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Be the best guest

An insight into on board etiquette.

A luxury yacht charter is the epitome of a bespoke holiday. With sun, sea and 5-star service it certainly doesn’t get better than this. In order to make sure your yacht charter runs as smoothly as possible, follow a few simple etiquette rules to ensure you are the best guest you can be.

From how to treat the yacht to respecting the crew, here are a few guidelines to follow whilst on board a luxury yacht:

A Home Away from Home

Whilst on board a luxury yacht it is essential to remember that although the yacht is yours for the duration of the charter, it should be treated as though it were your home away from home. Owners offer their luxury yachts for charter under the circumstances that they will be treated well. Keep in mind the behaviour of yourself and your guests.

Shoes off

It is customary whilst on board a luxury yacht to abide by the "bare feet" rule. High heels can scratch and damage the teak decking whereas black soles can leave unsightly scuff marks. As a rule of thumb ensure to take appropriate deck shoes for walking around the deck or go bare foot, and if you wear outdoor shoes ashore, remember to remove them before stepping back onto the yacht.

Roaming on board

It is important to respect the privacy of the crew. Although this is your charter vacation the galley is considered a haven for the Chef and the crew quarters are not to be entered without an invitation. When it comes to accommodation on board, the crew cabins are considerably smaller than the guest staterooms; understand that this is their private space and avoid any intrusion.


Children are welcome aboard many yacht charters but it is important for guests to remain responsible for them. Some families bring along a nanny who can be accommodated on board. Crew members should not be expected to babysit.


On board most yachts, smoking is usually prohibited inside. Some yachts may have deck spaces where smoking may be permitted. Smoking on board is entirely at the discretion of the yacht owner so should there be a smoker amongst your charter party, be sure to make this clear to your yacht charter broker when making enquiries.


There is absolutely no tolerance for drug use on board a yacht charter. In the event that drugs are found on board, not only will they be confiscated but the yacht too is subject to confiscation whilst the Captain may lose his/her license. This also applies to weapons on board. If you break your half of the charter contract, be prepared to be abandoned mid-charter to make your own way home.


Always remember that the charter crew are there to ensure your vacation runs as smoothly as possible. Although it may be unusual to allow people to serve you, simple gestures which may be deemed as polite by guests, can often be misconstrued by crew members. For instance, if guests are persistent when it comes to clearing plates or making beds the crew may feel you are unhappy with the service they are working hard to provide. They have a job to do so sit back and enjoy being catered for.

Handling a complaint

In the unlikely occurrence that you should wish to make a complaint, it is important not to take a matter into your own hands by scorning a crew member yourself. The Captain is the head of the crew party and any grievances should be directed his/her way.

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