French Polynesia yacht charters are becoming increasingly popular. As a rather new and upcoming destination, many people are wondering about the costs of renting a yacht in the different archipelagos of French Polynesia.
Here is everything you should know regarding the prices to expect during a French Polynesia yacht charter, whether you are interested in Tahiti, Bora-Bora, Moorea or the more remote Marquesas islands.
What are the main driving factors influencing the price of a yacht charter in French Polynesia ?
First thing first, let’s dive into the main factors that are at play in the total price of a yacht charter in Polynesia.
The yacht you plan to charter is the main contributing factor to the cost of your Polynesia yacht charter
Without much surprise, the yacht you plan to charter in French Polynesia will be the main cost of the total rental.
Like most other renowned sailing destinations, the rules are pretty simple when it comes to French Polynesia yacht rental costs:
- A bareboat rental is almost always cheaper than a crewed charter, and a skippered bareboat somewhere in between
- The longer the yacht, the more staff it requires, the more expensive it gets
- If you want a lot of luxury on board, your APA (the variable cost) will naturally increase
For more details about how costs are usually calculated for yacht rentals, do not miss: How much does it cost to rent a yacht? All rental costs explained.
French Polynesia isn’t a destination with many yachts available for rental and charter, which can drive prices up
Supply and demand plays a big part in determining the prices of yachts, regardless of where you are around the world.
Polynesia being much more remote than other popular yachting destinations such as the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, there are a lot less boats available for rental, which can naturally drive prices up if the demand exceeds the (somewhat limited) supply.
It is therefore very important to book with a lot of advance any yacht rental in the Polynesian region. Not only is it almost mandatory for the most popular boats that will surely be booked otherwise, but it can also avoid you to pay premium prices. 1 year in advance isn’t too early for French Polynesia, and even a minimum in most cases. Clearly, the earlier the better.
On the subject: Sailing French Polynesia: the complete guide
French Polynesia is more remote compared to most yachting destinations which increases transports costs
The remote aspect of Polynesia doesn’t only affect the limited offers for yacht rentals that exist in the region. It can also increase prices of commodities, transport and your own travel costs quite significantly.
Cost of living in French Polynesia is notoriously high, estimated to be around 30% higher than a country like France, so quite similar to the cost of living one can experience in the Caribbean. This is obviously worse if you enjoy a lot of imported products during your yacht rental.
A French Polynesia yacht charter can also be rather expensive to reach depending on where you are from. Flights from the US are relatively cheap and direct, especially if you leave from California or the West Coast in general. We can’t exactly say the same for Europeans, who will also need to transit to the US West Coast to reach Papeete.
What is true for humans and imported goods is also true for yachts. Yacht deliveries in the region require crossing the biggest ocean on the planet, which is long, demanding and certainly not free.
On the bright side, more remote and expensive also means harder to reach for the masses, which is far from being bad news if you enjoy your yacht charter on the quiet side and don’t mind the few extra steps to reach it. Consider it a part of your adventure.
Most yacht charters in Polynesia are sailing catamarans and sailboats, which keeps the APA costs in the lower ranges
Not everything is more expensive than elsewhere for yacht charters in the French Polynesia region.
Given the fact that most yachts for rent in French Polynesia are sailboats or sailing catamarans, the cost of APA tends to be kept in the lower ranges: less fuel to be consumed means lower APA costs after all!
If you are a motoryacht lover, that may seem like bad news, but believe us, you’ll be glad to have a sailing vessel (especially a catamaran!) when you explore the shallow atolls of French Polynesia.
And if you are still not sold on the sails, look carefully (and book in advance!) you might even get your hands on one of the rare motor yachts that sail around Polynesia.
Are yacht charters in French Polynesia more expensive than other Caribbean / Mediterranean yachting destinations?
French Polynesia has a reputation to be an expensive sailing destination, but it isn’t always justified.
Sure, renting a yacht in French Polynesia will almost certainly be more expensive than a yacht charter in the Mediterranean, for several reasons:
- There are a lot less boats available for rental
- It’s usually long and expensive for most people to reach French Polynesia
- The cost of living in French Polynesia is high, especially for things that are imported
However, a lot of these arguments are also true for numerous Caribbean countries. All in all, the cost of a yacht charter in Polynesia is relatively similar to what you would expect in the Caribbean.
Tahiti, Bora-Bora, Moorea, Marquesas or the Tuamotus Islands: are there some yacht charter destinations more expensive than others in Polynesia?
Most yacht rentals in Polynesia can be moved around quite freely around the region. There are therefore no significant differences in charter base prices if you rent a yacht in Tahiti, Bora-Bora or in the remote Tuamotus.
However, the variable costs of your yacht charter can vary widely depending on your sailing plans. Obviously, some commodities can be expensive in the most remote archipelagos of French Polynesia as they need to be delivered there first. Likewise, some convenience and luxury amenities and activities you can find in the popular islands of Tahiti, Bora-Bora or Moorea can also come at a price.
Minimum prices to expect for a yacht charter in French Polynesia
Now that we delved into the factors that influence the prices of yacht charters in French Polynesia, here are the minimum prices you can expect for different types of yacht rentals.
$3,000 : the minimum weekly price for a bareboat rental, regardless of your Polynesian destination
If you are looking for a small bareboat rental, usually a sailboat, it can be done from roughly $3,000 a week in French Polynesia.
For (sailing) catamarans, the bottom range starts at around $4,000 a week.
If you need a skipper because you can’t operate your boat by yourself, you can usually find one starting at $100-$150 in the French Polynesia region.
Browse through our bareboat rentals available in French Polynesia for more details.
$15,000: the usual minimum weekly price for a fully crewed yacht charter in French Polynesia
If you want to have a full crew to pamper you during your yacht charter in Polynesia, the bottom price is usually around $15,000/week excluding expenses.
At this price, you can expect a big catamaran with 4-5 cabins that can host between 8 and 10 passengers and two crew members.
Browse through our fully crewed yacht charters available in French Polynesia to discover our fleet in the region.
A few things to consider to reduce the cost of a yacht charter in Polynesia
If you want to have an enjoyable yacht charter in French Polynesia without breaking the bank, here is some advice.
Always book in advance (more than one year) if you plan to charter a yacht in French Polynesia
French Polynesia is a destination with a high demand and a low supply of yachts available.
Booking one, two or even more years in advance isn’t as crazy as it seems.
It’s simply not a destination where it’s easy to improvise a last minute escape.
The longer in advance you plan your yacht charter in French Polynesia, the higher the chances you find a yacht that matches your expected dates of travel and your budget.
So don’t be shy in overplanning your yacht rental, there is truly no such thing in French Polynesia.
Bigger yachts aren’t always better!
You don’t really need a huge yacht to enjoy sailing around Polynesia.
French Polynesia is made of several archipelagos of tiny atolls that don’t have huge marinas to accommodate mega yachts.
Most sailors actually enjoy their trips in Polynesia with catamarans of all sizes that are both spacious and convenient when it’s time to approach these shallow coral reefs.
Yacht charters deals can sometimes be found during French Polynesia low and shoulder seasons
French Polynesia isn’t as seasonal as other destinations such as the Mediterranean region or even the Caribbean.
However, May to October tend to be a popular time to go to French Polynesia. Like many tropical locations, the Christmas and New Year season can also be busy.
November to April (outside of Christmas) can be considered the lower seasons and therefore the best time to find the best yacht rental deals. It can be a little more rainy than the other months, but nothing that should ruin your vacation.
A sailing boat (catamaran or sailboat) always has a lower APA than a motoryacht
As we previously mentioned, most yachts available for charter in the French Polynesia region are sailboats and sailing catamarans. Motor yachts are very rare.
It’s important to keep in mind that the APA of a motor yacht is always higher than the APA of a sailing vessel, simply due to the cost of fuel.
Even if you are quite unlikely to find a motor yacht for rent in French Polynesia, do not forget the added cost that always comes with it compared to sailing boats.