Caribbean Vacation Planning and Yacht Charter Guide for a BVI fully crewed or bareboat luxury yacht sailing vacation and holiday charter guide. British Virgin Islands Caribbean cruise on a charter yacht. Grenadines crewed and bareboat yachts.

Different Ways to Charter a Yacht

There are several ways to charter a boat or a luxury yacht: Undoubtedly the best and most restful and stress-free vacation, is to book a cruise on a fully crewed yacht, where the boat is exclusively yours for the duration. The vessel can be sail or power, and the crew will navigate, sail and prepare the beverages and meals. This is definitely the lap of luxury or as the Irish say: “Living the life of Riley”. the whole boat is yours to go wherever you like, your crew will be responsible for serving you three meals a day plus preparing the many exotic or traditional island beverages and magnificent gourmet dishes for your evening meals. The chefs on board luxury yachts pride themselves in the quality and variety of their meals; (Many of these crews are husband and wife teams, others have less or no personal relationship). This truly remarkable vacation has no equal on earth: sailing on your own private yacht with an attentive and knowledgeable crew to attend to your every need has to be the ultimate experience. You can view a short list of our finest crewed yachts, both power and sail, or go to our state-of-the-art crewed yacht search engine. Get a sample Caribbean Yacht Charter Agreement here.

You can also charter a bareboat without captain or crew. Under this arrangement you and your party will be the captain and crew. Of course, some prior experience will be necessary for your own safety, and you and/or your guests will be required to fill out a form known as a “sailing resume”, (get the bareboat qualification form) take out accident insurance and/or provide a security deposit before the Charter Company turns you loose with their rather expensive piece of equipment.

As a kind of “off-shoot” of the bareboat charter, you can also charter a bareboat with a skipper or a captain-only arrangement under which the charter company provides a qualified captain, usually a person expressly chosen not only for their nautical experience but more importantly for their “people-skills” and ability to interact socially with a wide variety of guests. You and your party will be expected to do the meal preparation or to eat ashore at the many available local restaurants and watering holes on the different islands. You will be responsible for the captain’s meals as well. Many of the bareboats on our site are also available with an experienced captain. Also, some of the fully crewed yachts can be chartered as “captain-only” vessels.

A final alternative is to book a cabin on a crewed yacht. Some of the larger private yachts allow bookings by the cabin: boats will typically leave their port of origin on a fixed timetable and itinerary, say, on Fridays at mid-day and return to the same port on the following Thursday at midday. You will be sharing the vessel with other guests and your fellow passengers will be basically “Pot-Luck”. This is a more economical way to have the fun without paying for the whole boat.

Motor Yacht or Sailing Vessel?

This is a matter of personal preference. Many people prefer the silence of sailing, the closeness and intimacy of the wind and the sea, and the primal satisfaction of using the elements to power your boat and take you where you want to go. There is also a somewhat superior level of skill required to successfully navigate, maneuver and anchor a sailing vessel. Power boats on the other hand, tend to be somewhat easier to handle, especially for mooring and navigating in close quarters if they have twin propellers. You are not dependent on the wind to get to where you want to go, plus, power boats tend to have more creature comforts like larger heads, and living accommodations. When chartering a vessel, people tend to charter what they are familiar with. Either way, Sail or power, you’ll have a great time. On a separate issue, it is quite fashionable these days to charter catamaran type twin hull or tri-maran vessels because they tend to travel in a more upright position and be laterally stable.

Crewed Yacht Charters

The best way to seel the real Caribbean is from the deck of your own private fully crewed Charter Yacht. Whether you prefer the luxury of a fully crewed yacht or the freedom of a bareboat, chartering offers something for everyone.

A fully-crewed yacht comes at a minimum with captain and chef. For the price you would normally pay a cruise-line, you and your friends sail in comfort on your own yacht, with first class food and service, but you decide the menu and where and when you sail. The emphasis is on exploring just one group of islands in depth and visiting villages and beaches that are often inaccessible to cruise ships or hotel guests. 

How we find the most suitable boat and crew for your party:

A charter brokerage house, such as Boat BVI, matches you with a boat that fits your requirements and a crew that has similar interests. Rather than mailing long lists of boats, we send you an initial selection of yachts we would recommend, based on the preferences you give us. This package will contain our own independent, detailed description of the boat and crew, as well as each boat’s brochure.

We then discuss the features that you like in both boat and crew, sending you more selections as necessary. We have more than 500 crewed yachts on file and only recommend boats that we know personally and feel would be suitable. Selecting the right crew is often more important than the boat. You can view a list of our finest crewed yachts, both power and sail, or go to the crewed yacht Search Engine.

What it costs and how to get more information:

Prices typically run between $1100 and $2200 per person for a week and normally include all meals and an open bar. The meals are prepared to your preferences and are often comparable, or better than, the best restaurants in the area. Get a sample Caribbean Charter Contract.

Call us, or fill out our Contact Form for a package of literature and a selection of suggested yachts and crews that fit your profile and preferences. You might also like to visit the Search Engine with crewed and bareboat boat descriptions with specifications, photographs of over 400 yachts and crews. We also hope you will sign up for our quarterly e-mail newsletter to read the latest charter news.

Bareboat Charters

With no timetable, no crew, and an endless supply of beaches, coves and unique islands to visit, bareboat chartering represents the ultimate get away vacation. There are many bareboat companies in the Caribbean but standards vary enormously and choosing the right boat and company makes all the difference. There are many enticing bareboat sites on the web, but in reality it is virtually impossible to judge a boat’s condition from a web site or a magazine ad. As an independent brokerage that works with all charter companies, we can tell you how they compare and describe each boat’s current condition. All companies have some boats that are better than others. We specialize in Caribbean charters and know from first hand experience and feedback which companies regularly produce satisfied customers. This is why we book preferentially from the major and well know charter companies (See list of these companies here). If you are concerned that your “bare-boating” experience may not be sufficient for a Charter Company, please take the time to print and fill out the Bareboat Pre-qualification form that is attached. For most charter companies, it is important that you have experience in a boat of similar size to the one you wish to charter.

Get the pre-qualification form here.

See a selection of our finest Power and Sailing Bareboats here.

Bareboats can also be chartered with a captain if you would just like to kick-back and relax without the responsibility. Remember that your party will be responsible for all food preparation that will be required, including the captain’s food and beverages. If you would like to COMFORTABLY BROWSE availabilities and specifications, please use our specialized BAREBOAT charter details. There are two bareboat search-engines on this site, one for Moorings boats and one for non-Moorings boats.

Choosing a Bareboat Charter Company:

As part of our service, we send you an overview of ALL boats and companies in the cruising ground you select, including prices, extra charges and specials, all presented in the same format. The package also contains company brochures and useful information on all aspects of chartering. We then discuss which companies and boats best fit your requirements in your price range. We can give an independent opinion on the boat you are considering and its current condition. We are booking agents for over 15 established charter companies, including the reputable Moorings boats, and we can offer these superlative vessels wherever these companies have bases: Tortola in the BVI, Marsh Harbour in the Abacos, Bahamas Canouan in the Grenadines, Belize in Central America plus all their Mediterranean Locations like Greece, Turkey, Croatia and the Pacific favorites like Tahiti and Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Call us at (305) 758-2500 or email us for a personalized quote or to book a boat. You can also visit and choose your own boat and use the state-of-the-art bareboat search engines on this site.

Here’s how the whole booking thing works in practice:

First of all, our services are free. By booking your charter through us, you pay no more than dealing with the boat, clearing house, or the bareboat company directly, yet our literature, volume, unbiased advice and 20 years charter experience provide additional security, more information and lower airfares. We can quote instant on-line boat availability and simplify the whole booking process. Call us or fill out our Contact Form for more information or literature, and see why we book more Caribbean charters. Sign up for our on-line newsletter to hear about new boats and the latest charter news.

After you have chosen the yacht that will be your floating home for a week or two, and after we have verified the availability of the vessel for the dates that you need, you will be mailed or faxed a charter agreement/contract and asked to provide a deposit which can be between 25% and 50% of the charter value. While we wait for the check or wire-transfer, we will place a “working hold” on the vessel for a predetermined period of time and will be granted a “first option” or a “right of first refusal” from the yacht’s clearing house or the bareboat charter company.

When we receive the deposit and the signed contract, we will place a firm booking with the Clearing House or Charter Company, transfer funds to them or to an escrow account and e mail you the Food and Beverage Preference sheets and the precise instructions on where, when and how to pick up your charter vessel.

30 to 45 days before your departure date, you will be required to provide us with the 50% balance of the value of the charter.

With the formalities behind you, you will be on the way to the best vacation of your life!!!

Trip Cancellation and Medical Insurance

We strongly recommend that you consider taking out a Trip Cancellation Insurance policy. Since the initial deposit is non-refundable for obvious reasons, i.e. the boat has committed a period of time to you and has essentially taken itself off the market for that period of time. Cancellation Insurance will allow you recoup your deposit if you have to cancel your vacation for a valid reason.

Some Trip Cancellation Policies can have medical insurance included as well in case of accident while on vacation. Please contact us for more information, we represent the TRAVEL GUARD company that sells this product.

Download a Sample Charter Contract

Send us your name and email to download a sample yacht charter contract.

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