With over 60 tropical islands to explore, a Virgin Islands yacht charter is an utterly magical cruising experience of sugar-white beaches, glamorous marinas and vibrant coral reefs.
However, with so much cruising ground to cover and a year-round schedule of exciting festivals and events, it can help to know what the ‘must-see’ experiences and events of the Virgin Islands are to help you plan your yacht charter itinerary.
‘Must do’ Activities
These iconic rockpools are set amongst giant boulders on the Virgin Gorda coast. Snorkel through the crystal clear waters and squeeze through the rocks to the glimmering grotto, before lying on the white sand under the waving palms.
This laid-back beach bar has launched a thousand imitations, but it’s pretty hard to beat the original. Swim ashore to relax with a rum cocktail under the coconut palms- and remember, you have to wade in and out at high tide, so your dollars may indeed get soggy!
The Virgin Islands have some excellent diving, including the famous RHMS Rhone dive site as well as Wreck Alley, where five vessels were intentionally scuttled to create a diving corridor. Once you’ve had your fill of wreck diving, you can head to Anegada for some superb reef diving.
After visiting the flamingo lagoon and lazing about on the stunning pale pink sand beaches of Anegada, you’ll want to head to Big Bamboo ,where delicious local lobsters are picked off the reef, grilled on hot coals and served with lashings of butter at plastic tables by the moonlit sea.
The Virgin Islands have some decadent high end resorts, providing the perfect spot for an elegant lunch ashore or an afternoon’s pampering at a day spa. Scrub Island Resort by the Marriot Autograph Collection is a standout, while Peter Island also has a loyal following of celebrities and A-list guests.
There’s nothing quite like partying under a Caribbean moon, steel band playing and the smell of jerk chicken and conch fritters in the air. There are jump-ups and full moon parties held regularly across the Virgin Islands, with the most famous full moon parties taking place at Bomba’s Shack or Trellis Bay on Tortola, and Foxy’s on Virgin Island.
All the Virgin Islands celebrate the Christmas holiday in their own special way, but for those of you looking for a party this festive season, Saint Croix and Tortola should definitely be on your list. Saint Croix puts on a fantastic show at Christmas with a 12 day festival, while Foxy’s Bar on Tortola is a famously popular place to ring in the New Year.
Saint Croix erupts in a riot of color, music, and dancing in the street when Mardi Gras winds in a festive parade to lovely Cane Bay. Mardi Gras Annual Parade takes place on the Saturday before Fat Tuesday, most often falling in March.
One of the great regattas of the Caribbean, this good-spirited sailing meet brings together sailing yachts of all kinds for a festival of racing and parties at the Caribbean race village. Based at Nanny Cay in Tortola, the BVI Spring Regatta has 18 classes and course options in the Caribbean, Atlantic, and Francis Drake passage, with 2018 seeing the first full moon night race!
Stunning sailing superyachts from around the world converge on the beautiful shores of Virgin Gorda each March for the Loro Piana Superyacht Rendezvous. The regatta is hosted by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS), with competitive racing, superb spectator opportunities, and a glamorous social scene.
Easter is an excellent excuse for a party in Virgin Gorda, with street parades, parties, and a beauty pageant taking place over the Easter long weekend.
This spectacular annual carnival is the biggest of the Virgin Islands, with a huge line-up of Caribbean festivities including ‘Mocko Jumbies’ dressing up as spirits and stalking through the streets on giant stilts. Parades, steel bands and dancing make this a carnival to remember.
This is just a small selection of the events and activities you can experience on a Virgin Islands yacht charter. Ask your yacht broker for local tips on what to see and do on your Virgin Islands cruising holiday.