Given the range of boats available for charter, it is impossible to give a definitive price guide, but here’s a rough indication. Remember that your charter fee only includes the cost of the boat itself (and the crew if you have one); you will have to pay for fuel, food and drink, berthing fees and any tip for the crew on top of that.
Price guide for yacht charter
Dayboat rental starts at about €200 for a low powered dinghy for up to six people (no toilet) and rises into the thousands for the fast powerboat options. You can rent for half a day, but it’s normally about 80% of the cost, so it’s advised to enjoy the whole day on the water if you can.
For yachts with accommodation to sleep families or groups of friends, a yacht charter works out to be relatively economical given hotel costs in summer on the Riviera. You can expect to find bareboat sailing yachts, with relatively small accommodation, starting at about €1500 a week, rising into the tens of thousands for the more spacious and crewed superyachts. Catamarans are generally more expensive due to their larger volume and accommodation spaces. These boats will normally come with one tank of fuel and water and a dinghy.
The very smallest superyacht will cost you about €30,000 a week and can rise up to a million euro for one of the megayachts you’ll see in the marinas of Monaco or Antibes.
Berths along the Riviera are expensive, although ultimately worth it for the facilities they provide and the access to Saint-Tropez. Another option is to tie up to one of the mooring balls for a smaller fee, or to drop anchor outside the marina in a tranquil cove, which is free of charge. Spend the night rocking gently at anchor and looking out over the shining water at the lights of the famous towns along the coast.
Yachts with accommodation will come with kitchen facilities, and most will offer a catered service so that you can relax and let someone else do the cooking. It is worth remembering that food and drink are not normally included in the cost of a dayboat charter, so factor this into your budget.
The type of yacht and itinerary you decide on will have an impact on the cost of your yachting holiday. The average charter burns about 3 hours of fuel per day, and it’s generally about €1.20 per litre of fuel. If your boat uses 40 litres of fuel per hour, then you’re looking at around €50 an hour for fuel, so probably about €150 a day for smaller boats and much more for go-fast boats and superyachts. Remember to budget accordingly.
Sailing yachts are obviously the best option if you want to avoid high fuel costs, although, with the gentle winds of summer, you might not travel anywhere very fast. As a general rule, a sailing itinerary will take twice as long as the same route by motor yacht.
Fast motor yachts can have a high fuel consumption so ask your yacht rental company for advice on how much your itinerary will cost you in fuel.
For a 50 metre superyacht, you can expect to pay about €5000 a day in fuel, and that’s at cruising speed of 10 knots. If you aren’t planning to travel far along the coast and you anchor off rather than paying berthing fees, a small superyacht still works out quite economically when compared to a 4-star hotel if there are a few couples on board.
If you have a crew, it is customary although not compulsory to tip. On crewed motor yachts and superyachts, it’s ‘very customary’, and the crew will definitely think they’ve done something wrong if you don’t tip. The standard rate for tipping is 5-15% of the charter fee. Give it to the captain on the last morning before disembarking and be sure to ask if it is shared evenly between the crew.
A fairly new EU ruling insists that VAT tax on yachts is in line with European regulations. Dayboat rentals will generally have it included but you can expect to pay VAT of 19.6% on top of a longer charter.
For bareboat charters you will generally have to leave a security deposit (normally just a credit card impression) to cover any potential damage or breakages, so make sure you have a good look around the yacht when you take charge of it, and document any existing damage, with photos if possible, just like you would a rental car.
All rental providers must carry insurance, you can ask to see these documents prior to signing the charter agreement if you wish. You can take out insurance against losing your security deposit, normally for around €100.
Extra costs for bareboat charters
You may have to pay a cleaning fee of between €50 and €150, check the paperwork or ask the rental company. Linen rental may also be extra in some cases.