When to book a sailing vacation?


Times around and after Covid-19 are turbulent and many customers are asking us when to book their sailing holiday. Basically, a lot has changed in this regard. Where people used to speculate on last-minute vacations, today customers get nothing or pay up to 30% more. But what are the reasons for this and how can I book correctly as a customer?




The booking calendars are usually opened between August and October of the previous year for the upcoming water sports season. At this point it is clear which yachts remain in charter and, above all, in which marina they are planned for the next year. Because yachts are often moved from marina to marina by operators with several locations in order to create a balance of new and attractive yachts. The right yacht should be available at the right place for every requirement. Of course, it is also the case that you try to pick up customers right at the beginning. In this way you form a safe and solid booking utilization and immediately analyze the demand for the coming season. As a result, investments and personnel can be planned and allocated. But of course you try to retain customers from the market aspect and not leave them to the competition. With an early booking, the customer will no longer be picked up by other companies.


The most well-known discount in the charter industry is the early booking discount. Contrary to many customer opinions, this is the really most valuable discount. Where last-minute discounts used to be added to the early-bird discount shortly beforehand because the demand was lower than the fleet size, some bookings are sold at the list price towards the summer. The tide has turned completely. The demand is now so high that at peak times around 30% more sailing yachts, motor yachts and catamarans would have to be available in order to be able to serve customers. We can only appeal again and again that customers should use the autumn or at most until Christmas for their bookings. Of course, this requires early holiday planning, but it saves you money and secures the yacht you want.

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As mentioned, booking behavior has changed completely. In mid-January there is already quite a full capacity of up to 60-80% for the popular Pentecost holidays or summer vacation. That means you have relatively bad cards if you speculate on picking up the right boat at the best price. In addition, all Christmas and New Year's discounts will be canceled once the Christmas season has passed. One must also not forget that other federal states or even countries have different holiday times. The booking calendar fills up relatively quickly from June to September. Before and after, the true sailors, clubs, or youth trips are usually on the move.

  • A realistic example from practice in January 2023


A Hanse 548 with 5 cabins was offered for 2 weeks. The offer was made at the end of December with early bird and Christmas discounts. At the end of January, the customer got back to us, although we had repeatedly pointed out that the discounts would be reduced. In the favorable booking period, the charter would have cost € 14,038. After discount reduction and actually only 2 weeks too late, the charter price was around € 17,000.


  • But where does that come from?


Many customers are already taking advantage of the early booking discount and have noticed in recent years that from April onwards they will hardly be able to get a ship that they like or that can be booked at the right time. Now, of course, this has a concrete impact on the booking situation, the booking calendar is filling up and the base operators are increasing the price. The resulting gaps are booked anyway - that's the thinking. And it works!

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Our clear recommendation is to obtain specific offers between September and December.




  • Favorable price due to high charter discounts
  • Availability
  • Large selection
  • Desired territory is secured

Which type of yacht will be chosen for the next charter holiday is usually clear. Motor yacht customers have just as specific ideas as sailors or catamaran lovers. But there are significant differences in the bases and the yacht equipment. Now how should one keep track of this and which basis can I trust? This is exactly what we are here for and this is exactly where our added value begins. To explain the construct a bit: The yacht charter business actually consists of three parties. There is the investor, usually a private person, who buys the ship and charters it to cover costs, but also for his own yacht vacations. The second party forms the basis. She takes care of maintenance, on-site service, cleaning and welcomes guests. And last but not least there is the yacht charter agency, which takes care of the marketing of the yachts like a travel agency. In this way, everyone stays in their area of ​​expertise and ensures attractive overall packages. If you would like to invest in a yacht and are interested in a charter purchase, please contact us.

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With "Book the right yacht" we do not want to explain the type of yacht to you, but to point out which ship is in good condition. Unfortunately, there are also many black sheep in the charter industry. Yachts are not properly maintained or have been poorly repaired. Equipment is missing or not of the desired quality. These competitors usually lure you in with low prices, because the costs are saved in terms of staff and quality. It is precisely these black sheep that we at Zacherl Yachtcharter need to sort out. With around 12,000 yachts worldwide, you could sign contracts with all the bases and you would have a huge range, which sounds great at first. But experience has shown that only about 5,000 yachts and their operators really meet the quality standards that we imagine. There is nothing worse for a vacationer than when the accommodation does not meet their expectations or has deficiencies. That's why we work together with selected base operators, whom we trust and who are also accommodating in the event of an unplanned incident (engine damage, damage to the yacht, etc.). This is the only way we can turn our customers into regular customers!



  • desired territory
  • dream yacht
  • good quality of the yacht
  • accommodating and honest base operator
  • attractive price

As a neutral yacht charter agency, we have shown you how to reconcile all these points. Better to book earlier and only book with agencies that approach your holiday with quality awareness and the necessary sensitivity!



Your team from Zacherl Yachtcharter

Yacht Charter & Yacht Invest

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