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Everything Need to Know to About Scuba Diving in the British Virgin Islands During Your Yacht Charter

A crewed yacht charter is a great way for divers to explore the many sites located throughout the British Virgin Islands which comprise approximately 60 islands and cays located within a few miles of each other.

On Board SCUBA Diving

Certified divers considering a BVI yacht charter should look for a yacht that offers on board Scuba Diving with a Dive Master onboard. Most of these yachts offer diving for certified divers at no additional charge. The Dive Masters have extensive knowledge of the BVI’s premier dive sites and can tailor a charter to the experience level of their certified guests.

Getting Dive Certified

Get Dive Certified - SCUBA onboard your BVI yacht charter | iYachtClubGuests considering getting certified during their BVI yacht charter should look for a yacht with a Dive Instructor on board. It is usually recommended that guests accomplish the coursework part of their dive certification before their charter with their local dive shop at home. The Enclosed Dive component should be completed prior to the charter, as well (indoor pools are used in the winter time). Arriving for their BVI yacht charter, guests would only need to fulfill the Open Water Dive component to complete their SCUBA course and become certified. And where else would you want to become certified than in the crystal clear, warm waters of the Caribbean?

BVI Dive Companies

If the yacht you are considering for your BVI charter does not have a Dive Master or Dive Instructor on board, certified divers can still dive as much as they want during their charter week. There are many SCUBA Dive Companies in the BVI that offer “Rendezvous Diving” for certified divers. These dive companies come out to the charter yachts with their dive boat, pick up the guests, take them for a 2 tank dive and then, afterward, return them to the charter yacht. This allows the charter yacht to move onto the next destination in the BVI with the rest of the guests who are not participating in SCUBA diving.

We Recommend These BVI Rendezvous Dive Companies

Blue Water Divers: located on Tortola in Nanny Cay, Tortola and at Soper’s Hole. Tortola.

Dive BVI:  located on Virgin Gorda (at Spanish Town and Leverick Bay) and on Scrub Island. The only BVI operator to offer Nitrox at present.

Jost Van Dyke Scuba: located on Jost Van Dyke.

Paradise Watersports: located on Peter Island.

Sail Caribbean Divers: located on Tortola (in the Moorings and at Hodge’s Creek), Cooper Island and Norman Island.

Sunchaser Scuba: located on Virgin Gorda in North Sound.

We Be Divin’: located in Road Town, Tortola .

Discover Scuba

Most BVI dive companies also offer “Discover Scuba” for charter guests who are not certified but would like to try diving for the first time. Discover Scuba usually only takes about an hour of instruction with guests standing in the water off one of the beautiful beaches in the BVI followed by an easy shallow dive nearby.

Dive Gear

BVI charter yachts that offer diving at no additional charge typically provide dive gear for their guests. This would include BC’s and regulators, tanks, masks and fins. Charter yachts that charge extra for diving may not have gear on board. Guests can either bring their own gear or rent it from the dive companies located at the St. Thomas marinas where their charter yachts are docked for embarkation.

In American Yacht Harbor, St. Thomas we recommend: Red Hook Dive Center.
In Compass Pt Marina, St. Thomas we recommend:Wreck Life Adventure Center.

The Top 10 Dives NOT TO MISS during your BVI Yacht Charter

Certified Divers booked on a BVI yacht charter will find an underwater paradise among the 60 plus islands and cays that comprise the picturesque island chain that makes up the British Virgin Islands. Cool shipwrecks and colorful walls and reefs abound. We polled our BVI yacht charter Dive Masters and Instructors for their favorite places to lead dives in the BVI. Here are the top 10 sites they recommend.

1. The Indians, Norman island

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The Indians off Norman Island.

This popular spot in the BVI’s is usually the 1st or 2nd stop on the itinerary after embarking from St. Thomas.

The four Pinnacles that are called The Indians feature hard & soft corals, lots of colorful fish,and dramatic topography. It is an easy shallow dive that is great for beginners. It is also an excellent snorkel site with a swim through that free-divers can easily achieve.

2. Randy’s Reef, Great Harbor Peter Island

Dive Thumb Rock -BVI yacht charters with SCUBA onboard | iYachtClub

Colorful reef fish abound in the soft corals around Thumb Rock, Copper Island.

Another shallow dive, this reef  forms a large,colorful wall with lots to see. Look for the giant spotted eagle ray that resides there!

3. Thumb Rock, Cooper Island

This dive requires some underwater navigation but has a huge payoff:  a dramatic submerged pinnacle.

4. Brewers Bay, Tortola

There are 2 recommended sites here. On the north side, a cool wall features a dramatic swim-through at the point. The south side presents a series of pinnacles where one can get wonderfully lost. Both of these sites are subject to north swell, so surface conditions need to be optimal before considering this site.

5. The Chimney, Great Dog Island

Most divers consider this to be the coolest swim-through in the BVI. It is featured in this video from a recent BVI yacht charter aboard popular catamaran Catatonic.

Scuba Diving in the British Virgin Islands During Your Yacht Charter

6. The Wreck of The RMS Rhone, Salt Island

If you can only dive once during your BVI yacht charter, our crews all agree that you should choose the wreck of the RMS Rhone. Film buffs may recognize sections of this wreck from the 1977 movie “The Deep” that was filmed here. This is typically a 2 tank dive as there is much to see from the intact swim-through bow at 75 feet to the stern with its 15-foot propellor. Many of the original artifacts from 1867 are still visible. Consider exploring it at night for the thrill of a lifetime!

7. Diamond Reef

Diamond Reef is located off Great Camanoe, a small cay on the back side of Scrub Island. The colorful reef abounds with life and many species of fish and big Tarpon schools

8. Fallen Jerusalem

Book a charter yacht with onboard SCUBA for you next BVI yacht charter | iYachtClubAdjacent to The Baths, this dive site is like exploring The Baths underwater. The huge volcanic rocks scattered around this uninhabited island create an amazing underwater maze of caves and tunnels.

There are lots of places for lobster, moray eel, nurse sharks and octopus to hide, so keep a sharp eye out in the many nooks and crannies!




9. Painted Walls

Dive in the BVI during your yacht charter. Onboard SCUBA included | iYachtClub

The colorful sponges and soft corals of the undersea landscape make for unforgettable diving in the BVI.

Located on the South side of Dead Chest Island, this beautiful site lives up to its name! The underwater landscape of walls and passageways, canyons and arches is rich with bright sponges and corals, creating a unique topography and an exciting and interesting dive.

10. Alice In Wonderland

Located on Ginger Island’s south shore, Alice In Wonderland adds a little magic to the diving itinerary. The mushroom shaped coral heads that abound give the site its name and are hiding places for numerous fish including big puffers and moray eels.

Besides the mushroom heads, there are rocks and ridges, sandy-bottomed canyons, and huge sponges that hold surprises galore. The site starts at about 35 feet and goes to about 70 feet and is suitable for beginning to expert divers

These are just the top 10 dive sites to consider, but there are many more. The Dive Master aboard your BVI yacht charter will have other recommendations based on the day’s conditions and the itinerary.  If you stay on St.Thomas a day or two before or after your Dive Charter, you can explore some amazing wrecks around the US Virgin Islands. Make sure to check out our page with recommendations for places to stay!