• How does a charter yacht broker differ from a regular travel agent?

    A charter yacht broker is focused strictly on informing, planning and organizing full service yachting expeditions. Additionally, charter yacht brokers have in place firm business and personal relationships with the owners, captains and crews of yachts that can be leveraged to provide an extensive array of custom, personalized services to clients that typical cruise or travel agent itineraries simply cannot match.

    Charter yacht brokers also offer a very high-level of personal attention, aiming to satisfy or find the best solution to every need along the way.

  • What is Sojourn’s role in planning our trip?

    Available to you at all times, Sojourn acts as a trusted advisor and broker on your behalf in every phase of the planning and fulfillment of a charter yacht vacation. We aim to provide first-hand experiences to help you select food, drinks, vessels and destinations. You will receive phone calls; e-mails and text messages form us, if you so wish. We visit homes and meet for coffee in order to answer questions and offer insight. We are a dependable and direct path between your vacation dreams and their realization.

  • Why should I use a charter yacht broker?

    Like a guide leading you along the chasms of the Grand Canyon or an experienced maitre d’ at a five-star restaurant, a charter yacht broker offers extensive, first-hand knowledge on what boats, locations and activities will best suit you and your group.

    And, for the experienced charter yacht guest, a charter broker can serve as a knowledgeable peer with whom to share and develop new ideas on where to go and how to make your next trip even more memorable than the last.

    As many customers can attest to, charter brokers are experts at offering a full-service experience. Sojourn, for example, prides itself on its ability to consistently communicate with its clients and efficiently translate their needs into an unreal boating experience. For many, Dare and Leigh Ann’s ability to recognize what constitutes exemplary service is what sets them apart from other charter yacht brokers.

    Charter brokers also provide the convenience and peace of mind of Yacht Charter Contracts and escrow accounts for service and monetary protections until the commencement of the charter.

  • How do I book a charter yacht vacation?

    For you, the guest, booking a charter yacht vacation essentially just boils down to choosing dates. Outside of some decisions about meals and things to do while on the water or in town, planning an adventure like this is why you choose to work with Sojourn. The logistics are on us.

    We offer initial suggestions based on your ideas and aspirations and typically, once a guest understands just how customizable and full service a charter yacht experience can be, only your imagination stands in the way. But like in every step along the way, we’re here to help.

    Relative to timing, holiday weeks that fall at the end of the year are often very busy and many of the more popular vessels are reserved well in advance, often more than a year from departure date. Thus, like all vacations, it’s wise to try to confirm a time as far ahead as is reasonable for your group.

    Still, we maintain relationships with a wide array of boat owners and can often find clients a more than suitable alternative if their first choice happens to be booked.

    Also, prices are locked in once you are booked, so no need to worry about things changing while the trip approaches.

    However, we do advise clients to prepare for one difficult aspect of planning a charter yacht vacation: having to wait for it to begin.

  • What is included in a charter yacht vacation?

    Our favorite question!

    Without doubt, the greatest aspect of a charter yacht vacation is the inclusivity. From the first time you call us at Sojourn to when you are helped off the boat for the last time, you will be amazed at the level of attention and sense of exclusivity that comes with chartering a Caribbean yacht.

    Unfortunately, the nature of its flexibility makes it one of the most misunderstood aspects of a charter yacht vacation. Here is how it breaks down:

    Included in the charter fees:

    • Full access to personal consultations, advice and insight from Sojourn Sailing
    • The hiring of the vessel for the time of your trip
    • The full, at-request service and experience of the Captain, crew and chef
    • Three extravagant (or easy – your choice) meals, chosen by you, every day
    • Full access to the boat’s bar that includes beer, wine and liquor
    • Any combination or array of snacks, fruits, drinks or foods that you want
    • Accessories like water toys, skis, wakeboards, snorkeling equipment and tubes
    • Full use of all boat amenities such as Wi-Fi access, DVD players and movies, video game systems, stereo systems, iPod connections, printers, etc.

    Items that may incur costs are typically related to island activities and other events on shore, should you choose to participate. This may include personal watercraft rentals, helicopter rides or other forms of guided trips. Also, dock fees, should you need or want to go ashore, are also the guests’ responsibility. Additionally, and it does occur, the cost of any damage caused by the guests while on shore or while using third-party equipment are not included in the charter costs.

  • What is on the menu?

    Anything and everything. Charter yachts do not include all you can eat buffets or scheduled meal plans. The menus are what you would like, when you would like it. From simple meals like pizza or pasta to extravagant culinary creations prepared for two, served under the vast Caribbean night sky, your menu is yours to create. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are offered at your pace and made for your palette.

    During trip planning, you can brainstorm choices and options and alert the chef to any food allergies or dietary restrictions. Remember that your chef is a professional and we always recommend their input on what is freshest or in season at the time.

    Again, simply let us know what you have in mind and your trip’s menu will take shape well before the appetizers arrive.

  • What do we drink?

    All-inclusive charters include full bars that can house an array of liquor and soft drinks. Also stocked during the planning stage, we’ll help you craft a combination of beer, wine and mixers that will compliment your meals or time in the sun and have you toasting an experience you will not soon forget.

    Keep in mind that some specific top-shelf needs may require guests to cover the difference. Just ask though, we’ll help you put it all together.

  • What should we bring?

    Dare and Leigh Ann will assist you with your essential packing list and then you can add things that you feel are essential. Many of the boats will have on board a number of items you may typically need and we’ll inform you accordingly. You may be surprised at what you can comfortably leave at home.

    You will need your passport. It is required for travel throughout the Caribbean. Also, a Visa may be required in some locales. We’ll let you know in plenty of time if you will need it.

  • Should I acquire travel insurance?

    We strongly recommend travel insurance, given the time between booking and departure and the unique nature of the vacation itself. This way, you can rest assured that sudden weather changes, an illness or other uncontrollable circumstance does not impact your investment.

    Part of our job as charter brokers includes helping you find the best rates in the market. Travel insurance is a fraction of the trip cost and provides a great deal of comfort.

  • Can I be reached in an emergency?

    Yes. Caribbean commercial development and the infrastructure in general has improved substantially in the last several years, allowing cellular phone service in most areas and access to emergency services is never far enough away to warrant serious concern.

    Some vessels are equipped with Internet communication, which allows you to stay in touch on a consistent basis, should you feel the need. Keep in mind though, that some services require surcharges or roaming fees. We can help you with this information.

  • Are children allowed/encouraged on yacht charters?

    Absolutely. Many of our clients include families with young children. We have found that exposing children to new cultures and unseen, diverse natural environments can create experiences that will positively impact them for many years. Plus, sharing adventures with your family is quite simply one of life’s purest pleasures.

    Plus, many boats offer substantial discounts for young people. Very small children may be required to wear lifejackets while at sea.

  • How are gratuities handled with the crew?

    Tips are expected and typically range from 10-20 percent of the charter fees.

    The crews that handle the boats with which we have relationships are very professional, experienced and in many cases, know exactly what it is you will need or ask for before you do. They are there to serve you and do so at an exceptional level.

    It is your preference as to how you leave a gratuity but a small card or envelope can be discrete and effective. Crews will accept cash, travelers’ checks and in many cases, personal checks.

  • What time of year is best to book a charter?

    Guests have enjoyed charter yacht adventures any time of the year, given the Caribbean’s very predictable weather patterns. Hurricane season, which is August through November, does present the occasional challenge. However, they are relatively avoidable and some of the best cruising takes places during that period. Still, hurricanes are a good reason to consider travel insurance.

    Here is a little about what to expect in terms of weather:

    • Winter: expect days in the mid eighties with nights in the low seventies. The winds are a bit higher, which makes for exciting sail and great surf. It is perfect for getting away from those cold northern temperatures.
    • Summer: expect high eighties all-day and just less than eighty degrees at night. The winds and seas are often calm, opening up extensive opportunities for diving and snorkeling. This is when it’s ideal to locate a quiet bay for a day of solitude in the water.
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Captain Dare Blankenhorn

Leigh Ann Nelson