The British Virgin Islands is world renowned as a yachting and sailing destination. It has all of the ingredients for a perfect sailing charter – consistent tradewinds, nearly uninhabited islands, a wide variety of destinations varying from upscale resorts to deserted beaches, shipwrecks to explore, famous beach bars and restaurants, and a relaxed atmosphere that's perfect for Chartering. In fact, bareboat chartering was essentially invented in the BVI.
The BVI offers something for everyone. Novices will appreciate that you can sail line of site to virtually all destinations, and that the winds are rarely to strong, nor the seas too high. Experienced sailors can plot a course to test their mettle, and appreciate the steady tradewinds and excellent provisioning facilities. Families find the BVI a perfect holiday destination for several reasons - plenty of catamarans that comfortably hold a large family, resorts to stay in before and after the charter, and plenty of interesting stops along the way to keep everyone happy.
The BVI is an archipelago of 4 main islands - Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke and Anegada, plus numerous smaller ones, most of which are virtually uninhabited. Each island has its own attractions, so a round trip through all of them give you a fantastic variety for your charter. Along the way are numerous snorkelling spots, deserted islands, and other fun attractions.
The BVI is superb for all types of charters, be it bareboat or crewed, sailboat, motor yacht or catamaran.
Bareboat chartering works so well in the BVI because there is a great selection of boats (although they do book almost a year in advance in high season), a defined sailing area, well developed provisioning and lots of great moorings along the way. Monohull sailboats from the key manufacturers such as Bavaria and Beneteau normally range from 30 to 50 feet and from 3 to 5 cabins. It is rare that you will be able to bareboat charter a yacht greater than 50 feet in length due to owner's risk and cost of insurance.
The fastest growing area of BVI chartering is Catamaran Charter, both Crewed and Bareboat. Catamarans offer excellent privacy, social space and a proximity to the water that is very appealing for families and groups of friends.
It is also possible to charter all types of motor yachts, from small day charters to skip around the islands, to Super and Mega Yachts. Most Super Yacht charters will start in the US Virgin Islands, very close to the BVI. Feel free to contact us for any charter needs in the BVI, whatever the boat you require.
There is a small airport on Beef Island, quite close to the boats by taxi. But the majority of visitors fly into the US Virgin Islands where there are more flights (especially from the US) and then take the short ferry over to Tortola. Note that you must have a passport and go through passport control to get to the BVI.
The BVI climate is nearly ideal for all types of yachting and water sports. It features wonderfully consistent trade winds - usually 15-20 knots rising to 25 –30 during the “Christmas Winds”. The BVI has a sub-tropical climate with temperatures that range between 77-85° F (25-29° C). Temperatures usually drop 10° F (6 °C) at night.
Rainfall averages approximately 40 inches (102cm) per year. The wettest months are from September to December, the direct are February to April, which is one of the reasons why charter prices are high and availability scarce during the school holidays in February and around Easter.
During the Hurricane season, ranging from June to September, there is a risk of these massively dangerous and destructive storms. At this time, many charter operators shut down for the summer, although the Caribbean is a large area and the chances of a direct hit and small and you will get ample warning. During this time, you will find excellent charter rates often 1/2 of peak season.
We have lots of information about all of the individual islands of the BVI. For a good overview you can click here, or go to the pages on each of the islands (links in below and in the left navigation bar).
Tortola. Tortola is the largest and most populated island in the BVI archipelago. It is a mountainous, volcanic island 12 miles (19 km) long and 3 miles (5 km). The main town is Road Town, where most of the boats are moored, and the population of the Island is about 25,000. Access to Road Town is either by ferry from the neighboring US Virgin Islands, or by bridge from the airport on Beef Island.
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Aside from Road Town, the other main port on Tortola is Soper's Hole, a clean and pretty colonial port town brimming with charm. The marina offers 20 moorings, 45 slips, fuel, ice, showers and complete provisioning facilities. The famous Pussers Landing Restaurant and Bar two floors of dining, dancing and fun.
Tortola has some excellent beaches. The nicest are located along the north side of the island, where quiet coves and bays are fringed with soft, white sands. You'll enjoy the picturesque Cane Garden Bay, or Long Bay, with its mile-long beach. North of Road Town you'll find Trunk Bay beach, probably the most deserted on the island.
Virgin Gorda. Virgin Gorda (the "Fat Virgin") is the third-largest (after Tortola and Anegada) of the islands comprising the BVI. Virgin Gorda's major attraction is "The Baths" located on the southern end of the island. The Baths are a number of huge granite boulders strewn on the beach, forming scenic caves that are open to the sea. Swimming and snorkeling are the main attractions here. The major resort on the island is Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbor, formerly the Rockefeller Resort of Little Dix Bay.
Jost Van Dyke. Jost Van Dyke is a relaxed island known worldwide for its casual lifestyle, protected anchorages, fine beaches, lobster feasts and beachfront restaurants and bars. It is home to Foxy's, a beach bar and restaurant renowned for its beach parties (especially on New Year's Eve). Great Harbor (where you'll find Foxy's) is a large, if sometimes difficult holding, anchorage. It has moorings as well as an easy entrance do in the center, but avoid the large reef that extends 300 yards from the beach.
Anegada. Anegada is the second largest of the British Virgin Islands, but quite different because it is coral, not volcanic in origin. The highest point is only 26 feet above sea level, and it is difficult to approach because of all the coral reefs. It is an island that is worth visiting for its beaches, relaxed style (there are almost no inhabitants) and its lobster barbecues on the beach.
The island has a history of shipwrecks on the reefs and offers wildlife including turtles, pelicans, the endangered Anegada iguana, flamingoes, and of course, lobsters. It is definitely worth a trip if you're looking for a relaxed beach day, with a few pina coladas at a beach bar, and a big lobster roast at night!
BVI Yacht Charter.com very closely with all of the quality charter operators in the BVI, and can find you the ideal charter yacht out of the more than 400 yachts we have to offer. Whether it's bareboat, crewed, monohull, catamaran, motor or Super Yacht, we can find it for you! More importantly, we regularly inspect the boats and know the crews, so you get the quality and service you expect!