The World’s Best Charter Yacht Experiences

Considering that every state except for Florida has snow on the ground right now, you may be in need of a great escape to somewhere warm. If so, here are five great destinations and equally great charter yachts you can book, courtesy of YCO. Note that many charter yachts quote their rates in euros these days, so the approximate dollar conversion rates are included here for your convenience.

1. The Mediterranean, aboard Alfa Nero. The South of France is a perennial favorite, given the beautiful beaches and beautiful “it” crowd in St. Tropez. But gradually, more yachts are exploring the pristine shores of Croatia, which is on pace to become another jetsetting destination. And what better way to make an impression among the “it” crowds than aboard Alfa Nero, a 270-footer with an unmistakable profile, thanks to a black-painted hull and infinity pool on the aft deck. The crew of 28 will ensure you and your guests are pampered, whether enjoying the sunbathing areas or simply relaxing in your spacious suite after dinner. Charter rates start at approximately $1.1 million per week.

2. The Caribbean, aboard Solemates. Surely you’ve seen the headlines over the past few weeks: P Diddy and his family chartered the 196-foot Solemates, a.k.a. “the iPad yacht,” over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays in the Caribbean. More than a dozen iPads are available for each guest to control the lighting, air conditioning, and the movie and music system. (No, you can’t use it to drive the yacht; the professional crew takes care of that.) For $600,000 and up per week, you can enjoy cruising around Antigua, St. Barts, and the other islands, in a contemporary-styled yacht outfitted with exotic anigre and wenge wood and marble.

3. The South Pacific, aboard Athena. One of the largest sailing yachts in the world, Athena measures 295 feet. It’s among just a few cruising the South Pacific this season, so you might just have a harbor or two all to yourself. Five staterooms can accommodate 10 in your party, with 20 crewmembers attending to your needs. Watch the sails unfurl from the open-air lounge on the bridge deck, or use the scuba gear to check out the marine life. Rates start at $328,000 per week.

4. Australia and New Zealand aboard Galaxy. The Great Barrier Reef. Sydney Harbor’s opera house. New Zealand’s lush scenery. Imagine approaching these aboard this 183-footer, while standing in the panoramic saloon in the owner’s suite. Other highlights of the yacht: a glass elevator, beautiful woods like eucalyptus and maple burl, a wine “cellar,” and plenty of sunning space. Rates start around $334,000 per week.

5. The Indian Ocean aboard Cloud 9. The Seychelles and the Maldives have so many pristine islands and equally pristine waters, with colorful coral and fish. The crew of the 196-foot Cloud 9 have explored the region before, so they can pick the best spots to anchor and launch the watertoys for your 12-person party. Marble floors, a VIP stateroom with a balcony, and a duplex master suite are onboard highlights. Cloud 9 is available for about $413,000 per week.