Sunseeker 65 Sport Yacht. | Sunseeker


It’s August, and Balearic waters are peppered with charter yachts. From the blow-out beaches of Ibiza to the carefully guarded national park of Cabrera, crew with neatly pressed uniforms are washing off jetskis and buffing silverware while guests get on with the enviable task of enjoying themselves – it’s a tough row to hoe.

Yacht charter is one of those sectors that benefitted from the ‘C word’ of 2020. An inclination towards more private and exclusive travel experiences coupled with a seize-the-day attitude gave rise to a charter boom like never seen before. Business-minded owners spotted the lucrative opportunity and briskly added their yachts to the charter pool. The result is a healthy European charter season that runs from May to September, with tight turnaround schedules.

Sunseeker 65 Sport Yacht. Photo: Sarah Forge

Sunseeker launched its charter division - Sunseeker Charters - in 2002 and now has upwards of 30 yachts lying in destinations such as Greece, Croatia, the South of France and, of course, the Balearics. Here in Mallorca, clients can choose between eight yachts ranging between 52 and 95 feet - with a 100-footer joining the ranks for 2024.

Whilst simultaneously helming a brand new 65 Sport Yacht - one that would charter for circa 35,000 euros a week (plus IVA) - Sunseeker Mallorca Sales Broker, Andrew Thomas, gave insight into this thriving category.

Sunseeker 65 Sport Yacht. Photo: Sunseeker

“Yacht ownership is an expensive business, and a solid charter season can help cover annual running costs. For example, two weeks’ charter on this 65 Sport Yacht would pay for the mooring for an entire year. Some owners stipulate a minimum charter period – say a week or ten days – while others are happy to let their yacht daily.

“At the head of the current fleet is Sunseeker 155 Yacht Arados in the South of France. She charters for 225,000 euros a week and that includes crew, tender and toys, but excludes everything else, from fuel to food. Clients are welcome to self-cater, but most ask Sunseeker to top and tail their extravagant days afloat. It is costly but, with many of the fleet accommodating ten guests, the financial burden can be shared in more palatable portions.

“Nothing beats the sense of freedom that comes from being out on the water. It adds a certain je ne sais quoi to everything, whether that be pulling up to a smart beach club by tender or sunbathing to a curated playlist without the threat of sand entering your earholes. Despite being peak season, charter enquiries are still rolling in. I had three yesterday but, in truth, if you’re not booking six months in advance, pickings are slim.”

Sunseeker 65 Sport Yacht. Photo: Sunseeker

The 65 Sport Yacht is able to host ten guests, but only six can sleepover in three beautifully appointed cabins. Equipped with zero-speed stabilisers, she effortlessly slices through the lumpiest of seas and is the first Sunseeker of its kind to be fitted with carbon-fibre gaming-style helm seats on the flybridge – akin to driving a high-performance supercar. Her sales price would be 2.8 million GBP. Contact for more info.

Superyacht Benita Blue. Photo: Benita Blue

Over in Port Adriano, it was T minus 48 hours until superyacht Benita Blue’s longest charter of the summer - a two-week trip for nine guests. The metallic blue 34-metre was a hive of activity, a sort of painstakingly choreographed organised chaos. Armed with an arsenal of cleaning products, a stewardess was primping and preening the four main cabins, while the deckhand was encasing the forward sunbathing zone with toddler-proof netting. The engineer was ensconced in the engine room, paying close attention to the needs of the twin 1,800hp MTU diesels, leaving the Venezuelan chef to receive a vanload of produce that had magically appeared dockside from Palma’s Mercat de Santa Catalina. His rookie season, the chef had swapped the relative comfort of a Barcelona restaurant for a superyacht galley and was triple-checking the walk-in fridge and pantry for ingredients to make two weeks’-worth of breakfasts, three-course lunches, and three-course dinners for nine guests – plus five hungry crew. No mean feat. Captain Nigel Seabright was, as usual, knee-deep in paperwork.

Superyacht Benita Blue. Photo: Benita Blue

Benita Blue has been on the charter scene for almost a decade and is never short of custom,” says Nigel. “Appealing to the super wealthy, a week’s charter comes in at 70,000 euros, plus IVA. This covers the yacht and crew - in our case a stewardess, deckhand, chef, engineer, and me – alongside a garage full of inflatables, SEABOBs, snorkelling gear and a jet tender. For everything else, we ask for an upfront APA – Advanced Provisioning Allowance – to go towards food, beverages, fuel, mooring fees and so on. We create an itemised breakdown of expenditure and, if the APA isn’t used, the balance is returned to the guests. In the Balearics, this rarely happens. As an example, overnighting in an Ibiza marina costs in the region of 3,000 euros. APA can easily be gobbled up with an additional payment due as the charter concludes.”

Superyacht Benita Blue. Photo: Benita Blue

Not that Nigel was prepared to confirm or deny, but part-time Mallorca resident Michael Douglas and his wife Catherine Zeta-Jones enjoyed a well-publicized (Vanity Fair, Hola!) charter onboard Benita Blue in August 2020, when COVID-19 was restricting more exotic international travel. To emulate their A-list experience, contact SNS Yacht Charter on