Boatloads of Fun

Yacht charters are at high tide, as billionaires rent their floating castles to millionaires

The world's élite voyagers have become accustomed to certain things: spacious rooms, personal chefs, parking for their helicopters. But traveling by boat used to mean sharing space with hundreds if not thousands of fellow passengers. No need for that. Mega-yacht charters now enable you to cruise the club scene in St.-Tropez, explore Alaska's fjords or simply enjoy a massage and a martini from the comfort of your own floating hotel.

Demand has never been greater. "The wealthy population is increasing faster than ever before," says Milton Pedrasa of the Luxury Institute, a ratings and research firm. "These people want vacations with...

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