While crewed sail boat charters and bareboat charter vacations normally last 5 to 7 nights, not everyone has the time for a multi-night term luxury yacht charter. In this economy, saving up for a special bareboat charter or luxury yacht charter holiday might mean postponing until 2010.
Now for the good news – sailboat charters can be as short as one day and are the perfect compliment to a land-based Caribbean island vacation.
Let’s take a look at a single-day luxury yacht charter escape in the British Virgin Islands (also known as the BVI or BVI’s):
There are four major inhabited islands in the BVI, as well as dozens of (nearly 60) smaller islands, cays, and rocks scattered throughout the archipelago. Of course, the fun way to see these sights is by boat on a luxury sailing charter.
You can rent a small Caribbean yacht charter sailboat or a fast powerboat for the day in Road Town, Nanny Cay, West End, or several other locations. Some experience driving a powerboat or basic chart-reading skills are important to ensure you have a pleasurable day.
A great trip could start from Road Town, Tortola and head south across the Sir Francis Drake Channel to Peter Island. You can tie up to the dock in Sprat Bay, or anchor off the beach in Deadman’s Bay and swim ashore (remember to wear your water socks). Visitors are welcome in the public areas, the boutique, and the beach grill.
From Peter Island, it’s a short boat ride to Norman Island. This is author Robert Louis Stevenson’s legendary Treasure Island, and the source of countless tales of pirates and buried chests of gold. Today, the island is uninhabited except for a small restaurant on the beach in the Bight. Anchored in the bay is the old ship, William Thornton, affectionately known by bareboat charter lovers and the locals as the “Willy T,” a trading vessel converted to a bar and restaurant. It’s a great stop for a little “pirate” ambiance. Be warned – on holiday weekends, the Willy T is not appropriate for kids as it takes on a bawdy “adults only” atmosphere.
Just outside the bay are the Caves. These are more like grottoes and are a true snorkeler’s delight. You can tie up your boat to one of the National Park moorings and swim in. Don’t be surprised if a school of tropical fish swim alongside you, looking for a handout. The locals ask that you resist the temptation to feed the little critters, however. Human food is not healthy for the fish and may do them great harm in the long run.
After snorkeling at the Caves, it is a short boat ride to The Indians. These rock outcroppings are the size of houses and full of nesting seabirds in the summer. The waters around the rocks are teeming with fish of every shape and color. One local describes a swim here as a magical experience: “Floating among the fish, corals and sea fans will make you feel like Peter Pan flying through an enchanted forest.”
If the sun is still high in the sky, and you still feel fresh for more adventure, zip over to Salt Island. You can tie up to the dock and walk around the abandoned houses to the salt pond where workers harvest and sell sea salt. If you still have any get-up-and-go in your tank, hop back on your boat and cruise around the corner to the wreck of the HMS Rhone, the BVI’s first underwater park. Snorkel over the wreck and try to imagine what it looked like before it sank in 1867!
By now, you realize you are on “island time.” There’s little reason to hurry back to Tortola, unless you have an early dinner reservation at your hotel or resort. Assuming you are in the island groove, we suggest a cruise east to Cooper Island. Accessible only by boat, this island has a few rental homes and a tiny resort that’s looks like a vacation postcard from the water – palm trees and long, white sand beach. By now, you must be hungry from a morning/afternoon of exploring. Drop in a local restaurant for a late lunch. With a full belly and a big smile, it’s just a short sail or cruise back to Tortola.
There are many other itineraries for a day trip by boat. Your hotel concierge can recommend the best local boat rental operators and give you some ideas as to where to go and what to see there. You can go fast on a powerboat or slower on a sailboat – the choice is yours. Either way, a day boat trip around the British Virgin Islands will be the highlight of your land-based island holiday!
This entry was posted in Caribbean Destinations and tagged yacht charter Caribbean, sailing yacht charters, sailboat charter, Snorkeling, sailboat, bareboat charter, caribbean yacht charter, BVI, British Virgin Islands yacht charter, barrier reef in the BVI, British Virgin Islands, bareboat, skin dive, snorkel, caribbean reefs, Sir Francis Drake Channel, Peter Island, Norman Island, The Caves, Willy T., William Thornton, Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson, grottoes, HMS Rhone, The Indians, Underwater ParkPosted on
“My husband and I are thinking about taking the family on a boating vacation in the Florida Keys late Spring/early Summer. I’m assuming it’s more affordable to rent a boat and run it ourselves. Do you agree?”
Pam K, Coral Gables, FL
What a great idea, Pam – since you live in South Florida, a Florida yacht charter vacation in early summer is a great way to explore your “backyard,” at a time when most tourists have left the area. Fewer crowds equates to quiet anchorages!
As a general rule, it IS more affordable to “DIY” (Do It Yourself) and drive your own bareboat (a boat that you rent without a hired crew). Affordability, however, is not the only important concern.
Deciding if a Florida Keys #bareboat yacht charter or a crewed Florida yacht charter is your best bet depends upon three primary factors:
CAPABILITY – When you rent a car, you are required to have a driver’s license. While no license is required to rent a bareboat, you ARE required to demonstrate experience and competency. If you are not capable of operating a bareboat, based on the submittal of a cruising qualifications resume, you will be required to retain a professional crew to operate your rental boat.
RESPONSIBILITY – Even if you are qualified to rent a boat without crew, you must decide if you want the responsibility of operating your own yacht. When you rent a bareboat, you do it all – from safe navigation, to cooking and cleaning. Some people love the hands-on experience. Of course, this is not for everybody, as some people prefer to sit back, relax, and leave all chores and responsibilities to someone else. If this better describes you and your family, then a yacht with a crew is the way to go. On a crewed yacht charter, your crew is fully-responsible for the operation of the yacht, as well as cleaning/maintaining the yacht and preparing the meals for the guests.
BUDGET – Like most vacations, your desired budget will often dictate which option is best for you. IF you are capable and enjoy the responsibility of operating a boat on your own, a bareboat #yachtcharter will give you the best bang for your dollar. If you want and can afford more than a “bare bones” vacation – one where you are served and #pampered the entire time – then a private luxury crewed yacht charter is the way to go.
A 47 foot bareboat power catamaran in #Miami, suitable for 8 passengers, can be rented in the late spring, early summer for under $10,000 per week. In addition, you need to factor in the local tax (about 7%) and mandatory damage insurance (estimated at $50 per day). Of course, don’t forget to consider the cost of food and beverages for your family for the week (or for however long you charter your bareboat).
A similar-sized crewed yacht, such as a 51 foot power catamaran, will cost approximately $21,000 per week, but this rate includes your meals, beverages, and a professional crew of 2. The only “unknown” expenditure is an optional gratuity for your crew.
Here’s the good news! Whichever type of chartering is right for you – with or without crew — there is surely a boat out there within your budget and in line with your qualifications, capabilities, and desires. Let’s go #boating!!!
This entry was posted in Destinations News Frequently Asked Questions and tagged 1-800 Yacht Charters, sailboat charter, crewed yacht charter, Miami, bareboat, yachtcharter, pampered, boating, bareboat yacht charter, self-drive, 1-800 BareboatPosted on