Cars / Yachts

Charter in Asia – Fun for the Family: Yacht Style Special

A yacht charter can be the ideal holiday for a family, allowing you to spend quality time together in gorgeous settings – as long as you plan properly.

Sep 03, 2019 | By Risa Merl

The family that plays together, stays together, as the saying goes. And there are few better places for the whole family to play than while on a yacht charter, which offers something for everyone.

The family that plays together stays together; Photos: Simpson Yacht Charter

The family that plays together stays together; Photos: Simpson Yacht Charter

Kids can frolic on the water toys and hunt for pirate treasure on the beach, with the yacht’s crew creating elaborate treasure maps. Meanwhile, the adults can unwind with a massage or in the spa, while the grandparents can watch it all unfold from a comfortable seat on the shaded aft deck. There are few other holidays that cater so well to all ages.

Tamsin Priestly, a charter broker with Y.CO, says: “On a boat, you have it all. The children are entertained, the adults can relax. What most parents really want more than anything is downtime with their family. No matter how big the yacht is or what activities you get up to during the day, you’re all there together.”

Perhaps the best thing about a charter holiday is that it can be a truly unique and bespoke experience, designed to suit your family’s needs. By taking just a few details into consideration in advance, you can have the best family holiday, making memories to last a lifetime.

Most brokers will tell you that the yacht’s crew is the most important part of the yacht. “It’s all about the crew,” Priestly says.

When it comes to family charters, you want a young, sporty and active crew. “You can tell a lot from the crew profile,” points out Gayle Patterson, a charter manager with Camper & Nicholsons.

If you charter with a family, ask your broker to ensure that the crew and itinerary are children-friendly

If you charter with a family, ensure the crew and itinerary are children-friendly; Photo: Lady E / Burgess

Look for crew who have unique hobbies and additional certifications, such as a kite-surfing teacher who will be happy to jump in the water and teach the kids a new skill. Robert Shepherd, a partner with brokerage company Edmiston and former yacht chef, agrees.

“The crew can make or break an on-board experience,” says Shepherd, who places a priority on choosing a boat that is kid-friendly.

“There are some boats where the owners are older and the crew is used to entertaining older couples and aren’t very children friendly. Also, is the chef kid-friendly? I can tell you from when I was a chef that kids don’t want to eat what the parents are eating – or when the parents eat.”

A yacht chef adept at catering to children can create dishes that are both tasty and healthy, and budding young chefs might even have the opportunity to help out in the kitchen, donning a mini apron and learning how to cook their favourite food.


Watersports are a major part of a yacht holiday, but the trend nowadays is to learn something new while enjoying time in and on the water – a skill they can take home or use on the next charter. While on board, the family could all get their PADI dive certification, for instance, or the kids could learn dinghy sailing.

Be sure to choose an itinerary and locations that offer a good mix of activities and downtime

Be sure to choose an itinerary and locations that offer a good mix of activities and downtime

However, this isn’t to say the water toys are just for the children. A lot of adults are big kids and will be just as likely to try out everything in the yacht’s toy box, from giant waterslides to electric hydrofoiling surfboards.

When choosing the right yacht for your family, consider which amenities are important to you, whether it’s the latest water toys or a cinema.

The chance to play outside and get away from the overwhelming stress and ceaseless technology of our modern world is one of the most appealing parts of a yacht holiday. And in this vein, parents can really create the experience they desire for their family.

Do you want switch off the Wi-Fi so the kids can be more present? Or make sure the media room is fully stocked with the latest video games and hundreds of movies for kids?

Either end of the spectrum can be catered to, so have your charter company or broker check what entertainment options, from board games to films, are available on a yacht you’re considering. Many superyachts have movie theatres with comfortable recliners or can create an outdoor cinema experience, projecting a film onto a giant screen.

What’s most important is that you spend time together

What’s most important is that you spend time together

“Movie night has become a must-have experience,” Priestly says. “There is something about the nostalgia of everyone sitting around a big screen with popcorn.”

Entertainment options don’t end at the cinema. Some kid-friendly crew are renowned for curating epic themes, like a Harry Potter dinner party, which the charter yacht Axioma has conjured up for guests on many occasions.

And if the crew can’t provide, then a specialist like GF Entertainment can help, no matter where you are. “We’ve set up events everywhere from Australia to Monaco,” says Emmanuel Akintunde, the company’s founder and Managing Director.

The company can help you source the ideal entertainment to please the whole family, from illusionists and dancers to aerialists, or even specific requests like bringing the cast of the Lion King musical on board!


Safety on board is a concern that comes to the mind of parents
when heading out on the high seas. The good news is, it’s also of utmost concern to the Captain and crew. Many boats are already outfitted with security measures to make sure kids are safe on board. This can include gates that block the steps to the aft deck.

Safety on board is a concern that comes to the mind of parents when heading out on the high seas

Safety on board is a concern that comes to the mind of parents when heading out on the high seas

Additional measures can always be added on to enhance the safety for small children, such as affixing a protective screen so kids can’t fall from the sun deck. This goes for the interior as well. In the cabins, a Pullman berth bunkbed might have a netting that can be attached so smaller children don’t roll out of bed.

“Make sure the yacht has gates to block the stairways and safety netting outside where it’s needed,” Patterson says.

When planning a family yacht charter, the location must be highly considered as well.

“Something people often forget to ask is whether it’s a children-friendly itinerary,” says Shepherd. “You need to think about what the kids will do besides watersports.”

Shepherd recommends that you look for an itinerary that includes on-shore, kid-friendly diversions nearby.

“I would always start by asking people what they want to do,” agrees Lucy Ritchie of Fraser Yachts, who says many clients want to have a holiday that includes cultural experiences where kids can learn about history.

More adventurous families might opt for a cruise to far-flung places like Greenland or Antarctica, where you can see penguins, whales and sea lions in their natural habitat. But Ritchie advises waiting until the kids are old enough, eight years of age and upwards, so they can truly appreciate and remember the experience.

With the right yacht, crew and itinerary, a family charter is champagne sailing

With the right yacht, crew and itinerary, a family charter is champagne sailing

The key for a family charter is to keep the entire family in mind. For instance, will grandma want to clamber up the hiking trails in the Galapagos? There are some locations that will please everyone, of course, such as Thailand’s Andaman Sea, which has plenty of beautiful locations and plentiful family-friendly activities on shore, from rock climbing to visiting an elephant sanctuary.

After you choose your location – and the right boat with your favoured amenities and crew – the rest is easy sailing. Once on board, every detail is taken care of and you don’t have to lift a finger, except maybe to sip a glass of champagne.

A family yacht holiday soon becomes a family tradition and there is a multi-generational affect, too.

“I have clients who once came on board as children with their parents and are now starting to go with their own kids and bringing the grandparents along,” Ritchie says. A charter holiday is one trip that everyone comes back for, no matter how old you get.

The original article appears in Yacht Style Issue 48. Email for print subscription enquiries or subscribe to the Magzter version at:

Yacht Style 48: The 2019 Charter Issue Out Now!

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