Warm island sun and the lazy days of summer call for a getaway like no other. The charm of the British Virgin Islands lies in discovering the unique character of each pristine island in this volcanic archipelago. With lively culture and history on the four main islands topped only by the idyllic splendor of the 50+ smaller isles, every stop offers its own special magic. Discover your “sit-back-and-relax” mode on Tortola; be mesmerized by Virgin Gorda’s natural granite pillars or marvel at the rugged scenery and colorful folklore of Jost Van Dyke. The salty summer trade winds and summer dates make the dream of a perfect family sailing vacation on our BVI Flotilla an easy reality. Known for years as a “sailor’s paradise,” cruising sailors were among the first to realize this truly was one of “nature’s little secrets.”
Tortola is the largest island and seat of government in this mountainous archipelago of gem-like isles. Virgin Gorda, Ginger, Cooper, Salt, Peter, and Norman Islands lie to Tortola’s south, with Jost Van Dyke lying to its north. Dozens of smaller islands, some with resorts and some unpopulated, lie in between. Anegada, the only coral atoll in this chain of islands, is to the northwest. The BVIs are a picture of contrasts. Some anchorages are sandy coves with swaying palms, while others are tucked in between spiraling sheer rock faces that plunge to the ocean.
The vegetation can be dramatically different from island to island due to rainfall, soil, and sun. Lusher areas support palms and tropical fruit trees like banana, mango and key lime, along with flowering hibiscus and bougainvillea. A short hike up a hill may reveal varieties of cactus, wild tamarind and fragrant frangipani. The surrounding waters are deep shades of liquid blue, but on Anegada, the waters take on an ethereal aquamarine color.
This diverse and fascinating environment makes this group of islands appealing to divers, swimmers, boaters, hikers and those that just want to relax in a soft rope hammock overlooking a white sand beach.
We have already reserved several boats for this island-hopping odyssey. Both mono-hulls and catamarans are available. Reservations are available for singles or couples. If you are a qualified skipper you may put your own group together and run your own boat.
This BVI flotilla begins on Tortola, the nation’s capital island characterized by powdery white-sand beaches, lush green mountains, and sheltered, yacht-filled harbors. Play Robinson Crusoe for a day and find your own treasure at Norman Island where we might delve into the hidden bays, caves and wrecks that give the island its reputation as the inspiration for Treasure Island. A hop over to the rugged volcanic wilderness and spirited local watering holes reveal the secrets to what make Jost Van Dyke a favorite destination. Spend time swimming or snorkeling off the island’s gorgeous beaches, then treat yourself to a Painkiller, the island’s claim to fame.
The diver’s paradise, Cooper Island, awaits the adventurous and curious with beauty both above and below the surface. Kayak the clear waters or join a rendezvous dive for a quick trip over to Ginger Island. Sailing on, the dramatic shape of the BVI’s third largest island, Virgin Gorda, reminded Christopher Columbus of a reclining woman, or “Fat Virgin,” thus inspiring its name. The maze of gigantic boulders at the south end of this island create otherworldly pools and grottoes, while Saba Rock to the north is a favorite among yachting and snorkeling fans. Perhaps enjoy a trek to the top of Mt. Scenery. Feeling crowded? No worries – enjoy a spirited sail to reach the absolute quiet found on Anegada’s astoundingly secluded white sand beaches, like Loblolly or Cow Wreck, and feast on the famous Anegada lobster.
The protected anchorages in quiet palm-fringed coves with spiraling sheer rock faces greet sailors time and again during this flotilla. Vegetation varies from island to island due to rainfall, soil and sun but from lush palms and tropical fruit trees to cactus varieties, the beauty does not disappoint. Bananas, mangos and key limes are grown on many islands as are giant flowering hibiscus and bougainvillea. The deep cobalt to bright cerulean to ethereal aquamarine hues of the ocean will give new meaning to “feeling blue.” The diverse and fascinating environment makes this island chain a picture-perfect postcard at every turn. What could possibly make this trip any better? The friendliest people around! Immerse yourself in the culture; pick up local spices, jams or soaps; and indulge in the areas best West Indian Cuisine including lobster, conch, curries and roti. Dance to the music of local recording artist Quito Rymer and discover why Jimmy Buffet sings about Cane Garden Bay and Callwood’s Rum. You’ll quickly discover why the diversity of the area appeals to sailors, diver’s, snorkelers, beach bums and reggae aficionados.
Charter and flotilla fees, including goodie bag, group dinner at the Captain’s Table, Beach party, “Easy on the Cook” provisioning (7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, and snacks aboard), water, fuel, mooring fees, charter insurance, dinghy with motor, linens, (Depending on price and availability) 2 nights hotel & 10 nights aboard, National Parks fees, cruising permits, VISAR fees, gratuity for the charter base staff, and tons of fun!
Airfare, dining ashore (except group dinner), alcoholic beverages, airport / charter base taxi transfers, BVI departure tax, souvenirs, and personal incidentals.
Captain Lucy Newman, the owner of South Coast Sailing Adventures, holds a Master 100-ton USCG Captain’s License with an additional Auxiliary Sail Endorsement and has been sailing for over 40 years. She holds American Sailing Association instructor qualifications for Basic Keelboat, Basic Coastal Cruising, Bareboat Chartering, Coastal Navigation, Advanced Coastal Cruising, Catamaran/Multihull Cruising, Celestial Navigation, and Docking Endorsement. She has navigated and sailed the waters of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, The Caribbean, The Gulf of Mexico, The Great Lakes, Puget Sound, and numerous inland lakes throughout the United States. Since 2003, she has captained vessels on numerous major races including The Bermuda Race, the Harvest Moon Regatta, and the Race To The Border. Captain Lucy lived aboard her own sloop for over ten years and has owned numerous other sailboats ranging from 14-50 feet.
She has led flotillas to the British Virgin Islands every year since 2006 and most recently led a group of sailors on a trip from Key West, Florida, to Havana, Cuba. Captain Lucy’s deep passion for sailing and for teaching others to harness the power of the wind earned her the ASA Outstanding Instructor Award in 2006 and the respect of thousands of sailors and students.
Arrive in Tortola and taxi to the boat. Breathe deeply, smell the salty air, and feel the sun. Acclimate yourself to your new tropical environment, help provision the boat, complete the vessel check out, and attend the chart briefing. Overnight on the boat.
Depart the dock and sail to Soper’s Hole on Frenchman’s Cay, Tortola. Frenchman’s Cay is connected to Tortola by a small bridge under which clear water flows constantly, creating a fantastic marina environment. Lined with quaint shops, a eclectic restaurants and a kaleidoscope of colors, Soper’s Hole is the Caribbean dream.
Sail to Jost Van Dyke where the famous Foxy’s Tamarind Bar is located and has been serving food and strong rum drinks to sailors and visitors since 1966. Take a taxi or dinghy to the Soggy Dollar Bar at White Bay for an infamous pain killer.
Depart early for Cooper Island. Kayak, SUP, swim, snorkel, scuba, or relax.
Depart for The Baths, known for its maze of gigantic boulders that create otherworldly pools and grottoes for exploring. Continue on to the North Sound of Virgin Gorda for an overnight at Leverick Bay.
Sail to Trellis Bay for the infamous Full Moon Beach Party!
Rent scooters or cars to explore the island and its stunning north side beaches keeping an eye out for pink flamingos and the iguana sanctuary along the way.
Sail to Anegada for a group lobster dinner and overnight stay.
Sail to Norman Island. Explore the caves, hike to the summit of the island for 360o views, visit the famous Willy-T’s floating bar & restaurant, snorkel or enjoy the beach.
Sail back to the charter base in Road Town, Tortola.
*Itineraries are subject to change due to weather or other circumstances beyond our control.
Life changing! I visited the BVIs before on a land-based trip but the opportunity to enjoy these islands as a live-aboard was spectacular. I made new lasting friendships, advanced my sailing skills and soaked up plenty of sun and fun. Highly recommend this flotilla!
This was the most fun vacation I have ever had! The islands were more beautiful than I imagined, the boats were immaculately maintained and the people were so friendly!
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