By Margot Black
Yachts are the epitome of wealth, status and privilege. But now yachts of all kinds and sizes are more accessible for everyone to enjoy. Your next celebration could easily include a travel adventure for a few of your loved ones.
For many, being on the ocean is one of the happiest and most peaceful experiences in life. Just leave the dock to get on a boat and off you go for what can only be described as pure bliss. It doesn’t matter if it’s a kayak, a small sailboat, or a dinner cruise, but let’s face it, yachts are the best of all.
A used “starter yacht” can easily cost you a million dollars, and that price quickly doubles for a new one. However, via today’s peer-to-peer booking sites, luxury yachts are surprisingly affordable options for a special outdoor experience.
My husband, Rob, and I recently chartered a yacht to celebrate the renewal of our wedding vows with our family and friends. It was a great experience for us and a unique travel opportunity for our guests.
We originally sailed at sunset on a 76ft sailboat to take our wedding vows. We planned to have a vow renewal party after 10 years, but life has arrived. At 15, COVID struck. This time, 16 years later, we have decided to renew our vows aboard a motor yacht. The past year has taught us a great lesson: there is no time like the present. So happy sweet 16 to us.
I booked the yacht 10 days in advance for a midweek trip (weekends require more advance planning). Unlike a sailboat, the decks of a luxury motor yacht stay dry and the interior common areas and cabins are spacious, so cool outside coastal temperatures are not a problem.
We celebrated on an Azimut 64 Fly, which is an elegant and much sought-after Italian-built ocean-going vessel that features three below-deck cabins, a fly bridge with plenty of padded seating areas, a large padded foredeck for lounging or sunbathing, a spacious kitchen, dining room, living rooms, two bathrooms, teak decks and a convenient place to swim and barbecue on a back deck. Superbly designed, it offers comfortable padded areas in the front and back at all levels for socializing with plenty of nooks and crannies for those looking for a little privacy. Our yacht was called Princessa which made us all feel like royalty.
With our captain Romualdo we sailed past barking seals and screaming seagulls and headed out to sea. A few miles offshore, he spotted teeming pelicans that had come to feed on schools of fish near the surface. He explained that they attract dolphins, so we headed straight for them. There we were greeted by the largest number of groups of dolphins I have ever seen. Exquisite creatures, they swam around and by our side for almost an hour. I smiled so much that my face literally hurt.
If you are looking to organize a special travel celebration, consider the benefits offered by yachts. You’re forced to focus on a slim guest list, and privacy is a key benefit. You, your friends and family will share a glorious travel adventure together, and while owning a yacht is inaccessible to many, chartering one is within reach. A bonus is that you are not responsible for the maintenance.
We found GetMyBoat.com – a great peer-to-peer booking service highly regarded for its wide selection of quality charters. After specifying the size and date, GetMyBoat.com put me in touch with Happily Ours, who manages the charter of three stunning yachts. The reservation was easy, with the manager of the boat Julia Ford very responsive. You will get the best service by booking at the beginning of the week. The very knowledgeable and experienced Romualdo was a great sailor who engaged when engaged and otherwise discreet.
While GetMyBoat is a great tool for people looking to book luxury boating experiences, their offers aren’t just for extravagant vacations. The platform aims to make boating more accessible to anyone who wants to enjoy the water, and offers the widest range of boat rentals and charters at prices to suit almost any budget. You can search from affordable pontoons to luxury super yachts and go boating for a few hours or a whole week.
If you decide to give it a try for yourself, here are some tips that might help. Make sure you confirm everything in writing, in the app or web platform you are using. Exiting any application or platform often voids the platform’s responsibility. Yachts and boats are usually not accessible until the confirmed time, so plan to load food, drinks, and other supplies quickly and efficiently. And have Dramamine on hand for your guests, just in case.
Enjoy your time on the water. If there ever was a time to “go with the flow”, this is it. But remind guests ahead of time that they might need to be flexible. The ocean is not always predictable and she may have her own ideas.
WHEN YOU GO
Our yacht cruise left Marina del Rey, CA and traveled along the coast in the Los Angeles area, but GetMyBoat can organize boat adventures nationwide: www.getmyboat.com. The Princessa yacht can be booked through Julia Ford: 972-741-2383.
The author and her husband celebrate the renewal of their wedding vows aboard the Princessa yacht along the Los Angeles coast. Photo courtesy of Margot Black.
Margot Black is a freelance writer. To read articles from other Creators Syndicate authors and designers, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
The Princessa yacht departs Marina del Rey, Calif., And sets sail. Photo courtesy of Margot Black.