Ok, so. You decided that a crewed charter yacht vacation was perfect for you and your family and friends. That was such a wise, no brainer decision! Who wouldn’t want to be pampered by a personal chef, who creates a menu catering to your specific preferences?
Who wouldn’t want to tap into the incredible local knowledge and safety oriented skills of a professionally trained charter yacht captain? Don’t we all want the peaceful solitude and space of their own private charter yacht? The luxuries and conveniences of a crewed charter yacht vacation sell themselves, because they are everything you could want and more!
But now that we have answered the questions of “what” (a crewed charter yacht vacation) and “why” (because it’s an amazing, unforgettable, private, personalized vacation), we ask the next logical inquiry: “where?” The first suggested answer is frequently the British Virgin Islands, and for so many good reasons.
The British Virgin Islands are made up of more than 50 islands, all of them unique in their own way. But even more exciting is that these beautiful islands are all within a twelve mile stretch, which means they are all easy to reach.
Other islands in the Caribbean chain are hours and hours apart, but not so in the British Virgin Islands. Most islands can be reached within 20 minutes of each other!
That is very exciting for the adventurous traveler that wants to “see it all.” The natural phenomenon of having so many islands within a short distance of each other has single-handedly made the British Virgin Islands the sailing capital of the world.
While there might be merit to sailing long distances, traveling by sailboat in the British Virgin Islands means you get to see more, by land and by sea. Every island offers similar and also different pleasures and experiences for the traveler, including (but not even nearly limited to) restaurants; shopping; provisioning; tourist attractions; land and water activities; and even travel services, like a large airport and several ferry terminals.
Which brings me to my next “Why the British Virgin Islands” point: the incredibly easy experience of traveling to and from the British Virgin Islands. There are several convenient ways to travel to the British Virgin Islands: public ferry boat; private ferry boat; commercial airline fare; or a privately chartered flight.
One of the most popular ways of traveling to the British Virgin Islands is to take a flight, either to St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands or San Juan, Puerto Rico, and then transferring on a quick twenty minute flight to the airport on Beef Island, Tortola. This service is offered by several commercial flights, and also private flights. A private flight can actually fly directly to Tortola, however, and this is the ultimate convenience.
The other most popular way to travel to the British Virgin Islands is to take a ferry, either public or private, from St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands to Tortola, British Virgin Islands (or other British Virgin Islands, such as Jost Van Dyke or Virgin Gorda). Traveling by public or private ferry is extremely convenient, with multiple operators offering service from several different locations (Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas; Red Hook, St. Thomas; and Cruz Bay, St. John) at all hours of the day and into the night. Charter yacht crew communicate thoroughly with guests to coordinate a safe and convenient pickup once guests have arrived to the British Virgin Islands.
Another reason the British Virgin Islands is such a great charter yacht vacation choice is the lack of a language barrier. The official language of the island is English, and so interacting and communicating is a breeze (pun intended!). The local island accent dialect is fascinating to hear and adds to the ambiance of the vacation, but in no way deters from the communication process.
Asking where this or that is located; asking where you can find the best painkiller; asking when is a certain bar or restaurant open; or just chatting with one of the locals to hear their story; finding out the information you need is more than possible, and you can pay with your U.S. dollars and most credit cards.
Which brings me to my final point, which is what the British Virgin Islands is best known for – the wide variety of things to do that are sure to satisfy each guest individually and the group as a whole.
The British Virgin Islands are world famous destinations that I like to call “Bucket List Worthy” – Foxy’s Tamarind Bar; The Soggy Dollar Bar; The Baths; North Sound; The Wreck of the Rhone; Peter Island Resort; Lobster dinner on the beach at Anegada Island; the original Pusser’s at Marina Cay; Sandy Cay; and so much more.
You can bar hop; go on island hikes to incredible hilltop views; kayak or paddle board in a private bay; or just relax on a deserted white sandy beach and let the tropical breeze and warm sun kiss your face. Scuba diving and snorkeling are two extremely popular activities, and with the British Virgin Islands’ eco friendly Mooring Ball system, divers and snorkelers can get up close and personal with the tropical fish and underwater creatures without damaging the reefs.
And after a long day of sailing the ever consistent trade winds and soaking up the day’s activities (and the delightful gourmet treats from your personal chef), your exclusive floating platform is perfect for star watching and moon gazing. You can sleep with ease and let the gentle waves rock you and the boat to sleep – so you can start fresh in a new day filled with new journeys.
Megan Schlobohm operated one of the busiest and most successful crewed charter yachts in the British Virgin Islands and now writes to help people discover this magical tropical destination.
She is an avid reader and writer; an accomplished gourmet chef; and loves everything about sailing. She now lives in the Southeastern US, running a mini-farm and woodworking shop, and also helping others learn about and enjoy the Caribbean islands she lovingly called “home” for so long.