Menu

Yacht Charter Vacations

By Yacht Charters Guru

header photo

British Virgin Islands

Captain Randy and Shelly Tucker Crewed Yacht Charter BrokerWhen we began our successful 18 year career of owning and operating a charter yacht in the British Virgin Islands, we were just a little "green".  Thankfully, the BVI charter yacht community is one in friendly competition with each other, forming an extremely close knit family exchanging everything from tips on the best anchorages to a cup of sugar whenever needed! We would take up to 8 guests at a time for week long charters and were heavily into teaching our clients about the islands we loved and visiting the out of the way places.

Because of our desire to give our guests a unique experience, we didn't think of ourselves as making a typical circumnavigation around Tortola each week. Instead we listened to our client's interests and developed an itinerary of islands and anchorages that best fit each group. We've gained an in depth knowledge of the area and have visited places where most have not.

We hope to pass some of this knowledge and inspire you to not just be a "tourist" of the British Virgin Islands; but a "traveller" who truly experiences it's charm. Here you will find all the islands of the BVI with a description of their anchorages and some history. Settle in for a good read...

5 Top Things to Experience in the British Virgin Islands

THE LAND OF THE TURTLE DOVE
Local tradition recounts that Christopher Columbus named the island Tórtola, meaning "Turtle Dove" in Spanish. The place to be on a sailing vacation in the BVI is on a boat or a crewed charter yacht: behind the wheel of a power boat racing through blue waters, sunning on a luxury yacht or comfortably sunken into the trampoline of a grand catamaran.

  1. The Baths: Exploring through the graceful grottoes and granite boulders of Virgin Gorda, or "The Baths," is undeniably the most notable experience you can have in the British Virgin Islands. Most people who do come to the area do so to visit The Baths, but just in case you're still deliberating, let us stress the fact: This is THE must-see of the BVI archipelago.
  2. The Soggy Dollar Bar and Foxy's Tamarind Bar & Restaurant: On Jost Van Dyke, White Bay is one of the best beaches to relax with a drink in hand and people watch at the Soggy Dollar Bar. Adjacent in Great Harbor, is the world famous Foxy's.  Both beaches are almost always jumping with activity, dancing and great food. Check out an especially potent tropical drink, the Painkiller, a coconut, pineapple and orange juice concoction drowning in dark rum and topped off with a little nutmeg.
  3. Snorkel at The Caves, located on Norman Island, to see a beautiful array of fish and healthy, bright coral. The Indians are a set of rocks located nearby that also feature excellent snorkeling and shallow water dives. 
  4. Visit the RMS Rhone, one of the world's top shipwrecks to explore. It sailed for the last time on Oct. 19, 1867 and sank near Salt Island during a hurricane. Now, the site of the wreck and its surrounding waters are known as the Rhone National Marine Park as a go-to dive for intermediate to advanced divers in 80 feet or an easy snorkel for beginners in 30 feet. 

  5. Sail to Anegada: Beautifully secluded Anegada is a Caribbean vacationer's dream with more than 300 wrecks to dive on and explore on this coral atoll, matched by plenty of stretches of uncrowded silvery sand, shallow gin-clear water and flocks of flamingos. Our favorite thing to do is to spend a day at Cow Wreck beach or snorkel at Loblolly Beach, then wrap up perfection with a lobster dinner on the beach at the Anegada Reef Hotel! 

Tortola

Tortola is the largest island in the British Virgin Islands with Roadtown being the center of commerce and government. Tortola is connected via a small historical bridge named after Queen Elizabeth to a much smaller island named Beef island. This is where the British Virgin Island airport is located. If you are beginning and ending your trip in the BVI, then you'll quickly learn that this is the hub for most charter yachts. 

Even though it’s the biggest of the British Virgin Islands, Tortola is one of the most low-key ports you’ll encounter during your charter yacht cruise. Take the easy walk from the pier to the center of town and you’ll see bars, shops, and even a modest market. Avid shoppers may be underwhelmed by the merchandise (compared to St. Thomas, USVI), but keep your eyes peeled for one-of-a-kind gems made by local crafters, such as handmade jewelry and metal bracelets pounded out while you watch.

While many are drawn to the popular beach named Cane Garden Bay, most are attracted to the "toes in the sand" parties that have become known through out the Caribbean! 

Top attractions: 

  • Cane Garden Bay- You'll enjoy the sweeping u-shaped stretch of sand backed by the crisp green rolling hills of Tortola. Don't miss the Callwood Distillery, boasting the oldest maker of rum on this side of the hemisphere! 
  • Bomba Shack Full Moon Party- For more than 30 years Bomba has served up his legendary Bomba Punch and mushroom tea which he says will make you feel like at teenager. 
  • Aragorn's Studio and the Trellis Bay Full Moon Festival- Artsy and hip place to be every day of the year, especially on the full moon with Mocko Jumbies, Fireball Sculptures, local food, live music and dancing on the beach
  • Soper's Hole Marina -One of the most picturesque marinas in the Caribbean, Sopers Hole Marina can accommodate large yachts up to 170 feet in length. It's captivating complex of pastel West Indian–style buildings with shady balconies, shuttered windows, and gingerbread trim that house art galleries, boutiques, and restaurants to visiting sailors. It was the pirate hangout for many years as it was a deepwater safe harbor. 
  • Surfing -The BVI's have somehow managed to slip under the radar of the surfing masses, making it a completely mellow and ‘totally rad’ experience for beginners and pros alike. So, rent a board and hit some of the best surf spots the BVI has to offer at Josiah's Bay and Apple Bay. 

Norman Island

Just seven miles south of Tortola at the southern tip of the British Virgin Islands, Norman Island is 2.5 miles long with a total land mass of only 600 acres and feels like it is a million miles from anywhere. It is one of a number of islands reputed to be the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson's pirate novel Treasure Island. Documented in history as having pirate booty stowed upon the island, in August 1750, a Spanish treasure galleon named Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe sought shelter from a storm on the North Carolina coast. The crew mutinied and stole the treasure, which was said to consist of 55 chests of silver coins. We've been told by the descendants of the former owner of the island that a small amount of the treasure is still buried there! Urban legend? You decide! 

       The Caves at Norman Island, BVI       Captain Randy Tucker crewed yacht charter broker

Don't Miss: 

  • Snorkeling the Caves and the Indians -great fish and interesting coral!
  • The Legendary Willy T's- A floating bar and restaurant named after William Thornton who was born on May 20, 1759, on Jost Van Dyke, in the British Virgin Islands and died on March 28, 1828, in Washington D.C. He was known as a physician, an architect, a painter and an inventor. William Thornton's plantation on Tortola was located in the Pleasant Valley area near Nanny Cay. His greatest claim to fame is the design for the United States Capitol Building! His design was submitted after the competition of 1792 had closed and was approved by President Washington, who praised it for its “grandeur, simplicity and convenience.” A prize of $500 and a city lot was awarded to Thornton on April 5, 1793; he is thus recognized as the first “Architect of the Capitol”. The “new” William Thornton also features a very large aft bridge deck. This is where you will find all sorts of shenanigans going on...did you say you wanted to jump naked from the second deck of the floating bar? Well, go right ahead! 
  • Pirate's Bight- We've taught many guests how to snorkel, right here in the shallow water on the beach at Pirate's Bight. The restaurant and bar, newly rebuilt, is a great spot to chill in the shade. Or check out the hiking trails beginning directly behind the restaurant. 

Peter Island

Twice been named by Conde Nast Traveler as one of the "Best Places to Stay in the World", Peter Island is a stunning resort surrounded by beautiful beaches and nice anchorages. Remember the song, "Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of Rum"? Deadman's Bay is said to be named for pirates that were marooned on neighboring Dead Chest island. It's the biggest beach on the island with a mile-long powdered white sand, shaded by palm trees and swinging hammocks.  

                                Peter Island Resort             Captain Randy Tucker at Peter Island Resort 

Don't Miss: 

  • A walk through the casually elegant Peter Resort and Spa hidden away on an 1,800-acre oasis of tranquility. Take advantage of the services offered at the Spa if time allows. 
  • Sampling a spectacular Rum Smoothie at the Deadman's Beach Bar...really! They are the BEST!
  • Snorkeling in Great Harbor on both sides of the anchorage. The exceptionally calm anchorage allows for exciting water sport activities such as stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, knee-boarding, wake-boarding and tubing. 

Salt Island

Salt Island is located about 4.7 miles southeast of Road Town, the main town on Tortola. It is named after its salt ponds, which were once an important resource.

Salt Island is most notable for the wreck of the Royal Mail packet steamer, RMS Rhone which sank in a hurricane on October 29, 1867, The Rhone was driven back onto the rocky shore of Salt Island while attempting to head to safety at sea after her massive anchor chain broke. Most of the ship's crew were lost; but honored today with a wide circle of stones found near the beach. 

The wreck of the Rhone is one of the best scuba diving sites in the Caribbean. Some of the underwater scenes in the 1977 film The Deep were filmed in and around the wreck. If you haven't seen the movie in awhile, then take the time to enjoy the amazing videography...very advanced for the time in which it was filmed! 

The population of the island hasn't been more than three people since at least 1980. They pay an annual rent to the Queen of the United Kingdom, of a one-pound bag of salt.

Don't Miss: 

  • The Diving and Snorkeling at the Rhone -We have been scuba diving all over the world; but this spot remains our favorite! 

Cooper Island

Cooper Island Beach Club offers a relaxing beach getaway and a convenient base for a scuba diving adventure that is known as "Wreck Alley".  The white sandy beach and turquoise water of Manchioneel Bay make it a very popular anchorage with safe moorings which are available to sailing visitors. It's new renovations have resulted in a recent review on TripAdvisor.com as the "Coolest Island in the BVI"..."Shabby-chic and put together with love, care and great attention to all the small details that make this a beautiful resort. From the Sea Grape Boutique, to the extensive Rhum bar, to the restaurant, they just seem to get everything right."

Don't Miss: 

  • Exploring the Manchioneel Bay Beach and the Cooper Island Resort boardwalk
  • Snorkeling Cistern Point via dinghy -Always a great time snorkeling with lots of large fish & turtles! 

Cooper Island Resort British Virgin Islands BVI

Ginger Island

While presently uninhabited, it's 258 acres is one of the last undeveloped privately held islands in the BVI Territory. It is the location of two of the better dive sites in the British Virgin Islands: "Alice in Wonderland" and "Ginger Steppes". Many times, our guests who love to dive would enjoy going out on a rendezvous dive boat to these sights, while those who didn't partake of diving enjoyed the beach at Cooper Island Beach Club. There is always something for everyone aboard a charter yacht sailing vacation! 

The dive known as Alice in Wonderland received it's name from the large mushroom shaped coral heads which provide shelter for reef fish, lobster and spotted morays. While this area does not boast the abundant fish of other islands, the health of the corals makes this dive popular. Ginger Steppes is tucked up against the tip of South Bay providing better protection from ocean swells and making for a calmer dive.

Don't Miss: 

  • Novice Divers- Alice's Backside and Ginger Patches- 20-60ft
  • Intermediate Divers- Alice in Wonderland and Ginger Steps- 30-90ft
  • Advanced Divers- Carvel Rock- 40-90ft

Virgin Gorda

Covering an area of 8 square miles, Virgin Gorda is the third-largest island after Tortola & Anegada and second most populous of the British Virgin Islands. Christopher Columbus is said to have named the island "The Fat Virgin", because the island's profile on the horizon looks like a fat woman lying on her side. (Now quite frankly, we've never actually seen the famous profile; but we're told by the old salts that if you look closely on your sailing approach from the Northwestern tip of the island, you'll see her!) 

Spanish Town is the home to Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbor on the southwestern part of the island. You'll find a friendly atmosphere and a few fun shops to explore. 

The Baths at Virgin Gorda British Virgin Islands BVI"The Baths" are comprised of an incredible geological formation of granite boulders which form sheltered pools along the beach. There is an easily accessible trail that leads through the shallow grottos and boulders to nearby Devil’s Bay. At The Baths, the beach shows evidence of the island's volcanic origins, as huge granite boulders lie in piles on the beach, forming scenic grottoes that are open to the sea. After exploring the interior of the Baths, you'll want to grab your snorkel gear to explore the perimeter of the submerged boulders. 

One of our recommended lunches ashore in Virgin Gorda is at the top of the trail to the Baths. Inexpensive and fun, you'll find one of the best triple decker BLT sandwiches and the very best frozen Pina Colada in the BVI. Step in Mad Dog's Restaurant and Bar and enjoy the view from their wrap around porch. Tell the owner Edith that Capt. Randy & Shelly, formerly of Three Moons yacht said "Hi"!

The most notable ruin on Virgin Gorda is the old Copper Mine, built by Cornish miners in the early 1800’s and closed in 1862.  

Bitter End Yacht Club BVI

In the island's North Sound is the high-end and accessible only by boat, Bitter End Yacht Club, now afive-star resort. The rich and famous play at the The Yacht Club Costa Smeralda bringing their racing yachts to the Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta.  Adjacent to the yacht club is Biras Creek Resort as well as our secret lunch stop- The Fat Virgin Cafe. Definitely order and enjoy one of the very best Chicken Roti's in the British Virgin Islands! 

In the North Sound you'll also find other great destinations frequented by boaters from around the world to include Saba Rock and Leverick Bay Marina and Resort. Leverick is a great facility with entertainment by the renown Michael Beans who is part musician, part showman, part sailor and pure entertain~Arrr. He's made a life out of pirate lore, sailor's tales and songs of the islands. 

     North Sound Virgin Gorda British Virgin Islands  Loro Piana Super Yacht Regatta Virgin Gorda BVI  View from Saba Rock Resort Virgin Gorda BVI

Micheal Beans Music and Conch Shell Blowing Contest  Biras Creek, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands BVI

Anegada

Named Anegada or the “Drowned Land” by the Spanish, Anegada is the only coral island in the Virgin Islands’ volcanic chain. It lies approximately 15 miles north of Virgin Gorda. Measuring eleven miles by three, its highest point is just 28 feet above sea level. At least two-thirds of Anegada's shoreline is pristine beach and the crystal waters offer unbelievable snorkeling and swimming.

Extensive coral reefs which surround the island have caused nearly 300 shipwrecks. This is home of the Eastern Caribbean’s third largest continuous reef, Horseshoe Reef.  Long stretches of secluded sandy beaches are protected by the sheltering reef.

There are around 200 residents on the island and on a typical day during the tourist season, the island will have an additional 200 or so visitors. Commercial fishing is a substantial business on Anegada, with local fishermen providing the majority of the fresh fish and lobster catch for the rest of the British Virgin Islands. Its miles of south shore flats has a large population of bonefish, making Anegada a popular destination for fly fishing.

A variety of wildlife special to Anegada includes loblolly, frangipani, turpentine trees, feathery sea lavender and wild orchids. On the nature trail at Bones Bight, catch a glimpse of the rare rock iguanas native to BVI's Anegada, or discover the exotic flamingos at Nutmeg Point. Both animals are protected to encourage their growth in number. 

Don't Miss: 

  • Cow Wreck Beach- A great place to hang out and enjoy the solitude of the beach. 
  • Loblolly Bay- The Big Bamboo is located on the northern shores of Loblolly Bay on the island of Anegada. The white long sandy beaches extend for miles and is considered by many to be one of the most famous swimming & snorkeling areas within its location.
  • Anegada Reef Hotel - Sitting here and admiring the view, the only thing between you and the coast of Africa is miles of ocean. For dinner, imagine your meal outdoors with your feet in the sand and the stars above. Feast on Anegada Reef famous grilled spiny lobster pulled fresh from the water. This experience is truly a "must-do" on your list of things to try during your charter sailing vacation in the BVIs!

Marina Cay

The 8-acre island was uninhabited until 1937, when author Robb White and newly married wife Rosalie “Rodie” Mason settled on the island. The Whites spent three years on Marina Cay, hacking a cistern out of the rough, rocky land and hand-mixing enough concrete to build a small, sturdy house. These adventurous years – during which the couple weathered a hurricane, fended off a crazy Nazi skipper, aided Jewish refugees, and survived a surprise visit from White’s mother-in-law – are detailed in his memoirs In Privateer’s Bay (1939), Our Virgin Island (1953), and a movie starred in by Sidney Poitier-Two on the Isle (1985).

Today, Marina Cay is home to Pusser's Restaurant & Villas; the house Robb and Rodie built serves as a reading lounge and sunset bar with great music. 

Don't Miss: 

  • Visiting the Pusser's Company Store- Established by Charles Tobias more than 30 years ago, after spending 5-1/2 years sailing the world in his sturdy 60-ft ketch MAR. He started a specialty rum business– Pusser’s Rum. Then a few months later, he added a few clothing items. Visiting their store is simply a BVI tradition. Have your photo made adjacent to the store on the end of the dock in a genuine British telephone booth. You might become famous on it's webcam
  • Enjoying a Pusser's Painkiller at either the Rob White Bar on top of the hill at sunset or in Pusser's Restaurant
  • Why? Because it all started with the rum ...

    The sea and rum are synonymous, and no rum more akin to the sea and the seaman than Pusser's. For more than 300 years, from before the days of Nelson, wooden ships and iron men, Great Britain's Royal Navy issued a daily rum ration on board Their Majesties' ships. This tradition, one of the longest in seafaring history, continued unbroken from 1655 to July 31, 1970, on which day the Navy stopped their daily issue of Pusser's rum.

    In 1979, Charles Tobias formed Pusser's West Indies in the British Virgin Islands and undertook to resurrect the Pusser's Rum tradition with which he was familiar. After much persuasion, the Admiralty Board of the Royal Navy gave him the blend for the rum and shortly afterwards, Pusser's Rum was being shipped commercially for the first time. In return, the Royal Navy Sailor's Fund, a naval charity, receives a substantial donation from the sale of each case. This contribution, aside from the Fund's original bequest, is the Fund's largest source of income.

Scrub Island

Scrub Island is 1.6 miles long and made up of a total 230 acres, which includes Big Scrub and Little Scrub. The mountainous island highest eastern peak reaches a whopping 438 feet. Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina is a boutique luxury hotel in the BVI that opened in March 2010. Close to the Beef Island Airport and accessible by the resort's ferry, it's proven itself many times to be the perfect place to meet your charter yacht crew for your sailing vacation. We recommend staying either the day before your charter begins or the day after your charter ends to relax and enjoy this beautiful resort. 

Don't Miss: 

  • Having a cocktail at the huge curved petrified wood bar at Carvela Restaurant. Seeing this amazing piece of natural history will surely astound you. Equally as interesting is lunch with a view at Tierra! Tierra! 
  • The quiet privacy of the One Shoe Beach Bar...always a favorite of our guests! 

Guana Island

Guana Island BVI Guana Island satisfies the working-day dream of being a castaway with just a beach and a beer to keep you occupied. One of the lesser-known of the 60-plus islands in the British Virgin chain, the privately owned Guana has that deserted island vibe with all the amenities of a modern resort. While you won't find yourself exploring this exclusive private resort, you will be able to enjoy the beach and snorkeling. 

Don't Miss: 

  • Snorkeling at Monkey Point via dinghy -It is like swimming through an aquarium! It's a very easy swim from your chartered yacht, or you can even take the dinghy right up to the best snorkeling spots, tie on to a temporary mooring and jump in.

Jost Van Dyke

Foxy

Located in nearby White Bay is the Soggy Dollar Bar, another famous beach bar on the island. The Soggy Dollar is reputedly the birthplace of the popular drink known as the Painkiller. The Soggy Dollar bar is appropriately named because when built there was neither road nor dock. (There is now a road from Great Harbour, but still no dock). To reach the beach where the bar is located, it is a common practice for boaters to anchor off the beach, swim to shore, and pay for their drinks with wet money.

The country music video for Kenny Chesney's 2002 recording, No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems, was filmed on and around Jost Van Dyke. Included in the video were several scenes at One Love Bar and Ivan's Stress-Free Bar where it is common for patrons to mix their own drinks, and leave their payment in the register. Chesney also references Jost Van Dyke in his song, Somewhere in The Sun, from his album Be as You Are (Songs from an Old Blue Chair).

Don't Miss: 

Corona Beer at Cow Wreck Beach Anegada British Virgin Islands BVI

  • The Soggy Dollar Bar in White Bay- Sip their famous Painkiller while standing in crystal clearwater!
  • Foxy's Tamarind Bar & Restaurant -Legendary for their feet in the sand fish, chicken & rib buffet on Friday & Saturday nights. Dance barefoot until they close at one of the best weekend parties in the Caribbean
  • The Bubbly Pool -On the east side of Jost Van Dyke, a short distance from Foxy's Taboo restaurant located  in Long Bay and directly beside Diamond Cay, you'll find a geological delight known as the "Bubbly Pool". Follow this easily navigated foot path around the salt pond and through the waist high, wild sage bushes. If you are there on the perfect day, with the perfect amount of North swell, it's like being in a natural Jacuzzi...very invigorating and a lot of fun!
  • Sandy Cay and Sandy Spit on Little Jost Van Dyke -Just like the famous Corona beach commercial and Jerry Seinfield's American Express commercial, both were filmed here!

Contact Us!

1-800-859-0042

Tell Us About Your Needs:

What Type of Yacht Do You Want to Charter?
What's Your Group's Approx. Budget?
Does Anyone in Your Group Smoke?