High-quality booking software for yacht charters should:

  • Simplify the booking process for customers. When making reservations, customers should be able to 1) see availability and “day of” details, like pick-up locations and what to bring, and 2) check out online and confirm their booking.
  • Offer features to grow your business — including connections with online travel agencies (OTAs), partner networks, and options to sell extras or combo experiences.
  • Assist in managing operations and organising staff — for example, booking software lets you keep a centralised calendar, so you can sell across multiple channels and then manage all reservations and availability in one spot.
  • Provide mobile tickets, ticket scanning, and digital waiver solutions to streamline visitor check-ins and provide a smoother customer experience.
  • Provide reports and insights to tell you how business is performing; see how many tours you book, revenue, popular experiences, busy and slow seasons, and more.

Our booking software, Bókun, is designed specifically for tour and activity-based businesses, and we work with hundreds of boat charter companies around the globe .

We’re a Tripadvisor brand and have over ten years of experience helping tour operators migrate to booking software, create engaging listings, sell on OTAs, and grow their business online.

So we put together this guide of top-rated booking software for charter boat operators. We start with a rundown of our solution — explaining the features to bring business online, drive new bookings, and manage operations. Then, we review four other tour operator software solutions so you can compare popular brands.

If you want to explore our software more after reading, you can start a free 14-day trial here .

Note: Charter boat booking management and boat rental booking management are not one and the same; a boat charter is a guided experience, and a rental is (obviously) renting a boat to customers without a guided tour. We work with both types of businesses, but be careful of this nuance when comparing booking software.

Bókun: Advanced booking management platform with expansive Marketplace + Viator partnership

Bókun homepage: More Bookings. Less Work.

Bókun is dedicated tour operator software with a suite of features to:

  • Create stunning listings to promote your experiences online.
  • Set tour availability and pricing (and update those details, automatically, in real-time, on every site you sell your tours).
  • Receive online bookings from your website.
  • Sell your charter experiences on dozens of OTAs and manage reservations across sales channels.
  • Establish partnerships with other businesses in the travel sector and earn new bookings and revenue through partners.
  • Manage your booking calendar, staff schedules, customer payments, and other back-office operations under one roof.
  • And most of all — offer the best experience for your customers.

Our platform’s dashboard and features are intuitive, so you can easily navigate between tools and get up and running on day one. Plus, our support team can help any time you need.

What differentiates us from competitors, though, is our partnerships and Marketplace — so you can get found by potential new customers more often (and, in turn, book out your calendars and maximise revenue).

As mentioned above, we’re a Tripadvisor brand and have a preferred partnership with Viator. You can connect the platforms and use them as complementary tools to promote your tours to millions of potential new customers on Viator , then manage reservations in our system. We never charge Bókun booking fees on reservations from Viator, so you can keep costs low as you explore sales channels and grow your business.

Our Marketplace is home to over 27K+ partners for you to connect with and establish partnerships. Our network includes hotel chains and resorts, attractions like theme parks and museums, and other tour operators, so you can work together to promote each other’s services and even create bundle deals.

Now, let’s briefly introduce you to our platform’s core features so you can see how they work.

If you want to explore further, you can start a free trial here (no credit card required).

Create stunning listings to showcase your boat charter experiences

Before we dive into the methods to sell your tours online , let’s first talk about the tools to create product listings.

Our Experiences tab lets you design listings, manage availability by product, and set pricing, and the system walks you through the steps to create listings.

In the screenshot below, you can see all the details to add to tour listings — the more descriptive you can be here, the better. We also suggest including images and media from past tours to give customers a sneak peek of what to expect.

Bókun Experiences: Give your experience a short but descriptive name

Note: If you’re already active on Viator, you can link your account to Bókun and push the listings you’ve already made on that platform to our system — this import can be done in minutes, so set-up is a breeze. Then, those listings will automatically display on your site (more on that below). We also offer four free Viator product checks each month — an extra perk for these users — so you can add new experiences to Viator without fees.

Our system also lets you sell add-ons (Extras) with experiences, which can be especially appealing for charter guides who want unique ways to keep customers engaged throughout their tour. Extras could include food and beverages or mementos from the experience.

For example, if you offer a sunset boat charter, you might want to give customers the option to purchase small bites or champagne for the tour. You could even offer throw blankets in case the ride back to the dock gets chilly.

Add-ons also give a neat way to plug brand merchandise; say you sell sailor caps with your brand logo, you could offer these for children or adults at check-out.

Complete your booking and contact details

You can manage product listings and their details from the Experiences dashboard. This includes editing listings, updating availability or pricing, choosing which products to sell on which sales channels, and more.

As mentioned above, your product availability and pricing reflect across all connected sales channels. This way, customers can only see current availability, and you don’t have to hassle with updating multiple calendars or cancelling/rescheduling customers if you accidentally double book.

Sell your experiences online across multiple platforms

After building product listings, you can promote experiences on your site and OTAs and use our reservation management tools to stay on top of bookings.

First, embed our booking widget to your site to enable direct bookings. We also offer a custom website builder if you don’t already have one; you can read about the steps to build a booking website in our guide here .

Select Website Template: Find a template that represents your business the best.

Then, you can connect Bókun with OTAs and edit these connections with the channel management feature. In addition to Viator, you can sell tours on GetYourGuide, Expedia, Klook, Tiqets, Civitatis, Google Things to do, and more.

Bókun Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) GIF

Each of these platforms receives millions of monthly visitors , all researching travel and things to do, comparing options, and looking to book; these are the platforms you want to be found on to earn new business.

Customers can see your experiences and book with you from various sites; all new reservations populate in your Bókun booking calendar so you can easily manage your schedule.

Grow your business with Bókun Marketplace

To expand your reach even further, we’ve developed the Bókun Marketplace. This network has grown quite expansive over the last decade working with tour operators, so it’s easy to discover businesses (hotels, nearby attractions, travel agents, and other tour operators) that complement your charter experiences and promote each others’ services.

Discover Partners: Boat Resellers in Bókun

You can leverage our Marketplace in a few ways:

  • It can function as a supplier and sell your experiences through resellers.
  • It can function as a reseller and connect with suppliers to sell their products. Partners’ experiences display on your booking site automatically; then you earn a commission when you win bookings for partners.
  • You can create combos with other businesses and sell new and unique experiences together. Combos can easily be offered on your website and a partners website, or even on an OTA providing a competitive advantage whilst driving more revenue.

You can manage all partner communications and contracts in our system so relevant documentation is securely stored and easily referenceable. You can add new partners, adjust contracts, or end partnerships; our system gives you the flexibility to make these changes any time you wish.

Promoting your experiences on OTAs and through our partner network can fill up your calendar and increase earnings. Together, these tools drive real business growth, so charter boat operators interested in scaling their operations — adding new experiences, expanding into new locations, hiring more staff, etc. — can achieve those milestones and work toward loftier goals.

For further reading, we wrote a guide on strategies to get more tour reservations .

Manage bookings, staff, financials, and back-office operations

Bókun also provides an array of tools to organise and automate back-office operations so you can avoid overbookings, make sure you have the resources to provide good experiences for customers, keep staff members in the loop (on land or sea), and manage everything behind the scenes.

For example, we mentioned the central booking calendar that shows you all upcoming reservations and their details — you can see tour dates and departure times, how many people booked with you, who’s attending, add-ons they’ve purchased, and other details.

Our platform also includes more sophisticated product management tools, including:

  • Advanced availability features so you can set booking cutoffs and minimum/maximum capacities for charters.
  • Dynamic pricing to adjust your rates automatically. You can create pricing rules to either increase or decrease rates at certain times or during set conditions. For example, you can create a rule to discount experiences if you’re getting closer to departure and still have open spots to fill. You could also use this to offer seasonal discounts.
  • Tiered pricing so you can offer discounts for customers booking in groups or give customers the option to book a private charter.
Tiered Pricing example in Bókun

In addition, we offer:

  • Automated customer communications — our system will automatically send booking confirmations, but we also offer a library of email templates so you can create emails to share tickets, remind customers of bookings, and thank customers for their business. This tool is also handy for sharing discounts and retargeting customers.
  • Native CRM to store customer data — this tool powers our automated communications feature and lets you effortlessly save customer information for future reference.
  • Digital ticketing tool — create customised tickets with QR or bar codes for customers to save on their smartphone and scan at arrival.
  • Mobile apps for iOS and Android — these allow managers to schedule boat captains, and they allow guides to access booking calendars, pick-up lists, and other tour details so they’re prepared for experiences and can make sure all passengers arrive before shipping out. Our app also offers ticket scanning to streamline check-in.
  • Partnerships with popular payment processors — connect Bókun with the payment processor(s) you prefer and enable customers to pay for tours online at the time of booking. We partner with Stripe, PayPal, Worldpay, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and more. We also partner with Klarna, giving customers options to pay in instalments. This can broaden your customer base if you offer yacht charters or luxury experiences that may ordinarily be out of the budget for some travellers.
  • Reporting dashboard — this gives you a bird’s-eye-view of operations. You can see how many bookings you receive each month, identify peak seasons, track revenue, see which tours are more popular with customers, and more.
Bókun Experience sales reports: Stats and Sales information

We also provide a suite of apps to supplement these tools and appeal to teams with specialised requirements. For example, we offer a more advanced analytics tool to dig into financial data and create custom reports.

Boat charter operators, however, may enjoy our Adventure Waiver app that lets you send digital waivers to customers before they arrive for check-in. This simplifies what can otherwise be a tedious paperwork process and prevents delays; it also avoids the awkwardness of customers standing around while everyone completes waivers.

We also offer an Adventure Photos app that allows you to sell customers photos from their experience (another great add-on!).

Give customers a five-star experience

Throughout our post, we’ve explained how Bókun can improve the customer experience and help you secure sales. Customers can:

  • See your experiences on your website or travel sites they’re familiar with (Viator, GetYourGuide, Expedia, etc.), check availability, and book with you online — 24/7.
  • Pay online with the method that’s most convenient for them.
  • Receive tickets, waivers, and reminders via email so they’re prepared for the day of.

We also provide customer portals so users can cancel reservations online without phone calls to your team. We send you a notification and update the booking calendar if customers cancel.

Lastly, we strongly encourage you to leverage our automated customer communications tool to create a more memorable experience for customers and help your brand stick out. You can create dozens of emails for all kinds of purposes; for example, you could send updates about new experiences or special pricing offers — and schedule them to be sent at set times or after website visitors take certain actions. This can encourage customers to visit you again the next time they’re in town.

Pricing & getting started

We offer our booking software at one standard subscription cost to keep pricing simple: we provide our comprehensive feature set to all users for $49/month. As mentioned above, we also offer some add-on features, like inventory management (an API to connect an existing ticketing or booking system), if you want to supplement the core functionality.

We offer industry leading booking fees (1.5%) and waive Bókun fees on bookings from Viator. You can choose to cover booking fees yourself, or we can lump them into the cost of experiences on the customer side; this is completely up to you (unlike other competitors in the space).

Low booking fees and the option to cover customer booking fees are essential for boat charters because these can be pricey experiences.

If the booking software you use charges fees higher than 3–5% — what most competitors charge — the extra cost could bump experiences out of customers’ budgets. Then, you risk losing customers at checkout.

We all know what it’s like to get hit with expensive fees on booking systems. (Remember the last time you tried to buy a ticket to something?) So you need to consider that experience from the customer’s side and think ahead to avoid potential gripes.

We offer a free trial for tour operators to test our platform. During the trial period, you can create listings to promote your experiences, connect with Viator, manage offline bookings, and access our reporting tools.

After the trial ends, you can enrol in the Pro plan to access all the features we discussed above, or you may continue in the limited free plan.

Start your free 14-day trial of Bókun (no credit card required)!

Alternative booking software for charter boat operators

FareHarbor, Bookeo, Checkfront, and Xola are also popular booking software you might see mentioned on review sites.


Fareharbor homepage: Powerful booking software. Unmatched support.

FareHarbor earns its popularity because it works with tour and activity-based businesses of all sizes. They offer the expected booking management features, including tools to manage back-office operations (from your desktop or mobile device) and a distribution network to grow your online reach.

Some teams like FareHarbor because they offer a website-building service to help you create a branded booking site. These are not expensive or complex custom development services; they still use templates to create a site quickly — the benefit is simply saved time. (Though, in this case, you have to relinquish creative control to FareHarbor, so you have to weigh what’s important to you.)


  • Website-building services (and online booking widgets for existing sites)
  • Centralised booking calendar to manage online & offline bookings
  • Channel management
  • Distribution network — including connections with OTAs and partners
  • Inventory management — to create product listings, track equipment and staff availability, set tour capacities, and create tickets and pricing options
  • Staff management, to manage staff schedules and assign guides to tours
  • Native POS
  • Integrations with online payment providers
  • Customer portals to cancel or modify reservations
  • Flexible check-in features & online waiver solutions
  • Options to sell memberships
  • Reporting dashboard
  • Mobile apps


FareHarbor does not charge subscription fees (so they often market their platform as “free”) — the catch is that they charge higher booking fees than other competitors in the space. Users report fees can vary based on your experiences pricing, but are often as high as 6%.

FareHarbor passes booking fees to the customer, so the platform remains free for tour operators, but the risk is that the added cost will deter customers from booking. This risk is even greater for boat charter operators because, as mentioned above, tours can cost hundreds of dollars; charging expensive booking fees on top could cause you to lose sales.

You can gauge whether FareHarbor could work for you by thinking about the prices of your experiences and the risk of asking customers to pay additional fees.

Read more: Best FareHarbor alternatives [Comparison guide]


Bookeo homepage: Booking software to manage and grow your business

Bookeo is another online booking software that offers solutions for tour operators at all growth stages — the platform is reportedly easy to use and offers standard time-saving tools like centralised booking calendars and availability management.

Though they market themselves for all team sizes, we recommend them for small or midsize charter boat businesses that aren’t super interested in growth strategies (i.e., you don’t necessarily want to scale operations; you just want to fill up your calendar). That’s because Bookeo doesn’t offer a partner network to connect with suppliers and resellers; the solution only lets you sell tours on your website and OTAs.

This is obviously still helpful for getting in front of new potential customers, but when you have lofty goals like doubling operations, you need a tool to help you explore and establish partnerships.


  • Online booking widget (for existing sites)
  • Product & availability management
  • Customisable booking management calendar
  • Staff management
  • Channel management & connections with OTAs
  • Native POS
  • Integrations with online payment processors like Stripe
  • Automated communications to send booking confirmations, reminders & follow-ups
  • Customer portals to cancel or modify reservations
  • Waitlisting tools
  • Upselling tools
  • Options to sell merchandise, gift cards & vouchers
  • Reporting dashboard


Bookeo offers three packages — the pricing for the small business plan is inexpensive, but packages get pricier for bigger teams (this is another reason why the platform is best suited for smaller boat charter operators).

  • The Standard plan — $39.95/month — supports 20 product listings, 20 staff logins, and 1,000 bookings per month.
  • The Large plan — $79.95/month — supports 40 product listings, 40 staff logins, and 2,000 bookings per month.
  • The X-large plan — $199.95/month — supports 60 products, 60 staff logins, and 3,000 bookings per month.


Checkfront homepage: The Most Flexible Booking Software for Every Experience

Checkfront is a popular online booking solution because they work with tour operators around the globe, the platform offers hundreds of user-friendly features and multilingual capabilities to support you as you grow, and they have flexible pricing options (you can choose your preferred pricing model).

The “thing to note” about Checkfront is that they recently merged with Rezdy , and since this merger, Checkfront has been rolling out changes to their platform and pricing. So, these details are accurate at the time of writing (March 2024), but note that offerings are subject to change. We recommend asking the Checkfront team about any planned changes if you want to learn more about this brand.


As mentioned above, Checkfront has hundreds of booking management tools (over 109, to be exact), so we won’t overwhelm you with all of them here. Instead, we zoomed in on some of the most noteworthy.

First, the platform includes standard tools like an online booking widget, a real-time reservation system, channel management, connections with OTAs, and availability management. In addition, it includes:

  • Checkfront Payments — Checkfront’s solution to manage online payments (though they also offer billing and invoicing solutions). Notably, Checkfront Payments offers a Buy Now, Pay Later feature, so customers can pay for boat charters in small instalments.
  • Custom form builders to send waivers before tours
  • Customer accounts so travellers can view booking information at their convenience
  • Reporting dashboard
  • ROI tracking
  • Customer booking map, to see which channels bring you new customers
  • Integrations & developer API


Checkfront offers three packages:

  • Starter — this is their limited free plan; it gives you access to the standard toolset and supports one staff account and up to 100 bookings each year. This plan requires you to use Checkfront Payments and they charge a variable fee per transaction .
  • Growth — this is the most popular plan; this paid option grants you full access to the Checkfront platform. This plan also supports unlimited accounts and bookings. Checkfront offers two pricing options here: you can opt for the flat subscription fee of $125 per month or pay a 3% fee on every booking. You’ll have to consider the price of your tours and the overall cost of booking fees to determine which pricing model makes the most sense for your business.
  • Managed — the enterprise plan; this is for multinational businesses with more specialised requirements. This package includes a dedicated account manager, onboarding support, and training. Pricing is based on what you require from the software.

But again, users have reported pricing changes since Checkfront’s merger with Rezdy.

Read more: Best Checkfront alternatives [Comparison guide]


Xola homepage: Online Booking Software.

Xola is a powerful online booking system with an ultramodern look and feel. The platform is designed for tour operators — the brand advertises its solutions for boat tours and fishing charters, with features to “make your life easy and grow revenue.” In addition to standard booking management tools, Xola offers a website building service and boasts advanced inventory management features.


  • Website building service (and online booking widgets for existing sites)
  • Inventory management
  • Availability management
  • Staff management
  • Channel management & connections with OTAs
  • Distribution network
  • Phone booking system to manage offline reservations
  • Native POS
  • CRM
  • Marketing tools to promote your tours & retarget customers
  • Digital waiver solution
  • Customisable tickets (and ticket scanning tools for convenient check-in)
  • Reporting dashboard


Xola does not charge tour operators subscription or booking fees; instead, they charge customers a “partner fee” on each purchase. This fee is listed on their site as 1.9% + 30¢ but notes that rates can vary outside of the United States.

Getting started

Bókun is a customizable, scalable booking software for charter boat operators who want to explore online strategies and earn new bookings. Our platform is user-friendly so everyone can start without training, and we offer free customer support to help you make the transition.

We also offer consulting and strategy calls for growing teams who want to talk more about scaling operations with Bókun.

Explore our solution by starting your free trial .

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