Whether you’re a yacht owner and you need to ship your yacht from the United States to Europe, or you’re just a yachting and boating enthusiast curious about the process, you may be wondering how much it costs to ship a yacht to Europe – and how yachts are shipping internationally on cargo ships. In this guide from A-1 Auto Transports, we’ll explain what you need to know.
How Much Does It Cost To Ship A Yacht To Europe?
The cost of shipping a yacht to Europe starts at around $300 per foot for RoRo shipping, and starts at about $1,000 per foot for LoLo and semi-submersible shipping. Larger boats can carry additional surcharges – a 120-foot yacht, for example, may cost as much as $175,000 to ship to Europe.
Yes, it’s expensive. But if you’re a yacht owner, you know that money is usually no object when it comes to a luxury like a yacht. And, in fact, the cost of shipping a yacht to Europe can actually be lower than the cost of simply making a transatlantic voyage!
Why Ship A Yacht To Europe?
There are a few reasons that you may want to ship a yacht to Europe if you’re a yacht owner. Common reasons include to sell to a new owner or put it on the market, to attend a yacht show, or to move your yacht elsewhere if it’s not capable of making a transoceanic voyage – or if weather conditions make crossing the ocean impractical on your yacht.
Let’s take a deeper look at these reasons now.
- To sell to a new owner – It may be necessary to move a yacht to Europe in order for a new owner to take possession, or to put it on the market in a particular country. Yachts are rarely purchased sight unseen, so paying to transport the vessel to Europe until it’s sold may be a good option.
- For yacht shows – There are a number of popular yacht shows in Europe, such as the Salone Nautica, Monaco Yacht Show, and Cannes Yachting Festival. Yacht owners who want to show off their vessels may wish to move then to Europe from elsewhere in the world to
- To move yachts that cannot make transoceanic trips – Most yachts are capable of transoceanic trips, but some smaller vessels may not be able to handle the extensive time spent on the water, or it may not be realistic to make a transoceanic journey due to weather conditions.
In contrast to yachts, cargo ships can handle almost any weather conditions, no matter how severe, and they cross the ocean in every season, so they’re a great alternative for yachts that are unable to make transoceanic trips.
The Benefits Of Shipping A Yacht To Europe
Wondering why yacht owners often choose to ship a yacht to Europe instead of simply hiring staff to pilot the vessel across the Atlantic ocean? A few benefits include reduced wear & tear, lower staffing costs, savings on fuel costs, and enhanced convenience.
- Avoid wear & tear that may require refitting – After even a single transatlantic voyage, a yacht may need extensive refitting to ensure that it’s in tip-top shape, due to the rigorous requirements of an oceanic crossing. Shipping a yacht avoids this wear & tear, saving money on refitting costs.
- Eliminate staffing costs – You may need a captain, engineer, multiple deckhands, and other staff members to safely pilot your vessel across the ocean, which can mean you’ll pay tens of thousands in salaries and staffing costs. Shipping your yacht eliminates these costs.
- Save on fuel – For the largest superyachts and megayachts, filling up the fuel tank alone can cost $400,000, and much of this fuel will be used while crossing the ocean. The fuel savings alone can make shipping a yacht to Europe worth it.
- Enhanced convenience – You can have your yacht picked up and delivered with very little legwork as long as you hire a qualified yacht shipping company. There’s no need to be on the yacht yourself, and it will be picked up, safely shipped, and delivered according to your contract with the shipping company.
How Are Yachts Usually Shipped To Europe?
Yachts are always shipped to Europe using an ocean-going freight vessel, but there are a few different variations of yacht shipping, including RoRo (Roll On/Roll Off), LoLo (Lift On/Lift Off) and semi-submersible shipping. The shipping method used depends primarily on the size, weight, and dimensions of the yacht that’s being shipped.
- RoRo (Roll On, Roll Off) – RoRo shipping is the cheapest method of shipping a yacht to Europe. This involves loading your yacht onto a specialized trailer Then, the yacht is parked on its trailer, strapped in for the voyage, and sent on its way. RoRo shipping can be used for any type of trailer, as well as wheeled vehicles like cars and trucks.
However, this method is usually only possible with yachts that are below 14-15 feet in height. This is the typical maximum height of a RoRo cargo hold, so this method is only suitable for smaller vessels.
- LoLo (Lift On, Lift Off) – The majority of mid-sized yachts are transported using LoLo shipping. In this method of shipping, the yacht is dry-docked at the shipping port, and is secured in a specialized cradle. Then, this cradle is lifted by a crane onto a cargo vessel, and the yacht is secured in place
- Semi-submersible ships– This type of shipping is typically only used for the largest megayachts and superyachts, which often measure more than 120 feet in length, and can weigh in excess of 10,000 tons. These ships can’t usually be safely lifted by a crane.
Instead, a semi-submersible ship can lower its cargo bay to fill it with water. Then, the boat can be pulled into the cargo bay and fastened securely in place, since the buoyant water will hold it up. Then, the water is drained for the ocean voyage. The process is reversed when the ships get to their destination. The hold fills up with water and is partially submerged, the yacht is released, and then it’s carefully pushed out of the cargo hold.
Need To Ship A Yacht Or A Boat? A-1 Auto Transport Can Help!
At A-1 Auto Transport, we can provide full-service boat and yacht transport services. If you have a vessel you need to ship to Europe – or even just domestically in the US – our team of logistics partners can help.
To learn more, get an estimate for the cost of shipping a yacht to Europe, and begin the process of shipping your vessel, just contact us online or give us a call at (800) 452-2880. Our team of experts is here to help you at any time of day or night!
Written By:Joe Webster
Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing.
After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood.
With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.