Yacht Charter Vacations

By Yacht Charters Guru

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The U.S. Virgin Islands

Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, USVIThe U.S. Virgin Islands—St. Thomas, St. John, Water Island and St. Croix—may fly the American flag, but "America's Paradise" is in reality a mix of the foreign and familiar that offers something for everyone to enjoy. The history, beautiful beaches, myriad activities, great cuisine, and no-passport-required status make the Virgin Islands an inviting beach destination for many Americans.

Charlotte Amalie Harbor, Long Bay, St. Thomas, USVISt. Thomas boasts one of the most beautiful harbors in the world. We've sailed from Ft. Lauderdale to Trinidad and can easily say that the twinkling night lights of the Charlotte Amalie harbor are the prettiest anywhere! As the most visited port in the Caribbean, downtown Charlotte Amalie offers elegant dining, exciting nightlife, duty-free shopping a gondola and even a zip line! Though it's full of energy, especially downtown, this island also possesses numerous sublime natural splendors, such as stunning views of the Caribbean from 1,500 feet above sea level.

Most St. Thomas Yacht Charter crews pick up their guests at Crown Bay Marina located between the airport and the downtown Charlotte Amalie shopping district or at Yacht Haven Grande Marina, just east of downtown Charlotte Amalie. Another option is to meet your crewed yacht at American Yacht Harbor Marina in Red Hook on St. Thomas’ East end. Adjacent to the East end is the ever popular anchorage of Christmas Cove with it's excellent snorkeling. You might even get to sample one of the newest creations from the Pizza Pi boat located in the harbor! 

Sapphire BeachWith a population of about 200 people, Water Island offers visitors a superb opportunity to relax away from everything and enjoy a laid-back vacation. It is a small residential island; the smallest of the four USVI islands at just 491.5 acres. The calm bay at Honeymoon Beach is a great place to watch your first sunset after meeting your crewed charter yacht at Crown Bay Marina in St. Thomas. Your Captain will be happy to show you all the fun things to do such as enjoy live music on Honeymoon beach, sample the restaurants, kayak, snorkel, explore the shoreline at Limestone, visit the remains of the military fortifications at Fort Segarra, take a bike tour or join residents for movie night under the stars! And if you are really lucky, when the visibility is good, you can see Puerto Rico’s El Yunque mountain to the west during the day and the glow from the city at night. 

Two-thirds of St. John is a national park. Donated by Laurence Rockefeller in 1950's, its home to the Virgin Islands National Park, which protects over 7000 acres of the 12,500 acre island. The island's comfortable pace is perfect for enjoying world-renowned beaches such as Trunk Bay, Cinnamon Bay and Salt Pond Bay. A nature lover's favorite, St. John offers hiking, camping, specialty shopping and breathtaking views. You could easily spend a week exploring the North coast anchorages of Caneel Bay, Cinnamon Bay, Maho & Francis Bay and Leinster Bay & the Southern anchorages of Little Lameshur Bay and Coral Bay. St. John offers imaginative shops with distinctive resort wear, quality jewelry, unique international & local crafts & duty free luxury goods. The island is home to many talented artists who work in a wide array of mediums & modes.  St. John's three shopping areas, all within walking distance of the main ferry dock & each with a personality all its own, are attractions in themselves offering charming restaurants, cafes & bars along with the shops.

Located 40 miles South of St. Thomas, St. Croix is one of the only dive destinations where you can dive a wall, wreck, pier and reef all in one day. One of only three underwater national monuments in the United States, Buck Island and its surrounding coral reef ecosystem support a large variety of native flora and fauna, including the hawksbill turtle and brown pelican. Underwater trails make Buck Island a popular destination for snorkelers and a must-do for every visitor. While not a regular stop on many crewed yacht charter itineraries (one day to get there and one day to get back), you can easily take the sea plane from St. Thomas to find well-equipped sport fishing charter boats, offering full- and half-day trips. Whether you prefer to angle for big game fish, fly fish or bone fish, you'll find it on St. Croix. 

Sample Itinerary for the U.S. Virgin Islands & British Virgin Islands

Arrival in St. Thomas on your sailing vacation:

You've arrived in paradise! A welcome aboard cocktail is waiting for you. Relax, unwind and enjoy familiarizing yourself with the Captain and Crew. 

Day 1:

After a light lunch, you'll depart for Leinster Bay, St. John. The bay is well protected and quite comfortable. The snorkeling is excellent and there is an interesting walk ashore on a trail leading to the 300-year old Annaberg Sugar Mills. These ruins have been beautifully restored by the Park Service. Other options for the first night's anchorage are Caneel Bay or Maho & Francis Bay.

Day 2:

Enjoy a refreshing morning swim while breakfast is being prepared. Afterwards, you'll depart St. John and enter the beautiful British Virgin Islands. You will be crossing an international boundary to Soper’s Hole, our point of entry. The charter yacht Captain will prepare all the forms and take them to the BVI Customs and Immigrations office. Sit back and enjoy a rum punch and the views of the prettiest harbor in the Caribbean! Once you’ve cleared customs, you may go ashore for about and hour and look around the terrific shops. After lunch, you will sail toward Norman Island and the Bight. Often referred to by the locals as “Treasure Island”, legends of Norman Island are resplendent with stories of buried pirate treasure! If there is enough daylight, we will dingy around to Treasure Point. It is known for the “caves”, a great snorkel spot. Also, in the Bight is a floating bar, “The William Thornton,” which was christened in 1966. Handy, too, is a popular beach bar known as “Billy Bones.” For those with a lot of ambition, try the somewhat challenging hiking trail up to Spy Glass Hill.

Day 3:

If the seas are calm, the yacht can moor at Pelican Island & The Indians for a snorkel stop. There’s a fun tunnel for brave snorkelers to explore! Afterwards we’ll set sail for Marina Cay, a tiny, picturesque sailing vacations island surrounded by a beautiful reef. Rob and Rodie White settled on the island right before World War II. You may visit the home that they built and have a drink at the spectacular Sunset Bar. There’s also a Pusser’s Company Store stocked with their nautical and tropical clothing, unique accessories and gifts. Your sailing charter Crew show you two super snorkeling spots or you can try some water sports like knee boarding.

Day 4:

Today you'll set sail for the famous Bitter End Sailing Vacations Yacht Club in the North Sound of Virgin Gorda. If time and weather permit, you can make a lunch stop at one of the islands along the way. Christopher Columbus named Virgin Gorda because, from seaward, it resembled a full-figured woman lying on her back. (Maybe he was at sea too long!) It was once the capital of the BVI’s and now has a population of 9,000 people. For your one night ashore, you may want to consider dining at the Bitter End or have a very elegant meal at Biras Creek. This is a wonderful area to stretch your legs and enjoy the beautiful scenery. It’s truly a “world-class” resort. For those yearning for a deserted beach, you may want to discuss going to Anegada tomorrow, weather permitting.

Day 5:

This may very well be your most favorite day of the vacation!! Today, you are sailing to the Baths. Located on the southwest tip of Virgin Gorda, the Baths are a most unusual formation of large granite boulders. Where the sea washes in between the huge rocks, large pools have been created. Shafts of light play upon the water, creating a dramatic effect. The adjacent beach is white and sandy with excellent snorkeling. You’ll enjoy the easy 20 minute trail through the Baths over to Devil’s Bay. Only one other place on the planet, the Seychelles Islands off the coast of Africa, is similar to the Baths. You may choose to board the complimentary shuttle at 9 or 10am at the Bitter End Yacht Club to ferry across the North Sound to Gun Creek where a cab will be waiting. The fare is less than twenty dollars per person round trip and the driver is yours for the day. All of our guests really enjoy getting to see this beautiful island. The driver will drop you at the Baths and we usually ask him to pick us up at 3:00 or 4:00. We suggest that you have lunch at one of our favorite spots, “Mad Dogs Bar and Grille”. There’s a beautiful view of the Sir Francis Drake Channel on one side and the Caribbean Sea on the other. It’s also world famous for their BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) sandwiches. It’s all very inexpensive and lots of fun! You’ll need to wear your swimsuit and a cover-up or T-shirt and shoes that can get wet and don’t forget your underwater camera. You will need to bring the snorkeling gear, a beach blanket and a few towels. 

Day 6:

Today we head for Jost Van Dyke. Weather permitting, we can make a lunch stop at Sandy Cay, the postcard-picture perfect little deserted island that you may have all to yourself! Jost Van Dyke is known for its 1000-foot high peaks. We will anchor in Great Harbor, near Foxy’s Tamarind Bar and Grill at the eastern end. Over the years, Foxy’s has become an institution for cruising boats and was been named the “Number 3 Place to Be” in the world for the millennium. Foxy and his wife Tessa have hosted the Wooden Boat Regatta for many years. You will not want to miss hearing Foxy sing his calypso ballads from 4-6pm and Tessa has a fantastic gift shop open until 6pm with lots of native made gifts and goodies. If we arrive on a Friday or Saturday night, you may want to spend your one night ashore at the restaurant enjoying the bountiful buffet. The fish that is served is guaranteed to very fresh – usually only 3 hours old! Roasted chicken and barbecued ribs are served alongside Caribbean rice, salads, tropical fruits, vegetables and freshly baked breads. What a super feast and no shoes are required! The band starts around 8:30pm and plays until 11pm. It’s a wonderful way to end your holiday !

Day 7:

After departing Jost Van Dyke about 10:00am for a motor sail back to St. Thomas, we hope you’ll remember to fill out the yacht charter guest book and comment sheet. We hope you truly enjoyed your sailing vacation!

Sample Itinerary from the USVI to the BVI

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