Yacht Charters in the USVI
The US Virgin Islands offer a variety of yachting options, including bareboat charters, skippered charters, luxury crewed charters, monohull, catamaran, and motor yacht charters. Read more now on yacht supplies mallorca
Virgin Islands were originally settled by the Carib, Ciboney and Arawak Indians. Christopher Columbus claimed the Virgin Islands for Spain on his second voyage, in 1493. Over the next 300 years, many European powers held the islands, including Spain and Britain, as well as the Netherlands, France, Knights of Malta and Denmark. Danish West India Company settled Saint Thomas in 1672 and Saint John in 1694. They also purchased Saint Croix in 1733 from France. In 1754, the islands were made royal Danish colonies.
Yacht Charter in USVI
During the remaining Danish period, the islands were not financially viable. The mother country had to provide heavy financial assistance. Early in the 20th Century, an attempt was made to sell the Islands to the United States but no agreement could be reached. In the First World War the USA approached Denmark again to sell the Islands, as they feared that Germany might seize the islands for use as submarine bases. The USA agreed to a selling price of 25 million dollars and took possession of these islands on March 31, 1917.
The US Virgin Islands are one of the easiest yacht charter destinations to reach from the United States mainland. Direct, short flights are available from the mainland. The US Virgin Islands are a good choice if you only have a limited amount of time. It is easy to sail between the two main islands. It is easy to charter a yacht in the US Virgin Islands for first-timers and families. The islands are within two to three hours of each other and there is no open-water navigation. Navigation is only possible by sight. This is a very popular destination during holidays such as Christmas, Presidents Week, and Easter. Puerto Rico’s holiday schedule also makes the first two weeks in July extremely busy.
Locals call three of the four US Virgin Islands by nicknames. St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix are nicknamed “Rock City”, “Love City” and “Twin City”, respectively.
The average winter wind speed is between 15 and 20 knots. The famous “Christmas Winds”, which blow at 25-30 knots, can be experienced intermittently throughout the winter. From February to June, winds will move from northeast to southeast. Expect 10 – 15 mph winds. Rainy season in the US Virgin Islands is from late summer to autumn (August to November). Rainsqualls are possible at any time, but they tend to be short-lived. If in doubt, drop your yacht’s sails or motor and watch for dark squalls. The trade winds are weakest and most unsettled in September and October. The peak of the hurricane season falls in these months, even though the official season runs from June to November. You should check the policies of your yacht charter company in relation to hurricanes. The average high temperature ranges from 25degC-30degC, with the highest temperatures occurring between July and October.
Some people choose to only travel between the British Virgin Islands and US Virgin Islands because it is so difficult. Since 9/11, every boater must go through customs and immigration. This can be a lengthy process. Before 9/11, one crew member could stamp all passports and send the yacht on its way. It may not make sense to try and do both for a charter of less than one week. You can have your yacht confiscated if you don’t carry the right documentation. For more information, please contact your yacht rental company.
The US Virgin Islands work hard to protect their fragile ecosystem. Many anchorage locations have mooring balls. Remember that they’re usually all taken by 3:30pm. You will need to anchor if you arrive after that time. There are some areas where there are so few mooring balls that the yacht has barely any room to anchor.
Overnight moorings consist of 18x white balls and cost between $20 – $30/night. Overnight buoys are only available for vessels up to 60 feet in length. The other mooring buoys have a diameter of 13 inches and are color-coded. Please be aware that all non-overnight moorings are subject to a 90 minute time limit and are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.
Orange – Day use only, non-diving.
Yellow – Only commercial dive boats.
Large Yellow- Commercial Boats or Boats Over 55 Feet in Length.
White – For non-commercial dive boats only.
Blue – For dinghy use only.
By law, sailors must obtain a National Parks Permit. This can be obtained from a yacht charter company or the National Parks Trust Office.
Charlotte Amelie is the capital city of St. Thomas, and it’s the busiest port for cruise ships in the Caribbean. It is known as the least virgin US Virgin Islands because of its high commercial activity and its drug and crime problems. People are not always friendly and can be cynical, especially when there is a lot of chaos on the island. The beaches of the island are known for their turquoise water and white sand. Charlotte Amelie has a rich history, and white houses with red roofs that sparkle in the sunlight. The best duty-free shopping in the Caribbean is found here. The many beaches offer seclusion once you are away from the crowds.
Magenxs Bay is a favourite with families because of its lovely white sands. Swimming is ideal in the calm waters of turquoise, but snorkeling isn’t very good. This beach is very popular and can get very crowded.
Sapphire Beach is a favorite among windsurfers and one of St. Thomas’s finest beaches. Pettykilp Point is a great place to dive, snorkel and enjoy the best diving on St. Thomas.
Christmas Cove is a well-protected cove on the small island Great St James. It’s located just southeast of St. Thomas. According to legend, this cove hosted a large potluck Christmas meal between visiting cruise families. Christmas Cove was named after the annual dinner. This cove is often used as a first or last-night yacht anchorage. Here, snorkeling and diving is excellent.
St John is located about one mile east of St. Thomas, and it’s the closest US Virgin Island to the British Virgin Islands. The National Park Service protects and maintains almost 70% of the tiny island. The Rockefeller Family gave land to ensure that the beautiful hillsides were protected and remained green for ever. Coral reefs are protected as well. The island is still undeveloped and has a pristine natural environment. Many well-marked trails take you along the remains of an old Sugar Plantation. Reef Bay’s hiking trail takes you past ancient petroglyphs as it leads to the sugar plantation ruins and beach. St. John can only be reached by boat, yacht or ferry. Ask your yacht charter company about the National Park permit.
Trunk Bay is a great place to visit in the Caribbean. There is a self-guided underwater snorkel trail with placards that describe the fish, corals, and other marine life you may see. Showers are available at the beach, and snorkel equipment can be rented. In the bay, you can rent moorings for yachts.
The main landing point for those who arrive on the island by ferry is Cruz Bay. The bay is on the westside of St. John. Cruz Bay is the US Customs and Immigration entry point for yachts returning to the British Virgin Islands. The streets are so small, they don’t have names. However, the Mongoose Junction Shopping Plaza is there. The complex is a collection of Caribbean-themed restaurants, shops and galleries. There are no cruise ships docking here, so it is not crowded.
Hawk Nest Bay’s tiny yacht anchorage is peaceful. Locals love the beach and it is great for families with kids.
Salomon Bay on St John is known for being a beach where “clothing is optional”. You may see sunbathers in their undies. Virgin Islands Nation Park objects to this practice, but it appears that laws and ordinances prohibiting nudity do not seem to be strictly enforced. The beach is a beautiful place with white sand and lush vegetation.
Cannel Bay has seven sugar-white beaches. It stretches between Durloe Point and Hawk Nest Bay. The use of yacht moorings is free.
Cinnamon Bay, one of St. John’s most popular beaches and campgrounds for tent campers is a great place to spend your vacation. There are also toilets, showers and a restaurant. You can snorkel right from the beach or around Cinnamon Cay.