Who can I speak to regarding any additional inquiries I may have?
Feel free to contact our offices ready to receive your call 24/7 for additional information by calling directly on the following numbers:
Chat with us through Whatsapp
You can have immediate inquiries through our live chat (click here)
Our direct email with the fast response is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note that due to time differences there can sometimes be a delay in the response to your emails however the GEM Charters customer service team will do their best to respond to all as soon as possible.
Which is the best option of boat for me?
The 2 main factors that will determine the type of vessel are the total amount of passengers and the main focus of your charter. For example, a fishing charter would require a fast cruising boat to reach fishing grounds with plenty of deck space with rods holders for the fishing action, compared to a party charter where speed is not the main factor whereas a nice spacious deck and comfortable air-conditioned interiors to enjoy the party.
Keep in mind that some vessels combine different purposes, if you are unsure about your vessel selection feel free to contact our sales department for a custom-made charter experience!
What boat license will I need for my trip (as a customer)?
Our vessels and crew are fully licensed, this is the only licensing required, there is no licensing required for clients, not even for fishing charters.
What time of year should I plan my charter?
Panama has been blessed with year-round pristine conditions with changing attractions throughout the year, for example from June to October we get the visit from humpback whales, one of the longest mammal migrations in the world! There’s top of the line fishing conditions year-round, 2 different oceans as well as one the biggest manmade lakes right in the middle of the Panama Canal to explore and fish. Contact our sales department for guidance as to the best recommendations based on your inquiry. (CONTACT US)
What do I need to bring?
Sunglasses, a bathing suit, probably extra pair of dry clothes, sunblock, a camera, and a towel are our main recommendations. Since vessels depart from registered sites a valid ID is required (passports for foreigners and/or Panama official ids like migration permits and cédula for Panamanians)
It would not be professional to make you carry ice to a boat; we provide a basic courtesy package you want to have on a boat like full ice, juices, Gatorade, bottled waters, and beer.
How do I Book/Reserve/Pay my charter?
Once you have chosen your desired vessel, to fully reserve it a 50% reservation deposit is required; this can be paid by credit card, bank transfer to our commercial account, PayPal, online payment, or cash. Balance can then be paid prior to departure at the departure site. For every payment, you do to GEM Charters you will receive a formal legal note as official proof of payment.
What additional costs besides the boat can I expect?
From the moment you depart until you come back, there should not be any more payments required besides any personal thing you acquire at the islands like souvenirs, food, drinks, etc. other possible payments might be You should take into account might be the rental of extra equipment and services we offer at GEM Charters, please click to check the full list.
How do I get to my boat?
Once you confirm the desired vessel we will let you know the exact departure site with a map or Google Maps location for reference, at departure site we have dock masters ready to receive you, guide you to the vessel, and present you with the crew as well as dealing with the remaining balance. Panama GEM Charters offers a shuttle service that is not included in the price of the boat. We are happy to arrange that for you. Click for additional info.
Am I dealing with a certified charter company?
GEM Charters is registered both in Panama Commerce Authority and the Panama Maritime Authority, our vessels are all registered and our crews are certified and licensed. On every departure, Maritime Authorities will revise both vessel and crew licenses. On the other hand, after every payment done to GEM Charters, you will receive a legal note as proof of payment.
How far in advance should I book my charter?
Panama is a big boating destination; we have fishing, whale and dolphin watching, calm coastal areas to cruise, and beautiful islands to explore, therefore clients tend to reserve vessels in advance. If you have a specific date like a birthday or specific days during your travels in Panama we recommend separating your date and vessel with a reservation deposit to assure availability. Anyways we are always ready to head to sea; therefore we do accept last-minute reservations depending on availability.
What if I’m doing a last-minute booking?
Our sales department is ready 24/7 to assist you with a last-minute booking, in case the vessel you initially desired might be booked, we will make sure we have the most convenient alternative ready to have you on board with us!
Are tips/gratuities included?
Tips are not included since they are voluntary, our crews are professional seaman that loves what they do, they will always try to comply with your wishes, and they may be able to present various new possibilities along the way to make your charter a brilliant experience.
Gratuities will always make them happy and rates are at your discretion, nevertheless, it is customary to tip the Captain and crew. If you have had a wonderful time and think it was due to long hours and attention to detail by the crew, a decent tip might be reasonable.
Besides the yacht what else is included?
Our basic package includes all operational costs like fuel, licensing, and docking fees. Onboard you will find as a courtesy full ice, juices, bottled waters, and beer.
All vessels come with a certified and licensed crew. A bilingual crew can be offered upon request.
Other services can be offered upon request such as:
- Land round trip transportation
- Catering service with hard liquor
- Overnight accommodations on the islands
- Restaurant reservations on the islands
- Snorkeling fear
- fishing gear
- Whale watching guide with a hydrophone
- SCUBA diving
- Video/Photo memories package with professional camera and drone
Always check your personalized quotation to check what is included in your specific charter.
What if we bring our food and beverages?
That is totally fine with no problem at all, count with plenty of storage refrigerated space, and keep in mind there will be no extra charge for this, especially no corkage fee. Feel free to quote our complete catering packages hassle-free. Keep in mind the Captain is the authority at sea and he can restrain alcohol consumption for a situation that requires his intervention for safety reasons. Special religious or personal factors like kosher please inform to make necessary arrangements. Always count on our courtesy pack which is full of ice, juices, Gatorade, bottled waters, and beer.
What are the cancelation policies?
Unavoidable there are factors that might cause a cancelation, like dangerous weather conditions or any personal reason. Once this situation occurs we will try to have immediate contact with you, to re-schedule, make a substitution or arrange a refund. Heading out to sea on board with us is a top-of-the-line adventure and we will always do whatever is within our reach to make the best out of your time and come up with the best solution possible. Click here for our full politics of cancelations and reserves.