For the second consecutive year, CEO Expeditions is absorbing the cost of chartering its two megayachts in the San Juan Islands. Guests will receive expenses-only trips as a result.

CEO Expeditions’ owner, Bruce Milne, initiated the program last year because of the weak economy. “Travel is down, agents and brokers need deals, so rather than just a few full-price charters, we decided to stay busy, put more people to work, and help island tourism by doing charters at cost,” he said at the time.

To help charter guests better understand how much money they can save, CEO Expeditions provided the following examples. It says that a typical seven-day, six-night charter can run up to $105,000 per week, including expenses, for either the 100-foot Katania or 123-foot Kayana (above, with saloon below). Based on several years of offering each yacht for charter, CEO Expeditions will charge base expenses starting from $27,500 for Katania and $39,500 for Kayana. Both reduced rates still cover crew, alcohol, food, and use of tenders and toys. Capacity-wise, it covers five guests for Katania and eight guests for Kayana; additional guests for either yacht are an extra $2,950 per week.

Kayana main saloon

CEO Expeditions says it can offer such discounts for a few reasons. First, it owns the two yachts. Second, the yachts will base out of Roche Harbor, so tenders can take guests to nearby islands. And last, it’s tapping some resources of its sister company, Whidbey Retreats, which operates waterfront homes in the area. Those resources may include staff, for example.

The itineraries for each yacht will also be fixed, according to CEO Expeditions. But given the attraction of the San Juan Islands and feedback from previous clients, it doesn’t expect the seeming restriction to be a problem. John Patton, a client who participated in last year’s inaugural deal, says, “Kayana and her fabulous crew provided a spectacular new vacation for my family in one of the most beautiful areas on earth - the San Juan Islands. We were well pampered and well pleased. The idea came up again and again: we need to do this every year.”

Contact the company for full details.