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Articles The Little Things You Can Do To Make Your Yacht Charter More Sustainable

Modern travellers, attuned to the environmental footprint of their indulgences are now seeking ways to combine the luxury of yachting with a commitment to safeguarding the environment. Find out how you can do the same.

Mirroring a broader trend towards sustainable practices in the luxury travel sector, while the opulence of superyacht charters has traditionally been at odds with environmental conservation, a pivotal shift is underway.

As vacations become ever more elaborate and yachts grow to accommodate the requirements of the modern luxury traveller it is an undeniable truth yachts have an impact on the environment and the waters they occupy. Recognising this, the industry is evolving, propelled by both innovative yacht design and the growing environmental awareness of charter guests.

Shipyards are responding robustly, championing the use of eco-friendly materials like bio-based resins, ‘modified wood,’ and carbon-neutral FSC-certified timber in both new-builds and refits. Groundbreaking projects like the 43m SUNFREEF Eco Catamaran, a build we are proud to be heavily involved with, are going a step further with sustainability as the focus of the design brief. Integrating energy-efficient hull designs, regenerative propellers, hybrid propulsion, and solar power to set new benchmarks in sustainable yachting.

Yacht charter guests are also making simple adjustments to significantly reduce the environmental impact of their vacations. From opting for environmentally friendly diets to engaging in conservation efforts, a luxury yacht charter can offer a sumptuous experience that simultaneously respects and protects the marine environment. For those embarking on a superyacht charter this summer, below we present just a few small changes to help reduce your environmental impact.

1 Cut Out Single Use Plastic

Eliminating single-use plastic on board is a great first step. Ask your Charter Broker to prioritise yachts that have freshwater purification systems aboard and practise a no single-use plastic policy. Water purification systems not only alleviate the reliance on plastic bottles but also offer the convenience of both still and sparkling water directly from taps. Thus, refillable glass jugs and personal water bottles for both guests and crew, as well as bamboo or glass straws become the norm. These small changes can have a huge impact, potentially reducing plastic waste by approximately 500 bottles per yacht, per week.

refillable water jug

2 Opt For Reef-Safe Sunscreen And Toiletries

The chemicals in many sunscreens, shampoos, and lotions are notorious for harming marine ecosystems, especially coral reefs which form some of the most vital and worst affected habitats. The main offenders are chemicals like Oxybenzone, found in many sunscreens, which have been shown to pollute and damage coral reefs.

You can make a significant difference by specifying ‘reef-safe’ products on your yacht charter preference sheet. These products avoid such chemicals, while still protecting your skin from the sun. Brands like Summer Fridays, MDSolarSciences, and Thinksport offer these safer alternatives, and are a simple yet effective way to contribute to the preservation of marine ecosystems. By choosing these products, you ensure that your time on board and swimming in the ocean doesn’t come at the expense of the marine environment’s health.

3 Eat Green

Elevate your charter by embracing an “Eat Green” approach. Indulge in gourmet meals prepared by your onboard Michelin-trained chef, whose focus is on tailoring menus that not only delight your palate but also care for the planet. By requesting your chef sources ingredients locally and seasonally, your menu supports local farmers, reduces food miles, and ensures every dish is both fresh and environmentally considerate.

Imagine savouring freshly caught lobster, accompanied by herbs picked right from the yacht’s own garden. Yes, some of the more avant-garde yachts are even experimenting with outdoor gardens on their top decks, allowing chefs to harvest fresh herbs and spices at sea. This farm-to-table approach doesn’t just promise an extraordinary meal; it enhances the freshness and flavour of your food and is a testament to sustainable luxury.

chef preparing food

4 Consider Your Water Toys

Embracing sustainability doesn’t mean skimping on fun during your luxury yacht charter. Eco-friendly water toys can certainly offer thrilling experiences without harming the marine environment. A standout choice is the electric hydrofoil. These innovative boards are battery-powered, ensuring no emissions and minimal noise, they glide above the water’s surface, offering a high-adrenaline ride with virtually no environmental footprint.

Many of the most picturesque bays around the world are now protected areas meaning jet skis are prohibited due to the air, water, and noise pollution they cause. However, don’t overlook the timeless appeal of windsurfing, kayaking, or paddleboarding. These sports require no fuel and offer peaceful and intimate interaction with the water. Whether you’re catching a breeze or paddling through calm waters, these activities not only keep your charter eco-friendly but also keep you fit and connect you more deeply with the ocean.

paddle boarding


Transform your luxury yacht charter into a powerful tool for good by engaging in carbon offset initiatives and contributing to global environmental programs. In partnership with ClimatePartner since 2018, at Ocean Independence we are passionate about offering clients not only exceptional experiences but also the opportunity to contribute to impactful environmental work.

When you book your charter, consider the option to offset the carbon emissions generated by your charter by simply checking a box. With Ocean Independence, this process is streamlined—your broker will guide you through the simple steps, handling all the necessary backend administration. The cost to offset your emissions depends on factors such as the length of your charter and the yacht’s fuel consumption, generally ranging from €2,000 to €8,000 for a typical week-long trip.

This cost not only contributes to the carbon offset program, but also supports various global initiatives, such as:

  • Clean Oceans, Plastic Bank: Every tonne of CO2 offset results in 10 kg of plastic collected from oceans, equivalent to about 500 plastic bottles.
  • Hydropower, Virunga, DR Congo: Utilises the currents of the Rutshuru River to provide clean electricity to over 5,000 households, enhancing local living conditions while protecting the environment.
  • Social Impact, Nationwide, India: Supports initiatives like chlorine-based water treatments that reduce the need for boiling water with firewood, saving 10,000 tonnes of CO2 annually, and providing microcredits for households to acquire eco-friendly stoves and solar lights, reducing CO2 emissions by 100,000 tonnes annually.

By choosing to offset your yacht charter’s carbon footprint, you contribute to significant environmental and social improvements worldwide. This proactive approach not only aids in combating climate change but also enriches your yachting experience, leaving you with a profound sense of fulfilment.

Read more about ClimatePartner

By embracing these sustainable practices, you're not just indulging in the luxury of a yacht charter; you're actively participating in preserving the stunning marine environments that make these experiences so unforgettable. Each choice, from opting for reef-safe products to offsetting carbon emissions, plays a crucial role in safeguarding our oceans for future generations.

Yacht charter VAT

Ready To Set Sail On A Greener Charter?

Contact your Ocean Independence Charter Broker today to curate an superyacht charter that aligns with your luxurious yet responsible travel aspirations. Together, we can turn the tide towards sustainability.

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Need help or advice?

The yachting journey can be complex with many decisions to be made. Get in touch with Ocean Independence, and one of our specialist consultants will help you make the right choices.

As a truly global company with 14 offices worldwide, we’re available 24/7 to help with any enquiries.

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