A magical few days on board Boats.co.uk’s latest Princess 88 charter vessel gives Hugo a glimpse of just how special a charter holiday can be.
Given the number of boats we write about in MBY, it might come as a surprise how rarely we get to enjoy them as they’re meant to be enjoyed.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a pleasure and privilege to sea trial all those fabulous craft but most of the time that involves running up and down a familiar stretch of British coastline measuring speed, noise and fuel consumption while taking notes and making sure the photographer gets the photos and video we need.
Cruising somewhere just for the sake of it is a rare luxury, let alone eating or sleeping on board or, heaven forbid, having friends and family to share those experiences with.
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But every now and again we get a brief chance to pull back the curtain and immerse ourselves in the kind of boating that we spend most of our days dreaming about. So when an email dropped into my inbox inviting us to spend a few days on board Boats.co.uk’s latest charter boat J4, a Princess 88 based in Palma Mallorca, I felt it was my journalistic duty to take one for the team!
And given that no paying guest would ever choose to share their precious holiday time with a mere scribbler, I am even allowed to fill the other seven beds with family and friends so that I can get a taste of the full ‘charter experience’. Needless to say, I never knew I had so many friends keen to show-off their boating skills!
I can’t say the run-up to our four-day booking at the beginning of July was entirely relaxing. Rising Covid rates in both the UK and Spain and constant changes in travel rules and testing regulations, not to mention the risk of being pinged by the dreaded NHS app meant we never truly relaxed until we were all safely on the plane.
Once we’d worked out how to fill out the various Spanish health forms and show our vaccination passes it was no different to any other flight, but stepping onto foreign soil after 18 months of lockdowns, it all felt strangely illicit, like we were a bunch of schoolkids bunking off school for a few days.
To read more about Hugo’s Princess 88 charter, pick up the October 2021 issue of MBY, which is out now.
Princess 88 charter costs
A week on J4 for up to 8 people costs €49,000 inclusive of Spanish IVA tax. You will also be asked to pay an additional Advance Provisioning Allowance (APA) for fuel, food, drinks, visitor berths, communications and guest requests.
APA is charged at 30% of the total charter cost with any under or overpayment settled at the end of the charter. This does not include a crew tip, typically of around 10%.