Virgin Islands Yacht Charter Guide
Brimming with picturesque islands that inspire and impress, a yacht charter in the Virgin Islands will make for your dream Caribbean holiday
A luxury yacht charter in the Virgin Islands is for the waterborne. Whether chartering in the BVIs or the US Virgin Islands, you can expect a perfect, balmy climate and steady easterly breeze. More than 60 islands are split between the neighboring cosmopolitan US Virgin Islands and the relatively unspoiled British Virgin Islands. Distances between the islands are short, making them ideal for island hopping adventures. They are the perfect cruising grounds for first-time charterers or family charters and have ample protected anchorages. Throughout the archipelago, coral reefs and stunning beaches provide every opportunity for all manner of watersports. Furthermore, abundant fish in these waters make them ideal for divers and sportsfishing enthusiasts.
ST. THOMAS TO ST. JOHN (6 NAUTICAL MILES)
Board your yacht in St. Thomas. Acclimatize to the Caribbean pace of life and enjoy a refreshing cocktail on deck as you cruise to your first anchorage in the US Virgin Islands, off nearby St. John.
ST. JOHN TO TORTOLA (11 NAUTICAL MILES)
Leaving the US Virgin Islands, cruise to Tortola; the largest island in the British Virgin Island chain. After clearing customs cruise towards Cane Garden Bay for an afternoon of watersports. Anchor in the south of the island and tender to Soper’s Hole for a rum punch.
TORTOLA TO NORMAN ISLAND (12 NAUTICAL MILES)
Cruise through the Sir Francis Drake Passage and anchor off Peter Island. Take a dip in Deadman’s Bay before moving to a new anchorage and snorkeling around The Indians (rocks resembling a Native American headdress). Norman Island is said to be the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island” and the waters are the perfect spot for an afternoon of watersports.
NORMAN ISLAND TO SALT ISLAND (5 NAUTICAL MILES)
Cruise to neighboring Salt Island and discover one of the most famous dive sites in the Caribbean – HMS Rhone. Lying just off Salt Island, this Royal Mail steamer went down in 1867 and attracts divers from all over the world to discover its coral covered wreckage. The island also offers some great anchorages and fantastic snorkeling opportunities.
SALT ISLAND TO COOPER ISLAND (2 NAUTICAL MILES)
Set a course for Cooper Island, a small volcanic island, and step ashore to the Cooper Island Beach Club. Spend the afternoon exploring the brilliant coral wall known as Alice in Wonderland. Sloping from 40-feet (12m) to a sandy bottom at 100-feet (30m), the diving here is often referred to as a fantasy due to the vibrant colors and huge coral formations.
COOPER ISLAND TO VIRGIN GORDA (8 NAUTICAL MILES)
After your fill of diving, cruise through the Sir Frances Drake Channel to Virgin Gorda and spend the morning bathing in the secluded rock pools of The Baths. Made up of giant boulders and a series of seawater pools, they provide safe and sheltered waters for snorkeling and swimming. Lift anchor and cruise to the huge expanse of sheltered waters in the North Sound – enclosed by reefs and mini islands, it is one of the most popular anchorages in the BVI. Cap the day with sunset cocktails on board.
VIRGIN GORDA TO ANEGADA (18 NAUTICAL MILES)
The waters surrounding the low lying coral island of Anegada are perfect for snorkeling, diving and fly fishing. Take the tender ashore to the beach for a picnic lunch, followed by a hike along the scenic nature trails as you explore the island’s interior.
ANEGADA TO JOST VAN DYKE (27 NAUTICAL MILES)
Jost Van Dyke is the last stop on your itinerary. The Virgin Islands are famed for their beaches, the best of which is said to be White Bay on Jost Van Dyke. An immaculate crescent of ivory sand with a reef lying just offshore running nearly the full length of the beach, the beach is blessed with calm waters that are perfect for children to swim in. One of the liveliest islands in the British Virgin Islands, celebrate your final evening at Foxy’s Tamarind Bar.
Nestled on the edge of the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean, the vibrant US and British Virgin Islands offer the perfect blend of white sand beaches, coral reefs, and green hills. With year-round sunshine, endless tropical activities and picturesque anchorages, they are the ideal destination for an idyllic Virgin Islands yacht charter.
The US Virgin Islands are comprised of St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix. Regular flights from the US into St. Thomas’ International Airport offer easy access to start your charter – it’s a mere 20-minute car ride to the nearest marina and your awaiting yacht.
The British Virgin Islands are comprised of more than 50 islands and cays and include Tortola, Jost Van Dyke, Virgin Gorda and Anegada. Here you will find everything from world-class snorkeling and diving, lively beach bars, luxury resorts, and lots of activities ashore.
Whether you board your yacht in the US Virgin Islands or the British Virgin Islands, your Virgin Island yacht charter experience will be a truly tropical getaway.
- Head to town for browsing Cruz Bay’s artisan shops of homemade Caribbean trinkets, St. John
- Go tasting at one of the local craft breweries, St. John
- Dive or snorkel Ring Dove Rock, Norman Island
- Stop by De Burger Man for what is reputedly the best burger in the Caribbean, Tortola
- Sea-kayak around the boulders and grottoes of The Baths, Virgin Gorda
- Navigate your way through locally inspired botanical gins
- Swim ashore to Jost Van Dyke’s Soggy Dollar Bar for a famous Painkiller cocktail
- Discover a handful of newly built ‘beach-club’ style hangouts on Jost Van Dyke
- Try local drafts from the on-site microbrewery at the Cooper Island Beach Club
- Learn to kite surf, Anegada
Providing an idyllic array of anchorages, the Virgin Islands are renowned for their vibrant color and wonderful variety of tropical fish. Take in both the US Virgin Islands and neighboring British Virgin Islands during one charter. You could begin your charter in Charlotte Amalie on St. Thomas and incorporate neighboring St. John into your itinerary and then head on to Cruz Bay before crossing the “border” to the British Virgin Islands to island hop between the idyllic chain.