British Virgin Islands luxury yacht charter
One of the most popular cruising destinations in the Caribbean, the British Virgin Islands are ideal for those who enjoy on-water activities and island charm mixed with a little adventure. Snorkel colourful coral gardens, explore the ever-popular Baths, enjoy island vibes and rum cocktails on shore and relax on pristine beaches on a luxury yacht charter in the British Virgin Islands. Whether you’re racing in regatta season or simply coming to chill on the sands, these magical isles from Virgin Gorda and Norman Island to Anegada offer easy cruising and glassy waters.
BVI yacht season and weather
Temperatures rarely dip below 20°C in this sun-soaked paradise. Peak charter months are during the dry season, which runs from December to April when charterers will find reliable trade winds, warm, sunny weather and a lively atmosphere on shore.
Shoulder season months can also bring fine weather and showers generally tend to move quickly. Sea temperatures rarely dip below 25°C year round.
The official hurricane season runs from June to November.
BVI yacht charter itineraries
A popular charter hotspot, there are a number of superyacht-capable facilities throughout the BVIs. Some of the best-known and most popular destinations in the BVIs include Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost Van Dyke.
On Virgin Gorda, Oil Nut Bay’s marina offers 93 berths for yachts measuring up to 40 meters LOA with a maximum draft of 2.4 metres. Bitter End Yacht Club Marina has dockage for yachts measuring up to 55 metres LOA and Leverick Bay Marina can host yachts up to 106 metres in its 36 moorings.
Over on Tortola, Nanny Cay Marina has four berths for yachts up to 42 metres, two for yachts up to 36.5 and another two for yachts measuring up to 30 metres. Both Soper's Hole Wharf & Marina, Village Cay Marina and The Moorings Marina can host yachts up to 55 metres LOA. North Latitude Marina on Jost Van Dyke island can accommodate yachts up to 30 metres LOA.
There are myriad itineraries that will combine jaw-dropping BVI highlights with equally spectacular anchorages, secret idyllic coves and some once-in-a-lifetime BVI experiences. Whether you’re looking for mesmerising wreck dives or get-away-from-it-all beaches, the BVIs will not disappoint.
From Tortola cruise the sea caves and clear waters of Norman Island (reputed to be the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island) and on to Salt Island where guests can snorkel or scuba around the Rhone wreck, which dates back almost 150 years. A leisurely cruise north will bring you to the Scrub Island Resort Marina, home to the award-winning Ixora Spa. Lying five nautical miles south-east of Scrub Island, arrive early at the famous Baths on Virgin Gorda and enjoy the pristine waters in these famed boulder-fringed pools. Paradise bays and pure shores abound on Gorda. Anchor in North Sound and head ashore for cocktails, before heading north to the glittering beaches and snorkel sites of Anegada. Enjoy lunch on your own sand spit at Sandy Cay en route to Jost Van Dyke, where guests will find the picture-perfect horseshoe bay of Grand Harbour and where you can head ashore for chilled drinks at Foxy’s (a BVI institution).
Following 2017’s Hurrican Irma, the BVIs are getting back on their feet, with a number of superyacht marinas having reopened in 2019 and 2020. Recent on-shore reopenings include Cooper Island Beach Club, Scrub Island Resort and the legendary Willy T bar, which has moved locations to Norman Island.
The BVIs by superyacht
Getting to the BVIs
Flights to the BVIs connect via neighbouring islands, for example from Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, Antigua, or St. Maarten.
The Terrance B. Lettsome Airport (EIS) on Tortola, previously known as Beef Island Airport, is the BVIs main airport and accommodates private and commercial aircraft.
Additional airports in the BVIs include Auguste George Airport on Anegada and Taddy Bay Airport on Virgin Gorda, though it is advisable to check for restoration updates post Hurricane Irma.
A commercial recreational vessel licence is required for all charter yachts, which must be renewed each year on November 1. A Cruising Permit is also required for charter groups, which is charged per person on board.
Foreign-flagged vessels are only allowed to make seven charter pickups originating in the BVIs in any 12 month period.
If fishing is offered as an activity during the charters, the gear must be registered and each participant must have a fishing licence.
Additional customs and immigrations costs can include a cruising tax, an environmental levy and a departure tax for Tortola island.