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Every crewed yacht charter has additional fees and it’s important to be aware of them when planning your trip.

Charter contracts vary from the Mediterranean to the Caribbean, and which one applies to you will depend on where you wish to cruise.

Demystifying Crewed Yacht Charter Costs

Charter Fee
The base charter fee is the rate at which the yacht is chartered for a set period of time, often a 7-day rate. The charter fee is the basic cost of the yacht charter and includes the use of the yacht and its equipment, and also the services of the crew.

Do note that the yacht charter price is just one component of the overall cost of a yacht charter.

Additional expenses such as crew gratuities, taxes, VAT, fuel, food, and beverages, as well as any other fees or expenses related to the charter, will also need to be taken into consideration.

The exact terms of your charter agreement will vary depending on many factors, including the area which you will sail, the size of your luxury yacht, and the length of your charter vacation.


Contracts in the French Riviera, Balearic Islands, Greece and wider Mediterranean Sea are managed by the Mediterranean Yacht Brokers Association (MYBA), and the charter rate is ‘plus expenses’, so exclusive of the VAT and APA (more on these below).

Most luxury yacht charters outside the Caribbean are also governed by MYBA contract terms, although this may vary from boat to boat


Standard Caribbean terms cover the Windwards, Leewards, US Virgin Islands and British Virgin Islands, and most charter yacht fees in the region are inclusive of food and drink, fuel, cruising taxes and permits, and all expenses related to running of the vessel and use of on-board sports equipment. 

The charter price does not include (optional) crew gratuities, premium beverages and fine wines, off-yacht excursions, dockage, telephone, airport transfers or similar expense incurred by the Charterer.

 Advanced Provisioning Allowance (APA)

The APA is an up-front payment that covers provisioning (food and drink), mooring fees and other incidental costs incurred on your holiday.

 It is a refundable amount due at the same time as the final charter balance and is usually between 25-40% of the charter cost. Anything not spent, you’ll get back at the end of your charter.

 The APA makes the entire charter experience as smooth as possible – you simply fill out a preference sheet with your favourite food and drinks, likes and dislikes, and any special requests, and the crew stocks the charter yacht with everything you could want for your holiday.

Value Added Tax (VAT)

Value Added Tax is a government-controlled tax applied to all purchases. The VAT rate and regulations can differ depending on the location of the charter. Speak to your broker if you’re unsure – they’ll be happy to clarify.

  • Greece: Generally varies from 5.1% to 13%
  • Croatia: 13%
  • Italy: 22%
  • France: 20%
  • Spain: 21%



Crew gratuity is a way of showing appreciation and recognition to the crew for their hard work and service during your time aboard. It is customary, although not mandatory, to tip the crew. The amount of the tip is usually 10-20% of the charter fee, depending on the level of service provided. The tip is typically handed to the captain at the end of your charter.

Your boat may have specific guidelines or policies regarding gratuities, so it’s always a good idea to check with your HELM broker beforehand to make sure you understand what is expected.

Fuel & Dockage Fees

Although usually covered by the APA, it’s worth being aware of fuel and dockage fees. Fuel fees include all fuel used by the yacht, toys and generator during the charter.

The amount of fuel consumed will depend on the size of the yacht, its speed, and the distance travelled.


Fuel costs are typically calculated based on the current market price.

Dockage fees can vary depending on the location, size of the yacht, and the time of year. Some marinas may charge additional fees for services such as electricity, water, and waste disposal.

Delivery/Relocation Fee

If you choose to board or disembark the yacht somewhere other than the yacht’s primary port, there will be a delivery fee. This will cover the costs of transporting the yacht, including any relevant mooring fees and the crew’s time. 

The amount of the relocation fee can vary depending on the distance between the ports and the size of the yacht. It may be more cost-effective to charter a yacht that is already located in your desired destination rather than paying a relocation fee. 

Your HELM charter broker can help you explore all the options and find the best solution for your specific needs and budget. 

Example Breakdown

Below is an example of the costs you should expect for a week aboard Sunreef 80 7X in Croatia during high season. 

With over 340 square metres of space to relax and an expert crew of 4 on hand to look after your every need, 7X brings superyacht style to a sumptuous large catamaran.

Cost breakdown

  • Charter Fee: £73,340
  • Croatian VAT (13%): £9,534
  • Advanced Provisioning Allowance (30%): £22,000
  • Gratuity (discretionary @10%): £7,334
  • TOTAL £112,208