Float your boat - chartering is the new wave in boating

Your luxury charter yacht
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Chartering boats and luxury yachts is enjoying a rise in popularity, as travellers realise the joys of holidays afloat, with none of the perceived bugbears, or want to dip a toe in before committing to ownership.

For couples, groups of friends and families, corporates and solo sailors, chartering delivers the yachting lifestyle, without the ongoing expense of maintenance.

You simply arrive at your yacht, specifically chosen by a seasoned broker who has assessed your preferences, you are welcomed aboard by Captain and crew, and then spend a week, a month, or more enjoying an expertly organised itinerary onboard a hotel where the scenery changes every day and you needn’t lift a finger.

You can explore an inlet, or the seven seas, head to a marina and sample the local culture, then return to your mobile palace, and set off into the sunset for a new destination. Gourmet dining, spa services, diving, flying, all manner of water sports or just chilling out are among the options.

Once your charter is over, step off without a care and savour the memories of your sojourn – no refuelling, no cleaning, no maintenance, no ongoing invoices. It’s the no-strings-attached way of enjoying your private yacht.

Expat New Zealander, now living on Queensland’s Gold Coast, Jeni Tidmarsh has been operating in the global charter market for 25 years. As Charter Director of the Luxury Charter Group, she has seen the sector grow with the advent of the Internet, which has helped people research their dream destinations.

'My role is to customise the charter experience to suit my clients,' she explains. 'As a highly specialised charter broker, I travel the world to inspect and experience all types of yachts worldwide that are available on the charter market.
Travelling for most of the year, Jeni attends charter and trade shows in Genoa, Greece, Turkey, Croatia, Monaco, and Antigua every year where she meets Captains, crews and owners. 'This helps me to know their points of difference, their movements and itineraries. My team and I personally inspect over 400 yachts each a year at international charter shows worldwide.'

Charter near here or any part of the world
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A seasoned traveller, Tidmarsh refers to luxury yacht charters as 'floating boutique hotels'.

'My clients have stayed in the best hotels all over the world and they’re looking for the same exclusive quality onboard a yacht. They are seeking a different type of private retreat compared to staying on land in a hotel for a week. On a private yacht charter you can travel all over a region and never have to repack your bags. The hotel goes with you!'

Jeni has clients in Australia, New Zealand, the US and Europe, which are all experiencing a charter yacht boom.

'We have an office in Florida and a specialist charter broker there to take care of our US clients and charters in Caribbean destinations, and we have just expanded with an office in Europe to take special care of our European clients.'

Every client is different, says Jeni. 'Some require specific accommodation, others speed, some want a slower pace, some want to dine ashore, others want to be far from anywhere, families enjoy a variety of water toys, some require a helicopter deck, others a nurse, a dive guide, a masseuse on board, some a gym to keep fit, others special dietary requirements.'

Rent a yacht
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Around the world, superyacht owners are getting in on a thriving industry, chartering their yachts to generate a return on investment – partially paying for its upkeep – and keeping the crew motivated, as well as adding an important selling feature with significant added value if they should choose to sell.

'Our professional objective is matching the right yacht for the client in the right destination that they desire. Every single person says the experience exceeded their expectations. Sharing my love of destinations and the yachting lifestyle – that’s the reward.'

Chartering a yacht is the ideal vacation: there is plenty to occupy your time, yet you have the time and space to spend genuine quality time together, and apart.

'It grants you total relaxation, time to immerse yourself in nature, let your thoughts float off to the horizon.'

More at www.luxurychartergroup.com