Private Yacht Charter in Greece


Nicholson Yacht Charters represents a large fleet of luxurious power, catamaran, and sailing yachts with captain, executive chefs, stewards and full crew for private charter in Greece.  Our staff inspects these yachts annually and meets their crew, so that we can offer these yachts with authority to you.  These yachts are available for private charter from Athens for cruises to the Cyclades, Sporades, the Ionian Sea, the Dodecanese and the Peloponnesus Peninsula from May through October for parties of two to twelve guests.  Established in 1949, Nicholson Yacht Charters is the oldest established Yacht Charter Broker in the World, and we are Still First!


Guests choose dates and ports of their choosing for cruises generally beginning and ending in Athens.  These yachts have no set itineraries.  Itineraries are custom built around what guests want to see and what activities you want to pursue.  Yachts can be delivered to other islands for a fee.  Although itineraries are decided after the captain has a chance to sit down with guests and learn more about what guests want to do, we can arrange for captains to send you a preliminary itinerary in advance.


With the large number of Greek islands, located in close proximity to Athens, together with the fact that the Greek VAT TAX of 10% is lower than in any other area of the Mediterranean, in addition to the vast number of competitively priced yachts ranging in size from 44 feet to 250 feet, sail and power – and the fact that the warm, dry, sunny climate of Greece is pleasant from May to October, as well as the numerous, “ridiculously quaint” villages and natural landmarks these islands offer, and the vibrant blue of the Aegean and the warmth of the sea makes Greece one of our most popular Mediterranean destinations.  July and August is high season; May, June, September and October is low season.


Regardless of size, whether catamaran, sail, or power, each vessel we represent is beautifully appointed and has a professional captain, plus an executive chef, who is generally versed in numerous kinds of cuisines from Wellness to Mediterranean to Traditional Greek Kitchen to World Cuisine.  Guests fill out a preference sheet, and chefs plan their menus around their guests’ food and drink likes and dislikes.  A host of caring stewards and stewardesses take care of guests’ every need, from tending table, to turning down beds at night, to helping guests with ironing and clothing, to cleaning the cabins, to serving drinks and snacks throughout the day and night.  “Boat Staff” combine with “Hotel Staff” to round out the crew.  “Boat Staff” include the bosons, first mates, First Officers and of course the Captain.  They are professionals with seamanship skills, whose number one priority is to see to the safety of their guests.  While the duties of the “Boat Staff” combine with the duties of the “Hotel Staff,” the “Boat Staff” assists with watersports activities, boat handling, and they provide knowledge about the cruising ground.  They know where to go and what to do and see ashore.  Captains provide their guests with a choice of activities each day, and Guests are Welcome to visit the Captain in the Bridge any time of the day.  Although a Crew will not bill for a tip, nor will they mention a tip, gratuities are expected.  While Gratuities are for the charterer’s discretion, 10% to 20% of the charter fee is typical.


A person should not have to change what they are used to eating just because they are going on vacation.  Our chefs are versatile in many kinds of Special Diets from Vegan to Gluten-Free to Raw Diets to Low Carb High Fat diets and more!  Please feel free to request Special Diets from our chefs.  Many yachts also carry exercise equipment, such as Treadmills and Cross Trainers.  Some have rooms wholly dedicated to gym equipment, some rooms located on the Sun Deck in glass surrounds offering views of the cruising ground, while others are located below near the Swim Platform.  Other yachts just offer the odd Treadmill or Cross Trainer here or there.  Spas too are important on charter yachts.  From massage therapists to Beauticians to saunas and steam baths and all manner of relaxing Swedish massages, many yachts are able to deliver.  A list of yachts offering Wellness Cruises is listed on our Interactive Search option on our Website.  Under Number of Guests, select Wellness for the complete list and description.


All yachts offer wireless internet at sea and offer all manner of state of the art, Audio and Visual equipment from Satellite TV, to movie servers, Airplay, iPod docks, and more.


Charter yachts have multiple entertaining areas in addition to guest staterooms.  A motor yacht generally offers the main saloon, formal dining room, lower and upper aft decks, plus second living room upstairs, and vast sun deck as well.  Catamarans often have lounges above their cockpits, as well as formal saloons and aft cockpits, plus sunbathing on the foredeck.  Sailing yachts also offer upper and lower deck entertaining areas.  Dining is offered in more than one place aboard charter yachts.  Learn more about each yacht, as well as the cuisines offered aboard by using our Interactive Search on our Website.


Regardless of size, yachts generally accommodate 12 guests maximum.  This is due to charter licensing requirements. The rule is firmly adhered to for insurance purposes.


Most of our clients request cruises through the Cyclades, including Mykonos and Santorini, but cruises can also be had to the Ionian Sea, Sporades, Peloponnesus Peninsula, and other less windy cruising grounds in the Aegean.  While itineraries are flexible and guests can plan their own route, a typical cruise through the Cyclades begins and ends in Athens and sails in a circular route by way of Kea, Syros, Mykonos, Paros, Eos, Santorini, Milos, Serifos, and Kythos, generally.  Mykonos and Santorini are the most popular, but the other islands listed above are quaint, unspoiled, real, and offer lots of natural beauty.   Yachts tend to visit beaches by day and ports with town squares at night.  A highlight of any cruise is having a beach picnic, catered by the crew, complete with tent, chairs, dining table, and all the accoutrement.


The prevailing wind in the Aegean blows from North to South, and the Cyclades during July and August can be notoriously windy.  The Meltemi winds kick up at short notice and can blow so strongly that a yacht can be stranded in port for three days until the storm blows itself out.  As our captains put safety first, if you’re catching a flight, this can be a disaster.  For this reason, it might be a good idea to avoid the Cyclades in July and August and sail the Sporades, Ionian Sea, and the Peloponnesus Peninsula instead, which are more protected.  While it is possible to visit the Cyclades in July and August, if you do plan on visiting them, please be advised that the captains reserve the right to refuse to go to sea if the weather forecast is unfavorable.  For many Greeks the Ionian islands in Western Greece are a highlight.  While it is possible to visit the Ionian Islands by starting your charter in Athens, it is preferable to have the yacht delivered to Zakynthos, so that you can start your cruise in the heart of the Ionian cruising ground and begin your downwind voyage to Ithaka, Lefkada, and Paxi, ending in Corfu.  This omits a long first day’s sail through the Corinth Canal and the Gulf of Corinth.  It may involve a delivery fee, however.  The Peloponesus Peninsula has many islands which are quaint and offer the charm of Greece.  The Sporades Islands offer some of the most turquoise waters of Greece.


A Yachting Holiday invites sophisticated travelers to appreciate the Adventure that Yachting is.  The Adventure is the window in the hull of that catamaran that becomes an aquarium when the yacht is heeling over at sea.  It’s the marvel of objects d’art staying upright and stationery when the yacht encounters a moving sea.  This is the Romance of Sail.  This is the Call of the Sea.  This is the Holiday of a Lifetime.  As Yacht Charter Brokers, our job is to match clients with the Yacht that is Exactly Right for You.


Weekly rates are quoted in Euros for the party as a whole and include the yacht, crew, and insurance.  Food, fuel, bar and dockage are sold at cost price and usually run about 30% of the charter fee.  It is customary to wire a 25% to 30% Advance Provisioning Allowance (APA) a month in advance of your charter, so that the captain can provision and fuel the yacht for your arrival.  The captain will keep receipts and present these to you at the end of charter.  If expenses have run over the amount of APA sent, guests are expected to settle the bill in cash before disembarking.  If expenses have not exceeded the APA, the captain will refund the balance in cash.  It’s customary to tip the crew.  10% to 20% of the charter fee is typical. The 10% Greek VAT TAX is also extra, and in some cases a delivery fee is needed as well, if the yacht has to travel to pick up guests at a port where the yacht is not located.


Nicholson Yacht Charters, Inc.

24 Mill Brook Lane

Blue Hill, Maine  04614

Tel:  (617) 661-0555

(800) 662-6066