A Very British (Virgin Islands) Christmas!

Specializing in Caribbean charters, charter broker Alice tells us the top 5 reasons to charter a yacht why the British Virgin Islands is officially one of the best places in the world to charter a yacht for the 2019 holiday season!


Escape the bleak mid-winter and spend Christmas 2019 island hopping between the white sand beaches of the British Virgin Islands. The worlds best sailing conditions, island hopping, world-class scuba diving grounds, a Christmas day conch meal. This plus an unforgettable New Year’s Eve makes the British Virgin Islands the only place to charter a yacht this Christmas.


Christmas day on the yacht

Whether you’re a seasoned yachtie or sailing around the best sailing grounds of the Caribbean is something you’ve always dreamt of, a yacht charter in the BVI is guaranteed to make 2019 your best Christmas yet.

Although you’ll be on a yacht in the Caribbean, don’t worry there is still plenty of decorations to make you feel just at home. Expect to see masts with fairy lights going to the top, red and white bikinis and palm Christmas trees.

Spend this Christmas walking around the white sand-beaches of Anegada and join in the local celebrations! Chose from having your own personal crew onboard to sailing solo around the many BVI white-sand beached islands.


New years eve at Foxy’s

Be sure to head to the island of Jost Van Dyke to bring in the New Year. Foxy’s on the island is renowned as being one of the top 5 parties in the world on New Year’s Eve.

Instead of celebrating the ‘New Year’, this bar celebrates the ‘Old Year’s Night’, making this iconic location different from every other New Year Party on the globe.

Hop off your boat and enjoy being in one of the best places in the world this New Year. Be sure to catch the theme before deciding on your outfits!


December diving

Switch the traditional family board games on Christmas day for a scuba diving lesson! Scuba dives are an extremely popular Christmas day activity and really make it a Christmas day to remember.

The BVI waters surrounding the islands of Norman Island are renowned for being extremely clear during the months of December and January. The Caribbean waters are full of different corals, turtles, shipwrecks and thousands of different species of fish.

Surprise your loved ones with a diving course and give the gift of the ocean this Christmas!


A Caribbean Christmas lunch

Eat like a local and celebrate the festivities with a freshly grilled lobster or conch! Head over to the Bitter End Yacht Club in Virgin Gorda for your Christmas lunch, be sure to book early this year as most restaurants serving local Caribbean Christmas delicacies tend to get booked up very quickly.


Unrivalled weather conditions

The trade winds blowing across the islands of the BVI offer a consistent breeze, ideal for sailing and for keeping slightly cool during this period. Christmas is without a doubt one of the best times of year to visit the BVI due to long, sunny days with ocean breezes coming through in the afternoon and slightly cooler evenings.

The BVI is known for ‘line of sight’ sailing and protected bays for anchorages and sailing. Unlike other locations in the Caribbean, the waters in the BVI are usually a lot calmer than many other locations.


Aftermath of Irma

Despite the saddening damage, caused by hurricane IRMA in 2017, the BVI’s are being cared for and maintained. The process of rebuilding infrastructure has been a work in progress since the hurricane struck, however, the BVI is back on track and the boat standards and sailing grounds are as popular as ever.

Don’t let the damage caused in 2017 put you off from a yacht charter in the BVI this Christmas – the BVI is up and running. For current information, we please see our “what is open in the BVI after Irma” page, which is updated regularly.

Give Santa a change from the chimney and let him slide down your mast this Christmas! Get in touch today!

Captivating Catamarans – Lagoon Line

Lagoon was created directly from Jeanneau Technologies Avancees, also known as their competition department. Lagoon accepted unusual requests such as the construction of the trimaran in the film, “Waterworld”. Innovation was deeply embedded in the DNA of these yachts from the get-go.

Between the years of 1987-96 the first line of Lagoon catamarans was born. These yachts were loved by off-shore sailors as much as coastal cruisers. Their iconic wide beam allowed the yacht to be so stable even in rougher seas. In 1996 Beneteau took over the Jeanneau shipyards and handed over the legacy of Lagoon to Construction Navale Bordeaux. It was here when the use of high tech was implemented.

Come the early 00’s, Lagoon was on a roll. With the production of 380, 410, 440, 470, 500, and 570 hitting the market, it catapulted Lagoon to one of the leading Catamaran manufacturers in the world.

Now, Lagoon holds some of the most prestigious awards for their Catamarans in the world. The durable yachts make Lagoons a perfect choice when choosing a catamaran for your charter. They are easy to manage, with state of the art electronics making every moment of you charter special.

We have recently added 30+ Lagoons in Greece, Croatia and the Caribbean from only the most trusted owners. We have carefully selected some of the best Lagoons available on the market, with different variations its never been so easy to find your perfect catamaran! To find out more please contact one of our expert brokers here!

Captivating Catana Catamarans – BALI LINE

Bali cats, how what where and when?

(Artist: John Webber, artist aboard Cook’s ship. Source: Scanned from page 20 of the following book. Grant, Glenn (2004) Hawai`i Looking Back: An illustrated History of the Islands, Mutual Publishing, pp. 454pp)

The 1600s marks the birth of the new multihull ideology which would later become one of the most recognized yacht models across the sailing community. It was first believed to have been two logs bound together and later developed into two cannons being held together to give that famous multi-style. Catamarans have moved on from this once prehistoric engineering into some of the most celebrated yachts in the world. This was not without skepticism, the first recorded Catamaran designed by William Petty was not a commercial success. The multihull design was virtually unused for around 160 years following its initial introduction.

Come the mid-1900’s century catamarans started to come into a league of their own. The cat designs traveled worldwide, with England and the Americas jumping on the bandwagon to start producing the multihull sailing yachts. Famed for stability, these yachts started to beat Monohulls in regattas all over the world. Nowadays catamarans exude luxury and racing excellence.

They’ve become so popular in the sailing-holiday-cruising-style due to their space, catamarans are not only novice sailors favorites but are fast becoming the Luxury crewed alternatives to monohulls. This versatile yacht can be utilized in many different ways, not only been built for cruising but have also developed into hydrofoiling racing cats and power cats .

We have Bali catamarans based in some of the most elite sailing destinations in the world. If you are after luxury, space, and easy sailing then this yacht is for you! Space is hard to find on monohull yachts that are under 40ft, but even with 32 ft cat space will never become an issue. Built for speed and cruising, these yachts are perfect for exploring shallow waters around the Caribbean, or island hopping in the Greek or Croatian islands.

With large Balis accommodating up to 12 guests, these yachts provide ample space for a stunning charter with family and friends. Bali has furnished their yachts to a high specification creating a dynamic, comfortable sail. Bali catamarans are pioneers in the way that they develop their yachts. They are always searching for rules to break, and putting sailors comfort and ease of sailing at the forefront of everything they create. Check out our catamaran yacht charter guide for more information on chartering a catamaran.

Scuba Diving in the British Virgin Islands

When someone says “tropical island paradise” what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Sandy beaches as far as the eye can see stretching mystically beneath the satisfyingly sapphire water?
Perhaps the beach in mind is paired with a nestling of sun-strengthened palms; a melange of white gold complemented beautifully by the emerald, carelessly natural presence of the proud standing palm trees; such a scene, glistening with subtle pride, reminiscent of a piece of royal jewelry boasting a plethora of colorful stones… We can all picture our ideal Island Haven, but you may not know that you can find such timeless scenes just around the ocean’s corner.

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The BVI – 6 Months after Irma – A Charter Paradise Springs Back to Life!

We just returned from a trip to the BVI, so that we can report first person on the progress that has been made since Irma hit these beautiful islands in September. Bottom line, the BVI was hit hard by hurricane Irma, but has bounced back quickly and still offers all of the fabulous reasons why it has become one of the top charter destinations in the world with fewer crowds!

Overall BVI Charter Readiness

Throughout the BVI there is a buzz of activity as resorts, restaurants, and bars spring back to life. Newly planted palm trees are everywhere. Restaurant owners are painting and re-roofing their beloved establishments. The foundations for chartering are all back in place and working:
Yachts – fleet owners quickly fixed the yachts that had minor damage, ordered replacements for those that were total losses, and moved yachts from other ports in the Caribbean. There are plenty of yachts for charter in nearly all categories.
Provisioning – Provisioning stores are open for business and well stocked. You should be able to get everything you need.
Beaches and Snorkeling – There is no problem finding a great beach or snorkeling area on any of the islands. Coral and Fish were unaffected by the storm, and the beaches have been brought back to life. White Bay (JVD) and Devils Bay (Virgin Gorda, next to the Baths) are pristine and gorgeous. The beach at Deadman’s Bay is fine, but many of the palm trees have been destroyed and there is work being done on the Peter Island Resort so it’s not as pretty as it once was. That will no doubt be improved as the Peter Island renovations are sure to bring in new Palm Trees.
Trees and Plants – Irma was the most powerful storm to ever hit North America – with sustained winds above 180 MPH. This force blew nearly every leaf off of every tree and bush, and destroyed many of the tallest palm trees. The green islands were completely brown right after the storm and many buildings that were unnoticeable now are clearly visible. The good news is that these plants are growing back quickly, and most will soon be in full foliage. Many of the missing palm trees are being replaced by imported new ones, which will take a few years to grow back to their original height. But the good news is that nature renews quickly, and has made major progress already.
Resorts – All resorts on the island are still essentially closed – including sailor friendly ones such as Bitter End and Peter Island. So many of the amenities they offered – spas, massages, fancy restaurants, etc. are harder to come by. On the positive side, Oil Nut Bay, which used to be exclusive and off limits to charterers, now serves a daily lunch and if you eat lunch you can use their pool and beach facilities for free, including their hobie cats. Well worth a visit!
Bars and Restaurants – Excellent news here – most of the famous beach bars are now back open, including Pirates, Myetts, Foxy’s and the Soggy Dollar. The Soggy Dollar Bar has been completely rebuilt, including bringing in many new palm trees. The Painkillers haven’t changed, and there are fewer day tourists from other islands so you can actually get a seat on the beach or chat with the bartender. They released an amazing book that chronicles the rebuilding process they went through. As mentioned above, most resort restaurants are still closed, so upscale dining is not what it once was, but will be coming back by next season. Corsairs on JVD is being completely rebuilt, so for now it’s best to dine at Foxy’s. Willy T #3 has been ordered and will soon be replacing Willy T #2, which is sadly still beached at the Bight.  ** New – we have a page that lists all BVI resorts, bars and restaurants that are open and closed, for each island **

Status of the Major Islands

Tortola

Road Town is still visibly damaged and recovering from the storm.  You can still see many destroyed catamarans and monohulls in the harbor (see above).  Cane Garden Bay sustained damage but Myetts is back open with live music, food and drinks.  Sopers Hole and the West End is best avoided, although Pussers is back open while it continues to rebuild.

Norman Island – 1/2 of Pirates is open and in great shape!  The second half is being actively worked on and should be open very soon. You can definitely get fritters and great drinks at sunset. As mentioned above – Willy T’s is still beached, but a whole new boat has been built and is arriving soon.

Peter Island

Because the Peter Island Resort is essentially the only business on the island, the fact that it is closed means that the island is a bit desolate. Deadman’s bay is not as beautiful as it once was because many of the palm trees are gone (see above), and there are signs warning people to stay away from the resort.  There are still plenty of sea turtles to see, but I’d be reticent to stay there until the resort re-opens – which is currently scheduled for late 2018.

Virgin Gorda

The Baths and Devils Bay are still as gorgeous as ever, as shown on the picture at the top of this article. Unfortunately, however, Virgin Gorda was hit directly by the full force of Irma, and many parts are just beginning to rebuild.  The iconic Bitter End was a total wreck, and they are only now beginning to rebuild. Most of the resort will need to be reconstructed from the bottom up.  Saba Rock began reconstruction in April when we were there, and there are hopes it will go quickly, although no timeline has been announced.

Don’t be discouraged, however!  For a fantastic day by the pool in a luxury resort, head over to gorgeous Oil Nut Bay Resort, pictured above.  If you eat lunch there, you can use their facilities including the pool and beach toys.

Anegada

Surprisingly, Anegada shows the least damage of any of the main islands in the BVI. It’s basically back to normal. The restaurants are all open and fully functional and Cow Wreck Bar is happily serving Dark and Stormy’s.  When we were there, the harbor was full of catamarans, and the restaurants were full and lively.  Plus we saw the above magnificent sunset!

Jost Van Dyke

Foxy’s is open and fully functional, in fact we spoke with Foxy and he was in great form! The Saturday night barbecue was in full swing. In White Bay, the famous Soggy Dollar Bar has been fully reconstructed.  You have to play ring toss on a newly erected post instead of the famous old tree (see above), but the charm of the bar is still there and the beach is as beautiful as ever.

Summary

The BVI is up and running and still has all of the attractions that have made it one of the most beloved charter areas in the world. It took a massive hit, and is bouncing back.  It’s not perfect, however, and will still take many months to restore all of the resorts. It was special for everyone in our group to observe the power of nature, the resilience of the people, and the fundamental beauty of the islands. And we knew that every dollar we spent was helping with the rebuilding process. We highly recommend heading to the BVI as soon as you can – it’s fine and getting better every day!

The BVI is Bouncing Back!

This year, the Caribbean saw devastation the likes of which haven’t been seen for many, many years; businesses were shut down, lives turned upside-down, and some islands have been deeply scarred by hurricanes Irma and Maria.

However, the sheer power of nature has been outshone by the greater force of community strength. Times like this prove that people all over the world can come together and help one-another; rebuilding lives and strengthening bonds; providing moral support and showing great respect for those who have suffered.

It has only been a few months since the disaster, yet we are delighted to announce that some of the BVI’s most popular eateries and restaurants are either back, or on their way back, ready for Mid-December in time for the Christmas and New Year holidays, as the Caribbean comes back from this travesty bolder, stronger and just as beautiful!

Foxy’s Tamarind Bar 

Foxy’s is a hidden, colourful jewel nestled between the palms on the island of Jost Van Dyke. Beginning its life in 1966, Foxy’s has climbed through history to become the best known bar in the Caribbean; famed for it’s fresh ingredients and exquisitely cooked beach-food, guests can enjoy a range of items, such as Jerk Chicken, Pulled Pork and Calamari.

Coco Loco Beach Bar

Coco Loco’s Beach Bar is still on the mend, and hopefully will be back to normal by December, but we couldn’t miss this superb establishment off of our list! Run by Uncle Wendell and based in Jost Van Dyke, Coco Loco’s is an increasingly  popular restaurant and bar with widely praised pizza, fresh fish and stunning views.

The Watering Hole

The Watering Hole is the centre of parties in Road Town, with Full Moon Tiki Parties, an incredibly well-stocked bar (with capacity to open a second bar when things start to boom!) and astounding reviews for their cuisine. This fine establishment offers guests a range of food, from pizzas, to burgers, sandwiches and salads; the perfect food to eat whilst your toes are buried in the sand!

Gram’s Place

Gram’s Place is incredibly popular amongst the locals- which is always a good sign! Situated in the East End of Road Town, Gram’s Place offers a menu reflective of the true Caribbean palate. The menu changes daily, featuring wonderful Caribbean stews, beautifully cooked fish and traditional side dishes.

Irene’s Restaurant & Bar

Irene’s is a newer addition to the Caribbean restaurant family, however, their Friday Night Grill’s have already made a big splash with visitors and locals alike. Featuring traditional Caribbean foods, as well as some more popular Western dishes, Irene’s is a superb mix of fun, food and festivities!

We’ve compiled a list of reputable charities should you wish to help out with the continued efforts to rebuild:

The BVI is back up and running, and there is every reason to charter a yacht around this jaw-dropping archipelago! Get in touch to realise your dream Caribbean getaway on board a Crewed Catamaran Charter!

See our BVI Charter Guide and Itineraries to give you some inspiration for your escape!

New and Unique Services, Restaurants and Spa’s

The dazzling destinations included this week are Ibiza, the renowned party town with underrated beauty, as well as the BVI, where we recommend an intimate and picturesque setting for a dinner by the ocean. New to the yachting industry is a diamond and yacht collaboration, where the two services compliment each other to provide a unique service across yachting destinations.

AppleMark

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