Ship Charter FAQs include:

What types of events are appropriate for a cruise ship charter? Can I rent a cruise ship for our meeting? What is a dockside charter? What are the benefits of a cruise ship charter? What’s included with my charter? You’ll find the answers to these and other ship charter FAQs below.

What is a cruise ship charter?

A charter is the complete buyout of a ship for private use for a set number of nights, including all staterooms, meals, and function space. Ship charters are most frequently arranged by corporations, government entities, event promoters, travel management or marketing companies, and even private individuals. 

What are the advantages of a cruise charter?

Exclusivity –A private ship rental is an experience your attendees can’t duplicate on their own, and is perceived as having a higher value with added prestige and “bragging rights”. With only your group onboard, they’ll have the undivided attention of the entire ship’s staff.

Camaraderie: Since everyone on board is part of your event, you have a captive audience to ensure you achieve the purpose of your event. A private charter is optimal for networking and relationship-building both onboard and ashore.

Security:  With no access for outsiders, security and privacy during a cruise ship rental is exceptional.

Customization: A private ship rental gives you the freedom to display your logo and signage through the ship. You can customize the entire cruise experience, including meals, entertainment, activities, group events, and itinerary. 

Any drawbacks with a ship charter vs. booking a group cruise?

Since you are paying for all the ship’s facilities, it’s important that your number of attendees are a good fit with the ship’s number of staterooms. With a group on a regular cruise, you can increase or decrease your room block based on your attrition schedule (just as with a hotel) paying only for the rooms needed.

Are there any situations where it’s better not to charter?

You might be better off booking an group allotment of rooms if:

  • You’re not in a position to sign an irrevocable letter of credit guaranteeing full payment (although cruise lines are sometimes flexible).
  • Ships with appropriate number of rooms are not workable in other key ways i.e., largest function room doesn’t accommodate everyone together, not sailing preferred destination;  ship type or price not suitable.
  • Lead time is too short. If the cruise lines have already published their itineraries, cost may be prohibitive to “buy off” passengers who are already booked on your preferred ship.

What does a ship charter cost?

Ship charter costs are contingent on 7 factors: The ship’s total staterooms, destination and length of cruise, quality/service standards of the ship, cruise date and lead time, and overall market demand. Call Landry & Kling at 305-661-1880 for ball-park pricing or request a charter quote based on your specific needs.

Are the financial requirements for a charter different?

Yes. Charters typically require an upfront irrevocable deposit, plus a financial commitment to pay for the entire ship — guaranteed via a Letter of Credit drawn on a bank that meets the cruise line’s approval.

The charter contract also identifies a specific payment schedule for several additional payments, the last of which is normally due 70-90 days prior to sailing. Occasionally alternative payment plans can be negotiated, depending on the nature of the charter, the organization responsible for payments, and their prior track record with events — among other factors.

What’s included in a ship charter?

Most cruise lines include the following with a ship charter: All accommodations, all meals in complimentary dining venues, use of all public areas, meeting/function rooms and A/V equipment, fitness & sports facilities, onboard entertainment and daily activities, ocean or river transportation to ports of call, gratuities and port charges.

Most luxury cruise lines also include alcoholic beverages, complimentary WiFi & butler service in top suites, upscale stateroom amenities.  Most river companies also include shore excursions and free WiFi. 

What types of ships are available for charter?

Ships of every size and type are available for charter, including: mega-ships (3,000-5,4400 guests), large ships (1,600-2,000), mid-sized ships (600 – 1,599), small luxury ships (220-599), sailing ships & mega-yachts (64 – 312), river cruise vessels (80-198), and expedition ships (60-130).

What are the most frequent types of ship charter programs?

Private ship charters are used for all types of events, including:

  • Incentive cruises for sales people, distributors or franchisees
  • Recognition cruises for customers or employees
  • Annual conventions or sales meetings
  • Corporate meetings at sea for strategic planning
  • Conferences, congresses
  • Special interest/theme cruises/music festivals at sea
  • Corporate anniversary celebrations
  • New product launches, trade shows
  • Business networking, forums
  • Executive retreats
  • Consumer product sweepstakes or special promotions
  • Milestone celebrations
  • Worker accommodations or emergency housing
  • Dockside charters (supplemental housing for city-wide events)

What is a dockside charter?

When there is a shortage of sleeping rooms for a city-wide event in a port city, cruise ships can be used for additional housing. The chartered ship remains docked at the pier and is used as a “floating hotel” for the required number of nights. At Landry & Kling, we hold the record for managing more dockside charters than any other entity. See all of Landry & Kling’s dockside charters here.

How much lead time do I need for a charter?

The earlier the better! Most cruise lines finalize their itineraries about 18 months in advance to begin selling to the public. If you want to customize your itinerary or “carve out” a shorter number of nights instead of the longer published cruises, please contact us even earlier.

Occasionally, last minute charters become available– usually at a good price. Because these opportunities are close in and not published, cruise lines alert Landry & Kling so we can offer them to our clients. Give Landry & Kling a call or refer to our “Short Cruise Gems” page for new charter  and short cruise opportunities.

Can I customize my ship charter event?

Absolutely! Since you “own” the ship when you charter, you have freedom to customize nearly every aspect of the cruise experience: Daily activities, menus, entertainment, custom signage, even scheduling of the itinerary, ports of call and shore excursions can be customized to support your program objectives. We have many creative ideas to make your program unique and memorable – and know what can be negotiated at little or no charge.

How do I find the right ship to charter?

When considering a charter, the first step is to determine which ships are the best fit for your number of attendees/guests and your program requirements.

What destinations and dates would be most appealing? How many sleeping rooms do you need? What’s your budget? How much function space is needed? It’s a puzzle with many pieces, but Landry & Kling is the only call you need to make. We’ll quickly sort through the hundreds of possibilities and recommend the best ship options based on your requirements plus our charter project experience.

What ships has Landry & Kling chartered?

Landry & Kling has operated more ship charters than anyone else – many of them multiple times. See complete list of all cruise ships we’ve chartered since 1982.  See List.

Which are the cruise lines with whom Landry & Kling has chartered?

Your attorney will love us! In representing you, we bring deep knowledge of ship charter negotiations, alternative language solutions and pitfalls to avoid. We’ve arranged charters with Silversea, Royal Caribbean, Regent Seven Seas, Crystal, Windstar, SeaDream, Seabourn, Norwegian and many others. See list of Landry & Kling’s charters with dozens of cruise lines.  See List

What cruise charter destinations is Landry & Kling familiar with?

You benefit from the many prior ship charter programs we’ve created in the Mediterranean, Baltic, Alaska, Caribbean, Mexico, Asia, as well as river cruise charters throughout Europe and  SE Asia. See a list of Landry & Kling’s worldwide charter experience.  See List

What’s Landry & Kling’s experience with dockside ship charters?

Landry & Kling holds the record for managing more dockside charters than any other entity, including 5 ships for the Jacksonville Super Bowl 2005, World Cup Cricket in the Caribbean 2007, Summit of the Americas in Trinidad 2009, and RIO 2016 Olympics. See all of Landry & Kling’s dockside charter events.  See List

Can’t I book directly with a cruise line?

Each cruise line is well prepared to tell you about their own ships and services, and why they’re the only choice for you. But they won’t compare and contrast all the best cruise ship options or provide an impartial assessment of which ships are best suited to address all your requirements. 

Nor will they tell you about the less well known (but more exclusive) companies who may be your best choice. And you can’t count on them to negotiate competitively with several lines to achieve best charter rates and amenities on your behalf.

Unless you have the time to research the industry to identify relevant ships and lines, narrow your choices then call each cruise line for quotes; and unless you know the ins and outs of cruise negotiations and shipboard operations (which differ significantly from hotels), you’re at a disadvantage in trying to do it all yourself. Moreover, you open the door to unnecessary complications and challenges.

Why should I use Landry & Kling to source my ship charter?

Landry & Kling represents all the lines, but we work for you. Our goal is to save you time and money, reduce risk, and assure your success, not only in procuring your ship but also in planning how to make the most of all that’s possible with your cruise. That means we give you unbiased recommendations and the insider scoop about the differences among ships and – most important to you– the difference in services and what you can expect once you’re onboard. It’s part of our service to help you negotiate terms and get you the best deal in all areas of the negotiation – not just the price.

What services do you provide?

Our service includes impartial ship recommendations and expert contract negotiations based on decades of experience. You’ll have one of our Cruise Event Managers dedicated to your event, who will serve as your single point of contact for cruise arrangements and for every other aspect of your cruise as needed. Our menu of optional services includes planning day by day logistics, on-site staffing for program execution, customized website development and online registration, financial management and much more. For details, See Landry & Kling’s Ship Charter Services.

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