British Virgin Islands



The warm, dependable trade winds and line of sight navigation makes the British Virgin Islands a perfect charter destination for both novice and experienced sailors. Offering some of the finest cruising grounds in the world, settled protected anchorages, deep water passages and enchanted underwater treasures, the British Virgin Islands are a sailor’s paradise.

Located in the Northeastern Caribbean, this beautiful archipelago consists of over 60 islands, cays and rocks. A varied and intriguing environment with dramatic volcanic mountainous peaks rising 1780 feet above sea level. The Islands are a natural beauty with exuberant vegetation and glistening clear water. The pristine white sandy beaches outlined with shades of liquid blue gives these islands a magical, exotic feeling.

Enjoy a refreshing drink and tasty lunch at the Copper Island Beach club or relax at Pusser’s Marina Cay Restaurant and sample the excellent local cuisine that is enriched with Caribbean flavours. If you are looking for some lively entertainment then tie your dinghy up to William Thornton’s Floating Bar and restaurant at The Bight on Norman Island.

The history of Norman Island is filled with Pirates and treasure caves, and is said to be the inspiration for “Treasure Island”, the adventure novel by Robert Louis Stevenson.

Visit The Baths at Virgin Gorda, this unique natural phenomenon and the numerous huge granite boulders scattered along the coastline form mysterious grottoes for you to explore. Sail to the picturesque villages of Jost Van Dyke, the beautiful anchorage of Cane Harbour Bay on Tortola or the stunning long beautiful white sandy beach that stretches for miles on Anegada.

If you are a diver you will love the spectacular site of the R.M.S. Rhone, shipwrecked off Black Rock Point in 1867. For those who prefer to snorkel, the reefs found all over the BVIs have fascinating formations and are abundant with a large variety of marine life and a bright kaleidoscope of colours.

With perfect sailing conditions, crystal clear waters, beautiful beaches and many boats to choose from the British Virgin Islands is a great destination for your Caribbean charter.

» Large choice of yachts
» Line of sight navigation
» Dependable trade winds
» Varied and interesting sailing areas
» Abundant marine life
» Beautiful beaches

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Weather Conditions

Climate

General weather for BVI

BVI enjoy a beautiful sub-tropical climate that has warm temperatures all year round. Rarely dropping below 77°F and rising above 90°F with the daily average temperature of 83°F. In the evenings you can expect a drop in temperature due to the position of the islands in the trade wind belt. The seasons here do not have a dramatic change in climate like most and benefit from steady trade winds that provide excellent sailing conditions.

There are four clear seasons in the British Virgin Islands. The Spring Season lasts from April to June. The trade winds start settling down at the beginning of the season, making the wave height less and temperatures warmer, with highs around 90°F and a daily average of 85°F. Spring brings lush green vegetation to the islands and a cooling trade wind breeze. With more settled waters the visibility for snorkeling and diving is increased and the marine life found here can be truly appreciated. There is only a 20% chance of rain and with the steady SE winds at around 10-15knts this is an ideal sailing ground.

The Summer Season lasts from July to September. The temperature in this season ranges from 80°F - 95°F. The wind direction is East–South–East and average wind speeds are around 10 – 12knts. July to December is the rainy season with an average monthly rainfall of 4 inches. Rain only falls for a very short time and within the hour you will usually see bright sunshine again.

Hurricane season officially runs between the beginning of June and the end of November. The Caribbean tends to see hurricanes later in the season; however, they can occur at any time and usually a warning will be issued a few days in advance. The Winter Season lasts from December through March. The British Virgin Islands enjoys a pleasant winter with plenty of sunshine and average daily temperatures of 80°F. The winds around Christmas can be gusty and sustain 20knots with cold fronts passing through the region. In late winter the winds ease and the trade winds return to a South Easterly direction with wind speeds of around 15-20knots.


Average Conditions - BVI:


  JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

High Temperature (c)

26

27

28

29

29

30

31

31

30

29

28

27

Low Temperature (c)

20

19

20

21

22

23

23

23

23

22

22

21

Precipitation (mm)

74

63

55

84

116

70

83

111

156

133

178

111

Average Sunshine Hours

8

8

9

9

8

8

9

9

8

8

7

7


Current Forecast:

Road Town
Day Min Max Wind Weather
Wed
20th
27°C 28°C
SSE

34 kts

Thu
21st
28°C 32°C
SSE

20 kts

Fri
22nd
29°C 30°C
SSE

18 kts

Sat
23rd
29°C 32°C
SE

14 kts

Sun
24th
29°C 32°C
SE

13 kts

General Information

Getting to the British Virgin Islands

There are no direct flights to the British Virgin Islands from USA, Canada or Europe; however the British Virgin Islands can be reached from Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, Antigua, St. Kitts, St. Maarten, and Barbados. 

There are three airports in the British Virgin Islands. The main airport is Terrence B Lettsome International Airport , located on Beef Island which is just east of Tortola, these two islands are connected by a small bridge.  The other two smaller airports are located on Virgin Gorda and Anegada.

The main international airlines serving the Caribbean are: American Airlines, US Airways, Continental Airlines, Caribbean Airlines, Delta Airlines, Cayman Airways, Air Jamaica, Air Canada, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, BMI, Air 2000/First Choice, Britannia Airways, BWIA, Lufthansa, Air France, KLM, Air Europe, Lauda Air, LTU Martinair, Holland Excel and Corse Air.

The local airlines that service the BVI’s are: American Eagle, Caribbean Sun, Caribbean Star, Winair, Cape Air and Liat. 

There are also private charter flights that can work out cheaper than scheduled flights if you are arriving as a large group. The following airlines provide this service:  Air Sunshine Inc, Caribbean Wings, Flight Adventures International Ltd, Fly BVI Ltd, Island Birds and Island Helicopter Int.

Ferries are also available and run frequently between Islands.

Entry Requirements

Travellers need a valid passport, return or onward ticket and all the documents required for their next destination. Except: Canadian passport holders require a valid passport or original birth certificate together with an official photo ID.

NOTE: American travellers also require a valid passport; this change took effect from 23 January 2007. From the 1st January 2008 all entry to the BVI’s will require a valid passport.


Language

English is the official language of the British Virgin Islands.

Health

Always check with your doctor before travelling which vaccinations you will need.

The British Virgin Islands have a reverse osmosis water system and so the water is safe to drink. If you have any droughts it is advisable to drink bottled water.

Sunscreen is always advisable as the sun is strong.

Manchineel trees are very poisonous; the fruit is known as a Manchineel Apple and smells and looks like small apples. DO NOT touch or eat this fruit.

When in the sea take care not to touch anything, just look. Be careful not to stand on a Sea Urchin, if you do and the spines are protruding from your skin, remove them with care. If the spine is beneath the skin do not try to remove as they will eventually dissolve. Soak with vinegar or some form of antiseptic to stop infection.

Jellyfish arrive in the summer months and can give a nasty sting.  If you are stung, leave the tentacle in place, use Vinegar or alcohol on the sting to neutralize. Use an antihistamine cream to stop itching. Never rub the sting.

Safety

Petty theft does occur in the BVI. 
Visitors should take common-sense precautions against petty crime.
Avoid carrying large amounts of cash and use safety deposit facilities if available. 
Do not leave valuables unattended on the beach or in cars. 
Always lock up boats when going ashore.

Taxes and Service Charges

Departure tax - $15.00/person plus a $5 security fee (Must be paid in cash)
Hotel Tax - 7%
Service Charge -10%, this is often added to the bill so check before you leave further gratuity.
Gratuity is discretional, usually 10 – 15% depending on the level of service.
Cruising Tax: Seasonal rates (December 1st – April 30th) = $2.00 per person per day.
Out of season (May 1st – November 30th) = $0.75 per person per day.

Restrictions

The removal of any marine life from British Virgin Island waters is illegal without a recreational fishing permit.  A temporary one month license can be purchased for $35.

Boats must use the National Parks Trust mooring buoys at designated reef and diving areas, the mooring are for day use only and the payment for this is the purchase of a Marine Conservation Permit.

The colour coding for the buoys are as follows:
Yellow = Commercial dive boats only.
Large yellow = Commercial, or sailing boats over 55 feet.
White = Dive used for non commercial vessels.
Orange/Red = Day use for non diving boats
Blue = Dinghies only, day use.

Diving, fishing and snorkelling are not permitted at the Horseshoe Reef Marine Protected Area, Anegada.

Currency

British Virgin Islands currency is the US Dollar.
ATMs are available at banks in Road Town, Rite Way grocery in Purcell, East End, Sopers Hole, West End and at Spanish Town, Virgin Gorda.
Credit cards are widely accepted in hotels, bars, restaurants and larger supermarkets. The smaller local shops do not accept credit cards and it is always wise to check payment methods before shopping.  Credit cards may also have an additional processing charge.
Cheques and Travellers Cheques are accepted but are subject to a 10¢ stamp duty.

Time Zone

BVI are in the Atlantic Standard time zone.  GMT  -4. Daylight Saving Time is not observed.

Electricity

110 volt A.C. electricity system. The standard electrical plug is the same two flat blades and a rounded grounding pin.

Communication

International dialing code: +1(284)
Island wide, fully automatic telephone system through Cable and Wireless
VHF  used on most islands
Internet access available

 

 

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Why book your charter with us?

CharterSearch is a trading name for Ocean Marine Group and we are an independent yacht charter agency specialising in bareboat, skippered and fully crewed yacht charters. We offer a complete charter package with high quality luxury yachts including sailing monohull yachts, catamarans and powerboats at extremely competitive prices.

We work with a large number of reputable charter companies, owners and operators worldwide and can recommend boats to our clients based on previous experiences, maintenance standards, customer service, and most importantly support they offer our charter guests. Feedback and reviews by our staff and our customers mean our advice is impartial and we will always have your best interests at heart. The team at CharterSearch all have vast experience and knowledge of the yacht charter industry having worked for many years for charter companies, travel agencies and sailing schools. We are in unique position to provide you with a first-class service.

We offer some of the most desirable cruising and sailing destinations in the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Asia, Americas, Baltic and Scandinavia. Our website will tell you everything you need to know about yacht chartering and you will find useful information, travel tips, weather and sailing conditions, along with example itineraries and of course boat specifications. Simply submit your enquiry, email or phone us and our trained staff will be happy to give you advice and answer any questions that you may have. Enjoy our website and we look forward to helping you arrange your yacht charter holiday.