Overview – British Virgin Islands
Join us on a yacht charter cruising around the BVI where beach bars, snorkeling and protected waters await. Easy sailing conditions combined with the short distances between islands make this the perfect destination for first-timers. But don’t count BVI out if you’ve enjoyed this popular destination before! With the variety of itinerary options, no two trips are the same— and even experienced charterers can’t resist its crystal blue, warm waters and line-of-sight sailing.
Getting to your charter yacht is a breeze: many fly direct to Tortola or St. Thomas, and then arrive to their marina by water taxi if needed. As a popular destination, you won’t be far from convenient amenities, grocery stores for stocking provisions and welcoming locals. Whether you’re steering your own bareboat charter or cruising along on a luxurious, crewed catamaran, miles of blue water and calm bays await on a BVI yacht charter.
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Events & Activities – British Virgin Islands
There’s a long list of things to do on your yacht charter through the British Virgin Islands. From elegant, Caribbean-style dining to wondrous deep sea diving, there’s no lack of unique things to do on your sailing adventure.
Here is a taste of what you can expect on your BVI sailing excursion:
- Full moon beach parties, featuring live music, stilt dancers and fire jugglers
- Bountiful cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, or freshly prepared plates from island restaurants and world famous beach bars
- Snorkeling, scuba diving, the bubbly pool, paddle boarding and other water activities
- Hiking and exploration of the rich history of island life
A Few of the Best Places to Visit Around the British Virgin Islands:
- The Baths. Wade between and around the numerous boulders of the iconic Baths on Virgin Gorda. Start off viewing two enormous 40-foot boulders, which rest against one another to form a small, intimate cave. This serene place is a marvelous spot to pose for a picture or snorkel, observing sealife beneath the water and searching for underwater rock formations. Rock climb on ladders and explore with the help of rope handrails, or forge your own path for the ultimate adventure. Paths weave through to Devil’s Bay, a sandy expanse overlooking the beautiful coral reef.
- The Wreck of the RMS Rhone. Dive 75 feet beneath the gorgeous blue waters to view the remains of the “unsinkable” RMS Rhone. This 310 foot- long iron steamship sank to the sandy ocean floor over 150 years ago, in 1867. Today, the Caribbean shipwreck is still well preserved, featuring artifacts highlighted by history enthusiasts on National Geographic and The Travel Channel. Learn of the story of the mighty ship’s fall and enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime dive.
- Anegada. This special island rests roughly 15 miles north of Virgin Gorda, and is the northernmost island in the British Virgin Islands. While other islands in this Caribbean region were formed from volcanic activity, Anegada is a low-lying coral and limestone island. This flat and secluded spot is a sharp comparison to the mountainous slopes you’ll see on your trip. Take an Anegada tour to experience the full wonders the island has to offer, including a conch shell island, salt ponds and the resident flamingo flock. It’s also home to less than 300 people and surrounded by an enormous reef swimming with lobsters— making it a true rare, natural wonder worth seeing.
From monthly recurring Trellis Bay Full Moon Parties to splash-friendly regattas, there’s fun events to enjoy every month— no matter when you choose to book your British Virgin Islands yacht charter. Check out a few of the exciting celebrations happening during your trip.
Karl Merklein Art Show
Love City Live!
Manhattan Yacht Club Trophy
Sweethearts of the Caribbean &
Classic Yacht Regatta
Anegada Kite & Paddle Festival
BVI Spring Fest
Spanish Town Fisherman’s Jamboree
Virgin Gorda Easter Festival Parade
Foxy’s Wooden Boat Regatta
Lowell Wheatley Anegada Pursuit Race
POSH Girl Brunch
Jazz & Style Festival
Leverick Bay Poker Run
Highland Springs HIHO Races
Christmas in July
Summer Sizzle BVI
Monday-Wednesday Grand Parades
Back to School Regatta
Dinner in White
Willy T’s Virgin’s Cup
St. Ursula’s Day
Barefoot Gourmet Soiree
Foxy’s Halloween Party
Taste of BVI
On the Rocks Bar Craw
Anegada Lobster Crawl & Festival
Christmas Day celebrations
Boxing Day &
Foxy’s World Famous New Year’s Eve party
Explore the Events Calendar
Weather & Seasons – British Virgin Islands
One of the best parts about a yacht charter through the British Virgin Islands is the destination’s consistently warm, sunny weather and steady winds. Many traveling during the winter months choose to charter a yacht in the BVI to escape the cold at home, because it’s during this peak season from December through April that you’ll find less rain and good winds in the Caribbean.
Once June comes around, sailing starts to slow through July — and by September, it’s the peak of storm season. However, it doesn’t last long. By November, many are back on the water. In fact, those cruising the Virgin Island often prefer to avoid the winter crowds and sail throughout fall and spring. With beautiful days and year-round temperatures in the 80’s— and let’s not forget water temperatures also in the high 70’s – low 80’s— you can rest assured knowing it’s okay to pack light and that you’ll leave with a sun-kissed glow no matter when you sail!
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Sample Itinerary - British Virgin Islands
The Caves, Norman Island
1.5 hours | 8 miles
- Short distance
- Unique scenery
After just a short sail, you can stop at the entrance of The Bight to snorkel the Caves. Here it is exciting to snorkeling into some of the caves, which are quite shallow.
The Bight, Norman Island
15 minutes | 1 mile
- Mooring balls
- Beach bar and restaurant
- Great sunsets
The Bight is a wide anchorage with first come, first serve mooring balls. Ashore is the Pirates Pub bar & grill where you’ll usually hear fun, live music. Beware of the barreled pirate rum! Also, the William Thornton, locally known as Willy T is a floating pirate ship/restaurant you can’t miss. The atmosphere is fun and the food is fast.
20-30 minutes | 1 mile
- Snorkeling and diving
- Swim from your yacht
- Teeming with sealife
The Indians is a snorkel and dive spot just north of Norman Island. The rocks are dark colored as they protrude above the waterline, but under the waterline is a completely different view! The reef is like a wall of colorful coral, sea fans and tropical fish. Most of the water is 30-40 feet, but the sea life extends all the way to the surface.
1.5 hours | 8 miles
- Colorful coral reefs
- Snorkeling and diving
- White sand beach fringed with coconut palms
If you are looking for the idyllic tropical island, you will find it just 5 miles southeast of Tortola, across the Sir Frances Drake Channel. The mostly uninhabited tiny Cooper Island is an unspoiled paradise and is the perfect escape from the stress of everyday life. For some excellent snorkeling, take your dinghy to the south of Manchioneel Bay to Cistern Point. Cistern Point is noted for its photogenic ledges covered with brilliant corals, flowing gorgonians (sea rods and sea fans) and abundant tropical fish.
30-45 minutes | 2 miles
- Wreck of the Rhone
- Salt ponds
- Sea glass and shells
Pick up a mooring buoy. Salt Island is the well-known location of the Wreck of the RMS Rhone. This is a great location for the divers in your group to take their first dive. The snorkelers in your group can snorkel over and even touch the very beginning of the wreck. Salt Island is also great for exploring. Ashore are three salt ponds which belong to the British Crown, but are operated by the local people. You can purchase harvested salt, explore the shore to find several shells, sea glass and various types of rocks.
Trellis Bay, Tortola
1.5 hours | 8 miles
- Full moon party
- Local art and cuisine
- Small provisions store
Pick up a mooring buoy for your overnight stay. Trellis Bay is famous for full moon parties, which bring a great party with live music, mocho jumbee stilt dancers, fire jugglers, a delicious BBQ and amazing fireballs! Apart from the monthly full moon parties, Trellis Bay is also a very vibrant bay decorated with tons of local art created by Aragorn who owns the art studio in Trellis Bay. The fresh baked bread loaves are delicious!
The Baths, Virgin Gorda
1 hour | 6 miles
- Scenic grottoes and natural tidal pools
- Shallow water snorkeling
- Lunch with breath-taking views
Leave early so you can secure a prime mooring buoy at the Baths! The Baths are incredible with huge boulders (house sized) literally piled on top of each other. There are several paths through the boulders that lead from one great beach to the next. There is a restaurant at the top at the Baths for an enjoyable lunch with an awesome view, and a pool.
North Sound, Virgin Gorda
1.5-2 hours | 9 miles
- Restaurant with seasonal entertainment
- Souvenirs and provisions
- Marina facilities
You should depart from the Baths by early afternoon to pick up an overnight mooring ball in North Sound. Leverick Bay has the best facilities with a restaurant and bar, souvenier shops, reprovisioning store and a spa. As an alternative stop, consider Bitter End Yacht Club, a highly sought-after destination for sailing, windsurfing, kiteboarding, scuba diving, snorkeling, and beach combing or Saba Rock, another popular stop in the middle of the BVI with a uniquely relaxed island atmosphere that attracts sailors, adventurers, and vacationers alike for excellent diving, snorkeling, kitesurfing and great food and drink.
1 hour | 6 miles
- Multiple anchorages
- Snorkeling and diving
- Deep water sealife
Pick up a mooring buoy on the SE side of George Dog. This is primarily a snorkel and dive stop. The reef is huge, extremely colorful and lively. This would be a great location for a dive. Or as an alternative, consider a sail to Anegada with its striking coral reefs that surround it, secluded sandy beaches and clear springs bubbling from coral beds. Snorkelers and scuba divers will delight in the reef’s mazes, tunnels and drops, which are rich in marine life, while those with sea legs will enjoy water sports, sport fishing and bone fishing.
Great Harbour, Jost Van Dyke
2-2.5 hours | 13 miles
- Foxy’s famous BBQ
- Gift shop
- Long stretch of beach
Pick up a mooring buoy. Great Harbor is home of the notorious Foxy’s. Very lively parties can be found several times a year. When the big party isn’t happening, Foxy often plays his guitar live adlibbing songs as he goes – usually funny songs about anyone in his presence. The BBQ dinner is very good and the drinks are cold!
Sandy Cay or Green Turtle Cay
15-30 minutes | 1 mile
- Secluded beaches
- Island exploring
- Beach picnic lunch
Drop anchor at Sandy Cay or pick up a mooring buoy at Green Turtle Cay. Both offer white sandy, deserted islands with snorkeling, swimming and exploring. This would be a great time for a picnic lunch ashore! When conditions are right ( north swell) try the “Bubbly Pool”. Featured in photo journals and magazine articles around the world, the “Bubbly Pool” is still a somewhat closely guarded secret of Jost Van Dyke. Nature’s jacuzzi, this naturally formed tidal pool is located behind jagged cliffs facing the open ocean from the north.
Cane Garden Bay, Tortola
1-1.5 hours | 6 miles
- Great dinner and happy hour
- Rum distillery
- Amazing sunsets
Cane Garden Bay is completely beach ashore with restaurants and water sports. Quito, a well-known local singer is great for night-time fun and the best food is found in the middle of the bay at Myett’s Garden Inn & Grill. Callwoods rum distillery is also located at Cane Garden if you would like to do some exploring. Cane Garden Bay faces west, so the sunsets are amazing. For an artistic bar and excellent tapas – head all the way down the beach to Indigo Beach Bar.
Great Harbour, Peter Island
13 miles | 2.5 hours
- Moorings balls
- Pirate ship bar
- Hiking trails
Pick up a mooring ball at Great Harbour, Peter Islands or Soper’s Hole, Tortola. Reminisce about the last week with your group and enjoy one more night of total relaxation… on island time!
Charter Company Marina
1-1.5 hours | 5-10 miles
One last short adventure to return your yacht. Soak in the Caribbean sun all the way!
Travel Info – British Virgin Islands
Don’t sweat getting to the Virgin Islands— we make it easy. Our charters set sail from Tortola or St. Thomas, both very accessible locations no matter your transportation method. Whether you’re flying directly to where you’ll board your yacht or if your final leg of travel is by ferry, we’ll ensure that you know exactly where you need to go, without the stress.
We’re also here to help you find lodging, should you need to book a hotel prior to or after your cruise, as well as to provide options for trip insurance— and help to ensure you have all the water toys needed for your getaway!
Recommended Tortola Hotels
Bareboat Charter Packing Checklist
Crewed Charter Packing Checklist
BVI & USVI Yacht Charter Links And Resources