If you've ever been to a coastal city, seen a crew scuttling around the deck of a huge, white yacht and wondered what it costs to own one, you clearly don't have the capital to answer that question.
However, even aspirational seafarers can board the yachts of their dreams for a fraction of the cost if they're willing to charter one.
It's just fine to decide you want to head to Saint Barth's for the weekend, submit your itinerary and set sail, but with the majority of yachts selling in the eight-figure range -- and impressive cruizer-sized yachts nearing $200 million -- there's a reason why yachts are among the least attainable luxury items available.
Does this mean you'll never get to dock in Ibiza with your crew and set sail at sunrise roughly a week later? Does it mean you'll never be able to crash the docks at Cannes or Monaco and elbow your way into the film festival or Grand Prix? Will you have to just fly to Miami for Ar tBasel like a schlub? Not necessarily.
You may not command celebrity or executive privileges yet, but there's no reason you can't get a taste of them? Want security guards and exclusive access? It's available. Want access to exclusive beaches or far-removed islands? You can have it. Want to just spend a week poking around a celebrity's yacht and seeing what it's like when he's wrapped fliming or closed a deal and want to take a month to celebrate? That's completely doable as well.
We aren't saying that any of this comes cheap: a full crew, fuel and amenities aren't going to be had for the cost of a night at the local Motel 6. However, considering the cost of some weekly charters and how many guests can fit aboard those yachts at any time, they're some of the most exclusive vacation rentals on the planet. They're also a big help to the actual owners, who tend to live in countries where charter yachts aren't subjected to property taxes. The following are just ten of the better-known yachts available for charter throughout the year:
Editors' pick: Originally published March 24.
Cost per week: $60,000 to $80,000
Why the difference in price? Because the Necker Belle's owner, Virgin executive Richard Branson, realizes that there's a lot more demand for his prized catamaran's Caribbean charters from the beginning of the year through April and during the winter holidays.
He's owned this 105-foot carbon fiber catamaran since 2003 and has no issue letting guests take it up to 20 knots while under sail and 18 knots under power. The yacht houses four en suite staterooms that all have fantastic views from above the waterline. The interior looks a whole lot like the cool beach house he's set up at his Necker Island home (which is also available for rent) in the British Virgin Islands. The Necker Belle can accommodate up to ten guests in four staterooms with private bathrooms and the main cabin's lounge area, which can be converted to a double cabin. There is also enough room for a crew of seven, which we'd highly suggest if you'd like gourmet meals and some help launching to various island destinations.
Cost per week: $200,000
This 60-meter super yacht knows its audience, which is why that price you see up there is actually a special.
Originally launched in 2008 by the folks at Benetti, the St David is equipped with a full gym, an oversized spa pool, a massage center, Apple TV, portable karaoke, a full disco with bandstand on the sun deck and a swimming platform. The spiral staircase that winds through all three floors and past the wet bar, salon, formal dining area and glass-enclosed sky lounge is stunning in itself. However, with three decks, an outdoor dining table, Jacuzzi, room for 12 guests (including an owner's suite overlooking the lounge and a floor-sized VIP stateroom) and a top speed of 15 knots, this yacht was meant to be a floating party.
That's exactly what it's owners are pitching for a $200,000, four-day stay during the Monaco Grand Prix. However, if you'd rather take in the Cannes Film Festival, the owners are offering ten nights for the $240,000 price of seven. We said those prices were specials: that doesn't necessarily mean they're deals.
Cost per week: $400,000
This is just your average megayacht tooling around the Central Caribbean these days, but it used to be a lot more famous. Back when Sean "P. Diddy" Combs owned it in the early 2010s, the Lurssen-built Huntress was known as Solemates and was the talk of Saint Barth's -- largely because its custom software allows passengers to order food and control each room's climate, entertainment, lighting and blinds with a swipe on one of 14 complimentary onboard iPads.
The Huntress has three levels of decks, two levels of outdoor dining, a covered gym/disco with lights and surround sound and a main salon with a large flat screen TV. The sky lounge features a full bar, space for games and huge corner windows overlooking the sea. The main deck master suite has panoramic views, a mahogany desk, a marble master bath complete with jetted tub and walk-in aromatherapy shower.
Below, there are four staterooms with extra-large viewing portholes while the upper deck has the VIP stateroom. When it's time to play, there are two custom tenders to take to shore, waverunners, diving equipment, fishing gear, tandem kayaks, wakeboards, water skis, a towable banana boat and tube and a floating water trampoline. Our favorite perk? Gold clubs with biodegradable golf balls that simply decompose once you mash them into the sea.
Cost per week: $300,000
Diddy loves yachts. In fact, if you're considering a charter and want to know what's hot on the seas, it's in your best interest to look at the Bad Boy founder's history on the high seas.
This $65 million, 178-foot floating palace is teeming with its owner's touches. The top deck party floor includes bar, stage and projection screen. The living area's leather sofas are fluffed with pillows, jars of dried apricots line the mantels, books about African history and culture dot the tables. The 10-member staff will bake cookies for you and 11 guests. The cinema room, gym, elevator, five separate deck areas (including sun deck with Jacuzzi) and six ensuite state rooms are all at your disposal, as is a master suite balcony can be lowered to become a private deck. The water-borne amenities include two tenders, a rescue boat, two Yamaha WaveRunners, kayaks, a water trampoline, a slide, waterboards, wakeboards, paddle boards, towables, scuba gear, snorkeling gear and kitesurfing equipment.
The man wasn't just posing when he was on yachts in those $1 million videos: Diddy knew early on that he wanted this. It's not only not surprising that he'd be a well-seasoned yacht owner by now, but it would be disappointing if he wasn't a trusted yacht authority nearly 30 years into his career.
Cost per week: $126,000
This 65-meter Indonesian-style giant ketch is definitely yacht-sized, but monstrous for a wooden vessel traveling under sail.
It's the largest wooden vessel in the region and among the largest in the world. Built in Sulawesi by Haji Baso and Haji Saka, it's meant to cover a lot of ground, emulate the ships of the Spice Route and skim along the Coral Triangle to Indonesia, Myanmar and Thailand without disturbing the most biodiverse marine ecosystem in the world. There's room for 14 in the master suite, four double suites and two twin cabins -- each with its own bathroom. There's a bar and lounge on the main deck with a dining area that seats all 14 guests. There's a shade sail just for the main deck, a "Spa Quarter" at the back of the ship for massages and other treatments and sun beds on the upper deck. Jetskis, a jet tender, diving and snorkeling facilities for all 14 guests, stand-up paddle boards, kayaks, waterskis, wakeboards and traditional Indonesian jukung canoes are there if you're feeling active, but a staff of chefs is there to prepare gourmet meals if you aren't. While there is internet and satellite communications, video and audio entertainment, owner Dominique Gerardin is an environmentalist and isn't a fan of running the motors, which means the sails will be out every chance the crew gets.
Cost per week: $148,000
Welcome to God's yacht.
For all of those Baby Boomers and aspiring guitarists who grew up thinking Eric Clapton was God, here's your chance to take in some of that divine aura.
Eric Clapton's yacht is typically berthed in Croatia, but makes its way around much of the Northern Mediterranean. The 157-foot yacht was built in 1992 by Kees Cornelissen and is incredibly expansive. The main salon, formal dining room, upper-deck bar, sundeck (with Jacuzzi), rear deck with outdoor dining (with meals provided by the yacht's chef) and an equipped gym make it a movable mediterranean resort.
The main-deck master suite has its own mini-spa bathroom and office, which can be converted into a children's bedroom. The VIP suite has its own bathroom with a walk-in shower and stone sinks. There are six guest rooms in all, with room for 12 guests to stay comfortably. Don't expect any sweet morning wake-up solos or any old Yardbirds, Cream or Derek and the Dominos CDs kicking around the state rooms, though -- God doesn't advertise.
Cost per week: $65,000 to $93,000
This is easily one of the sexier yachts we've seen on this list, but this 33-meter beauty from Numarine was designed that way. There's only room for eight passengers and a crew of four, but the giant master suite and VIP suite and two cabins are air conditioned, bathed in natural light and attached to their own bathrooms. There are two paddle boats, a diesel jet tender for land excursions, jetskis, water skis, snorkeling gear and an electric surfboard included, but you're going to have to spring for excursions and meals.
While the televisions, iPads and Apple TV are fine throw-ins and the 31 knots of speed will get you to your destinations in either Hong Kong or Phuket, it's the newly built 2016 yacht itself that's the main event. While the Dolce Vita isn't the biggest yacht on the list and doesn't have the most amenities, its performance in the South China Sea has already won it some fans as the yacht of the future.
Cost per week: $103,000
If you're a big fan of celebrity culture, you already know this yacht's story. Once known as Vajoliroja, it was initially built in 2001 and completely refitted in 2008 for its buyer, actor Johnny Depp. It was originally named for himself, ex-wife Vanessa Paradis and their two children Lilly-Rose and Jack.
The 156-foot yacht looks like a vintage 1930s steamer, despite being built in Turkey just 16 years ago, and contains Art Deco woodwork, velvet curtains, walnut library cabinets, ubiquitous throw pillows and rugs, a formal dining room and a cinema. Stabilizers, a Kaleidescape entertainment system and communication systems pull guests back into the modern era, but the five bohemian-style state rooms -- including the on-deck master cabin with king-size bed, shower and bidet -- cement it as a period piece. The teak panels, vintage steamer-style canvas deck chairs and sunbathing mattresses keep it simple, but water toys including kayaks, towable rafts, a windsurfing board, kitesurfing gear, paddle boards, waterskis, wakeboards, diving gear and snorkeling gear are there if you feel yourself getting a bit bored.
While watersports are fine and all, we can't recommend the library and cinema enough. Amphitrite's current owner, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, has just put the vessel up for sale, so her collection of films and literature may not be on board much longer.
Cost per week: $177,000
It's owned by a member of U2, but before you get out the knives and start calling people hypocrites, we should inform you that it isn't Bono. No, it's the band's pristine-California-hill-developing, on-deck movie-watching guitarist The Edge.
The Codecasa-designed 159.9-foot CYAN was built in 1997, but got a complete overhaul in 2008 with light oak interior floors that look a whole lot like the exterior teak decks. There's custom furniture throughout, a bridge deck with a bar, music room and grand baby piano and a game room and media space. On the upper deck, the outdoor cinema is flanked by a gym, outdoor lounge, dining room and Jacuzzi.
There's room for up to 12 guests, with the enormous master on the main deck including a king-size bed, large study, two walk-in closets and his-and-hers shower connected by a Jacuzzi bath. There's a secretary's cabin that offers a queen bed with en-suite shower room, whitle the lower deck houses the additional two double cabins and two twin cabins, each has en-suite facilities. While it isn't the ideal conveyance for visiting political figures or arguing for carbon taxes, it's a rock star vehicle befitting U2's designated rock star. Look for it in the Western Mediterranean in the summer and the Caribbean and Florida in the winter.
Cost per week: $148,000 to $170,000
We aren't certain if Nicole Kidman still owns this 150-foot Palmer Johnson-built beauty, but that charter price suggests it's a possibility.
Built in 2007 and angering Kidman's neighbors in Sydney as early as 2008, Hokulani is inextricably tied to Kidman -- sharing the Hawaiian name Kidman's mother called her after giving birth to her in Hawaii. It means "heavenly star," but -- by Kidman's own account -- it was also the name of a (tragically deceased) baby elephant born in Honolulu's zoo around the same time as Kidman.
Now tooling around the Mediterranean, Hokulani can fit ten guests in five cabins (including a master and two huge VIP cabins) and has features including a sliding glass atrium roof panel that functions like a convertible -- providing sun and shade when it's deemed necessary. The custom swim platform has a self-deploying ladder and a hydraulically powered tender garage to get your ride to shore in and out of the water quickly. The list of amenities is just as impressive: two jet-engine tenders, myriad wetsuits, flotation jackets, masks and snorkels, various towables, an inflatable island, water skis and body boards. That doesn't include the entertainment system in every cabin with music, device hookups, radio, satellite TV, movies, wireless routers and full-time satellite connection for internet access. Even if this isn't Kidman's yacht anymore, she's really loaded it up for the next group of owners and guests.