Long Distance Cruising with Peace of Mind

If the prospect of a long ocean passage causes apprehension and in some cases pure dread, cruising further afield can still be achieved – by relinquishing your yacht to a transport company. There may even be a time when due to illness, pandemic, or just pure timing, transporting a yacht is the best and only way to cross an ocean. This article explores the options for yacht shipping.

Published 2 months ago, updated 1 month ago

There is something special about being able to set sail and leave the stresses of everyday life behind, to feel the wind in your hair and the salt on your skin as you explore new cruising grounds.

Your yacht is not just a mode of transport, but a companion, a home-away-from-home (and for many the only home) that is always there for you. The thought of exploring the world with your yacht is a truly exhilarating prospect, yet for many, the prospect of a necessary long ocean passage causes apprehension and in some cases pure dread.

Exploring further, however, can still be achieved – by relinquishing your yacht to a transport company who do the hard work for you, whether it be a delivery skipper and crew, land transport, or yacht transport (on a ship). This type of delivery is not for everyone and a great many boat owners relish the challenge of crossing oceans and the type of cruising that comes with it, but even they may have a time when due to illness, pandemic, or just pure timing, transporting their yacht is the best and only option.

Making that decision to hand over your treasured possession and for many, a closest friend is not one to take lightly and owners considering yacht transport as an option should undertake careful research and ask lots of questions.

In this article, we look in a bit more detail at the option of yacht shipping.



In short, yacht transport companies now operate worldwide. One of the most popular destinations in yacht transport is to and from the Caribbean (linking with the Mediterranean and Northern Europe).

With its turquoise waters, white sandy beaches, laid-back atmosphere, and steady breezes, it’s no surprise that it’s a favourite among yacht enthusiasts. The Caribbean offers a range of different areas, from the vibrant nightlife of St. Martin to the secluded coves of the British Virgin Islands, St. Lucia, and Antigua.

Also, the Pacific is a vast and diverse cruising area, offering everything from the tropical islands of Polynesia to the rugged coastlines of Alaska, with popular destinations such as Tahiti, Fiji and Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

Continue sailing westwards to Southeast Asia, a cruising area with a large variety of seascapes, cultures and an abundance of endemic biodiversity. Last, but not least, the Mediterranean offers a mix of culture, history, and stunning beaches, with popular cruising destinations such as the French Riviera, the Amalfi Coast, and the Greek and Turkish Islands.


While there is a certain amount of preparation required in order to leave your yacht in the hands of a transport company, one of the main advantages of yacht transport is that it eliminates the need for provisioning for a long passage, passage planning and searching for compatible extra crew.

Instead, owners can simply fly to their destination while their yacht is being transported, which saves time, reduces the risk of equipment failure or damage and also gives the opportunity to do some land travel. In addition, yacht transport provides a safer and more secure means of transporting your yacht, as the cargo vessel is equipped with the latest technology and experienced crew to ensure that your yacht arrives in the same condition as you left it.

However, despite these benefits, many yacht owners are still hesitant to transport their vessels and are worried about the safety of their yachts.

Navigating the fears 

One of the biggest fears associated with yacht transport is the potential for damage to the yacht during transport. This is a valid concern, as transporting a yacht involves lifting it out of the water, securing it onto the deck of a ship and then transporting it over long distances.

However, a qualified deck crew will have lifted and secured thousands of yachts and have a proper system in place to prevent any damage. Horror stories that circulate are not necessarily representative of the industry as a whole and the reality is that these instances are rare.

It’s true that a yacht can be quite dirty after transport. It could likely have some spots of grease from the taps, soot from the smoke stack, salt from the spray and on voyages through the Suez Canal, a layer of superfine red desert sand. Reputable yacht transport companies use qualified crews and take great care to ensure that the yachts are transported safely, and securely and are well looked after.

Another common fear is the lack of a set agenda and the potential for delays. Yacht transport can take longer than expected due to weather conditions or other unforeseen circumstances and this can create frustration and anxiety for the owner who has set plans and schedules.

To avoid delays, choose a reputable yacht transport company that has a good track record of on-time deliveries. Also, a reliable company will send you regular vessel updates so you can follow the progress of the vessel. Another option giving you more flexibility is to choose a skippered delivery service by an experienced skipper who takes your yacht to the freighter for loading or from the freighter for discharge.

Others may be hesitant due to cost concerns, but the reality is that transporting a yacht is not as expensive as one may think. It can often be a more cost-effective option when compared to the expenses associated with preparing a boat for a long-offshore passage and the time it takes to actually do that passage (provisioning, extra safety gear, improved communications, taking on additional crew, flight costs, potential gear breakages, marina, and clearance fees, etc.).

How much does it cost?

The cost of yacht transport can vary depending on the size of the yacht, the distance to be covered, and other factors such as the type of transport used (e.g., roll-on/roll-off, lift-on/lift-off). As a rough estimate, transporting a 45ft monohull across the Atlantic can cost between $40,000 and $45,000 and a 40ft catamaran approximately the same.

Transporting a yacht through the Red Sea will likely add additional costs, such as insurance and permits, but these can vary widely depending on the specific route and conditions.

To reduce the cost, you can choose to transport your yacht during the off-season when rates are typically lower on some routes. Or the transport company organizes seasonal sailings and collects sufficient cargo for sailings so that they can spread the overhead over more customers and keep costs reasonable.

Most reputable yacht transport companies will provide a detailed quote upfront that includes all costs associated with the transport, leaving no room for unexpected additional costs. This allows you to budget accordingly and avoid any surprises along the way.

Choosing a reputable yacht transport company

As a cruiser, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the transportation process when you want to transport your yacht. One key factor to consider is safety and reliability.

Choose a transport company that uses secure loading and unloading procedures. Make sure the shipping company you choose offers proper marine cargo insurance and ask the transport company about their security measures during transit.

Find an operation that uses company-owned vessels and manages all operational aspects of the yacht transport in-house. This means the yacht transport company can maintain complete control over the entire transportation process and ensure that your yacht is in good hands from start to finish, plus provide consistent communication re. timings and schedules to the yacht owner.

Choosing a reputable and experienced yacht transport company is crucial in ensuring a safe and smooth transport process. Not all yacht transport companies provide the same level of service.

Years of experience, a solid operational infrastructure, a knowledgeable team, and a financially stable company are crucial to keeping performing over time in this ever-changing yacht shipping market.

That is why you always need to do good research and compare shipping solutions. Follow a checklist and a logical order for decision-making and just ask Google for references.

When it comes to transporting your yacht, you want a company you can count on. A company that ensures the utmost care and attention to detail and the lowest insurance rates too. By working with a reputable yacht transport company, yacht owners can enjoy the benefits of yacht ownership in new locations, without the stress and hassle of long-distance passages.

In the next yacht transport article we will be looking in more detail at how to prepare your boat for yacht transport, the logistics involved and the exact steps taken to deliver your boat for loading and unloading.

About the Author:

Sevenstar Yacht Transport offers full logistics and yacht transport services for yacht owners looking to discover new destinations around the world. With over 30 years of experience, it arranges the transport of around 2,000 yachts annually, from large superyachts to mid-size reliable cruisers to small racing machines.

It has an experienced team dedicated to providing high-quality services to clients, with worldwide offices and an in-house team of operations, engineers, and loadmasters. With access to over 120 company-owned vessels, Sevenstar has the resources and expertise to handle any yachting transport needs.

Its heavy lift and project cargo ships are suitable for yacht transport overseas, providing access to the world’s premier ports and cruising grounds. It offers the highest standard of equipment with custom-made cradles (Lloyds certified) and lashing systems to ensure safety during loading, transit, and unloading.

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