How Much Does A Luxury Yacht Captain Make Per Chaseason?

January 26, 2023

Being the captain of a luxury yacht can be a gratifying experience.

This job comes with flexes like being on the ocean, visiting new countries, rubbing elbows with the rich and famous, working aboard the most luxurious ships in the world, and earning fantastic pay.

It sounds more like a dream life than a job. Read on! 

This article spells out the role of a luxury yacht captain and how much you get to earn.

What does a luxury yacht captain do?

A Captain’s role is more than steering the yacht safely but everything and anything that happens aboard.

Yacht charter companies are always concerned with hiring the best captains for the maximum satisfaction of their clients. In return, these captains are well rewarded.

Here is a sneak peek into what a luxury yacht captain does;

  • Financial planning.
  • Crew hiring, management, evaluation, and discharge.
  • Overseeing the ship’s maintenance.
  • Adherence to all applicable international maritime laws.
  • Managing dockage fees and fuel expenditures.
  • Sometimes hosting and amusing visitors.

What you need to make a great captain

Successful luxury yacht captains are known for many skills and outstanding qualities. Some of these are:

  • Perfect navigation and yacht handling.
  • Top-notch management and leadership skills.
  • Cool-headed even when under pressure.
  • Good understanding of law and money.
  • Strong team players.
  • Communication enthusiast.

How much does a luxury yacht captain make

Being a luxury yacht captain is one of the most enticing jobs with a fat rewarding cheque. An old New York Times article showed that captains earned about $49,000 to $81,000. But in recent times, it has gone way above $187,000 annually.

The salary of a luxury yacht captain relies on the captain’s expertise, time of sail and the size of the yacht. 

Here is an estimate of luxury yacht captains’ pay according to the yacht size;

Yachts of 60 to 99 feet

Luxury yacht captains here make about $8,000. They range from $3,105 and $15,000 per month. They also get an extra $1,400 per month in tips.

Yachts of 100 to 139 feet

Luxury yacht captains for this length of yacht make an average of $10,110. It could get as high as $20,000 in some months. Captain’s gratuity of $1,640 could also come as a bonus.

Yacht of 140 to 179 feet

For luxury yachts of this size, captains earn about $5,750 to $24,500 each month. Tips like this could get as high as $3,000.

Yacht of 180 to 239 feet

The average monthly salary is $16,140 and could get way higher. The average monthly gratuity captains here get about $3,600 to $3,800.

Yacht of 240 and 279 feet

The average monthly salary for this size category is well over $24,500. You could also be lucky to make as much as $4,000 in gratuities.

Boats Over 280 Feet

For a luxury yacht this large, the pay is quite appealing. Captains could earn as much as $30,000, but tips could make up to $35,000 per month. Since there are fewer large vessels of this size, captains with extensive training and experience often hold these roles.


Captains don’t just get a good salary but are entitled to appealing benefits like:

  • Uniform 
  • Health insurance
  • Travel expenses
  • Access to the yacht and toys that come with it
  • Training and certification

Amongst others…


The salary of a luxury yacht captain reflects their responsibility and their years of personal and professional growth.

As the old saying goes, all good things come with a price!

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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