Although yachting vacations and cruises share the common experience of being on the water, a group yachting program is distinctly different from a cruise ship program. Other than the common denominator of being on-the-water, comparing one with the other is like comparing apples and oranges. Some of the distinctions are listed below:
AN OCEAN GETAWAYS' YACHTING INCENTIVE
CRUISE SHIP INCENTIVE
MINIMUM # OF GUESTS FOR EXCLUSIVE USE
No minimum; exclusivity available for any size group, from one to 200 guests. Every 6 to 8 guests have their own yacht; as the group size increases, we just keep adding yachts.
Available on a full ship charter basis so exclusive use varies with ship size; very few ships carry less than 200 guests and to our knowledge, none carry less than 100.
MAXIMUM # OF GUESTS
200 guests on a single sailing; larger groups on consecutive sailings
MINIMUM PROGRAM LENGTH
3-nights on some itineraries; most of the smaller ships have 5-7 night minimums.
Flexible; begin and end on any day of week
Typically have to fit scheduled departures
CRUISING AREA AND DISTANCES TRAVELLED
Sail among a cluster of neighboring islands, cays, and reefs- visiting out-of-the-way ports that can only be accessed by yachts.
Underway 15-25% of the time. 2-3 stops per day is typical.
Usually sail only 5 to 10 miles each day; in calm, protected waters; always within sight of land. Yachts anchor in a quaint or secluded harbor each night
Ships sail in open ocean, covering vast areas - 500 to 2500+ miles over the course of the cruise.
Underway 50-60% of the time. One stop per day is typical.
Visit a variety of large well-travelled islands, usually during the day; rarely in port at night
ITINERARIES AND TYPES OF PLACES VISITED
Customized itineraries in off-the-beaten track anchorages including quaint villages, deserted islands and secluded coves. Stops are selected for their natural beauty, their access to the local island lifestyle, and their appeal for watersports and land activities within walking distance. Avoid the deep water "non-swimmable" ports. When there are no group activities on agenda, guests are free to have their yacht take them wherever they want to go
Full ship charters also provide customized itineraries. Ports of call, however, are dictated by the availability of cruise ship docking or anchoring facilities. Therefore, most ports of call are busy, deep water ports where guests have easy access to "downtown" shopping activities yet have to take taxis to beaches, watersports, and sightseeing . If ships are able to anchor in a "beach-type" setting, they are quite far from shore, and guests transfer ashore in tenders.
Each 6 to 8 guests has its own gourmet chef that tailors the menu to their individual preferences. Guests get to know their chefs and can make spontaneous special requests as well as choose the meal times they prefer.
Meal service more similar to a restaurant where guests order from a menu.
WATER ACCESS AND WATERSPORTS
Swim at your whim right off the yacht; the beaches are 25 breaststrokes away.
Each guest has his/her own snorkel gear, and there's a watersports instructor, windsurfer and waterskis for every 6-8 guests. Additional equipment includes scuba gear, kayaks, sailing dinghies, and tubes.
Typically, the water is accessed by tendering guests to a beach.
Some of the smaller "yacht-like" cruise ships have a few of watersports instructors and gear that is shared by the entire group
LAND ACTIVITIES ACCESS
Each 6-8 guests has its own private zodiac (with driver) that is always on call to take the guests to exactly where they want to go whenever they want to go.
Each 6-8 guests has a crew member who is a "local knowledge" expert and serves as their shoreside guide. Most land activities are accessed via zodiac and walking.. no need for taxis.
Shore excursions are typically scheduled activities in each port of call and frequently involve taxi transfers. Destination management companies are generally hired to serve as "guides".
The service is highly personalized with a 1:2 crew to guest ratio. Every 6-8 guests have their own exclusive crew of 3-4 dedicated to serving their needs including a captain, gourmet chef, watersports instructor, and stewardess.
Crew to guest ratio may be similar to yachts yet many of these crew do not interact with the guests (i.e. engineers, kitchen help, deckhands, etc); guests also do not have the exclusive services of these crew members.
Entertainment can be provided at shoreside resorts, casinos, nightclubs, and funky beach bars ; since yachts are in a port (at anchor) each evening, accessing this is easy. Or we can bring musicians to the yachts.
The ship offers nightclubs and a casino as well as a wide va
Casual; guests can pack light
Varies from casual to formal; guests bring lots of clothes
THE "ON THE WATER" EXPERIENCE
You are literally 4-5 feet above the water, offering an intimate experience of nature happening right at your doorstep.
Most of the open deckspace is on the upperdecks so you can be 5 or 6 stories above the water. You view the water rather than experience it.
Life unfolds at a leisurely pace. Yachts sail for 1-3 hours at a time, giving guests an upclose and personal experience of the sailing area. Guests can laze about, take the helm and learn to sail, fish, read a book, snooze, or watch the world go by. The "meditative magic" of sailing with little to do is what guests tell us they like the most
Ships sail from 10 to 48 hours at a time. Guests can be as active or passive as they choose; numerous scheduled activities aboard the ship
Shoreside facilities are used for this.
Lots of lounges, decks, theaters, and meeting rooms onboard.
Overall, the yachting incentive offers an "upclose and personal" experiential adventure in an intimate setting with exceptional, individualized service.
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