How much do you tip on a charter yacht? This is a big question of etiquette for charter guests. Knowing how much to tip a yacht crew will help you to appropriately show your appreciation for the high levels of service your crew provide. It will also help you to budget for this customary, yet often overlooked cost of yacht charter.
Generally, yacht charter crews get paid a salary. However, crew members often work incredibly long hours, and go to great lengths to ensure the success of your yacht charter. This is why leaving a tip is considered to be good etiquette.
As a general rule of thumb, the Mediterranean Yacht Brokers Association (MYBA) suggests tipping between 5%-15% of the weekly charter cost (excluding taxes and fees). These guidelines help to set an industry standard and set expectations with each party on what they might expect to pay and receive at the end of a charter trip.
Tipping the crew is customary at the end of a private yacht charter, but there’s a big difference between 5% and 15%. So how do you decide between leaving an average tip or a generous one?
There are a few things to consider when determining how much to tip the yacht crew, including:
First, the amount you give depends on your destination. While the MYBA provides the standard tip range for a yacht charter, you might want to consider a larger tip in certain places. For example, it’s acceptable to tip on the lower end of the scale for a private Mediterranean charter, whereas U.S. and the Caribbean charter tip expectations run between 10%-20% of the weekly charter cost.
LEVEL OF SERVICE
The level of service provided on a crewed yacht charter should absolutely have an impact on the tip. Customer service tends to be impeccable on private charters and the tip should reflect this. Acknowledging that the crew often logs 16-18 hour days, a generous tip recognizes their professional work ethic and dedication. Tipping on the high end of the scale is the best way to express your gratitude if you feel as though the crew went above and beyond to make your trip special.
However, if you feel the service you received was average, tipping in the low to middle range is acceptable.
On the last day of your charter, place the tip in an envelope and give it directly to the captain. He/she will ensure that it’s divided among the crew. It’s best to tip in cash so it can be easily distributed. If you don’t want to keep that much cash on hand, a check or money wire ahead of time is also appropriate. Alternatively, you can supplement the remaining balance in your Advanced Provisioning Allowance (APA) account with any of the above options.
While you may be tempted, it’s best to resist personally tipping a certain crew member, even if they provided exceptional service. The entire crew works as a team, and there are members behind the scenes who are working just as hard as the ones you interact with on a daily basis. Passing along your praises of specific crew members to the captain is always appreciated though!
Tipping the crew on your yacht charter shows your sincere appreciation of the time and effort they expended to guarantee the success of your holiday. If there was any outstanding service provided or you have a suggestion regarding service improvement, don’t hesitate to mention this to the captain. Constructive criticism and positive feedback encourage and perfect the high level of customer service expected on a luxury yacht charter.