We recently revisited the British Virgin Islands in order to update our itinerary suggestions and report on any interesting changes since our last visit. We can faithfully report that all of the things that make the BVI the leading sailing charter destination in the world are still there – the BVI has a timelessness that makes it a familiar place to come back to, even 25 years after our first visit.
This series of blog posts will take you day-by-day through a typical crewed caramaran charter in the BVI. We retraced our “counter clockwise” itinerary of the islands, starting with Norman, then to Peter, Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost Van Dyke, and then back to Norman Island before the final sail back to Road Town. Here is our actual GPS plot of the itinerary.
A typical BVI Sailing Itinerary
We were aboard Soul’s Calling, a beautiful Lagoon 500 catamaran, captained by Alex Mulder. Soul’s Calling has 3 cabins, including a spacious Owners suite, and always gets high ratings and excellent testimonials. She has become one of Boatbooking’s favorite catamarans in the BVI.
We were excited to see Alex again and meet his wife and the boat’s superb cook, Carla!
Arriving and Boarding
While it is possible to fly directly to Tortola, St Thomas in the USVI is often more convenient because it is served by more and larger planes. We took the Road Town Fast Ferry from Charlotte Amalie (the main port on St Thomas) for the scenic 1 hour cruise. The ferry costs $60 round trip per adult, $35 for children.
We began getting excited for our charter as St Johns, Jost Van Dyke and Tortola rolled into view from the deck of the ferry, and then cruised the south coast of Tortola until we pulled into the Ferry Building in Road Town. Warning – the BVI is a different country from the USVI, and there is quite a bit of tedious paperwork to fill out – a small price to pay to enter paradise!
Souls Calling was waiting for us just a short walk from the Ferry Building in Village Cay, one of the many marinas in Road Town. Alex welcomed us, introduced us to Carla, and then gave us a safety briefing and discussed the rules of the boat. We were reminded never to bring sand onto the boat – it ruins the floors and scratches the fiberglass. Because of this, the boat is in immaculate condition.
After the briefing, we cracked open a bottle of champagne, unloaded our bags, and quickly departed!