photo from charter vacations worldwideLooking down on yacht promenade

For anyone wanting to take a charter vacation somewhere in the world, the idea of renting a charter boat can be a daunting proposition. Decisions have to be made about where, when, and what sort. Boats are available in every size, type, color and flavor.

You can charter everything from a small outboard skiff for an hour. Small or large sail monohulls or catamarans that you sail yourself for a day or a week. Power trawler style and catamaran style boats that you drive yourself.
Power or sail boats of every conceivable level of amenities that come complete with a captain, or captain and crew. (think gourmet meals with frosty drink on the side), right up to mega yacht like you watched on Below Decks.

You may ask yourself “What do I need to know to be able to take a charter vacation?” Well that depends upon what level you might be looking at, it also depends upon where you would like to go on vacation. Charter vacations are available pretty much world wide.

The British Virgin Islands are the number one place on the planet for yacht charter vacations, this has earned them the title of the charter capital of the world. Being in the Caribbean, the BVI have their high vacation season in the northern winter months.

This makes it perfect for those wanting to escape the cold of winter. The Mediterranean high vacation season is in the northern summer months.

Different Charter Vacations

If you are thinking about a charter vacation with a crew at the helm, you only need to know how to say

“oh if I must”

when another frosty drink is handed to you! These crewed boats and most captain only boats come with all the toys.

Water skis, wake boards, snorkeling gear, fishing gear, some even have scuba gear. The crews are all professional at what they do and are all about making sure you have a wonderful charter vacation!

2 Charter Vacations Worldwide.Oh If I Must!

If you are thinking about a captain only charter vacation then you need to know how to live at home. That is, the captain will take care of the boat and may ask for a little help with some of the sailing duties but he or she is there to let you know what to do and when to do it.

This is a perfect way for someone to gain experience of there own. Some captains even offer formal training while on charter so you end up with a certification at the end of the week. The rest however is up to you! Just like at home, you need to make the food, clean the dishes and make the beds.

Most charter boats these days have 24hr power in the galley with all the tools of the trade that you would find in your home kitchen.


The next level is to bareboat, meaning you rent a boat. Bare boats are boats that are bare of crew and toys and you must do it all yourself. What do you need to know? Well basic boating skills.

Each bareboat company has different requirements for different sized boats. The BVI is perfectly set up for the boating novice. There are national parks moorings on all the popular dive and snorkel sites as well as overnight moorings ($25-35 per night) for those who would rather not anchor their boat.

Power cats and power trawlers are much simpler to operate than sail boats, but there are many who rent a sail boat and don’t sail all week, they simply use it as a power boat.

When you rent a boat you will have someone come on board and fully brief you on the workings of the boat. Pretty much all the larger boats come with a generator on board and air conditioning. You can even have someone jump back on board and park the boat for you when you return.

Other Options

Charter vacations can be a fully inclusive vacation package that includes all food, beverages, water sports etc. Some do not include scuba and all do not include gratuity, the norm in the industry is 15 to 20% of the charter fee for gratuity on a job well done.

Vessels come in all levels of size, service and luxury. One can rent a smaller bare boat that takes four people for only a few thousand dollars per week.

On the other end of the scale are very large and very luxurious Mega Yachts, complete with every toy imaginable including perhaps a submarine, 40 or 50 foot fishing boat or even an on board helicopter. These vessels usually take 10 or 12 people, have an equal amount of crew and can cost several hundred thousand dollars per week.

Captain only charters come with a boat and a captain. All else is extra including fuel, food, booze, scuba etc and gratuity.

Partial board charters usually include breakfast, lunch and some dinners aboard as well as some beverages. The other meals are to be had ashore, gratuity is extra. Mega Yacht vacations usually get you the boat and crew and water sports included. Food, beverages, fuel, dockage and gratuity is extra.

H2O makes it easy to Book your charter

4 Charter Vacations Worldwide.Mega Yacht at dock at Yacht Haven Grande, St Thomas USVI

To search for different boats with prices and available charter dates, go to our search engine and simply enter some basic information on where and when you want to charter as well as how many are in your party.

Then you can refine your search by just about any type or feature you could imagine, by checking any of the 85 different search filter options listed on the right hand side of the page.

All combinations are explained with what is and what is not included in the price for each vessel in your search results. Detailed description of each vessels prices as well as any special discount packages available on that particular boat.

Also listed are videos, crew details, amenities, location details, vessel details and blog entries and reviews. For our search engine click on the home button at the top of this page.