Thinking about sailing on warm aquamarine water amongst magical islands and setting your own cruising paths and itinerary? Let us suggest a sailing vacation to the British Virgin Islands, nature’s best kept secret. We are passionate about sailing and our family vacations frequently involve sailing somewhere in the world on a yacht (bareboat) charter. We started sailing in the BVI in 1983 and it is still our most favorite sailing destination. Why – crystal clear water, white sand beaches, steady trade winds, calm currents, protected bays, well-developed infrastructure of marinas and shore services. Did I mention pirate-ship bars and some of the colorful characters in the Virgin Islands? Some of the locals have been in the BVI as long as we’ve been sailing there, and seeing them and their families adds to the special experience. The BVI is indeed the perfect yacht charter vacation destination.
We are not a yacht charter company. We created this site in the spirit of sharing our insights and tips about yacht charter sailing vacations in the Virgin Islands to help you have as much pleasure sailing in the Virgin Islands as we have had.
Where are the British Virgin Islands (BVI)?
The BVI are located in the Caribbean to the east of Puerto Ricco. The BVI consists of four larger islands: Tortola, Anegada, Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke, and 32 smaller islands and islets. The total area of the BVI is 59 square miles. The BVI is one of the two groups of islands in the Virgin Islands; the other group is the US Virgin Islands. The Virgin Islands is a group of about 90 small islands, islets, cays and rocks in the West Indies, about 50 miles east of Puerto Rico. For a history on the Virgin Islands, check out of our article on The Virgin Islands.
Why is the BVI the best sailing destination in the Caribbean?
The British Virgin Islands are postcard-perfect and have everything you want in a sailing destination. Additionally, the BVI has a well-developed infrastructure of marinas, shore services like mooring, dining, water sports, and boat services. It is the perfect destination for both novice and experienced yachtsmen–first time visitors or returning friends to the BVI.
The British Virgin Islands offers crystal clear water, white sand beaches and the promise of steady, if boisterous at times, trade wind sailing. Every sailor will appreciate the easy line-of-sight navigation between 30+ islands. Navigation is a matter of looking around the horizon and saying ‘I want to sail to that island right over there’. The passages are short and generally deep-water (less chance of going around on a sandbar or hitting a reef). The bays and sounds are protected, and moorings are available for secure anchorage most places you and your party may want to visit.
For the first-time cruisers, you can combine cruising and learning to sail by having an on-board instructor or a skipper. You can choose a crewed yacht charter if you want a personal crew on board. Or, choose flotilla sailing where a group of boats (10 or so) sail together, guided by one boat with an expert who plans itineraries, acts as a guide, plans fun events, etc. For the experienced sailors, there are various sailing classes in preparation for worldwide sailing. Check out our blog on how you can combine your charter holiday with sailing instruction.
We also like the sheer variety in the British Virgin Islands. Each island is distinct. You can set sail from Tortola to a remote cays or choose to drop off the map on isolated Anegada. The islands and the friendly islanders always welcome us like old-friends. Many of the restaurants and other services for BVI yacht charters have been run by the same owners or their families for decades. These are colorful characters who will quickly establish a permanent residence in a pleasant corner of your mind.
Seven or more day cruising itineraries in the BVI
Are you ready to explore one of our suggested itineraries in the BVI? A charter trip in the British Virgin Islands is best done with a combination of planning and flexibility. You decide what activities you would like to do – then check out our blogs on Seven or more day cruising itineraries in the BVI for our suggestions of having a wonderful time sailing in the BVI.
The when, where and how tips about your BVI sailing vacation
Check out our tips and insights about when is the best time to travel to BVI, how to choose a chartering service in the BVI, where to provision in the BVI, budgeting for your trip to the BVI, and other suggestions to help your plan for a perfect yacht charter vacation in the BVI.
Whether you are the first time yacht charterer, an experienced charterer who has not yet sailed the BVI, or for the experienced charterer who is returning to the BVI, the BVI are surely among the best sailing destinations in the Caribbean.