charter yacht EtherealOne of the great things about yacht charter, especially when compared with cruise ships, is that yachts are more environmentally friendly. Yes, the largest motoryachts can affect the environment in significant ways, but in general, people who cruise to "undiscovered places" tend to have a passion for conservation and green thinking. Many large-yacht owners push shipyards and designers alike to be innovative in making yachting as environmentally friendly as possible.

The latest example of this attitude comes from the 190-foot Royal Huisman sailing yacht Ethereal, which management company Camper and Nicholsons International tells me has made "Ethereal carbon neutral by reducing the yacht’s carbon footprint to net zero using a selection of high-quality, guaranteed carbon offsets supplied by The CarbonNeutral Company.

"Ethereal’s carbon footprint for 2009 has been offset through the Tieling coal mine methane project in China, which captures coal mine methane--a potent greenhouse gas--and uses it as an energy source to supply gas to homes and local industry. Its 2010 footprint will be offset through The CarbonNeutral Company’s OneNature portfolio, made up of 100 percent renewable energy projects--not only solar, wind and hydro, but also biomass and re-use of waste products like biogas."

If your criteria for a superyacht charter includes the owner's attitude toward environmentalism, then I would say this news makes Ethereal a leading contender for your vacation investment.

Ethereal is available at a weekly base rate of €225,000 for 10 guests. Any reputable charter broker can tell you more or help you book a week onboard.