The idea of bringing children on a yacht sometimes gives parents pause- what if they get bored and pace the decks, what if they need to be constantly supervised? Is it a good idea taking your kids on a luxury yacht vacation?
Well, that really depends on whether you can see your children enjoying swimming with dolphins or snorkelling over colourful reefs teeming with life.
It depends on if your kids might like wakeboarding, racing about on jet skis or being pulled behind the yacht’s tender in an inflatable banana, screaming their heads off.
It depends on whether they might have fun following a treasure hunt set up on the yacht, quad biking on a Greek island, or jumping off the yacht into the sparkling sea.
It depends if you think your children might like catching fish from the swim platform at night, dangling their feet in the water and seeing the fish swim about in the yacht’s glowing underwater lights. If they’d enjoy midnight swims and picnics on the beach, or chatting to the captain in the bridge as he drives the yacht through the darkness to the next exciting destination.
Or maybe you can see them spending lazy evenings in front of the yacht’s giant televisions in the sky lounge, eating popcorn and watching movies, the whole family enjoying the time together.
It depends on whether you think they’d like seeing new places- kayaking through icebergs in Alaska, scuba diving in Australia, watching celebrities on the red carpet in France. Exploring shipwrecks in Malta and underwater caves in Italy, and watching whales in New Zealand or giant turtles in the Galapagos.
Not all kids are active, and that’s fine too- the yacht’s cabins are spacious and the yacht has every entertainment system and comforts there ready for them. (We all know that sometimes no amount of cajoling can get the kids away from the TV or Playstation, no matter what manner of adventure awaits outside.)
Babies and toddlers are in an extremely safe environment too- safety is the prime concern on all yachts, at all times, with all guests. The high crew to guest ratio on luxury yachts ensures that someone will always be watching any kids on deck or in the water. Yachting is a very safe pastime for children of all ages.
So is a yacht charter really a holiday for families of all ages? The answer is yes, absolutely. A luxury yacht charter affords kids of all ages a mix of adventure, excitement, relaxation and new experiences- all in a very safe and tremendously comfortable environment.
However, there are a few things that are helpful to know about taking your children on a yacht, in order to prepare them (and you) for the holiday of a lifetime.
For your first yachting holiday, try to decide on an itinerary where there are not long passages between destinations. Some active kids may get bored if they can’t swim and run about for long periods, so pick a destination where there are lots of islands or destinations in short cruises from each other. OceanScape Yachts can advise of some great child-friendly itineraries.
Luxury yachts have sophisticated entertainment systems. Find out which movies and games are on board- the yacht will have a list they can send through. You can generally make requests for the yacht to purchase certain materials (at a cost to you), or bring your own. Yachts all have wifi now, but do be aware that it is generally slower than on land, and can be very slow in remote cruising regions. If your family does a lot of streaming and has high internet usage, then make sure to enquire about download speeds before chartering to avoid sullen teenagers!
Be aware that crew are there to supervise your children and entertain them to some extent, but are not employed as babysitters. If you have young children, some yacht charter contracts will insist you bring a nanny or carer with you to ensure that the crew are not pulled away from their busy schedule. It is reasonable to expect that the deck crew will spend all available hours with your children doing watersports, as that is part of the service, while normally a treasure hunt and a few activities are factored into the stewardess’ schedule. However, it’s not normally acceptable to go out to dinner ashore each evening, leaving your children in the crew’s care. Find out from your broker and captain what is considered acceptable when it comes to childcare responsibilities.
Your captain and broker will suggest great activities for your kids in the local area- use them to tailor the best possible experiences for your children.
The most wonderful thing about taking your kids on a luxury yacht vacation is the memories it creates together. The yacht, captain and crew are all there to provide your family with the most extraordinary experience of your life, no matter what your age.