The British Virgin Islands

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British Virgin Islands Coastline with yacht and bright blue water
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About The British Virgin Islands

The British Virgin Islands (BVI) are part of a volcanic archipelago located east of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The BVI comprises four main islands and about thirty smaller ones, many of which are still uninhabited. Discover what these islands have to offer through BVI yacht charters and explore the waters. The mix of man-made decadence and untouched natural beauty has made the BVI one of the best destinations to travel to within the Caribbean. The areas inviting turquoise blue water, bountiful coral reefs, and sun-bleached sand beaches will make any vacation unforgettable. Get unrivaled access to the waters with private yachts in BVI and go at your own pace.

The largest island is Tortola and is home to the capital of BVI, Road Town. Tortola is not like most capital cities; it is the perfect location to relax and unwind. The island’s cobblestone pathways and winding walkways make it the ideal place to explore and go shopping, especially since it is home to many boutiques and small gift stores. Like all the islands in the BVI, Tortola has some stunning beaches, including Smuggler’s Cove and Cane Garden Bay. Anegada Island is known as one of the best places to go scuba diving or snorkeling. BVI catamaran charters offer a wide array of activities, so don’t wait to include them in your itinerary. If you are looking to get lost in nature, this is the place for you. Jost van Dyke may be small in size, but it is the ideal place to go if you are looking for a place to party. Make sure to head over to the Soggy Dollar Bar in White Bay to try the famous rum cocktail known as the Painkiller. Last, Virgin Gorda is the third-largest island in the BVI and is known for its luxury resorts and exclusive yacht clubs.

One of the main draws of BVI is the sheer number of islands located within the archipelago. Travelers can spend the day on the beach on Jost Van Dyke before enjoying a sunset drink at Pirates Bight on Norman Island before heading to the Cooper Island Beach Club for dinner. Island hopping is a must in the BVI, so that is why British Virgin Island charters is a great option. In the end, the possibilities are endless, so whatever type of vibe you’re looking for, BVI has something perfect for you.

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Fast Facts About The British Virgin Islands

  • Pirate Lore: Yarrr, matey! The BVI was once the ultimate pirate hangout. Legend says that Blackbeard marooned 15 of his men on Dead Chest Island. What’s more? Norman Island was Robert Louis Stevenson’s muse for “Treasure Island.” Are you ready for an adventure yet?
  • Sip the Tradition: Calling all rum aficionados! The BVI is home to one of the Caribbean’s oldest rum distilleries. If you’re lucky enough to be near Tortola’s Cane Garden Bay, you’ve got to check out Hard, housed in a building that’s 400 years old.
  • VIP Islands: Ever dreamed of rubbing elbows with Sir Richard Branson? Well, the founder of the Virgin Group owns Necker Island right here in the BVI. While we can’t promise a meet-and-greet, sailing past it is still a ‘bucket-list’ moment.
  • Dive into Anegada: Forget sandy shores for a second; Anegada Island is made entirely of coral and limestone. What does that mean for you? It is an underwater paradise perfect for snorkeling and scuba diving.
  • Hidden Treasures: Aside from the mainstream islands, the BVI is home to over 50 smaller islets and cays waiting to be explored, many of which are only accessible by boat—perfect for a yacht charter adventure!
  • Celestial Sights: The BVI offers excellent conditions for stargazing. Far away from city lights, the islands provide an unparalleled night sky view.
  • Local Cuisine: Have you ever tried Anegada lobster or Johnnycakes? The BVI offers unique regional foods that you won’t find easily elsewhere. Perfect for foodies looking for something a little different.
  • Shipwrecks: The BVI is a diver’s paradise, boasting several shipwrecks, including the RMS Rhone, which sank in 1867. Dive down to discover the maritime history firsthand!
  • Water Sports Haven: Whether kitesurfing, paddleboarding, or windsurfing, the BVI offers optimal conditions for a range of water sports. A yacht charter can quickly get you to the best spots!
  • Beach Bars: Have you ever heard of the Soggy Dollar Bar? Located on Jost Van Dyke, it’s said to be the birthplace of the famous Painkiller cocktail. You can swim up to the bar from your yacht!
  • Cave Adventures: The Baths on Virgin Gorda are a series of pools and caves formed by gigantic boulders. They’re an iconic spot for visitors looking to do more than sunbathe.
  • Marine Conservation: The BVI has several marine parks and actively participates in coral reef conservation, making it ideal for eco-conscious travelers.
  • No High Rises: The BVI has a “no build higher than a palm tree” policy, ensuring the islands’ natural beauty remains unspoiled.
  • Music Vibes: If you’re into music, the BVI is known for its vibrant music scene, from reggae to calypso, especially during the yearly BVI Music Fest.

Best time to visit The British Virgin Islands

The British Virgin Islands (BVI) offer a tropical climate that welcomes travelers year-round. With average temperatures ranging from 22-28°C (72-83°F), you’re in for delightful weather no matter when you visit.

High Season

The high season in the BVI spans from February through April and the weeks around Christmas and New Year’s. Favorable winds and balmy weather attract many North American and European travelers. If you’re an enthusiast of stronger winds, consider visiting around Christmas when the legendary Christmas winds blow at around 25-30 knots for days. 

Best Months to Visit BVI

The best months to visit are May and June, though it’s a beautiful vacation spot for most of the year (outside of hurricane season). These months offer optimal water conditions for activities like snorkeling and scuba diving. You may even encounter seasonal marine wildlife, such as turtles and dolphins. Since this period is just after the high season, booking your charter well in advance is advisable, especially if planning an extended trip.

Less Crowded Options

For those who prefer fewer crowds but still desire an excellent experience, early December and January are beautiful options. Local events and festivals also take place during these months, offering cultural experiences you will want to experience.

Off-Season and Cautions

Charters continue through June and July, but most yachts halt services starting August 1st due to the approaching hurricane season. The islands experience their hottest and most hurricane-active months from August through October. Many establishments shut down during this period. 

Rainfall and Visibility

November through May generally offers the least amount of rainfall, making these months ideal for outdoor activities. Water visibility is usually at its peak during these months, which is perfect for underwater exploration.

Travel Considerations

Before planning your trip, check for any travel restrictions or visa requirements, especially if you travel abroad. Tortola is the most accessible island in the BVI, with regular flights and ferries from major airports and nearby islands.

Family Travel

If you’re traveling with family, the months following high season—May and June—offer a more relaxed atmosphere perfect for family bonding, while the high season is often more geared toward adult travelers.

Safety Measures

Though the BVI has protocols for hurricane season, staying updated with weather forecasts is always advisable if your travel dates fall within this period.

More Resources About The British Virgin Islands

The islands are known as one of the best sailing destinations and as a result, chartering a boat is one of the best ways to explore the BVI. Chartering a yacht in the British Virgin Islands gives you the freedom to take your time to explore each of the many islands within this archipelago and anchor down wherever you want. 

Find out more about our charters in the BVI, and read our blog articles to learn more about why you should be planning a trip to the BVI shortly:

• Unforgettable things to do in British Virgin Islands

• BVI travel itinerary

• What makes the British Virgin Islands such a great sailing destination?

• 2021 BVI Crewed Yacht Show Winners

• How to Choose a British Virgin Islands Yacht Charter

Tips for Your First British Virgin Islands Charter

• When Is The Best Time To Visit the British Virgin Islands?

• British Virgin Islands vs. US Virgin Islands

Frequently Asked Questions About British Virgins Islands

What is a crewed charter?

A crewed charter provides a fully staffed yacht, including a captain and other essential crew members like chefs, stewards, or deckhands. This allows for a relaxed and luxurious experience, as every detail, from navigation to meal preparations, is taken care of for you.

Do I need insurance as a passenger?

We strongly recommend that passengers obtain personal travel insurance for unforeseen circumstances. This can help cover potential medical emergencies, trip cancellations, or unexpected events during your charter.

Can you swim in BVI?

Absolutely! The British Virgin Islands are home to some of the Caribbean’s most pristine and calm waters, making it ideal for swimming. From serene beaches to hidden coves, there’s a perfect swimming spot for everyone.

When is hurricane season for BVI?

The hurricane season in the BVI typically runs from May through November. While the BVI has protocols for hurricanes, it’s always advisable to keep an eye on weather forecasts if you plan to charter during these months.

What is the best month to charter BVI?

While the BVI is a beautiful destination year-round, the optimal time for a yacht charter tends to be between December and April. These months generally have the calmest seas, the least rainfall, and the most favorable winds for sailing. Typically, you can experience beautiful water and a gentle breeze year-round (outside hurricane season). 

Is it better to sail in the USVI or the British Virgin Islands?

Both the USVI and BVI offer incredible sailing experiences. With its many islands closely situated, the BVI provides shorter sailing distances and is renowned for its calm turquoise waters, scenic beauty, and vibrant local culture. However, getting to the different islands can be tricky without a private yacht.

Conversely, the USVI offers the charm of bustling towns like Charlotte Amalie and natural wonders like the Virgin Islands National Park. You can also drive to the beaches of St. Thomas and St. John. Your choice would depend on your preferences and the experiences you’re looking to have. 

How safe is Tortola BVI?

Tortola, as the largest island in the BVI, is generally considered safe for travelers. Like any destination, it’s essential to exercise regular caution, especially in less frequented areas or during late hours. Overall, the local community is welcoming, and instances of crime are relatively low. In fact, many people don’t even lock their doors!

To learn more about the British Virgin Islands, look at Visit BVI, the official tourism website of the islands, for more information about what to do and up-to-date details on COVID-19 entry requirements.

Steps to book a yacht charter

  • Choose a Yacht

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  • Review Terms and Book

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  • Plan the Fun Stuff

    Provide details of everyone aboard and submit food and activity preferences at least 30 days before embarkation.

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