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A Private Yacht Charter for Less Than $100/person Per Day?
Budget travelers rarely shop for a private jet charter or a private yacht charter. These luxurious arrangements are assumed to be reserved for wealthy travelers.
Some recent developments suggest that assumption might not always hold true. Let's start on the waterfront.
A private yacht charter service, Antlos.com operates on a business model similar in some ways to Airbnb or VRBO. It is a peer-to-peer platform connecting travelers with skippers who will welcome you aboard their vessels for a vacation on the water.
This is not a service connecting yachtsmen with a boat for rent. All the Antlos offers come with a skipper or captain. Many include fuel and marina charges in the overall price of the charter.
Perhaps you can't imagine telling your friends that you plan to charter a yacht in the Caribbean or Mediterranean. A look at the prices might surprise you:
- In Spain, a yacht charter in Ibiza and Formentera for eight guests starts at $83/person per day. The price per person rises for... smaller parties. The 45-foot yacht has two double cabins, an individual cabin, a bathroom with warm water, a complete kitchen with oven and refrigerator, and a living room. Fuel is included in the price, but not marina charges.
- In the Greek Isles, a sailing in Corfu for a group of six is $51/person per day. At this price, fuel costs are extra. This 42-foot yacht offers four double cabins, two of which convert into bunk beds. There is also a large dinette with an oven and refrigerator, two bathrooms, two showers (internal and external).
- In the British Virgin Islands, an all-inclusive vacation on the Serena for a group of four starts at $136/person per day. That price includes your meals for the length of the cruise, fuel and marina charges.
- Croatia's Split Archipelago is the focus of a charter that starts at $97/person per day for a group of six. The minimum stay is seven days. The 39-foot ship is equipped with four double cabins for guests, including three bedrooms with double beds.
- How about a few days sailing the Venetian lagoon? One charter there starts at $99/person per day for a group of four, excluding marina fees and meals.The skipper grew up navigating these waters, and he can show you islands the tourists in Venice will never see.
These offers might stick on the Antlos website, or they might be replaced in time with other charter offers. You'll need to decide what you want in terms of amenities before booking.
Don't mistake every offering on Antlos for opulent travel. Some yachts don't offer hot showers or furnished meals. You'll buy groceries and prepare your own meals in the galley.
The Antlos site will show you everything the skipper includes in the per-person price. But there are not specific itineraries listed, because the idea is that you will negotiate these details directly with the yacht owner. If you're more interested in dropping anchor in a secluded inlet and spending the day swimming and snorkeling, say so. If you want to visit as many places as possible in a few days, plan that trip with the skipper.
The advantages of these charters will appeal to budget travelers who want to go beyond where the masses land. The smaller vessels can anchor in coves and near small islands that larger cruise ships cannot reach. You'll be able to enjoy sun-drenched afternoons in the privacy of a harbor or inlet that most people will never visit.
There are a few cost considerations to keep in mind.
Some charters carry minimum durations that could price you out of the trip. Another is transportation to and from the marinas where these yachts are moored. You might connect in small villages served by remote airports. That fact could add significantly to your airfare costs.
Perhaps you'd rather travel in the skies. Next, consider seats on a private jet charter priced to be competitive with airline fares.Continue to 2 of 2 below.
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A Private Jet Charter Priced to be Competitive with Airline Fares
Could a private jet charter be priced competitively with airline offerings? In most cases, the answer is an emphatic "no." But what about a single seat?
JetSuiteX is offering the public individual seat sales on a fleet of private jets along the West Coast of the United States. The advertising campaign associated with the seat sales is called "Private for the Public."
The fares sometimes are as low as $109 each way for service between the California cities of Burbank and Concord (east of Oakland). That route is offered on weekdays and appeals primarily to business travelers. Another route from Concord to Las Vegas on weekends attracts leisure travelers.
"You'll see more of this dichotomy as we grow," JetSuiteX Spokesman Gareth Edmondson-Jones said as the service was announced in April 2016. "Business routes (are the focus) during the week, and leisure routes for the weekend."
Concord is a short drive from vineyards in the famed Napa Valley, so vacationers... could arrive on Friday and depart Monday.
Another route in the works will add up to four round-trips per week between San Jose Mineta International Airport and Bozeman, Mont.
The flights will operate out of smaller airports with executive terminals. Passengers are still subject to TSA checks, but lines are likely to be rather short, given the limited capacity of these planes.
A corporate news release says legroom on these jets will be comparable to business class seats on the airlines. The release also promises "free WiFi and in-flight entertainment on-board streamed to passengers’ personal devices."
A round-trip fare of $218 between San Francisco and Los Angeles is probably going to be more expensive than some sale fares offered by the airlines. But consider the time saved and the relative comfort. Will JetSuiteX be able to maintain low fares, and will travelers use the smaller airports, which are sometimes a longer ride to and from the city center?
Amid those unanswered questions, JetSuiteX lauched the concept with a market it appears to have all to itself.
"We don't see any competitors to JetSuiteX's hybrid model between private jet and airline service, particularly not at this price point," Edmondson-Jones said.