Yacht Charter vs Cruise ship: What’s The Difference

Yacht Charter vs Cruise ship

Heading off onto the open ocean can feel like the ultimate adventure escape. With the options to explore beautiful and exotic coastal city’s and gorgeous tropical islands, it’s no wonder why so many people choose to book a sailing holiday. When it comes to your seafaring adventures, there are two main options for you to choose from: yacht charters or cruise ships. Not too sure what the main differences are? Take a look here.

You decide where you go

One of the main differences between a yacht charter and a cruise ship is the fact that you get to choose where you go when you charter a private yacht. Unlike in a cruise ship where the destinations and how long you spend there are predetermined, you get to go where you want when you charter a yacht. You’re not only a guest on the yacht, but remain in control of the daily itinerary including activities on and off-board.

Conversely, on a cruise ship, your ports of anchor, destinations, how long you get to spend exploring and even your daily activities are all predetermined by the company. Put simply, you have much less freedom to relax and go where the current may take you. However, if you prefer to travel with someone else making the decisions for you, then a cruise ship may be the better option.

First-class service

Another major difference between yacht charters and cruise ships is the fact that you can expect exceptional service upon a charter yacht. The crew have often been extensively trained to offer 5-star service and there is often much more staff than passengers. You can expect to be pampered each day by a knowledgeable crew which are a huge part of the experience of a charter yacht.

Alternatively, on a cruise ship, while the service will still be good, tour servers and hostesses will also be catering to the rest of the passengers. The ratio of crew to passengers is much lower, which means that personal service is a much less likely prospect.

Plenty of privacy

Finally, a key difference between cruise ships and charter yachts is the level of privacy you will be afforded. On a charter yacht, the only passengers are people who are a part of your party. This means that the entire yacht is yours to use and enjoy. If it’s a private vacation for yourself or your family you will be able to enjoy all the amenities such as the pool or spa pool in total privacy.


On a cruise ship, you’re obliged to share the ship’s facilities and amenities with the other passengers. Depending on the size of the cruise ship you may be hard-pressed to find any prolonged moments of privacy. Cruise ships tend to be incredibly social environments that are always busy with people and activities.

Yacht Charter vs Cruise ship: What’s The Difference | Sydney Boat Hire


Cruise ships and charter yachts are both fantastic ways to spend some time out on the open ocean. They both offer decidedly different, yet equally fantastic options for those who want to escape for a while. While they do offer some key differences, charter yachts and cruise ships are both great ways to explore the open ocean and take a break away from civilisation.