BELOW DECK’ SUPERYACHTS
BUSINESS TRIP OF A LIFETIME
By Dallas Sherringham
Hiring a ‘Below Deck TV’ superyacht in Tahiti or the Caribbean is not cheap, but it is the ultimate way for a business or group of friends to enjoy the holiday of a lifetime.
The smash hit TV show has introduced the superyacht concept of cruising to whole new generation of businesspeople.
I have been fortunate enough to enjoy this kind of adventure several times and it’s my favorite form of travel by a long shot, for good reason. It is simply the best way to travel.
If your not familiar with the plot of Below Deck, it tells the story of the crew of these superyachts who have to battle each other and sometimes the guests as they cruise around Moorea, the Mediterranean, the Virgin Islands or Thailand in absolute luxury.
The guests get drunk and misbehave, the crew falls in love or hates each other and poor old captains have to keep it all shipshape.
Food and drink abound on the back deck, with superb cuisine a highlight and almost every whim or request catered for during the five day charter.
So, how much does it cost to hire yourself one of the Below Deck superyachts? Charters start at $140,000 a cruise which, when you break it down to around $10,000 a guest is reasonable.
However, you are expected throw in a tip for around $1500 each and you have to pay for your air fares and accommodation on land.
$20m each...why not buy two?
Most of these superyachts are typically 50m plus long and are constantly updated and remodeled – as well as being renamed as they change hands. You can buy a new ‘second hand’ model for around $20m.
The Mediterranean superyachts starring n the show are much more expensive to hire at almost twice the cost of the American yachts.
But imagine cruising into Monaco, Portofino or Ibiza in your own luxury superyacht while quaffing down a French champagne or two on the top deck.
The lifestyle is as relaxed or busy as you want. The trick is to pace yourself and enjoy the cruise rather than the booze. Clothing is casual and there is normally a theme dinner where you are expected to join in and end up dancing with the crew.
Before the cruise, you select the type of food you require and a menu is developed to suit your needs.
Guests on the cruises where Top Deck is being filmed pay significantly less for their charters, however they only last three days instead of five.
You also have to be filmed constantly and suffer the consequences of being on TV worldwide and often ridiculed on social media. For example, in season six, guests paid a total of $40,000 for their Croatian charter.
$275,000 a week!!
The price include accommodation in four rooms one night before the charter and one night after.
However, if you chartered the Lady Michelle in Season Six during filming in the Mediterranean visiting ultimate places, guests paid $275,000 per week if they chartered during TV production. It was $310,000 off camera in high season.
Australia has superyacht charters, most of them in tropical regions and they cost from $100,000 per week. Our yachts are typically not as big as the TV show yachts, averaging around 40m and normally carrying eight to 10 guests.
The Whitsundays is the superyacht charter capital of Australia with spots like Whitehaven Beach a mecca for guests.
So, if your business is a success and you are looking for a way of celebrating your good fortune or rewarding your hardworking staff, a superyacht charter may be the way to go in 2022.