If you're a fan of Below Deck or its counterpart, Below Deck Mediterranean, you know that the clear ocean water, the cliff sights, and the on-demand food from an expert chef are enviable luxuries.
What's not a luxury? Having crew members scrutinize everything about the guests' antics, idiosyncrasies, and preference sheets on national television. We're breaking down exactly what a Below Deck charter costs, and what the show offers guests as an incentive to air their lives on TV.
How much does a Below Deck charter cost?
When you charter a boat from Below Deck, you can expect one that is 150 to 160 feet in length that features multiple decks and luxury guest quarters.
The service staff does turn-down service, unpacks suitcases, and waits on guests for any food or drink requests that they may have. The deck crew sets up any water toys — from slides to jet skis to rides to shore on the tender. Guests can request off-boat excursions as well, that the crew plans and executes.
The yacht featured on the shows are usually worth around $15 to $20 million, with Below Deck Mediterranean's Sirocco ringing in at over a whopping $18.5 million. According to a yacht site, My Seanna, which was featured on Below Deck Mediterranean's sixth season, had the most expensive weekly rental cost starting at $300,000. The boat was also the longest one in the show's history at nearly 180 feet. Many of the boats featured on the show are given new names by production.
If you're interested in chartering one of these mega yachts, expect to have at least $140,000 on hand for the weeklong venture. Ohana from Below Deck Season 2 — which is actually named Rhino — is the least expensive yacht on the list and can hold up to 10 guests.
The smaller size of the boat may have contributed to the lower price, but it has been renovated since the show aired. It's important to remember that these costs do not include the tip, which tends to be anywhere from $15,000 (if service was awful) to $30,000.
The guests get a huge deal on the charter cost.
With the huge cost of chartering a Below Deck boat, it's fair to assume that guests would be getting a significant deal in order to allow cameras to film what is supposed to be a vacation.
Producer and creator Mark Cronin confirmed that guests get a 50 percent discount on the three-day charters, and their airfare is covered by production. The guests are responsible for paying the tips, however, which are supposed to be 15 to 20 percent of the total real cost of the charter.
The staff of the boat also makes money from production for being on the show. It's some consolation if the tip doesn't quite measure up.
If you watch the show, then you know that these coveted tips often cause a significant amount of the show's drama. Most guests on the show give a speech before leaving the boat about the successes and failures of the staff before handing the tip in. Mark also said that every charter is included on the season, even if the guests are boring. So there's no hope that being tame will get you a discounted charter and no air time.
The moral of the story is that if you ever want the chance to have chief stew Hannah bring you an omelet in the morning, it's going to cost you quite the pretty penny. Below Deck Mediterranean airs on Monday nights at 9 p.m. on Bravo.
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