When you’re thinking about Caribbean yacht charter, Mediterranean yacht charter, or more remote destinations (Fiji, Galapagos, or Seychelles, anyone?), you’re going to have a lot of options when it comes to the types of yachts available. Here are some insights about Superyacht vs Megayacht Charters Differences, along with GigaYacht details.
These options among charter yachts can seem overwhelming at first—in no small part because there are no standardized terms to distinguish one type of charter yacht from the next.
Words like superyacht and megayacht are often used interchangeably in the yacht charter industry. There are no hard-and-fast rules about how many crewmembers a superyacht has, what features define a megayacht, or even what price point defines a gigayacht. Sometimes, these words describe sailing yachts. Other times, they’re used to describe motoryachts.
It’s more than understandable that charter yacht clients might feel a little confused, especially first-timers. Or a lot confused.
Here at CKIM Group Inc., we like to think about these terms in a way that is based on a yacht’s length overall—simply because doing so gives you, the charter client, an immediate and clear idea about what to expect in the way of baseline features, amenities and costs.
Here’s how we break things down when it comes to superyachts, megayachts, and gigayachts.
Superyachts | 24 to 60 meters long (78 feet to 196 feet)
Superyachts are all large enough to have at least two or three full-time crew on board. Charter yachts in this size range usually start with three or four guest staterooms and can have six or more staterooms at the larger end of the size range.
What’s great about the superyacht size category is that it offers a truly interesting mix of options for charter clients. Some of these charter yachts are decked out for snorkeling and diving, while others are set up more for fishing and water sports. Still, others may focus on outdoor dining and sun, while others have more features for onboard entertaining and parties.
Charter clients can truly choose the type of experiences they want to have in this size range, aboard yachts that are tailored for those experiences. Many families, for instance, choose superyachts with features and crews that are specifically set up for kids. Some even have baby gates, child-size life jackets, and water skis for smaller feet.
You can expect to find superyachts in all the classic yacht charter destinations, including the Caribbean, Mediterranean, and Bahamas. The smaller superyachts are actually ideal for Bahamas yacht charter because the waters in the Bahamas are shallower than in other yacht charter destinations, and the smaller superyachts are built in a way that lets them get into beach-side locations where larger superyachts cannot anchor.
Expect a weekly base rate ranging from about $35,000 to $400,000 plus expenses in the superyacht size range.
Megayachts | 60 to 90 meters long (196 feet to 295 feet)
Superyacht vs Megayacht Charters Differences
There are fewer megayachts on the water than there are superyachts, given that the bigger a yacht’s size range, the rarer it is for that yacht to be built. This reality means that when you choose a megayacht, you’re entering the realm of more exclusive types of experiences.
Megayachts are typically semi-custom or fully custom designs, which means no two are ever completely the same. Owners of megayachts can often specify anything they want in terms of onboard features: indoor or outdoor cinemas, fire pits, infinity pools, tricked-out gymnasiums, DJ booths, dance floors, helipads, and more.
One of the truly fun parts of being aboard a megayacht charter is knowing that you’re having a true one-of-a-kind experience. From the décor to the chef’s specialties to the tenders. Customization is, even more, the name of the game than it is with superyachts. Features can include all kinds of foldout terraces and floor-to-ceiling windows. Megayachts can have fleets of tenders and water toys because the yacht’s size affords more garage space. They also can have extra crew quarters, which can mean crewmembers such as a sous chef, dedicated masseuse, or yoga instructor.
While megayachts can be available anywhere in the world, they tend to be an option primarily for Mediterranean yacht charter and Caribbean yacht charter. In the Mediterranean, the summer season kicks off every May with the Monaco Grand Prix and Cannes Film Festival. While in the Caribbean, the annual kickoff to the winter season is the two-week period that includes Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
Expect a weekly base rate ranging from about $400,000 to $1 million-plus expenses in the superyacht size range.
Gigayachts | 295 feet or larger
The term gigayachts hasn’t been around as long as the terms superyacht and megayacht. As yachts have gotten larger and larger, though, yacht builders needed a way to distinguish the truly largest charter yachts afloat. Enter the term gigayacht.
And gigayachts are likely to keep getting bigger. There are naval architect proposals today to build yachts that well exceed 600 feet in length. That’s akin to six superyachts docked bow-to-stern along a marina wall. Think of the extraordinary size—and that’s even before you look up. (Way up!)
Gigayachts are always fully custom yachts, too. Another term sometimes used to describe them is “custom one-offs”. As in, only one of these yachts exists in the whole world.
Gigayachts can have eight, 10, or more guest staterooms. Their crew number is in the dozens. Gigayachts can carry—not tow, but carry—multiple 30- to 50-foot tenders on deck or in garages. They may have not one, but two helipads. Or three hot tubs. Or five bars. Their outdoor deck space alone for guest use can amount to 930 square meters (10,000 square feet) or more.
In terms of charter destinations, gigayachts can go anywhere. However, their sheer size limits the number of bays and harbors that they can enter and drop their anchor. Some marinas are built specifically to accommodate gigayachts, with extra-long docks and deep-water approaches. These marinas tend to be in destinations where yachts congregate, such as the Mediterranean and Caribbean.
Expect to pay a weekly base rate of $1 million or more plus expenses to charter a gigayacht.
So let us know if there are questions about Superyacht vs Megayacht Charters Differences. We’ll be happy to assist you.
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