Right-Sizing Your Yacht Charter
For a novice, trying to choose the right size yacht can be a bit dizzying. A 165-foot “mega-yacht,” a 100-foot “dinner yacht,” an 80-foot “pilot schooner” — what do all these mean? More importantly, what type and size of yacht do you need for your particular event? Forget the jargon and mumbo jumbo. We can help you right-size your yacht charter, whether you’re planning an intimate weekend getaway for two or a grand gala for 600 guests. Here’s how.
The Type of Event You’re Having
Yacht charters are available to accommodate anywhere from 2 passengers to 1,200. Still, the kind of event you’re planning has as much to do with your selection as the number of folks you’re inviting. For example, you only need sleeper cabins if it’s an overnight trip. Yacht charters are available for weekend or week-long adventures. Figure one cabin for each 2 guests. If you’re bringing children, ask your charter rental company what they recommend.
Single-day or one-night events don’t require sleeper cabins at all. But you will need large areas for dining, dancing, or any entertainment you plan to have. For example, if you’re hiring a DJ or comedian or a band, you’ll need an area where they can set up their equipment and perform. Magic acts might also require some private space near the stage area.
If you’re planning a wedding, retirement party, or special birthday party, you’ll also want to consider the yacht that offers the best views and areas for taking photos. Also, consider how much time your event and schedule allows for people to mill about on the deck, enjoying the view. It would be a shame to schedule dinner and entertainment so tightly that no one had time to linger on the deck, enjoying the views of the New York skyline and iconic bridges. The bigger the party, the more deck space you’ll need to allow everyone to go outside and enjoy the cruise.
Finally, account for any equipment you need to bring along. If you’re planning to fish, scuba dive or snorkel, kayak, or paddle board, be sure your yacht can accommodate the gear you’ll need to bring along. Not all yacht charters are designed for these off-boat adventures, though, so check with your yacht charter company to be sure you’re renting a vessel that’s suitable for these activities.
Your Guest List
Apart from the number of guests, think about whom will be on board, and what their needs will be. For example, if your guest list includes lots of couples with children, you’ll want to speak to your party planner about play areas. Also, small children and older adults (as well as pregnant women) need to use restrooms more often. Consider the number of bathrooms on board when figuring the size yacht charter you need.
Definitely talk to your yacht charter company about anyone on your guest list with disabilities. Most modern yachts and charter boats are equipped to handle wheelchairs, walkers, etc., but don’t assume so. Additionally, let your yacht party planner know of any food allergies or other health considerations of the people on your guest list. They can almost always provide suitable options for diabetics, those with peanut allergies, or those with religious dietary restrictions, if they know it ahead of time.
The Length of the Event
Typically, you’ll want to arrange for guests to eat about once every four hours on board the yacht. So, if you’re having a dinner cruise, but you’re embarking at 10 a.m., you’ll want to plan for a lunch or brunch, as well as the main dinner meal. Also, plan to provide refreshments between meals for longer party cruises, so that people don’t get dehydrated or experience blood sugar dips. This is particularly important if you’re serving alcoholic beverages, as those tend to hit much harder on an empty stomach.
Choose a charter yacht that is equipped to keep refreshments flowing. You can opt for a light meal at brunch or lunchtime, or you can simply have the wait staff available with drinks and plates of hors d’oeuvres. Additionally, be sure the yacht is large enough to move the crowd when necessary to keep the serving and dining area clear while the staff sets up any table settings, buffet tables, and other items before dinner.
Your Yacht Size Options
There are numerous sizes of charter yachts available in New York City, including:
• Mega-yachts and super yachts that measure as long as 200 feet (sometimes larger)
• Large yachts that measure 165 to 200 feet
• Mid-size yachts that measure 115 to 165 feet
• Smaller yachts that measure less than 115 feet
Small yachts are ideal for family vacations and small, intimate gatherings of family or just a few close friends. A small yacht makes an excellent vessel for a couples’ getaway weekend, a week-long family vacation, or a few friends who want to hang out for a few hours to a few days.
Mid-size yachts are ideal for small groups and parties, say one to two dozen guests. This size is excellent for events like baby or bridal showers, fraternity or sorority reunions, and birthday parties.
Large yachts are more suitable for guests lists of 100 to 300 people. This size is perfect for most weddings, dinner cruises, bar or bat mitzvahs, and parties (like New Years, birthdays, anniversaries, retirements, etc.) while the mega-yachts are best for crowds of 600 to 1,200 guests. These are ideal for corporate events, larger weddings, and big family reunions.
A few other considerations before you make your final decision on the ideal New York yacht charter …
• Look for your style yacht. Older yachts are elegant in their timeless classic looks, while younger vessels sport a sleek, modern appeal. Pick which suits your fancy.
• Consider the time of year and the general weather pattern expected. You’ll never be able to rule out a stray shower or thunderstorm, but you can plan for more time on deck during nice weather, or opt for a yacht that offers spectacular views from inside the boat during the more unpredictable months.
• When over-nighting on a charter yacht, be sure the boat is configured so that you aren’t kept awake all night by anyone who happens to snore loudly.
• Be smart about your guest list. If there are people in your life who tend to get seasick, hate boats or the water, typically over-indulge when it comes to alcohol, or otherwise wouldn’t enjoy the cruise, consider leaving them off the list. In many cases, they won’t be happy, and often they might make everyone else miserable, as well. You might schedule a separate celebration (on land, where there are easy escape routes) with them at another time.
To plan your perfect New York yacht charter with the right size vessel and ideal configuration for your particular event, visit Yachts for All Seasons today. We’ve been planning the perfect yacht cruises for every size group or party for over 25 years. Whether you want a quiet getaway for two or a grand extravaganza for 1,200, we have you covered. Visit our website to get started.