Cruising Itinerary for the British Virgin Islands
Why choose the British Virgin Islands cruising grounds?
The British Virgin Islands are one of the most famous cruising grounds for a Caribbean luxury yacht charter and it draws Scuba divers from across the world who come to experience one magnificent dive site after another, such as the wreck of RMS RHONE.
Spend quality time with loved ones as you adventure through this region known for pirates, shipwrecks and beautiful underwater habitats home to marine life unique to the region. Most islands are blissfully uninhabited, the only luxuries and entertainment being the fantastic selection of water toys you bring with you and your on board amenities.
Whether you are chartering for a family holiday, honeymoon or other special occasion, you will be in good hands with a highly trained crew on board and luxurious salons and cabins to rest in after an active day in the sunshine and sea.
Day 1: Tortola
Begin your tour with a bang on Tortola, the largest of the British Virgin Islands at 28 km² and the location with the most restaurants, bars, spas, boutiques and hotels (should you wish to have an extended stay), all set amongst pristine rain forest.
Watch time disappear along the incredible coasts, from Smuggler's Cove in the west to Josiah's Bay beach in the east, while in-land Sage Mountain is a satisfying hike through banana tree forest.
As Tortola is so large, the group should concentrate on spending your first day in civilisation and make time for the other parts of the island on separate days: Road Town has a variety of boutiques, art galleries, museums and eateries surrounding Her Majesty's Prison Museum and The J. R. O'Neal Botanical Gardens to take you through a sedate afternoon into a lively evening.
Location highlights: Josiah's Bay beach, Her Majesty's Prison Museum, J. R. O'Neal Botanical Gardens
Day 2: Jost Van Dyke
This festive season hotspot is renowned for Foxy's Bar and the Soggy Dollar Bar, both of which have fireworks on New Year's Day. You'll never want for refreshments with the beach clubs available as you lie back in your hammock and admire the view over a coconut and rum cocktail, and you'll be in good company with the other luxury yacht Owners and charterers anchored along the shores.
Despite the popularity of Jost Van Dyke there is still plenty of opportunity to find a quiet part of the coast for time among family and friends, making use of the water toys and dining on the beach on delicious fare prepared by your expert on board chef. Sandy Cay, Green Cay and Sandy Spit all have charming powdery white beaches fringed by incredible snorkel and dive sites concealed just beneath the crystal clear waves.
Location highlights: Foxy's Bar, Soggy Dollar Bar, Sandy Cay, Green Cay, Sandy Spit
Day 3: Long Bay (Tortola)
Return to Tortola and discover the sandy bays and beach clubs along the western side of the island. The south has an excellent selection of Scuba dive sites, such as Alphie Rock just 8m/26ft under the surface between Belmont Bay and Long Bay, and Smuggler's Cove is even shallower at 6m/19.7ft, making it an ideal learning ground for all ages. Reef sharks can be spotted at West End Point, and Great Thatch Island has some beautiful deserted beaches for warming up in the sunshine and gentle breeze.
No trip to the Caribbean would be complete without sampling some locally made rum, and the Callwood Distillery at Cane Garden Bay is one of the oldest to still create its product using the original equipment.
The north side of the island offers one bay after another for quiet overnight anchorages or for water sports with the family away from the crowds. Get out the Scuba gear again and snorkel in the shallows of Shark Bay or speed through the water on the Jet Skis, Seabobs and other towable toys.
Location highlights: Alphie Rock, Belmont Bay, Long Bay, Smuggler's Cove, West End Point, Great Thatch Island, Callwood Distillery, Shark Bay
Day 4: Norman Island
This private island is a haven for local bird life and the twisting coastline will leave you feeling like a true adventurer as you happen upon one extensive bay after another. Reputedly the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson's 'Treasure Island', a hike across the rugged paths will take you to Norman Hill for panoramic views that have barely changed from one century to the next. The famous Willy T's Floating Restaurant is now situated in The Bight Bay and this legendary BVI establishment can attract a wild crowd.
Tales of pirates and treasure will spark little imaginations but there is nothing better than diving beneath the waterline and seeing all the hidey-holes for yourself in the caves to the west of popular mooring spot The Bight. Kayak up close to the intimidating cliffs and look for old coins in the caves along the way. Within the caves, there is a sudden difference in the light and dark, and corals and fish hide in the shadows to be spotted by torch. Pause a moment before swimming out to admire the lights streaming in through the water and the light effects playing across the sandy floor.
Another beautiful reef is to be found to the north near Pelican Island and The Indians. Superyachts come here to experience what is considered one of the best dive sites amongst the BVIs, where the coral can be enjoyed by snorkelers and even kayakers and paddle boarders who want to enjoy the view from above.
Location highlights: The Bight, The Caves, Pelican Rock, The Indians, Willy T's Floating Restaurant
Day 5: Key Cay & Peter Island
Off Peter Island, Key Cay is a tropical idyll boasting honey-hued white sand beaches cresting one bay after the next. The true wonders lie below the waterline however, where schools of vibrant fish will dart and dance in colourful displays right before you, Interrupting this spectacle is the occasional puffer fish, bull ray and stingray, which are common in these parts and will mesmerise snorkelers and Scuba divers alike.
If you want to spend some time in 'town', Deadman's Bay on Peter Island has a few scattered restaurants and resorts, where you can spend the afternoon dining, drinking and enjoying the spa massage services should none be available on your own luxury yacht.
The snorkelling in this area is also impressive and the beach has a reputation as one of the most romantic in the world.
Location highlights: Key Cay, Deadman's Bay
Day 6: Salt Island
West of Salt Island is one of the most visited dive sites in the Caribbean: The wreck of the RMS RHONE. It lies in three parts beneath the surface, the deepest of which lies at 24m/80ft. The RMS Rhone Marine Park named after the wreck is home to marine life of all shapes, colours and sizes, and divers may encounter grey angelfish, pipefish, barracuda and a myriad primary-coloured schools of fish just hovering around the corals.
Salt Island itself is no longer inhabited, however the salt for which the island is named after is still harvested in a ceremony in July. Spend your tie with the other water toys along the beaches, rest on the sands or your sundeck on board and wear off your lunch with a trip to the summit for the marvellous views.
Location highlights: RMS Rhone Marine Park
Day 7: Ginger Island
This uninhabited private island is a place of serenity and a divers' paradise, where puffer fish, reef sharks and stingrays glide past corals hiding impressive sea anemones and sponges. The Alice in Wonderland and Ginger Steps dive sites are the most desirable places to visit and only a short distance from each other - spend the morning at one site, have lunch alfresco on board and after a rest on the sun loungers move on to the second site in the early afternoon. Once you're done, there is still plenty of time to go on land and play on the beaches.
Younger members of the group will appreciates the shallow bays for swimming, snorkelling and playing with the inflatable toys without the worry of large crashing waves.
Location highlights: Alice in Wonderland dive site, Ginger Steps dive site
Day 8: Virgin Gorda
The Baths near Devil's Bay is possibly one of the most recognised areas in the British Virgin Islands due to its large circular boulders set upon honey-coloured sands as the sea water washes in and out of rock pools. Take a walk through the coastal caves to emerge onto a powdery sand beach, or head to Savannah Bay for your pick of the half-mile crescent of sand. On land, visitors can hike to the summit for the stunning views of the islands and its sapphire blue surroundings, however the true wonders of Virgin Gorda are concealed beneath the sea.
Korean wreck CHIKUZEN has become a hot spot with the local marine life and a Scuba dive 25.9m/85ft down to where she came to rest will provide encounters with rays, reef sharks and schools of fish of all shapes and sizes.
The Dog Islands to the north west of Virgin Gorda have myriad dive sites ranging from a shallow 4.5m/15ft - perfect as well for snorkelers - to 25.9m/85ft deep. Coral canyons, cathedral-like grottoes and rare species await beneath the water and there is enough to satisfy experienced divers as well as offering beginners an enchanting playground.
Stop by at Mosquito Island for its numerous wreck dives, then dry off within the National Park on Prickly Pear Island, revelling in the tranquil beaches perfect for family games and sunset meals.
Location highlights: The Baths, Savannah Bay beach, Chikuzen dive site, The Visibles dive site, Mt. Point dive site, Big Grotto Dive site, Little Grotto dive site, The Gardens dive site, Prickly Pear Island National Park
Day 9: Necker Island
If you're planning a wedding, honeymoon or other special event, Necker Island is available to rent by the day and can accommodate up to 28 guests.
The NECKER NYMPH submarine will take up to 3 people down to depths of 30m/98ft and the island's 32m/104.9ft catamaran NECKER BELLE is also available for charter so that you can take even more friends and family to see the treasures you have found along your journey.
Take the day at your own pace and rest on the pristine beaches, wallow in the warm, tranquil waters or get out your favourite wind-powered water toys to take advantage of the steady breezes along the coast.
Location highlights: Necker Nymph submarine, Invisibles dive site
Day 10: Scrub Island
Scrub Island is adventure and indulgence in equal measure and visitors can spend the morning following the island hiking trails before having lunch on board or at the One Shoe Beach Bar & Grill, then scuba dive and snorkel in the caves and reefs throughout the afternoon before spending the evening partying along the beaches. If you don't have spa massage facilities on board, the resort can accommodate.
Mahi mahi, tuna and wahoo are known to swim through these waters and fishing enthusiasts will be in their element all day long.
Location highlights: One Shoe Beach Bar & Grill, Marina Cay dive site, Dip N' Scrub dive site, Tip of Scrub dive site
Day 11: Beef Island (Tortola)
Come full circle on your BVIs luxury yacht charter and spend your final day on Beef Island, off the coast of Tortola. Anchor in Trellis Bay and head ashore for family-friendly beach parties, contemporary artwork at Aragorn's Studio and laid-back eateries along the waterfront. The Last Resort Restaurant on Bellamy Cay is famed for its live music and fine dining, and a worthy end to your last day in the British Virgin Islands.
Location highlights: Aragorn's Studio, The Last Resort Restaurant
Charter Yacht Disclaimer
This document is not contractual. The yacht charters and their particulars displayed in the results above are displayed in good faith and whilst believed to be correct are not guaranteed. CharterWorld Limited does not warrant or assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information and/or images displayed. All information is subject to change without notice and is without warrantee. A professional CharterWorld yacht charter consultant will discuss each charter during your charter selection process. Starting prices are shown in a range of currencies for a one-week charter, unless otherwise marked. Exact pricing and other details will be confirmed on the particular charter contract. Just follow the "reserve this yacht charter" link for your chosen yacht charter or contact us and someone from the CharterWorld team will be in touch shortly.