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Many of us plan trips to destinations for the beautiful beaches and crystal clear waters. While it’s great to kick back on the beach, enjoy the sun and sip drinks from coconuts with umbrellas, what about actually getting out on the water?

If you’re interested in chartering or renting a boat at your next destination, there a few websites that can help with the search. Sites like GetMyBoat and Boatsetter link owners and guests, much like Airbnb does for houses and apartments. While these sites are great for viewing the offerings in a given area without wearing out your Google search bar, it’s worth noting that sometimes you can get a better deal if you book directly with a charter company. Rates vary wildly between the offerings on the sites, so a bit of nosing around will be required to find just the right boat at just the right price for your budget and trip requirements.

Chartering a boat at a destination might seem like a huge and costly undertaking. However, with a little digging you might just find a hidden gem or fun excursion for yourself or the whole family. Here are a few of our more interesting finds:

A Pirate’s Life For Me

You can actually set sail on a real life pirate ship in Hawaii. Yup, an 83-foot Spanish galleon, to be more specific. Hawaii Pirate Ship Adventures lets you set sail and enjoy the views around Waikiki or Honolulu Harbor on board the Treasure Seeker.

According to the website, “fully grown landlubers” are invited to kick back and relax or join in the action on board all while “smaller buccaneers, with their complimentary bandana and eye-patch, partake in pirate games, combat training, and a real life treasure hunt as they learn to live the life of a pirate.” Day trips start at $44. Booking direct with the company will save you about $15 instead of booking through GetMyBoat.

Photo By Hawaii Pirate Ship Adventures.
Photo By Hawaii Pirate Ship Adventures.

Skip the Waldorf in the Maldives

The Maldives is a popular destination here at TPG, especially the soon-to-open Waldorf Astoria Maldives, which has been bookable for a while now. Rooms at the property start at over $2,200 per night with taxes and fees. For a similar base price ($2,495) you can charter this fully-staffed 100-foot yacht for you and 19 of your friends. That’s about $125 per person, which for a stay in the Maldives is a deal for sure. The charter includes three meals per day, transportation between the airport and the boat, and a barbecue dinner on a desert island.

Photo via GetMyBoat.com
Photo via GetMyBoat.com

Charter a Classic Yacht

If you find yourself in Seattle, you can take a trip on the only yacht ever built by the renowned FOSS Tugboat Company. The boat served as the company’s private yacht until it was conscripted by the US Navy as a patrol boat for the nearby Port of Bremerton naval yard. The 53-foot classic, which was built in 1933, has been fully restored and is available for charters around Seattle for only $150 per hour.

Image via GetMyBoat.com
Image via GetMyBoat.com

You Can in Cannes

If you happen to be in the 1% or perhaps have some lottery winnings laying around that you want to burn, a trip to Cannes aboard this mega yacht is what you need in your life. At 151 feet long — and for a mere $313,000 per week — you and your guests will have plenty of room to spread out. Enjoy the hot tub on deck, jet skis, water skis, wakeboards, snorkeling gear, fishing gear and even a tender to take out and enjoy all of those.

The 151
The 151′ Scorpion. Photo via GetMyBoat

While these may be some of the more interesting and outlandish boats to be found, there are also plenty of simple, well-priced options depending on what you’re looking for on your trip. These sites can help you find everything from scuba diving day trips to fishing charters to pleasure boats you can rent by the hour, day or week. So, next time you’re headed to a destination on or near the water, think about actually getting out and experiencing life off land. (And if you rent the mega yacht, please bring us with you.)

Featured Photo via Getty Images

Know before you go.

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