Superyacht Charter: The Ultimate Yachting Holiday

The Lana is one of the latest additions to the fleet of superyachts available for private charter.

© Imperial Yachts / Jeff Brown

The Lana is one of the latest additions to the fleet of superyachts available for private charter.

The Lana is one of the latest additions to the fleet of superyachts available for private charter.

© Imperial Yachts / Jeff Brown

Even billionaires' consciences – or possibly those of their tax advisors – are bound to kick in at some point and realise that it's not the best idea to leave their luxury yacht moored, unused in Monaco or Marbella harbour for months on end. So what could be more logical than to let others have a share of one's good fortune – in exchange for the appropriate amount of cash, of course? This is how the charter scene for mega-yachts has established itself over the past few years, the likes of which can otherwise only be seen in Hollywood films or as background pictures during the Monte Carlo Grand Prix.

And no matter what you've always dreamed of having – a spa and wellness area, home cinema, extensive diving and water sports equipment, or even a helipad – in the league of mega-yachts, just about everything in terms of luxury is available to rent, it's just a matter of price. The most popular yacht in the superyacht charter industry is the 136-metre-long Flying Fox, built at the German shipyard, Lürssen and launched in 2019.

The 25 guests are taken care of by 55 crew members. To charter it for a single week, one should budget about €3 million. All eleven guest cabins feature private balconies with ocean views. Highlights include a twelve-metre pool on the main deck and a two-story spa area covering 400 sqm. 

At 107 metres, still well above the magic 100 mark, one of the newest additions to the high-end charter industry was designed and built by the Benetti shipyard, founded in 1873: The Giga-yacht Lana offers every conceivable luxury and timeless Italian design. The eight guest cabins are divided into a master suite and seven VIP suites, each with its own design and colour scheme to complement the uniqueness of the accommodated guests.

The Beach Club, on the lower deck has a hammam-style spa and massage rooms as well as a gym and a swim platform. On the upper forward deck there is a large swimming pool and a large al fresco dining area. Inside the luxury continues; a grand piano, cinema, wide screen televisions and sea terraces for the master suite. And of course, there is the obligatory helipad. It is considered exceptional. 

© Imperial Yachts / Jeff Brown

Experience history
Most of the technical bells and whistles are also on board the Christina O. This was ensured after an extensive refit between 2016 and 2018 and further work was also carried out on the 99-metre motor yacht from the house of Onassis last season as well. But the real adventures onboard this prestigious, historic superyacht, take place in the mind.

In 1948, shipping legend Aristotle Onassis bought the former frigate for a handful of dollars and had it adapted to his taste for several million. Grace Kelly married Rainier III on board. In addition, Liz Taylor, Greta Garbo, Frank Sinatra and John F. Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe, the Aga Khan and John Wayne have also been guests over the years. In her current life as a floating monument for charter, clients have included Madonna, Donatella Versace, Tommy Hilfiger and Paul McCartney. The Christina O. is particularly suitable for larger groups: Up to 157 people can stay on board, even at sea. Time to party!

Under Sail
Those who prefer to move across the oceans under the power of the wind are saving on two counts. Firstly, because charter prices of the largest sailing yachts range from just under half a million euros downwards. If the wind is favourable, then there is a further significant saving on fuel costs and then there are the psychological bonus points for the ecological footprint. An outstanding, striking and truly and symbolic example is the Maltese Falcon, built in 2006.

From a distance, one of the largest sailing ships in the world can be recognised by its rigging. While by no means outdated, the yacht, which was built by Perini Navi, underwent an extensive refit last season. The three-master has a maximum sail area of 2,000 square metres and an advanced rigging system that allows the masts to rotate to depower the rig and feather the sails quickly. Fibre optic sensors give a comprehensive load status of all aspects of the rig and provide warnings, historical data and information to optimise the sail sets. For further adventures, there are two laser dinghies onboard and to two jet-skis for those with a need for speed.

Spartan luxury
Not everyone buys in to the maxim that it is the largest, most expensive and valuable things that represent luxury. For some people, true luxury is made up of extraordinary or personal experiences that are difficult to access or virtually impossible to buy. This may be associated with dramatic deprivations, or it may result from unique experiences.

Sailing and yachting can provide this in a special way. For example, these days you can charter racing yachts with a crew for 'real' offshore regattas. One is now not only a co-driver, but part of the team – which is needed for progress and possible success. Every move counts, physically and in real-time. If you make a mistake, the whole team pays.

Such possibilities start with the prestigious regattas in the Caribbean and continue with trans-Atlantic races that then end in Europe with the Rolex Middle Sea Race or the Fastnet Race off the coast of England. Since wind and weather know no respite and every gram of weight counts, the yachts are also designed with this in mind:

  • Cabins are nowhere to be found
  • The crew sleeps in hanging berths
  • There is no luxury fine dining

On the other hand, the yachts sail across the ocean at actual racing speed.

The racing yacht, Sisi, is just over 20 metres long and has successfully sailed in the Volvo Ocean Race and preparations are being made for the next round-the-world race at breakneck speed. Sisi is usually transferred from one port to another prior to regattas, so guests with an appetite for adrenaline kicks and a knack for sailing are always welcome.

The largest yachts in the world

Alisher Usmanov's Dilbar, 156 metres long, is the second ship with this name. The first Dilbar with a length of 110 metres was too small for the oligarch.

© Shutterstock

Rev Ocean

Launch planned for 2022: With the 181.5-metre luxury ship, however, Norwegian fish tycoon Kjell Inge Røkke also wants to promote marine exploration.


179.7 metres long and 48,000 horsepower. Chalifa bin Zayid Al Nahyan, Emir of Abu Dhabi and President of the United Arab Emirates, purchased it at a cost of approximately €549 million. 

Fulk al Salamah
Officially belongs to the Oman navy. However, the sultan's car collection (and much more) onboard the 164-metre luxury ship suggests otherwise.

Although it is only the fourth longest (162.5 metres), it is the most expensive yacht in the world. Equipment such as a submarine and missile defences, cost owner Roman Abramovich more than €1 billion.


With its eight decks and 162 metres in length, up to 115 guests of Muhammad bin Raschid Al Maktum, the ruler of Dubai, can enjoy themselves. Anchored in Dubai.

Named after the mother of Uzbek oligarch Alisher Usmanov. 156 metres long, it has the world's largest floating swimming pool.

Al Said
155 metres long and housing a concert hall for an entire symphony orchestra, for when the Sultan of Oman wants to hear live music.

Prince Abdulaziz
This is where the Saudi royal family accommodates up to 64 guests. At 147.1 metres, it was the world's largest privately owned ship until 2006.

147 metres long. The four-metre lead over 10th place inspired Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi's ruling family when naming it.

The largest private sailing yacht in the world with a length of almost 143 metres, oligarch Andrei Melnichenko gifted it to himself at a cost of €390 million. 

Rent a luxury yacht

Flying Fox
Year of construction: 2019
Length: 136 m
Cabins: 11
Guests: 25
Crew: 55
Cruising speed: 17 knots
Cost / week: € 3,000,000

Year of construction: 2020
Length: 107 m
Cabins: 8
Guests: 12
Crew: 33
Cruising speed: 16 knots
Cost / week: € 1,800,000

Christina O.
Year of contruction: 1943 / Refit 2020
Length: 99 m
Cabins: 17
Guests: 34
Crew: 39
Cruising speed: 15 knots
Cost / week: € 560,000

Year of construction: 2020
Length: 48 m
Cabins: 18
Guests: 38
Crew: 8
Cruising speed: 112 knots
Cost / week: € 50,000

Sailing yachts for charter

Maltese Falcon
Year of contruction: 2006 / Refit 2020
Length: 88 m
Cabins: 6
Guests: 12
Crew: 19
Cruising speed: 14 knots
Cost / week: € 460,000

Year of construction: 2018
Length: 54.9 m
Cabins: 8
Guests: 16
Crew: 4
Cruising speed: up to 8 knots
Cost / week: € 105,000

Sunreef 80
Year of construction: 2018
Length: 24.4 m
Cabins: 4
Guests: 8
Crew: 4
Cruising speed: up to 10 knots
Cost / week: € 88,000

Year of construction: 2014
Length: 20.37 m
Cabins: none
Guests: up to 8
Crew: 4 to 8
Cruising speed: up to 30 knots
Cost / week: € 50,000