When it’s your first time on a yacht charter, it’s understandable to want to share the experience with your family and closest friends. Before you let the people joining you know about the trip, it’s important to know that crewed  yachts are limited to 12 guests.

In this guide, we explain the regulations and practical considerations behind this guest limit. We also highlight what you can do if you want to charter a yacht for more than 12 guests.

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Why are Yachts Limited to 12 Guests?

The 12-guest limit on a yacht charter is mainly due to licenses and regulatory compliance. Yachts charters that are used for commercial purposes must have a specific charter license. This license ensures that the yacht complies with all relevant maritime regulations and safety standards.

Regulatory Compliance

The Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention, an international maritime law, states that yachts carrying more than 12 passengers are classified as passenger ships. This classification requires a specific license for passenger ships, which requires compliance with stricter safety and structural standards.  Yachts that exceed the 12-guest limit without meeting the requirements set by SOLAS would be operating illegally, risking severe penalties.

More Reasons for the 12-Guest Limit on Yacht Charters

Alongside compliance, there are other reasons why yacht charters adhere to the 12-guest rule.

Safety Standards

Safety is a top priority in yacht chartering. Limiting the number of guests to 12 ensures that the crew can effectively manage and respond to any emergencies.

Safety Should Always be Priority on Yacht Charters

It is important to understand the various safety precautions associated with yachting

The design and equipment of most yachts are optimized for a maximum of 12 guests. This includes the availability of life jackets, lifeboats, and other essential safety gear. Exceeding this limit could risk the availability of these safety measures.

Maintaining this limit is also essential for both comfort and safety. The layout and design of yachts are intended to provide a comfortable and spacious environment for up to 12 guests. Overcrowding can lead to unsafe conditions, including difficulties in evacuation during emergencies.

Insurance and Liability

Insurance and liability considerations also play a significant role in the 12-guest limit. Insurance policies for yachts are often structured around this guest limitation. Carrying more than 12 guests can significantly increase insurance premiums, which will have an impact on the yacht chartering cost.

More guests mean a higher potential for accidents and injuries, increasing the yacht owner’s legal liability. By limiting the number of guests, yacht owners and charter companies can better manage these risks and ensure that they are providing a safe environment for all passengers.

Logistical Considerations

Yacht charters are designed to provide luxury and privacy. Exceeding the guest limit can put a strain on resources, such as sleeping arrangements, dining facilities, and recreational spaces. This can impact your overall experience on the yacht charter.

The crew-to-guest ratio is another important factor in delivering personalized service. A lower number of guests allows the crew to focus on individual needs, providing a tailored experience. When there are more than 12 guests on board, ensuring high standards of service and comfort can become challenging.

Can I Charter a Yacht for More Than 12 Guests?

While standard yacht charters are limited to 12 guests, there are options if you want to host larger groups. Some yachts are specifically designed and certified to carry more passengers.

It is possible to charter a yacht with more than 12 guests

However, options do become more limited

These yachts often feature enhanced safety measures, additional crew, and expanded facilities to accommodate more guests comfortably and legally. These options will come with higher chartering costs due to the additional compliance and operational expenses.

If you want to hire a yacht for more than 12 guests, discuss your needs with a yacht charter broker. They can provide options that comply with regulations while ensuring a luxurious and safe experience for all guests.

Large Group Yacht Charter With 212 Yachts

At 212 Yachts, we specialize in offering bespoke yacht charter experiences, including options for larger groups. Our fleet includes yachts certified to carry more than 12 guests, ensuring compliance with all safety and regulatory standards. Whether you are planning a corporate event, a family reunion, or a special celebration, we can accommodate your needs.


What is the maximum number of guests on a private yacht?

The maximum number of guests on a private yacht is typically 12. This limit is due to international maritime regulations and safety considerations. Some yachts are certified to carry more passengers, but they fall under different regulatory classifications.

Can you hire a yacht for an event with 100 guests or more?

Yes, you can hire a yacht for an event with 100 guests or more. These yachts are classified as passenger yachts and must meet specific safety and regulatory standards.

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