Turquoise, yacht dotted seas…equal parts Coastal Living and Gilligans Island. The USVI is a fantastic first time charter destination and offers many different personalities. St. Thomas and it’s surrounding islands give you a bigger city feel . St. John is an eco-adventure playground. The Spanish Virgin’s offer complete seclusion. You also have easy access to the BVI and its many great anchorages and beach bars.
Whether you’re a beginner sailor or a long-time seasoned sailor, the Virgin Islands is the ideal destination for a Charter Yacht Vacation. The consistent year-round conditions create a perfect Caribbean yacht charter: trade winds, friendly people, perfect weather and warm clear water! The short distances between the islands make for relaxing, line-of-sight sailing. There are plenty of excellent snorkeling and diving sites, local restaurants and fun beach bars ashore. You can easily see the USVI and the Spanish Virgin Islands or the USVI and the BVI, in one week. This itinerary covers the US and British Virgin Islands…a sailor’s paradise! A typical week’s vacation starts in St. Thomas, which has easy access from most US cities. Charlotte Amalie, the capital, offers an array of shops, restaurants and bars with everything from local spices, jams, rums, and soaps to handcrafted jewelry. Red Hook Marina, where most yachts meet their guest, is an awesome waterfront playground full of bars, restaurants and shops.
DAY 1 / NIGHT 1
Let the fun begin! Board your yacht in St. Thomas, Red Hook Marina and after lunch, enjoy a leisurely voyage over to St. John (3 miles) to explore Caneel Bay and Cruz Bay. Here you can spend an afternoon swimming, snorkeling or walking the beaches. Or, you can explore one of our favorite Caribbean towns, Cruz Bay. Mingle through Cruz Bay’s shopping district, including Mongoose Junction. Or, see if you can survive one of the Caribbean’s best pub crawls, the Cruz Bay happy hour.
DAY 2 / NIGHT 2
After breakfast depart for Whistling Key on the north side of St. John. Snorkel or dive this deserted, rocky islands, then head out for Leinster Bay for snorkeling with the starfish, exploring and a hike to a sugar mill. The snorkeling here is truly pristine and the little bay provides a protected refuge for your second night on your yacht.
DAY 3 / NIGHT 3
A short downwind trip takes you to the BVI’s ultimate spot; White Bay, Jost Van Dyke. White Bay is home to many great beach bars including Soggy Dollar Bar and Ivan’s. White Bay’s sand is amazing white and the water is so clear, you can see fish swimming in the moonlight. This bay is the BVI’s number one spot to spend a day lounging on a beach. After dinner, head over to Great Harbor – home of the notorious Foxy’s. Very lively parties can be found several times a year, but it is a great night spot 365 nights per year.
DAY 4 / NIGHT 4
After breakfast, a short 3 mile sail takes you to Sandy Key and Sandy Spit. Spend your morning exploring these small tropical paradise islands. Snorkel the reefs and hike to Jost’s natural bubbly pool. After lunch, another short sail takes you to Cane Garden Bay – Jimmy Buffet’s One Particular Harbor. This beautiful beach is surrounded with restaurants, bars and water sports. Quito, a well-known local singer, is great for night-time fun. You can also often find a band playing at Myett’s Garden Inn and Grille. Callwood’s Rum Distillery and a glass blowing shop are also located at Cane Garden Bay, if you would like to do some exploring.
DAY 5 / NIGHT 5
Get an early start for an exhilarating sail to Norman Island – often referred to as “Treasure Island”, as legends are resplendent with stories of buried pirate treasure. You can stop at the entrance of Norman Island to snorkel The Caves. The sea life is vibrant and it is fun to snorkel into some of the caves, which are quite shallow. For the divers, “Angelfish Reef” is a good first dive. The William Thornton, locally known as Willie T, is the floating pirate ship/restaurant you can’t miss. The atmosphere is fun and the food is fast, if you get hungry while partying.
DAY 6 / NIGHT 6
After a delicious breakfast, depart the Bight, Norman Island for the Indians – less than 1 nautical mile. The Indians is primarily a snorkel and dive spot. 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. It’s like jumping into a fish bowl! Some of the water is 30-40 feet, but the sea life extends all the way to the surface. Depart the Indians for Coral Bay on St. John. Spend the afternoon snorkeling mangrove roots and exploring St. John’s isolated, rarely visited, south shore. Hike to ancient petroglyphs and explore sugar mill ruins.
DAY 7 / NIGHT 7
Start you final day with a downwind sail to St. James island and Christmas Cove (where Christopher Columbus spent his first holiday season in the West Indies). Christmas cove offers a great lunch stop with fantastic snorkeling and diving. Follow lunch with another great downwind run to Buck Island, the sight of the second oldest working light house in the Northern Hemisphere. Buck Island makes a calm final night stop and affords guests with the unique opportunity to swim with the turtles. There are literally hundreds of sea turtles who call Buck island home and they are so accustomed to snorkelers that they will surface and swim by your side.