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Yacht Charters Vs Cruises: Which is Best?

A holiday at sea is one of the most rewarding and relaxing ways to unwind. The never-ending ocean horizon, new ports and adventures each day, impeccable service and excellent cuisine. And don’t get us started on the sunsets, which always seem that much more magical from the deck of a ship. But which ship is right for you? From the world’s largest cruise ships, to smaller bespoke cruise vessels and private yachts of all size, the choices are many. While a cruise and a yacht charter share many similarities, in reality the experience you will have on board couldn’t be more different.


Here we take a look at yachts versus cruise ships and why you might want to switch your next cruise for a yacht charter;

1. Freedom to Explore as you Choose

On a yacht charter, the itinerary is completely in your hands. Along with the captain, you will be able to chart where you want to go and when, tailoring it to the interests of you and your guests. Discover some of the most astounding cruising destinations in the world where you can cruise through Greece’s historical islands in search of ancient ruins, join the party on the Côte d'Azur or seek out your own slice of paradise and privacy in the uninhabited cays of the Caribbean. 


Cruise ships offer exciting itineraries with many ports of call and pre-planned shore excursions, but due to their size they are restricted to larger and deeper ports and their itineraries are fixed. On board a luxury yacht charter the yacht can go where it pleases, dropping anchor in secluded bays and visiting exclusive islands and off-the-beaten-path destinations. The addition of a tender on board a yacht means there are few places you cannot visit. 


2. Escape the Crowds

Charter a yacht and you and your guests will have complete and exclusive use of it. Unlike a cruise ship, where up to 3,000 passengers will be sharing the experience with you, yachts provide a bespoke and intimate holiday far from the crowds. The crew are there to take care of just you, the facilities on the yacht are yours alone and the pace and vibe of the charter are dictated by you and your interests. 


Cruise ships offer a plethora of amenities, from swimming pools and gyms to play areas for children and spas. Yet booking is often essential, and privacy and solitude are unlikely. Yachts provide a sense of personal space and leisure time which caters only to you. Dine with family and friends on the deck, use the water toys as and when you want, enjoy late breakfasts and long lie-ins. With all the space you need, whether you’re on a larger superyacht or crewed yacht, the space is all yours. 


3. Fully Customizable

It’s not just the itinerary that is yours to control on board a yacht charter. Everything is designed around you and your tastes. Whether it’s the food menu, the water sports, the shore excursions or the daily schedule, virtually every part of a yacht charter can be tailored. In contrast, a cruise runs to a set itinerary, with a programme of entertainment events, shore excursions and meal times. With time limited in each port, you might find yourself missing out on something you really wanted to experience. Even access to the water is unrestricted on a yacht, the water toys and swim platform there to be used whenever the urge takes you. On board a cruise ship moored in a port, your access to the sea will be limited to shore excursions. 


4. Exceptional Service

There are all types of cruise ship, from family-friendly vessels to luxury smaller ships which can offer a high degree of service and cuisine. Yet none are able to offer the five-star experience of a yacht. There are many kinds of yacht charter but whether it’s a sailing holiday or a superyacht charter, the crew are dedicated to serve just you and your guests. With a ratio of one-to-one, sometimes even more, you’ll always have your drink topped up, meals served with gourmet pizazz and someone to drive you ashore in the tender at your whim.  From beach picnics to water sports, your comfort and enjoyment comes first.


5. Gourmet Food

Good food is the cornerstone of a memorable holiday, and on board a yacht you will have your very own chef to cook to precisely your tastes. You’ll complete a preference sheet before boarding, specifying your likes and dislikes, your preferred drinks, your dietary requirements or any allergies. Armed with this, your chef will create dazzling dishes that will stay on your taste buds and mind long after the charter ends. Allow your chef to exert their creativity, and you’ll be able to try new and mouth-watering fine dining experiences such as tasting menus, pairings and celebrations. Or why not head ashore for the evening and dine waterside in a charming little taverna or chic restaurant? 


In contrast, a cruise ship has to cater to many tastes and your choices will be more limited. Buffet service is common on larger cruise ships, although some do offer table service and à la carte dining. With set meal times in a large dining room, the environment and food might not always be to everyone’s taste. 


6. Safety

The COVID-19 pandemic has made us very aware of communicable viruses, and the cruise industry was one of the first to suffer the effects. On board a cruise ship, shared activities and dining spaces mean there is greater chance of the spread of germs and viruses, and social distancing is virtually impossible. A yacht however offers a complete escape from the crowds and therefore the chances of catching illnesses. Crew are regularly tested, and the yacht is spotless between each charter to ensure the very highest standards of cleanliness. 


7. Value for Money

It might seem logical to assume that a yacht charter is more expensive than a cruise, but in reality that’s not always the case. Luxury cruises can cost more per head than a yacht charter, especially when you factor in all the extras such as water sports and excursions which are often charged on top. And with the added benefits of total privacy, flexibility, bespoke activities and gourmet food, an all-inclusive yacht charter can be far better value for money. With up to six people able to join you on a yacht, the total cost per head often works out comparably or even more economically than you may have first thought. Discover how much it really costs to charter a yacht. 

If you’re considering a private yacht vacation, then read through our tips and guides on Rightboat.com to help you discover how to charter a boat. From crewed yacht charters to bareboat charters and sailing vacations, we can connect you with the best brokers all across the globe. Get in touch with Rightboat charter, and we can start planning your next unforgettable experience. 


You May Also Like ...

1. How to Charter a Boat – Your Questions Answered

2. What is a Gulet? What is it like to charter one?

3. Yacht Charter Seasons: Where Can I go and When?

4. Beautiful Places to Charter in Greece

5. Must Visit Islands When Chartering In The BVI

6. Must Visit Croatian Destinations

7. UK Charters - Where to Charter in the UK?



Written By: Rightboat Team

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