Live Aboard Charters: Multi-Days & Nights

How to Charter a Luxury Yacht for Multi-Days or a “Live Aboard”

Our Cabo Yacht Life Live Aboard yacht charters guide below outlines the process of chartering a luxury yacht and details the costs involved. Yachts can be booked for several days and nights with 5-star service standards. It should cover everything you need to know about luxury yacht charter. However, if you have any further questions, please contact us.

How Do I Charter a Live Aboard Yacht?

There are a few key steps you need to follow when thinking about booking luxury Live Aboard yacht charters:

  1. Think about where you want to go around Los Cabos, La Paz, or Baja California Sur.
  2. Narrow down your requirements. What is your budget? How many people do you want to invite? Do you want adventure, romance or both?
  3. Get an idea of the type of yachts you like.
  4. Let the VIP booking expert find you the most suitable yachts, and pick your favorite.
  5. Start planning: the booking professional will arrange your itinerary and any other details.

How Much Does It Cost for Live Aboard Yacht Charters?

You’ll usually see two rates for charter yachts: the high season and low season rate. But that’s not all that you need to budget for. You need to factor in:

  • The running costs of the charter, which usually ends up being 25-30% of the charter depending on your group and itinerary.
  • It’s called the Advanced Provisioning Allowance.
  • IVA or local cruising taxes, that can vary from 0% to 22%.
  • Delivery costs and/or redelivery cost, if you want to charter the vessel away from her home port area of Cabo San Lucas or far from current bookings in place. This doesn’t always apply, so check with our VIP Live Aboard professional at
  • A security deposit. This is mainly requested if an event is part of Live Aboard yacht charters standard. However, depending on the make-up of the group, we will require this on the contract due to high demand.
  • A crew tip is offered at your discretion but in planning the overall cost, this is something to consider. We explain tips in more detail below.

What is the Advanced Provisioning Allowance?

Advanced provisioning allowance (APA) is the extra fee that you pay in advance to cover the cost of provisions for Live Aboard yacht charters. It helps to think of the advanced provisioning allowance as like opening a petty cash account for your captain and chef, because it’s the simplest way of tracking charter expenses while you’re on board.

The APA allows the Captain and Crew to fully prepare and customize the experience to exactly how you want to live on board. A “preference sheet” will be prepared in detail between you and your bookings professional and sent to the Captain in good time for him to prepare the yacht for your arrival.

The captain will oversee all the purchases made before and during your charter. He will be responsible for ensuring the crew stay within budget and will provide receipts and expense accounts upon request. All expenses will be charged at cost and at the end of your charter you’ll receive an itemized breakdown of all expenditures.

FAQs: Live Aboard Yacht Charters Etiquette

How should I interact with the crew?

The crew are valued employees, ensuring Live Aboard yacht charters are run safely, operates smoothly and that service levels are optimized for you and your guests.

Can I invite friends on the yacht?

You’re encouraged to entertain guests during your charter, but please let the bookings expert know if you’re thinking about inviting friends on board. If you give the crew plenty of time to plan, you’ll have the very best experience.

Can I hold a party on board?

Some of our Live Aboard yacht charters are able to hold events on board, but they will need to adhere to regulations as to how many guests can be there at any one time. The yacht may request a security deposit, in case of any damage caused during the charter.

The number of guests for events varies with the size of yacht, flag registry rules, insurance levels and our company’s comfort level.

Can I bring staff in addition to my guests to stay on board?

Any essential staff such as nannies or physicians may be accommodated if the yacht has suitable cabins available for them. This is requested on a case-by-case basis. The yacht crew will ensure that the staff are given any necessary safety training and advise them on how service works on the yacht.

FAQs: Helpful Advice

Can I bring my pet?

Our Live Aboard yacht charters are not set up to accommodate pets on any charters.

What happens while the crew clean?

The crew are very skilled at making sure everything is shipshape. However, they always appreciate it when guests take their morning coffee on the sundeck, for example, as it gives them a chance to make sure your stateroom is made up and ready.

What happens if I have a problem?

Every member of the crew wants you to have the very best experience. But if you have any questions or concerns, a quick chat with the Captain is the best thing to do.

Are any areas off-limits?

Please don’t enter the crew areas without permission. The Captain or host/hostess will give you a safety briefing upon embarkation, which will go over how to stay safe on board. For your own safety, take the time to familiarize yourself with all the information provided about lifejackets and the lifeboat drill.

Do I have to take my shoes off?

Please make sure you’re barefoot or wearing socks during the charter or bring slippers. Decks are notoriously fragile and dents and scuffs on the well-polished wood or stains on carpets are a big no-no. Similarly, street shoes can damage a yacht’s antique carpets or custom flooring. Our crews will provide a shoe basket at the end of the gangway to keep your favorite shoes safe.

What luggage should I use?

Soft luggage that can be easily folded up and stowed away is the best option for packing. That’s because although guest staterooms are beautifully designed, storage is always an issue. Hardshell luggage is difficult to store at the best of times.

FAQs: Preference Sheet

What is a preference sheet?

A preference sheet is a form you fill out to outline your preferences for all Live Aboard yacht charters. It’s your opportunity to let the crew know about any special requirements you might have for your charter. From the sleeping arrangements for your party to your favorite dessert to meals to water activities, the preference sheet will help the crew create an unforgettable holiday.

When do I have to fill it out the preference sheet?

You’ll get the preference sheet in advance of your charter with your Live Aboard yacht charters booking expert. Please fill it in as soon as you can, and return it to the Cabo Yacht Life booking department approximately 30 days (at the latest) before you embark.

FAQs: Advance Provisioning Allowance

Where and when do I need to pay the APA?

The APA of 30% is due at the same time as your final charter payment, so roughly one month before you set sail. The transfer is made directly to Cabo Yacht Life so you’re in the best of hands. Your Live Aboard yacht charters bookings professional will provide all the necessary bank details ahead of time.

What happens if the APA doesn’t cover all expenses? 

Live Aboard yacht charters cost estimation is fairly accurate, but there’s always a chance that you might decide to blow the budget while at sea. Should your outgoings exceed the initial payment, you can top up the APA in cash while you’re on board, or by wire transfer to the Cabo Yacht Life U.S. bank account or other payment options. The captain will keep you updated throughout the trip, and if there are any outstanding costs, you’ll need to settle up before disembarking.

What if we don’t use the full APA? 

If there’s any credit remaining on the APA account at the end of the charter, the captain will communicate with the bookings and accounting departments to issue a refund. You will receive the outstanding balance after you leave the yacht by wire transfer or your preferred method within five working days after the charter.

Does the APA apply to all Live Aboard charters? 

Yes. When it comes to luxury Live Aboard yacht charters, the APA is usually applied as standard. Simple and straightforward, the APA is the easiest way to keep track of your outgoings while at sea.

FAQs: Chartering with Children

Can I charter with my children?

A Live Aboard yacht charters are a dream come true for most kids, thanks to the toys and tenders galore. Cabo Yacht Life Live Aboard charters are family-friendly with children’s activities, itineraries, menus and more on offer.

How do we plan for a child-friendly charter?

Ask your Live Aboard yacht charters reservation expert for a child-friendly itinerary. From sandy beaches to water activities to accommodations before and after Live Aboard yacht charters, the destination of Cabo, Mexico offers a whole host of family activities.

Are there child-friendly activities?

Our Live Aboard yacht charters are full of everything from books and board games to games consoles and music. There’s no time to be bored on a Cabo Yacht Life yacht. Additionally, our crews keep the children busy in Los Cabos and the surrounding areas. From snorkeling to swimming and playing with water toys, there’s no such thing as a dull Live Aboard in the Sea of Cortez. We guarantee younger guests will have the time of their lives while you’re on a Live Aboard charter.

What if my child is a fussy eater?

Just like any 5-star restaurant, yacht chefs are very good at providing delicious meals for the whole family to enjoy. And many chefs will be happy to create kid-friendly dishes to tempt even the pickiest eater. From picking out their own menu to trying local delicacies, your little ones will love mealtime onboard their very own yacht.

FAQs: Child Safety

What should I look out for?

Ask about safety features for kids. Our yachts have safety equipment including locks, gates and safety nets to create safe play spaces for younger guests. Just ask your Live Aboard booking agent to check with the captain and crew before reserving your yacht and make sure that you mention all special requirements.

Can the crew babysit?

If you need someone to babysit, it’s advised that you bring a nanny on board with you. While the crew are willing to go the extra mile to entertain younger charter guests, they will be too busy to babysit during your charter.

FAQs: Water Toys

Can I use every water toy?

The water toys are there for you to enjoy, but some may need special training or tips prior such as the Sea Bobs. It’s best to check with the Captain first if you’re unsure. Keep in mind that nearly every water toy, water activity, and location can be programmed in advance with your VIP Live Aboard booking professional.

Are the water toys easy to use?

Most of the yacht toys are straightforward and self-explanatory. But if you’ve never used a Sea Bob or Wave Runner, for example, ask the crew to show you how it works before you head out to sea. They’ll be more than happy to assist.

Do I need a lifejacket?

You should always wear a lifejacket when using the toys. As tempting as it might be to jump straight onto the nearest Wave Runner or Sea Bob, safety first is definitely key. The crew will be happy to provide life jackets in a range of sizes to keep everyone safe and sound out on the water.

FAQs: Tipping 

How do I tip the charter crew?

Give the tip to the captain. He will take care of dividing it between the crew members including those who work behind the scenes. If you feel that any member of the crew has gone above and beyond the call of duty, just let him know.

What are the tipping guidelines?

The tipping policy guidelines have been accepted as standard by most of the Live Aboard yacht charters industry. The guidelines say a tip should be around 15% of your charter fee.

Ready to Reserve Your Live Aboard Yacht?

Now, you know how to explore the Sea of Cortez aboard a luxury yacht for multiple days and nights. It’s time to turn that dream into a reality by inquiring about Live Aboard yacht charters. We take VIP yachting to the next level.

If you have any questions about a Live Aboard or multi-day yacht charter, please contact our VIP booking department at Cabo Yacht Life. Or, send us an email with the subject line “Live Aboard Yacht Charters Inquiry” to

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“Absolute Perfection!”

From start to finish, our experience with this organization was absolutely perfect. They were professional, polite, friendly, accommodating and they facilitated an amazing experience! We booked a 4 hour sunset trip to the arch, and surrounding areas for 5 people. With 4 young women, you can only imagine how many photos we wanted to take. Janett assisted us by taking SO many wonderful photos, telling us how to pose, capturing our best angles and all the while supplying us with the perfect drinks to keep the party going!

Captain Juan was a gentleman, and clearly knew how to navigate to the best spots around. They had a stand up paddle board for us to use, as well as different things to float on in the water. Janett provided us with some excellent food that kept us energized for all the fun! The entire trip with Cabo Yacht Life was a delight, and for any future trips I may take to Cabo, they would be my go to activity!

Cabo Yacht Life Luxury Yacht Charter Review (Whale Watching Tours, Yacht Tours Cabo) TripAdvisor
Cabo Yacht Life Luxury Yacht Charter Review TripAdvisor

“Amazing charter experience!”

From the moment I inquired until we stepped off the boat I received the most amazing service. Joseph was so accommodating especially because there was a hurricane on my initial charter date. He made sure to communicate after the storm and made sure to get us out on the boat the next day, safely might I add. When we got to the boat the experience was so amazing. Eva and Juan were both so friendly and attentive. Eva took some amazing pictures of my friends and I. Unfortunately, several of us became motion sick however, they immediately accommodated us and made sure we were good. The boat was clean and I still enjoyed myself. Eva even used her phone for the music we liked to ensure I as the birthday girl could use my phone for pictures and videos. I would highly recommend you use them for your private charter needs.