Charter brokers lead a new paradigm of customized travel on the world’s greatest yachts. By, Paul Rubio

With modern jetsetters looking beyond commercial cruises and traditional resorts for their next upscale vacation, private yacht charters provide the ultimate in luxury travel. Professional yacht charter brokers, like Ulla Gotfredsen of Amazing Charters (, function as maritime matchmakers, pairing clients with beautiful boats, seasoned crews, and tailored agendas that suit their specific needs. Chartering a crewed yacht is like “creating your own floating luxury boutique hotel,” says Gotfredsen. The destinations, cuisine, drinks, hospitality, and activities are all at clients’ discretion. Plus, the amenities, which include flat-screen TVs, Wi-Fi, and iPod docking stations, are identical to those in high-end hotels. Gotfredsen navigates us through some key tips for a floating vacation with endless opportunities.

Use a broker. Yacht charter brokers are like free personal shoppers. Good brokers know the intricacies of the myriad private yachts available—everything from crew personalities to the ages and styles of the boats, to the languages spoken by the polyglot captains and crew. Best of all, the prices they provide are identical to those of direct bookings (which begin at $300/person/day).

Go all-inclusive. Clients can choose between bareboat and luxury-crewed yacht charters. Like the name implies, bareboat charters provide the insured boat only and are for experienced sailors. Luxury-crewed charters, on the other hand, are an all-inclusive package of boat, crew, unlimited food and drink, and unabashed pampering.

Pick a start and a finish. International boating hotspots like the British Virgin Islands and the Mediterranean tend to have the greatest selection of yachts for the start of a sojourn. That said, brokers easily arrange a crewed yacht to begin and end at almost any reasonable location around your desired destination(s).

Find a match. The key to a successful charter experience is the perfect match between the clients and the boat and crew. Some yachts cater to romance; others to families. Some specialize in diving excursions, while others offer kiteboarding and watersport extravaganzas.

Set lofty goals. The best part of a personal charter is the ability to control your vacation. Price is based on the number of days and the yacht itself, not on activities. Gotfredsen encourages her Caribbean globetrotters to play golf in Anguilla, go shopping in St. Maarten, and dine in St. Barts all in the same day. Likewise, she advises her Mediterranean jetsetters to enjoy morning croissants in France and dinner in Italy. And thatÂ’s only day one!