Imagine a quiet tropical morning, where you start your day settled in a comfortable chair on the aft deck of a luxurious yacht, anchored off a deserted beach with palm trees shading the flawless white sand. A uniformed crew member serves warm croissants with Mimosas of freshly squeezed orange juice and icy champagne on the sun-warmed teak deck. Your only decision is, what to do today.
Or you might suggest that your captain and crew move your yacht to a nearby harbour where, moored to the quay, you can watch the crowds strolling the waterfront while you enjoy a gourmet lunch from the yacht’s chef, who learned his trade in some of the best restaurants in the world. It will be leisurely, languid, and absolutely memorable.
The same is true for dinner, where you can linger over an al fresco five-course service with fine wines in the soft evening air, savouring all the privacy of your own yacht. To finish the evening, you might retire to the bubbling spa on the upper deck of the yacht to sip a last flute of champagne under a starry sky before snuggling into the soft pillows of your suite.
Few of life’s pleasures compare with a yacht charter, because it blends a superb sense of privacy with the freedom and flexibility to do exactly as you please. It’s no wonder that the truly wealthy, from Onassis to Trump to Oprah, have chosen yachts as their method of escape.
You can, of course, find superb service on many cruise ships but, on the other hand, you go where they choose. Aboard your chartered yacht, the captain will inquire discreetly what might please you today and, should you prefer to do nothing, you will be left undisturbed.
On the other hand, your options might include jetskis and windsurfers, waterskiing, sailing, snorkeling or exploring ashore. Larger yachts obviously have a wider selection of toys, ranging up to helicopters, mini-submarines and automobiles aboard the cream of the fleet.
For many years, charter yachts were the province not just of the wealthy, but of an insider’s clique who were familiar with all the nuances and rituals of yachts. Many had their own yachts, but simply wanted to spend a week or two dallying in some foreign location.