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).
BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS CHARTER
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.
THE AMAZING CAVES
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.
DAY TRIP ITINERARIES
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!
Did you know? The British Virgin Islands (BVI or BVI’s) are home to reefs. Specifically, the largest barrier reef in the Caribbean? Moreover, the fourth largest ocean reef on earth?
The BVI reef stretches 18 miles from the island of Anegada to Virgin Gorda. It is considered by experts to offer some of the best snorkeling spots in the world!
Add to the allure of snorkeling and diving during your Virgin Islands crewed catamaran yacht charter. It is widely rumored that there is still Spanish gold buried in the sand on the reef. In addition, the gold is yet to be found! Many Spanish galleons, laden with gold and riches from the new world, traveled here. Further, they sank to their watery graves at the hands of pirates and hurricanes in the 1700’s.
Do you have a favorite snorkeling site in the Caribbean? Share your favorite spot with us, and we’ll send you a complimentary Eco-tote bag to carry your towels and snorkel gear. Leave a comment in the section below, and we’ll contact you for your address!
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