The BVI Bounces Back for 2020

Following the hurricane IRMA and MARIA, it is a well-known fact that most of the BVI’s infrastructure, boats and marinas were completely destroyed. Most charter companies had entire fleets either damaged or destroyed. However, the BVI has taken this nightmare as an opportunity to renovate and re-establish itself as the best place to charter in the Caribbean. The resilience of a tight-knit community, devoted holidaymakers and a great tourist board has allowed the BVI to be completely rejuvenated for 2020.

Forbes magazine reported that 75% of the territory’s marine berths and 37% of land accommodation reopened this Spring.  Airways and ferries have also opened back up to full capacity following the destruction with the hurricane.

Willy T’s comeback

The infamous William Thornton floating back is back on Norman Island for 2020. The new Willy T is rumored to be bigger than ever! As one of the most iconic floating bars in the world, the new Willy T was constructed in the US before returning to the BVI on May 10th.  The New boat is very similar to the original vessel and is already making its comeback for being renowned for parties, food, shots, and tattoos! Be sure to visit the new Willy T when you can.

Scrub Island Resort and Marina

The resort has just reopened with ten new villas and 52 guest rooms. This is the perfect place to relax and unwind before or after your yacht charter.

Foxys – Jost Van Dyke

After all, having served food and drinks to sailors since 1968 this bar was not going to let a storm affect their service, There is still an infamous BBQ running on Friday and Saturday night and a great menu and party vibe throughout the week.

Have a read over the recommend Boatbookings post IRMA sailing itinerary to get an insight into your yacht charter with Boatbookings this winter!

Summer 2020 on DRAGONFLY in the Grenadines

Have you been chartering in the BVI for years and tempted to try a new Caribbean island? With an increasing number of quality catamarans heading down islands during the summer months, there has never been a better time to consider a Grenadines yacht charter.

One of our favourite Lagoon 620 crewed catamarans, DRAGONFLY, has confirmed that they will be down in the Grenadines from June 2020. DRAGONFLY is one of the newest Lagoon 620s in the Caribbean with a vastly experienced crew in Christiaan and Hanrie, who always offer exceptional service, food and enjoyment for guests of all ages.

DRAGONGLY Feedback

“ The most amazing start to a year anyone could dream of – thank you. We have been absolutely spoilt rotten by your food, hospitality and endless activities for the boys and you have chosen a spectacular backdrop for showcasing your skills. Whether swimming with turtles, stingrays or tarpons, tubing or snorkelling on incredible reefs, we had a series of unforgettable experiences. Thank you so much Boatbookings, we can`t wait to come back! ”

The Grenadines are the perfect catamaran cruising ground. They offer stunning sunsets, long sandy beaches and some of the clearest waters in the Caribbean. Embark in Grenada and head for the peaceful anchorages of Carriacou, before kite surfing on Union Islands and visiting the famous Basil’s Bar in Mustique.

The Grenadines really do offer something for everyone. Contact your Boatbookings Broker today to start planning your next adventure.

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!

SUP paddle boarding – HOW?!

SUP boarding, originating in Hawaii is a spin-off from surfboards. As opposed to the paddle-less sister, sup boarding offers a range of activities perfect for your summer and winter charters!

Standing Up Paddleboards have become available to the masses, with almost all bareboat yacht owners offering SUP boards as an extra to their charters why not add one onto yours? Most crewed yacht charters will now have SUP boards, along with other water toys. But did you know there are so many ways to use them?! See below!

The classic – SUP Boarding.

In the Mediterranean, you will often see people push their sups off the side of the yacht and go for a paddle – join them! Bend your knees and make sure you have the paddle the right way around! As you become an expert over the week start to use some technique and draw a ‘J’ in the water. By doing this you only need to paddle on the one side.


Yoga

Downward dog!

Get up early, enjoy the stunning scenery of Croatia, Greece, Italy, Caribbean, wherever you are and get out on the SUP board. Go through some simple yoga exercises to get you ready for the day. Early morning around 6 am is the most special time on the water – so get out and enjoy it.


Balancing

Back in my Flotilla days in Greece, SUP boards were used for almost everything. Something which was seriously good fun, with not only the kids but also the adults was ‘The Balance’. Very simple – how many people can you get standing. Not as easy as it sounds!


Sun Bathing

Sup boards come with a wrist strap, to save you floating away to one of the other islands attach it to your bathing ladders or your anchor chain. It’s super relaxing – until someone thinks its a great idea to jump off the yacht and splash you! Yes – even the adults sometimes cannot resist making someone scream out of shock!


Darling, lets go to the races!

In your stunning anchorage, be it Greece or the Caribbean some people on the yacht might need to expel some extra energy! Or to get the whole group up with a little bit of competitive sport! This is a great way to have some quality time together and make memories. Try racing around the yacht and timing each other – or attach a fender to a kedge anchor and use it as a racing buoy! Make sure you use the correct knot to attach the kedge!


Wobble wars

It is what it says on the tin! Get two people to stand up on the board and wobble the yacht until someone falls off! A simple and effective game that brings hours of fun on the water. Very popular with kids, but it has been known for some 68-year-olds to get involved.. perhaps the G ‘n’ T had something to do with it!


If you would like to know more about adding sups to your charters, or interesting in chartering with us this coming summer or winter do email here!


Antigua Sailing Week

After having competed in the Antigua sailing regatta last week and gaining third place in class, charter broker and regatta expert, Alice gives her personal insight into the best parties, races, sailing, and restaurants that the regatta has to offer.

Every April, thousands of competitive sailors gather from all corners of the world to compete in the unmissable Antigua Sail Week. For any yachtie, this rum-fueled week is not to be missed out!


Rum-fuelled racing

The warm Caribbean trade winds allow for some of the world’s finest yacht racing conditions. The regatta has many different classes for yacht racing and welcomes boats of all sizes including bareboat, sports boats and many larger vessels. 

Since the 1950s this prestigious event has been the home to some of the finest yacht performances in boating history. The week includes 6 competitive racing days in some of the best sailing conditions throughout the regatta world.

Many different types of boats will compete in the regatta, giving many different class options to join. There is even the option of entering this regatta in a bareboat class if you wish to add a different dimension to a standard yacht charter!

Regardless of the size of boat you are on, at the beginning of every race everyone is in the same position, competition for victory at the end of the day.


Expect to see:

  • Crews hanging over the boat rail.
  • All boats in the realm of possibility
  • Bruises.
  • Sunburn everywhere
  • Windswept sailors with a rum in hand at all times.
  • Windward-leeward racing
  • Ripped sails and ruined sailors!
  • Global sailing champions
  • The sunsetting every night in Paradise

Après-sail

No Caribbean regatta can be complete without dancing, copious amounts of rum and live reggae bands. Notorious live parties, team-building competitions, prize giving ceremonies, and onboard cocktail parties allow the perfection combination of sailing and socializing.

Be sure to walk up to Shirley Heights to get the best sunset and I may add the best rum punch that the island has to offer. This year, the sailing event was sponsored by Fever Tree tonics, as such the traditional Caribbean rum had some very strong competition for being the tipple of choice for the 2019 Antigua Sailing Week.

Tough competition, idyllic racing winds, structured race courses, rum punch and of course  lobster on the BBQ  are the key ingredients to a world class regatta for novices, experts or even beginners!

Please click here to get in contact with Alice for your next regatta charter. We specialize in global regattas and travel extensively to review the best regatta charters for you!

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.

5 Reasons to Charter a Yacht in Guadeloupe

After spending five months living as a local in Guadeloupe, our charter broker Alice, found many reasons to charter in this Franco-African archipelago known by many as “Gwada”. A mixture of languages, cultures and activities makes these islands among the most diverse that the Caribbean has to offer. Here is why:

1. Island Hopping
The sailing possibilities are endless around the five islands that make up the French Caribbean archipelago of Guadeloupe. Each Island of Guadeloupe has a distinct and raw vibe and still manages stay in tune with its African and French roots.

  • Grande Terre  Perfect for surfing, Creole inspired food markets and white sand beaches. 

One of the many stunning beaches on Grande Terre

A collection of Caribbean spices at a market in Grande Terre

  • Basse Terre  A perfect stop off to visit waterfalls, diving, natural beauty spots including the national park and natural hot baths. 

Basse Terre

  • La Désirade   

La Désirade

  • Iles des Saintes – This archipelagio within the archipelago is a sailors paradise, ideal for exploring on bike and for water activities such as paddleboarding. 

Iles des Saintes

  • Marie-Galante  Well known for beaches such as La Feuillère, its stunning coral reef and 19th century sugar-cane plantation. 

Or If you fancy visiting even more islands you can always sail to to neighbouring islands of Antigua (33 nautical miles), Dominica (26 nautical miles) or Martinique (52 nautical miles).  

2. The perfect blend of Rhum and Croissants
Due to its French legacy, every street in this Creole paradise will have a French Patisserie and, most definitely, a Rhumerie. Creole specialities are diverse from every other Caribbean island and typically include accras de morue (cod fritters), bananes flambées, fricassé de poulpe (octopus) and even a deep fried ‘Bokit’ sandwich with a variety of French fillings. It may be the only place in the world where a relaxing two hour lunch is acceptable. To begin, a Ti’Punch, a rum based aperitif, followed by a Caribbean curry and a bottle of French wine. From the finest of restaurants to street shacks, you are guaranteed to be able to find some of the most diverse food and drink that the Caribbean has to offer.

3. Diving
The diving schools on the Reserve Cousteau are among the most reputable in the world. There is even a Jacques Cousteau statue at one of the dive sites. The relaxed nature of these French dive schools will give you an authentic experience exploring these crystal waters, and the opportunity to see some of the largest varieties of fish in the Caribbean. There area multitude of diving options from snorkelling, first time diving, exploring or deep shipwreck dives.

4. The Beaches
There are 270 beaches spread across the islands of Guadeloupe and all are known to be gorgeous. There are both white and black sand beaches and even volcanos in the distant landscape. Each beach has a different vibe and many have quaint beach bars that serve planteur until the early hours.

5. Accessibility
There are direct flights from Miami, New York and Paris to Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe’s main airport, which makes this archipelago of islands a must-visit for your next charter. There is also a ferry service from Antigua and many flights from other Caribbean islands.

Boatbookings has been organising charters in the Caribbean for over 14 years. If you are interested in chartering a yacht in Guadeloupe, please do get in touch with our expert brokers here. We have yachts available for charter in many amazing Caribbean destinations.

For further information about passports and visas when visiting Guadeloupe, click here.

Book an Unbelievable BVI Break

Look no further than the BVI for a yacht charter destination that offers an activity to suit everyone in your group. With everything from thrilling party scenes to untouched reserves ideal for diving and snorkeling, you can guarantee that each charter guest will have an amazing and memorable trip.

White Bay - BVI
White Bay – BVI

If you’re lucky, the dates of your charter will fall around the famous BVI Full Moon Parties. Not to be confused with the rowdier Thai event, you can enjoy island music, fabulous food and cocktails under the light of the full moon.

Continue reading