8 days discovering the US Virgin Islands on a superyacht
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Water Island, St. Thomas

For a relaxing, re-energizing tropical break, warm azure waters and coconut palm-lined beaches take your private yacht or enjoy a luxury yacht charter in the US Virgin Islands. Those looking for a more active holiday can tee-off on top-rated golf courses or enjoy secluded bays perfect for water sports.

Younger guests are guaranteed to be fascinated by the hidden coves and legends of piracy. Sublime snorkeling among shoals of tropical parrot and butterfly fish will entertain all the family while the distraction of duty-free shopping is never far away.

It’s hard to believe that the upbeat island of St. Thomas, where the banana daiquiri was rumored to have been invented, the laidback national park of St John and the out-of-the-way St Croix are all part of the same country.

In just one vacation you can experience the contrasting atmospheres and landscapes of all three islands as well as explore some of the surrounding 60 islets, cays and rocks that make up the US Virgin Islands.

Day 1: Water Island, St. Thomas

A cruise in the US Virgin Islands is likely to begin in St. Thomas, the most developed, and hence the main transport hub, of the islands. Flying to the island is easy; the international commercial ‘Cyril E. King’ airport is also very used to dealing with private jets.

Heading west along the coast you soon leave the bustle of the main town behind as you discover the unspoiled tranquility of areas like Brewers Bay where you can drop anchor and take in the Caribbean vibe.

At night you can either enjoy the peace and quiet staying at anchor in Druif Bay off Water Island, or return to the dock at Charlotte Amalie to enjoy the Caribbean party atmosphere.

Picture courtesy of Steve Heap/Shutterstock.com

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Hassel Island

For those looking to go sailing through history while relaxing in the US Virgin Islands, then a day exploring Hassel Island is a must, especially as it's a mere stone's throw away from Water Island. A rich tapestry of sites left over from the history books, visitors can sightsee via the self-guided walking trail, or the more adventurous can go kayaking or snorkelling.

During the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815) the British troops had headquarters on Hassel Island, utilising the pre-existing Danish fortifications while adding more than 30 new military structures over the years. Discover Shipley's Battery, the Officers' Quarters and the British barracks complex, as well as the British Army hospital, Fort Willoughby and the Creque Marine Railway, among other fascinating artefacts.

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock.com / David Brimm

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Christiansted, St. Croix

By the time you’re awake you’ll be cruising the 40 miles south to the biggest of the U. S. Virgin Islands, St. Croix. Just to the northeast of St. Croix itself lies Buck Island, where you can anchor for the day. The national park here not only offers superb scenery, but also has a spectacular reef offering with some of the best dives in the Carribean and underwater snorkel trails.

In the afternoon you can head to Christiansted, one of the Caribbean’s most colorful towns, and enjoy the shopping offered at King’s Wharf. Smaller yachts can go into the marina; larger ones can appreciate the view anchored out in the bay.

Picture courtesy of Bcampbell65/Shutterstock.com

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Ruth Island, St. Croix

Just a few miles along the north coast of St. Croix you’ll find Cane Bay. One of the best beaches in the Caribbean it is picture perfect with palm trees and gentle waves lapping at the soft sandy shoreline. The peaceful surroundings exude relaxation. History buffs can tender around to the beautiful Salt River Bay where Columbus and his crew landed in 1493.

And golfers might want to take the opportunity to go ashore and play on the four-star Carambola Golf Course; your crew can call ahead to book tee-off times to suit. As the evening draws in, take a sunset cruise around the island, anchoring overnight to the west of Ruth Island, south of St. Croix.

Picture courtest of Wolfso/Shutterstock.com

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Francis Bay, St. John

During the morning a leisurely 30-mile sail brings you back north to St. John. This untouched, pristine island is the crown jewel of the US Vigin Islands. Most of the island is now a national park, which helps preserve its unquestionable beauty, but that designation does mean that there are restrictions on bigger boats and their access to the area.

Francis Bay is the least restricted, making it the perfect base for your time on St. John. Although the bay itself is spectacular, you can also take a tender into the national park and enjoy some of the Caribbean’s most flawless coves, beaches and landscapes. Lameshur Bay is particularly stunning; the opportunity to relish this completely natural environment.

Picture courtesy of Blue Orange Studio/Shutterstock.com

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Great St. James Island, St. Thomas

Enjoy an unhurried morning in Francis Bay before calling into Cruz Bay for some time ashore. There are two small shopping areas, Mongoose Junction and Wharfside Village, which include clothes and gift shops as well as galleries displaying work by local artists.

Leaving St. John you’ll head back to St. Thomas in the afternoon. Christmas Cove on Great St. James Island is a lovely anchorage; the snorkelling around the shoreline to the south of Great St. James Island is fantastic, especially at the Stragglers, Little St. James Island and Dog Island.

Picture courtest of Steve Heap/Shutterstock.com

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Magens Bay, St. Thomas

The famous Magens Bay on St. Thomas’ north coast is where you will spend your penultimate day in the USVI. National Geographic listed this bay as having one of the best beaches in the world. Overlooked by St. Peter Mountain, also reported to have one of the 10 best views in the world, Magens Bay is the place to lie back and soak up the vista.

But if you fancy something a bit more active, the Mahogany Run Golf Course is an 18-hole championship course that’s home to the famous Devil’s Triangle, the course’s signature hole. This spectacular cliff-edge course is well worth a visit for all golfers. For younger guests, the Coral World Ocean Park is close at hand.

Picture courtesy of Andrei Medvedev/Shutterstock.com

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Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

After one last snorkel in Magens Bay, you’ll make your way back to Charlotte Amalie – the main town in St. Thomas, and Yacht Haven Grande. This luxury marina provides a comfortable end to the trip and the opportunity for a final shopping spree. St. Thomas is a duty-free port and shoppers can enjoy designer outlets such as Christian Dior and Valentino as well as local retailers such as Shipwrecker’s Antiques.

Picture courtesy of Steve Heap/Shutterstock.com

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