Embark on Your Perfect Sailing Journey:

Decoding the Different Yacht Charter Options – From Bareboat to Flotilla

Set sail on a voyage of discovery as we unravel the diverse world of yacht charter options. From the freedom of bareboat to the luxury of all-inclusive, find your ideal sailing adventure and navigate the open waters with confidence and excitement!

A sailing adventure yacht charter is the gateway to an unparalleled vacation experience that promises adventure, relaxation, and memories to last a lifetime. But with a plethora of yacht charter options available, each offering its unique allure, it’s essential to choose the perfect fit for your preferences and desires.   In fact, one of the first decisions you’ll face is what type of yacht charter — Bareboat, crewed, luxury crewed, all-inclusive, cabin, or flotilla?

Here we explore the wonders of these different yacht charter options so that you can make an informed choice for your dream sailing vacation.


  • You are the skipper, responsible for navigating the vessel and managing all aspects of the sailing journey
  • Perfect for skilled sailors, who have the required license or sailing experience
  • Ideal for those who want freedom and independence
  • Cost effective compared to other types of charters
  • You are in charge of sailing, provisioning, anchoring/moorings, fueling, etc.
  • Also read Common Bareboat Charter Mistakes ›


Best for those that want a bareboat charter but lack experience or qualifications

  • All of the above except you hire a skipper/captain and/or chef
  • Must consider sleeping and bathroom arrangements for hired crew
  • Sometimes the crew are independent third parties to whom you pay direct, other times they are part of the charter company; and sometimes they are referred by the charter company but you make all arrangements with them yourself
  • Ideal for those who want a ‘guide’ to the local area
  • Great for those who want to skipper but want a cook or hostess to take care of provisioning, meals, and galley duties.


  • Professional crew takes care of all sailing aspects
  • A more luxurious and carefree sailing experience compared to bareboat with an experienced crew providing personalized service, gourmet cuisine, and expert guidance.
  • No sailing experience required but suitable for those who are experienced as well who want a sailing adventure without worrying about navigation or boat handling
  • Provides expert local knowledge as the crew can guide you to the best anchorages, activities, and attractions


  • Higher level of service and amenities provided on the yacht compared to a crewed yacht charter.
  • Often include additional amenities such as gourmet meals prepared by a private chef, luxurious staterooms with high-end furnishings, premium linens, and top-of-the-line water toys and equipment for water-based activities
  • Personalized—crew caters to the guests’ preferences and need from personalized itineraries and exquisite cuisine to dedicated service and attention to detail
  • Ultimate in comfort, relaxation, and opulence
  • Offerings can vary depending on the yacht and charter company


  • Often a crewed or luxury crewed yacht charter where the price covers not only the rental of the yacht but also various additional services and amenities, typically related to food, beverages, and activities.
  • Includes APA (Advance Provisioning Allowance) which is a fee calculated as a percentage of the charter fee to cover various trip expenses including fuel, food, mooring fees, and incidentals. Any unused funds are returned to the guests, while additional costs may require a top-up.
  • Hassle-free and seamless sailing vacation experience
  • Offerings can vary depending on the yacht and charter company


Ideal for solo travelers or couples who want to experience a sailing vacation without the expense of chartering an entire yacht

  • An arrangement where individuals or small groups can book one or more cabins on a shared yacht.
  • Allows you to book only the number of cabins you need
  • Common areas and facilities, water toys, outdoor deck space, etc.. are shared with other guests.
  • Professionally crewed: cabin charters come with crew including a captain (who is responsible for sailing the boat) and sometimes a host/hostess/chef who takes care of meals and providing overall hospitality
  • Depending on if there is a host/hostess/chef dictates meals served. A preference sheet is sent to each ‘cabin’. Some ‘by the cabin charters’ are half-board (breakfast and lunch only) while some are full-board (breakfast, lunch and dinner). Some exclude any/all alcohol beverages while others provide basic alcohol service.
  • Itinerary is typically predetermined by the charter company
  • Must be open to socializing with other guests for a pleasant sailing experience
  • Limited charter companies offer such
  • Also Read Crewing on a Sailing Vacation ›


  • A sailing flotilla is multiple yachts that set sail together following a pre-planned route led by a lead boat
  • Can be bareboat, bareboat plus, or by the cabin depending on the flotilla specifics
  • Each yacht in the flotilla generally operates as a bareboat charter
  • Lead boat provides guidance and support
  • Pre-planned itinerary with recommended anchorages, ports, and places of interest to visit
  • Offer a social and interactive experiences as crews for the different yachts have the opportunity to socialize at anchorages or during planned social events
  • Suitable for all levels
  • Read Benefits of a Sailing Flotilla for more information

As you set your sights on the vast and captivating world of yacht charters, remember that the perfect sailing journey awaits, tailored to your unique desires and preferences. Whether you crave the freedom and adventure of a bareboat charter, the luxury and pampering of a crewed or all-inclusive charter, the camaraderie and support of a flotilla, or the convenience of a cabin charter, the options are as diverse as the horizons that await you. 

So, cast off the lines, embrace the wind, and embark on your dream sailing vacation. Let the open waters be your canvas, and the yacht your vessel of discovery as you create memories that will forever linger in the depths of your heart. The world of yacht charters beckons, and it’s time to sail into the sunset of your perfect maritime adventure.


  • Trisha Evelyn

    I find myself drawn to any project that allows me to learn and use my creativity to solve problems - and sailing tops my list!

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