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  • Writer's pictureVeronique van den Hemel


For those chartering a superyacht for the first time this season or being invited on board, there is this practical guide with information on what to do and what not to do on board to make your experience as enjoyable as possible.

The 'barefoot' rule

Stiletto heels that can cause dents in the teak deck and black soles that leave streaks are a no-go. On many yachts, the 'barefoot' rule applies, which means that shoes remain outside the cabin. On some yachts, it is also requested not to wear shoes on deck. If shoes are allowed on deck, please note that they must be soft-soled 'boat shoes'.

Respect the crew

Treat them as you would treat valued employees. The crew has an extremely busy job; They are there to make sure your vacation exceeds expectations. The crew can also be a lot of fun.

Listen to the safety instructions

Safety is the primary responsibility of the captain and his crew. You will be given a safety briefing on life jackets and life rafts, a requirement of both insurance and maritime legislation.

Travelling with your pet

There are charter yachts where pets are allowed on board. If you want to take your pet with you on your trip, please make sure to let us know so that we can find a pet-friendly yacht for you.

Treat the yacht as you would your own home

The crew wants you to feel at home and the boat owner will also appreciate the care of his property.

Keep the crew informed

Entertaining on board in grand style is one of the joys of a charter yacht. If you would like to invite additional guests on board for drinks or a meal, please make sure to arrange this with the captain and crew first so that there is no embarrassing shortage of food or drinks and the chef is prepared for the event. In addition to any changes to your plans, the crew should also be alerted as soon as possible if something is accidentally spilled or broken during the trip.


Give the crew a chance to make the beds, clean and do laundry, and maintain various systems, while you explore the area or shop on land. In case there is no possibility to go ashore, try to give the crew time to do their work while you sunbathe and swim.

Pre-assign cabins

Arrange the allocation of cabins for guests in advance to avoid wasting time and unnecessary tension upon arrival.

Bring suitable baggage

Storage is always a big issue, which is why hard-sided luggage is not recommended in favor of soft luggage that can be folded for storage.

Be prepared to tip

Gratuities for the crew are not mandatory, although it is customary for you to tip if you have enjoyed the friendly and attentive service of a helpful crew. As a rule of thumb, it is recommended between ten and twenty percent of the charter fare.

Don't violate the smoking policy

For safety reasons, smoking inside is prohibited on most yachts. Smoking is only allowed outside on deck and on some yachts even only in special outdoor areas. If you or a member of your party smokes, make sure you indicate this from the beginning.

Don't do anything illegal

Illegal or unauthorized activities on board yachts will not be tolerated. The punishment for such conduct will result in the yacht being confiscated and the license revoked. So if you do something illegal or harass any of the crew, the captain will have to report you to the authorities and you will be asked to disembark.

Don't expect the crew to be your childcare

If you are bringing young children, plan to take care of them yourself or bring a babysitter. On many yachts, there is a wide range of water toys, games and videos especially for children.

Don't take matters into your own hands

Don't lecture a crew member yourself, but leave this to the captain who has the authority to rectify any problems.


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