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

USVI to BVI & Return to USVI Itinerary: 

Arrival in St. Thomas for your yacht charter vacation! 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. Snorkeling is excellent around Waterlemon Cay. Other options for the first night's anchorage are Maho & Francis Bay.

Day 2:

Enjoy a refreshing morning swim while breakfast is being prepared. Afterward, you'll depart St. John and enter the beautiful British Virgin Islands. You will be crossing an international boundary to Soper’s Hole, our port of entry to the BVI. The charter yacht Captain will prepare all the forms and take them to the BVI Customs and Immigration office. Sit back and enjoy a refreshing drink, a swim, and the views! Once you’ve cleared customs, you may go ashore & explore. 

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 time & daylight, you will dingy around to Treasure Point. It is known for the “caves”, a great snorkel spot. This is one of the top "must-see" things in the BVI. Also ashore is a popular beach bar known as “Pirates.” For those with a lot of ambition, try the somewhat challenging hiking trail up to Spy Glass Hill. 

Day 3:

Sail North up the channel and pick up a mooring at Cooper Island. Visit adjacent Pelican Island & The Indians for a snorkel stop. There’s a fun tunnel for brave snorkelers to explore! Afterward, you’ll set sail for Scrub Island, a tiny, picturesque island surrounded by a beautiful reef & new marina. Your sailing charter Crew show you two super snorkeling spots or you can try some water sports like stand-up paddleboarding, kneeboarding, wakeboarding or tubing.

Day 4:

Today you'll set sail for Leinster Bay in the North Sound of Virgin Gorda. If time and weather permit, you can make a lunch stop at Savannah Bay or Mountain Point 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. This is a wonderful area to stretch your legs and go for a hike up the hill. For those yearning for a deserted beach, you may want to discuss going to Anegada tomorrow, weather & time 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. We suggest that you have lunch at one of our favorite spots, “Top of the Baths Restaurant”. There’s a beautiful view of the Sir Francis Drake Channel on one side and the Caribbean Sea on the other. 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 you'll head for Jost Van Dyke. Weather permitting, you might 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. You 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 has 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 crazy calypso ballads from 4-6pm and Tessa has a fantastic gift shop open until 6 pm with lots of native made gifts and goodies. No shoes are required! The band starts around 8:30 pm and plays until 11 pm. It’s a wonderful way to end your holiday!

Day 7:

On the last full day of your charter, you'll sail back to the good 'ole USA.  You'll anchor right outside of Cruz Bay, St. John to clear the yacht & all passengers back into the United States. The process typically takes about 10-15 minutes if your timing is opposite of the incoming ferry schedule. Cruz Bay is a fun little town to explore with lots of good shops. 

After lunch, you'll sail over to Little St. James Island. This has always been one of our favorite anchorages for the best sunsets and some of the most surprising snorkeling in the Virgin Islands. On any given day you'll snorkel with turtles, Southern stingrays, spotted eagle rays and yes, even a dolphin if you are lucky! 

Day 8: Take one last dip in the ocean and sail downwind back to St. Thomas. Your crew will arrange for a cab to take you to the airport.  Don't'll be back to visit the Virgin Islands again soon! It's impossible to see it all in 8 days! 


Sample Itinerary from the USVI to the BVI

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