A yacht charter or a boat charter refers to renting a sailboat or motor yacht and sailing to different coastal and island areas.
There are several types of charter, the most common ones being “bareboat yacht” charter and a “skippered” or “crewed yacht” charter.
During the high season in the major yacht charter areas, the Mediterranean and the Caribbean, sailing boats are usually chartered for full weeks starting on Saturdays. However, there are several boat types that can also be hired by the day.
During the low season usually there is wide selection of different boat types that can be rented by the day or for weekends.
Sailing holidays on board a charter boat ensure a unique and unforgettable experience.
You will have complete freedom to choose where to go and how to spend your time.
You can visit the most spectacular coastlines and picturesque beaches, enjoy cruising, swimming and snorkelling in turquoise seas, or spend days sunbathing on board your boat together with your charter crewmates.
You can easily anchor your boat in secluded bays to spend time on land exploring local villages, or enjoy the dynamic nightlife in lively coastal towns and cities.
Yacht chartering gives you the opportunity to spend a vacation in total relaxation and visit the most popular holiday destinations, as well as plenty of hidden places that are not accessible by land.
Most of people imagine a yacht charter as a luxury and an expensive way of spending holidays.
They may be surprised that this vision is completely wrong.
Chartering a yacht is truly affordable, and would likely cost less than booking a hotel in your favourite resort.
Let’s compare one-week prices at a 3 or 4-star hotel with a charter boat in two of the most popular holiday destinations in the Mediterranean and Caribbean. (Prices are calculated for one week stay during the high season).
|Destination||Hotel (price/per person)||Yacht charter (price/per person)|
|Balearic Islands (Ibiza)||650 €||380 €|
|BVI||850 €||370 €|
You can see that the prices for boat rentals can be significantly lower than a hotel price.
Besides, sailing in complete freedom lets you to visit the most beautiful places and coastal attractions with no extra transport cost, and sleep every night in a different place!.
The wide selection of boats we offer guarantees that you will find the right boat for your needs and budget.
We offer different models of sailing yachts, motor boats, catamarans, and gulets — more than 600 boats in total in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean.
All the boats are inspected by our team and we guarantee excellent service. Our team’s experience in the nautical sector lets us see to it that your holiday experience will be complete and unforgettable.
aBoatTime’s support department will take good care of you and will always help you with any advice you need.
A bareboat charter refers to hiring a boat without a crew included in the agreement.
It gives you the opportunity be the skipper, and set your course to discover beautiful sailing areas, but it also means that you are entirely responsible for the boat, for sailing it, and for the crew’s safety.
Bareboat charters are the most popular yacht charter type, and in most sailing areas it is easy to find companies offering bareboat charters because of the increasing demand for yacht vacations.
To rent a bareboat, one must be able to demonstrate boat handling skills for the size boat that you intend to charter, including docking, anchoring, and operating it under power.
In the most traditional and popular Mediterranean sailing destinations, like Greece, Spain, and Croatia, the charterer is required to hold a skipper’s license in order to hire a boat, whether it is a sailing boat, motor boat, catamaran, or gulet.
You will be also in charge of your food supply, meaning you will need to do your food shopping.
Visit our Yacht Charter Advice section to find out more about what types of food you should buy and where to buy them.
With over 600 boats in more than 40 of the most popular Mediterranean and Caribbean destinations, aBoatTime offers bareboat sailing vacation options for all tastes.
A skippered charter refers to hiring a yacht with a professional skipper, or captain, who is responsible for the boat itself, manoeuvring it, and the crew’s safety.
The skipper would make decisions, for instance, such as whether the weather conditions are appropriate to leave port.
The skipper may also consult the crew regarding the best cruising areas.
Skippered yacht charters are ideal for people who don’t have a sailing licence or who don't feel completely comfortable in their navigation skills, or for those who are discovering a new sailing area and would like to have a guide.
It is also a great option for sailing enthusiasts who are just learning how to handle a boat, as skippers are usually glad to share their knowledge and help beginners gain necessary experience and confidence.
A skippered charter gives everyone, regardless of previous experience, an opportunity to enjoy the excitement of sailing.
Choosing aBoatTime experienced skippers will ensure that you have enough time to enjoy your holidays and all the activities the sea can offer (swimming, snorkelling, diving, sunbathing, and many more).
All the boats displayed on aBoatTime’s website can be rented with skippers, and our team will take the utmost care to find a captain who matches your requirements.
Please take into account that certain types of yacht charters can usually only be rented with skippers, for example, gulet charters or other bigger boats, since handling them requires extra skills and experience.
Skipper’s price can vary depending on location and boat, but usually it is in the range of 100 — 150 € per day.
Read more about the skipper’s responsibilities and rights here.
In some cases skippers are assisted by other crew members, which turns a skippered yacht charter into a crewed yacht charter.
A crewed charter means that the yacht chosen for rental comes with a crew.
The size of the crew depends on the yacht as well as the client’s requirements, ranging from a husband-and-wife team in the roles of captain and chef or hostess, to a team of 10 or more members, including stewardesses, engineers, and other staff.
Crewed yachts are usually bigger and more luxurious than bareboats; therefore chartering them is more expensive.
They also normally come with equipment for different water sports like windsurfing, scuba diving, and water-skiing.
If you want to experience the thrill of sailing, but don't want to spend your whole holiday at the sea, a day yacht charter could be the right choice for you.
It’s a great option if you stay in a hotel or other accommodation and would like to do something different, like sailing to secluded beaches and silent bays away from the crowds, swimming and snorkelling in the turquoise waters, and visiting islands and spots that are not accessible by land.
However, finding a boat for a day charter can be challenging, because in most of the traditional yacht charter destinations in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean most of the yacht charters last full weeks and start on Saturdays, especially during the high season (in most cases from June until the end of September).
Thanks to our wide range of boats and destinations, aBoatTime also offers day charters.
Currently we have the following boat options for single-day rentals:
Rigid inflatable boats are offered in the Balearic Islands (Spain) and are perfect for day trips around the islands.
Most of our motorboats can be chartered by the day. aBoatTime offers different motor yacht models in destinations like Barcelona, Ibiza, Mallorca, Denia (all Spain), and Marmaris (Turkey).
Some catamaran models can be chartered by the day in Denia and Ibiza in the Mediterranean during the low season, as well as in the British Virgin Islands and St. Martin in the Caribbean.
We offer two gulet models for single-day rental in Ibiza (Balearic Islands, Spain).
Low season charters:
Mediterranean: between October and April. Caribbean: between May and October.
A flotilla is a group of boats that sail together according to a route that is usually arranged before the trip.
This event can generally be organized by any group of people — friends, families, co-workers, etc. — and is another great yacht charter experience.
It is also an appropriate option if you or your crew are short in experience, as flotilla charters are generally safer.
The flotilla sailing experience is sometimes called “social sailing”, because it offers extensive opportunity to socialize with the crews of other boats as you sail together.
If you want to organize a flotilla sailing event, aBoatTime can help you both with the boats and the organizational part.
Our team has extensive experience in organizing this type of yacht charter.
Please contact us for more information.
A one-way yacht charter refers to a charter that finishes in a different location than it started.
It is especially common in areas where the coast is linear, such as Croatia, or where there are many islands in your sailing route, so that you don’t lose vacation time coming back to the home base.
It can be challenging to find a one-way charter; boat fleets are usually not very willing to do this kind of boat rental because it involves the extra expense of transporting a boat back to its home port.
However, a one-way yacht charter is a very convenient option for tourists whose flights arrive and depart from different destinations, or who simply prefer not to make a round trip.
Therefore, we have sought a way to offer this kind of boat charter to our clients.
Thanks to our effort, we are able to offer a large number of boats in many locations that can be picked up and dropped off in different locations for a small surcharge which mainly depends on the distance between your drop-off location and the boat’s home port.
You will be able to see whether your chosen location offers this option when searching for boats on our website.
Use the search box, and if there are boats available with this option in your selected area, a check box will appear under the “Destination pick-up” field with an option for “Return in the same port”.
If you want to have a one-way charter, deselect this check box and select the desired drop-off destination.
Read more advice about the charter booking process.
Corporate yacht charters are a great way to motivate your employees and bond colleagues into an efficient team.
It is hard to imagine a corporate activity that would unite your team, encourage trust, and strengthen relationships among teammates better than sailing.
Being united and working as one is the basic rule of sailing.
This is one of the reasons corporate sailing events have become more and more common among forward-thinking companies and their executives.
aBoatTime professionals have broad experience in organizing big sailing events.
If you want to arrange a corporate event, our team can help you both with renting yachts and with organizing the event.
Contact us for more information.
When choosing a boat for your yacht charter trip, the following aspects should be taken into account:
Skills and licence:
If you don’t have sailing skills and experience and you don’t hold a sailing license valid for recreational boat rental, you will need to hire a boat with a skipper.
If you do hold a license, but still don’t feel safe sailing on your own or are unfamiliar with the sailing area, it’s advisable to choose a skippered yacht charter.
Our experienced skippers will be happy to share their knowledge and teach you the most important skills for sailing in the particular area.
No doubt, cost is one of the most important considerations when choosing a yacht charter.
Your yacht charter cost will be most likely be divided by the number of your crew members, so the final price per person will be much smaller that it seems at the beginning.
For instance, if 8 friends rent a boat with a rental price of 1800 € for one week, the final price per person will be only 225 € for each crew member, which is a very affordable price for the unforgettable experience of a sailing holiday.
There are different boats offered on our website, so you can find the right choice for any kind of budget options. Sailboats are usually cheaper than motorboats, and they also consume less fuel.
The total price of a big catamaran is usually higher than a standard 12 m sailboat, but in many cases they can also carry more people, so the final price per person can turn out to be very similar.
Those planning a sailing holiday who do not want to spend the whole week on a boat can choose one of our day charter options.
If you prefer to travel in a close group of friends, and you have the necessary sailing license and experience to charter a recreational boat, a bareboat yacht charter offers independence and privacy.
However, if you would like to get some “social sailing” experience, the best option will be to take part in a flotilla sailing event, which lets you to sail together with other boats and socialize with their crews.
The Mediterranean Sea is by far the largest, most desired, and most important yacht charter region in the world.
There's no other place with such extensive charter boat offerings, combined with an amazing cultural and natural wealth.
The Mediterranean yacht charter offer includes sailing boat, motor boat, catamaran, and gulet rental, as well as bareboat, skippered, and fully crewed charters.
The Mediterranean sailing season lasts from early April till the end of October.
During the peak season, which is usually in July and August, the climate is pleasant, warm and sunny, and the winds are light. If you choose to go on your sailing vacations in the high season, you should take into account that some sailing destinations can get quite crowded. If you prefer to avoid crowds, it is a good idea to charter a boat in the periods from April to May or from September to October when sailing conditions are still great and the popular destinations are less crowded.
The temperatures are very comfortable with comparatively low possibilities of rainfalls. September is a very appropriate month for sailing vacation as the weather is usually pleasant (you can avoid summer heat), and the sea temperature is at its maximum, making it ideal time for enjoying swimming, snorkelling and other watersports activities.
The Mediterranean sailing area is split into two parts: the Western Mediterranean and the Eastern Mediterranean.
The Western Mediterranean is the most popular part and offers a wide choice of destinations and cruising grounds, including very popular areas and plenty of quiet anchorages away from crowds.
The Western Mediterranean yachting industry is highly developed and its ports usually provide all the necessary services and facilities for yacht charter crews.
The Western Mediterranean is able to support a larger number of tourists with more on-shore accommodation, eating out, shopping, and nightlife options in this part.
aBoatTime offers an extensive choice of yacht charter destinations in this part of the Mediterranean, including many locations in inland Spain, the Balearic Islands, Italy and Sicily.
There are also plenty of boats to choose from: sailboats, motor boats, catamarans, and gulets.
The Eastern Mediterranean is developing rapidly and becoming more popular every year, and for good reason.
Perfectly blue waters and an incredible historical heritage with ancient ruins and archaeological sites attract many sailing tourists.
Being less populated than the Western Mediterranean, this area offers many silent bays and coves where you can enjoy natural beauty and breathtaking views without being disturbed by loads of tourists.
In terms of boat options, all charter boat types can be found in the Eastern Mediterranean: sailboats, motor yachts, catamarans, and gulets.
Gulets are big wooden vessels of a traditional Turkish design and are particularly popular in Turkey, although nowadays can also be found in other parts of the Mediterranean.
The selection of rental boats is wide, but due to the increasing popularity of this region, there is the possibility that all boats will be booked before the season starts.
Therefore, it is advisable to make early bookings to guarantee the availability of a boat for your sailing vacations.
aBoatTime offers boat charters in all three main destinations of the Eastern Mediterranean: Greece, Croatia, and Turkey.
The Caribbean is another big yacht charter market with a wide variety of destinations and different types of charter yachts.
The Caribbean, with its many islands of amazing beauty, provides perfect sailing conditions.
Spectacular views are all around whenever you sail in the Caribbean — turquoise waters, perfectly blue sky, lush green palm trees, and bright tropical sunshine.
When all this is combined with a great diversity of cultures, traditions, and cuisines, it guarantees an unforgettable holiday experience for everyone.
You will find plenty of things to do even when your charter yacht is anchored in the harbour, such as spending hours sunbathing on the Caribbean’s white sand beaches, trying out the traditional cuisine (always first rate), enjoying the local nightlife, and many more.
The Caribbean Sea includes at least 9% of the planet's coral reefs, which makes it a true paradise for diving enthusiasts as well.
The Caribbean Sea has pleasant tropical climate with average temperatures ranging from 26 to 31º C in summer and from 22 to 28º C through the winter months.
Rainfall is infrequent, and mostly concentrated between the month of May and November.
The area has predominantly north-easterly (in winter) or south-easterly (in summer) winds blowing regularly with an average intensity of 15 knots, which makes sailing ideal.
The charter sailing high season in the Caribbean runs from October to March with a peak between December and February, when Europeans and North Americans come to enjoy their winter escapes.
Although prices go down during the low season, hurricanes can be prevalent in some parts of the Caribbean during this time, especially around Cuba, the Bahamas, and the USA’s Eastern Coast between the months of July and October.
Currently, aBoatTime’s Caribbean yacht charter offer includes two tropical paradise destinations: the British Virgin Islands and St. Martin, with a wide range of sailboats and catamarans to choose from.
Time of year:
If you are planning to go on your sailing holidays in summer, it is a better idea to choose the Mediterranean, while winter time will be more appropriate for sailing in the Caribbean or the Canary Islands.
When choosing a cruising area, your crew’s weather preferences should be also taken into account.
If you like hot and dry weather with bright sunshine, the Mediterranean during its peak season (July to August) will be your best choice.
The Caribbean is also hot during these months, but much more humid.
Those who prefer more moderate temperatures would do better to choose the Canary Islands or the Caribbean during the winter months, or the Mediterranean during the “shoulder seasons”, from September to October and from April to May.
Free time preferences:
The Mediterranean will not disappoint party people, especially the Balearic Islands (Ibiza is known as the “Mecca” of the Mediterranean nightlife) and the islands of Greece (Mykonos is another island famous for its nightlife).
A wide offer of bars and disco clubs you will find also in Croatian, Spanish, Italian and Turkish coastal towns and cities.
The Western Mediterranean offers more shopping opportunities than the Eastern Mediterranean and the Caribbean.
Sailors who love culture will definitely find the Eastern Mediterranean a paradise since there are plenty of ancient ruins and archaeological sights to see.
Nature lovers won’t want to miss seeing the amazing Caribbean panorama of the turquoise sea dotted with Caribbean paradise islands ranging from tiny coral atolls to larger, mountainous islands, all of them with white sand beaches and green palms.
The area’s biodiversity, thanks to its tropical climate, will definitely delight true nature enthusiasts.
|January||Cool||Warm / Dry||Low||High|
|February||Cool||Warm / Dry||Low||High|
|March||Mild / Cool||Warm / Dry||Low||High|
|April||Mild||Warm / Dry||Mid||Mid|
|May||Mild||Warm / Dry||Mid||Mid / Low|
|June||Warm||Warm||Mid||Mid / Low|
|July||Hot||Hot||High||Mid / Low|
|August||Hot||Hot / Humid||Extra high||Low|
|September||Warm||Hot / Humid||Mid||Low|
|December||Cool||Warm / Dry||Low||High|
Sailing boats are boats that are entirely or partly propelled by wind.
Sails are used to transform the wind into the power that moves a boat forward.
They are usually dynamic in navigation, easy to manoeuvre and quite fast.
They certainly give an opportunity to enjoy an authentic sense of sailing.
Since they take less space in the harbour than catamarans, motor yachts, and gulets, they have lower mooring costs.
Sailboats can differ depending on their size, number of sails, keel type, hull configuration, and other characteristics.
Motorboats are powered by engines which let them to reach high speeds.
For this reason they are ideal for island-hopping since you can shorten the time of crossing.
Their shallow drafts allow motor boats to nearly reach the shore.
Although motor yachts don't usually have many cabins, they are very comfortable and fully equipped.
For those who love speed and comfort, a motorboat will be the right choice.
The major disadvantage of motorboats is that they are more expensive than sailboats and consume more fuel.
Catamarans are multi-hulled boats consisting of 2 hulls.
They are relatively recent introduction to leisure sailing, but their popularity is increasing rapidly thanks to several advantages they have over monohulls (regular sailing boats).
Catamarans offer more space, both inside and out.
The deck usually has plenty of space and the enclosed parlour, or “saloon”, situated at the same level, is spacious too, allowing 8 to 12 passengers to sail comfortably.
A mesh, located at the front part of the boat, can be used as a relaxing solarium.
Catamarans can develop higher speed than monohulls because they are lighter (less ballast reduces their weight), but are slower in turning as hull space is bigger.
They have a shallower draft (underwater part of the ship) than other boats, which allows sailing in coastal waters and shallower mooring (meaning that you can get closer to the beach or coast).
An important advantage for sailing beginners is that catamarans make seasickness less likely because they don't lean in the wind.
This also makes it safer for children to be on the boat.
However, because of the larger hull space, the width of catamarans can become an issue when docking as the mooring place will cost you more.
Gulets are large wooden sailing boats equipped with sails and a motor, usually with a classic build.
The size of a gulet can range from 15 m to 33 m, and they have large, spacious decks as well as spacious indoor saloons.
The construction of the boat allows them to accommodate more guests in large, comfortable cabins, which in most cases are en suite.
The price per person is affordable in relation to the size of the boat and its luxury.
The popularity of gulet charters is growing constantly, mainly because of the comfortable and carefree cruising these boats allow.
For historical reasons, most of the gulet charters can be found in Turkey, however aBoatTime also offers gulet rental in one of Mediterranean yacht charter’s most wanted destinations: Ibiza Island.
Rigid inflatable boats, or RIBs, are lightweight and high-performance boats suitable for day charters, short trips between islands, and for fishing, diving, and other water sport activities. Because of their shallow drafts they are great for sailing close to the coast.
Depending on their size, they can host up to 12 people and can even come with a cabin.
The boat’s width and floating edges ensure its stability.
Besides the very affordable price, another great advantage of RIBs is that they require a lower level nautical licence (Recreational Skipper’s Ticket) to operate, and some models can be chartered without a licence.
Number of people:
Charter boats can host different numbers of people depending on their size.
For all boats that can be rented online through aBoatTime, you will find a number indicating the boat’s capacity.
In the search results, only boats that match your search criteria (including the number of people, whether you want to sleep on board, and whether or not you need a skipper) will be displayed.
If your crew is a group of 12 or fewer people, there is normally a wide range of boats to choose from.
If you need a skipper this limitation goes to 10 people.
The choice decreases when a boat for more passengers is required, because charter yachts are usually limited to carry only up to 12 people.
However, aBoatTime offers some catamaran and gulet models with higher capacity; please contact us if you need any assistance with finding an appropriate boat for a larger group.
Budget is one of the most important considerations when choosing a charter boat type.
Normally, sailboats and catamarans consume significantly less fuel, therefore sailing coast is lower than for motor yachts and gulets, which mainly use engine power.
Catamarans and gulets are usually more expensive, but can host more people and ensure a higher comfort level.
Due to their larger capacity, when the cost is split between the crew members, the price difference per person decreases.
If you are planning to sail only in coastal areas, RIBs are a good option because of their affordable price.
If you choose a bareboat yacht charter, your sailing experience and skills must be taken into account.
Generally, the bigger is the boat, the harder it is to control, and therefore greater technical skill is required.
You should assess your skills honestly and make your choice in consideration of possible risks and consequences.
Number of days:
During the high reason, most sailboats can only be chartered by full weeks starting from Saturdays.
This is a very important consideration when planning your yacht charter holidays.
The exceptions are motorboats and some larger catamaran models, which can be chartered by the day.
In Ibiza and Formentera we offer rigid inflatable boats (RIBs) that are suitable for day trips around the islands and can easily be rented by the days at very affordable prices.
During the off season, the limitation of week charters is not as strict and the majority of the boats can be rented for a day or several days.
In case you don’t find an appropriate option on our website, please contact us and our team will do its best to find a boat that matches your requirements.
There are extras that come with a particular boat, such as a cook or a waiter/waitress, and can be ordered on aBoatTime’s website while booking your boat or on your personalized customer information page, which you will be able to access after booking is completed. These extras are optional and unless included in the price, additional charges will apply.
You will see the extras that are available in your desired charter area when booking your boat.
Apart from the above mentioned extras, there are also services offered by aBoatTime in order to make your yacht charter experience complete, carefree, and unforgettable.
These extras can include a shuttle service, or customized t-shirts to unite your team and memorialize the holiday experience.
When renting some particular boats, certain items are indicated as “mandatory extras”; for example, bedclothes, an outboard engine for a dinghy, or the final cleaning of the boat.
These items are essential for your yacht charter trip, therefore they are usually mandatory.
Some other boats already have these items included in the price.
You will be able to see whether these items are included in your yacht charter price or not on the booking page after selecting the boat you want to rent.
The charges that the boat price includes or excludes can vary for different boats.
Normally, the charges for the following services are excluded from the charter price:
The fuel charge depends on its consumption.
Motor boats and gulets will consume more fuel that sailing boats.
It is normal for the crew to take care of their own food themselves.
The exceptions can be fully crewed charters, where the food is usually provided.
The boats are supplied with water tanks filled for free. With reasonable water consumption, they provide enough for a half of your charter week.
This means that you will most likely need to fill up the tank only once during your sailing trip, although it can depend on the number of crew members.
Water can be filled at any port that offers these services.
Moorings and marina fees:
These can be different in each marina.
In most of the destinations it is also possible to anchor outside the harbour without charges (generally in any bay or cove you find suitable).
Your charter price includes the necessary equipment for sailing:
In some cases, snorkelling equipment
1. Use aBoatTime’s search bar to find the yacht you wish to hire and see the real time availability of all our yachts.
Use aBoatTime’s search bar to find the yacht you wish to hire.
2. Select filter criteria according to your needs:
Select the country, region or city where you wish to start your charter.
lease keep in mind that most of the yacht charters start on Saturday, especially during the summer season and Easter holidays, therefore you may see only Saturdays active on the calendar.
All Saturdays are highlighted in green. Active days for a charter are shown in black, and non-active days are shown in grey.
Once you’ve selected the end date for your charter, you can choose the end date on the calendar, and the dates chosen will be highlighted in blue.
Number of passengers
Select the number of passengers on board. Cabins are usually furnished with double beds.
Indicate if you need a skipper.
Type of yacht
Choose your preferred type of yacht: Sailboat, catamaran, speedboat or gulet.
3. Once you have the results of your search (a list of yachts available to book online) you can still change your search query to update the search criteria.
You can see how results change according to your new search criteria.
You can see detailed information about the craft’s equipment by clicking on “See equipment”, as well as more images by clicking on the photo.
There is the option to book a one-way charter in some destinations, for example, picking up your yacht in one city’s marina and dropping it off in other city.
If there are yachts available in this region for one-way charter, a tickbox will be shown below the “Base” on the results page, stating “Return to the same base”.
4. Click on the BOOK button to start the booking process.
Select the extras you wish to add (optional).
5. On the following page, fill in the following fields:
Fill in the information required for the booking.
Add a discount, promotional or agency code if you have one.
6. Choose your preferred method of payment.
7. After finalising payment, you will be redirected to your personal area.
You’ll be able to see your payment summary, make additional payments, and add extras, share booking information with the rest of your party, allowing them to view booking details, and make their own payments if necessary.
You can also see the weather forecast for your charter destination, and information on where to find your yacht.