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Charter a Yacht for Your Next Celebration

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By Margot Black

Yachts are the epitome of wealth, status and privilege. But now yachts of all sorts and sizes are more accessible for everyone to enjoy. Your next celebration might easily include a travel adventure for a few of your closest loved ones.

For many, being out on the ocean is one of life's most serenely joyful experiences. Just step from the dock onto a boat and you're off for what can only be described as sheer bliss. It almost doesn't matter whether it's a kayak, small sailboat or a dinner cruise -- but let's face it, yachts are the best of all.

A preowned "starter yacht" can easily set you back a million dollars, and that price tag 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 renewing our wedding vows in the company of family and friends. It was a grand experience for us and a unique travel opportunity for our guests.

Originally we had sailed into the sunset on a 76-foot sailboat to say our wedding vows. We planned to have a vow-renewal party after 10 years, but life happened. At 15 years, COVID hit. This time, 16 years later, we decided to renew our vows aboard a power yacht. The past year 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 journey (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 the chilly outdoor coastal temperatures are not an issue

We celebrated on an Azimut 64 Fly, which is a much-sought-after, elegant Italian-built oceangoing vessel that features three cabins below deck, a fly bridge with abundant cushioned sitting areas, a large cushioned foredeck for relaxing or sunbathing, spacious galley, dining, lounge areas, two bathrooms, teak decks, and a convenient place to swim and barbeque on a stern deck. Stunningly designed, it offers comfortable cushioned areas fore and aft at all levels for socializing with plenty of nooks for those seeking a little privacy. Our yacht was named Princessa, which made us all feel a bit like royalty.

With our captain, Romualdo, we set sail past barking seals and squawking gulls and headed for the open sea. A few miles offshore he spotted swarming pelicans that had come to feed off 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 dolphin pods I've ever seen. Exquisite creatures, they swam around and alongside us for nearly an hour. I smiled so much that my face literally hurt.

If you're looking to host a special traveling celebration, consider these benefits that yachts offer. You're forced to focus on a slim guest list, and intimacy is a key benefit. You and friends and family will share a glorious travel adventure together, and while owning a yacht is inaccessible to many, renting one is within reach. A bonus is that you're not responsible for the maintenance.

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