Blog

Tahiti Sailing Itinerary

January 12, 2022

Take Your Dream Holiday to French Polynesia

French Polynesia is an overseas collectivity of France made up of 118 islands and atolls, 67 of which are inhabited. The region is divided into five groups of islands: The Society Islands archipelago, compromising the Windward and Leeward Islands; The Tuamotu Archipelago, The Gambier Islands, The Marquesas Islands, The Austral Islands. Tahiti, which is part of the Society Islands, is the most populous island and is home to nearly 69% of the population of French Polynesia. However, French Polynesia is unique because each of the island groups has its own unique cultural and geographic features ranging from volcanic peaks to coral reefs and stunning turquoise blue lagoons. 

One of the best ways to explore the region is chartering a yacht. Most charters focus on the Society Islands, including Huahine, Raiatea, Tahaa, and Bora Bora. These islands consist of high mountains surrounded by coral barrier reefs which offer safe anchorages. 

Are you ready to begin your yacht experience in Tahiti? Let’s go.


SAMPLE ITINERARY*


Day 1: Our adventure will begin on the island of Huahine, specifically Fare, the village dock. Once aboard the boat, you will be briefed before allowing to settle in and enjoy your welcome cocktail on board as we set sail for Avea Bay, where you will find some of the island’s best beaches. Now it’s up to you. Choose to go swimming, snorkeling, or exploring in the dinghy with the skipper. We can visit Relais Mahan beach or stop off at the little village of Haapu. For dinner, you can choose to either have dinner at the Mahana Yacht club or head back to the boat to enjoy a delicious meal on board before heading in for the night. 


Day 2: Wake up to the gentle rocking of the boat as we sail to Faaroa Bay on the island of Raiatea. The sailing time is around 3 or 4 hours. However, there is also the option to stop along to way to enjoy some fishing. 

Once we arrive, guests will have the option to kayak through the only navigable river in French Polynesia. The Kaaroa Bay narrows into a serene channel shaded by a tropical jungle canopy— a genuinely unique experience. While kayaking, you can observe the yellow flowers of purau end their short life with a graceful immersion in the river. If you want, you can also take a quick dip in the river. 

Dinner will be served on board. 


Day 3: Enjoy a continental breakfast on board before we set sail to Opoa Bay. We will visit Marae Taputapuatea, an open-air template in Raiatea, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Dedicated to Oro, the god of war and fertility, this holy site is known as a place where the worlds of the living and the ancestor's coverage

In the afternoon, we will navigate towards Motu NaoNao, a private island located in the lagoon of Raiatea. We will have lunch abroad before heading to the island to enjoy the island's many water activities. Choose to go diving, fishing, snorkeling, kayaking, or even jet skiing—the possibilities are endless. Keep your eyes peeled as you might spot a Tahitian ray. 

For dinner, you can choose to either have dinner on the island or head back to the boat to enjoy a delicious meal on board before heading in for the night.


Day 4: After breakfast on board, it’s time to head to Apu Bay, located on the island of Taha’a. Also known as the vanilla island, we will spend the day exploring different plantations. After visiting a pearl farm, where guests can buy directly from the producer, you’ll also have the option to explore a vanilla plantation or even a rum distillery. The island is known for rhum agricole. Pearls, vanilla, and rum—what a day, but it’s not over yet.  

We will have lunch on board before sailing to Motu Mahaea, where guests can explore the underwater world. You can jump headfirst into the water off the boat, explore the underwater world by snorkeling or opt to stay above the water with a kayak or stand-up paddle.

Dinner will be served on board.  


Day 5: Today, we head over to the famous Bora Bora, excited yet? First things first, let’s spend some time exploring the underwater world. Grab your snorkeling gear and spend some time swimming with the fish before having lunch on board.

A quick tip: Taha’a has pristine scenes of marine life and colorful coral that can sometimes be harder to spot on other Polynesian islands. 

After lunch, we head to Motu Tautau, an islet situated nearby Jadin de Corail. If you are all snorkeled out, then take the time to enjoy the islets, white sand beach, and calm waters. Then it’s off to Povai Bay in Bora Bora, where we will moor for the night. 

For dinner, guests are encouraged to head to shore and enjoy everything that the island offers. Experience an evening at the famous Blood Mary’s restaurants known for their fresh food, signature cocktails, and great ambiance. Another dinner option is Maikai Yacht Club. 


Day 6: Good morning; today is all about experiencing everything Bora Bora has to offer. After enjoying another delicious breakfast on board, we sail and explore the many motus (islands) around Bora Bora. 

If you want to experience something a little different, we can go to the Lagoonarium of Bora Bora. Like an aquarium but without the glass, this Lagoonarium is home to various marine creators swimming in their tropical habitat. 

After lunch, we will head over to the main island of Bora Bora to explore. What we do next is up to you. Some of the activities we can do on the island include: shopping for pears, hiking up Mount Pahai, trying the local beer, visiting a turtle sanctuary, or petting some stingrays. 

As the sun sets, the option of what to do is up to you; you can stay on the island and party the night away or head back on the boat to enjoy a lovely calm evening on board before heading to sleep. 


Day 7: Another beautiful day in Bora Bora. Today is all about sailing the lagoon and exploring more of the motus. Lunch will be served on board. 

In the afternoon, guests can opt to get a Tahitian Massage at the Intercontinental Thalasso and Spa. Opt for the Polynesian Taurumi Massage. 

A quick tip: Polynesians believe that the life force that flows through all things is called mana. When someone gives you a Taurumi massage, they transfer their mana to you. This particular massage is a very Polynesian experience. 

The afternoon and evening are free, so make the most out of your last night on your charter trip. 


Day 8: Good morning! Take your time to get up, drink a nice warm cup of coffee on the deck and make sure to soak in all the magic of Bora Bora one last time. As this is the last day of your charter, you will disembark at the dockside of the village or the hotel if accessible by boat or dinghy. Until next time! 


*Remember that we are here to help you plan your dream vacation, so the itinerary outlined above can be changed. All you need to do is discuss your needs with our crew, and we will do our best to make it happen. Do you want to stay one day longer for a particular bay or move on to a new experience? No problem, we are here to make your visit to Tahiti unforgettable. 



Read More

Unforgettable Things to Do in Tahiti

January 12, 2022

•How to get to and around Tahiti? •Best time to visit? •What to pack? •Things to do?

Tahiti is the largest of the islands that make up French Polynesia, a set of 118 volcanic and coral islands and atolls located in the South Pacific Ocean. Of all the islands, Tahiti is the economic, cultural, and political center of French Polynesia. Located halfway between Los Angeles and Sydney, Australia, the island is divided into Tahiti Nui and Tahiti Iti. Tahiti Nui is the bigger of the two and is located in the northwestern part of the island. It is also home to three extinct volcanic mountains, including Mount Orohena, the tallest in French Polynesia. Tahiti Iti is a smaller southwest sister island still connected to the main island. The Little Tahiti is only accessible by boat and is more remote and tranquil. It is also home to the legendary surfing spot of Teahupoo.


No matter where you travel within the island, one thing is sure, you will be amazed by its beauty. Tahiti is known for its black and white sand beaches, blue lagoons, stunning lush jungles, volcanic mountains, gorgeous coral reefs, beautiful waterfalls, and abundant undersea wildlife. The landscapes blend perfectly with the friendly Tahitian culture known for its history and traditions, including the mythical concept of mana. It is also famous for its pearl farming, vanilla plantations, dance culture, and ancient ruins. 


But, before we get into our guide of things to do in Tahiti, let’s look at some key information that you need to know before you go: 

  • American travelers do not need a visa if entering as a tourist.
  • The currency in Tahiti is the CFP Franc. Automated teller machines (ATMs) can be found throughout the island. 
  • French is the official language; however, English is widely spoken in many tourist areas. 
  • The Tahitian alphabet consists only of 13 letters: the vowels a, e, i, o, u, and the consonants f, h, m, n, p, r, t, and v.
  • Tahiti and the other islands in French Politeness span 4 million square km, covering an area as large as Europe. 
  • The idea of an overwater bungalow was invented in Tahiti in the 1960s 
  • If you are looking for unique things to do in French Polynesia, then why not look into chartering a yacht in Tahiti? A yacht allows you to explore the beautiful Leeward islands and discover each one’s unique offering, including Raiatea the Sacred Island, Taha’a the Vanilla Island, Huahine the Majestic Island, and the mythical island of Bora Bora.  ​​
  • Tahitians are considered among the most genuinely friendly people in the world. 
  • The small island of Motu Tapu is not only known as the best place in the world to relax, but it is the most photographed isle in the South Pacific. 
  • The best fast food in Tahiti is casse-croûte, mouth-watering meat and salad sandwich housed in a freshly-made baguette. 
  • Make sure you take the time to visit the capital city (Papeete). If you are hungry, make sure to test out the various foods sold at the ‘Roulottes'  (food trucks) of Papeete. 
  • Most of the world’s black pearls are produced around the island of Tahiti. 

How to Get to & Around the Islands 

Located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and surrounded by thousands of miles of open water, Tahiti is a remote location. But that doesn’t mean that this beautiful tropical island is not easy to get to. Tahiti is the largest island in French Polynesia and is home to the Faa’a International Airport, also known as the Tahiti International Airport, located a few miles from Papeete. This central hub of French Polynesia can easily be reached with direct flights (or with some stop-overs) from most international locations. 


Once you arrive, there are many different ways to explore Tahiti and the other French Polynesian islands. The best way to get around Tahiti is by taxi or rental car, as the island does not have much of a public transport system. Also, there is no Uber or Lyft on the island. Tahiti is often seen as a transit island and the jumping-off point to many other islands within French Polynesia. Air Tahiti, the local airline, has daily flights to 48 islands, including Bora Bora, Raiatea (access point to Taha’a), and Huahine. However, if you want to take the more scenic route, chartering a yacht in Tahiti is the perfect option. 


The year-round trade winds and the consistent climate make the French Polynesian island the perfect sailing destination. Have you ever thought about chartering a yacht in Tahiti? A charter vacation in Tahiti perfectly combines the exclusive quality and service and the unforgettable atmosphere of a tropical cruise. Cruise from island to island unearthing each of their unique charms—dine at some of the best restaurants in Papeete, explore Taha’a, also known as vanilla island, visit god’s cradle in Raiatea or stay in a floating hut in Bora Bora—there is plenty to do on the islands at the end of the Earth. Learn more about chartering a yacht in Tahiti here [include a link to your services]

Best Time to Visit 

French Polynesia, which includes Tahiti, has a tropical climate, which means they can be visited all year round. There are two main seasons during the year and the equivalent to fall and spring between them. The rainy season is wet and hot (85 – 95 F), and runs from November to April. The dry season, which is the ‘winter’, is cooler (78 – 85 F) and windier. It runs from May to September. ‘Fall’ is April & May and ‘Spring’ is September & October. These are probably the best months to come sailing.


Tahiti peak season starts in May and goes to about September. During this time, the weather is balmy and sits comfortably in the highs 60s to mid-80s Fahrenheit. However, peak ​​season also means big crowds, as Tahiti sees its highest number of tourists on the islands during these months. Around September-October (the tail’s end of the dry season) prices and crowds tend to drop. The dry season is from May to October, while November is the start of the wet season. Rainfall also means humidity, with December being the most humid time of the year. In general, the months from November to March have the most rain. In addition, the risk of hurricanes in French Polynesia is particularly high from December to April. 

What to Pack

Island living has influenced how people dress in Tahiti, but what exactly should you pack if you come to Tahiti? Well, make sure that you pack the essentials, some casual clothing, and maybe an extravagant piece or two for those romantic nights out underneath the stars. We recommend packing: 


  • Summer gear, including t-shirts, shorts, skirts, dresses, and comfortable shoes (including flip-flops). 
  • As it is an island destination, make sure to bring a couple of swimwear pieces. 
  • Waterproof dry bag, especially if you plan on doing a lot of water activities while on vacation.  
  • Mask & snorkel
  • Underwater camera gear, including a phone dry bag. 
  • Protection from the sun, including a hat, several sunglasses and some sunscreen.
  • A light jacket for those breeze evenings.
  • Bug Spray for those pesky critters and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun. 
  • Dramamine if you get nausea easily while on a boat. 

Things to Do in Tahiti 

The French Polynesian islands were one of the last places on Earth to be settled by humans. The region comprises 118 islands and atolls, 67 of which are inhabited. French Polynesia is divided into five groups of islands: 

  1. The Society Islands archipelago, compromising of the Windward and Leeward Islands
  2. The Tuamotu Archipelago
  3. The Gambier Islands
  4. The Marquesas Islands
  5. The Austral Islands


Tahiti, which is part of the Society Islands, is the most populous island and is home to nearly 69% of the population of French Polynesia. Papeete, located in Tahiti, is the capital of French Polynesia. So what are some things to do in Tahiti?  

Eat lots of French-influenced Food. 

In the 1800s, both British and French settlers fought for the control of Tahiti. In the end, France won, which influenced Tahiti (and French Polyenai in general) in several ways. One of those ways is food. So what is one of the best things to do in Tahiti? Eat! French influences and fresh local produce mean that you will never have to travel far to find exquisite food on the islands. Some of the best can be found in Papeete – book a table at O á la Bouche to dine in style. Why not try the local mahi-mahi or scallops. 

Take the Time to Explore Papeete 

Speaking of Papeete, travelers should take the time to explore everything that this capital city has to offer. There are many opportunities to shop, dine, and dance the night away within the city's boundaries. Take the time to explore downtown Papeete which is full of shopping, cafés, restaurants, and the Papeete Market. The Papeete Market or the Municipal Market comprises two floors full of fresh fruits, souvenirs, jewelry, various fish, gorgeous flowers, and other local products. Once your stomach starts growing, head on over to the Roulette or food trucks located at the waterfront. Open seven days, the vendors start preparing for dinner from around 6 pm, and by 7:30 pm most nights, it is in full flight. The Roulottes offer a delightful casualness and a wide selection of food. There are plenty of grills (fish/meat/poultry), selections of Chinese food, BBQs, crepes, plus the full range of popular Tahitian specialties. Note that these food trucks only take cash. Then for a special treat, head on over to Les Rêves De Lucie for fresh and delicious macaroons. 

Immerse Yourself in Nature 

French Polynesia, in general, is known for its nature and the island of Tahiti is no exception. Although much of the island’s charm lies around its coast, there is still much to explore inland. Some of the best things to do in Tahiti are exploring its lava tubes, hiking trails that lead to lookouts with sweeping views, river slides, volcanic valleys, and swimmable rock pools.


If you are a hiker, then Tahiti has a trail for you. Mount Aorai is the third highest peak in Tahiti at 2066 meters and is a challenging and slippery hike with sharp drops and breathtaking views. The Te Pari trail located on the southernmost part of Tahiti is only accessible by boat. It offers a look at what untouched Tahiti has to offer—although it is recommended to tackle this trail with an experienced guide. Then there is Fara’ura Valley, also known as the valley of the waterfalls. This particular trail is perfect for anyone looking to take hiking breaks to swim in natural pools. Last but not certainly not least is the hike to the most famous waterfall of them all, Fautaua Waterfall. It is important to note that hikers may have to obtain a permit before hiking to this waterfall that they can get at city hall in Papeete. 


If you want to explore the another (more wild) side of Tahiti, then head on to Tahiti Iti (meaning Little Tahiti) for a more untouched, remote, and serene side of the island. Some of these wild coastline areas are only accessible by boat, meaning that travelers can access secluded and deserted sea caves, mangroves, and waterfalls—just you and nature.

Explore The Underwater World

One of the best things to do in Tahiti is to explore its underwater world. ​​Tahiti is renowned for having some of the world’s best opportunities to experience marine wildlife, many of which are found in the shallow lagoons surrounding the islands of Tahiti. One of the unique things to do in Tahiti is to rent a glass kayak and discover the underwater world from above water, with a clear view below. 


French Polynesia experiences several migrations throughout the years. From August through to October, humpback whales migrate through Tahiti and Moorea, two of the best places to swim with whales. There are also many other types of underwater wildlife that you can explore either through scuba diving or snorkeling. Swim with stingrays, sharks, and turtles while also exploring beautiful coral reefs 

Visit Tahiti’s Sister Island: Moorea 

Moorea is the perfect island for more adventurous travelers and is known for its stunning aquamarine lagoons, jutting mountains covered in lush rainforest, and friendly locals. There are so many different things to do on the island, including: 


  • Hike up Magic Mountain to enjoy one of the best views on the island.
  • Snorkel at the Lagoonarium, a quiet island off the coast of Moorea that is home to some of the most diverse marine wildlife in the world.
  • Swim with humpback whales. Get up close and personal with these gentle giants from July to November.
  • Hike to the Suit of Mount Rotui to get one of the most breathtaking, unspoiled views of Opunohu Bay and the surrounding lagoon. Warning this hike is not for beginners. 
  • Dive with Tahitian stingrays


Once you are ready to eat, sail off the coast of Moorea to Coco Beach for a beachfront restaurant with fantastic food and the best view of the lagoon. Be sure to bring your snorkel gear because you won’t want to miss swimming with the blacktip reef sharks and stingrays that encircle this small island or “motu.”

Visit the Other Society Group Islands

​​Although Bora-Bora, Raiatea, Tahaa, and Huahine are neighbors, each island has a slightly different ambiance. Yes, they have common traits, including stunning landscapes, motus, amazing lagoons, pristine white beaches, and exquisite reefs, but each has its unique charm. One island may emphasize catering to the chic, while another is known for its nature. Together, the four treasures of the Tahitian Leewards are an enchanting cruising ground for a memorable Tahiti sailing vacation. So let’s take a quick look at what each island is known for and why you should visit: 


  • Bora-Bora. Arguably the most famous island in French Polynesia, the island of Bora Bora was initially called Pora pora mai te pora, meaning created by the gods. This island group in the Leeward islands is famous for its seaside and overwater bungalows and luxury resorts. The main island of Bora Bora is surrounded by a ring of sandy coral islets called motus.
  • Raiatea. Raiatea is most often visited as the gateway to its smaller sister island, Taha'a, which shares the same lagoon. However, Raiatea has the reputation of being the cradle of Polynesian civilizations. Raiatea is also home to the UNESCO-designated historic site, Taputapuatea, one of Polynesia's oldest and largest ancient temples called a 'marae.'
  • Taha’a. Tahaa is world-famous for its vanilla production, accounting for about 80% of all Polynesian production. Pearl farming is another long tradition on the island, and visitors can learn all about it free of charge at Love Here Pearl Farm, located in Patio. However, the real treat of the island lies underneath the water. The island is home to a large variety of sea life, from sharks to clownfish; the best views are located in the shallow channel adjacent to the motu (a reef islet) of Tautau.
  • Huahine. Traditionally, Huahine was known as the 'rebel' island and was famed for its fierce warriors and resistance to change. Today, it is perhaps the most picturesque of all the Society Islands. The island equivalent to the Garden of Eden, Huahine, is an immense tropical jungle thriving with coconut plantations, vanilla orchids, banana groves, breadfruit trees, and watermelon fields. It is also a culturally preserved sanctuary with sacred temples hidden throughout dense vegetation. If you are looking for pristine, untouched natural beauty with little to no tourists around, then this island is for you. 

Chartering a Yacht in Tahiti 

As you can imagine, there are a variety of hotels, hostels, and exclusive resorts that you can stay in during your trip to Tahiti; however, let’s look at another option: chartering a yacht in Tahiti. 


A Tahiti sailing vacation offers balmy easterly trade winds averaging between 15 and 20 knots throughout the year. The island guarantees a relaxing sail every single day over calm waters. ​​Cruise beautiful lagoons, meet with the friendly local people, participate in local traditions while learning more about the Polynesian culture, dive and snorkel some of the most beautiful spots, swim with whales and sharks, eat French and Tahitian fusion cuisine, stay overnight in an overwater bungalow, shop for vanilla spices or Tahitian cultured pearls and dig your toes deep into the white sand—you can experience all of this and more when chartering a yacht in Tahiti. ​​The atolls, motus, islands, lagoons, and caves of this archipelago offer endless options for exploring by boat, making a yacht charter the ideal way to visit the region. 


Many people think that chartering a yacht is out of their price range. However, this is not necessarily true. It all depends on your needs and wants. We have a personal chef that can customize a menu based on your preferences and any food allergies or dietary restrictions that you may have. Many of our yachts are stocked with water toys like stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, and a dinghy that can be used for tubing, water skiing, and wakeboarding. We also can include the option to scuba dive from the yacht. Other less common amenities still available on some yachts include an e-foil board, seabob, sea scooters, snuba, and kiteboarding. If you’d like, there is even an option to have a hot tub or jet ski on one of our bigger yachts. 


If you want to have the best experience of Tahiti, consider chartering a yacht. Let us know your dates, budget, and the number of guests. We will be happy to find you the best option and walk you through the process. A catamaran that sleeps six people and has a captain can be as low as $10K per week, but you can add meals and drinks to make it all-inclusive, starting around $15L. 


Are you ready to visit Tahiti? There are so many things to do in Tahiti, so what are you waiting for? Come visit these gorgeous islands and see them at their best while on your own private yacht. 


Read More

Belize Yacht Charter Top Tips

December 15, 2021

Belize travel update

Belize has taken very organized steps to control the spread of COVID. Case numbers are still low and land, sea and air border controls are regularly modified as required. The vaccination program is proceeding well. The Government has just passed a new rule that requires anyone requiring access to a Government Building, either to provide proof of vaccination or a negative test result taken with the previous 72 hours.

Southern Belize has the distinct advantage that it is so much less crowded than the popular and very busy areas of Belize City, Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker, so, in our opinion, much “COVID safer.”

Traveling from Belize City International Airport to Placencia has always been easy on either Maya Island Air or Tropic Air, our local commuter airlines.

However, with the recent opening of a new road connecting the airport directly to the Western Highway avoiding the outskirts of Belize City, the road travel time to Placencia is now 2.5 to 3 hours. This gets people out of the airport quickly and into a safer, more controllable social distancing environment. The drive also takes guests through some wonderful, forested mountain scenery, with an optional stop along the way.

There are some wonderful jungle lodges along the way to break the journey as an option and we can offer some great Surf and Turf packages.

The other advantage of taking the road trip is the door-to-door service. The driver meets guests at the International Airport Arrivals and delivers them directly to hotel or yacht in Placencia. No waiting around in the main terminal for commuter flight connection or rechecking bags on and off a commuter flight, then a taxi.

Southern Belize offers spectacular turquoise waters, amazing snorkeling, superb scuba-diving opportunities, reef fishing, deep water fishing, (no Ciguatera in Belize) and magnificent fly fishing.

Placencia is a wonderful small village with many choices of eatery and bars when ashore. So much less busy than Ambergris Caye in the north.

The number of international flights operating to Belize has expanded with the addition of Alaska Airlines and Frontier Airlines.

  • American Airlines Miami, Charlotte, Dallas and Los Angeles
  • United Airlines Houston, Newark, Denver, Chicago, Los Angeles
  • Delta Atlanta
  • Southwest Houston, Denver
  • Alaska Los Angeles, Seattle
  • Frontier Airlines Orlando, Denver
  • WestJet Toronto

And remember, Dreaming On guarantees an island to ourselves every night, and a reef to ourselves whenever snorkeling. Leave the crowds behind.

*If Dreaming On isn't the right match, many more yachts are available and we would be happy to help you find the perfect boat.

Contact us to start planning now.

Read More

3 Things about the USVI from a charter captain

December 7, 2021

Three things that are great about sailing in the US Virgin Islands from captain Brian Querry of Justified Horizons

The USVI currently has more charter yachts than anywhere else in the Caribbean, what's all the fuss about?

We interviewed a USVI charter captain about what he likes best about the USVI.

 

Three things that are great about sailing in the US Virgin Islands from captain Brian Querry of Justified Horizons.

  1. To go-to Lime Out. It's a bar located in Coral Bay. Fantastic tequila and tacos. It has awesome floating bar stools.
  2. The diving here is phenomenal, whether it's in St. Croix, St. John, St. Thomas. The beautiful thing about diving here is we're allowed to catch lobsters for dinner! 
  3. My third thing is probably the privacy that we can find on St. John.  Private little bays, phenomenal hiking right off of the beach, and a great place for a book and a sunset.

 

 

Want to plan a trip to the USVI? Contact Us or learn more about USVI Charters


Read More

2021 Crewed Boat Show Winners

December 6, 2021

2021 Crewed Boat Show Winners are in!

We just wrapped up our visit to the 2021 BVI and USVI crewed boat shows and they did not disappoint!

Currently, more charter yachts are based in the USVI than anywhere else in the Caribbean. Make your decision easy this year and book your next charter with an award winner!

Don't just take our word for it, check them out and let us know what you think!

 

2021 USVI CHARTER YACHT SHOW COMPETITION WINNERS

 

Best Yacht in Show - 66ft & Over

Winner: Burn Rate* ◦ Crew: Evert Theron, Tanya Theron, Karien Koekemoer, Daan De Beer, Louis van Wyk

Runner Up: Lady Sharon Gale ◦ Crew: Keith Cressman, Annette Sharpe, Frans Cornelisse, Zara Browne

 

Best Yacht in Show - 56ft - 65ft

Winner: Aeolus ◦ Crew: Mayon Hight, Therese Gorsich, Elizabeth Bork

Runner Up: Le Reve ◦ Crew: Dirk DeLo, Sandra Anderson

 

Best Yacht in Show - Up to 55ft

Winner: Southern Comfort ◦ Crew: Ish Alexander, Julia Malone

Runner Up: Sea Dog ◦ Crew: Keagan Steyn, Olivia Boyd

 

Best Crew in Show

Winner: Justified Horizons ◦ Crew: Ryan Querry, Dani Querry, Christian Doyle

Runner Up: Aeolus ◦ Crew: Mayon Hight, Therese Gorsich, Elizabeth Bork

 

AND WHO COULD FORGET THE FOOD AND DRINKS

 

Cocktail Mixologist Competition Grey Goose – 2021

Winner: Mixologist: Amy Cann, Let's Play Too

Runner Up: Mixologist: Zara Browne, Lady Sharon Gale

 

Cocktail Mixologist Competition Captain Morgan – 2021

Winner: Mixologist: Ish Alexander, Southern Comfort

Runner Up: Mixologist: Ryan Querry, Justified Horizons

 

Culinary Competition – 2021

 

Appetizer

1. Tanya Theron, Burn Rate*

 

Main Dish

1. Annette Sharpe, Lady Sharon Gale

2. Dani Querry, Justified Horizons

 

Dessert

1. Annette Sharpe, Lady Sharon Gale

2. Therese Gorsich, Aeolus

Tied

2. Tanya Theron, Burn Rate*

 

*Interested in Burn Rate? Shoot us an email for more information


Read More

The Best Things to do in Croatia: Our Ultimate Guide

December 6, 2021

•How to get to and around the Croatia? •Best time to visit? •What to pack? •Things to do?

Touring Croatia can be the experience of a lifetime. Lying on the coast of the Adriatic Sea, at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, Croatia is famous for its beaches, rivers, and lakes. Its extensive, 2,000 kilometers coast has more than 1,000 islands, making it a favorite destination for those looking for adventure, nature, and beautiful seas to sail. The country Croatia is known as one of the sunniest destinations in all of Europe and is famous for its people, traditions, food, and culture. Almost every city and town within its borders has a story to tell. Pula is home to one of the three remaining intact Roman coliseums globally; Porec is filled with sites that date back to Roman times; Korcula is rumored to be Marco Polo’s birthplace, and Dubrovnik is surrounded by defensive stone walls that date back to the 12th century. 


Above all else, Croatia is rapidly becoming known as the perfect beach destination and ideal for island-hopping. Each island has a different offering, so whether you want to have a luxury experience on Hvar island, go clubbing in Pag, drink cocktails by the water in Lošinj, or eat delicious cheese and drink wine on Korčula, there is an island off the coast of Croatia waiting for you. 


Before we talk all about the best things to do in Croatia, let's look at some essential information that you need to know before traveling:


  • American citizens don’t need a visa to enter Croatia. 
  • Although the official currency in Croatia is the Croatian Kuna, both US Dollar and Euro are accepted in the country. 
  • Croatia has its own amphitheater, which is almost exactly like the Colleseum in Rome. Although it is over 2,000 years old, the Pula Arena is well-preserved and a spectacular sight to see. 
  • Croatia is the best place in Europe to go truffle hunting and is home to the largest truffle in the world, according to the Guinness World Record Book. 
  • Croatia is home to the world’s smallest town, called Hum. 
  • The country is known for its tradition of beautiful lacemaking, which has been added to the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list. Lacemaking from Pag is considered the best in the country so if you do visit the island, make sure to buy a piece or two. Another traditional Croatian product added to the UNESCO Intangible Heritage List is the Hrvatsko Zagorje's wooden toys.
  • One of the best things to do in Croatia is to eat! Although Croatian food has some outside influences (like Italian, Austrian and Turkish), their cuisine has distinct interpretations and tastes. Some dishes you must try are black risotto, Boškarin, Buzara (mussels), Fritule (donut-friend pastries), Istrian ham, truffles, and Pag cheese. 
  • Do you want to explore the islands of Croatia? Why not charter a yacht? Yachting is the best way to move among the islands and enjoy the beautiful landscapes. 

How to Get to & Around Croatia

There are flights to Croatia departing from many major American cities and arriving in the three main Croatian airports in Zagreb, Split, and Dubrovnik. There are few direct flights to Croatia, so be prepared for a stop-over or two before reaching your final destination. 


The most popular area for tourists is the Adriatic coast of the country, where you can visit the coastal cities of Split and Dubrovnik and the many Croatian islands on the Adriatic Sea. Chartering a yacht in Croatia is the best option for transportation. Yachting allows you to explore the coast, move freely from one city or island to another, and, best of all, avoid all of the summer crowds. Croatia is known for its islands, so there is no better way to explore than on a boat. And instead of opting for tourist boats that have rigid schedules that are often canceled or delayed, a trip on a yacht gives you peace of mind—something everyone wants on their vacation. 


Picture picking up a bottle of delicious white wine from Korčula before jetting off to a small deserted island nearby to enjoy a glass while watching the sunset. Or why not explore the coast and visit isolated islands during the day before heading over to Brač to dance the night away. A charter trip gives you the freedom and quiet you are looking for during your vacation. Yachting also combines that freedom and tranquility with the luxury of staying in a hotel or resort. Are you ready for a lifetime experience? Learn more about chartering a yacht in Croatia here [include a link to your services].

Best Time to Visit 

Summer is the best season to visit Croatia. Summers mean hot weather, perfect if you want to enjoy the beaches, go swimming, sail, and see the islands. During the summer months, primarily during July and August, the temperature reaches around 86°F. The best things to do in Croatia happen during the summer months, including concerts, festivals, and cultural events, like the Night of the Full Moon in Zadar. 


You can technically sail along the Dalmatian coast from April to October, but the best times to sail are in autumn and spring, also known as the shoulder seasons. During these times the prices are lower and the summer crowds have largely disappeared, allowing you to fully enjoy what Croatia has to offer. 


During the spring season, which runs from May to June, the prices in Croatia are not only lower, but the days are steadily growing longer and the temperatures are rising. Spring is the perfect time for sailing as temperatures vary from 70°F to 79°F. Then there is the autumn season which runs from September to October. Just like spring, the days during these months are beautifully warm and enjoyable. Seasonal winds are also more reliable during the shoulder seasons, which means that your charter can take advantage of the wind more often. 


The low season starts in November and goes until April. The days are rainy during autumn and winter, but it’s still possible to experience sunny days. There are almost no tourists from November to April, so the prices are lower, however, if you do plan on sailing in Croatia, then the low season is not the best time to visit. 

What to Pack

As the main tourist attractions are the beaches and islands on the Adriatic coast, casual and light clothes are the best option to bring to Croatia. It is always good to have something cool to wear when partying and something more formal for a romantic evening in a restaurant. We recommend packing: 


  • T-shirts, shorts, skirts, and dresses
  • Flip-flops, walking shoes, and sandals
  • Swimwear and water shoes 
  • Protection from the sun, including a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen
  • A light jacket and pants for cooler evenings
  • Bug Spray
  • Waterproof case for your phone or camera
  • Adapters and converters for your electronic devices

The Best Things to Do in Croatia 

Due to its beaches and islands, the Adriatic coast is the most appealing area for tourists in Croatia. There are also famous coastal towns that are a must-see and have rich historical backgrounds, whether on the continental coast or on the islands. Here are some of the best things to do in Croatia. 

Things to do in Split

Split is the largest city in the region of Dalmatia and the Adriatic coast. Being the second-largest city of Croatia, Split is a modern, cosmopolitan city built upon more than 1,700 years of history. Its antiquity can be seen in the Old Town, which has earned it a place on the UNESCO’s World Heritage Site list. The city of Split was actually founded as the Greek colony of Aspálathos in the 3rd or 2nd century BC. As it is an ancient city, there are a lot of historic spots to see. The Old Town is itself an attraction, so make sure to take a walk around to soak it all in before eventually sitting down in one of the many cafés or restaurants. 


Some of the best tourist spots in Split are:


  • Diocletian’s Palace: built-in 305 AD for the Roman Emperor Diocletian, the Palace is located in the heart of the Old Town and is also listed as a World Heritage Site. Its immense walls surround a 10-acre area of temple ruins, apartments, museums, hotels, markets, coffee shops, modern boutiques, and even an ancient cathedral all connected with pedestrian-only cobblestone alleys. Today, more than 3,000 people live and work within the palace, and it is a must-see if you are visiting Split. 
  • St. Domnius Cathedral: if being the oldest cathedral in the world is not already a good reason to visit, St. Domnius Cathedral’s Bell Tower, also built in the 7th century AD, has one of the best views of the city. 
  • Klis Fortress: the fortress was built by the Illyrians to fight the Roman conquerors and is famous for the siege by Augustus against the Illyrian revolt. Being a strategic military spot during the Mongol siege and the Venetian rule upon Split, Klis Fortress was destroyed and reconstructed many times. The ruins of that ancient battle site offer a panoramic view of both the city and the Dalmatian Coast. It has also served as a filming location for the popular TV series Game of Thrones.
  • Split Archeological Museum: one of the best in Croatia, this museum has over 150,000 historical items, including ancient weapons, Roman glass, carvings from Salona, and Greek ceramics from the Hellenistic period.


Besides the historical buildings and museums, there is a beautiful promenade near the sea called Riva, where you will find many cafes, bars, and restaurants. If you appreciate wine and wish to experience the Croatian variety, consider visiting the Putalj Winery, which is located near the city. If you are looking for an organized tour, make sure to make a reservation. Another good option is the Zinfandel Winery, which is located in the Old Town. 


The most popular beach among tourists in Split is Bačvice. You can also visit other beaches nearby, like Jezinac Beach, Ovcice, and Firule. They will probably be quieter than Bačvice. Another attraction is Marjan Hill, where you will find another good view of the city. Those interested in nature and ecotourism can visit the National Park in Krka, named after the river and best known for its many waterfalls. The Plitvice Lakes National Park can also be reached with a day trip from Split.

Things to do in Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik is another coastal city on the Adriatic Sea and is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site due to its ancient walls, fortifications, and churches. The city's splendor made the English poet Lord Bryon call it “The Pearl of the Adriatic.” It is a favorite Mediterranean tourist destination, and it is known as one of the other filming locations for Game of Thrones. You can even take a tour based on the scenarios of the series. 


The city of Dubrovnik has a long historical past that goes back to the 7th century when the Croat town merged with the Greek colony known as Ragusa. For many centuries, the city was best known as Ragusa, which became its historical name. Ragusa took prominence as a maritime commercial city from the 9th century to the early 13th century, when it fell under the control of the Venetian Republic. At the time, Ragusa became the capital of the Republic of Ragusa, an aristocratic maritime suzerainty under the control of Venice during the 13th and 14th centuries. The Republic of Ragusa ended in 1808 when its territory fell under the control of Napoleon. After the fall of the Republic of Ragusa, the city eventually adopted its Croat name, Dubrovnik. 


As you can probably tell, Dubrovnik is another top destination for historical tourism. Its Old Town is charming and has an impressive main street called Placa, which intersects with many ancient buildings. In the Old Town, you will find the Church of St. Blaise and Orlando’s Column, inaugurated in honor of the medieval knight who defended the city against a Saracen siege. It is now a symbol of Dubrovnik’s freedom.


Some historical points to visit are:


  • City Walls: built from the 7th to the 15th century, the walls appear on Game of Thrones and offer stunning landscapes of the Adriatic Sea.
  • Dubrovnik Cathedral: this baroque cathedral has an impressive collection of masterpieces from Croatian and Italian artists, including a triptych from Titian depicting the Ascension of Mary. 
  • Lovrijenac Fort: the 11th-century fortification is the epitome of Dubrovnik. It is the place where the summertime festival takes place, which includes a performance of Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
  • St John Fortress: built to defend the city against pirates, the Fortress has an aquarium and a maritime museum.
  • Franciscan Monastery: this 14th-century monastery built in Romanesque and Gothic architecture has a vast collection of books and manuscripts and is one of the oldest operating pharmacies in the world.


Besides the historical attractions, Dubrovnik also has plenty of natural beauty to offer. You can take the cable car to the crest of Mount Srđ, where you have the best landscape of the city and the surrounding nature. You can also enjoy it from the sea, while sailing or kayaking. 


If you are doing so, take the opportunity to visit Lokrum Island, a green-covered island with an old monastery that serves as a restaurant during the summer. Dubrovnik also has a beautiful 15th-century park called Trsteno Arboretum, with rich vegetation and a beautiful garden house with sculptures and fountains. Of course, there are many beaches to visit in Dubrovnik, such as Lapad beach, with many bars and restaurants nearby, and Banje, a beach with a stunning landscape and a famous lounge club.

Things to do in Croatian islands

With more than 1,000 islands to explore, there are various things to do in the Croatian islands. Tourists can visit the small, deserted islands, but some larger islands have entire cities and unique attractions.


Here are some of the best options: 

 

  • Hvar: popular among celebrities, Hvar is best known for its luxury hotels and restaurants. The old center of Hvar town is also a historical must-see, having the largest old square in Dalmatia, St. Stephens Square. It is surrounded by ancient architecture, including the Cathedral of St. Stephen.
  • Vis: here, you find a singular nature attraction, the blue cave of Biševo, a place of extraordinary beauty, which is one of the main tourist spots in the Adriatic Sea. The blue cave got its name due to the iridescent blue, glowing effect of the sunlight getting into the cave through a natural opening on its ceiling that reflects on the water. 
  • Korčula: named after its dark forests, Korčula is now famous due to its fine white wine and the historical center of Korčula Town, where you will find the birthplace of Marco Polo.
  • Brač: this island has one of the most beautiful beaches in Croatia, the Zlatni Rat, famous for its distinct shape, looking like a horn. The name literally means “golden horn” or “golden cape” in Croatian. 
  • Rab: this small, calm island is a nudist-friendly paradise, a tradition started by King Edward VIII.
  • Kornati, Mljet, and Brijuni: these islands have been turned into national parks, with plenty of nature, incredible sea life, and heavenly landscapes.


One of the best things to do in Croatia is to visit the islands, and sailing around them is one of the main tourist attractions in Croatia. The Adriatic coast of the country is a paradise for yachting, kayaking, and sailing. We strongly recommend that you visit the islands. It can take most of your trip, so chartering a yacht is the best way to enjoy that time on the coast and the islands.

Chartering a Yacht in Croatia

With many different islands to visit, chartering a yacht in Croatia seems like the obvious choice. A private yacht charter is one of the most socially distanced vacations you can go on. The best part? You can unpack your bags once and wake up somewhere new every day. How exciting is that? The yacht will bring you to secluded coves and anchorages to snorkel, swim, and even get up close and personal with some sea life. Is there anything better than waking up every morning at a new location and exploring everything that Croatia has to offer?


Chartering a yacht in Croatia offers a unique off-the-beaten-path type of voyage that allows you to explore peaceful anchorages, historic ruins, fisherman villages, and resort towns that are often hard to get to by other means. Sailing the Adriatic sea also means that you can enjoy the beaches, frequent the restaurants, go shopping at all the local markets—all while avoiding the hustle and bustle of the peak season crowd. 


Many people think that chartering a yacht is out of their price range. However, this is not necessarily true. It all depends on your needs and wants. We have a personal chef that can customize a menu based on your preferences and any food allergies or dietary restrictions that you may have. Many of our yachts are stocked with water toys like stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, and a dinghy that can be used for tubing, water skiing, and wakeboarding. We also can include the option to scuba dive from the yacht. Other less common amenities still available on some yachts include an e-foil board, seabob, sea scooters, snuba, and kiteboarding. If you’d like, there is even an option to have a hot tub or jet ski on one of our bigger yachts. 


If you are interested in learning more about chartering a yacht in Croatia, let us know your dates, budget,  and the number of guests, and we would be happy to walk you through the process.  A catamaran that sleeps six people and has a captain can be as low as $10,000 per week. When you add a captain and all meals and drinks to make it all-inclusive, the rates start around 15k then go up to 50k or more depending on the degree of luxury you want. 


And that is our list of the best things to do in Croatia. Don’t wait to make your dreams come true. Come live the historical experience and heavenly views of Croatia without any worries. Sail the Adriatic Coast with a yacht and have the time of your life!


Read More

St. Martin Sailing Itinerary

December 6, 2021

Take Your Dream Holiday to St. Martin

Take Your Dream Holiday to St. Martin 


Known for its colorful marriage between European and Caribbean culture, St. Martin is an island with a split personality. Known as the culinary capital of the Caribbean, the island of St. Martin is part of the Leeward Islands, which can be found in the northeastern Caribbean Sea.  The island is particularly unique as it is divided between two countries. The north side, known as Saint Martin, is a collectivity of France in the West Indies, and the southern side, known as Sint Maarten, is owned by the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Caribbean. The Dutch side is known for its nightlife, beaches, jewelry, and drinks made with native rum-based guavaberry liquors. In contrast, the French side is perfect for anyone looking for some shopping therapy, beaches, and French-Caribbean fusion cuisine. 


Another key draw of St. Martin is its proximity to other Caribbean islands, including Anguilla, Saba, Nevis, St. Kitts, and St. Barts. St. Martins is one of the most popular sailing destinations in the Caribbean, primarily because of the variety of things you can do within the region. In one day, you can go scuba diving with nurse sharks, try your luck at a casino, eat world-class cuisine and even fit in some duty-free shopping before heading out for some drinks and dancing. Yachting in and around St. Martin offers remote, unspoiled anchorages, secluded Caribbean coves, stunning beaches, and fantastic coral reefs. This region provides the perfect combination of chic European sophistication and a laid-back Caribbean charm. All in all, St. Martin is the ideal place to charter a yacht. 


Are you ready to begin your yacht experience in St. Martin? Let’s go.


SAMPLE ITINERARY*


Day 1: Our crew will be happy to coordinate a taxi pick-up once you arrive at the international airport on the Dutch side of St. Maarten. Our driver will meet you at baggage claim and take you to meet the crew at the marina. Once aboard the boat, you will be briefed before allowing to settle in and enjoy your welcome cocktail on board. 


We will then set sail six nautical miles from Dutch St. Martin to Anguilla, a British territory known as one of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean. On our way to Anguilla, we will stop by smaller islands such as Prickly Pear Cays to enjoy lunch and a quick swim. We will drop anchor in Road Bay, the main port of Anguilla. In the afternoon, guests are welcome to explore the island's art galleries, tour historic sites and museums or spend their day relaxing on the beach. 


For dinner, head on over to Gorgeous Scilly Cay for a lobster dish that can be washed down with a Pyrat Rum, a local specialty, aged in oak barrels. And if you aren’t quite ready to go to bed just yet, you can head on over to one of the late bars at Sandy Ground for a cocktail or two before heading in for the night. 



Day 2: It’s time to sail back to St. Martin, but this time we are heading on over to the French side, specifically the French capital, Marigot. Here, guests can visit the town’s many restaurants, pastry shops, luxury boutiques, and even do some duty-free shopping. If time permits, a visit to Fort Louis is a must. Not only was the fort built in 1767, but it also offers stunning views across Marigot Harbour and the hills above the Bellevue. You can even see the silhouette of Anguilla island in the distance if the skies are clear enough.  


For dinner, guests can choose to either stay in Marigot or head on over to Grand Case, a historic seaside and fishing town known for its excellent restaurants that serve delicious french-Caribbean cuisine. 


Day 3: In the morning, we will set sail to the island of Tintamarre, off the tip of French St. Martin, where guests can go snorkeling in the protected marine preserve. This small uninhabited island is home to two beautiful scuba diving sites and some secluded beaches. 


We'll set sail toward Orient Bay in the afternoon, where we will anchor for the night. Orient Bay is St. Martin’s most famous beach and is known as quite the party hotspot. The bay is surrounded by a two-mile-long white sand beach and protected by a reef, making it the perfect spot for water sports. Spend the afternoon snorkeling, parasailing, kitesurfing, jet skiing, or even just lounging lazily on the beach. 


For dinner, choose to dine ashore or enjoy a delicious barbecue on board before heading in for the night. 


Day 4: It’s time to visit the peaceful island of Ile Fourchue, off the coast of St. Barts. Once moored, grab your snorkeling gear and make sure to keep a watch out for any sea turtles. If time permits, we can also climb to one of Fourche’s five peaks to enjoy the panoramic view of the Leeward Islands. 


Lunch will be served on board as we head over to our final destination for the day in St Barts. We will anchor in the glamorous harbor at Gustavia, on St. Bart’s east coast. Guests are highly encouraged to take a short walk to Shell Beach to look for some unique-looking shells before grabbing a light snack at one of the beachside restaurants. 


In the late afternoon, snorkel the wreck of the motor yacht, “Nonstop,” head ashore and explore the town’s exclusive boutiques or rent a scooter and drive around to some of the island’s more isolated beaches. For dinner, make sure to linger around town as the nightlife in St. Barts is genuinely a one-of-a-kind experience. 


Day 5: It’s time to head back to paradise. We will cruise from Gustavia along St. Barts coast to the beautiful turquoise waters of Anse de Colombier. If you are looking to spot a turtle, this is the perfect place. Not only is the water teaming with sea life, but it is so clear that you can see right to the bottom. 


In the afternoon, we will leave the hustle and bustle of St. Bart’s behind to visit Saba, an island so untouched that it is magical. Saba is small but mighty. Although it has a footprint of less than 5 square miles, it is filled to the brim with stunning scenery, including lush greenery, towering cliffs, and a dormant volcano. Known as the “Unspoiled Queen” of the Caribbean, the beaches are not the main draw on Saba. Instead, visitors can choose to climb, hike, or scuba dive. The island is home to many coral formations and sea life, including dolphins, sharks, and turtles. However, it is also known for its underwater mountains created by volcanic activity. With no hotels, beaches, or ports, Saba is one of the Caribbean's best-kept secrets. 


In the evening, you can choose to stay on the island for dinner or head back to the boat to enjoy a diclinous chef-cooked meal on board underneath the stars. 


Day 6: It’s time to go to St. Kitts and Nevis for some more relaxation and beach time. We’ll anchor for the night around Pinneys Beach, a rarely crowded gorgeous stretch of white sand where you can grab your snorkeling gear and take another dip or two in the ocean. 


Today is all about lying n the sun, exploring the island’s many beaches, and eating delicious food before we head on over to Antigua. 


Day 7: Antigua is calling your name. Famous for its warm, steady winds, remarkable beaches, and epic yachting events, Antigua is home to over 365 beaches, one for every day of the year. 


We’ll spend the day exploring the island’s many caves, coves, and beaches. We’ll explore Carlisle Bay, a palm-lined beach, and enjoy a leisurely lunch on board before setting sail again towards Cades reef. Once anchored, guests are welcome to jump into the warm Caribbean waters and explore this reef, which is known as one of Antigua’s most beautiful snorkeling sites, before heading to another one of Antigua’s 365 beaches. We’d recommend snorkeling or diving at Ledges or Cow and Calf. 


Once you are all “beached out” for the day, we’ll head on to the main town for some shopping, dinner, and cocktails. If you are craving some pizza, we can also head over to Pizza Pi, known for having the best pie in the Caribbean. The unique twist is that this restaurant is only accessible by boat. Is there anything better than eating pizza as you snorkel?


Day 8: It’s time to head back to St. Martin. Enjoy one last trip on board as we make our way back to the marina. Take the time to soak in all of the island’s magic before disembarking and bidding the crew goodbye. Until next time!


*Remember that we are here to help you plan your dream vacation, so the itinerary outlined above can be changed. All you need to do is discuss your needs with our crew, and we will do our best to make it happen. Do you want to stay one day longer for a particular bay or move on to a new experience? No problem, we are here to make your visit to St Martin unforgettable.


Read More

Things to do in St. Martin: The Ultimate Guide

December 6, 2021

•How to get to and around the St. Martin? •Best time to visit? •What to pack? •Things to do?

Known as the culinary capital of the Caribbean, the island of St. Martin is part of the Leeward Islands, which can be found in the northeastern Caribbean Sea and consists of several smaller islands, including St Martin, St. Barts, Antigua, St. Kitts, and Barbuda. Historically these islands were the first in the Caribbean to fall under Spanish control. However, their rule was quickly contested, resulting in a history of British, French, Dutch, and Spanish colonialism in the region that left its mark on each island. 


In the case of St. Martin, the country is divided between two separate countries. Although it was first discovered by Christopher Colombus in 1493 and claimed as a Spanish territory, Spain never made a formal settlement on the island. However, France and the Netherlands wanted the island for themselves, which resulted in a tug-of-war that ultimately ended in a truce. Today the island is divided between the north side, known as Saint Martin, a collectivity of France in the West Indies, and the southern side, known as Sint Maarten, owned by the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Caribbean. The Dutch side is known for its nightlife, beaches, jewelry, and drinks made with native rum-based guavaberry liquors. While the French side of Saint Martin is a hotspot for tourists looking for some shopping therapy, beaches, and French-Caribbean fusion cuisine. Although both sides are known as party-hotspots, the island itself is home to different enclaves, cays, and hidden beaches for anyone looking to escape it all. 


This rich historical mixture of African, Spanish, French, British, and Dutch cultural influences on Saint Martin, and the surrounding islands, has transformed this region into a unique and intriguing travel destination. When visiting the Leeward Islands, it’s always best to rent a yacht to explore each island’s unique offerings. St. Martin is famous for its secluded coves, beautiful beaches, and European-Caribbean fusion cuisine. St. Barts is renowned for luxurious getaways and is the perfect place to spot some superyachts. Anguilla’s 33 beaches are the epitome of paradise—unspoiled, uncrowded and a joy to explore. Barbuda is known for its pink sand beaches and protective reefs. And last but not least, St. Kitts and Nevis are where visitors can eat authentic Caribbean food while lounging on pure-white sand beaches overlooking gorgeous tropical forests and blue-green waters.


There are many things to do in St. Martin, and traveling there can be an unforgettable experience. Before we get a closer look at the many attractions on the Friendly Island, let’s look at some key pieces of information you need to know before you go:


  • American citizens don’t need a visa to enter Saint-Martin, nor Sint Maarten. 
  • The Euro is the official currency in Saint-Martin, while the Netherlands Antilles Florin (NAF, also called the guilder) is the official currency in Sint Maarten. However, the US Dollar is accepted all over the island, and there are plenty of exchange locations and banks on the island. Some taxi companies only accept Dollars.
  • Saint Martin is very popular for its parties. There you can dance to a variety of Caribbean typical music, such as Calypso, Merengue, Soca, Zouk, and Reggae. 
  • Saint Martin is a tax-free island, so you can pick up souvenirs for a lower price than other Caribbean islands. Popular souvenirs are handmade Dutch porcelain, perfumes, cosmetics, spicy sauces, jewelry, and designer clothing.
  • Saint Martin is the culinary capital of the Caribbean, with a wide variety of French, Creole, and Dutch cuisine. You will find fine drinks there, like French wine, flavored liqueurs, and rum. There is also a variety of cheese.
  • Saint Martin is famous for its products made of Guavaberry, such as liqueurs, jams, and desserts.
  • Do you want to explore the coast of both Saint-Martin and Sint Maarten? Yachting is the best way to do so. Hollywood star Morgan Freeman has famously enjoyed yachting on the island. It is important to note that due to its proximity to Antigua and St. Barts, a typical one-week yacht itinerary would include a trip to each of these islands. 

How to Get to & Around St. Martin

Daily flights depart from the U.S. and arrive at Princess Juliana Airport in Sint Maarten, the main airport on the island. You will find both direct and stop-over flights. There is also an airport on the French side of the island, Espérance Grand-Case, that offers flights to other Caribbean islands. You can also take ferries to the islands nearby. There is no border control between Saint Martin and Sint Maarten.


Chartering a yacht is the best way to move around St Martin, especially if you’d like to visit any of the nearby islands. Once you have embarked on your charter yacht, some of the nearby islands you can explore on your itinerary include Anguilla, Saba, Nevis, St. Kitts, and St. Barts. And each of these islands has its own unique offering. For example, Anguilla is known for its coral reef and beaches, perfect for diving or snorkeling. So whether you want to dive among sunken ships in St. Kitts, drop anchor in St. Barts to go shopping, or bury your toes in white-sand beaches on Anguilla, then chartering a yacht in St. Martin is the perfect option for you. 


St. Martins is one of the most popular sailing destinations in the Caribbean, primarily because of the variety of things you can do within the region. In one day, you can go scuba diving with the fish, try your luck at a casino, eat world-class cuisine and even fit in some duty-free shopping before heading out for some drinks and dancing. Yachting in and around St. Martin offers remote, unspoiled anchorages, secluded Caribbean coves, stunning beaches, and fantastic coral reefs. A Caribbean cruising destination with a European twist. 

Best Time to Visit 

St. Martin has a tropical climate, which means it is sunny and warm throughout the year.  Wind conditions on a St Martin sailing itinerary also make for some of the best sailing conditions in the world. Winter winds are usually northeast, 15–25 knots, and summer winds come from the south-east, around 15–25 knots.


The most popular times to visit St. Martin are from mid-December to mid-April, the island's warm and dry season. It is also the peak tourism season. The temperatures vary between 70°F to 86°F, which allows you to enjoy the sunny days while lounging on one of the 37 beaches on the island. Peak season also means crowds and high prices, especially if you visit the island between mid-February to March. The island is especially overcrowded during American holidays, so if possible, try to avoid visiting during Christmas, Martin Luther King Jr.'s Day, and the President’s Day. However, one of the best ways to beat the crowds is to charter your own yacht in St. Martin. January and April may provide you with a better experience, allowing you to enjoy the weather while avoiding the crowds. 


The island is also home to many different festivals. In March every year, Heineken holds a world-class race called the Heineken Regatta. In November, the Race Course de L'Alliance is also held, allowing individuals to participate if they have their own charter boat. Then there is Carnival which starts in mid-April and lasts around three weeks. Carnival is celebrated on the whole island. However, the main parade still happens in the Dutch part. 


If you want to avoid the intense flood of tourists during peak season, you can also visit St. Martin during the shoulder season between May and June. During this time, the temperature is around 74°F to 88°F. June is also the beginning of the hurricane season, so rain showers are more common. However, there is a low chance of a bad storm. The off-season is from July to November, which is also the rainy season. Most days are sunny, but there is a higher risk of storms and hurricanes. 

What to Pack

St. Martin is a tropical paradise, so you will want to spend as much time as possible lounging in the sun or swimming in the ocean. As you will spend most of your time outside in nature, make sure to pack casual and light clothes. As St. Martin is also known for its restaurants and lively nightlife, it would be wise to pack a fancy item or two just in case. We recommend packing: 


  • T-shirts, shorts, skirts, and dresses—think tropics. So make sure to pack lightweight natural fabrics. 
  • Flip-flops, walking shoes, and sandals. Make sure to pack a comfortable pair of shoes.
  • Swimwear—make sure to pack a cover-up like a kaftan or a sarong when walking around in public areas. 
  • Protection from the sun, including a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen
  • A light jacket, long sleeve shirt, and pants for cooler evenings
  • Bug Spray

Things to Do in Saint Martin 

As mentioned previously, St Martin is an island divided into two nations. The collective is often referred to as Saint-Martin/Sint Maarten or SXM. There are significant cultural differences between Saint Martin and Sint Maarten, although they share a small island. There is no border control between the two, so you can visit and experience the two cultures. Sint Maarten has an exciting nightlife, with lots of pubs, nightclubs, and casinos. Saint Martin has many nudist beaches, markets and offers rich gastronomy. Let’s take a closer look at both of these sides. 

Things to do in St. Maarten

St. Maarten is the name of the Dutch side of the island. Its official language is Dutch, but English is commonly spoken, as well as Creole dialect. St. Maarten is known for its vivid nightlife, with many bars, nightclubs, and casinos. It is also famous for its Maarten’s Guavaberry, a sugary sweet and slightly acidic fruit. This tiny berry is used to make St. Maarten’s National drink: Guavaberry liqueur. The liqueur is made from fine oak-aged rum, cane sugar, and ripe local guava berries and it has a woody, fruity, spicy, bitter-sweet flavor all wrapped into one. 


Some tourist attractions in St. Maarten are:


  • Philipsburg: Philipsburg is the capital of Dutch St. Maarten and is located on a narrow stretch of land between Great Bay and Great Salt Pond. The town is known as a tax-free shopping haven. On Front Street in the shopping district, travelers can buy almost anything their heart desires—all at a great price. If shopping isn’t your thing, visitors can enjoy the city’s art galleries, historic forts, casinos, zoos, or beach-front restaurants. 
  • Rockland Estate: operated by Rainforest Adventures, Rockland Estate is an eco-adventure park. The park is famous for having the steepest zipline in the world, known as the Flying Dutchman. The zipline drops from more than 1,000 feet in elevation at 56 miles per hour. The park also offers a schooner inner tube track and a canopy tour. After many adventures, the park’s restaurant will help you reset your energy with delicious meals and refreshing drinks.
  • Maho Beach: the island’s main airport, Princess Juliana, is located just steps away from Maho Beach, meaning that travelers can get an up-close-and-personal view of planes in the process of landing just meters above your head. If you prefer to watch the planes landing from a distance, you can also head on over to Sunset Bar and Grill, which was initially opened in 1942
  • Topper’s Rhum Factory: this distillery produces more than 50 different flavors of delicious rum. You can take a tour of the factory to see how the rum is made and taste it for free. 
  • Guavaberry Emporium: another favorite for rum lovers, the Guavaberry Emporium is an excellent place to taste some of the local liquor made from rum, sugar cane, and guava berry naturally found on the island. The Emporium is also the best place to pick up a bottle or two to take home with you. 
  • Mullet Bay: that beach is the perfect place to enjoy a sunny day, with a stunning landscape of white sand, crystal-clear blue water, palm trees, protected coves, and a famous swimming spot. 


Compared to its French counterpart, St. Maarten is the place to go if you are looking for some adventure or a place to party the night away. The Dutch side is home to over 20 different casinos and many different nightclubs, including Lotus, the island’s leading dance club. St. Maarten is also known for its beautiful beaches, including Cupecoy Beach, an LGBT-friendly beach surrounded by limestone cliffs with a clothing-optional section, and Dawn Beach, a snorkeling haven with crystal clear blue waters. If you are looking for adventure, you may spend more time on the Dutch side.

Things to do in Saint-Martin

Saint-Martin is the name of the French side of the island and is part of the French Republic and the European Union. Although French is the official language, English is also commonly spoken as well as French-based Creole dialectic. Saint-Martin is famous for its nudist beaches and its gastronomy. Some interesting tourist spots are:


  • Loterie Farm: Names can be deceiving, especially in this particular case. The Loterie Farm is not an actual farm. Instead, it is a serene private nature reserve that is home to several treetop adventure obstacle courses and hiking trails, a pool area, and several restaurants. This former 18th-century sugar plantation is located at the foot of one of the tallest mountains in St. Martin, Pic Paradise. Visitors can hike, lounge by the pool in a cabana, or even zipline through the over 135 acres of forest treetops. 
  • Fort Saint Louis: located in Marigot Bay, this fort was built in 1767 to defend the bay. The biggest draw, however, is the view across Marigot Harbour and the hills above Bellevue. You can even see the silhouette of Anguilla island in the distance if the skies are clear enough.  
  • Tijon Perfumerie: Have you ever wanted to create your signature scent? Well, now you can. The Tijon Perfumerie makes custom fragrances with Caribbean flavors. Visitors can either buy already created fragrances or can create their own custom scene from start to finish. 
  • Grand Case: this town is famous for its restaurants, which offer classy French and Caribbean food. Some of the best are Le Soleil, Ocean 82, Piazza Pascal, and Auberge Gourmande. If you enjoy fine cuisine, Grand Case is the place you are looking for.


If you are looking to relax and enjoy a little bit of peace during your vacation, then look no further. The pleasures of this side of the island are legendary. When you enter the French side of St. Martin, you are entering France. It is as much a part of France as Nice or Marseille. The French influence on the island is noticeable, and as a result, it is not to stumble across fantastic wine, cheese, and European imports. 


The beaches on this side are also equally stunning. Some of the more popular beaches to visit are Orient Beach, where clothing is optional, Le Galion, Red Bay Beach, and Friar’s Bay Beach are some of the most famous. 

Chartering a Yacht in St. Martin

St. Martin is a paradisiac tropical island in the Caribbean, with many other islands nearby. Gorgeous turquoise blue-green waters surround the island itself on every side. As a result, one of the most popular things to do on St. Martin is to get off the island! Sailing, kayaking, scuba diving, paddle boarding, and snorkeling are one of the best activities that you can do in St. Martin. And what better way to get off the island and explore its waters than by chartering a yacht in St. Martin. 


St. Martin is the heart of the Lesser Antilles, meaning that it is pretty close to other popular islands, including Anguilla and St. Barts. When chartering a yacht from St. Martins, our week-long itineraries can include a stop in both of the islands mentioned above. So what is so special about Anguilla and St. Barts?


After embarking on your sailing itinerary at Anse Marcel Marina and spending some time on St. Martin, we will inevitably head on over to Anguilla. This British territory is known as one of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean. There we will spend the day cruising around cays and coves while also taking the time to jump into the island’s crystal clear waters to explore its underwater world. We will drop anchor in Road Bay, the main port of Anguilla, and explore the island's many quaint beach bars and cafes. For a dash of luxury, we will then sail off to St. Barts for some shopping and dining at the European-influenced port town of Gustavia. But shopping isn't the only thing to do in St. Barts. We will discover beaches like Anse de Colombier, where the water is so clear you can see right to the bottom, and Anse de Saline, a pristine secluded bay where the only footprints on the beach will be your own. 


Chartering a yacht is the best way to explore what St. Martin and the surrounding islands have to offer. Yachting provides the most complete, all-inclusive experience of the islands. Our yachting experiences combine freedom with adventure and luxury. Whatever you want is all within reach. All you need to do is ask. Picture yourself watching the sun set over the water while enjoying a delicious chef-prepared four-course meal. Or how about waking up in a secluded cove, only to spend lunch gambling at a casino and dinner at one of the finest restaurants in the Caribbean. Is there anything better? 


Whether you are looking for a romantic getaway for two, a family vacation, or that perfect girl’s trip, charting a yacht in St. Martin is just what the doctor ordered. Our yachts also have extensive items on board for you to enjoy, including stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, and some offer scuba diving from the yacht. The big yachts even have a hot tub or jet ski. 


If you want to have the best experience of St. Martin, consider chartering a yacht. Let us know your dates, budget, and the number of guests. We will be happy to find you the best option and walk you through the process. A catamaran that sleeps six people and has a captain can be as low as $10,000 per week, but you can add meals and drinks to make it all-inclusive, starting around 15k. Isn’t it time to go on that ultimate getaway? We are waiting to welcome you. 


Read More

BVI Sailing Itinerary

December 6, 2021

Take Your Dream Holiday to The British Virgin Islands 

Take Your Dream Holiday to The British Virgin Islands 


White-sand beaches, crystal-clear blue waters, and the perfect spot for diving and snorkeling? Welcome to the British Virgin Islands. The British Virgin Islands (BVI) are part of a volcanic archipelago located east of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The BVI comprises of four main islands and about thirty smaller ones, many of which are still uninhabited. The most famous of these islands are Tortola, Anegada, Virgin Gorda, and Jost Van Dyke. Today the BVI is one of the most stunning island archipelagos in the Caribbean. They boast a rich mix of lively nightlight, fine cuisine, luxurious getaways, secret beaches, and gorgeous natural landscapes. The islands inviting turquoise blue water, bountiful coral reefs, and sun-bleached white-sand beaches will make any vacation unforgettable.


One of the best ways to explore the BVI is by chartering a yacht. The islands have facilities that can accommodate various vessels for short and long-term visits. The islands are also considered one of the best places to set sail in the world. They offer gorgeous sunny weather, beautiful landscapes, protected anchorages, short passages between islands, and dependable trade winds. Imagine this, a romantic honeymoon where you wake up to breathtaking sunrises, explore untouched beaches that are tucked away in hidden bays, jump headfirst into turquoise blue waters, and wind down with a delicious chef-prepared meal paired with a refreshing glass of champagne, all the while watching the sunset in the distance. Is there anything more perfect? 


Are you ready to begin your yacht experience in the British Virgin Islands? Let’s go.


SAMPLE ITINERARY*


Day 1: Our crew will be happy to coordinate a taxi pick-up once you arrive at the airport. Our driver will meet you at baggage claim and take you to meet the crew at the marina. Once aboard the boat, you will be briefed before allowing to settle in and enjoy your welcome cocktail on board as we set sail for the night to Norman Island. We will sail across the Sir Francis Drake Channel, past Indians, and Pelican Island, before stopping off in a protected anchorage for our first overnight mooring. 


Fun fact: Norman Island is famous for inspiring Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel, Treasure Island. The island itself has some of the safest and most scenic harbors in all of the BVI. 


Once we’ve secured the overnight mooring, visitors are free to jump into the waters and swim over to the Caves, a national park site known for its natural caves that are just begging to be explored. If you love to snorkel, this is the best time to do that. Once you’ve finished exploring the underwater world, come back on board to get dressed and head ashore for dinner. 


A BVI fixture for many years, the Pirate Blight restaurant is the perfect spot for great food, ice-cold drinks, and a fun, relaxed vibe. It’s a great family-friend restaurant and bar perfect for a casual sit-down dinner and a view of the sun dipping below the horizon. 


If you want something a little bit different, then head on over to Willy T’s famous floating bar and restaurant. Legend has it that the bar made a name for itself many years ago by offering free t-shirts for anyone who jumped off the top deck naked. Nowadays, they don’t allow you to do that, but the bar still has a reputation for knowing how to throw a good party. Plus, the food is not half-bad; we recommend ordering the chicken roti of the honey-stung chicken. 


Then it’s back to the boat to rest up for another day in the BVI. 


Day 2: Wake up to the gentle rocking of the boat as we head on over to the Indians. The location is so close that we don’t even need to put the sails up. Once we reach our destination, breakfast will be served. Head on to the main deck, sit down, and enjoy a fresh glass of OJ or a cup of coffee while taking in all the scenery. The Indians are a small archipelago of four rocky pinnacles that rise straight up from the ocean floor. It is also one of the top five most popular dive and snorkeling sites in the BVI.


After breakfast, relax a little before picking up your snorkeling gear and jumping headfirst to explore hard and soft corals, colorful sponges, and maybe even see a shark or two—if you are lucky. Once back on board, we will sail to the Rhone shipwreck, which sank in 1867, for another opportunity to scuba or snorkel. 


Then it is off to Cooper Island in the early afternoon, where we will drop anchor for the night in Manchioneel Bay. There is a strict ‘no anchoring’ policy in effect at Cooper Island due to the protection of the seagrass. But don't worry, we’ll take you wherever you want to go. Once anchored, guests can jump right back into the water and swim over to Cistern Point, a shallow diving spot teeming with various sea life. However, if you are all snorkeled out for the day, don’t worry. Instead, take the time to relax on the beach or grab a drink at the Copper Island Beach Club. 


For dinner, choose to dine ashore or enjoy a delicious barbecue on board before heading in for the night. 


Day 3: It’s time to head through the Sir Francis Drake Channel towards the Baths on the southern end of the Virgin Gorda island. The Baths are a collection of massive granite boulders as large as 40 feet in diameter. It is also home to stunning white sand beaches and private rock pools—perfect for a secluded, relaxing day in the sun. 


Once you are ready, we will head back on board for some lunch before going back across the channel towards Marina Cay, where we will anchor for the night. In the evening, you can head ashore to watch the sunset, have a glass of wine, and enjoy a delicious dinner.  Another option is to enjoy a luxurious evening at Scrub Island Resort, Spa, and Marina. Once anchored, you can head ashore and enjoy the island’s two-story pool and various restaurants.  


Day 4:  Today is the day we head on over to North Sound. Located in the northern end of Virgin Gorda, North Sound has a little bit of something for every type of traveler. The area offers several wonderful anchorages, delicious restaurants, and excellent snorkeling and scuba diving sites. If you are into kiteboarding, then this is also the perfect place to do it. 


If you’d like, you can even explore the Dogs, a cluster of five tiny islands that lies just 2.5 miles off the coast of Virgin Gorda. The islands got their unique name because sailors often said they heard barking noises coming from them. Those barking noises were not from canines but instead were Caribbean monk seals. Today, the islands are a great place to spot birds and marine wildlife. 


The options for the evening are plentiful. For a unique experience, head on to Saba Rock, a beautiful restaurant and bar located on its own island. Or why not head on over to Leverick Bay for some pampering before dinner. The Leverick Bay Resort and Marina has a beauty and massage parlor, a pool, restaurant, and a beach bar for you to enjoy. Last but not least, if you are looking for a little more luxury, then head on over to Oil Nut Bay resort, where you can lounge around the infinity pool and dine at NOVA restaurant. 


Day 5:  It’s time to sail to Anegada. If you are a fishing enthusiast, then this is the perfect place for you. Please be mindful that you need to have a fishing permit in advance if you plan on fishing. There is only one anchorage on the island, so once onshore, visitors should expect to rent a taxi, scooter, or car (we can go by dinghy) to visit some of the hotspots on the island, including Loblolly Bay, Cows Wreck, and Anegada Beach Club. 


Anegada Island's underwater world is filled with soft corals, sea fans, tropical fish, dolphins, and turtles. On land, you can go hiking at Bones Brights, where you can find the rare rock iguanas native to the island or spy on the exotic birds at Nutmeg Point. Flamingos can be seen if you hire a boat to try to sneak up on them in the salty marshes or view them from the lookout point on the main road. Due to the reef’s natural barrier from the waves, kitesurfing and windsurfing thrive on Anegada. 


The island is also famous for its lobster; it even has a lobster festival every November. So, once you start getting hungry, make sure that you order some freshly caught Caribbean “Anegada” lobster offered in most restaurants. 


Day 6:  In the morning, we sail west, downwind, towards Jost Van Dyke. We will probably stop off for a morning snorkel at Monkey Point on Guana Island about halfway to our final location. Another snorkeling and diving heaven, Monkey Point is like swimming through an aquarium. 


We will then head along the north side of Tortola. At this point, you can choose to stop and stay in Cane Garden Bay or continue over to the east end of Jost Van Dyke where we can moor in Long Bay. For lunch, head on over to Foxy’s Taboo restaurant, or we can take the dinghy over to B-Line Beach Bar for an original rum punch, some delicious food, and a game of corn hole—which is a game where you throw a beanbag into a hole. 


As the sun sets, the option of what to do is up to you; you can stay on the island and party the night away or head back on the boat to enjoy a lovely calm evening on board before heading to sleep. 


Day 7:  In the morning, we will head straight to Bubbly Pool, a shallow tide pool known to the locals as Mother Nature’s Jacuzzi. Afterward, we will sail over to Great Harbour. However, on our way, we will have a quick stop at Sandy Spit, also known as Corona Island, since many Corona commercials were shot on the island. 


Once anchored, it’s time to jump back into the waters and enjoy some snorkeling before heading ashore to White Bay, home to one of the top beaches in the BVI. White Bay is known for its long stretch of white sand beaches protected by a snorkeling reef and its bars and restaurants. We will then head over to The Soggy Dollar for dinner, which got its name because it has no dinghy dock, so traditionally, patrons needed to swim ashore to get to the restaurant. Today there is no swimming required, but it is THE place to order their famous rum cocktail known as the Painkiller. We end the night by playing games and just enjoying the last night on the boat. 


Day 8: Good morning! Take your time to get up, drink a nice warm cup of coffee on the deck and make sure to soak in all the magic of the BVI one last time. As this is the last day of your charter, we will take you back to your drop-off location, where you will disembark. Until next time! 


*Remember that we are here to help you plan your dream vacation, so the itinerary outlined above can be changed. All you need to do is discuss your needs with our crew, and we will do our best to make it happen. Do you want to stay one day longer for a particular bay or move on to a new experience? No problem, we are here to make your visit to the BVI unforgettable. 



 


Read More

Unforgettable Things to Do in the British Virgin Islands

December 6, 2021

•How to get to and around the BVI? •Best time to visit? •What to pack? •Things to do?

White-sand beaches, crystal-clear blue waters, and the perfect spot for diving and snorkeling? Welcome to the British Virgin Islands. The British Virgin Islands (BVI) are part of a volcanic archipelago located east of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The BVI comprises of four main islands and about thirty smaller ones, many of which are still uninhabited. The most famous of those islands are Tortola, Anegada, Virgin Gorda, and Jost Van Dyke. These islands were first seen by  Christopher Columbus in 1947, who named them Santa Ursula y las Once Mil Vírgenes (Saint Ursula and her 11,000 Virgins). After the islands were disputed by the Spanish, British, Danish, Dutch, and French, The British ultimately won and have maintained control since 1672. A ‘mix of luxurious decadence and gorgeous natural beauty has made the BVI one of the best destinations to travel to within the Caribbean. The region’s inviting turquoise blue waters, bountiful coral reefs, and sun-bleached sand beaches will make any vacation unforgettable.


The largest island in the BVI is Tortola and is home to the capital, Road Town. Tortola is not like most capital cities; it is the perfect location to relax and unwind. The island’s cobblestone pathways and winding walkways make it the ideal place to explore and go shopping, especially since it is home to many boutiques and small gift stores. Like all the islands in the BVI, Tortola has some stunning beaches, including Smuggler’s Cove and Cane Garden Bay. Anegada Island is known as one of the best places to go scuba diving or snorkeling. If you are looking to get lost in nature, this is the place for you. Jost van Dyke may be small in size, but it is the ideal place to go if you are looking for a place to party. Last, Virgin Gorda is the third-largest island in the BVI and is known for its luxury resorts and exclusive yacht clubs.


One of the main draws of BVI is the sheer number of islands located within the archipelago. Travelers can spend the day on the beach on Jost Van Dyke before enjoying a sunset drink at Pirates Bight on Norman Island before heading to the Cooper Island Beach Club for dinner. Island hopping is a must in the BVI, so that is why chartering a yacht in the British Virgin Islands is a great option. In the end, the possibilities are endless, so whatever type of vibe you're looking for, BVI has something perfect for you. 


But before we get into the nitty-gritty of which islands you should visit and some of the things to do in the British Virgin Islands, let’s look at some vital information: 


  • The BVI was a popular hangout spot for pirates back in the day. Rumour has it that Blackbeard himself marooned 15 men on an island that is now named Dead Chest. Also, Norman Island was the inspiration for the story “Treasure Island.”
  • It is home to one of the oldest rum distilleries in the Caribbean. If you have the chance, make sure to visit The Callwood Rum Distillery, which is located near Tortola’s Cane Garden Bay and is believed to be over 400 years old. 
  • Richard Branson, the founder of the Virgin Group, is the owner of Necker Island, which is also located in the BVI. 
  • Unlike the other islands in the BVI, Anegada is made out of coral and limestone, thus making it one of the best spots to go scuba diving or snorkeling. 
  • If you are visiting the BVI, make sure to try local cuisine, including fresh seafood and locally produced rum. Another option is to enjoy a lobster straight from a local fisherman’s trap or fish for your meal. 
  • If you plan on fishing in the BVI, you need a fishing license that must be arranged in advance.
  • Full Moon Parties are every month. Trellis Bay hosts a lively yet family-friendly beach party, complete with music, food, drinks and flaming fireball sculptures on the water.

How to Get to & Around the Islands 

There are two main ways to get to the British Virgin Islands. The first way is to fly directly to Beef Island Airport on Tortola. This is the simplest yet most expensive option, as this particular airport is relatively small and has only one runway. Most flights to this airport come from other smaller airports, including Puerto Rico, Saint Martin, or St Thomas—however, you’ll most likely have to take a connecting flight in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The second option is to fly into Cyril E. King airport in St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands and take a ferry to Tortola, BVI. 


Once you get to Tortola, the best way to get around the island is by scooter or bike rental. If you want to reserve a car, make sure to plan ahead of time, especially during the wintertime. Remember that in the BVI, you need to drive on the LEFT-hand side! There is no public transportation in the BVI and minimal bus transportation. Ride-share companies like UBER or LYFT do not operate within the islands. 


As a result, another popular option to get around the BVI is by boat. Ferries can be tricky, so it is always best to rent your boat or yacht. Chartering a yacht in the British Virgin Islands will give you a stress-free, laid-back experience—the perfect holiday vacation. Sailing in the BVI is all about warm weather, steady trade winds, and cobalt blue waters. The BVI offers gorgeous sunny weather, stunning landscapes, protected anchorages, and short passages between islands. The islands have facilities that can accommodate various vessels, but the BVI is considered one of the best places to set sail globally. A charter vacation in the BVI perfectly combines a luxury resort's exclusive quality and service and the unforgettable atmosphere of a Caribbean cruise. In short, it can be an experience that lasts a lifetime. Learn more about chartering a yacht in the British Virgin Islands here [include a link to your services]

Best Time to Visit

The BVI has a tropical climate, which means that travelers can visit the islands year-round. The average temperature is 22-28°C (72-83°F) all year long. The best time to visit is during the shoulder months of June or November, just before or after the high season crowds that come to the islands during the winter holidays. 


The high season in the BVI is between December and March. During this time, favorable winds coupled with the Christmas holidays make the islands the ideal vacation destination for many North American and European travelers. Fun fact, the best time for a sailing breeze is around Christmas, when the legendary Christmas winds blow at around 25-30 knots for days. 


In general, November to May is a great time to visit; however, as mentioned previously, some periods are more popular than others, such as Christmas or Spring Break. In summer, June and July are generally less rainy than August and September and have a lower risk of tropical storms and hurricanes. September is the time for heavy rainfalls. Hurricane season starts in June and continues through November; however, August to September are often the slowest, hottest, and most “active” hurricane months. 

What to Pack

Your packing list should consider the wide range of activities you have in BVI, such as shopping, beaches, hiking, etc. The weather in the British Virgin Islands is warm, so go for lightweight and breathable materials. There is no need for formal clothes. Here is a list of things that you must pack to be prepared for your Caribbean adventure.


  • Swimwear—make sure to pack a cover-up like a kaftan or a sarong when walking around in public areas. 
  • Bring two pairs of flip-flops, sandals, plus one pair of closed-toe shoes like hiking or boat/deck shoes. 
  • T-shirts, shorts, skirts, and dresses—think tropics. So make sure to pack lightweight natural fabrics. 
  • A lightweight sweater or jacket for those cooler evenings
  • Protection from the sun, including a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen
  • Bug Spray 

Things to do in the British Virgin Islands 

As mentioned previously, the BVI is a beautiful volcanic archipelago comprising of four main islands and about thirty smaller ones, many of which are still uninhabited. Even though you might be staying on one island, it is pretty easy to island-hop, either with a boat charter, yacht, or ferry. So even though you might be staying on Tortola, there are still plenty of reasons that you should be exploring everything that the BVI has to offer. So what are some unique things to do in the British Virgin Islands? Well, let’s look at each island separately. 

Things to do in Tortola 

Tortola is the capital of BVI and a popular yachting hub. It is home to Road Town, the capital of the BVI, which has a harbor dotted with sailing boats. The island is also known as Beef Island, most likely because it was the place to stock food for long voyages during the 18th century—food that included smoked beef, called Boucan. Tortola is also the bareboat capital of the world and the most populous island in the BVI. 


The island has a beautiful mix of ruins, historical architecture, and natural landscapes. Some famous sights to see on the island include:


  • The Lower Estate Sugar Works Museum: The 1780 Lower Estate Sugar Works was built by the McCleverty slaves, and sugar was produced here until the 1940s. 
  • Callwood’s Rum Distillery: founded in the 17th century, this distillery is one of the Caribbean's oldest continuous rum distilleries.
  • O’Neal Botanic Gardens: Opened in 1979, these gardens house a large variety of plant and animal species and are a peaceful escape located in the center of Road Town.
  • Take a walking tour of Road Town: filled with history and color, take a walk through this charming town.   
  • Sage Mountain National Park: The Mount Sage volcanic peak rises to 1,716 feet and is the highest point in all of the Virgin Islands. The National Park is an ancient rainforest with stunning views of gorgeous cays. Several trails lead through the national park, perfect for any hiking enthusiast. 
  • Charter a sailboat: BVI has some of the world's best cruising waters, and chartering a yacht in the British Virgin Islands is the best way to explore the island's cays and coves.  Make sure to take a boat trip across the Drake Channel to Norman Isle, the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island. This is the perfect place to take a dip and go snorkeling. 


Some of the island’s best beaches are found in the north, including Brewer’s Bay Beach. If you are looking to snorkel through a gorgeous reef while coming face-to-face with colorful fish in crystal clear blue waters, then this is the place for you. The beach itself is surrounded by ruins of several sugar cane plantations and distilleries, giving it a unique touch. Two other beaches that you can’t miss include Smuggler’s Cove and Cane Garden Bay. 


Tortola is also famous for its cuisine and nightlife. Road Town offers the largest concentration of cheap and authentic Caribbean eateries. Our recommendations? Try roti, which are Caribbean/Indian style burritos stuffed with curried chicken or goat, potatoes and peas, or carrots. Wash it down with a rum punch. If seafood is more your style, then we’d recommend conch or freshly-caught lobster. 

Things to do in Jost Van Dyke

Named after a pirate, Jost Van Dyke is the smallest BVI island. It is also incredibly close to Tortola. Jost Van Dyke is the perfect island if you are looking to dance the night away. Great Harbor is famous among travelers looking for fun, with yacht-filled parties on Halloween and New Year’s Eve being a common occurrence. 


If you are looking for a great time, we recommend a couple of bars and restaurants to visit, including: 


  • Foxy’s: This restaurant has been serving food and strong rum drinks to sailors and visitors since 1968.
  • Soggy Dollar Bar: we’d recommend that you order one of their famous rum cocktails known as the Painkiller. The bar has a webcam pointed at the beach, so if you want to make your friends and family extra jealous, make sure to tell them to watch you as you wave to the webcam! 
  • Sugar & Spice Snack Bar: try one of their signature patties. 


Other things to do in Jost Van Dyke include sailing, kayaking, snorkeling, fishing, and paddleboarding. We’d also recommend a trip to Bubbly Pool, a  shallow tide pool known to the locals as Mother Nature’s Jacuzzi. Finally, if you are looking to do some fishing, just north of Jost Van Dyke is the famous North Sea Drop which claims the highest number of Blue Marlin strikes per day of anywhere in the world.

Things to do in Anegada Island

Anegada is a paradise for nature lovers. Anegada is a large reef island, which means that it is very low laying and hard to see as you approach. In contrast to many of the other mountainous islands, Anegada Island was formed when sand was collected on a reef. As corals form it, Anegada is great for those who want to scuba dive. If you want to get up close and personal with colorful sea life and explore sunken shipwrecks, then this island is the perfect location for you. Anegada Island's underwater world is filled with soft corals, sea fans, tropical fish, dolphins, and turtles. On land, you can go hiking at Bones Brights, where you can find the rare rock iguanas native to the island, or spot some exotic birds at Nutmeg Point. Flamingos can be seen if you hire a boat to try to sneak up on them in the salty marshes or view them from the lookout point on the main road. Due to the reef’s natural barrier from the waves, kitesurfing and windsurfing is also popular sport in Anegada. 


The island is also home to stunning beaches, including Loblolly Bay, ranked as one of the world’s top beaches. Cow Wreck Beach is equally stunning and a great place to swim. Looking for a strong rum punch? Head on over to Cow Wreck Beach Bar and make sure to order a “Wreck Punch.” Once you start getting hungry, make sure to order some freshly caught Caribbean “Anegada” lobster offered in most restaurants. Whether it is fettuccine from Potter’s By The Sea, world-famous grilled lobster from the Anegada Reef Hotel or tasty lobster pizza adorned with onions and pineapple from Hotel Neptune's Treasure, the opportunities for lobster are endless. 

Things to do in Virgin Gorda

Reminding Christopher Columbus of a reclining woman, Virgin Gorda translates into “Fat Virgin.” The second-largest island in BVI, this island has a laid-back vibe that is the perfect place to relax. Virgin Gorda is famous for its Baths, a rocky labyrinth of enormous boulders forming crystal clear pools and seawater-flooded grottoes. Going early or late in the day is the best way to avoid crowds. The best way to explore the island is on a yacht is as you sail between the island's stunning beaches, including Savannah Bay, Pond Bay, Devil's Bay, Mahoe Bay, or Spring Bay. 


If you feel a little more adventurous, you can get on over to the Bitter End Yacht Club and try kiteboarding. The Bitter End is accessible only by water and is a premier resort that offers a range of services, including a full-service marina, restaurant, spa, and watersports center.  

Chartering a Yacht In the British Virgin Islands

The BVI is a sailor’s paradise, blessed with year-round warm weather, steady trade winds, and calm, gorgeous blue waters. The main island of Tortola is the yacht charter capital of the Caribbean and arguably the most famous sailing destination globally.


The BVI is famous for sheltered harbors, sun-soaked beaches, pirate bars, and jaw-dropping shipwrecks. It is the perfect place to experience island life. Sit back and relax. Enjoy the beautiful scenery, eat the most exquisite fusion cuisine and sail into the sunset. Chartering a yacht in the British Virgin Islands means that you can create the vacation of your dreams. You can travel at your own pace, create your own route and spend more time in the destination that you choose. You can simply anchor or move on if it's a little too crowded. Chartering a yacht in the BVI will grant you the privacy that you crave. Whether it be a romantic honeymoon or a family trip, it will provide you with the freedom to create the vacation that you’ve always wanted. 


Many people think that chartering a yacht is out of their price range. However, this is not necessarily true. It all depends on your needs and wants. We have a personal chef that can customize a menu based on your preferences and any food allergies or dietary restrictions that you may have. Many of our yachts are stocked with water toys like stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, and a dinghy that can be used for tubing, water skiing, and wakeboarding. We also can include the option to scuba dive from the yacht. Other less common amenities still available on some yachts include an e-foil board, seabob, sea scooters, snuba, and kiteboarding. If you’d like, there is even an option to have a hot tub or jet ski on one of our bigger yachts. 


If you want to have the best experience of the British Virgin Islands, consider chartering a yacht. Let us know your dates, budget, and the number of guests. We will be happy to find you the best option and walk you through the process. A catamaran that sleeps six people and has a captain can be as low as $10,000 per week, but you can add meals and drinks to make it all-inclusive, starting around 15k. Isn’t it time to go on that ultimate getaway? We are waiting to welcome you. 


Read More