Private yacht charters are on the rise.
Here, we showcase the sleekest vessels in local waters.
Think superyachts, think the French Riviera, where boats hosting royalty, rock stars and the seriously rich turn heads in the likes of Monaco and Saint Tropez.
Those destinations may be off the agenda for now, but that doesn’t mean Australians can’t have the superyacht experience.
There are about 60 fully crewed luxurious boats available for charter in local waters, and Australia’s 34,000-kilometre coastline means itinerary options are countless. The vessels range in length from 25 to 55 metres, and cost from $50,000 to $360,000 a week, accommodating up to 12 passengers.
Most are based in Sydney, Perth, Airlie Beach or Port Douglas, but owners are generally happy to relocate their boat, whether to Cape York, the Whitsundays, the
Coral Coast or Tasmania. And now that yachts and crew that have been in New Zealand for 14 days or more can come to New South Wales and Queensland without going into quarantine, more boats from across the ditch may soon be available.
Joachim Howard, founder of leading yacht agency Ocean Alliance, says the pandemic has sparked a surge in interest in superyacht charters. Winter destinations such as Queensland and the Kimberley are in high demand. “Private yacht charter is highly customised and adaptable to changing environments and guest requirements, which is appealing in the climate of fluid Covid restrictions,” Howard says. “Many of our clients are generational families or groups of friends who would typically travel together internationally. The platform of a private yacht allows you to curate every aspect of an itinerary, so there’s a greater ability to develop a unique experience with complete flexibility.”
Take your pick from these Australia-based vessels, plus one New Zealand option for adventures further afield and a French Polynesian selection to fuel dreams of another travel bubble.
Only two years old, this 35-metre yacht is homeported in Perth, from where
Rottnest Island is a popular destination; from May to October it cruises the Kimberley. It has a sleek, sporty design in a contemporary palette of blond timber, grey and silver, with a splash of snazzy marble in the bathrooms.
Spread out on the double sun lounges at the bow or soak in the glass-edged Jacuzzi on the aft sundeck. The salon has plush sofas and a formal dining table, while casual meals can be taken at the stern or on the sundeck with retractable roof.
Where Western Australia.
Extras Tenders, fishing equipment, jet skis, underwater scooters, waterskis, wakeboard and donut (depending on location, given the presence of salties). Cost From $24,000 a night plus APA (advanced provisioning allowance; see opposite); up to 12 guests. oceanalliance.com
Stunning Indigenous artworks and artefacts from Australia and the Pacific region adorn the walls and shelves of Akiko, a muscular dark-grey superyacht that looks ready for action.
What this vessel lacks in appointments, such as Jacuzzis, alfresco bars and bowlounges for Instagram posing, it makes up for with sports gear. Scuba-diving, spearfishing, snorkelling, surfing, stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking are all on the agenda along the coast of Western Australia, including the remote Abrolhos and Montebello Islands.
Where Western Australia – Perth to the Kimberley.
Extras Tender, barra boat, jet skis and underwater scooters.
Cost From $22,000 a night plus APA; up to 10 guests. oceanalliance.com
Never has a superyacht seemed so perfectly matched to its name. The Beast looks like it belong sin the military and appears equipped to tackle any mission.
Almost 40 metres long and 12 metres wide, the twin-hulled vessel is designed for stability. Don’t let the brutalist exterior fool you; there’s no roughing it on The Beast. Pull up a pew at the top-deck bar, watch a chef work some magic at the outdoor teppanyaki grill, or stretch out on the leather lounge in the cinema room.
Interiors are minimalist and a wash in grey and black, interspersed with striking artworks. Not surprisingly, it’s kitted out with a huge range of water equipment, including 12 sets of scuba gear and a compressor, plus a 13-metre sports fishing boat called Baby Beast that can be craned into position.
Where New Zealand, Australia later this year.
Extras Tenders, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, wakeboard and water skis, pedalpowered catamaran and fishing equipment.
Cost From $US26,500 (around $34,500) a night plus APA and tax; up to 12 guests.
DE LISLE III
This 42-metre floating palace is built for fun, with an array of water toys and ample outdoor living areas. The boat underwent a refit in 2018, so has the latest in technology and comfort, with timber-panelled formal spaces and soothing sleeping quarters, two of which stretch the width of the vessel.
A new addition is a six-metre by 4.5-metre inflatable floating jet-ski dock, which can be attached to the stern and doubles as a sunbathing zone.
Where The Whitsundays, Great Barrier Reef, Tropical North Queensland.
Extras Tender, jet skis, stand-up paddleboards, wakeboard, kayaks, surfboards, dive gear and compressor, fishing equipment, yoga and gym gear.
With a circular bow lounge and stairs leading like a catwalk to a sparkling Jacuzzi, Masteka 2 is quite the showboat. It’s also an excellent choice for extended families or two family groups, with a range of bedding options in five cabins.
There’s loads of space for sunset cocktails on the aft deck, while the main salon has white leather couches and dark timber trim, formal dining area and a wellequipped bar.
Where Queensland from June to October; Sydney from November.
Extras Tenders, jet ski, Seabobs, wakeboards, stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, water skis, diving hookah, scuba, snorkelling and gym gear.
Cost From $25,000 a night, all-inclusive; up to 12 guests. oceanalliance.com
With a Jacuzzi and teppanyaki bar on the top deck, plus an inflatable slide to whisk guests into the water, this 38-metre yacht screams decadence. Interiors by Donald Starkey nod to 1930s French salons, with rosewood furniture and elegant artworks.
An airy sky lounge offers water views out floor-to-ceiling windows, while the bridge deck has plenty of space for alfresco dining and lazing. Materials in the opulent master ensuite include Jerusalem stone, abalone mother of pearl tiles and glass basins.
Where The Whitsundays, Queensland; New Zealand towards the end of the year.
Extras Tenders, jet skis, Seabobs, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, wakeboards, waterskis, snorkelling, fishing and gym gear.
Cost From $19,280 a night plus APA; up to 12 guests. oceanalliance.com
This 35-metre explorer-style beauty was recently crowned yacht of the year in Boat International’s Ocean Awards for 2021. The win recognises the boat’s participation in the Great Reef Census, in which scientists from Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef came aboard and tested equipment and survey techniques from Lizard Island to Port Douglas.
With 40 per cent of the reef unsurveyed, yacht guests have the option of participating in data collection for conservation work. Beluga has many other features to recommend it, including uber-luxe interiors and a Jacuzzi on the sundeck. A major drawcard for divers and fishers is Minke, the dedicated 12-metre chaseboat (with dive platform) provided.
Where Port Douglas, Tropical North Queensland, Great Barrier Reef, the Whitsundays.
Extras Tenders, scuba gear, Seabobs, stand-up paddleboards, fishing and gym equipment.
Cost From $25,000 a night, all-inclusive; up to 10 guests. oceanalliance.com
Glossy timber panelling and creamy furnishings make this 40-metre superyacht an elegant choice if the Pacific bubble becomes a reality.
The sundeck has an abundance of shaded lounges near a six-person Jacuzzi, plus there’s a roomy bridge deck. This long-range yacht comes equipped for adventure, including 10 sets of scuba gear and a compressor.
It’s been sailing French Polynesia since 2018, so the crew knows the best spots to see manta rays or nibble sunset canapés on a sand cay.
Where French Polynesia; Australia next year.
Extras Tenders, jet ski, Seabobs, stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, snorkelling and scuba gear, fishing and spearfishing gear, ski tubes, wakeboards, elliptical machine.
Cost From $US19,500 (around $25,400) a night plus APA and tax; up to 12 guests. oceanalliance.com
Here’s one out of left field. It’s not shiny and new, but Duyfken has a tale to tell. The ship, the latest addition to the Australian Maritime Museum fleet, is a replica of Dutchman Willem Janszoon’s vessel, which sailed from Indonesia to the west coast of Cape York in 1606.
The navigator and his crew became the first Europeans to set foot in Australia, 164 years before James Cook. The replica, completed in 1999 in Fremantle, arrived in Sydney on Christmas Eve last year.
It’s open to museum visitors and conducts regular afternoon sailings on the harbour. But for a unique experience, gather 23 friends and take Duyfken on an exclusive outing on the harbour.
Where Sydney Harbour.
Cost From $2500 for a minimum three hours; up to 24 guests; catering extra.
At a whopping 55 metres in length, this is one of the biggest superyachts in Australia, and one of the few with six cabins, two of which run the full beam of the vessel.
Work out in the gym while watching dolphins in the distance or submit to a session with the on-board masseuse. Interiors are traditional, with plenty of dark timber, leather, hefty couches, marble and gold.
The sundeck is vast and includes a generous Jacuzzi and there’s no shortage of other alfresco zones to perch. Ideal for a multigeneration getaway.
Where The Kimberley, Queensland, the Great Barrier Reef.
Extras Tender, rigid-hulled inflatable boat, kayaks, Waverunners, stand-up paddleboards, waterskis, wakeboards, snorkelling and fishing gear.
Cost From $49,000 a night plus APA; up to 12 guests. oceanalliance.com
All yachts mentioned are available for charter through the Ocean Alliance charter team. Contact us today to start planning your experience on board