Of course, a luxury yacht charter is great for a romantic getaway, or the ultimate honeymoon. But if you think chartering a yacht is only for couples, or upscale singles, think again! Luxury yacht charters are becoming increasingly popular for family vacations.
Think about it. By the time you pay for a family of four or more, to stay a few days on-site at one of the major theme parks, or at an “all inclusive” family resort, you probably are approaching, or maybe even exceeding the cost of a private yacht charter!
But, on a yacht charter experience, you have many more advantages than you will find on any other family vacation. Only on a luxury yacht charter could you combine five-star service with the best water toys, along with onboard high-end entertainment systems, with sightseeing shore excursions and maybe even a celebrity chef!
Still, there are some things to keep in mind if you want to take your kids on a yacht charter vacation. Here are a few travel tips.
Choose Your Yacht Wisely – While a yacht charter can be ideal for a family vacation, not all yachts are ideal for families. Choose your yacht wisely, make sure it is “family friendly,” and that she has enough cabins to accommodate all comfortably. Your charter broker can help!
Get the Kids Involved – Before booking your charter itinerary, get your kids involved. Have them take a look at the boats available for charter, and the destinations, and let them tell you which seem exciting to them. This will save a lot of whining and complaining once you are underway!
Safety is Important – Of course, the primary concern of your charter captain and crew is the safety of you and your family. However, you must impress upon your kids that safety on board is serious business, and they must listen and understand all crew instructions regarding safety at sea. If you have toddlers, be sure to ask about special considerations such as gates, or nets, to keep them safe and away from restricted areas while the boat is in motion. Also, the same can be said if you plan on taking pets along. Speak to your charter broker about any special considerations for taking pets on board.
Consider Your Destination – Speak to your charter broker about kid friendly destinations. For example, besides an abundance of water sports and diving and snorkeling opportunities, places like Key West and the Bahamas are filled with activities for kids.
On Board Entertainment – Part of looking for a family friendly yacht charter is making sure that the yacht you choose has state-of-the-art onboard entertainment systems, video games, computers, etc., as well as the latest water toys that kids would love, such as seabobs, jet skis or water slides. If there is scuba or snorkeling gear on board, be sure they have them in kid sizes.
How to Enhance the Charter Experience for Your Kids by Age
While the above tips are general ways on how to make any given yacht charter a little more “kid friendly,” kids of different ages, have not only different physical capabilities, but also very different likes and dislikes.
Here are some specific things you can do to enhance the yachting experience for kids of given ages.
Children from 8-12
This is probably one of the best ages for kids to enjoy all that a yacht charter has to offer. At this age, kids are full of energy and enthusiasm to try new things. They are also pretty much physically capable to swim, fish, snorkel and enjoy most water sports on their own with minimal adult help or supervision. Some specific activities to think about include:
- Birding and watching for other marine life – Invest in bird and nature guides, and a good pair of binoculars. Especially for charters that take you out to the open oceans, have them be on the lookout for dolphin, whales, orcas, seals, and the other marine animals from the surface. The same binoculars can be used for stargazing at night, which is also a great activity for kids, and a way to introduce them to celestial navigation.
- The Pirate Adventure – If you are going to be overnight near shore, while the kids are asleep, bury some “treasure, create a map to it, place it in a bottle that can just “accidently” wash up the next day – open and let the adventure begin!
- Kayaking – Kayaking is great fun for kids at this age because they will enjoy the “grown up” responsibility of having “their own boat!” But, safety first! Before sending them off on their own, make sure they can climb back into the kayak. It takes practice, and is best done in a controlled environment where the children can’t touch bottom, because that’s most likely what they’ll encounter on their own. A floating waterproof VHF radio is great for them to take along, and you can keep it on a designated channel that you’ll both monitor.
Just as on land, entertaining teens, who think anything other than taking selfies or checking Instagram on their phones is “boring,” can be challenging. Beyond water toys, such as wakeboards, paddleboards and jet skis that most teens love, here are some ideas:
- Let them drive the boat – If your charter vessel is not so complex, that even you do not drive it yourself, give teens a turn at the wheel, and let them pick their music while they are driving.
- Scuba – Snorkeling is good for kids of all ages, but teens can be PADI scuba diving certified. Of course, if they are interested, they would have to take the course before you head out, or if you are on an extended yacht charter, your kids could possibly take a class and be certified at your charter destination.
- An onshore camp out – If your charter affords the opportunity for an overnight stay anchored at a beach, pack a portable grill and pop-up tent so older teens can sleep ashore. In the evening, get a beachside bonfire going with s’mores or just plain old roasted marshmallows.
Experience of a Lifetime
You can make memories to last a lifetime on a family charter yacht vacation. So now that you know you can take your kids on a yacht charter, what are you waiting for? Contact us today, and let us put together your dream vacation.
Choosing the right charter experience can be challenging. If you would like to benefit from our expertise in these areas, or if you have any questions or comments about this blog post, do not hesitate to contact our Charter Specialists, or call us at 954-235-3468