The US Virgin Islands
A US territory, the USVIs are just a short flight away from various major American cities. Some of the most well-connected and well-developed islands in the Caribbean, this region is known for its safe and welcoming community for tourists. Each island has a distinct personality, from the buzz of St. Thomas to the natural beauty of St. John; an itinerary through this region will include tranquil days snorkeling and swimming in the secluded anchorages, days hiking nature trails and enjoying your yacht’s water toy selection in the warm water.
St. Thomas is often seen as the most cosmopolitan island and offers excellent golfing opportunities if you wish to spend the day ashore. There are also several lovely boutiques and fine dining options available, as well as Caribbean-style beach restaurants and bars dotted along the coastline of the island.
One of the lesser-known spots to visit is Water Island. This (almost) 500-acre island is the smallest of the USVI and offers a mix of historical sites, hiking trails, and quintessential Caribbean beaches. For a relaxed dinner ashore, visit Dinghy's Beach Bar & Grill for a beach-side experience and enjoy some live local music under the stars.
Snorkeling and diving enthusiasts must set sail to Buck Island. A natural protected monument, the island is famous for its underwater marine garden, an ecosystem of coral reef, flora and fauna, and numerous endangered turtles and seabirds. Comprising two-thirds of the island, The Elkhorn Coral Barrier Reef in particular is renowned for its coral formations and plentiful marine life.
The British Virgin Islands
The British Virgin Islands are a collection of 60 islands, only a few of which are inhabited. A great option for those wishing to spend their vacation exploring the outdoors, the region is known for its natural beauty and picturesque landscape. When planning your itinerary, no visit to the region is complete without a trip to Virgin Gorda. This island is home to the natural wonder known as 'the Baths', a series of boulders, caves, and rock pools that you can walk between and climb over. It can be a popular spot for tourists, so make sure to head there early when it’s quiet to watch the sunrise.
Drop anchor and head ashore to Norman Island for a short hike that will reward you with views of the ocean and surrounding areas. The island is also home to colorful coral reefs, so is an excellent spot for snorkeling and diving. When you’ve finished your hike, make sure to head to the island’s only restaurant for panoramic views and delicious local food.
Another place for divers is Anegada, the only coral island in the Virgin Islands; its bubbling springs and mazes of reefs will delight scuba divers who visit its shores. The marine life here includes needlefish, parrotfish, and stingrays, and the area is known for its ample sport fishing opportunities. The island also benefits from having its own airport.
The USVI is currently welcoming tourists and the BVIs will be open from 1 December 2020. To arrange your winter charter to the region, contact the IYC team today.