A yacht vacation in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) sounds like a long-shot dream. However, with a little research and planning, it becomes surprisingly accessible. The major trick is sorting out all the options so you can make an actual apples-to-apples comparison.
There are so many ship types, sizes, and options that it seems no one could ever tackle it all. So we set ourselves a task of limiting the major options (level of luxury, ship size based on the number of guests, and service options) and compare similar ships from there.
We even found an official name for our choices: BVI crewed yacht charters.
Altesse 56′ Lagoon Catamaran
Angeleyes Motor Yacht
Lady Sharon Gale
Good Vibrations 62' Leopard Catamaran
Hypnautic 44′ Lagoon Catamaran
La Grande Bellezza Catamaran
Sea Boss Power Catamaran
How We Reviewed
Once we narrowed our BVI crewed yacht charters criteria, we surveyed numerous yacht charter review sites to narrow the list further.
From approximately 30 ships, we selected ten based on our primary criteria, as well as their history of customer rankings and reviews. Any of these ten should meet your (smaller) luxury yacht adventure needs.
You should feel safe, entertained, well-fed and cared for, and like you are having a true adventure as you travel between islands, play on the water, and stay overnight anchored in a selection of exotic tropical harbors.
Overall Price Range
Consider first that these are all-inclusive seven-day stays, where you board the ship on day one, stay seven nights, and then depart the ship. Most ships also limit the number of hours you can be underway (motorized) each day.
This is to keep fuel costs within reason; but the number of hours underway should be enough to move between points of interest. Additionally, note that certain calendar dates (such as holidays and new years) cost more than less popular dates.
Within these parameters, the prices for booking these BVI crewed yacht charters range from $15,000 to $80,000 for a week of sailing, drinks included.
Best BVI Crewed Yacht Charters
Altesse 56′ Lagoon Catamaran
Already a newer 2013 56-ft. Lagoon 560 model catamaran, the Altesse went through a full 2015 refit to make her an even better fit for BVI crewed yacht charters.
She is comfortable for up to eight guests, with sleeping arrangements that can be arranged as four queen-sized cabins or three queen cabins and a fourth bunk cabin for individuals or kids.
Space layout on the Altesse allows for communal gatherings, as well as individual activities. This means you can come together for meals and family time, then sunbathe or read quietly while others play.
Diffused daylight floods the spacious cabins. Internal dining spaces and lounge areas provide space and shade even on the sunniest seas. The “flybridge” upper deck features its own dining table and barbeque, providing a vast outdoor view.
The wide teak champagne deck at the Altesse's bow is great for outdoor dining and jumping overboard for a swim. (There are also stairs for those who wish to immerse at a graceful pace.)
The Altesse's BVI crewed yacht charters team will assist you in launching the ship's five-passenger 70HP dingy, water toys including stand-up paddleboards, and an eight-person floating island/swim platform.
They will also organize scuba excursions (including gear) for up to five guests (certified divers only).Inside, they will treat you to fresh linens, fine French crockery, and a wide selection of French wines.
The Dragonfly is a new 2019 Lagoon 620 62-ft. sailing catamaran comfortable for eight guests sleeping in four queen cabins. The catamaran's unique wide deck provides comparable useable space to 100 ft. traditional BVI crewed yacht charters.
However, a shallower draft (how deep the boat sits below the water's surface) means the boat can venture closer to shore.
Each of the four-person queen cabins features wood trim, fine linens and robes, and its own bathroom (with a comfortably-sized shower). The cabins also feature flat-panel televisions with 600+ popular movies and television series free on demand.
The “like home” amenities don't stop there. Indoor areas of the ship are air-conditioned. There is also ship-wide WiFi Internet access, a full surround sound system with iPod docking station, and an Xbox One with a game library.
If video games aren't your thing, there is also a library of board games.Spacious indoor and outdoor dining areas are excellent for meals, meetings, and lounging, regardless of the weather or your mood.
When it is time to play, the ship is fully equipped with the latest water toys, including a 15-ft. 60 horsepower dingy, stand-up paddleboards, clear-bottom kayaks, and light fishing gear.
The Dragonfly's long-experienced South African crew (who have called the Caribbean home for the past four years) can sail you anywhere and attend to your yachting needs throughout the BVIs.
Angeleyes Motor Yacht
The 85-ft. 2019 Horizon FD85 motor yacht Angeleyes steps up the luxury and the performance with a unique 24-ft. wide monohull that hauls. Its efficient design and twin 1136 HP Caterpillar engines will get you where you are going fast.
If that's not enough, the 200 HP Novurania tender is fast enough that you can waterski behind it, but nimble and versatile enough that you can step off the deck and onto the beach without getting your feet wet.
Among BVI crewed yacht charters, the Angeleyes offers unique luxury, with accommodations for up to ten passengers in a wall-to-wall glass main salon that lets guests view ever-changing island and ocean skylines while they dine and lounge.
Dining tables can accommodate eight for formal dining or ten for an informal al fresco seating. Trim and décor are comfortable modern, featuring wood treatments throughout for a natural setting.
The five double en-suite cabins are ideal to accommodate five couples. This includes an on-deck master suite with a jacuzzi tub and rainbow shower, two queen VIP suites, and two staterooms each with king beds that can be converted to two twin beds each.
Common areas include an open aft deck and flybridge that can each accommodate all ten guests.
Numerous seating areas allow for both group gatherings and solitude depending on your mood. A full wet bar, large flat-panel television, and large hot tub add to the ship-side festivities.
Water-focused toys include waterskis, wakeboards, and ski tubes. There is also snorkel gear, fishing gear, and a large floating island for more staid pursuits.
Lady Sharon Gale
The 112 ft. Lady Sharon Gale steps up the opulence among BVI crewed yacht charters. Her three floors can carry eight to ten guests depending on configuration.
Sleeping accommodations are located on the lowest deck, featuring a walk around queen VIP cabin with en suite bathroom. Next is the king-sized master suite with his/hers bathroom sinks.
Two crew cabins offer flexible configurations with twin or double beds. This arrangement makes the Lady Sharon Gale ideal for families. All cabins are air-conditioned and have DirectTV and WiFi Internet access.
Middle-deck dining and lounging spaces are great for meetings and formal dining. A fully-stocked cocktail bar makes parties easy and the connecting sliding door allows guests to stay in the shade or enjoy al fresco dining with a view.
The top deck features a hot tub and wet bar for total relaxation while absorbing the Caribbean vistas as they float by.
For off-ship visits, the Lady Sharon Gale features two tenders to allow your group multiple options at the same time. The first 30-ft. fiberglass dual-motored tender seats ten and includes its own restroom for longer excursions.
The second is a 12-ft. inflatable 25 HP outboard for shorter trips. There are also two Sea-doo Spark wave runners.
Water toys include snorkeling gear, towing tubes, floating mats, and an inflatable island. There are also water skis, four standup paddleboards, and beach games.
This 2019 Lagoon 64-ft. power catamaran brings sleek and nimble to the BVI crewed charter yachts equation. The four en-suite queen cabins are placed apart from each other for maximum privacy.
The first is a master with a seating area, larger bathroom, and direct deck access. All four cabins feature walk-around beds.
The ship's wide dual-hull deck areas provide ample room for gathering or finding your own space. Indoor and al fresco dining areas accommodate all weather and mood conditions.
Trampoline-like nets suspended between the hull bows allow breezy sunbathing directly over the water. Teak-lined steps and railings at the aft let you dangle your feet in the water or dive in for a swim.
The Jan's FeLion's sleek stance in the water lends to its 15-knot cruising speed and lets you transit water quickly to the next anchor point.
This means you spend less time traveling and more time enjoying the peacefulness, view, and playtime that bookends each day. It also means you get your choice of anchor locations before other boats arrive to compete for this in-demand resource.
The Jan's FeLeon's highly-experienced crew are also excellent hosts and experts at creating the right environment for your excursion, whether a company retreat or a family vacation.
Good Vibrations 62′ Leopard Catamaran
The 62-ft. powered catamaran Good Vibrations gets compared to having all the coziness of a beach cabin on the water. She can accommodate eight people (four couples) in the four queen en-suite cabins.
Each has its own flat panel television with DVD player and stereo sound system. Cabins have eight-foot ceilings, accommodating even the tallest guests. All indoor areas are air-conditioned.
The main salon is set up with a bar for happy hour before moving to the formal dining area. The aft deck is ideal for outdoor dining or just lounging.
Climb up to the flybridge for another lounge area and a longer-distance 360-degree view of the Caribbean sunset or the island vistas as you float by.
Guest comments consistently state that the Good Vibrations' skipper and first mate are exceptional hosts. Specifics included the skipper's seamanship and emphasis on passenger safety.
The first mate is an excellent cook and host. Both are well-versed in the BVIs' culture, as well as the best places to socialize or explore nature when landside.
Several passengers suggested the crew alone made this BVI crewed yacht charters experience worth booking, with a beautiful and luxurious ship thrown in to boot.
Hypnautic 44′ Lagoon Catamaran
On the smaller end of our BVI crewed yacht charters list, the Hypnautic is a 44-ft. Lagoon 440 powered catamaran that accommodates six guests in three queen cabins.
Each cabin has its own head (toilet). The master suite has its own walk-in shower. The other two cabins share a shower.
Though smaller, the Hypnautic is as well-appointed as the other ships we looked at. There is an indoor, air-conditioned salon/dining area.
However, most guests say they spent their time outdoors in the large cockpit/lounge area (with a well-stocked wet bar and fridge) or on the taller flybridge with captain-side seating for a wide view of the surrounding sea and scenery.
The forward trampoline and bench areas are excellent for experiencing the ocean or sunset whether en route or anchored for the day. The trampolines are nets suspended between the hulls for a sensation of floating directly over the water.
Guests comment that the smaller ship was excellent for group and family experiences. Lounge areas are great for socializing, but the ship's many deck areas on various levels allowed for more intimate settings when individuals or couples sought solitude.
They also rated the food and hospitality excellent. Several noted that the smaller ship allowed them to access anchor areas and docks where larger ships could not fit.
La Grand Bellezza Catamaran
This 58-ft. New Leopard 58 powered sailing catamaran named La Grande Bellezza accommodates up to nine passengers, making it ideal for a large group or family. It has three queen cabins, one double cabin, and a Pullman bed that folds out from the wall.
Possibly the ship's crowning feature is the wide flybridge with seating for ten. This lets your entire party enjoy panoramic ocean views while dining, sailing, or both.
The mid-level pilot's lounge provides a similar vista with a roof to provide shade from the Caribbean sun. The main salon allows the same party to be indoors and air-conditioned for more formal dining or relaxation.
The space is designed with high ceilings and maximum window space for breathtaking views even while sheltered from the elements. A sliding glass door at the back of the salon turns it into an indoor/outdoor lounge.
The tender stowed on the ship's aft is lowered when La Grand Bellezza is anchored, allowing access to the water straight from the aft steps.
Passenger comments say the ship's size, luxurious amenities, and the crew's hospitality made their stay exceptional.
The many large lounge spaces lent to full-group gatherings, as well as smaller group solitude when just a couple wanted to interact or someone wanted to spend time reading
Sea Boss Power Catamaran
The expansive rear deck on this 60-ft. Horizon power catamaran makes barbeques and parties epic. Well, as close to epic as you can have with six guests, but we recommend taking a look at the pictures.
A wide rear couch space can accommodate your entire group, even though there is a dining table steps away. A few steps more and you step through the sliding glass door to a full bar complete with leather-clad cushioned bar stools.
The flybridge and cockpit deck both accommodate all six guests, so there are a variety of spaces and vantage points to choose from. Every part of the ship features excellent natural light and luxurious wood trim.
Accommodations begin with a king cabin and two queen cabins. The third queen cabin can be converted to a dual twin cabin for group flexibility. All feature en-suite bathrooms, smart televisions, and stereos with a large library of music.
All indoor areas of this ship are air-conditioned, and each suite has its own climate controls.
The ship's 20-knot capability allows you to speed smoothly between destinations if you seek efficiency. It is equally happy to lumber along at 8 knots if you prefer a more leisurely journey
A 2015 53-ft. Royal Cape powered catamaran, the Amazing Grace provides expansive lounging space, high ceilings, and plenty of glass for great vistas. The main deck allows for inside/outside dining and lounging, depending on weather and your needs.
The front deck is excellent for dolphin-spotting en route, with trampoline nets for sunbathing. All indoor areas are air-conditioned and have Internet via WiFi. There is an iPod connection for the salon stereo. The main lounge features a large flat panel TV.
The ship accommodates up to eight guests. Each of the four queen cabins has an en-suite bathroom. The master cabin includes a desk if you need to get a little work done.
The ship's amenities are augmented with plenty of toys, including a 12 ft. 40 HP dingy, snorkel gear, a floating mat for lazy swimmers, a single kayak, and two stand-up paddleboards.
With advanced reservations, the ship can also be fitted for scuba diving, including tanks and an air compressor for refills.
Of the ships we reviewed on our BVI crewed yacht charters list, the Amazing Grace's lower aft deck water stance made the best diving platform.
BVI Crewed Yacht Charters FAQ
What Is a BVI Crewed Yacht Charter?
We defined our BVI crewed yacht charter as a ship that could accommodate six to ten passengers, included a crew (usually two people) to sail the ship and provide a hotel-like full-service experience including drinks, meals, and concierge-like travel guidance, and a level of luxury you might expect from a hotel.
What Do You Mean by "Luxury You Might Expect from a Hotel"?
Though space on a ship is tight, we defined luxury as having queen-sized beds in private en-suite cabins for a maximum of two people each. We also sought enough deck space for indoor and outdoor dining and lounging.
We considered the importance of having solitude if you wanted to get away from the rest of the group to have a private conversation or read a book. Finally, we considered the provision of luxury furnishings (padded furniture and attractive trim), finer linens, and dining service.
Are We Talking All-Inclusive Travel and Meals?
To a degree, yes. The ships we considered will include a week's worth of daily meals, as well as a well-stocked bar. However, they will charge extra for special meal and/or bar requests (such as higher-end liquors or wines).
Additionally, many will recommend bar or restaurant excursions that are not included in the ship's itinerary or costs. Be sure to read the fine print when booking.
How Many Nights Are Considered a "Normal" Stay?
Most ships of the type we considered will only do bookings in a seven-day segment. Thus, our reviews all assume a seven-day stay.
What If I Don't Know How to Sail?
Not an issue. Your crew does the sailing for you. They will plan your trip with you, around places you would like to visit. However, you will rely on their knowledge of the area, as well as their sailing experience.
Typically, one crew member will serve as "skipper" or "captain" of the boat, handling the sailing and navigation of your trip. The other will serve as "first mate," handling additional duties and serving as the chef and hospitality host.
In our research, we only chose ships and crews with the proper certifications/licenses and only positive reviews as to their seamanship and focus on passenger safety.
Can I Drive the Boat?
The BVI Crewed Yacht Charters Verdict
In our research, we found so many great BVI crewed yacht charters that it was nearly impossible to choose just one. However, we narrowed the selection by considering larger and smaller travel groups.
On the larger end, we found the Angeleyes Motor Yacht's comfortable (and luxurious) accommodations for ten combined with its higher cruising speed made it the best choice for larger parties of eight or more.
However, it is overkill if you have six or fewer passengers. On that end, we preferred the Jan's FeLion, which still provided excellent queen cabins and plenty of space for gatherings and solitude.
But it coupled that with a sleekness the larger ships could not match, so much so that we wanted to organize a smaller party.
Featured Image via Pixabay