What To Know When Booking the Best Private Yacht in the Charleston Harbor
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost?
Our sailing experiences suit various budgets, depending on your schedule and your party size, starting as low as $499 for a daytime sail and between $525-$535 for our sunsets sails, depending on whether it’s a weekday or weekend. These prices are for our standard 2.5-hour sails, but we also offer customizable sails from 3-hour to full-day (8-hour) sails. See our pricing page for more details.
Will I be sharing the boat with other people?
Never! Your experience aboard with Blue Life Charters is always private and exclusive to just you and your lucky guests. We don’t offer “per person” individual bookings to fill our boat. The boat is yours and yours alone!
Where do I meet the boat to get on board?
You will board the boat at the Harbourage Ashley Marina in downtown Charleston, SC (33 Lockwood Dr). See easy directions on our contact page. We provide an email confirmation with all necessary details at your booking - as well as an email the day before with important information about your charter.
Please arrive 10 minutes before your scheduled charter time for a mandatory boat safety briefing. This briefing will not cut into your charter time if you arrive early. The captain will greet you at the dock entrance to show you to the boat.
Where should we park?
The Harborage at Ashley Marina does not allow charter guests to park in their parking lot. Doing so may result in a ticket or towing.
Below are a few options to consider:
- Take an Uber or Taxi to The Harborage at Ashley Marina (33 Lockwood Drive, Charleston, SC). Please inform your Uber driver that they should take you to The Harborage at Ashley Marina, not Safe Harbor Charleston City Marina. The Harborage at Ashley Marina is immediately after The Hilton Garden Inn on Lockwood Drive.
- Park at Safe Harbor Charleston City Marina (17 Lockwood Dr., Charleston, SC), which has paid parking available. Take the concrete sidewalk left and walk five to seven minutes to The Ashley Marina (33 Lockwood Drive Charleston, SC). The sidewalk is right along Lockwood Drive, and you will walk under a few overpasses.
Should I tip the Captain and Crew?
That’s very kind of you to ask! A gratuity (or tip) for excellent service is common in the tour business - and, moreover, greatly appreciated by our hard-working crew. If our Captain and crew have delighted you with an exceptional experience, they will be grateful and thank you for recognizing it with a tip/gratuity! We accept tips in any form that is easiest for you, including cash, credit card, Venmo, or even PayPal.
What should we expect on our sailboat tour?
We ask our guests to arrive 10 minutes before the charter time so that we can give a mandatory safety and boat briefing before leaving the docks. Once the briefing is done, the adventure begins!
First, we leave the docks of the Ashley Marina and make our way into the Charleston Harbor. As we go, we pass by some of Charleston's infamous landmarks like the Charleston Battery, Waterfront Park, and the historical Castle Pinckney. Then we’ll turn around near the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge or Fort Sumter, where the Civil War began.
We understand if you want more than three hours on the Llibertat! Please call (843) 743-4915 instead of booking online to book a longer tour. We may be able to extend your tour time based on availability.
Is there a bathroom I can use on the boat?
Absolutely! A full bathroom (on a boat, it is called a “head”) is available, and you are welcome to use it. Unlike some other charters, we appreciate that when you have to go, you have to go :) and we don’t want you to be uncomfortable at any point during your journey. Ours is kept well maintained and cleaned regularly between charters.
What is the cancellation policy?
Guests may cancel up to 14 days before the tour date to receive a 100% refund. Cancellations made fewer than 14 days before the tour date will receive less of a refund the closer we get to the date of the charter. Operator cancellation (due to severe inclement weather or mechanical issues) will be rebooked/rescheduled at no additional charge. If unable to reschedule, a full refund will be offered. Read our detailed cancellation policy here, as the Operator - not the guest - will make the judgment on inclement weather cancellations.
What if the weather is bad or rainy during the day/night of my sail?
Please assume that your charter will continue as scheduled unless you hear directly from us. However, if there is a chance of thunderstorms, lightning, or excessive wind, the captain will proactively reach out to you as far in advance as the forecast allows to discuss options.
What if I am late for my tour?
Guests are requested to arrive 10 minutes early for their tour to ensure an on-time departure. However, the boat will not leave the docks unless the guests are onboard. Any amount of time you are late will reduce your booked time. For example, if you book a 2.5-hour sail and are 30 minutes late, we can only make the duration of the voyage 2 hours. This policy is created with respect to keeping other tours on time for guests who have voyages later in the day. Please keep in touch with your Captain if you are running late.
Is sailing safe? Do I need to wear a life jacket?
Leisure sailing is a very safe activity, happily enjoyed by thousands of people around the world! With a basic level of common sense, you can relax and completely enjoy your time on the boat, even sitting up on the bow, which we encourage! Our vessel is a very safe and secure, modern sailboat with all the conveniences of the latest technology and is fully equipped with all US Coast Guard safety equipment. Moreover, our Captain is highly experienced, with a USCG Master license and thousands of hours of sailing in various parts of the world. Your sailing experience will begin with a brief but important safety review on basic and essential precautions. Lifejackets are available/provided for all guests - but they are REQUIRED by South Carolina state law for children age 12 and under.
Can I play my own music?
Nothing goes better than pairing your favorite music with a relaxing sailing voyage. Llibertat is equipped with a great sound system, and you can Bluetooth easily for your favorite tunes while onboard.
Can I smoke on the boat?
We invite you to have a smoke before coming aboard the boat, as smoking of any kind is NOT permitted on board. Additionally, Blue Life Charters has a zero-tolerance policy for drugs of any kind. This includes usage by those in possession of a medical marijuana card, which will still not permit drug use aboard. The US Coast Guard does not recognize any flexibility to this rule, regardless of state law. We will immediately return to the dock and conclude the sail if drugs are discovered aboard - with no refund for time not used.
Can I bring my dog aboard?
We love dogs (and cats!), but no guest pets of any kind are permitted on board the boat. If you are missing your fur baby, you may request that Popsicle (the boat owner's dog) joins your charter, and if he is available, he will be able to come aboard to say hello.
Can children come sailing?
Absolutely: We invite all ages on board to experience the fun of sailing. Bring the kids on board and take a fun photo of them while they enjoy “steering” the boat! Children will thrill by the experience of sailing! We love children and welcome them warmly. However, in the case of very small children, it is, of course, essential that parents/guardians monitor them at all times, in particular, moving about the boat. Lifejackets are required for children age 12 and under by state law.
Can I take photos while underway sailing?
You will be sailing past some of the most epic and iconic sights in Charleston- OF COURSE, you can take as many photos as you wish! There will be plenty of Instagram-worthy moments as we sail past such iconic sights as the Battery, Ravenel Bridge, the downtown peninsula, and more.
Why is there a maximum of six passengers permitted?
The US Coast Guard prohibits passenger boats of our size from carrying more than six guest passengers (in addition to the Crew) at any time. This applies to most private boat charters in Charleston Harbor. There are larger boats available (per ticket, by person), taking hundreds of guests, but you lose the intimacy and exclusivity of having your own private tour and will often encounter the crowded experience - from which we want to take you away during our relaxing sailing excursions. So treat yourself and up to five more family and friends to this iconic experience!
What kind of food can I bring on the boat?
You are welcome to bring whatever snacks and beverages (alcoholic or nonalcoholic) as you wish. We encourage you to think “picnic-style” for your food choices - finger foods and snacks that can be easily eaten on a moving boat. Large tinfoil food trays take up precious space and won’t stay in place as the boat moves. Simple foods are best. We also have the option of catering. Learn more about our catering (here -link to catering-). We provide a refrigerator, drinkware, plate ware, and wine/bottle openers for your use. We also provide a complimentary selection of bottled water and sodas for every charter.
Can I bring alcohol onboard?
You are welcome to bring any additional snacks and beverages (alcoholic or nonalcoholic) as you wish. Please no glass beer bottles due to the high risks of breaking and hurting yourself on a moving vessel! We provide a refrigerator, drinkware, and wine/bottle openers for your use. Please note that the Captain will request ID from guests as needed - no drinking is permitted by anyone under age 21.
Will I get seasick?
Feeling seasick during a short charter around Charleston Harbor is rare for our guests. However, the Harbor is sometimes quite active with other boats, so it will not be “smooth as glass” always. You can expect to feel movement. If you are prone to motion sickness, we recommend Dramamine, or a similar type of medication, available at drug stores all over the city. Or you may wish to purchase the “Sea Band” online. It is important to take the medication in advance of boarding - meaning BEFORE you get to the tour. These medications do not work if you take them “in the moment,” after you begin to feel sick.
Should I wear any special clothes for sailing?
No special clothes are required for sailing - though for shoes we ask that they are white soled or rubber-soled. If not, we will ask you to remove your shoes upon boarding and wear just socks or go barefoot (boats are always more fun barefoot anyways)! High heels or other types of shoes can cause damage to the boat. Also, depending on the weather, we, of course, encourage appropriate jackets or sweaters/sweatshirts. We provide cozy blankets for use onboard, should it be chilly.
Can I help sail the boat?
We are happy to teach some of the basics of sailing during your tour - and of course, give you a turn at the wheel! Upon request (certainly never an obligation!), you can also participate in operating the sails, adjusting lines (ropes), or helping with fenders/dock lines upon departure and arrival. All of our USCG Captains are also happy to teach you a little about sailing if you want, so feel free to use the experience to learn some new skills. We welcome you to be involved as much or as little as you wish!
Can I swim in the water from the boat?
Charleston Harbor has very strong tidal currents meaning if you’re not a strong swimmer, you can easily be swept away from the boat. This means that on most occasions, it is too risky to allow guests to jump in the water and swim. If you are very interested in swimming, we suggest booking a customizable (longer duration) charter. This will allow us optimal time to find a fun and safe place to anchor and spend time swimming with no risks for our guests. We can even bring out the water toys to play with!
Will I have fun sailing?
Without a doubt, you will have an epic experience on the boat! Sailing is an energizing yet serene activity, and we predict that once you try it for the first time, you will want to experience it again and again! So, YES, absolutely, you will have fun sailing - and generally, you will be thrilled to absorb the sights, sounds, and action around you in the Charleston Harbor. It will provide you with the memories of your trip to Charleston that will last a lifetime.
I loved my experience! Can I give the gift of sailing with Blue Life Charters to someone else?
Yes! We agree - a sailing experience is the perfect gift! Consider it for that newlywed couple, top performing team at work, or as a special surprise to help someone celebrate a milestone occasion, such as an anniversary or birthday. You can tailor the gift to any amount or purchase an experience from our menu of options. See our pricing page for selection and purchase.
Have More Questions? Just Reach Out!