What happens on the day you arrive at the marina for a charter?
What is the best time to arrive?
We need to see you by 4.30pm to check you in for your Stay Aboard, but you can check in any time during the day, our office is open from 8am.
If you are driving, plan to arrive in the early afternoon for best time management on arrival. There is a really good window of time to arrive around 1-3.30pm, when you will have enough time to collect your snorkelling equipment (the dive shop closes at 4pm) and do your grocery shopping and drinks buying (the major supermarkets close at 6pm on weekends, and 9pm on weekdays).
What if I arrive early and my boat is not ready yet?
We have luggage storage for your bags, so you can go an enjoy some lunch, wander around Airlie Beach, and start your grocery shopping.
What happens on check-in?
We will need about 15 minutes of your time, to explain a few important things and send you down to the boat. We have a checklist of about 10 things to tell you, and we will give you a folder with everything in writing too.
We need to take your security bond (please ensure you have a credit card with $3000 clearly available in order to do this) and any outstanding payments.
Hire equipment is generally NOT available on arrival, so please order early.
When do I get my briefing?
Most commonly, our briefings take place from 8am on your first full charter day, after having stayed aboard the night before. A briefing can take up to 4 hours, depending on your level of experience with boats in general, familiarity with the specific vessel, and knowledge of the Whitsunday cruising area. The more you know, the quicker it goes. Our staff are available to start briefings between 8am – 1pm.
Note: the briefing does not take place on the night of your Stay Aboard.
What if I arrive late?
If you are arriving after 5pm, and it has been pre-arranged, the reservations office will check you in in the morning. We will advise you of your vessel location and give you the security guard’s number to arrange late entry if the security gates are locked. Your check-in folder will be on the vessel with instructions, please take the time to read this information.
You can try to collect your snorkel gear before 8am from the dive shop below our office. They technically open at 8am, but may assist you from about 7.45am if they are ready.
Please come see us from 8am the next morning to complete your security bond, payments and have a quick chat, before we commence your briefing. Your briefer will be on standby ready to start at the pre-arranged time, usually 8am.
If you did not complete your provisioning/shopping the night before, please organise your crew so that the captain & first mate/s are attending the briefing, and other crew members are finalising the shopping.
If you are going to be late unexpectedly, please let us know as soon as possible so we can make appropriate arrangements to assist you.
What if I am not doing the Stay Aboard?
If you are not staying aboard the night before your charter, you will need to be very organised on your day of arrival.
We recommend pre-ordering your groceries for a ‘Click and Collect’, and arranging to have beverages delivered to the marina. More info on groceries and drinks here.
There is a chance you will have to spend your first night in the marina, depending how early or late you arrive and how organised you are with your pre-charter preparations. This does give you time to go to supermarkets and bottle shops after the briefing is completed.
If you intend to get your briefing and depart the marina that same day, you will need to arrive by 11am-midday, have all your shopping pre-organised, and be realistic with your expectations of where you will anchor for your first night. You must be safely anchored by 4pm every night of your charter.
As part of your Pre-Charter Check (a phone call about 14 days before your charter), we will set a briefing time for you. Please discuss this with us so we can make it as efficient as possible for you. You may want to delegate shopping to other crew members so your captain and first mate/s can do the briefing immediately upon arrival. You may want some time to unpack bags and groceries before commencing the briefing. You may only have time to compete half the briefing on arrival and half the following morning. You may be arriving late enough that it makes sense to receive your full briefing the following morning from 8am. There are many options, please discuss this with the reservations team.
Want to have a bareboating holiday in the Whitsundays?
Book a charter boat with Whitsunday Escape to explore the Whitsunday islands. Need help working out which boat will suit your group and level of experience? Contact our friendly reservations team for a recommendation.