How to plan a yacht charter itinerary?

The right plan will not only allow you to have a good holiday, but to save money, too

Whether you charter a large crewed superyacht or a small sailing boat to handle on your own, planning your itinerary well is equally important. And not only from the viewpoint of your travel impressions… 

What matters more: an itinerary or a yacht? 

The choice of charter yachts is definitely huge. However, it is not a good idea to determine the start and finish points of your charter too strictly in advance and then try finding an ideal yacht that will fit all those conditions. Particularly if you are thinking of a superyacht (Luxury charter), a high season, a location with a limited choice of yachts or if it is last-minute booking. There won’t be a good choice of options and you are likely to have to compromise. 

It is a better idea to stay flexible and tell your broker what you expect from your holidays in general. This way he or she will be able to find the offers that are best-balanced in terms of price, comfort on board and the impressions you expect. 

If you want to charter a budget sailing yacht and handle her on your own (Bareboat charter) or hire only a skipper (Skippered charter), this kind of boats can be booked without a broker’s assistance. Check out the charter companies’ offers on the Internet in the areas that you like, indicating the start and finish points of your charter. Everything that is in between those points is up to you. There will be quite a lot of options, as there are considerably more boats like this in the charter market compared to superyachts. However, there are lots of people who want to charter such boats, too, so the best and newest yachts available at a good price are certainly booked in advance. 

Conclusion: excessively rigid requirements for an itinerary narrow down your choice of boats.


Everybody wants to get the most out of one trip. Those who have never chartered before, don’t have a clear idea of the speed on the water and might expect to cover all the Greek or Croatian islands in a week. 

Cruising a sailing yacht will not be fast: the wind is an unpredictable factor, and sailboats don’t go fast under power anyway. You can expect to travel about 200 miles a week, or even less at a leisurely speed. 

You will travel faster on a motor yacht, but don’t plan long passages anyway. Firstly, motor yachts are more affected by weather conditions. Secondly, not everyone can tolerate pitching well, particularly if you have to do it for long. And thirdly, you don’t want to spend all of your holiday on board a yacht that is always going somewhere, do you?   

Conclusion: plan the passages so that you have enough time for bathing, excursions and rest on the shore. It will be even better if you plan a few ‘lazy days’, too. 

One-way or a return trip?

A one-way trip looks better, as you won’t have to go back to the spots that you have already seen. The drawback here is that this kind of pleasure will cost you more, as the charter company will have to spend their time and money to bring the yacht back to her home base – unless there is another customer willing to pick it up where you left off. 

In case of sailing yachts bareboat charter the situation might be the opposite. You may come across some incredibly lucrative offers for one-way charters. But quite often it may be a clever trick of a charter company, wishing to move their yacht to the necessary point at your expense and without having to pay a hired captain.   

Such offers can often be found in Greece, when you start a charter somewhere in the south of the Cyclades and finish in Athens. The secret here is that north wind is typical of Greece in summer (and sometimes it is strong), so you will have to sail upwind all the way. Even if you start the engine, it won’t help you move fast against a strong wind. In the end, you won’t have any time for rest left – that’s for sure. Unless your initial goal for chartering a boat was tacking.    

Conclusion: take the offers that seem too good with a grain of salt. And, by the way, it is possible to plan a return trip so that the way back is different. 


This point applies to superyachts, where a high charter fee implies high taxes, too. A professional broker can help you choose a tax-free water area or plan your itinerary to decrease the taxes. It can be done with the help of selecting the right start and finish points, the right flag, entering neutral waters, etc. You can find more details on this topic here

Conclusion: always consult your broker on charter taxes, so that they don’t catch you up later, after you have already had a great holiday. 


Berth fees in marinas may vary even within the same region. The most fashionable ones like Cote d'Azur, Sardinia or Capri may easily become an extra, and quite a considerable, budget item. In high season such locations are quite busy and have to be booked in advance. Anchorage may be a solution, but it can be packed at times, too, and you will have to use a tender to get to the shore. The good thing is you can bathe any time, spend time under the starry sky and go to sleep to the splash of the waves.   

Conclusion: check out the situation with marinas or plan anchorage, which is not only free, but romantic, too.