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Want to live like a billionaire? Charter their superyacht

By Eoghan Macguire, for CNN
March 30, 2012 -- Updated 1626 GMT (0026 HKT)
Imagine is 65.5 meters in length and costs €530,000 ($707,000) to charter for one week. Imagine is 65.5 meters in length and costs €530,000 ($707,000) to charter for one week.
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Imagine
Imagine interior
Laurel
Laurel interior
Sherakhan
Sherakhan interior
Oasis
Shooting Star
Shooting Star interior
Turquoise
Turquoise top deck
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Superyacht chartering enables wealthy tourists to live the luxury ocean lifestyle
  • Some vessels can cost as much as $700,000 a week to hire
  • Chartering a superyacht can recoup some of the running costs for owners

(CNN) -- Maintenance, upkeep and near endless running costs; the many pleasures of owning a superyacht are punctuated by some less than glamorous realities.

For the wealthy ocean enthusiast who seeks a luxury ocean vacation without the responsibilities of proprietorship however, there is another option -- chartering your own private superyacht.

"Last year we chartered to Bill Gates," says Neil Cheston, director of sales and charter at specialist yacht broker, Y.CO. "The founders of Google also now both have yachts that charter," he adds.

According to Pierrik Devic of luxury yachting agency, Fraser Yachts, meanwhile, chartering a luxury vessel enables millionaire and billionaire holidaymakers to sample the superyacht lifestyle at a fraction of the price and hassle.

As the summer yachting season approaches, Mainsail takes a look at some of the most luxurious privately owned superyachts on the market for short term hire and charter.

Imagine

"Imagine is the Bentley of yachting," says Pierrik Devic.

Measuring 65.5 meters in length and costing €530,000 ($707,000) a week, it is also Fraser Yacht's most expensive charter vessel.

Imagine is 65.5 meters in length and costs €530,000 ($707,000) to charter for one week.
Imagine is 65.5 meters in length and costs €530,000 ($707,000) to charter for one week.

See also: Confessions of a superyacht worker

Accommodating 12 guests in 7 luxury staterooms, the ship boasts huge volumes, exceptional indoor accommodations, social spaces and plenty of choices for exciting outdoor living, says Devic.

Imagine also offers a "massive" sun deck with jet-stream swimming pool, wet-feet bar and Jacuzzi and an array of water toys to keep even the most active charter guests entertained.

Laurel

The second most expensive vessel on Fraser Yachts' charter portfolio, Laurel is available for charter at €479,000 ($639,000) per week.

Below deck, Laurel is designed to exude a calssical aesthetic.
Below deck, Laurel is designed to exude a calssical aesthetic.

At 73 meters, this yacht is bigger than Imagine and she is serviced by 24 professional crew members.

"For the client seeking a distinguished charter Laurel's decor lends itself to more of a fine traditional aesthetic, says Devic.

Six staterooms offer accommodations for a maximum of 12 guests. While on board the Jacuzzi, gym and numerous other amenities entertain the guests, he adds.

Sherakhan

Sherakhan is a former commercial vessel that has been transformed into a luxury yacht by its Dutch owner, says Neil Cheston.

Sherakahn is a former commercial vessel that has been transformed into a luxury yacht.
Sherakahn is a former commercial vessel that has been transformed into a luxury yacht.

"To make a comparison," he adds, "it's like installing a five star hotel on an oil platform, except an oil platform won't take you anywhere."

See also: The limousine shaped superyacht

Measuring more than 70 meters and with a charter price of €395,000 ($526,000) a week, Sherakhan has 13 bedrooms that can accommodate up to 26 guests at any one time.

It also features three jacuzzis, a spa, steam room, swimming pool and has a reputation as being the quintessential party yacht.

"There's room for a band and a dance floor and up to 150 people can party their socks off on there without tripping over each other," says Cheston.

Oasis

Crafted by famed German shipbuilder Lurssen, widely recognized as the world's number one builder of large private yachts, Oasis is an ode to class and luxury, says Cheston.

Oasis
Oasis

"The finish of the yacht is spectacular," he explains, with inlaid pearls and gorgeous silk carpets contributing to a classy art deco design.

Costing €325,000 ($433,000) a week to charter and measuring in at 60 meters, Oasis can cater for a maximum of 12 guests at any one time.

It also has an in built gym that can be converted to a dance floor as well as an outdoor cinema screen perfect for late night movie showings.

Turquoise

Newly built in 2011, Turquoise is extremely striking and modern in both its inward and outward appearance, says Devic.

Costing $385,000 per week to charter, she is Fraser Yacht's third most expensive vessel.

Turquoise
Turquoise

See also: How one phone call gets yacht owners everything they want

"At 55 meters Turquoise is a contemporary classic. The flow of the design and space is perfect. She is elegant, sleek and comfortable," says Devic.

This vessel has particularly low fuel consumption which reduces the overall running costs. And in her garage you'll find an array of adventure toys such as jet-skis, scuba gear, banana boats and doughnuts, he adds.

Shooting star

Measuring in at 55 meters long and with a relatively low price tag of €140,000 ($187,000), Shooting Star is a snip by comparison to many of its more pricey superyacht brethren.

What it lacks in space however it more than makes up for in guile and speed, explains Cheston.

Shooting Star
Shooting Star

Because she is so powerful and made to meet military specifications, "Shooting Star is like Mike Tyson in a Tuxedo," says Cheston.

"It can travel at speeds of up to 48 knots (55 miles per hour, more than twice as fast as most other superyachts) ... and it will get you from Monaco to Saint Tropez faster than a helicopter."

Although not officially available on the charter market just yet, Cheston says it is likely that Shooting Star will become available this summer.

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