Luxury Yacht Jobs: Private or Charter Yacht?

A luxury yacht job offers a rewarding career and plenty of perks, whether you work on a private yacht or a charter yacht. However, there are some distinct differences to working as crew on these two types of vessels.

In a private yacht job, you will be working on a yacht used only by the owner and their guests. On a charter yacht, you’ll be working on a boat that is chartered primarily by families for luxurious vacations, as well as by corporations for business use or special events. 

Private yacht jobs and jobs on charter yachts both offer crew a different experience, from the way the yacht is run to their cruising programme. The type of vessel you work on can even impact your earning potential.

Before you start looking for a luxury yacht job, you should first determine what type of yacht is best suited for your skills and experience. Keep on reading to learn about some of the key differences between a private yacht job and working as crew on a charter yacht.

Private yacht job v charter yacht

Earning potential

While salaries are typically the same on private yachts and charter yachts, those working on a charter yacht can earn more as they will typically receive a gratuity at the end of each charter, which can be up to 20 percent of the charter price. However, some private yacht jobs can include generous end-of-year-bonuses or seasonal bonuses and may even offer benefits, such as health cover. It’s also important to remember that tips are never guaranteed on a charter yacht.

Time off

You may have higher earning potential on a charter yacht, but you’ll find this likely comes at the sacrifice of having less time-off to enjoy. Charter yachts are often booked solid through-out the popular yachting seasons, giving crew very little time off. A busy charter will find crew working round the clock. However, with a private yacht job, you may enjoy a less hectic schedule as the yacht will only be active when the owner chooses. This often means the crew spends more time at dock where they will typically work a standard 9-5 day maintaining the yacht.   


Working as crew on both a charter yacht and private yacht offers the opportunity to travel the world. Typically charter yachts tend to be more limited in where they travel. They often cruise to popular yachting destinations for each season. For example, charter yachts are often based in the Caribbean for the winter and the Mediterranean in the summer. Private yachts go wherever the owner fancies, which means crew may have the opportunity to explore some of the world’s remote and least visited destinations, anywhere from Antarctica to the Galapagos Islands, if the yacht’s owner is adventurous.


One of the key benefits of a private yacht job is that you will get to know the yacht’s owners (and any regular guests) likes and dislikes, enabling you to offer personal touches that ensure an exceptional level of service. Indeed, working on a private yacht enables crew to exceed expectations more easily, which can be immensely satisfying. Some crew will work for the same yacht owner for a significant period of time, developing a working relationship that can lead to a satisfying career. Of course, every private yacht owner is different and will place different demands on their crew. A charter yacht will have a regular roster of guests, meaning the yacht crew must think on their feet and anticipate their guests’ needs. Every single trip is different on a charter yacht, so this type of vessel is an excellent option for those who want more spontaneity to their yachting career.


Whether a private yacht job or a charter yacht job is right for you comes down to personal preferences. While some like the non-stop action of a charter yacht and the chance to earn more, others prefer the greater predictability and less hectic schedule that comes from working on a private yacht. If you’re searching for a yacht crew job, be it aboard a private yacht or a charter yacht, then contact a YPI CREW agent today.