Traveling on the water is an enjoyable experience for anyone no matter what type of boat you may be cruising in. But for those who can afford it, a luxury yacht is the ultimate experience on the water. The term luxury yacht usually refers to a privately owned yacht which is run by a professional crew. Sometimes known as a super-yacht, a luxury yacht may be either a motor or sailing yacht.
Over the last two decades, there has been an increase in the popularity and number of large private luxury yachts. Luxury yachts are very bountiful in the Mediterranean and Caribbean Seas. However, luxury yachts are cruising in more remote areas of the world much more often than before.
While there has been an increase in demand for popular luxury yachts, there has also been an increase in custom boat building companies and yacht charter brokers. Luxury boat building and yacht charter enterprises are predominantly based in the United States and Western Europe. While most private yachts are used exclusively by their owners, others may be operated all year round as charter businesses, and a large number of yachts are privately owned but available for charter on a part time basis.
Since the 1990s the number of really large and ravishing mega yachts has increased to the point that only yachts above 65 meters (213 feet) stand out among other luxury yachts. Yachts this size are almost always built to individual commissions and may cost tens of millions of dollars, which in some cases cost more than the owners home on land.
A yacht of this size usually has four decks above the water line and one or two below. Among other things such as additional “VP” guest cabins, you may also find other amenities such as an indoor Jacuzzi, sauna and steam rooms, a beauty salon, massage or other treatment rooms, medical center, a cinema with a library of films, a play room, plunge pool and additional living areas such as a separate bar, secondary dining room and private sitting rooms or lounges.
As of 2006, yachts above 100 meters (328 feet) are still pretty rare. They typically will have five decks above the water line and two below. The very largest yachts have begun to incorporate such features as helicopter hangers, indoor swimming pools and even miniature submarines. These super yachts for the elite have recently become known as mega-yachts and giga-yachts.