FAQ

Sections:
General and Booking
Yacht Questions
Charter Questions
Cuba

General and Booking
HOW DO I RESERVE A YACHT?
On our website, you can fill out a QUICK QUOTE and submit it directly to our office or you may call our reservations line at 888.542.2667 x 1.

WHERE DO I FIND RATES?
As our rates change because of seasons and events, our reservationist, Pam Burns, will have the most up to date rates on our yachts. Contact her at 888.542.2667 x 1 or [email protected]

WHERE DO I GET A TOTAL PACKAGE PRICE?
Depending on the event, by-the-cabin or simple bareboat charter, please contact our reservations department for complete details.

HOW MUCH DEPOSIT IS REQURIED?
The deposit is 50% of the total charter.

WHEN IS FINAL PAYMENT DUE?
We request final payment 45 days before the commencement of the charter.

DO I PAY FOR DAMAGE INSURANCE?
For hosted yacht vacations, this is included in your yacht fee.  For those who bareboat, damage waiver is $50 per day and is mandatory.

WHAT IS YOUR CANCELLATION POLICY?
Written notice of cancellation is required, and: If written notice of cancellation is received equal to or more than forty-five (45) days prior to the commencement date of your charter, there is a cancellation fee of $1,000.00 or 20% of bareboat charter fee, whichever is greater. This means the charter fee will be refunded, less the cancellation fee; If written notice of cancellation is received less than forty-five (45) days prior to the commencement date of your charter, the entire charter fee is lost.

DO YOU OFFER TRIP CANCELLATION INSURANCE?
Yes, we offer OPTIONAL trip cancellation insurance to protect your trip investment at a cost of 5% of your base charter rate. The trip cancellation insurance covers the following:
If a charter is cancelled more than 90 days prior to the charter, full refund will be issued less a $100 cancellation fee OR the charter may be rescheduled and postponed for up to one year from the original dates for no change fee.
If the charter is cancelled between 90 days and 45 days of the scheduled charter, refund will be issued less a $500 cancellation fee OR the charter may be rescheduled and postponed for up to one year from the original dates for a $250 change fee.
If the charter is cancelled less than 45 prior to the charter dates, the penalty is 50% of the charter, OR the charter may be rescheduled and postponed for up to one year from the original dates for a $500 change fee.

WHAT TIME DO CHARTERS START AND END?
Our 24 hour clock begins and NOON.

CAN I BAREBOAT FOR A DAY SAIL?
There is a three day minimum to bareboat. Day Sails are captained only.

CAN I BOOK A ONE-WAY TRIP?
Yes, a fee of $1500 is charged for sailboats. The fee for power boats depends on the vessel and fuel.

DO YOU ALLOW PETS?
For hosted yacht vacations, there is a strict policy of no pets on board.  For bareboat charter, It depends on the yacht you choose.  It also depends on the size and breed of the dog. There is a pet deposit of $500.

WHEN IS FINAL PAYMENT AND PAPERWORK DUE?
45 days before the commencement of the charter

IS THERE SALES TAX?
Sales tax in Key West is 7.5%
Sales tax in Miami is 7%
Sales tax in the Bahamas is 4%

IS THERE A SECURITY DEPOSIT?
For bareboat charters, the security deposit is either $2000 or $4000 depending on how many engines your charter yacht has. This amount is totally refundable if no damage occurs.

WHICH BOAT IN THE CHARTER FLEET SHOULD I BOOK?
It comes down to personal preference and comfort. While monohulls can provide a more traditional sailing experience, our catamarans can be more roomy and comfortable for families, please consult our reservations department for help.

WAHT ARE THE QUALIFICATIONS FOR BAREBOAT CHARTERING?
To qualify for bareboat chartering you simply need to have experience skippering a similarly operated (sail or power) yacht that is within 8-10 feet of the yacht you wish to charter. With experience, a certification or license is not required in most locations. You will need experience with various skills: anchoring, moorings, docking, navigating, and so on. We will provide you with a sailing resume to complete.  If you’ve never chartered with us before, one of our staff will conduct a thorough checkout with the skipper that includes a test sail.

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER I BOOK A CHARTER?
Once your deposit has been received, then your charter vessel will be blocked for use during the dates you have selected.

WHEN DO I RECEIVE INFORMATION ABOUT MY TRIP?
Depending on whether you have booked a vessel to Cuba or are a part of a rally, you will receive information such as itinerary and activities about 4 weeks from departure date.

Yacht Questions

IS A DINGHY OR LIFE RAFT INCLUDED?
YES. On all HYV vessels chartering in the Florida Keys a dinghy is included.  All charters to Cuba include a life raft.

WHERE DOES THE CAPTAIN SLEEP?
Depending on the charterer and the specific project, the sleeping arrangements for the captain will be arranged ahead of time between the captain and the charterer. In many cases, the captain can sleep in a forepeak, salon cushions or even lodging in Cuba.

WHAT ARE THE FEATURES ON EACH BOAT?
For complete and updated features on our vessels, go to our website and visit the section under Our Yachts. There you will find full specifications on each yacht.

Charter Questions

WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR BOOKING A HOSTED VACATION WEEK OR BAREBOAT?
Once you have looked over the information, give our office a call at (888) 542-2667 and we can answer any questions you may have in person. Once you are ready to book either a hosted week or bareboat, we will check availability immediately on the phone and then reserve your spot with a deposit. Once your spot is reserved, you will be sent all the forms needed to complete your reservation electronically. Your project manager will walk you through everything needed to complete your reservation.

CAN WE HAVE INPUT TO WHERE WE MAY WANT TO SAIL OR WHAT WE WANT TO DO?
Absolutely! There are common itineraries that hosted vacations take. These are designed to maximize seeing the most with the amount of time you have. However, there may be specific places that you would like to go, see and experience and your captain will do everything he can to accommodate, given the input of the other guests.

OK SO I’M REGISTERED AND DEPOSIT PAID…NOW WHAT?
Our project manager will be communicating with you regularly from the time you register until you take off for your Harmony Yacht Vacation. Weeks before you leave, she will be able to answer such questions as, getting from the airport to the yacht, island customs, what to pack, how much money to bring, basically everything you will need to know before you go!

WHAT DO I PACK TO GO ON A YACHT FOR THE WEEK?
As little as possible! Being on a yacht means being laid back. About 4 weeks from departure, you will receive an electronic package from our office detailing all recommended items for packing based on your specific yacht itinerary.

CAN I LEARN TO SAIL DURING THE TRIP?
Yes, actually we encourage it. Why not take advantage of the experience of your captain and receive some one-on-one tips for what it takes to captain a yacht…AND take the helm!  We also have certified instructors that can teach you to sail while you earn your own certifications through the American Sailing Association.

I WOULD LIKE TO DO SOME SCUBA DIVING, CAN YOU HELP WITH THIS?
For those who are PADI certified, we work with local scuba providers to develop a Scuba diving schedule for you. In most situations, you would be picked up from the Yacht while we are moored or anchored in the AM and brought back to the boat by lunch or early afternoon somewhere within our itinerary.  NOTE:
Scuba is at an extra cost of the client.

WHAT IS THE REFUELING PROCESS?
For those who are on Hosted yacht Vacations, fuel is included.  Those who bareboat, you must refuel the boat and provide receipt of doing so.

IS A FISHING LICENSE REQUIRED?
For FL:  If you plan to fish, it is required. A non-resident license for 3 days is $17, and for 5 days it is $30. It can be done online at the following website: http://myfwc.com/license/recreational/saltwater-fishing/.  For other yacht vacations, please contact our office for more details.

CAN YOU PROVIDE KAYAKS, SCUBA, SNORKELING AND/OR FISHING GEAR?
For hosted yacht vacations, our project manager will coordinate with the clients a number of these items as part of the hosting fee.  For bareboat charters, we do not provide them but we can arrange for you to rent them and have them on the boat when you arrive.

HOW LONG IS THE CHECK-OUT PROCESS THE FIRST DAY OF MY CHARTER?
The check-in process is very detailed and covers every system of the vessel. Depending on the experience of the person as Captain, the check-in process can take 1-2 hours and will include a test sail.

WHICH AIRPORT SHOULD WE FLY INTO AND HOW FAR IS IT FROM YOUR BASE?
The Key West International Airport is 5 miles from our base at Stock Island Marina Village.  You can also fly into Miami or Fort Lauderdale International Airport, which can be cheaper than flying into Key West.  Both of these offer shuttle transportation to Key West for a nominal cost.

WHEN DOES THE CAPTAIN ARRIVE AT THE BASE?
In most cases, the captain of your vessels will be on the boat 6 hours before the first guest arrive making sure everything is ready for your arrival.

WHAT ARE YOUR OFFICE HOURS?
9-5pm EST – Monday-Friday. However, during your charter there will always be someone on call.











CAN WE SLEEP OVERNIGHT ON THE BOAT AT THE MARINA? COST?
YES. Each vessel can be overnight both prior to the charter and afterwards, depending on the schedule of that specific vessel. Extra costs will apply.

WHAT ARE OUR OPTIONS FOR PROVISIONING?
Many clients like to come in the day before or early the day of their charter to provision on their own. Other options could include our provisioning concierge service that can take your list and have your provisions on the vessel when you arrive. Extra costs will apply.  There is also a local grocery that provides online provisioning, which they will deliver to the boat.

Cuba

IS THERE SHORE POWER IN CUBA?
YES. There are available both 30amp and 50amp tradition sockets for vessel hookup in most Cuban marinas.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO SAIL TO CUBA?
If you are sailing, it of course depends on the boat, weather, wind and current conditions at time of departure. The sailing journey can last anywhere from 10-17 hours.  Plan on your return being shorter by an hour or two due to push from the Gulf Stream.

WHO OPERATES THE VESSEL OVERNIGHT?
The hired captain or approved charter skipper must be responsible for the vessel at all times. However, if the conditions warrant, our captains will gladly give you the helm for a duration.

SHOULD I SAIL TO THE DRY TORTUGAS FIRST?
In some circumstances, you may wish to sail West towards the Dry Tortugas before you make your turn Port towards Cuba. This maneuver helps through the Straits of Florida passage to Cuba because of the Gulf Stream.  You should consider allowing extra days for visiting the fort if you choose this route.

CAN WE SPEND US DOLLARS IN CUBA? CAN I USE MY ATM CARD TO WITHDRAW MONEY IN CUBA
No. You must exchange your US Dollars in Cuba with CUC (Cuban Convertible Pesos). The official exchange rate is 13%.  Any cards drawing from a US bank cannot be used to charge expenses or withdraw money in Cuba.

CAN I CRUISE IN CUBAN WATERS? GO OUT FOR A DAY SAIL?
Yes you can; you must enter a port of entry like Marina Hemingway immediately upon entering Cuban waters. To go out for day sails once docked will require a brief stop and check at the customs dock both going and coming.

WHAT'S INCLUDED IN THE CUBA SUPPLEMENT?
The legal process for both US citizens entering Cuba and US flagged vessels entering Cuban waters, can be overwhelming and making sure it is done right is of utmost importance. As part of the Cuba suppliment, HYV handles all the legal and maritime issues related to those who book our vessels for passage to Cuba as well as fulfilling insurance submissions and requirements for the boat to be insured while in Cuba. In addition, complete Cuba dockage and connections to HYV staff and guides in Cuba are provided.

WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS FOR TOURS/ACTIVITIES AND HOW MUCH DO THEY COST?
As a qualifier for US citizen entry into Cuba, you will be provided oppurtunies for People-to-People contact on the ground.  We will help connect you with guides who will help plan excursions for you in and around Cuba. Costs will vary depending upon activity.

WHAT PAPERWORK HAS TO BE SUBMITTED TO SAIL TO CUBA?
Depending on the type of trip or event, there are numerous items to be submitted. Once you have paid your deposit, our office will determine those items and a schedule in which to complete the necessary process.

DO I HAVE TO HAVE A PASSPORT AND VISA TO VISIT CUBA?
Yes. Your passport must be valid through the date of your return to the US. Once you arrive in Cuba, you will go through Cuban customs and pay for your Cuban entry visa.  We recommend that passports be renewed at a minimum of 3 months prior to expiration.

DO WE HAVE TO HIRE A CAPTAIN TO SAIL TO CUBA?
No; but your skipper has to have a sailing resume showing plenty of offshore experience. We can provide you with a list of trusted captains who are familiar with our boats if you do not have the proper experience or simply want a captain familiar with the trip to accompany you.

CAN I SAIL TO CUBA IN LESS THAN 7 DAYS? SUGGESTED TIME TO VISIT CUBA?
Because of conditions such as weather and sail time to/from Cuba, we strongly suggest a minimum of 7-day charters for vessels going to Cuba.