The true luxury yacht is a wonder to behold. In addition to its sheer size, it usually often comes with a swimming pool, assortment of water "toys" such as scuba gear and jet skis, and it may accommodate as many as 30 or 40 guests and 60 crew members. These elegant beauties glide through the oceans of the world carrying the rich or famous people who own them. It’s easy for the rest of us to be amazed and impressed- the average luxury yacht costs millions of dollars to purchase and could cost another few million each year just to maintain. Their crew members are seafaring pros – being paid by the month to visit some of the most unique places on this earth. Not a bad way to earn a living.
So what are mega yachts, luxury yachts, or superyachts? And what are they like, inside and out? Here are the details about what luxury yachts are, who builds them, how they typically operate, and the typical accoutrements that you can expect.
In general, yachts that are at least 80 feet in length or larger can be considered luxury yachts. To qualify as a superyacht or megayacht, many yachting professionals say the yacht must be at least 148 feet in length, and that can still be considered small. Another key quality of luxury yachts is, of course, the element of luxury. The ship must meet specific criteria and have spacious cabins, dining room, and state room, usually equipped with state of the art sound and media systems, complete well-equipped galley, and similar features.
In short, the two factors that must be in place in order for a yacht to be classified as a luxury yacht are the right size, and the right amenities and interior features.
When you’re considering a job on a luxury yacht, one sure way to know whether it is a quality yacht is to find out what company built it. If one of the top five builders in the world constructed it, you can be sure it is well built, meets all safety requirements, and will cruise smoothly and efficiently wherever it is required to go. The top five builders have been in business for many years and are well known in the yachting industry. Here is more information about the builders (in no specific order).
Owners of these million or multi-million dollar vessels may frequent their yacht often, while some seldom see their prized yacht more than a few times a year. Take the multi-billionaire, Paul Allen, for example. His superyacht, The Octopus, was once the largest luxury yacht in the world measuring 416 feet in length. The Octopus cost $200 million to purchase and continues to cost $20 million a year to maintain. Allen’s full time crew travels sans owner to different ports in the world to make ready when the famous "accidental billionaire" does arrive. In the meantime, the crew is forced to hang out on the basketball court, helicopters, multiple bars, spa, and submarine all on their own. Talk about a rough life!
There are three typical operation models of luxury yachts. First, the owner may be like Paul Allen, a wealthy person who keeps his yacht to himself, using it for his own personal traveling and hiring crew members to keep it staffed, maintained, and ready to travel at a moment’s notice. On the opposite extreme, there are the captains or entrepreneurs who purchase or build a yacht solely for commercial purposes. They hope to charter it, keeping it full of guests throughout the year in order to make a profit and earn a good income.
The third model is a blend of the two: owners who only sail three or four times a year or less and then make the yacht available for charter when he or she isn’t using it. Usually this owner contracts with a yacht management or charter company to arrange the charters. No matter which model is in use, it is not unusual for crew to work all year round, often with different passengers onboard each trip.
This page has already mentioned some of the typical features you’ll find on a luxury yacht. From jet skis to helicopter pads and Jacuzzis, they truly live up to the word "luxury." Here is a list of some of the other standard features on many luxury or superyachts.
As you can see, since luxury yachts are custom built, there can be quite a big difference in size, amenities, and equipment. This page gives you a good idea of what you can expect when searching for a job on a luxury yacht.
The next page of this yachting section provides you with all the information you need to know about working on chartered yachts – many of which are also considered luxury yachts.