Frequently asked questions about COVID-19 and yachting safety

As the world reopens from the Coronavirus Pandemic, we are getting many questions about the safety of yacht charters and best practices for keeping your family and friends while enjoying all of the benefits of a yacht charter. 

Is it safe to charter a yacht during the COVID/Coronavirus Pandemic?

While it is impossible to guarantee safety, yachts are the most socially distanced and controlled environment possible for your next holiday vacation.

Why are yachts safer than resorts?

On a yacht, you can completely control your environment and interactions with people. At a resort, you interact daily or even hourly with beach, pool, restaurant, bar, cleaning, concierge, and front desk staff. On a crewed yacht, you interact only with your crew, who don't change during your charter and generally live on the yacht so they are not exposed to community infections at home. On a bareboat, once you've provisioned the yacht you only interact with your party, or a skipper if you choose to hire one. So your likelihood of coming in contact with an infected person is dramatically or even exponentially lower.

Why are yachts safer than cruise ships?

It is well documented that cruise ships have had major COVID-19 outbreaks. Although yachts and cruise ships both are boats, they are completely different when it comes to passenger safety during an epidemic. Cruise ships are floating hotels, and are built around shared social spaces including restaurants, pools, and theaters. You are constantly interacting with staff and other guests, who come from all over the world, in all of your activities. If you want to do anything on your vacation besides looking at the scenery through your porthole, you will be interacting with other guests. This creates a fertile ground for the virus to spread. As noted in the paragraph above, yacht charters limit your interaction to your party and your crew (if you have any) and can be almost totally controlled.

What are yacht owners and captains doing to ensure safety during the coronavirus crisis?

Boatbookings has a unique vantage point on the yachting industry because we have deep relationships with yacht owners and charter operators of all types of yachts in virtually all of the key boating destinations worldwide. We can say with great conviction that the yachting industry is taking safety extremely seriously and that virtually every captain, crew member, and marina worker have instituted policies to allow for a great yachting experience while adopting policies that will keep you and your parties safe. 

What should I do to protect myself during my charter?

Like in all activities, you should observe social distancing rules when in public areas or meeting new people. Masks, no handshakes, 6 foot/2 meter distancing, stay away from crowded indoor spaces. Specific recommendations for yachts, especially bareboat charters are:

  • Limit the people aboard to family members or friends you live with. Do not invite guests.
  • Do not raft up (tie up to and intermingle) with other boats
  • Avoid pulling up to beaches or docks that are crowded. And when ashore, wear a mask when indoors or when near anyone you don't know.
  • Maintain a safe distance from others when fueling or provisioning your yacht. 
  • After touching any shared surfaces, such as a gas pump, wash your hands with sanitizer as soon as possible. Do NOT touch your face until you've disinfected.

What countries can I get into now on an international flight?

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