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The Best Yacht Charters You Can Book Around the World

Whether you’re looking for seven decks of entertainment, a family-friendly trip, or a diving-focused Caribbean voyage, you’ll find it here.

best charter yachts in the world

There are few experiences as luxurious and awe-inspiring as a yacht charter . You can explore the world at your leisure, spend quality time with friends and family in an intimate setting, and the service is second to none. We've rounded up the most exceptional new yacht charters to book around the world. They're sure to inspire your next voyage, whether you want to relax along the Amalfi Coast or explore remote corners of the globe.

In the yachting world, Loon is known for an exceptional array of water toys — perhaps the best in her class. There's a FunAir inflatable slide that goes from the third deck straight into the ocean, an in-water pool, and a luxurious 43-foot Everglades tender. You can hop on paddleboards, sea kayaks, Waverunners, or a Seabob to explore nearby islands and coves.

The adventurous can try kite surfing or Lift e-Foil surfboards, which seems effortless when you watch the crew fly past, but is actually quite challenging. Loon is also a scuba diver's dream. The crew has several master divers and dive instructors who can take you out each morning, and they have all of the equipment you need onboard. They can also certify new divers during the trip.

The 180-foot yacht has a staggering 1,100 gross tons of living space, elegant design, and an amiable and attentive crew. Loon has two master staterooms, including a unique one on the upper deck. It has wraparound windows that offer unparalleled views of the surroundings. There are two salons, including one with recliners and a projector for movie night, plenty of spaces for dining alfresco, and an oversized infinity-edge Jacuzzi with a wet bar nearby. Fancy a workout? Loon has a treadmill, exercise bike, rowing machine, and free weights in the beach club. You'll be hard-pressed to find better workout views than this.

The crew is absolutely lovely and specializes in setting up unique experiences. You might have a pizza night on board, a barbecue on a private beach, or sundowners at the Instagram-famous Loon Bar. The crew will even take you to a picture-perfect sandbar and serve you drinks as you loll in the warm water.

Loon is available for charter from IYC in the Bahamas, Caribbean, and Bermuda during the winter months and in the Mediterranean in the summer months. Rates begin at $325,000 a week plus expenses.

Nansen Explorer

For the ultimate Antarctica adventure, you can't beat a voyage aboard Nansen Explorer . This former research vessel has all of the technical features needed to safely explore one of the world's most remote and dramatic landscapes and, thanks to a retrofit in 2021, an ultra-luxe interior design that wouldn't look out of place in St. Tropez. For exploration, Nansen Explorer has an Ice-1A classed 236-foot hull and an ice-experienced captain and bridge team, which means she can go deeper into the ice than other polar-classed superyachts. There's a heli-deck with onboard fueling capabilities, so you can see the vast landscape from the sky, or even go heli-skiing. There are plenty of toys that allow you to get up close and personal with wildlife and nature, including kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, dive equipment, and Zodiacs.

The interiors are so stylish, modern, and well-appointed that you'll forget you're in the middle of Antarctica rather than at a swanky hotel. The ship originally accommodated 60 passengers, but now it holds just 12 guests in seven cabins, including an owner's suite and a VIP suite. Each cabin has large windows that showcase the stunning vistas outside the ship. The sumptuous Scandanavian-inspired decor features shades of grey and white, which reflect the surrounding environment. There's a cozy lounge with a bar and a fireplace, perfect for warming up after an excursion to see penguins or whales.

Nansen Explorer is available for charter from Plan South America in Antarctica. Rates begin at $340,000 a week and are all-inclusive.

Yachting in French Polynesia is always a blissful experience, but Dardanella takes relaxation to the next level with bespoke, wellness-focused charters planned by onboard wellbeing facilitator Ayumi Gallagher. The wellness experience is all-encompassing, including fresh, detoxifying food, mindfulness workshops, yoga sessions, Pilates, meditation, and massages alongside traditional yacht activities, like diving, surfing, and tender safaris exploring the pristine waters and nature of French Polynesia. The captain is also a qualified marine biologist and ecologist, so he's the perfect person to show you this unique environment. There are two dive instructors, 12 sets of dive gear, a Nitrox dive compressor, and underwater photography equipment, so you can capture the beauty underwater, too. As an expedition yacht, Dardanella is well-suited for exploring remote destinations. The 121-foot yacht was refit in 2018 and has five luxurious cabins.

Dardanella is available for charter from 37south in French Polynesia. Rates begin at $100,000 a week plus expenses.

With seven decks, there's something for everyone aboard Wheels . This massive yet elegant yacht measures 249 feet, weighs almost 2,000 gross tons, and has lots of standout amenities including a spacious cinema for eight guests, a huge aquarium, massage room with a dedicated onboard masseuse, air-conditioned gym, and the main salon converts to a disco complete with lights and a smoke machine for those late-night dance parties. The split-level master suite has panoramic views, a study, and plenty of space, and there are four spacious guest suites on the main deck. Outside, there are plenty of relaxation areas, including sunpads, a hot tub, several dining areas and bars, and an enviable water sports area with two Jet Skis, four wave runners, three seabobs, a luxurious tender, and plenty more toys. The crew is very active and can teach you to wakeboard, kitesurf, sail the new Hobie cat catamaran, or scuba dive. They can also lead yoga and fitness classes.

Wheels is available for charter from Fraser Yachts in the Caribbean. Rates begin at $680,000 a week plus expenses.

It's not uncommon for yacht charterers to "upgrade" their yachts year after year, chasing newer and bigger boats, which is makes Big Sky 's number of repeat bookings even more impressive. The 157-foot yacht has been a charter favorite since 2010, and she recently underwent a refit leaving her in immaculate condition. Big Sky can accommodate 10 guests in five staterooms, including a full-beam master that spans the width of the yacht, and there's plenty of room onboard to relax, including the main salon with large windows and a state-of-the-art TV system. The sky lounge is perfect for entertaining — it has an onyx bar and sliding windows that make you feel as if you are outside. Of course, if you do want to relax outdoors, there are three teak decks with space for dining and a large sundeck with a Jacuzzi, sun pads, couches, and a bar.

Big Sky is available for charter from Northrop & Johnson in the Bahamas. Rates begin at $180,000 a week plus expenses.

This glamorous new superyacht caused quite a stir when she debuted at the Monaco Yacht Show in September 2021. It's rare for a brand-new superyacht of this size to be available immediately for charter, so book your trip on Tatiana early. This 263-foot yacht can accommodate up to 12 guests, who are guaranteed impeccable service from the 20 crew members. She has a great selection of water accoutrements and a stunning design with a large amount of interior space, including a deck dedicated to the owner's suite. There are also two VIP staterooms, four double cabins, and a twin cabin. While away any rainy days in the movie room or shooting some pool. Tatiana also has a fabulous beach club with a large bathing platform, bar, and outdoor lounge.

Tatiana is available for charter from IYC in the Bahamas, Caribbean, and Bermuda during the winter months and in the Mediterranean in the summer months. Rates begin at €775,000 a week plus expenses.

Nour El Nil Meroe

Step back in time aboard Nour El Nil Meroe , a traditionally inspired Egyptian yacht full of modern amenities and luxurious design. Meroe is available for charter through Black Tomato, a top luxury travel company known for its expertly curated trips with exclusive experiences and a focus on local culture. Meroe is styled like a classic dahabiya boat, with authentic decor featuring whitewashed walls and linens alongside Parisian decor details. The VIP cabins have floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the Nile — we can't think of a more fabulous way to have breakfast in bed — while the other cabins have large windows. The shaded roof terrace has plenty of spots for lounging and dining alfresco, and there's a cheery indoor salon with red-and-white striped decor and cozy couches. On your charter, you'll slowly sail down the Nile River from Luxor to Aswan. You can charter just the yacht voyage or book the Ultimate Egypt trip , which includes adventures on land as well as the yacht charter (think: private tours of the pyramids, exploring temples, or taking a jeep safari around Siwa).

El Nil and the Ultimate Egypt trip can be booked through Black Tomato . Rates begin at $5,800 a person.

The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection

One of 2022's most anticipated travel launches is the new The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection . While this is technically a small-ship cruise, every element has been designed to make you feel as if you are aboard a superyacht. The fleet will ultimately have three custom-built yachts, each with 149 suites. However, in 2022, the collection will launch with their first luxury vessel: Evrima . The suites all have private terraces, which isn't something you can expect aboard even the largest superyacht. And of course, the amenities are incredible. It has a beautiful spa, stunning marina terrace (set up like a yacht beach club), an infinity-edge pool, a large gym, and plenty of entertainment. The dining options are seemingly endless, including the main restaurant, the Evrima Room, S.E.A., which features a menu by acclaimed chef Sven Elverfeld of Aqua, Talaat Nam, a Southeast Asian spot, and several casual options.

The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection's inaugural voyage is set for May 2022 and pricing is dependent on the itinerary. Learn more about the trips here .

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Planning the perfect charter requires specialist knowledge, trusted contacts on board and on the ground, as well as first-hand knowledge of yachts, crews and locations, as well as legal contracts and local regulations to build an experience that suits you perfectly. Another reason to choose a broker is that sometimes there can be unforeseen issues with yachts or destinations and having an experienced broker to protect your interests and build a plan B is hugely reassuring. 

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Charter a luxury yacht with Burgess. We are trusted for our expertise, and it is the first-hand insights of our charter brokers that raise the bar. Our collective knowledge serves to make your superyacht charter experience exceptional. Explore our stunning collection of luxury yachts for rent or hire and speak to our experts about chartering a private yacht to your dream destination.

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A honeymoon yacht charter is the perfect getaway after your wedding. You and your spouse can settle down to spend some quality time together on board, as your private boat heads toward your dream destination. Relax on a Caribbean beach with a cocktail in hand, or discover the wonders of Thailand together. The choice is yours.

Tempted by a summer yacht charter? Set sail for the Mediterranean , where you can unwind in one of Ibiza ’s famous wellness retreats, or explore the iconic pink streets of Saint-Tropez .   Greece also makes the perfect destination for an explorer yacht charter holiday, thanks to its abundance of islands. Perfectly blending beautiful coastlines, sunsets and sites of antiquity, you’ll be well on your way to an indescribable Greek adventure.

If it’s cooler climes you’re after, don’t panic. Alaska and Antarctica are both popular destinations for expedition yacht charters that are filled with thrills. Try heli-skiing and hiking, kayaking through icebergs or experiencing them from below in a submersible, before warming up on board your luxury winter yacht charter.

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The Best Superyacht Charter Itineraries in the World

A list of the best charter superyachts from top brokers and handpicked itineraries that make the most of open seas.

By Samantha Coles

Maltese Falcon

Spending so much time indoors has us itching to get back out into the world: to explore, to visit beloved destinations, to make new memories, and to reunite with friends and family. A superyacht  charter is arguably one of the safer ways to travel the world, and also one of the most fun. We’ve looked at the best charter yachts from the top brokers and handpicked itineraries that really make the most of the open seas, and vessels that have such an extensive list of amenities, toys and special features that you might not ever feel the need to go ashore.

[See also: Inside Flying Fox, the Largest Private Charter Superyacht in the World]

Maltese Falcon

Virgin Islands

One of the most head-turning and instantly recognizable yachts on the water, Maltese Falcon (pictured above) has won more than 18 awards since her launch in 2006. She has all the qualities of a sailing yacht but with the huge spaces and luxuries typically found on a motoryacht, and is one of the largest sailing yachts in the world. Her interior, designed by award-winning firm Ken Freivokh Design, is sleek and modern, and features a vibrant art collection. She has spacious deck areas (the VIP cabin looks out on its own deck space), and the deck can transform into an outdoor cinema by night. There is also an outdoor dining table, Jacuzzi, card and playroom area, large office, interior formal dining room, circular bar, gym and spa area. Of course, her most striking feature is her three carbon-fiber rotating masts with 15 sails, which can all be fully controlled via a computer system. This pioneering system means she is simple and safe to sail at speed while maintaining stability, and has contributed to her winning a slew of prestigious superyacht sailing regattas throughout her history.

Where to go

Even though the US Virgin Islands are just 1,000 miles from Miami, the spellbinding natural scenery, abundant marine life and secluded spots make it feel like another world. Spend a relaxing eight days sailing around the main islands of St Thomas, St John and St Croix, dropping anchor in isolated bays. Beginning in St Thomas, sail to Magens Bay in the Northside region to spend a lazy day on the nearly mile-long sandy beach, or try out one of Maltese Falcon’s many watertoys (laser sailing dinghies, stand-up paddleboards and anti-jellyfish sea pool, to name a few).

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Next you’ll visit Lovango Cay, a small private island between St Thomas and St John. If you want to venture ashore, the island has exceptional walking trails, or drop anchor just north of the island, one of the best spots for snorkeling in the USVI — keep your eyes peeled for nurse sharks. Journey on to Francis Bay, a protected area on St John. The waters surrounding the island are a hot spot for marine life (look out for sea turtles, tropical fish and coral reefs) and, as 60 percent of the island is occupied by the Virgin Islands National Park, St John feels as if it is far removed from civilization.

You’ll also visit Round Bay and Rendezvous Bay on St John — secluded spots that are ideal for spending days out on the water. Explore by tender or jet ski, or fish for your dinner from the shore and have an alfresco dinner in Maltese Falcon’s outdoor dining space. Sail on to St Croix, where you’ll visit Buck Island Reef National Monument. The island has an abundance of wildlife both above and below the ocean, and you can drop anchor at the historic St Croix Yacht Club in Teague Bay to watch the sunset and have the most scenic movie night on the upper deck.

Maltese Falcon

The incredible carbon fiber masts

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Need to Know LOA: 289ft Builder: Perini Navi Built/refit: 2006/2016 Guests: 12 Cabins: 6 Crew: 19 Cruising speed: 16 knots Max speed: 18 knots Best feature: Carbon-fiber masts

From $539,000 per week. Contact Heather Hatcher, charter management director, [email protected] , +1 954 683 2148, iyc.com

best charter yachts in the world

Formosa has traversed the globe with her owner / ©Thierry Ameller

Despite her young age, Formosa is a seasoned traveler: Her intrepid owner took her on an around-the-world tour two years ago, and she has been on the move ever since. Available for charter in Southeast Asia this winter, she is as well-suited to shorter jaunts as she is long, relaxing vacations. The owner’s suite is on the upper deck and has its own study and private terrace; the two VIP cabins on the main deck both have marble en suites; the two double cabins and one twin are on the lower deck. A glass elevator connects the decks.

Formosa’s interiors, by award-winning Dutch yacht design studio Sinot, are fresh and subtle with a few choice pops of color; her exterior spaces are built to enjoy warmer climes. The spacious sundeck has a hot tub and bar, and the observation deck is a private haven strewn with bright orange sofas and daybeds. The upper deck has alfresco dining space and a sky lounge that can be converted into a cinema room, and the swim platform makes for easy access to the ocean to play with her long list of toys: jet ski; kite surfing equipment; slide; inflatable climbing wall; canoe kayak; wake, ski and knee boards; banana boat; and a host of fishing equipment.

Thailand has some of the most beautiful islands in the world, and in this weeklong suggested itinerary from Fraser, you’ll see the best of the Andaman Sea from Formosa’s inviting decks. Begin in Phuket, the largest Thai island, and visit stunning beaches — each one offers something different, from the secluded Nui Beach to the lively atmosphere at Patong Beach.

best charter yachts in the world

The salon / ©Thierry Ameller

Cruise through Phang Nga Bay, famed for its karsts (limestone cliffs), then south to Ko Phi Phi Don. This is a good spot for scuba diving — or hop in a kayak and explore the quieter bays and caves. Next on the agenda is Koh Ngai. It’s officially part of Koh Lanta National Marine Park, so you can expect picture-perfect beach scenes. The neighboring islands form a triangle, making it easy to island-hop, and the rocky islets of Koh Ma, Koh Chueak and Khon Kaen have great snorkeling sites.

Sail on to Koh Muk, home to the Emerald Cave — it is as magical as it sounds. A gorgeous lagoon surrounded by tropical plants lies just beyond the cave, and between the hours of around 10am and 2pm, the sun shines on the lagoon’s waters and reflects on the tunnel’s walls — resulting in a shimmering emerald display. Cruise on to Koh Rok Nok, which is a protected wildlife habitat that has pretty coral gardens teeming with vibrant tropical fish. You’ll be able to spot them right beneath Formosa ; head to her swim platform for the best view, or snorkel in the warm waters for a closer look.

Elite Tip: For a memorable night, head to a secret spot and the crew will set up a campfire on the beach.

Need to Know

LOA: 196ft Builder: Benetti Built: 2015 Guests: 12 Cabins: 6 Crew: 15 Cruising speed: 14 knots Max speed: 16 knots Best feature: Sky lounge/cinema room

From $448,000 per week. Contact [email protected] , +44 207 016 4480, fraseryachts.com

[See also: The Best Superyachts to Charter This Summer]

New Zealand

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Since her launch in 2015, Savannah has won a host of awards

Savannah is an incredible vessel to charter — she is as innovative as she is impressive, with stellar eco-credentials to boot. She is the world’s first-ever hybrid motoryacht and uses a specialized propulsion system to ensure reduced emissions for sustainable cruising. Since her launch in 2015, she has won a host of awards; it’s easy to see why. She has a total of four decks, connected by an elevator and a rosewood spiral staircase. The owner’s suite is on the private upper deck, and the VIP cabin (complete with its own waterside balcony) and additional four en-suite double cabins are found on the main deck.

The main deck also has a 30-ft swimming pool, expansive sundeck with DJ booth and barbecue. There is an onboard spa with hammam (a masseuse and beautician are part of the crew) and a well-equipped gym with views of the ocean — but if you’re more into shooting hoops, then head to her basketball court. Savannah’s piece de resistance is the underwater lounge. It’s the first underwater viewing lounge of its kind, with floor-to-ceiling windows that open up the world beneath the surface for your viewing pleasure. It can also be turned into a cinema room with stadium-style seating.

As one of the world’s natural seven wonders, the Great Barrier Reef is simply remarkable. A large part of the 1,430-mile stretch of coral reef is protected by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park to limit the impact of tourism, so Savannah’s eco-friendly credentials make her a considered choice to charter here. The reef is home to some 900 islands, and while you could certainly head on a longer jaunt to try and see as many of them as possible, this seven-day itinerary from Northrop & Johnson explores the wonders in and around Lizard Island.

best charter yachts in the world

One of the most photogenic infinity pools you will see

On day one, you’ll cruise toward Mackay Cay — a small sand island that only rises about a foot above high tide. Snorkel in the surrounding crystal-clear waters and look out for endangered plants and animals. Sail on to Rachel Carson Reef for a spot of fishing, then enjoy a few sunset cocktails on Savannah’s main deck before dinner. Then head on to Anderson Reef, where you can snorkel or dive world-famous sites, including Steve’s Bommie and Temple of Doom. Or, if you’d prefer, head to Savannah’s Nemo Lounge for stunning vistas of the underwater world around you.

In the following days you will sail on to visit Ribbon Reef 7, Ribbon Reef 9, Cod Hole and Dynamite Pass. On day five, you’ll arrive at Lizard Island — follow in the footsteps of Captain Cook, and hike up to the highest point on the island (known as Cook’s Look) to take in the astonishing views; snorkel amongst the giant clams at Clam Gardens, or kayak through the clear waters.

best charter yachts in the world

One of many alfresco dining options on Savannah

LOA: 274 ft Builder: Feadship Built: 2015 Guests: 12 Cabins: 6 Crew: 24 Cruising speed: 14 knots Max speed: 17 knots Best feature: Underwater viewing lounge

From €1m (approx. $1.2m) per week. Contact Amy Wachmann, charter broker, [email protected] , +1 954 522 3344, northropandjohnson.com

Balearic Islands

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Joy has the first exterior designed by the lauded design studio Bannenberg & Rowell.

Built by industry powerhouse, Feadship, Joy has the first exterior designed by the lauded design studio Bannenberg & Rowell. She has five decks connected by a spiral staircase that coils around a glass elevator; the master suite can be found on the owner’s deck. It was designed to resemble an onboard penthouse and has 270-degree views from floor-to-ceiling windows, a private office and lounge, and his ‘n’ hers en-suite bathrooms, plus it overlooks a winter garden. There are two double en-suite cabins on the owner’s deck positioned close to the master suite (handy if you’re traveling with family). The other cabins are on the main and lower decks. Joy has myriad entertainment spaces including a lower deck beach club that can be transformed into a nightclub or private cinema thanks to the video wall; an Irish whiskey bar in the main saloon; sundeck with barbecue and pool; and a large games deck forward. If you’re a fitness enthusiast, the wellness facilities are outstanding: There is a very well-equipped gym that overlooks the ocean, and a sumptuous spa treatment room.

The main islands in the Balearics are Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera, and each has its own distinct character. This seven-day itinerary from Burgess begins in Club de Mar, Mallorca’s chic marina, before gliding onto Playa Es Trenc, a six-mile stretch of beach with shallow, aquamarine waters and powdery sand. Spend the day strolling along the white sands and wading through the clear waters before enjoying an alfresco dinner onboard. Head chef Lee Easdon grew up in a small fishing village in Cornwall, England so, unsurprisingly, he has a passion for seafood. Dine on seared sea bass with fennel puree, dauphine potato and fennel.

best charter yachts in the world

A private beach dinner set up by the crew

The next day, you’ll sail on to Formentera. The ‘chill’ island (known as Ibiza’s calmer sister) is perfect for lazy days in the sunshine: Relax on Joy’s sundeck or grab a SeaBob — this is a prime spot for underwater viewing. If you’re up for something more energetic, have a one-on-one training session in the gym. Next, travel on to Ibiza Town. Go ashore in the Wajer 38 tender, then meander through cobbled streets in the fortified Unesco-listed Old Town, or hit one of the famous clubs. Start the next day with a 90-minute Ayurvedic massage in Joy’s spa suite while you sail north on to Cala Xarraca — an off-the-beaten-track beach, surrounded by pine forests and with natural mud baths. Cruise to Puerto Soller, a small and charming seaside town, and Puerto Andratx, a glamorous fishing village on the western tip of Mallorca.

Elite Tip: Joy’s onboard fitness instructor can create a bespoke training plan for your time spent at sea.

LOA: 229.7ft Builder: Feadship Built: 2016 Guests: 12 Cabins: 7 Crew: 19 Cruising speed: 12 knots Max speed: 16 knots Best feature: Gym with fitness instructor, spa and onboard masseuse

best charter yachts in the world

Main deck lounge on Joy

From $700,00 per week. Contact James Clark, head of retail charter, [email protected] , +44 207 766 4300, burgessyachts.com

Photo of Samantha Coles

Samantha Coles

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At Worldwide Boat, we craft memorable yacht charter experiences around the world

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“Yacht charters offer a vacation of a lifetime!”

When looking to charter a yacht for a unique family or team vacation, most people struggle with where to start and how it all works. Price, where, when, how, it overwhelms them.

At Worldwide Boat we provide personalized brokerage services regardless of your charter experience, by curating a customized vacation on the water and to make the booking process easy and seamless.

With our worldwide network of luxury boat rentals, including super and mega yachts, sailing yachts, and catamarans, you’ll be able to tour some of the most beautiful destinations in the world.

Whether you’re hoping to go island-hopping in Tahiti, whale-watching in Alaska, cruising in the Mediterranean, or exploring locales like the Bahamas or the Caribbean in a whole different way, our luxury yacht charters can provide unique access to secluded beaches, private spots, and, of course, miles of crystal waters to sail upon.

Imagine creating new memories with loved ones while cruising the most exclusive destinations with top notch customized service & culinary creations that meet your desires.

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About Yacht Charters: The Most Unforgettable Vacation Experience

"this was one of our most amazing family trips ever. outstanding".

Picture yourself island-hopping in the Bahamas or sipping a cocktail aboard a luxury yacht in the South of France. On a private yacht charter experiences like these happen every day.

There are only so many opportunities in life that vacations of a lifetime can be taken, where lasting unique memories are created. You want to make the right choice.

Why Charter a Yacht?

Luxury yacht rentals offer five-star service, amazing chef-prepared cuisine, and itineraries and experiences tailored to your preferences. As a primary charter guest you control all the details, from the destination to the guest list and menu to the onboard amenities. Our charter specialists work with you to carefully curate a voyage that’s a dream come true.

Experience a Stress-Free Vacation All of the details are handled by your broker and the yacht’s crew. Ask your broker for available crewed yachts in your desired destination and provide your preferences and vision for the vacation. Then, your charter specialist and the crew will work to make sure all of your wants are met.

Traverse the World’s Most Revered Destinations From the aquamarine lagoons of Thailand to the pink-sand beaches of the Bahamas, you can charter a yacht in the world’s most exclusive sailing grounds. Worldwide Boat arranges yacht charters throughout the world, providing you access to amazing private yachts in nearly every port of call. from Alaska to Tahiti to Italy to Croatia. Wherever you want to go, we can help you charter a luxury yacht.

Indulge in First-Class Service and Cuisine Few vacations are as tailored to your preferences as a yacht charter. Your onboard chef carefully creates a menu that’s tailored to you and your guests’ preferences. Yachting chefs are some of the best in the business. Plus, the deck and interior crews are there to provide an unmatched level of service.

Plan Your Dream Yacht Charter Today

Talk to a charter broker at Worldwide Boat today and let us know your desired destination, preferences, and what you’d like to experience on your vacation. Our brokers will discuss the endless opportunities of chartering your perfect yacht, while making it easy and exciting for you to enjoy.

At Worldwide Boat we deliver exceptional personalized service, so that you can cruise on the charter of your dreams!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is a Private Yacht Charter?

A private yacht rental is a cruise vacation tailored to your needs and desires. You’ll get use of the yacht and its crew, and you’ll be able to control the activities on the boat and choose which beaches to go to based on your interests.

How Do You Charter a Yacht?

Private yacht charters can be booked by talking to a specialist or broker like the experienced staff at Worldwide Boat. It should be somebody knowledgeable who can work with you during the whole process and show you a wide range of options. Once your broker helps you find the yacht that fits your dream vacation, you reserve it by signing a contract with the yacht owner.

Where Can I Charter a Yacht?

Our luxury yacht charters are available in dozens of popular destinations, from the French Riviera to the South Pacific and beyond.

Can I Rent a Yacht for a Day?

Luxury boat rentals are usually done on a weekly basis. A yacht broker like Worldwide Boat can help you find luxury boat charters within your price range to make sure you have the vacation of your dreams.

How Much Is a Luxury Yacht Charter?

Pricing on a luxury yacht charter can vary. On average, a week-long private yacht charter starts around $10,000 for a sailing yacht or catamaran. A week-long vacation on a superyacht could cost up to $150,000 or more.

How Much Does it Cost to Rent a Mega Yacht?

The price to rent a mega yacht depends on the yacht as well as the yacht owner, but they are usually $150,000 or more per week. Depending on the agreement you sign when you charter a mega yacht, you may also have to pay for food, fuel, and beverages.

How Much Is a Yacht?

Yachts themselves can range in price depending on the size you buy, but the average cost of a luxury boat is $8.4 million. If you just want a taste of the yacht lifestyle, a luxury yacht rental can be a great way to test out what it’s like to have a yacht before you buy one.

Luxury Mega Yachts

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The Similan islands are one of the best yacht charter destinations in the world

Dream destinations: The world's best charter locations

Travel guidance is ever-changing, but there are no restrictions on planning and dreaming. Kate Lardy picks the planet’s best destinations to visit by yacht when the world reopens for travel. 

Similan Islands

Dressed in the colours of paradise – turquoise water, green forest and white beaches – it’s the poster-worthy island getaway of our dreams. A 50nm cruise and a far cry from the bustle of Phuket , the 11-island archipelago in the Andaman Sea forms Thailand’s Mu Ko Similan National Park. Above water are dramatic boulders; below is even more spectacular. The colourful underwater landscape, warmed to a sublime 29°C (84°F), is accessible to even novice divers and snorkelers with shallow sites and excellent visibility in winter. The park was nearly a victim of its own success, but thanks to restrictions enacted in 2018, the number of daily visitors is capped at half of previous numbers, giving fish a chance to outnumber divers.

Top season: December to March

Don’t miss: Dive site East of Eden, near Ko Payu, offering an aquarium-like swim with sea turtles, potato cod, leopard sharks and more

Nearest airport with 1,500m/5,000ft runway: Phuket International Airport (VTSP)

The Lau Group

These remote islands populated by Fijians and Tongans will enchant those wishing to distance themselves from mainstream tourism. A decade ago, access to the 60-plus islands on the eastern edge of Fiji was restricted and it still has an intrepid feel about it with very little tourism infrastructure. What it does have is pristine beaches, world-renowned surf breaks, drift dives into lagoons, scenic island walks and friendly villages that retain their traditional culture. At each anchorage, kava roots must be presented to the village chief or his emissary as sevusevu (a gift), to request permission to visit or to fish. Some of the islands receive so few cruising yachts that visitors will be welcomed with the traditional meke dance.

Top season: May to October

Don’t miss: The fast-paced drift dive among turtles and reef sharks in Fulaga Pass

Nearest airport with 1,500m/5,000ft runway: Nadi International Airport (NFFN)

Tucked between the North Shore Mountains and Pacific Ocean, British Columbia’s largest city has a lot going for it. Complementing the winning geography is a healthy living ethos – the compact downtown area is walkable and restaurants cater to every conscious diet. And whatever your interest, this cosmopolitan city seems to have a festival for it: opera, film, jazz, wine and much more. In contrast to the metropolis, a short cruise away are charming villages and artist colonies dotted among the Gulf Islands. The resident orcas will be your cruising companions as you island hop in the Strait of Georgia. Residents here got the “buy local” memo early and the area thrives with fresh markets, local coffee shops and craft breweries.

Top season: May to September

Don’t miss: Stanley Park’s 1,000 acres of hiking trails through old-growth forest just a short walk from downtown marinas

Nearest airport with 1,500m/5,000ft runway: Vancouver International Airport (CYVR)

As gateway to the famed Acadia National Park in Maine, this seaside town on Mount Desert Island has an impressive backdrop. Ancient glaciers carved lakes and valleys and smoothed over mountain peaks. There’s a wild beauty to the island’s edge where the white spruce meets the rocky coastline, and yachts share the waters with lobster boats here. Outdoors-lovers congregate in summer to hike and bike the park’s 200 kilometres of trails. If that seems like too much effort, take in the foliage by horse-drawn carriage on crushed-stone roads built a century ago by philanthropist John D Rockefeller Jr. The town itself is gracious, lined with specialty shops (lobster ice cream, anyone?) while offshore, humpback whales feast and the elusive Atlantic puffin nests.

Top season: July to September

Don’t miss: Sunrise from the summit of Acadia’s 466m (1,530ft) Cadillac Mountain, the first spot in the US that the sun touches in autumn and winter

Nearest airport with 1,500m/5,000ft runway: Hancock County-Bar Harbor Airport (KBHB)

Martha’s Vineyard

A summer haven since the late 1800s, Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts may attract some of the best-known names in America, but its vibe is decidedly casual. Politicians, musicians and actors flock here, not to be seen, but to embrace the lazy days of summer. Think farmers’ markets, golf, art galleries, even an alpaca petting zoo and Japanese garden. And of course, miles of beaches. This largest of New England ’s islands maintains a rural character, fiercely protected by its small year-round population that swells five-fold in July and August. Skip the infamous summer traffic and sail into its picturesque harbours, then explore by bicycle, stopping for quahog chowder at Black Dog Tavern and checking out the many film locations that turned Martha’s Vineyard into Amity Island in the classic Jaws .

Top season: June to September

Don’t miss: The 145-year-old Flying Horses Carousel, the US’s oldest working carousel and a piece of art and history

Nearest airport with 1,500m/5,000ft runway: Martha’s Vineyard Airport (KMVY)

The Danish capital has been on a hot streak lately, undergoing a renaissance that has put it on the world stage. It boasts a new opera house and concert hall and the highest number of bars and restaurants per capita – including 17 with Michelin stars. Progressively eco-friendly, the city has a swim-able harbour, bike-able centre, and is increasingly powered by clean energy. Superyachts can moor next to the Royal Playhouse in the heart of the city, walking distance from attractions like the 19th century amusement park Tivoli Gardens and the 17thcentury Rosenborg Castle, where the Crown Jewels are kept.

Top season: June to August

Don’t miss: Reservations at two-Michelin star Noma – four times named world’s best restaurant by Restaurant magazine

Nearest airport with 1,500m/5,000ft runway: Copenhagen Airport (EKCH)

From ancient cities to quiet fishing villages, wreck diving to cave swimming, megalithic temples to Caravaggio’s masterpieces, this small archipelago has a lot to offer. Situated smack dab in the centre of the Mediterranean, Malta has been at the mercy of many civilisations: Phoenician, Greek, Carthaginian, Roman, Byzantine, Arab… until 1530 when the Order of the Knights of St John took over. We have them to thank for Valletta, the remarkable capital considered by UNESCO to have the most concentrated historic area in the world. History buffs will be enthralled by the vestiges of these rulers, while those looking for a sunny holiday will be quite content in the super clear anchorages with enticing names like Paradise Bay and Emerald Lagoon.

Don’t miss: Traipsing through the fortified medieval town of Mdina, aka the silent city, perched at the top of the island

Nearest airport with 1,500m/5,000ft runway: Malta International Airport (LMML)

Saint-Tropez

There’s something about Saint-Tropez. A half-century before Brigitte Bardot in the 1956 film And God Created Women put the town on the map, renowned impressionist painters were finding inspiration in the sleepy fishing village. Nowadays, yachts have replaced most of the fishing boats in the Vieux Port, and Le Club 55 on Pampelonne Beach – where Bardot’s film crew dined during production – is one of 23 exclusive beach clubs jostling for space on the five-kilometre stretch of beach. This Provençal town is still as alluring as ever. Synonymous with the glamour of the French Riviera , Saint-Tropez has the sophisticated shopping, intense nightlife and haute-cuisine restaurants that attract the international jet-set, including many famous faces.

Don’t miss: Nuits du Château de la Moutte, a summer concert series in the chateau’s courtyard featuring the likes of virtuoso pianists, French sopranos and blues singers

Nearest airport with 1,500m/5,000ft runway: Toulon–Hyères Airport (LFTH)

Lying to the east of Nice, Cap Ferrat stretches out into the Mediterranean to form one enviable piece of real estate. It comes second only to neighbour Monaco as the most expensive place in the world to live, according to The Wealth Report by Knight Frank. But unlike Monaco, homes here are predominantly villas – magnificent ones at that – with gardens of greenery, bestowing the cape with natural beauty. Visitors can soak up the rarefied ambiance on a meandering coastal walk overlooking the rocky shoreline and the Med’s inimitable blue. One of the cape’s five beaches, Paloma Beach (named for Pablo Picasso’s daughter) ranks among France’s most beautiful and offers the luxury beach experience that the Cote d’Azur has perfected.

Top season: May to August

Don’t miss: Wandering the gardens and appreciating the art collection at the Villa Ephrussi, bequeathed to the Académie des Beaux-Arts by Beatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild

Nearest airport with 1,500m/5,000ft runway: Nice Côte d'Azur Airport (LFMN)

A boat is the best way to acquaint yourself with this volcanic island in the Aegean Sea, its lava-scarred cliffs rising spectacularly from a sea-filled crater like a mountain with a snow-capped peak. As you sail closer, the “snow” gradually reveals itself to be those picture-perfect whitewashed, blue-roofed buildings that define this quintessential Greek Island. In the 17th century BC a massive eruption created the islands of Santorini that we know today, and highlights of a visit include the archaeological site of Akrotiri, where a remarkably advanced Bronze Age city preserved in volcanic ash is being excavated. Wine aficionados should also plan to sip their way through some of the world’s oldest vineyards, enjoying crisp whites made from the island’s indigenous Assyrtiko grape.

Don’t miss: A champagne-infused view of Santorini’s world famous sunset from the lofty vantage point of PK Cocktail Bar in Fira

Nearest airport with 1,500m/5,000ft runway: Santorini (Thira) International Airport (LGSR)

The Turquoise Coast is Turkey’s rendition of the French Riviera and Bodrum sits right in the middle of the action. It has the vibrant social scene typical of Mediterranean resort towns but it’s distinctly Turkish and inseparable from its long, storied past. Concerts are held at a 2,500-year-old amphitheatre and the port is dominated by the Gothic façade of the 15th century Castle of St Peter. Cruising the Aegean here offers clear waters, great snorkelling spots and scenic beaches. And at night the town comes alive, with jazz clubs waking around 10pm and dancing holding off until midnight. July charterers shouldn’t miss the Bodrum Chill-Out Festival, a beach party that attracts artists from around the world.

Top season: April to October

Don’t miss: Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology, inside the castle, where the bounty from shipwreck excavations is displayed

Nearest airport with 1,500m/5,000ft runway: Milas–Bodrum Airport (LTFE)

Most visitors to the Maldives bypass its hub, Malé, but the capital is a fabulous introduction to the islanders’ culture, shaped over 1,400 years of Buddhism prior to nearly 900 years under Islamic rule. Just beyond the busy island city lie more than a thousand idyllic coral islands barely poking out of the Indian Ocean. There are so many that each resort gets its own island, where they provide indulgent spa services. With 99 per cent of the country submerged, hosting 2,000 species of fish, this is a water-lover’s and diver’s paradise. Swim with manta rays, learn to spear tuna like a local, and finish the day on one of the countless sugary sandbanks with a tiki-torch-lit private beach dinner under a canopy of stars.

Top season: December to April

Don’t miss: Sunset yoga at the COMO Shambhala Retreat on COMO Cocoa island, 15nm from Malé

Nearest airport with 1,500m/5,000ft runway: Velana International Airport (VRMM)

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Charter Season: 7 of the World’s Best Yachting Locations

From the French Riviera to the British Virgin Islands, Luxury Defined explores seven glamorous yachting destinations around the globe

Does anything even approach the romance, adventure, and freedom of cruising the Seven Seas in a luxury yacht? The vessel is built to enhance, embrace, and refine every aspect of life at sea. The best designs emphasize space, fixtures, finishes—and creature comforts.  

The superyacht dials all that up to 11 by maximizing livability with such amenities as swimming pools, personal watercraft (a minisub , anyone?), satellite links, private chefs, outdoor entertainment decks, cinemas, even helipads.    

For any sea traveler, though, the best leg of any voyage is the voyage home . This edition of Luxury Defined showcases the world’s most livable yachting destinations, and the homes that equal—or even exceed—superyacht luxury.  Welcome home, sailor, home from the sea.  

1. The French Riviera  

French Riviera coastline

Perhaps the most glamorous seaside destination in Europe, the French Riviera , or Côte d’Azur, draws the sailor and sunseeker alike. Picture-postcard villages and chic beach resorts line the coast from the cosmopolitan glitz of Saint-Tropez and Cannes to the unspoiled beauty of Port-Cros.  

The winter resort city of Nice, with its ample sunshine, white sand beaches, and special events such as the Cannes Film Festival attract a who’s who of international glitterati. West along the coastline, past the jet-set destination of Saint-Tropez, the island of Porquerolles awaits, with a peaceful escape from the bustle of the mainland.  

Waterfront estate on French Riviera

2. Costa Smeralda, Sardinia, Italy  

Coast of Italy

Sardinia’s Emerald Coast is a playground for the jet set, and its dramatic, unspoiled coastline and luxury marinas draw yacht folk from all over. The marine grottoes of Cala Gonone and the rock formations of Capo Testa, shaped by centuries of sea winds, are favorite attractions.  

While the quaint towns of Carloforte and Castelsardo provide local color, the exclusive Yacht Club Costa Smeralda offers dining, a clubhouse, and spa services. Sailors can explore the tiny islands of the Maddalena archipelago or the white sandy beaches and rocky cliffs along the Gallura coast. Tranquil sunset viewing turns to fine dining and sizzling nightlife in the exclusive restaurants, clubs, and discos of Porto Cervo and Porto Rotondo.  

Italian estate on the coast

3. The Greek Islands

Greek islands

Surrounded by its “wine-dark” seas and thousands of islands, ancient Greece prospered with a maritime culture that became the cradle of Western civilization.  

There is plenty left to explore, from the natural beauty of its uninhabited isles to the beaches and cosmopolitan nightlife that have made islands such as Mykonos into global destinations. Yachters can stop for an archaeological exploration on Rhodes or Delos, a night on the tiles in the tavernas of Athens, to the nightclub scene of Mykonos, Corfu, and Crete, the largest of the Greek islands.  

The adventure starts in the ancient seaport of Piraeus, in southwestern Athens. Zea Marina is one of the finest, full-service marinas in the Mediterranean, offering 670 berths for vessels up to 492 feet.  

Greek Islands waterfront home

4. The Bahamas  

Yachts in The Bahamas

The 700 islands of The Bahamas begin at Bimini, just 45 miles off the coast of Miami, and stretch 500 miles southwest to the islands of Great Inagua and Little Inagua, neighboring the Turks and Caicos Islands.  

The Bahamas were made famous by Ian Fleming (the islands featured in the James Bond spy thrillers Casino Royale , Thunderball , The Spy Who Loved Me , Never Say Never Again , and License to Kill ). But they’ve been a haven for sailors and swashbucklers since the 18th century.  

They’re a paradise below the waterline, too, for sport fishing, snorkeling and scuba diving. Palm-lined beaches, nature preserves, world-class golf courses, and colorful Colonial-style villas welcome seafarers ashore.  

Bahamas waterfront estate

5. The Florida Keys  

Florida Keys

The Florida Keys arc southwest from Virginia Key in the Atlantic Ocean (just south of Miami Beach) to Loggerhead Key in Dry Tortugas National Park, a remote seven-island archipelago in the Gulf of Mexico, 70 miles off Key West. The islands are easy to navigate. Cruising in the Keys can mean a leisurely and scenic sail through the shallow interconnected basins of Florida Bay or a more adventurous trip out on the open waters of the Atlantic.    

But it’s not all plain sailing. Mariners can drop anchor in a coral cove to swim, snorkel, or fish, or drop anchor in Islamorada, the “Sportfishing Capital of the World.”  Of course, a trip to the Keys is not complete without a visit to continental America’s southernmost city, Key West, otherwise known as the Conch Republic—a place described as “close to perfect and far from normal,” where flip-flops are the official footwear and every day the sunset is applauded.  

Florida Keys waterfront home

6. The British Virgin Islands  

British Virgin Islands

One of the world’s great sailing destinations, the BVI comprises four main islands—Tortola, Jost Van Dyke, Anegada, and Virgin Gorda. There are 50 more islands and cays, including Necker Island (Sir Richard Branson’s private paradise) and Salt Island, home of the wreck of the RMS Rhone, and hundreds of tiny palm-lined islets, sandbars, and rocky outcroppings to navigate, bounded by the beautiful Sir Francis Drake Channel, named after the Elizabethan admiral.   

There are countless draws for mariners: calm currents, steady trade winds, and protected bays. It’s a treasure trove, quite literally—some say it’s buried on Norman Island at the southern tip of the archipelago, made famous by Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island . Today, The Bight, one of the BVI’s most popular (and beautiful) anchorages, enchants seafarers with its sea caves, wreck-diving, and the infamous Willy T floating pirate bar and restaurant.   

British Virgin Islands waterfront home

7. Bermuda  

Bermuda

Bermuda has been the crossroads of the North Atlantic voyage since the town of St. George’s was settled by shipwrecked sailors in 1609. Between March and November each year, racing yachts from around the globe arrive in the harbors of St. George’s and Hamilton parishes to compete in regattas organized by Bermuda’s many sailing clubs. Thanks to the Gulf Stream, the island’s temperate climate is a year-round draw for leisure travelers, who come to cruise the island’s Great Sound and soak up the sun and local culture. The warm waters are ideal for scuba diving, whether it’s to explore marine wildlife habitats or historic shipwrecks that dot the reefs around Bermuda’s perimeter.

Bermuda house

Still exploring the Seven Seas? Set sail for luxury yachting homes here .  

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The Top 10 Luxury Superyacht Charters

Below is where the experts consider, evaluate and judge luxury yachts and yacht charter destinations in terms of their rank. Which yacht is the fastest, most expensive, best value, most desirable, largest, or most popular? Likewise, which location has the best beaches, nightlife, marinas, and number of charter yachts to choose from? See below for more.

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6 Tips For Choosing The Best Yacht Charter Experience

C hartering a yacht is the ultimate in custom vacationing, a travel trend that gained traction during COVID and shows no signs of stopping. It offers travelers an opportunity to reach their dream destinations in comfort, style, and exclusivity. The best part: Very often, this bespoke experience can be cheaper than a cruise on a higher-end line you’d have to share with a lot of strangers!

Here are six tips for choosing the best yacht charter experience to suit your style, tastes, and holiday goals!

1. Work Within Your Budget

For most travelers, money is indeed an object, or at least a big consideration. A great charter company has a fleet of vessels at its fingertips, from smaller options such as a catamaran or sailing yacht all the way up to a super yacht with ultra amenities. Their team will work with you to assess your travel budget and offer appropriate options. Keep in mind: There’s all sorts of costs — such as fuel, docking fees, and other extras — that factor into a vacation like this. Some companies roll most of those items into a blanket price, others will calculate them separately or in an overage fee called an “advance provisioning allowance.”

Quick Example: Last year, I sailed on the super yacht Ohana in Croatia. It was part of the Goolets charter group based in Slovenia, which charges a flat weekly accommodation cost; an advance provisioning fee is assessed for food, beverages, and any other extras. The lovely ship slept up to 30 guests quite comfortably and all-in at high season (with APF included) was about $143,000 a week. Steep? Sure, at first glance. But broken down per person, the cost comes out to about $4,300 for each friend or family member. That’s food, drinks, excursions, everything. So, it turns out this kind of travel can indeed be budget-friendly and a good charter will work with you to maximize your money.

2. Location, Location, Location

When considering a private yacht vacation, location is everything. The good news is that charter companies operate all over the world, from the aforementioned Croatia to Australia, the Caribbean, Indonesia, and everywhere there’s sea in between.

If you’ve got a dream destination on your bucket list, a private yacht vacation will help get you there. Choose a charter company that has deep bench strength in the region you want to visit. They’ll have a wide range of yachts and corresponding itineraries for you to consider, ensuring the perfect experience for you and your party. Whether you crave the party scene of Greece, Italy, or the Riviera, or prefer something more far-flung and secluded such as the Seychelles or Maldives, a yacht charter experience will have you covered.

3. Consider Your Entire Party’s Needs

Another big perk of a great charter company: They will handle all the onboard logistics during your cruise, considering your entire party’s interests, must-dos, mobility levels, and even special occasions in an easy, effortless manner. They will interview you ahead of time to assess your interests, then craft an itinerary that suits everyone from start to finish. Keep in mind, they know the local area, plus have access to the best guides and onshore experiences. They will pull out all the stops to make sure everyone in your group has a terrific time.

Culture vultures to party animals will have the perfect vacation planned for them by the yacht charter. From city walking tours led by historians to exclusive access to the best clubs and other hotspots, the charter company and your yacht’s onboard staff are there to make sure it’s all picture-perfect. And if you feel like scrapping your schedule for the day and choosing to stay on the water? That’s just fine, too. The crew will roll with your wishes and honor them.

4. Food And Beverages = Big Deals On Board

No question about it, fabulous food and hand-crafted beverages are central to a terrific private yacht experience. Again, this is where that thorough pre-interview really comes into play. A charter company will consider not just preferences, but any allergies, dietary considerations, or religious restrictions to make sure the chef is prepped accordingly. Expect special snacks and other surprise touches to shine through as well; during my charter, a special birthday cake was procured and presented to a young guest after dinner on his big day.

While the yacht’s team will make sure your food tastes just as spectacular as it looks, they’ll also likely lean into the regional culinary scene with locally sourced fruits, vegetables, meats, and of course, seafood! Keep in mind your yacht’s stewards are responsible for keeping bar service running smoothly; by the second day, they knew which mid-afternoon cocktail I fancied (Croatian sparkling wine) and which wines I preferred at dinner. My glass was never empty, until I signaled I was done for the evening.

Bottom Line: Your culinary service should be seamless and impeccable during your time on board.

5. Don’t Forget The Water Toys

Water toys are a big part of a private yacht experience — you’re on the water after all and want to make sure you can get out there and enjoy it. Look for a vessel that has a robust fleet of options that align with your party’s fitness level and recreation (or adrenaline!) goals. Kayaks, rafts, and jet skis are all fairly standard; some yachts also include seabobs, massive water slides, and even inflatable water playgrounds to ensure multi-gen fun on the water. 

Pro Tip: Depending on the destination, divers will also want to inquire about scuba or snorkel equipment.

6. Find A “Your Wish Is Their Command” Crew

One of the best parts of a private yacht vacation is the bespoke service you’ll experience every step of the way; the goal is to make sure you want for nothing during your time on board. Craving a cucumber water while you’re lounging on deck? They’ll have it. Want to make sure there are snacks waiting for you after you return from kayaking? Of course! And want to take your dinner to another level? Crews take great pride in creating over-the-top table masterpieces and theme nights that will dazzle everyone in your party.

Of course, crews can and do accommodate more outrageous requests, but don’t be that Below Deck nightmare and ask them for something that’s illegal. It puts them in a terrible position where they could be held liable, and it’s just not cool.

Keep In Mind: A crew that provides excellent service deserves excellent recognition. Be kind and make sure you factor an appropriate tip into your budget. It’s very often not included in the price of the charter or advance provisioning fee.

For more cruise content like this, check out these articles:

  • 9 Best Alaska Cruise Lines
  • 8 Best Cruise Lines According To Our Readers
  • 6 Cruise Splurges Our Experts Say Are Worth Every Penny

This article originally appeared on TravelAwaits

Goolets

Galapagos Islands Yacht Charters, Catamaran charters and group travel

Planning your next adventure can be tricky, especially when you dream of the  Galapagos Islands . Did you know that small independent cruise lines in these islands offer  yacht charters  that last from  4 to 15 days ? The best part is that each yacht is a family-owned entrepreneurial project. When chartering a small yacht you are supporting small business and funds stay local, small yachts in Galapagos have an Galapagueño (natives from the islands) crew, captain and source all supplies locally, the booking goes through a local tour operator that also employs local staff.

This article will guide you through  choosing the perfect yacht or catamaran  for your trip…

ensuring it’s everything you’ve ever wanted and more. Ready for an  unforgettable journey ?

A Summary of details when chartering a yacht in the Galapagos Islands

  • You can choose from  yacht charters  in the  Galapagos Islands  that last anywhere from 4 to 15 days. There’s a perfect fit for any schedule and group size, with options ranging from 14 to 100 guests.
  • Galapagos charter prices vary, offering both  budget-friendly adventures  and  luxury experiences  with gourmet meals and private balconies. Diving cruises are also available for underwater explorations alongside sea turtles and colorful fish.
  • Chartering a yacht gives you exclusive access to the vessel for a more personalized trip. GalapagosIslands.travel offers tailored services including  specialized guides , custom meals, and VIP events at discounted rates for an unforgettable journey.
  • Specialized guides enhance your adventure with knowledge of the islands’ secrets. You’ll enjoy unique activities like bird-watching or diving expeditions designed around your interests.
  • Free  trip planning service  makes booking easy, with global reach through offices in multiple countries ensuring support is always nearby. Personalized menus showcase Ecuadorian flavors and international cuisine paired with selected wines for a complete culinary delight during your voyage.

Options for Galapagos Charters

Explore various Galapagos charter options—choose from different durations and capacities, budget to luxury classes, and even diving cruises. Each option offers a unique experience tailored to your preferences.

Zodiac Galapagos Cruises

Duration and Capacity

Galapagos cruises offer a  range of durations , from quick  4-day jaunts to immersive 15-day voyages . This means you’ve got options whether you’re squeezing in an adventure between work weeks or planning the trip of a lifetime.

The  size of your party  plays a big role too. With  ships that cater from as little as 14 guests to as many as 100 , finding the perfect fit is like picking out the right-sized shoe—essential for comfort and experience.

I remember boarding a modest yacht designed for just 16 people—it felt like our own private floating island. That’s the beauty of these charters; they can turn into  bespoke escapes  where  every crew member knows your name  by dinner.

My best friend who shared the charter with us said it best:

“ It’s not just about seeing the islands; it’s about experiencing them with those who matter most. “

Moving on from how long you’ll be at sea and how many fellow adventurers you’ll share sunsets with, let’s talk brass tacks—how much is this going to set you back? Heading over to  budget considerations  brings us face-to-face with the reality that sometimes,  splurging is part of the journey …

best charter yachts in the world

Budget to Luxury Class

Galapagos charters offer a wide range – from  cozy, budget-friendly options  to  top-of-the-line luxury vessels . Think of it as choosing between a comfy guesthouse and a five-star hotel, but on the sea.

The more you’re willing to spend, the higher the level of exclusivity and personalized service you’ll get. Splurging on a luxury class means  state-of-the-art facilities ,  gourmet meals prepared by skilled chefs , and maybe even your own private balcony to watch those stunning sunsets.

Budget doesn’t mean skimping on the experience though. Affordable yachts still provide excellent service and access to all the incredible sights Galapagos is famous for. You’ll mingle with like-minded adventurers in shared spaces and bond over daily discoveries without breaking the bank.

Whether you choose economy or high-end, each option promises its own unique brand of adventure — custom-made just for you.

The choice boils down to what kind of experience you’re after…and how much you’re willing to invest in your memories. Dive cruises add another layer, offering  specialized tours for underwater explorations  at  varying price ranges .

So whether it’s snorkeling with sea lions or sipping champagne as you cruise into the sunset—there’s a Galapagos charter that fits your dream (and budget) perfectly.

Galapagos Diving

Diving Cruises

Diving cruises in the Galapagos offer more than just a splash. They’re your ticket to an  underwater world  brimming with life. You’ll glide alongside sea turtles, dance through schools of colorful fish, and maybe lock eyes with a curious shark.

These trips come with  specialized guides  who know every corner of the ocean floor like the back of their hand. They lead you on  dive safari cruises  and  submerged journey cruises  that turn each dive into an adventure.

Imagine strapping on your gear, stepping off the boat, and sinking into another universe where  marine creatures  welcome you as one of their own. Liveaboard diving vacations mix the thrill of exploration with the comfort of home—your floating home, that is.

Each morning wakes you up to a new dive site buzzing for discovery. Oceanic diving expeditions or  scuba diving trips —it’s not just about what’s beneath but also about who’s beside you, guiding your journey and ensuring each moment is soaked in wonder.

Benefits of Chartering vs. booking cabins

Seaman Joruney | Galapagos Cruise

Exclusivity and Better Prices

Exclusivity and better prices  await you with GalapagosIslands.travel. Chartering a private cruise not only ensures  VIP experiences  but also unlocks the secrets of  luxury travel  at  discounted rates . You have access to the all the owner suites and upgrade cabins at the same rate as standard cabins, you and your fellow travelers decide who has the suite.

By choosing  bespoke vacations , travelers can indulge in  exclusive tours  and  specialized excursions  amidst the stunning backdrop of the Galapagos Islands. The tailored packages on offer provide  personalized service , ensuring an ever-evolving experience for those seeking more than just a typical vacation.

“ Chartering a private cruise not only ensures VIP experiences but also unlocks the secrets of luxury travel at discounted rates. “

best charter yachts in the world

Tailor-Made Service

Experience a tailor-made service like never before with our Galapagos charters. We provide  personalized experiences , from specialized guides and activities to custom meals and wines.

Enjoy unique excursions designed just for you, ensuring an individualized travel experience that caters to your preferences. With  VIP treatment  and  luxury accommodations , our bespoke itineraries offer  exclusive tours  that go beyond the ordinary.

Whether it’s private events or corporate incentives, our tailored service is all about providing you with a  one-of-a-kind journey .

Discover the freedom of creating your own adventure as we cater to your specific wishes. Our expert team at GalapagosIslands.travel ensures that every aspect of your trip is meticulously planned according to your desires, offering  unparalleled attention to detail  in crafting an itinerary that perfectly fits your vision.

From the moment you reach out to us until the end of your voyage, expect nothing less than a seamless journey filled with unmatched exclusivity and top-notch service.

best charter yachts in the world

VIP Services and Events

When looking for  VIP services and events  to complement your tailored experience in the Galapagos, GalapagosIslands.travel has you covered. From exclusive gatherings to corporate incentives, our  high-end accommodations  and premium experiences cater to special groups, clubs, and corporate events.

Our bespoke events are designed to enhance your trip with  personalized services and top-notch amenities .

With our global reach, we offer a wide array of VIP services including specialized guides and activities, personalized meals and wines, as well as  custom-designed itineraries  that unlock the secrets of this ever-changing realm.

Whether you’re seeking more than just a standard vacation or planning an  unforgettable event  in the heart of this unique destination – we ensure a flawless experience from start to finish.

Tailored Experience

Specialized guides and activities.

Discover a world of tailored experiences with our  specialized guides and activities . Dive into the crystal-clear waters guided by  experienced instructors , or explore the islands with  knowledgeable naturalists  who will unveil the secrets of the Galapagos.

Personalize your tour with  bespoke activities  such as bird-watching excursions, hiking adventures, or even photography workshops to capture every moment of your unique journey.

Our individualized excursions are designed to enhance your trip, offering  custom language tours  and  VIP services  for an exclusive experience. Picture this – having a private guide fluent in your preferred language leading you on an unforgettable exploration of the Galapagos Islands.

Whether you seek more than just adventure or desire a deeper understanding of this ever-evolving ecosystem, our suite of specialized guides and activities is here to take you on an extraordinary journey.

Personalized Meals and Wines

Indulge in a unique culinary experience on your Galapagos charter with  personalized meals  and  handpicked wines . Our onboard chefs are ready to create  tailored menus , offering  bespoke dining options  that cater to your individual preferences.

Imagine savoring  specialty dishes  made just for you while enjoying a glass of  selected wine  from our collection – a true gastronomic delight during your journey.

Treat yourself to more than just travel; feast on the finest cuisine crafted exclusively for you, paired with meticulously curated wines that elevate your dining experience. With 3 daily meals provided onboard, each meal becomes an opportunity to unlock the secrets of Ecuadorian flavors and international delights amidst the breathtaking Galapagos landscape.

Embark on a  culinary adventure  like no other as you sample custom-designed dishes and explore the world of personalized wining and dining during every moment of your voyage.

Booking and Contact Information

For free trip planning and global reach, contact us to book your tailored yacht adventure – let’s make it happen!

Free Trip Planning Service

Take the stress out of your Galapagos adventure with our  free trip planning service . Our team of experts is here to help you navigate the complexities of  vacation coordination , offering  itinerary assistance  and  destination advice .

You can rely on us for  tailored travel planning , from booking yacht charters to arranging  personalized activities . All you need to do is reach out through WhatsApp and let us take care of the rest—so you can focus on making unforgettable memories.

Let us turn your dream vacation into a reality—our free trip planning service ensures  seamless journey organization , so that you have more time to relax and explore. Contact us today for a hassle-free holiday arrangement that meets all your needs!

Henry Arnold:  “I reached out to their team for assistance in planning my Galapagos getaway, and I was impressed by how they went above and beyond to personalize every detail based on my family’s preferences.”

Global Reach and Contact Information

For any queries or bookings, our  international reach  ensures that you can connect with us from across the globe. With  dedicated local offices and partnerships with local travel agents in the United States, Germany, UK, Ecuador, Australia and many other countries – we’re just a call away.

Whether it’s about planning your Galapagos adventure or getting expert advice on the best charters for your group size and preferences – our  global network  is there to support you at every step of your journey.

To speak with one of our Galapagos experts and start planning your dream experience today – simply dial into the office nearest to you. From detailed itineraries to tailored VIP services and events– your trip will be meticulously taken care of by our  multinational team .

As travelers ourselves, we understand that  seamless communication  is key when embarking on an international journey; thus whether through phone calls or a  convenient call-back request option  available on our website – rest assured that help is always within reach wherever you are in the world!

Would you like to live a wonderful cruise experience?

Now it is time to book

Ready to sail the stunning  Galapagos Islands  in style? Experience the ultimate adventure with our  exclusive catamaran and yacht charters . From  budget to luxury options ,  diving cruises , and  personalized experiences  – we’ve got it all covered for a trip of a lifetime.

Don’t miss out on exploring the wonders of Galapagos from your own  private yacht !

This travel guide is updated on a regular basis, we try to make sure all information is accurate, yet we cannot be liable for any mistakes.

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This New 164-Foot Superyacht Is Like a Floating Night Club

The beautiful bilgin has five bars and seven distinct areas for entertaining 100-plus of your pals., rachel cormack.

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Rachel Cormack's Most Recent Stories

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This massive 1,063-foot residential gigayacht will be bigger than ‘titanic’.

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Eternal Spark Superyacht

Bilgin wants to brighten up your next ocean adventure.

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Eternal Spark is the first Bilgin 163 the yard has delivered. The model is well-suited to charter, with a generous interior volume of 499 GT, a spacious layout, and expansive outdoor decks. Penned by Unique Yacht Design, the sleek and sporty exterior pairs a sturdy steel hull with a lightweight aluminum superstructure. The yacht also features four sizable decks yet doesn’t appear to be too bulky.

Eternal Spark Superyacht

The interior, designed by renowned Milanese firm Hot Lab, showcases more than 200 different materials but a clean, contemporary aesthetic. As head of design Enrico Lumini puts it, “a plastic minimalism, sober, but rich in details.” The layout includes six cabins for 12 guests, though more than a hundred people can join for parties. There is also space for 10 crew, so you won’t have to lift a finger.

An entertainer’s dream, the vessel offers five bars, seven distinct socializing areas, an indoor and an outdoor cinema, a huge Jacuzzi, and a large beach club with a sauna. Other highlights include a fully equipped gym, a hydraulic swim platform, and a custom chase boat.

The Bilgin 163 is no slouch, either. Powered by twin 1,450 CAT engines, the yacht has a top speed of approximately 17 knots, a cruising speed of 12 knots, and a range of 5,000 nautical miles. You can also expect low operational costs, according to Bilgin.

“ Eternal Spark is everything and more than described in the brochure,” adds Bilgin’s commercial director Berkay Yılmaz. “A superbly designed charter vessel with plenty of spaces to enjoy whatever the day delivers.”

Click here to see all the photos of Eternal Spark.

Eternal Spark Superyacht

Rachel Cormack is a digital editor at Robb Report. She cut her teeth writing for HuffPost, Concrete Playground, and several other online publications in Australia, before moving to New York at the…

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  • Cruises/Yacht Charter

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The world’s best 50 yacht brokers

Home > LUXURY/UHNW Trends > The world’s best 50 yacht brokers

Posted by Joanna Lewis , 21 Apr 2023

The world’s best yacht brokers are relied upon for their expertise, market intelligence, and vast network of industry contacts by the most discerning yachting enthusiasts. The leading brokers work for global yacht brokerages facilitating transactions across yacht sales, yacht charter, yacht management, yacht refit, and new builds, including for the most luxurious motor boats and sailing yachts on the planet.

Relevance Yacht is the go-to digital marketing agency for the yachting industry and has helped the world’s leading brokers market their yachts and services to a qualified global audience. 

Here are the world’s 50 top yacht brokers,  in no particular order , that the world’s richest trust when it is time to buy, sell, charter, or build a boat. 

The world’s top 50 yacht brokers

David seal – northrop & johnson – yacht broker & head of video production .

David Seal is a veteran yacht broker and YouTube star based in Monaco with more than 226,000 subscribers on his Yachts For Sale channel, making it one of the most watched yacht channels on the internet. He broke into the industry following a move to Italy, where he started teaching English to yacht builder Norberto Ferretti. He later became sales manager for the CRN shipyard, part of the Ferretti group. Seal quickly differentiated himself by doing walk-through videos of yachts for sale before digital marketing became mainstream. He now works for Northrop & Johnson through an exclusive licensing agreement. 

Rosanna Arcamone  – Silver Star Yachting  – Yacht Charter Broker

Rosanna Arcamone’s career has been rooted in yachting, first as crew on the world’s finest superyachts, including as a chief stewardess, and then as a charter broker and co-founder of Silver Star Yachting. Arcamone boasts a wealth of industry contacts and a keen understanding of the demands of the world’s wealthiest travellers, regularly arranging charters on the world’s most lavish superyachts, including the award-winning 93-metre LADY S and the 85-metre O’PTASIA.

Ann Avery – Northrop & Johnson – Yacht Broker

Ann ‘Annie’ Avery is a sales broker with Northrop & Johnson , specialising in luxury sailboats. Her passion and success in this field led her to be awarded the IYBA Sailboat Broker of the Year in 2020, 2021, and 2022. She is also deeply passionate about conservation, producing audio interviews related to the health of the ocean. US-born and raised, Annie has over 30 years of experience in the industry, including 20 years with Northrop & Johnson. She is based in Northrop & Johnson’s Fort Lauderdale office. 

MATT PALMER – Northrop & Johnson – Yacht Sales Broker

Matt Palmer is a broker with Northrop & Johnson. He has been sailing since his youth, navigating the waters of the Channel Islands, where he grew up. Following a degree in law, Palmer joined a firm specialising in the structure and management of superyachts, enabling him to hone his skills regarding yacht ownership. Having begun his sales career in one of the largest brands in yachting, it didn’t take long before he transacted over 100 million Euros in sales. He champions professionalism and proactivity with strong traditional values and thrives on the true independence that Northrop & Johnson provides.

Nigel Beatty – YACHTZOO – Yacht Broker 

British-born Nigel Beatty is a yacht broker with YACHTZOO. He started his maritime career in the Royal Navy. In 1995 Beatty became a captain on private and charter superyachts around the world, giving him a unique insight into global yachting. He came ashore in 2005, starting six separate companies over a decade, all of which are still operating today. In 2015 he joined the YACHTZOO team in Florida and set up YACHTZOO’s Japan base shortly after. Nigel is the Chairman of APSA (Asia Pacific Superyacht Association) and lives in Monaco and Japan.

Charlie Birkett – Y.CO – Yacht Broker 

Charlie Birkett is a leading yacht broker and co-founder and CEO of Y.CO , based in Monaco. He started his career aged 16 when he left school to follow his passion for sailing. It took him all over the world in several positions, both shoreside and on board, supporting some of the world’s largest, most complex yacht operations, including M/Y CALIXE and M/Y TATOOSH. He founded Y.CO in 2004, along with his friend and business partner Gary Wright, growing the business into one of the world’s leading full-service yacht companies. With the company 100% founder-owned and founder-led, Birkett is known for his dedication to client relationships and treats every Y.CO client as the only client.

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Alex Lees-Buckley – Camper & Nicholsons – Sales and New Build Yacht Broker 

Alex Lees-Buckly is a leading superyacht broker with Camper & Nicholsons .  A British native, he is a lifelong yachter with in-depth industry knowledge gleaned from 30 years of experience. Superyacht Times describes him as one of the “world’s most accomplished brokers” and, as such, boasts a loyal clientele with many multi-repeat clients. He has managed some of the biggest new build projects, including the 140-metre Fincanetieri OCEAN VICTORY, and is a leading sales broker for pedigree shipyards, including Benetti, Feadship, and Perini Navi. In 2016, Lees-Buckly was awarded the first Richard Earp Award from Fraser. 

Melanie Burke – Fraser – Yacht Charter Broker 

Melanie Burke is an award-winning charter broker and a recipient of the IYBA Charter Professional of the Year 2020. Based in Fraser’s Fort Lauderdale offices, Burke has been immersed in the yachting industry for over 30 years. She has worked as crew on charter yachts, sailed competitively, and managed yachts and marinas. She is now one of the world’s most recognised charter brokers, helping plan bespoke yacht charter experiences for the world’s wealthiest audiences.  

Marcel Busse – YACHTZOO – Yacht Charter & Sales Broker 

Marcel Busse has over 28 years of experience in the yachting industry as a captain with extensive knowledge of key cruising areas across the globe and superior expertise in vessels ranging from sport fishers to large superyachts. Born in South Africa, Busse has a stellar reputation for return clients and an excellent charter record. He is part of the global yacht brokerage YACHTZOO, where he works as a charter and sales broker specialising in high-end movie charters and yachts in excess of 60-metres.

Chris Callahan – Moran Yacht & Ship – Yacht Sales & Charter Broker 

Chris Callahan is a top yacht sales and charter broker and marketing director at Moran Yacht & Ship . Based in Fort Lauderdale, Callahan has over a decade of experience in the yachting industry and has facilitated yacht sales, charters, and new build projects. 

Tim Carbury – Moravia Yachting – Yacht Sales Broker 

Tim Carbury is a leading sales broker with Moravia Yachting . He was born and raised on the south coast of England, where he developed his passion for yachting, completing his first of many Fastnet races at just 15 years of age. He started his career in yachting at age 18 and has since covered many yachting industry touchpoints, including working as a yacht captain and marine engineer. Carbury is a versatile and adept broker and has successfully represented both buyers and sellers. He is based in Palma. 

Kent Chamberlain – Chamberlain Yachts – Yacht Broker 

Having owned and operated multiple successful yacht sales organisations in California and Florida, including San Diego Yacht Sales, Bradford Yacht Sales, Westship World Yachts, and Merle Wood & Associates  – where he previously served as Interim CEO – Chamberlain is a well-established and accomplished broker with extensive experience in sales, management, and charter. He has been instrumental in the creation of PartnerShips, the fractional yacht sales concept. Additionally, he is the founder and chairman of the Superyacht Network, a private group of top-tier superyacht brokers who regularly share industry information. Chamberlain is respected by his peers as a broker with an unwavering work ethic and high integrity. 

Jeremy Comport – Ocean Independence – Yacht Sales Broker 

Jeremy Comport is a leading yacht sales broker and group director with the brokerage Ocean Independence . He boasts decades of experience managing complex brokerage deals and new builds. Yachting is in Comport’s blood, having grown up around boats, notably sailboats. He kick-started his career in the yachting industry, working on yachts on the French Riviera. He later forged a career as a yacht broker and hasn’t looked back. Notable sales include the 56-metre Feadship built BROADWATER, which sold just three months following its listing, and the 44-metre Burger motor yacht PURE BLISS.  

Liz Cox – Cecil Wright – Yacht Management Broker 

Liz Cox is a senior partner highly specialised in management at Cecil Wright based in the Monaco office. She fell in love with yachting and the French Riviera some 30 years ago and helps owners enjoy worry-free yacht ownership that exceeds expectations. Throughout her career, Cox has helped manage and build some of the world’s finest superyachts, including overseeing the build of the 58-metre Amels, GU, the 68-metre Abeking and Rassmussen AVIVA II and SHERPA, a 73.6-metre Feadship, delivered in 2018. She currently heads up the charter management side of the business, including the management of one of the most successful charter yachts in the global fleet, the 60.9-metre Abeking and Rassmussen, ARIENCE .  

Robert Cury – RJC Yacht Sales and Charter – Yacht Sales Broker 

Robert ‘Bob’ Cury heads up RJC Yacht Sales and Charter , which he founded in 1997. He brings over 30 years of yacht expertise spanning design, brokerage, and new construction. He specialises in the sale of larger, late-mode pedigree motorboats and sport fishing vessels. RJC has represented some of the world’s most prestigious boats, including the 50-metre Trinity M/Y IMPROMPTU. 

Ed Dickinson – Northrop & Johnson – Yacht Sales Broker 

Ed Dickinson is a Monaco-based sales broker with Northrop & Johnson. He represents a wide variety of clients and yachts and has negotiated transactions on vessels from 24 to 70-metres plus. Many of his transactions are from repeat clients or through referrals. Hailing from Guernsey in the Channel Islands, he kick-started his passion for yachting as crew on a superyacht based in the Mediterranean. Dickinson is known for his industry insights and for always going the extra mile for his clients.

Mat Emerson – Camper & Nicholson – Yacht Sales & Charter Broker  

Mat Emerson is a senior partner and director of Americas with Burgess and was previously president of Camper & Nicholsons US. He has over 29 years of experience in the superyacht industry and is focused on sales and charter. He recently sold the 92-metre superyacht TATOOSH, acting as a co-central agent with Fraser’s Stuart Larsen. 

Richard Gray – IYC – Yacht Sales Broker 

Richard Gray is an accomplished yacht broker with a wealth of experience and expertise in the industry. As a broker at the prestigious yacht brokerage firm, IYC , Richard has established himself as a leader in the field, thanks to his extensive knowledge of the global yacht market and exceptional sales skills. Throughout his career, Gray has maintained a strong dedication to his clients, providing them with exceptional service and guidance through every step of the buying or selling process. He has a keen eye for detail, extensive knowledge of the technical aspects of yachts, and a deep appreciation for the beauty and artistry of yacht design. Richard has a sterling reputation in the industry and is respected by his peers and clients for his professionalism, honesty, and integrity. 

Darrell Hall – YACHTZOO – Yacht Sales Broker 

Darrell Hall is a leading yacht broker and the founder of YACHTZOO . He left his native South Africa to become a captain, navigating the world for over a decade until he settled down as a broker in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Hall’s experience as a captain of both private and charter yachts has provided a solid client base and invaluable knowledge of yachts. Since his arrival in Monaco, he has established himself as a well-known and respected sales broker in the capital of yachting for all matters across motor yachts, sailing yachts, and new constructions of all sizes.

Richard Higgins – Northrop & Johnson – Yacht Sales Broker 

Richard Higgins is one of the world’s top 50 yacht brokers with Northrop & Johnson, based in their Monaco brokerage. He specialises in a wide range of vessels, both motor yachts and sailboats, drawing on over a decade of experience. Higgins is known for his technical acumen, exemplary service, and dedication to supporting his clients at every stage of their yachting journey. 

Jonathan Hind – Burgess – Yacht Sales Broker 

Jonathan Hind is a top yacht broker with Burgess and managing director for the brokerage’s Dubai office. He has over 16 years of industry experience spanning four continents and boasts a strong track record of project management, equally at home on small or large yachts. He most recently sold the 72-metre Delta Marine superyacht ALBATROSS just 11 weeks after she entered the brokerage market. Other notable yacht sales include the 50-metre Benetti motor boat BLUE NIGHT, with Hind representing the seller. 

Kyle van Huizen – YACHTZOO – Yacht Sales Broker 

Kyle van Huizen is a sales broker with YACHTZOO after moving ashore to be based in Monaco. He has many years of experience as a captain on modern and classic sailing yachts. He is highly professional and well-respected in the yachting industry. Since starting as a broker, van Huizen has proved an invaluable and prolific member of the YACHTZOO team, able to handle all types of sales, new and pre-owned, motor and sailing yachts as well as berth sales and some charters for select clients. Originally from South Africa, he is highly proactive and in the know for all yachting matters and new technologies.

Nicola Iacono – Silver Star Yachting – Yacht Charter Broker

Italian-born Nicola Iacono is a leading yacht charter broker and co-founder of Silver Star Yachting . Iacono has unique knowledge of the yachting industry and the needs of the world’s richest individuals, having worked as a consultant for luxury brands and leading shipyards before establishing Silver Star Yachting. He regularly arranges charters on the world’s most luxurious superyachts, including the 85-metre Oceanco yacht SUNRAYS and the 59-metre motor yacht IDYLLIC, built by Benetti.  

Peter Insull – Peter Insull’s Yacht Marketing – Superyacht Broker

Recipient of the prestigious Richard Earp Award, Peter Insull is a leading superyacht broker and principal of Peter Insull’s Yacht Marketing , headquartered in France. Insull is acknowledged as a leading broker for large yachts with an impressive track record of success, representing the interests of buyers and sellers. 

Tim Johnson – TJB Superyachts – Superyacht Broker 

Tim Johnson is the founder and CEO of TJB Superyachts and a leading yacht broker known for his boutique, modern approach. His career has been a varied one, including in management consultancy, tours in Afghanistan as part of the British Army Reserve, and private aviation. He discovered his passion for the yachting industry and has become a recognised force within the charter and sales market. He is based in TJB Superyachts’ London headquarters.

Carol Kent – Carol Kent Yacht Charters International – Yacht Charter Broker 

Carol Kent is the CEO of Carol Kent Yacht Charters International . She is a globally recognised yacht charter broker and recipient of the IYBA Charter Professional of the Year 2017, in recognition of her outstanding deduction and contribution to the yachting industry. Kent specialises in crafting vacations of a lifetime aboard some of the world’s finest vessels, partnering with all the major yacht brokerages, including Northrop & Johnson, Burgess, Fraser, and Camper & Nicholson. 

Brandon Kummer – Kitson Yachts – Superyacht Sales Broker 

Brandon Kummer, a co-founder of Kitson Yachts, began his yachting career at the early age of 18. In 2019, he became the recipient of the coveted IYBA Outstanding Young Professional in Yachting award. His astronomical sales record precedes him, and he is the first superyacht broker under the age of 30 to sell two Feadships. Based out of Miami, Brandon’s professional network and A-list clientele are built upon – and nurtured through – a reputation of impeccable trust and discretion, spanning the world over. In his decade-plus of industry experience, he has positioned himself as one of the most succe ssful yacht brokers in the world. 

Stuart Larsen – Fraser – Yacht Sales Broker 

Stuart Larsen is an internationally recognised yacht broker with Fraser. Based in Fraser’s Fort Lauderdale offices, Larsen has a remarkable sales record spanning three decades, representing buyers and sellers. He recently sold the iconic 92-metre Nobiskrug-built M/Y TATOOSH, which was showcased at the 2022 Monaco Yacht Show. Other notable yachts include the 126-metre explorer vessel OCTOPUS. Larsen also has extensive experience across new build projects, boasting a network of contacts with the world’s leading shipyards.  

Sean McCarter – Northrop & Johnson – Sailing Yacht Broker 

Sean McCarter has a long-held passion for the sea, growing up around boats in the UK. As an experienced sailor, he specialises in sailing yachts, offering expert advice drawn from firsthand experience. He joined the yachting industry during the America’s Cup in Valencia, 2005 to 2077, and progressed to skipper of power and sailing yachts up to 2000GT, including a round-the-world race and cruise. He has sailed 12 Atlantic crossings in varying directions. McCarter is based in Northrop & Johnson’s Palma office. 

Kevin Merrigan – Northrop & Johnson – Yacht Sales Broker 

Kevin Merrigan is the chairman, former owner, and a leading yacht broker with Northrop & Johnson, having negotiated purchase and sales agreements for more than 300 of the world’s finest boats, closing deals in over 15 countries. He oversaw the firm’s growth from an American-based brokerage with seven offices to an international powerhouse with offices in every global yachting hub. Kevin is the founder of the International Yacht Council and has served on the Board of Directors of the Florida Yacht Brokers Association and the International Yacht Council.

Robert Moran – Moran Yacht & Ship – Yacht Sales & New Build Yacht Broker 

Robert Moran is president of Moran Yacht & Ship and a top yacht broker based in Fort Lauderdale. He started his career as a deckhand working his way up the ranks to captain. On dry land, he founded Moran Yacht & Ship in 1988, establishing the company as a leading yacht brokerage. Amongst its most notable yachts is AHPO, which Moran oversaw the build of. It is listed for sale with Moran and is the world’s most expensive yacht currently on the market.

Sean Moran – Moran Yacht & Ship – New Construction Yacht Broker 

Sean Moran is a yacht broker and managing director of Moran Yacht & Ship in Fort Lauderdale. He grew up in the world of yachting as a son of a yacht captain and yacht chef. Moran started his career as a deckhand, working his way up through the ranks to First Officer. Over the years, he has developed in-depth technical and operational management expertise, helping him to guide his clients through the more technical aspects of yacht ownership. He specialises in new yacht construction projects and has worked on some of the world’s most luxurious new build projects.  

Juan Morillo – United Yacht Sales – Sales Yacht Broker 

Juan Morillo is a top-performing Florida yacht broker with United Yacht Sales , known for his level of service and passion for yachting. He is focused on new builds and pre-owned yachts and boasts vast experience in sales and consulting on complex acquisitions. Morillo introduced the buyer for the 62-metre M/Y CLOUD 9 in 2022. 

William Molloy – Moravia Yachting – Yacht Charter Broker 

William Molloy is head of charter and a senior charter broker at Moravia Yachting, with over 200 charters completed, including on some of the world’s most iconic superyachts. His passion for yachting stems from his early career as professional yacht crew and a degree in maritime studies. He represents both families looking for quiet getaways to corporate hospitality at major global events. He is known for his bespoke approach and his ability to cater to clients’ individual needs.  

Tim Morley – Morley Yachts – Yacht Sales Broker 

Tim Morley is an experienced and knowledgeable yacht broker with Morley Yachts . He has extensive knowledge of the international yacht market, allowing him to quickly identify market trends and changing values. With over a decade of experience working in sales, Morley is well-versed in both the technical and practical aspects of selling and buying yachts. He takes great pride in helping his clients find the perfect boat at the right price, offering years of experience and expertise to ensure a successful transaction. He is committed to providing first-class customer service, working hard to ensure that the entire process goes smoothly from start to finish. 

Adam Papadakis – Moravia Yachting – Yacht Sales Broker 

Adam Papdakis is head of sales and a senior broker with Moravia Yachting. As one of the world’s leading top 50 yacht brokers, he brings over two decades of expertise and has been involved with several iconic new-build commissions and high-profile superyacht sales. He boasts an impressive network of contacts and is respected for his eye for detail and genuine care of his clients. 

Todd Rittenhouse – Northrop & Johnson – Yacht Sales Broker 

Todd Rittenhouse brings close to two decades of experience as a yacht sales broker. He specialises in high-end power and sail transactions, both new and used. His career has been spent ‘at sea’ starting in the merchant marines working aboard tankers, drill ships, and ocean-going tugs, logging over 150,000 sea miles. His experience working on yachts and large commercial vessels enables Rittenhouse to provide his clients with unique insights to help them make informed decisions. He works for Northrop & Johnson, based in their Newport Beach office. 

Glen Runyan – Seattle Yachts – Superyacht Sales Broker 

Glen Runyan of Seattle Yachts is an accomplished top 50 yacht broker with a comprehensive background in the boating industry. Based in Fort Lauderdale, he has negotiated sales on some of the world’s largest superyachts, including the 74-metre M/Y ELANDESS, where he represented the buyer. 

Wes Sanford – Northrop & Johnson – Yacht Sales Broker 

Wes Sanford is a yacht broker with Northrop & Johnson, working out of their Fort Lauderdale office. He specialises in new deliveries, including large yachts from 70-metres plus. He takes a holistic approach, having been immersed in the yachting world from a young age. He worked as a mate, engineer, and then charter captain on some of the world’s most luxurious yachts for some 12 years. Following the birth of his daughter, he decided to retire from the bridge and instead forge a career on dry land as a yacht broker. He is known for his confidentiality, integrity, and dedication to his clients.

Henry Smith – Cecil Wright – Yacht Sales Broker 

Henry Smith is a highly regarded yacht broker, partner and director of the Monaco office of yacht brokerage Cecil Wright . Smith has a life-long passion for yachting, having sail ed competitively since childhood. A career in the industry was, therefore, a natural fit. With in-depth knowledge of mechanics and engineering gleaned during his time at university, he can advise on more than simply the cosmetics of a boat. He is known for his in-depth knowledge and trusted expertise, especially on northern European pedigree yachts. His most notable sales include the 62-metre Feadship NEW HAMPSHIRE, the 56- metre Feadship HAMPSHIRE I, and the 55-metre Amels LA MASQUERADE. His most notable new build is the 80-metre Nobiskrug Project BULLSEYE which is currently under construction.

Jeffrey Stanley – Gilman Yachts – Yacht Sales Broker 

Jeffrey ‘Jeff’ Stanley is a broker with Gilman Yachts and recipient of the 2021 IYBA Lifetime Achievement Award. A career yacht broker with 40 years of expertise and over 900 closings under his belt, he represents both buyers and sellers of yachts from 30-metres plus. Stanley also has experience with new build projects, his most notable being the 36-metre Crescent built M/Y IMPETUOUS. He previously served on the IYBA board from 1998-1999. 

Matthew Stone – IYC Yachts – Yacht Sales Broker & New Construction Specialist 

Matthew Stone is a multi-award-winning yacht broker and managing partner for IYC Yachts’ California-based brokerage, who has devoted more than half his lifetime to the yachting industry. In 2018 and 2019, he was named Broker of the Year, and then in 2020, he was nominated for the coveted IYBA Outstanding Young Professional in Yachting award. Stone has a passion for new construction builds and has spent time touring the world’s most prestigious shipyards. He is a regular on AWE’s network television series, Selling Yachts, and is regularly featured in industry publications. 

Lukas Stratmann  – Ocean Independence – Pre-Owned & New Construction Superyacht Broker 

Lukas Stratmann is a top yacht broker based in Dusseldorf with Ocean Independence. His completion of German National Naval Service, degree in yacht manufacturing and servicing, and 18-month tenure at Abeking –  where he gained in-depth insights on the above 100-metre range – ensures he brings incredible acumen and outstanding management services to his clients. He provides expert advice for pre-owned and new construction projects, as well as legal, financial, and administrative matters. Stratmann holds his Yachtmaster Ocean Certificate and has worked on superyachts in the North Sea, Mediterranean, and North Atlantic. Notable recent sales include the 34-metre Baltic sailing yacht NILAYA, and the 32-metre HARMONY 1 motor yacht.

Michael Tabor – Kitson Yachts – Yacht Sales Broker 

Michael Tabor, a co-founder of Kitson Yachts , brings a strategic vision and a sophisticated approach to a business built upon leisure. Supremely dedicated to his craft, Michael has a background and award-winning track record in capital markets, but his family heritage – three generations of shipbuilders – has brought him back to his passion for the sea. Michael quickly rose to the #1 producing broker at his previous firm before co-founding Kitson Yachts. Tabor now stands as one of the top global leading superyacht brokers, with a speciality in new construction and over 1,400 Linear feet of yachts presently under construction. 

Ross Tannock – Moran Yacht & Ship – Yacht Sales & Charter Broker 

Scottish-born Ross Tannock is a sales and charter broker with Moran Yacht & Ship with over a decade of experience. Based in Fort Lauderdale, he started his career in professional sports and sports marketing, building a network of contacts with global business leaders. Notable sales include the 75.4-metre Lurssen M/Y NORTHERN STAR, the 50-metre Mangusta M/Y INCOGNITO, and the 58.5-metre Lurssen CAPRI.  

Peter Thompson – Thompson of Monaco – Yacht Sales Broker 

Peter Thompson is an experienced yacht broker and industry expert with decades of experience. Having worked for some of the most prestigious yacht brokers and shipyards worldwide, including Worth Avenue Yachts, TWW Yachts, and Yachting Partners International, Thompson brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise. Throughout his career, he has established himself as a respected and trusted broker, thanks to his industry experience, sales skills, and exemplary customer service. He is knowledgeable about all aspects of yacht sales, from market trends and valuation to negotiations and contract management. 

Simon Ting – SuperYachtsMonaco – Yacht Charter & Sales Broker 

Simon Ting boasts 20 years of yacht industry experience, focusing on large yacht charters and sales. He is based in Monaco with the yacht brokerage SuperYachtsMonaco . He recently represented the seller for the 72-metre superyacht STELLA MARIS, built by Viareggio Superyachts. She was one of the largest and most luxurious vessels to sell in 2022. 

Edouard Vignal – Ocean Independence – Yacht Sales Broker 

Edouard Vignal is an experienced yacht sales broker specialising in pedigree yachts, including Custom Line, Benetti, Sunseeker, Princess, and Azimut. His global background and previous career in asset management consultancy enable him to provide highly astute advice based on the latest market analysis. Recent sales include hull no.07 from the celebrated Custom Line 120’ and the 32-metre M/Y HARMONY 1. Vignal is based in Ocean Independence’s Monaco brokerage. 

Chris Cecil-Wright – Cecil Wright – Yacht Broker 

Chris Cecil-Wright is the founder of Cecil Wright and has been a leading yacht broker in the industry for nearly 30 years. His passion for yachting comes from his love of all things nautical, sparked by sailing dinghies on the Solent in the UK and later as a skipper on luxury yacht charters. He started his career at Camper & Nicholsons and later set up Edmiston with Nick Edmiston before creating his own brokerage, Cecil Wright, in 2013. Chris has worked across every touchpoint of the yachting industry and is known for his trustworthiness, integrity, and market intelligence. Career highlights include the builds of the 99-metre Feadship MADAME GU, the 77.7-metre Feadship TANGO, and the 78.5-metre Feadship HAMPSHIRE II and the sale of the 81-metre Abeking and Rassmussen KIBO, the 72-metre Feadship UTOPIA (twice), and the 70-metre AMADEUS.  

We are expanding our top broker list to 100. If you are a yacht broker, then let us know why you should be included. Please email marketing@relevance.digital with your biography.

Relevance Yacht is the go-to yacht marketing agency. For over a decade, our team of yacht marketing experts has worked with the world’s best yacht brokers, helping them reach the world’s most affluent yachting enthusiasts. If you need help marketing your yachting brand, contact our team. 

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The best charter yachts for out of this world cruising in 2023

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By Steph Loseby   17 February 2023

For those wanting to bring extra excitement and adventure to their luxury yacht vacation this year, there are many charter yachts cruising some pretty sensational destinations across the globe, from the magnificently unspoiled Antarctica to the paradisiacal isles of French Polynesia .

Looking to avoid the usual yachting hotspots of the Caribbean and the Mediterranean this year? Get inspired as you take a look at some of the best charter yachts heading to unique cruising grounds in 2023.

77m (253 ft) yacht LEGEND

Cruising ground: Antarctica

Perfectly primed for any adventure one could possibly imagine, superyacht LEGEND allows adventure-hungry charter guests to experience the breathtaking vistas and wonderful activities that Antarctica offers in complete private luxury.

best charter yachts in the world

Accommodating up to 22 guests, the expedition yacht provides opulence on a grand scale and caters for epic adventures across the magical white continent. Guests can spend their days exploring Antarctica’s mountains, trekking blue-tinged glaciers and whale watching til their heart's content before climbing back on board to a welcoming interior and the option to use the yacht’s elaborate Balinese spa, cigar room, whisky bar, and the 14-seat cinema.

best charter yachts in the world

90m (295 ft) superyacht DAR

Cruising ground: Indian Ocean

From Seychelles to Sri Lanka , superyacht DAR is guaranteed to provide guests with the most impeccable yacht rental experience. Transporting you to idyllic and tranquil islands that are renowned for their natural beauty, picturesque coves and soft white sandy beaches, guests can soak up their surroundings in style aboard this lavish motor yacht .

luxury charter yacht dar cruising through the water

The Oceanco yacht is custom-built for world-class yachting, offering a wealth of spacious living areas and an abundance of top amenities that will take your charter experience to the next level. From the sweeping sundeck to the extensive health and beauty center, this yacht is the perfect platform for entertaining, socializing and, of course, relaxing. 

best charter yachts in the world

75m (246 ft) yacht CLOUDBREAK

Cruising ground: South East Asia

For adventures off the beaten path, expedition yacht CLOUDBREAK is the charter yacht for you. Designed to offer a sublime combination of luxury and comfort for an owner with a passion for the great outdoors, the yacht is the perfect launchpad for adrenaline-fuelled adventures around the likes of Thailand , Indonesia and Malaysia . 

helicopter on luxury charter yacht cloudbreak

The Abeking & Rasmussen yacht comes equipped with an extensive selection of the latest water toys and tenders so that you and your charter party can explore the beauty of the surrounding islands above and below the water line. Not only this, the yacht has an outdoor cinema set up that can also be used as a nightclub, a well-equipped gym featuring a water-level balcony and a huge beach club and sundeck used for soaking up the sunshine in style on a daily basis.

best charter yachts in the world

54m (177 ft) motor yacht MISCHIEF

Cruising grounds: French Polynesia 

Scenic, charming and sunkissed, the islands of French Polynesia are the epitome of heaven on earth. Encompassing the likes of Tahiti and Bora Bora , a yacht charter itinerary around these tropical hotspots is set to be an unforgettable vacation and what better way to see the islands than onboard the super yacht charter MISCHIEF .

best charter yachts in the world

Primed for comfortable cruising and luxury living, the Baglietto yacht boasts a highly modern interior design and a superbly-equipped exterior. Guests will adore her large Jacuzzi which frames the expansive sundeck and also boasts an alfresco dining section. What’s more, there’s a retractable swim platform that can be extended off the aft to allow guests to relax by the water during their private yacht charter.

best charter yachts in the world

91m (300 ft) super yacht TRANQUILITY

Cruising grounds: Northern Europe

Available for summer cruising around Northern Europe, the multi-award-winning yacht TRANQUILITY is perfectly suited to her name and offers guests the ultimate blend of luxury living and indulgent relaxation. Home to an enormous spa and wellness zone as well as a movie theater, beach club and fully-equipped gym, there is an abundance of space onboard where guests can kick back and relax before exploring all that Northern Europe has to offer. 

superyacht tranquility

From the magnificent fjords of Norway and the mirror-like lakes of Finland to the picturesque emerald green forests of Denmark , Scandinavia’s cruising grounds are one of a kind, with sweeping seascapes and vast tracts of untouched nature providing the perfect backdrop to an action-packed superyacht charter. Guests can witness some of the most spectacular views during their vacation and may even catch a glimpse of the enchanting Northern lights as they dance across the sky.

best charter yachts in the world

Need more information?

Unsure where to start? Have a read through our in-depth destination articles that are guaranteed to offer further inspiration.

If you are interested in renting any of the yachts featured in this article, please contact a recommended yacht charter broker who will be happy to help you create your dream yacht charter vacation.

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How one family escaped North Korea in a rickety boat on the open sea

SEOUL — Hardly anyone has escaped from North Korea these past four years, since leader Kim Jong Un shuttered his country’s border with China in the earliest days of the pandemic.

But Kang Gyu-rin and her mother, aunt and a family friend are among the few. To do so, they used a perilous route that has become almost the only option for escape: by sea.

One night last October, the four boarded Kang’s rickety wooden boat — with a rudimentary pumping system for bailing out the water — and set out for South Korea. Or death.

“I was ready to die, so I wasn’t afraid,” said Kang, now 23. “We had to give it our best shot.”

Kang and her mother, Kim Myung-sook, told The Washington Post about their life during the covid era and their decision to flee by sea, offering rare insight into how North Korea has changed in the past four years. The women changed their names after arriving in the South because they are escapees and wanted to protect family members back home. They spoke to The Post on the condition that their new names be used.

North Korea, run by the totalitarian Kim regime for almost eight decades, has long been one of the world’s most reclusive and repressive countries, a dire place in which to live but an extremely difficult place from which to escape.

It was in the late 1990s, at the height of a devastating famine in the North, that waves of escapees started arriving in the South, almost all of them taking an overland route across the relatively porous border into China, then to Mongolia or down through Southeast Asia, where they could fly to South Korea.

Some 33,000 North Koreans had arrived in the South that way. But that stopped in January 2020, when Kim Jong Un slammed shut the borders and then erected new barbed-wire fencing and watchtowers — making it impossible for anyone to cross into China without permission.

Kim has now essentially ushered in a “zero escapees era,” human rights advocates say.

How we reported this story

North Korea has been tightly shut since the coronavirus pandemic began so accounts of what is happening inside the country are rare and valuable. To verify key parts of this story, our reporter corroborated it with human rights advocates who have met Kang and the other three on the boat, and through experts with informants inside North Korea, including in Kang’s home province.

North Koreans almost always adopt new names in the South, and many decline to have their photos taken for fear they will be recognized and their family members in North Korea will be punished. For that reason, we commissioned South Korean artist Mikyung Lee to illustrate this story for an artist’s impression of key moments as relayed to The Post by Kang.

While some North Koreans who were already outside the country when the pandemic struck, such as laborers sent to Russia, have arrived in South Korea since 2021, only 15 or so people have been able to flee North Korea and make it south, according to estimates from defector-support organizations. That number includes Kang and her family.

That makes their account extremely valuable. Yet North Korean escapees’ stories are notoriously difficult to corroborate because journalists can’t reach residents or officials who can confirm their accounts. Kang’s aunt and the male family friend who steered their boat declined to be interviewed.

The Post cross-checked Kang’s account with two advocacy organizations in Seoul that have interviewed her — the Database Center for North Korean Human Rights and Liberty in North Korea — and confirmed that key details were relayed consistently. The Post met Kang and her mother independently of the advocacy groups.

Julie Turner, U.S. special envoy for North Korean human rights issues, has also met with Kang and was struck by the lengths to which she went to escape.

“The desperation piece has stuck with me,” Turner said, noting that North Koreans are having to resort to boats. “People are still so hungry for opportunities that they’re looking at these much more treacherous routes.”

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Escape route

now restricted

NORTH KOREA

Kang's escape

route by boat

SOUTH KOREA

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The land route through China carried immense risks, including repatriation to North Korea — and extreme punishment — if caught. But in China, a network of brokers and activists helped North Koreans to safety. It was expensive and dangerous, but it was possible.

Escaping by sea is even riskier: Those fleeing must contend with border patrols on the coast and at sea, as well as woefully inadequate boats and unpredictable weather. Even seasoned North Koreans struggle to fish given the challenging conditions: Battered wooden “ghost ships” regularly wash up on Japan’s western shores, carrying the corpses of fishermen who have starved at sea.

Kang and her mother had heard of other families who fled on boats. It wasn’t until they arrived in South Korea that they realized none of those families made it alive.

If escapees make it to the South’s waters, they risk South Korean patrols mistaking them as hostile intruders — and potentially firing upon them.

The water route may not even last much longer, with North Korea erecting new fencing around its coastlines to try to stop people from accessing the sea.

But for Kang and her family, the sea was the only way out. And they were only able to make the journey because they lived near the coast and Kang had a boat because she worked in the fishing industry.

This is just one family’s story, but it is one that reflects just how difficult it has become for ordinary people to live in North Korea — and to escape it.

New, ‘suffocating’ pressures

Kang and Kim lived a middle-class life in South Hamgyong province on the east coast, although they were far from the border with China, where almost all trade happened. That didn’t matter much before the pandemic because the market economy had well and truly taken hold across North Korea.

But then came the border closures. Then crackdowns on food vendors and the markets that sustain the North Korean economy, they said. Their quality of life deteriorated sharply.

“We talk about how life felt hard in 2019 [before the pandemic], but now that we look back, those were the good years. It will be difficult to return to the way we lived then,” Kang said.

Items that used to trickle into the country from China became exponentially more expensive or disappeared, they said. The shortage of inventory showed Kang just how much her country depended on its northern neighbor, she said.

“Even sewing needles became 10 times more expensive. I wondered why, and of course, they turned out to be a Chinese product. I realized how little my country actually produces,” Kang said.

The Post cannot independently verify her claims, but South Korean officials and reporting from North Korea-monitoring websites have similarly reported on price hikes and cash shortages created by crackdowns.

“There needs to be a flow of products into the markets, either through production from North Korean companies or via China, but neither of those things were happening,” said Lee Sang-yong, director of research and analysis at Daily NK, a media outlet with informants in the North, including in Kang’s home province.

These pressures are “suffocating” residents who can no longer navigate the markets like they used to, said Kim, who is 54. She recalled the famine of the 1990s and the capitalist smarts it took for people to survive it — making, selling or buying items they could trade for food.

“Now, it feels unsustainable even for the savviest,” Kim said. “The government is taking over [the markets], but they’re not giving us anything else in return.”

Kang recalled the summer of 2022, when the North Korean regime first publicly admitted to a coronavirus outbreak . North Korea then claimed it eradicated the “fever” virus in just three months, and that just 74 “fever” patients — about 0.0003 percent of its population — died, which would make North Korea’s covid fatality rate the lowest in the world.

Experts believe it is an undercount of the true toll of the spread of the virus, especially given North Korea’s lack of coronavirus testing kits and vaccines. Kang believes she and nearly everyone she knew caught the virus then. The mismatch between the regime’s version of events and the reality on the ground sowed another seed of distrust.

Kang’s recollections, together with accounts from some other recent escapees, are early indicators of potentially profound shifts that took place inside North Korea during the pandemic, said Sokeel Park of Liberty in North Korea.

The extreme restrictions on movement, coupled with acute food shortages, have torn up the implicit social contract that enabled people to fend for themselves if the government can’t provide, Park said. This raises bigger questions about how North Korean people view their government, he said.

“Different escapees are telling us independently that North Korean people’s sentiment and mentality evolved significantly during the pandemic in a more disaffected and skeptical direction,” Park said.

A chase, then a welcome

After Kang dropped out of college during the pandemic to make money, she bought the boat with her mom’s help — her mother had $4,000 in savings, a fortune in North Korea — to start a small fishing operation.

Business was brutal, she said. Diesel was expensive, the boat kept needing repairs, she had to pay workers even when there was no seafood to catch.

She kept track of inventory and revenue in bookkeeping notebooks, which she brought south and showed a Post reporter. They confronted her with a grim reality: The business was not sustainable.

She’d always known the boat could help her escape one day. But she started seriously planning her escape last spring, mapping out her steps and routes, and put her plan into motion the evening of Oct. 22, 2023.

Preparing for their journey, they packed water, dried noodles, bread, rice and sleeping pills — which they agreed to take if it became clear they would be caught by the North Korean coast guard. They preferred a peaceful death to execution or prison camps.

The waves that night were unexpectedly high, lifting their boat off the water at each crest and crashing it down at each trough, Kang and Kim said.

Still, they were making progress. They were about two hours from crossing the maritime border. Then they spotted a North Korean patrol ship heading toward them.

“They just kept flashing, flashing, flashing their lights. They wouldn’t let up,” Kang said. “I wondered, is it time for the pills? My heart was beating so much.”

Kim, who was comforting her seasick sister, said all she could do was pump out water and pray for survival: “I hoped that the heavens did not send us on this journey just to die.”

It’s unclear why the patrol vessel did not intercept them. The moment they reached the maritime border, the lights disappeared, the patrol boat heading back north, they said.

It was about 7 a.m. on Oct. 24 when blowfish catcher Lim Jae-gil spotted Kang’s boat. He had heard warnings on the radio transmitter that North Korean law enforcement vessels were heading south, and immediately knew this was the boat they had been chasing.

He had never seen anything like Kang’s boat in more than a decade of fishing off South Korea’s east coast, about 35 miles away from the border. It looked like it should have been sent to the scrapyard long ago, Lim, 62, said in an interview.

Lim called the authorities while he steered toward it. When he got close, one of the North Koreans asked: “Where are we?”

“Sokcho, in Gangwon province,” Lim replied. “Are you from North Korea?”

The North Koreans nodded. “Well done,” Lim said.

The four boarded Lim’s boat and waited for the South Korean coast guard. Lim offered the arrivals cigarettes and water. The North Koreans had packed plenty of both, but Kang said they accepted because they wanted to experience the taste of South Korean cigarettes and water.

The man took one puff of the cigarette and flicked it into the sea. “It was so much weaker than the cigarettes we were used to,” Kang recalled.

As for the water: “It was the same. It’s water,” she said, laughing. “But everything felt so interesting at the time.”

A new life in the South

Like many North Koreans, Kang learned about life in the South through its television programs, which she started watching as a teen. It was illegal, but everyone did it.

Kang is among the cohort of North Koreans who grew up after the famine, learning to navigate capitalism and access products from China and South Korea — including TV shows and movies that opened their eyes to life in a rich and free society. They have become more exposed to the outside world and disillusioned with their own government, experts say.

“We don’t believe [the propaganda],” Kang said. “Maybe our parents did way back when but I don’t know any of that myself. … I’ve seen lots of dramas, and I knew life in North Korea was really awful.”

It’s because of this generation’s awareness of life outside North Korea — and the threat this knowledge poses to the long-term survival of the regime — that Kim Jong Un has cracked down on foreign influence, from fashion to slang. In December 2020, North Korea adopted a law “rejecting reactionary ideology and culture,” according to state media .

Tightening controls, down to her earring choices, made Kang feel like a “kindergartner,” she said.

Kang no longer has to worry about such demands. She wears gold-colored jewelry and colored contact lenses, and has dyed her hair reddish-brown. Her smartphone is constantly buzzing, and her drink of choice — like most every other South Korean Gen Zer — is iced coffee.

Now, Kang is preparing for college and hopes to one day study abroad. Her mother, who is looking for a job, worries about the long hours her daughter spends studying.

They brought almost nothing with them from North Korea. But Kang has her bookkeeping notebooks, their pages damaged from the waves, and looks at them to motivate herself through hardships. She also has a photo she took at a studio in the North. Its caption reads: “To a life that is always filled with exciting and happy times.”

About this story

Story by Michelle Ye Hee Lee. Illustrations by Mikyung Lee. Story editing by Anna Fifield. Design by Andrew Braford. Design editing by Joe Moore. Map by Samuel Granados. Copy editing by Kim Chapman.

A Secret Seaside Town In Italy, Four Seasons Yachts And Other Travel News

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