Dutch Charter Group CEO and yachting entrepreneur, Captain Jan Verkerk, shares his best charter tips.


Lifelong sailor, Captain Jan Verkerk bought his first boat at the young age of 26 – a popular choice, not only for the Dutchman, but for his friends too.

While searching for a wedding venue, one of Verkerk’s inner circle asked if they could host a party on board his yacht. Of course, the captain agreed, and the success of the event led to a change in career direction – he was going to start his own charter company.


Captain Jan founded The Dutch Charter Group in 1998 and immediately set his sights high. His motto was and still is ‘to always exceed guests’ expectations’ and with that in mind, he set about creating a fleet of yachts that his guests could enjoy around the globe.

Creating world-class experiences meant investing in some serious charter yachts and Verkerk’s knowledge of yachting led him to an icebreaker named Giant, which he spent three years converting into Legend, his first charter yacht.

Today, The Dutch Charter Group has a fleet of sailing, luxury, and explorer yachts with Sherakhan being of particular interest. Originally a training ship for the Dutch Maritime Institute, the 70-metre yacht was rebuilt into a luxury superyacht in 2005, before being refitted in 2014 and again in 2018. Well-known in the charter industry for her great crew, stylish interior design, and versatile deck spaces, Sherakhan can comfortably accommodates up to 26 guests in 13 staterooms and has a magnificent dining table that can host all 26 guests.

Adventure awaits: Jan developed the idea of a luxurious, well-equipped expedition yacht, able to visit the cold and still undiscovered regions of the world in style.

Borkumriff II and Thandeka are also part of the Dutch Charter Group fleet. Borkumriff II is a 31-metre classic schooner designed by Henk Lunstroo, while Thandeka is a 37-metre sailing yacht built in 1997 by Camper and Nicholsons. She can accommodate 8 guests and can cruise the waters of French Polynesia, Fiji, the Sea of Cortez, all the way to Norway’s incredible fjords.


With a fleet of stunning motor and sailing yachts, what three worthwhile experiences should a yacht charter offer guests?

Verkerk: Access to the most exclusive destinations, a fun variety of water toys for all ages, and the ultimate gastronomic experience – and this while being able to answer the charter guests’ needs and listen to their dreams. When you step on board a charter, you’re expecting an unforgettable experience with family and friends. For instance, you know how you look for the best restaurant for a special date, birthday, or celebration? That type of culinary experience should be on board your yacht charter — from breakfast to the late-night snack. The best cuisine and drinks should be something you and your guests will always remember. Then, of course, be able to offer knowledge of a location.

Borkumriff II and Thandeka are also part of the Dutch Charter Group fleet.
What makes a memorable difference during a yacht charter?

Verkerk: The utmost care from the crew to provide guests with a comfortable and luxurious experience. I suggest getting to know your guests’ expectations in advance and planning an extraordinary custom-made adventure. Be creative! Address the preferences of each guest with care and detail. Understand the dreams they never really dared to dream – and create more along the way.

How do you create itineraries for guests?

Verkerk: We value exclusive experiences combined with endless possibilities and in-depth conversations to create the perfect itinerary for guests. Sherakhan has been known throughout the charter business for the past 20 years, and therefore, many guests and brokers know what she has to offer. Sherakhan can accommodate 26 overnight guests; accommodation plus extraordinary service make her unique in the industry.

“I suggest getting to know your guests’ expectations in advance and planning an extraordinary custom-made adventure.”
What improvements are you implementing?

Verkerk: We are completely renovating Sherakhan into a new vessel. She was refitted in 2017, and the road to modernising her continues; aesthetically, she is undergoing a big change. She will get an updated gym, spa, interior, and engine room, among other updates. The new spa is where charter guests can enjoy stories of Balinese meditation, while the gym is purpose-built to help guests stay on top of health and fitness goals while underway.

Borkumriff II and Thandeka are also part of the Dutch Charter Group fleet.
What are your goals for the future of yachting?

Verkerk: To bring exclusive destinations to our guests in well-known, luxury-comfort backed by 25 years of experience.