The captain's yacht was a large support craft built into the design of several Federation starship classes, including the Galaxy-class, Sovereign-class, and California-class starships. It was docked to the underside of the saucer section.
On the USS Enterprise-E, the name of the captain's yacht was the Cousteau. In 2375, the crew of the USS Enterprise-E used the Cousteau to travel to the surface of the Ba'ku planet. (TNG: "New Ground", okudagram; Star Trek: Insurrection)
In 2380, Ensign Beckett Mariner signed out the keys to the USS Cerritos' captain's yacht. When she invited Ensign Brad Boimler to join her there, he explained that she shouldn't have those, but she insured him that "it's cool" because she signed them out under his name. (LD: "Terminal Provocations") Later that year, Lieutenant Steve Levy provided design recommendations for the Cerritos' captain's yacht to Mariner to pass along to her mother. (LD: "No Small Parts")
Known Captain's yacht
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Designer Andrew Probert came up with the concept of the captain's yacht while designing the USS Enterprise-D. Although it was never seen in use, it was labeled on the master systems display screen in main engineering and on Commander William T. Riker's bridge console ("New Ground"), docked at the bottom of the saucer section almost directly opposite the main bridge. Probert suggested possible ways for the yacht to be used during the first season, including not showing the yacht but mentioning it in dialogue, but his ideas were rejected. The Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual (p. 164) claims that the producers almost used the yacht in TNG: "Samaritan Snare", but decided to use an "executive shuttlecraft" due to budgetary constraints. According to Patrick Stewart, the yacht would have been called Calypso. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual, p. 164) This name for the yacht was mentioned in the notes to the captain's yacht entry of the Star Trek Encyclopedia (3rd ed., p. 83). With the latest edition of the Star Trek Encyclopedia (4th ed., vol. 1, p. 117), the name has been changed to Cousteau.
Rick Sternbach designed similar craft into the USS Voyager and the USS Equinox, known as the aeroshuttle and the waverider, respectively. Like on the Enterprise-D, however, these vessels were only depicted on technical schematics and never seen in operation or referred to in dialogue.
The Captain's yacht is an obtainable ship in Star Trek Online. It is one of the game's many bonuses for subscribers and Lifetime subscribers, obtainable once a player reaches 400 days subscribed or automatically once the Lifetime subscription is activated. It resembles the Cousteau.