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Tag Archives: Virgin Islands

Caribbean Yacht Charters | SailAway’s Top Three Secret Caribbean Beaches

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Photograph of white sand beach with waves lapping up on the sand. Turquoise water with a green tree-laden island in the background

 The SailAway Yacht Charter Group’s Picks for
Best Secret Beaches in the Caribbean  

* Lameshur Bay Beach, St. John
* Happy Bay, St. Martin
* Palm Beach, Barbuda

THE STORY

For years,  travel agents and yacht charter brokers have promoted the British Virgin Islands as “Nature’s Little Secret.”  Unfortunately for luxury sailing charter travelers seeking solace and quiet anchorages, the secret is out.  While the BVI and most of the Caribbean remains a fantastic sailing destination, there’s no denying it – it is getting harder and harder to anchor off the shore of a quiet beach. 
The good news is that there are still undiscovered beaches in the Caribbean — blissful hideaways where tourism hasn’t yet eclipsed the local culture. 

THE STORY CONTINUES

The most experienced Caribbean yacht charter skippers know these secret beaches but are reluctant to disclose their locations.  Fortunately, our loyalties are to our charter clients – and we are more than willing to share these hidden gems with our readers!

TOP 3 SECRET BEACHES

First, Lameshur Bay Beach, St. John, USVI
While the bareboat yacht charter crowd is anchored off the Baths in Virgin Gorda, BVI, we like slide across Drake Channel to the US side of the Virgin Islands and go ashore on the secluded southeast coast of St. John, at Lameshur Bay beach.  At the end of the cobblestone beach at Lameshur is a more isolated, sandier strip known as Donkey Bight. Snorkelers love this beach, as it leads to Beehive Cove, a warren of caves and tunnels filled with coral and sea sponges and teaming with fish.
Physical fitness buffs can also enjoy a 1.2 mile hike up a trail to the 1,000-foot peak of Bordeaux Mountain, which overlooks the bay below.  Photograph of a beige sand beach, seagrape leaves in the left hand and front of the photo, and island at the back right side of the photo. Turquoise water that blends to dark blue as it gets further away.

SECOND TOP SECRET BEACH

Happy Bay, St. Martin
Located on the French side of St. Martin, Happy Bay is an underpopulated stretch of crème-colored sand. Thick underbrush surrounds the beach and serves as a challenging barrier to most shore-based tourists. The privacy of this beach has made it a popular spot for clothing optional tourists.  Snorkelers marvel at the vast numbers of tropical fish in the crystal waters.

THIRD SECRET BEACH

Palm Beach, Barbuda
While nearby Antigua flaunts bustling beachside hotels, Barbuda offers quiet beaches with pink sands, the Frigate Bird Sanctuary, and only a handful of resorts.  Antigua is a great place to begin a superyacht charter (international airport, and excellent megayacht marinas) but do yourself a favor after your board.  Cruise over to Barbuda and enjoy the solitude.

WHERE TO TRAVEL THIS SUMMER

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Lady Sheila Virgin Islands Yacht Charter

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Lady Sheila yacht. Photograph of the yacht profile. She is underway, headed toward the left side of the photo.

For those who wish to take a Virgin Islands Yacht Charter vacation this year, Lady Sheila may just be the yacht for you.

WHO IS SHE?

This yacht is one of the newest luxury motor yachts in the renowned Benetti yacht charter fleet.  She is 44.20 meters (145’) in length and can comfortably accommodate up to 12 yacht charter guests in her five luxurious staterooms.

 

HER INTERIOR

Lady Sheila’s main saloon has a uniquely chic wooden floor finish with both light and dark wooden strips laid out from port to starboard.  The soft furnishings of her large lounge suites include orange cushions which give life to the elegant white interiors.

 

HOW TO BOOK A YACHT CHARTER VACATION

Contact 1-800 Yacht Charters at https://www.1800yachtcharters.com/book-now-contact-us/ to book your private luxury yacht charter vacation.

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Need A Pizza?  There’s a Boat For That

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Pizza pi teal and white pizza sailboat anchored in St. Thomas USVI - advertisement for pizza on yellow sign hanging from sail lines

UNIQUE PIZZA BOAT IN CARIBBEAN

What does a Virgin Island yacht charter crew do, when anchored offshore and the craving kicks in for a slice of pizza?

If you’re Tara and Sasha Bouis,  you buy a derelict boat, gut the interior to install brick ovens, and open the first “Pizza Boat” in the US Virgin islands.

 

PIZZA PI

The floating “Pizza Pi” boat is anchored in Christmas Cove. Specifically, at the east end of St. Thomas, next to Great St. James Island.  There are multiple ways to order.   First, you can order your pizza via your boat’s radio, second, call it in via cell, or third, even e-mail it. There are 2 ways to pick up your order.  Moreover, you can either pick up the pizza in your dinghy, or Pi will deliver it to you. Delivery occurs only if you’re anchored in Christmas Cove.

 

THE LOCATION

The specific location is perfect. In specific, both personal boats and private yacht charter vessels from St. John and St. Thomas are constantly passing through the cove.  Even tourist-packed daytime sightseeing and snorkeling boats are taking a detour.  They stop by the pizza boat for authentic New York style “pies.”  Hence, the boat’s name, Pizza “Pi” – get it…the Greek letter “Pi”???

 

WHAT DID THEY DO BEFORE PIZZA PI?

Before opening Pizza Pi, Sasha was working on charter yachts as the captain and Tara was the chef.

The idea for the pizza boat came from a night at anchor, when Sasha and Tara were too tired to cook, and too tired to dinghy ashore to look for a take-out meal.  They spent the night eating microwave popcorn and dreaming about how great it would be if there were a pizzeria on the water nearby.

 

THEIR JOURNEY CONTINUES

After eight years of working on charter vessels together, the couple found a  37 foot abandoned boat on the island of Tortola in the British Virgin Islands.  They spent two years restoring the boat and installing a commercial-grade pizza kitchen with brick ovens and a giant Hobart dough mixer. To run the appliances, Sasha and Tara outfitted the boat with solar panels. They financed the project with the money they saved from working on boat charters.

The couple took a week-long intensive course at a “Pizza school” in New York, to learn to make authentic thin crust pies.

 

BRING ON THE PIZZA

The pizza boat was “launched” about 9 months ago, and business has been steady.  On an average day, they make about 25 pies. On a busy day, 30 to 40 boats stop by for a pizza.  Sasha designed a hatch where people on dinghies can place orders and pick up their pies.

pizza boat virgin islands pick up window with smiling woman in bikini leaning on window to pick up pizza and man waiting behind her for order

THE MENU

A banner displaying the menu hangs from the side of the boat.

Among the offerings:

• Sweet Home Indiana (sausage, corn, white sauce, and arugula)

• The Blumin Onion (made with lemon aioli instead of tomato sauce; leeks, radicchio, blue cheese, and honey)

• The Dalai Lama (a pizza with everything on it – the works)

Fresh ingredients like local Caribbean lobster can also be added as a topping.

 

HOW IS THE FOOD?

Currently, Pi is ranked as the best restaurant in St. Thomas on TripAdvisor. It has 59 five-star reviews and one four-star review. The person giving the boat a four-star review admitted the pizza is “delicious” but subtracted one star because they don’t deliver to her house on shore!

 

PIZZA WITH CHARTER

FREE PIZZA!  Book a yacht charter vacation in the USVI or BVI through 1-800 Yacht Charters today.  We will treat you to a complimentary large Pizza Pi pizza with toppings during your charter!!!   What a fun way to TASTE the Caribbean!  Contact us at info@1800yachtcharters.com or through our contact form at https://www.1800yachtcharters.com/book-now-contact-us/

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Yacht Charter Pros Answer – Will New Rules In British Virgin Islands Impact Private Yacht Charter Guests?

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SECURITY VS. TOURISM

This appears to be a case of “Security versus Tourism.”   The British Virgin Islands (BVI’s) have initiated a new policy.  Specifically, everyone coming into the territory by sea is now required to present himself/herself IN PERSON to immigration authorities.  This includes guests on both bareboat yacht charter and superyacht charter vessels.

The policy takes effect immediately.

New immigration rules in BVI require yacht charter travelers to check in with security in person

 

GOVERNMENT RESPONSE

According to a government spokesperson, Her Majesty Customs of the Virgin Islands has, “…taken this step to minimize the potential entry of criminals, firearms and illegal substances into the territory.”

Will the revamped policy affect charter passengers?  Jana Sheeder, President of 1-800 Yacht Charters, explains how the new procedure differs from prior requirements: “In the past, only the captains of yachts were required to disembark and take with him or her all of the passports of the onboard guests. Now everyone must present themselves with their passports and their belongings.”

 

ISLAND SOVEREIGNTY

No one disputes the sovereignty of the local authorities to safeguard their islands and residents. Moreover, this island economy depends heavily upon charter yacht tourism.  The new policy seems a bit draconian.  Specifically there is little evidence to suggest tourists commit crimes.  Additionally, not local residents of the US and British island chains, are responsible for any uptick in criminal activity.

So, are local authorities barking up the wrong tree?  Sheeder thinks so.

 

PRE-SCREENING

She questions the necessity to impose upon well-heeled travelers who have already been “pre-screened” through the yacht charter reservation process. “The idea that firearms and illegal contraband will be brought ashore by luxury yacht charter guests is misplaced,” says Sheeder.  “Clients sign a charter agreement that clearly outlines firearms, narcotics, and contraband are not permitted onboard.  Furthermore, being in possession of such contraband can lead to the immediate termination of the charter – without refund.”

If any illicit materials are discovered by the crew, the yacht proceeds to the nearest port. Subsequently, the guests are then escorted off the yacht.  With so much at stake, there seems little need to further screen these guests and their crews upon entry into the BVI.

 

HOW WILL REGULATIONS IMPACT YACHT CHARTER TOURISM?

How will the new regulations impact yacht charter tourism in the BVI?   It’s too soon to tell, as the new rules went into effect September 1st.  It is possible charter vessels will simply bypass the British portion of the Virgin Islands and modify their itineraries to focus solely on the US and Spanish Virgin Islands, where captains can still clear the passports for all onboard guests.

British Virgin Islands government administration building where cyacht charter guests must check in

 

 

COMPANY PRESIDENT COMMENTS

In the the short-run, Sheeder is confident the impact upon charter clients can be minimized.  “We pride ourselves in delivering The Superyacht Experience™. We will offer our clients alternative destinations in the US and Spanish Virgin Islands, and throughout the Caribbean.  For those clients who still wish to explore the BVI, we know we can rely on the captains and crew.  If they need to carry the luggage and escort the guests into the immigration office and back to the yacht, we know that they will do so in the most efficient, professional, and friendly manner.”

 

 

 

SPECIALS ON YACHT CHARTERS

Planning a yachting vacation?  Check out the hottest YACHT CHARTER SPECIALS here

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