At the recent boat shows, the main topic of conversation was the extraordinary hurricane and the impact on the British Virgin Islands (BVIs). Our customers love the BVIs and expressed concern for islanders, with many wondering when they can return and what the experience will be like. Candice caught up with some yacht crews at the recent BVI Charter Yacht Show on Tortola to get their views…
The Caribbean spirit is #BVIstrong
Debris is being cleared, flowers are blooming, the leaves and grass are growing in the tropical climate and the people of the BVI want visitors to return. But what will chartering be like now, post-Irma?
Kristiann Gips a member of Allende’s crew, says: “I think this is still a great year to come to the BVI. The Caribbean is all about One Love and you can strongly feel the spirit of the people when you go ashore. They are ready to share a good time with you.”
Foxy Lady’s Kate Fairfield says: “New guests will get the Caribbean experience that was like everyone says, back in the day. There might not be as many restaurants and bars as there were, but the boats are kitted out to provide everyone with everything they need right on board. You’re still going to see turtles and snorkel beautiful reefs, which are still in great condition.”
“Some places are impacted and other places are different, but there are still spots to enjoy. We are about to go off and spend a week to plan our new itinerary and provide what we used to provide with small changes.”
Kathy Mullen from Regency Yacht Solutions, says: “It’s a more authentic experience chartering here. There are fewer places to stop off ashore, but the ones that are open are really enthusiastic and welcoming to visitors. The flipside is there will be fewer visitors, so less crowded, and you’ll get more of a feeling of the local culture. There’s still plenty of sun, inviting seas and sandy beaches, just as it should be.”
Last week we also talked to BVI Yacht Charters too about returning to the BVI, check out our blog.
Events are still going ahead with plans for the 14-mile SUP team race, 2018 Painkiller Cup, to be held on January 20 and the BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival between March 26 and April 1 at Nanny Cay.
Restaurants and bars that are open
The people of the BVI have been busy recovering and in just eight weeks, 75 restaurants reopened, including:
- Foxy’s on Jost van Dyke – This famous BVI destination is back and planning the BVI’s best ever New Year’s Eve party!
- Pusser’s Landing at Soper’s Hole – Open daily for tasty food, including pizza, famous Painkiller cocktails, free WiFI and satellite TV
- Omar’s Cafe at Soper’s Hole – Enjoy a breakfast and array of specials (lobster omelette), amazing coffee and all you can eat specials
- Top of the Baths restaurant on Virgin Gorda – Now open 8am-5pm with their delicious Caribbean menu. The Cove, Leverick Bay, and Dixies are also open
- In the East End, Red Rock Restaurant, Emile’s Restaurant are open, while Myett’s Chill Zone and Aromas Cigar and Martini Bar are ready and waiting for you at Tortola Pier Park
BVI destination highlights
- RMS Rhone, Salt Island – The infamous wreck was untouched
- Norman Island – Mooring balls available at Pirate’s Bight so you can snorkel The Caves
- The Baths National Park, Virgin Gorda – the geological wonder of giant granite boulders which form sheltered pools on the beach edge are still there, together with plenty of marine life
- The Indians – Sail this uninhabited archipelago, perfect for snorkelling
- Anegada – Fully reopen for the November Lobster Festival and the Anegada Reef Hotel bar has reopened
- Jost Van Dyke – White Bay and Sandy Spit are open
Updated provisioning stop offs
- Tortola – Get your provisioning supplies from Bobby’s Marketplace, Cash & Carry (Pasea Estate), One Mart Superstore and Rite Way
- Virgin Gorda – Bucks Supermarket, Chef’s Pantry, Rite Way and Rosie’s are open for provisioning
- Anegada – SNR Variety Store, Terrance Superette, Lil Bit’s Superette are open for supplies
- If you are concerned about access to supplies, consider all-inclusive chartering options such as by-the-cabin or crewed charters
Out on the water
- Island Surf & Sail is back with all the water toys you need to explore the BVIs and will deliver to your yacht
- Go diving with Sunchaser Scuba and Dive BVI, who are out on the wrecks spotting sharks, eagle rays and octopus
- The BVI Surf School on Josiah’s Bay is back up and running
- BVI Snuba from Leverick Bay will be back exploring the reefs from December
- Open marinas include Nanny Cay, while Hodges Creek, Moorings Marina and Penn’s Landing Marina open in December
Find out more
Talk to us about sailing the BVIs, get in touch, call us on 01227 479900 or email us.