How Much It Costs to Be a Passenger on ‘Below Deck’ and the 1 Complaint Some Guests Make

Passengers on a yacht
Passengers on a yacht | jacoblund/ iStock / Getty Images Plus

Each season a new group of passengers is needed to appear on Bravo’s Below Deck. The passengers are important because they keep the show interesting. Although they’re temporary cast members, they give a boost to the show. How much does it cost to be a passenger on Below Deck? Here’s what we know.

Below Deck passengers aren’t screened

You might think yacht passengers are thoroughly screened before they’re accepted on the show, but that’s not the case. In reality, it all comes down to money. Mark Cronin, creator of Below Deck, said whoever has the cash is allowed to be on the show: “Whoever’s check clears the bank is on the show! I wish I could be picky,” said Cronin during an Ask Me Anything for Reddit.

Guests pay their own way

Passengers don’t get a freebie when it comes to riding in the Below Deck yacht. They have to cough up their own cash if they want to be on the TV show. However, guests do get a discount for their appearance and a token of appreciation that’s hard to pass up.

Cronin says guests get a discount that’s quite generous: “The guests pay their own real money to charter the boat. But we do give them a discount (about 50%) from the real cost of the vessel for three days. We ask them to tip about 15% to 20% of the full cost though. The tip amount is up to them as well. They are not compensated, but we pay their airfare,” he said.

Some guests are deathly boring

The producer says there are some seasons where passengers are so dull it can be hard to get interesting scenes from them. Fortunately, he says there’s always something going on with the crew, so it balances out and they’re able to tape a show that’s worth watching. “We’ve had boring guests, but when that happens, we always have lots of drama with the cast to deal with. We have never left a charter out of the season,” said Cronin.

Yachties are paid well

White steel yacht with white deck
Yacht | Cheryl Ramalho

Yachties can make up to $2,000 in tips per charter. In addition to their salaries from working on the yacht, crew members get an additional sum of money for being on the show. Cronin said those who appear in multiple seasons get paid more: “They do get paid a very little bit extra for being on TV, but in general they’re salaries are in line with what they would make anyway as a yachty. Although, some of the multi-season stars are making a bit more than that now,” he said in his Reddit AMA.

The 1 complaint some Below Deck passengers make

Although it’s rare, Cronin said passengers sometimes complain they got a bad edit. However, he also said some of the guests are quite rude and that editing isn’t to blame: “I think they are actually rude sometimes. Rich people can be rude to people they consider “servants.” Some get a rush out of it I guess. They’re hungry for “amusement” and sometimes abusing the staff if amusement,” he told a Reddit AMA participant.

How much it costs to be a passenger on Below Deck

The charter fee will set you back several thousand dollars. In season two, the price tag was $55,000 for five people, reports Forward Cabin. The three-day, two-night trip included hotel, round trip airfare, alcohol, tips, and water sports. During season three, passengers paid $35,000 for three days and two nights, according to Yacht Charter Fleet.

Recently Below Deck star Kate Chastain told Entertainment Tonight a boat the size of the ones used on the show would command a higher fee: “Generally a boat that size, 150 foot—this one’s 160, Valor—but around that price range, for seven days, is around $150,000,” said Chastain. “But that does not include airfare, fuel, food, wine, docking, tip. So, I would say for a boat like Valor, for a week vacation, it would be around a quarter of a million dollars.”

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