The closest you can come to having a resort all to yourself is chartering a megayacht. Indeed, entertainment, dining, and other diversions are all steps away, with truly attentive people catering to your needs. But, better than a resort, you can do what you want, when you want. Feel like sundowners on the aft deck until the real sun goes down, then dinner? Want to stay in the anchorage another night and zip around on the watertoys all day? No problem. And no wonder celebrities, CEOs, and others choose this type of vacation year after year.
While there are many magnificent megayachts available on a weekly basis for you to choose from, the following are the biggest beauties actively promoted. Tally up their LOAs, and you get an astounding 2,225 feet of floating playgrounds. Most megayachts quote their rates in Euros these days, so we provide that information with the U.S. dollar conversion, accurate at press time. Note that the rate given is the “weekly base rate,” which does not include VAT if chartering in the Med, or fuel and some other expenses. Regardless, each yacht can be booked through any reputable charter broker, such as members of the Charter Yacht Brokers Association, American Yacht Charter Association, and Mediterranean Yacht Brokers Association.
1. Eclipse. The largest charter yacht is also the newest, delivered less than a year ago. Eclipse measures 163 meters (535 feet), exceeding even the length of some cruise ships. Unlike those cruise ships, however, you won’t have to share her decks with anyone other than whom you invite aboard—and about five dozen total guests reportedly can be accommodated, so there’s plenty of room for extended family, security personnel or other staff, you name it. If you’re serious about booking her, inquire with her central agency, SuperYachts Monaco, or another reputable charter broker. The owner declined to release the weekly base rate.
2. Luna. The world’s largest expedition yacht, delivered last year, comes in at 115 meters (377 feet). She’s also a new addition to the charter market, overseen by SuperYachts Monaco. As you’d expect of a proper megayacht, she has helipads (two, to be exact) to whisk guests to and from her decks when she’s anchored off the coast. (No need to pull into a marina… Luna was commissioned to be self-sufficient for long stretches.) Given her beam of 18 meters (59 feet), expect interior spaces to be commodious. Also expect the decor to mix and match different tones and textures of everything from woods to lacquers, given that the interior design was done by Donald Starkey Designs. If sunbathers on the expansive main aft deck need a little shade, the crew can set up umbrellas. Alternately, they can cool off in the pool here that’s revealed only when in use; otherwise it remains hidden beneath decking. The owner declined to release the weekly base rate, so inquire with central agency SuperYachts Monaco, her central agent, or your favorite charter broker.
3. Pelorus. Pelorus is the same LOA as Luna, but Luna gets higher billing due to alphabetical order. Virtual acres of alfresco areas, all lined with teak, await from the sundeck down to the main deck. A pool sits on the sundeck, too. Inside, an elevator takes guests from their staterooms up to the sundeck, and a few fold-down terraces let you step out over the water without ever leaving the yacht. Just like Eclipse and Luna, the owner declined to release the weekly base rate.SuperYachts Monaco once again holds her central listing.
4. Christina O. The oldest charter yacht on our list, Christina O dates to 1943, when she was originally a naval frigate. She’s now among the most famous yachts, stemming back to her days as the private cruiser belonging to the late Aristotle Onassis. Coming in at 99.1 meters (325 feet), she accommodates 36 guests. Her most famous features include the alfresco swimming pool that converts to a dance floor, featuring intricate inlays in the shape of a bull; and the Lapis Lounge, where a fireplace surround is made entirely of the precious stone lending its name to the room. Not to be left out: Ari’s Bar, where the barstools now thankfully have more customary covers than they did in Onassis’ day. (Back then, it was whale foreskin… yes, the real thing.) Christina O is available this summer in the Med for €455,000 per week (about $628,000 per week) base rate.
5. Indian Empress. Built in 2000, the 95-meter-long (312-foot-long) Indian Empress has one of the most luxurious interiors you’ll ever see (above). If you’re a music lover, no doubt you’ll want to tickle the ivories on the baby grand piano aboard, which once belonged to Elton John. You and 11 others can also enjoy a gym with a sauna and steam room, a massage area, and a beauty salon, besides the requisite hot tub out on deck. Thirty crew attend to your needs, too. Book her in the Med this summer for €650,000 during high periods (think major events) and €600,000 during low ones–that’s about $897,200 and $828,230, respectively.
6. Nero. Seen at top, Nero is nearly three years old but looks like an early-20th-century cruiser. That’s because she’s a replica of Corsair, the private steam-powered yacht commissioned by American financier J. P. Morgan. Nero’s LOA is 90.1 meters (296 feet), and pretty much everywhere you look onboard, you feel as if you stepped back in history. Even with that, you have all the modern conveniences available: WiFi, a cinema with Dolby digital sound, iPod docking stations, satellite TV, and more. Available this summer in the Med, her high season rate is €420,000 ($579,759), while the low rate is €385,000 ($531,418).