The Captain's Yacht is a large auxiliary craft that is normally docked on the underside of the saucer section, in a direct line beneath the bridge and immediately below the saucer section quantum torpedo launcher. It is considerably larger than a shuttle or even a Danube-class runabout. When it is docked, crew members can easily walk on or off the yacht from the ships corridors. The Captain's Yacht was designed as a multipurpose vechicle, but is principally used for diplomatic missions or for the captain's personal use. When docked the Captain's Yacht uses power from the ship, however once launched it is a completely independent craft, equipped with transporters, phasers, and warp and impulse engines with the capacity to enter a planet's atmosphere.

The Captain's Yacht onboard the Enterprise-E was named Cousteau and was destroyed above the Ba'ku planet in 2375 by the Son'a. The Cousteau was named in honor of French oceanographer Jacques Cousteau.