US & British Virgin Island Yacht Charters
Chartering In The Virgin Islands
Tortola offers three popular ports to start your charter. The first option is Soper’s Hole in West End, Tortola, which offers Ferry Service to and from the USVI. The second option is Road Harbour in Road Town, which also has Ferry Service to and from the USVI. The third option is Trellis Bay on the shores of Beef Island, which is a very short walk from the Beef Island Airport.
Charters departing from St. Thomas offer the option of boarding at such ports as the Crown Bay Marina on the west end of the island near the airport, Yacht Haven Grande Marina in Charlotte Amalie or the American Yacht Harbor Marina on the east end of the island in Red Hook.
Deciding whether you start your charter in the BVI or USVI can depend on you flight arrangements, yacht availability, and the size of your charter party. Usually a charter party of more than 6 guest will be required to board their yacht in the BVI.
It’s possible your flight arrangements have you arriving at the Cyril E King Airport on St. Thomas (Airport Code STT) while the yacht you selected is located in Tortola. This should not be a problem since the area offers very good Ferry Service between the islands.
For those charters that begin and end in the USVI, you will have the opportunity to visit the island of St. John, since you’re required to check-in at the US Custom & Immigration office located in Cruz Bay.
Keep in mind, most sailing you do while on a charter in the Virgin Islands usually takes place in the waters of the British Virgin Islands.
To provide you with an idea of what it’s like to be on a typical 7 night 8 day charter in the British Virgin Islands, I’ve laid out a sample itinerary. This itinerary is based on having your flights arrive and depart the Beef Islands Airport, otherwise known as the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport, (Airport Code EIS).
This is an ideal itinerary provided the yacht you chartered is available to meet you in and drop you off at Trellis Bay, which is located at the foot of the Beef Islands Airport runway.
Sample: 7 Night / 8 Day Charter Itinerary For The British Virgin Islands
Day 1: Arrive at the Beef Island Airport. With the Trellis Bay dinghy dock being within walking distance to the airport you avoided a taxi transfer. There’s no worry about anchorage being noisy since there are no night flights into the tiny airport. A short dinghy ride takes you out to your yacht where your crew welcomes you aboard with a Rum Punch. After introductions you’ll have a tour of the yacht and have the opportunity get your things settled into your cabins. Since you’re anchored in a beautiful bay, you may decide you want to fit in a bit of swimming before the sun goes down. Later after cocktails and dinner onboard you’ll have an opportunity to sit down with your crew to discuss your cruise plans for the rest of the week.
Day 2: After breakfast you set sail for a little beach just north of the Baths on Virgin Gorda. This is a beautiful anchorage with fabulous snorkeling. The Baths are enormous granite boulders lining a lovely beach creating numerous shallow salt water pools. After enjoying a light lunch aboard the yacht you set sail for Virgin Gorda’s North Sound.
Day 3: The North Sound is a large well protected bay surrounded by numerous islands and reefs. Here you can snorkel in beautiful turquoise water, try your hand at windsurfing, and even do a bit of bone fishing. It’s an ideal place to spend several days exploring and relaxing. The Bitter End Resort, Saba Rock Resort, Biras Creek Resort, and Leverick Bay Resort are all located in the North Sound and welcome you to visit their restaurants, bars and use their facilities. If you're lucky and your timing is right you may be able to enjoy an outdoor barbecue and the music of a steel drum band which performs once a week in the area.
Day 4: Set sail for Peter Island with a stop at Great Dog for a little snorkeling and lunch onboard. Anchor in either Deadman's Bay, or Little Harbour. Dinghy ashore and pay a visit to the beautiful Peter Island Resort to have one of their famous Bushwhackers at the poolside bar.
Day 5: In the morning head over to Norman Island. Anchor in front of the Caves or the Indians for some fantastic snorkeling, After lunch it's off to West End, Tortola, a picturesque little marina with painted wooden houses. Do a little shopping and enjoy dinner and drinks ashore at Pusser’s Landing. For a bit of music and dancing you may want to hire a local taxi to take you to the Bomba's Surfside Shack.
Day 6: It's off to Jost Van Dyke. Anchor for lunch and a swim at Green Cay or Sandy Spit depending on the wind. Spend the night at anchor in Great Harbour after an evening of merriment and libation at Foxy’s.
Day 7: Set sail this morning for the private and beautiful Guana Island. Once there have lunch onboard and do a bit of snorkeling at Monkey Point, then head over to Scrub Island to anchor for the night off the new Scrub Island Resort. This would be a great place to take the crew and have a farewell dinner.
Day 8: It’s up early this morning after a farewell swim its time to set sail back to Trellis Bay, Beef Island. After you disembark and say your goodbyes, you can enjoy a lunch at the De Loose Mongoose Beach Bar or one of the many other restaurants along the beach. It’s now time to walk the 400 paces back to the Beef Islands Airport terminal and head back home.
What a wonderful week!