts after a tiresome voyage. Usually, 15% of the charter cost is satisfactory, but you have complete discretion. You may place your gratuity in an envelope and give it to the captain, who will divide it evenly among the crew.


  1. Do not hide any issues or problems from the captain

In the unlikely scenario that you encounter problems during your vacation, yacht etiquette dictates that you report any issues to your Captain instead of taking matters into your own hands. Do not attempt to resolve serious issues while on a charter yacht vacation. Do not take matters into your own hands by complaining to a crew member; the Captain is the best person to consult and the only person with authority to rectify the situation. 

  1. Do not attempt to commit any illegal acts

Luxury yacht charters have a zero-tolerance stance for anything illegal or improper, and the Captain will report any incidents to the proper authorities if they occur. This may jeopardise the Captain and crew’s operating licence, resulting in the seizing of the yacht. This will be taken very severely in the majority of countries and might result in imprisonment or heavy penalties. Any violations of previously agreed-upon charter conditions will result in the trip being terminated and the boat returning to its closest port.

  1. Do not smoke without asking about your charters restrictions

On most yacht charters, smoking is prohibited within the cabin, but smoking spaces may be designated on the deck. Clarify the smoking rules onboard your superyacht. Inform your charter broker of any smokers in your group as soon as you make a reservation. Request that friends and family smoke in designated areas or downwind side of the yacht, where the smoke is carried away by the breeze.

  1. Do not disrespect the personal space of the captain or crew

Everybody on board the boat needs to have some time to themselves after a long day of sailing. Respect the “upstairs/downstairs” statement at all times, and never enter private crew spaces without express permission. On many ships, the kitchen is a sacred space that should only be entered when invited, you should never barge in to bark your order at the chef. Most yachts include mini-refrigerators in the guest spaces, and a crew member will ensure that they are stocked and supplied with your prefered beverages and snacks for the duration of your trip.

Bottom line

Finally, chartering a luxury yacht won’t be a memorable experience if you do not appreciate every minute of your trip. We can all agree that vacationing on a yacht is a beautiful and unique experience, unlike any land-based lodging. Being on a yacht is a unique social experience with its own set of rules. Whether it is your first time riding a luxury yacht, or an experienced veteran, you should always observe all the unspoken rules and etiquette listed above.If you, your family members or your close friends are looking to charter a luxury yacht in Phuket, then Isabella Yachts are the team you need to get in contact with ASAP! We handle over 25 private sailing and motor vessels ranging in length from 10 to 300 feet. Our speciality is crewed yacht charters, but we also provide bareboat sailing boat charters. Isabella Yachts, founded in Phuket in 2012, specialises in crewed and bareboat charters for day/weekly voyages across the Thai and Myanmar islands. With over ten full-time employees based in Phuket throughout the year, we can provide assistance 24/7 and are always willing to help you!

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