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Selling Yacht Charters to your Clients

Yacht charters are a growing segment of the

“cruising” market, however many Travel Advisors don’t consider this option when recommending a cruise or beach vacation for their clients. That’s a shame because not only are yacht charters very profitable to sell, but they will also give your clients a memorable vacation experience unlike any that they have had before. Having just returned from a yacht charter (see the article in this issue), I would like to share some tips about what types of charters are available and how to sell this vacation to your clients.

 

Types of Yacht Charters
There are several different types of charters and boats available and understanding the differences will help you select the right type for your client. There are three primary types of boats available for charter: monohull sailboats, sailing catamarans, and power catamarans. Monohulls are almost always rented by experienced sailors on a bareboat basis. Catamarans can be chartered bareboat or crewed as described below.

 

Bareboat charters are the most basic type of charter, primarily for seasoned boaters with a resume of boating experience. What you get with a bareboat charter is just that, a bare boat, with no captain or provisions. Either your client will captain the boat themselves or hire a captain for the duration of the charter. These will be the most difficult to sell because they do require a good deal of knowledge about the boat and the region they are cruising in. Also, the requirements for being captain of the boat varies by location. In the Caribbean a boating resume is usually sufficient, whereas in many places in Europe a Captain’s license is required.

 

Crewed charters typically provide a captain and chef and can be chartered on an all-inclusive basis or with a self provisioning option. The all-inclusive basis is the easiest charter to sell, as the charter company will work with your client to provision the boat with the food, beverages and toys they prefer. When looking at yachts for crewed charters, bear in mind that an additional stateroom must be available for the crew.

 

The last type of charter that is available from a couple of companies is the “by the cabin” charter. With this option your clients are buying a single cabin on an all-inclusive cruise and will be traveling with others doing the same. This is the least flexible option, as meals and itineraries are determined by the crew, but is also easier to sell for the same reason. Companies that offer “by the cabin” charters and pay commission include Dream Yacht Charters and Festiva Sailing Vacations. Although they do not offer “by the cabin” charters, The Moorings is one of the largest yacht charter companies and offer both bareboat and crewed charters, and pay commission.

 

So who is your best prospective client for a yacht charter? Well, your customers that enjoying cruising are certainly good prospects, as are your clients who are sun and sand lovers. The person that will most enjoy a charter vacation is someone who likes flip flops over high heels, loves being in the ocean and enjoys eating at local beach bars and restaurants. If you have clients that fit that bill, I strongly suggest recommending a yacht charter for their next vacation. They will love you for it and you will earn a nice commission in the process.

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