Category: Caribbean

Low Carbon Luxury Travel

Aerial View of Petit St Vincent in the Caribbean

With the environment firmly pushed to the forefront of our consumer conscience, more and more of us are seeking sustainable holidays. At VentureSail Holidays we are proud that each of our sailing holidays offers low-impact travel. Combine this with our luxury sailing fleet, Chronos, Rhea, Kairos, and Stella Oceana all weave in high-end, stylish sophistication to holidays at sea.

Explore some of the world’s most beautiful destinations under sail without any compromise on comfort – welcome to low carbon luxury travel.

Zero-emission miles

The pure joy of being on deck of a beautiful ship with the wind in your hair and sun on your face is undeniable. This wonderful form of travel has the added benefit of being largely emission-free, with all our vessels operating under sail as much as possible. Our skippers are true mariners and avoid turning the ships engines on unless they really have to! Certain weather/tidal conditions can make it necessary, as well as safely entering some ports/harbours but otherwise, all ventures are predominantly under sail. In addition, the destinations and routes are chosen for their favourable sailing conditions allowing guests to drink in the fresh sea air far away from exhaust fumes emitted by larger vessels. The gentle swish of the wind in the sails is a far more comfortable experience than the constant chug of a diesel engine.

Sustainable, locally sourced produce

A day at sea is guaranteed to work up an appetite and all our guests enjoy fabulous food whilst sailing with us. As our vessels operate with small guest numbers, they are able to easily source local produce along the way having formed strong relationships with various suppliers over the years. Guests will regularly see the onboard chefs buying fish or lobster straight off the local fishing boats as they come alongside – from sea to boat to plate in less than a day.

Sometimes, local farms will deliver to the dockside dropping off eggs, milks and meats ready for our onboard chefs to whip up mouthwatering meals and tasty treats served by the maitre’d. Good food is something we pride ourselves on and there is little to no food waste either!

Working with local communities

Our boats pride themselves on ensuring they work closely with local communities wherever they sail. This is particularly true in Indonesia where our pinisi boats Katharina and Ombak Putih visit island communities far off the beaten track. The owners have spent many years forging good connections and relationships with local villages. Mindful not to arrive en-masse, all visits are planned ahead with the local villages so they can be ready to show small groups around without disturbing the environment – these guided tour fees are paid directly back to the community.

Small ships sailing with less than 20 passengers are always far less disrupting to both the local communities as well as the natural environment. Something which is particularly notable in destinations such as the Caribbean and Svalbard where even smaller cruise ships loom like skyscrapers with over 200 guests descending into a small remote location. 

Reef-safe products

Each boat uses sustainable products with all guests are also encouraged to bring reef-safe sunscreen and toiletries. Each skipper is a passionate advocate of the environment taking pure pleasure from talking with guests about any impactful changes they can make to their lives to continue their low-carbon mission back at home.

Impactful Changes

The magic of travelling under sail is captivating, enabling guests to switch off and feel at one with the world around them. This in itself automatically builds a connection with the natural environment and we see a positive shift in guests psyches. We love hearing how much the ventures have left guests being mindful about their life choices and effects on the environment.

We know that our ventures offer low-carbon luxury but don’t just take our word for it. We recently hosted Chris Haslam, the Chief Writer for The Sunday Times Travel having enticed him to experience the Caribbean under sail. As he concludes;
But we’ve travelled close to 200 zero-emission miles under sail, spent time and money in communities otherwise cut off from the mainstream tourist trade and swum off some awfully pretty, awfully empty beaches. So if you consider long-haul flights to be a sin, Captain van Middelkoop can offer absolution.

You can learn more and read his article here or select your low-carbon luxury holiday today >

A Guide to Sailing in St Vincent & the Grenadines

View of Salt Whistle Bay, Mayreau, Caribbean

For those looking for an unforgettable Caribbean sailing holiday, St Vincent and the Grenadines is the perfect destination, with a world of rich culture, vibrant flavours, and diverse wildlife. The Grenadines archipelago is located between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean and consists of the main island of St Vincent as well as 32 smaller islands, including Bequia, Mustique, Union Island, and Tobago Cays to name just a few. Although closely connected to Grenada, it is a separate island nation.

A sailing holiday around St Vincent and the Grenadines is a dream come true for all travellers, with a unique blend of authentic Caribbean culture, spell-binding nature and adventure travel. We sail around this island chain with two different vessels; historic Brigantine Florette, and luxury yacht Chronos. So whether you’re looking for a peaceful paradise escape or an adventure-filled journey, a skippered sailing holiday in the Grenadines certainly won’t disappoint. Keep reading to discover some of the highlights you can look forward to as you enjoy a Caribbean sailing adventure of a lifetime.

‘The Mainland’ – the Island of St Vincent

The island of St Vincent is blessed with natural beauty, from its lush rainforest interior to its white sand beaches, set within an unbelievably stunning tropical volcanic landscape. A likely mooring on the island is Chateaubelair bay, home to some of the sets for the Pirates of the Caribbean films. Awake on your first day in St Vincent to incredible views of the bay and island. Volcanic hills layer the horizon covered in lush green, with the most vibrantly coloured houses nestled into the mountainsides. Misty rain rolls down from the mountain peaks giving it a wild and mysterious feel, highlighting the untamed beauty of the island.

The Real Pirates of the Caribbean

As you step off the boat and head ashore you’ll be spoilt for choice with a wide variety of natural wonders to absorb. Perhaps take a hike up the La Soufrirère Volcano, with spectacular views from the summit. The La Soufrière National Park is one of two UNESCO World Heritage sites in St Vincent, where you can take a leisurely stroll through lush rainforests filled with exotic plants and birdlife. Perhaps head to one of the most iconic beaches if the Caribbean – Wallilabou Bay. With black volcanic sand, stunning natural rock formations and crystal clear waters that are home to coral reefs (and even a pirate shipwreck!), you’ll soon see why it was another location for filming the Pirates of the Caribbean. If you choose a sailing holiday in St Vincent with historic tall ship Florette, you’ll feel as if you have stepped back in time to really experience life as a pirate yourself (although with a touch more comfort!)

Cultural Delights Await

The island of St Vincent also offers a wonderful cultural experience as well as delicious local cuisine unlike anywhere else in the Caribbean! Anchor near historic sights such as a Young Island, where the historic remains of Fort Duvernette will rise above you, or head to Fort Charlotte to take in the sweeping vistas across the island. Foodie lovers will be in heaven here as you can wander through the local markets, bustling with an array of fresh produce.

Visit one of the many local Caribbean restaurants, serving mouth-watering meals and traditional dishes all made with locally sourced ingredients for an authentic taste of St Vincent. If you prefer to catch your own supper, for the more adventurous traveller there are plenty of fishing opportunities to be had straight off the boat – you could try your luck at catching marlin, tuna, or mahi-mahi and cooking it up on the beach!

The Grenadines

The Heart of the Grenadines – Union Island
View of the beach at Chatham Bay, Union Island

A volcanic island with scenery straight out of Jurassic Park, Union Island lies close to the neighbouring islands of Carriacou and Grenada and is the southernmost of the Grenadines. Full of culture and character, the island provides a truly unparalleled authentic Caribbean holiday experience.

You’ll soon be enveloped in this local island charm as you wander through the vibrant street market where locals sell fresh produce alongside bright paintings, handmade crafts and clothing. There are plenty of adventures to be had for the active traveler here to, including hikes through the volcanic landscape where you’ll be immersed in a thick green rainforest with large jagged mountains towering above. 

Paradise Found – Tobago Cays

One of the most talked about spots in all of the Caribbean is undoubtedly Tobago Cays Marine Park. Home to five uninhabited islands surrounded by shallow turquoise waters, powdery white sand beaches and swaying coconut palms. The water here is so clear that even from the deck of the boat you can see the vividly coloured coral reefs below and the wildlife that calls them home.

Spend the day making use of the onboard snorkelling, kayaking, or paddle-boards with Chronos to explore these beautiful reefs. You’ll be dazzled by an array of friendly fish darting beneath the surface of the coral, perhaps even spotting a stingray or majestic sea turtle. After a busy day exploring the Cays, return to your vessel where a red snapper may be caught straight off the back of the boat for a BBQ on deck. After dinner enjoy an evening of star gazing – made all the more magical by the fact that there is absolutely no light pollution here!

The Unspoiled Caribbean – Mayreau
Aerial view of Mayreau Island, the Grenadines

This unspoiled island paradise offers a quiet escape from everyday life. Mayreau is home to crystal-clear waters perfect for snorkelling and swimming. The secluded beaches are for those looking for some peace and quiet away from it all, with Saline Bay and Salt Whistle Bay among the most picturesque spots.

Wildlife watching in Mayreau is also rewarded with regular sightings of flamingoes, iguanas and pelicans diving bombing the water. With the surrounding ocean also providing an abundance of marine life to spot, a sailing holiday in the Grenadines is certainly the best way to see it all.

A Royal Retreat – Mustique

Known for its luxury resorts and stunning beaches, this private island was famously owned by Lord Glennconner and has since become one of the most exclusive and slightly mysterious retreats in the Caribbean. The epitome of luxurious Caribbean holidays, you’ll feel right at home on board luxury classic yacht Chronos. One of their favourite places on the island is the world-famous Basil’s Bar, one of the hottest night spots in the Caribbean. Or, if you’re looking for adventure, Mustique has beautiful hiking trails, waterfalls and horseback riding along the beach. The secluded coves of the island are also great for making use of onboard water sports – such as kayaks and paddle-boards.

Charming Bequia Island

Sail from Mustique to Bequia island with numerous flying fish in your wake, looking across to the verdant landscape that awaits you. You may even be joined by some sperm whales as you make the crossing from one island to the next!

As you reach Bequia, you’ll be welcomed by the sights of quintessentially Caribbean villages, lush green hillsides and picturesque harbours. The island is packed with colourful buildings and cobblestone streets, making it perfect for meandering strolls through the town. There are also several cafes, shops, and restaurants worth a visit. The highlight of these is perhaps Jack’s Beach Bar, a relaxed spot with incredible views over Princess Margaret Beach, and a menu of local dishes and specialties sure to whet the appetite.

Ready to set sail?

A skippered sailing holiday in St Vincent and the Grenadines offers a unique opportunity to explore some of the Caribbean’s most beautiful islands and secret spots. From snorkelling through Tobago Cays, relaxing on a private beach in Mustique, or exploring volcanic islands, there’s certainly something for everyone.

All of our Caribbean sailing holidays include a full crew and skipper with individual cabins bookable. Many of our voyages in the Caribbean cover both Grenada and the Grenadines, for more information on sailing in Grenada, read our previous adventure log here.

Whether you sail with historic brigantine Florette, or luxury classic yacht Chronos, your sailing holiday in St Vincent and the Grenadines will be one of stunning natural beauty, luxurious amenities and an incredible assortment of activities on shore. So what are you waiting for?! Let us help make your next sailing holiday an experience that will stay with you forever!

View our Caribbean Sailing Holidays here >

A Guide to a Sailing in Grenada

St George's Harbour, Grenada, Caribbean

A small Caribbean island nation notable for breathtaking beaches, pristine white sand, and dazzling turquoise waters, harbouring some of the world’s best underwater marine life. A sailing holiday is undoubtedly the best way to experience Grenada, spending each day visiting new anchorages and discovering new delights. 

Grenada is often the starting point of our sailing voyages in the Windward Islands and is made up of three islands. The main island being Grenada, and the two smaller islands of Petit Martinique and Carriacou. Whether you choose to sail in luxury on board yacht Chronos, or explore with historic Brigantine Florette, join us to uncover the very best of a sailing holiday in Grenada.

A New Adventure Begins – St George’s Bay, Grenada.

St George's Harbour, Grenada, Caribbean

A naturally formed, horseshoe-shaped harbour, St George’s Bay has been named the Caribbean’s most picturesque anchorage, and as you arrive here to begin your skippered sailing holiday, it’s easy to see why. Spend your first night in the Caribbean at anchor here, awaking at sunrise to views of crystal clear waters surrounded by lush green vistas, punctuated by dashes of bright colour where villages nestle into the mountainsides. It provides the perfect starting point for your voyage with easy transport links, and is an excellent location to begin island exploration.

Explorations ashore – the island of Grenada.

Swim in waterfalls, wander around crater lakes, visit cocoa and spice plantations, and indulge in Grenada’s very own spiced rum. With so much to see and do on the island, having an experienced skipper and crew makes all the difference. Many of them have been sailing in the Caribbean for years and with endless local recommendations, they’ll certainly show you all the best places to visit in Grenada.

‘Spice island

Stepping ashore, you’ll quickly discover how it received this infamous moniker. A fertile landscape awaits, with a tropical climate that fosters some of the best-growing conditions for an array of sweet smelling spices. There are plenty of botanical spice gardens on the island, with Laura Spice & Herb Garden being the most notable. Our crews can help arrange a tour of any of these botanical delights to suit you.

Waterfalls Await

Another activity sure to create lifelong Caribbean memories, is a dip in a local waterfall. Grenada is famous for its waterfalls, and there are simply too many to list here! Our current favourite is Seven Sisters waterfall, located in the centre of the island. Hike through luscious jungle, dominated by bamboo forests that harbour hidden delights at every turn. You’ll soon be rewarded with an incredible sight, where natural pools and rivers congregate, forming the Seven Sisters waterfall. Dive straight in, washing your troubles away, and you’ll leave with an invigorated feeling, ready to continue your Caribbean sailing adventure.

Deserted Island Paradise – Hog Island, Grenada

Perhaps you’ll spend a day anchored at Woburn Bay, where you can hop off the boat to visit the nearby Hog Island. Uninhabited, the stretches of white sand beaches will envelop you, making it feel as if you’ve stepped straight into a dream. The perfect place to make use of the onboard water sports available on Chronos. Kayak and paddle-board around the many inlets to explore the coastline at your own pace, in harmony with nature and tranquillity.

However, if you’re lucky enough to visit the island on a Sunday evening, watch it spring to life. The Barefoot Beach Bar is a thriving hotspot for those in the know. Here you can join in the authentic Caribbean way of life, drinking, dancing and simply enjoying the local culture.

Underwater Delights – Molinere Bay Underwater Sculpture Park, Grenada

Grenada is home to some of the best snorkelling opportunities in the Caribbean, thanks to a unique underwater ecosystem. The marine life around the island is so rich it’s hard to know where to begin, with over 550 species of marine life and over 100 species of coral alone. Although there are opportunities for experiencing this in many locations around the island, our guests consistently return to tell us that the Underwater Scultpure Park in Grenada is an absolute highlight and must-see on a sailing holiday in Grenada. 

Called the 14th wonder of the natural world, slip on your snorkel fins and discover this underwater paradise. The artist Jason deCaires Taylor created the sculpture park, designing life-size sculptures depicting members of Grenadian society, including fishermen, farmers, musicians, and artists. Formed out of concrete before being placed at the bottom of the sea bed, after more than 20 years the sculptures have come to life. Bright corals in every colour imaginable have grown upon the sculptures, and thousands of fish now call the park home. An otherworldly feel will soon overcome you as you dive down beneath the surface, with an initially eerie feeling giving way to a sense of wonder and amazement as the man-made world and mother nature collaborate. A truly magical visit.

The Heart of Grenada – Carriacou

The small island of Carriacou is a must-visit on a sailing holiday in Grenada. We often anchor in the picturesque bay of Tyrell bay to start our explorations ashore. The tranquil climate and fertile soil lends itself to the production of a variety of crops such as citrus fruits and cocoa, leading to its name of ‘The heart of Grenada’. Although famous for its annual Carnival held in March, the real star of the show is the nearby Sandy Island, a favourite anchorage of all our vessels.

A Caribbean Postcard Comes to Life – Sandy Island

Anchor close to shore and step onto uninhabited Sandy island, a true Caribbean postcard experience. A long, thin island, where palm trees wave gently in the breeze sitting on bone-white strips of sand, contrasted by the deep blue Caribbean sea. Unwind as the waves gently wash ashore, bringing with them an incredible array of shells and corals that sprinkle across the beach giving it a pink hue. While away the hours here, simply unwinding on the powdery soft sand. Or snorkel just off the shore, drifting with the waves and immersing yourself amongst schools of fish and tiny corals.

Spend the evening watching the sunset paint the sky shades of the most vivid pinks and purples before an inky black sky takes over and the stars light up. With some of the lowest light pollution in the world you’ll feel as though you’re on the edge of space itself.

The Authentic, Chilled, Caribbean – Petite Martinique

After some time spent in the secluded islands of Grenada, head to Petite Martinique, where you’ll soon discover the epitome of unspoiled, authentic Caribbean island life. With a population of around 900, this is a place to wander around and chat with locals who will welcome you with open arms. A more “off-grid” island, its chill and unassuming nature will leave you forgetting the world you came from, immersing yourself in an authentic Caribbean way of life away from tourist hotspots.

Palm Beach Restaurant is a favourite of ours on the island as it has a mooring, making it easily accessible on your sailing holiday in Grenada. Unwind with tropical cocktails, and enjoy local specialties, with freshly caught fish, fried plantains, and an endless variety of local produce all being whipped up in the kitchen each day. If you relish the chance to get your hiking boots out, take a meandering hike to Piton, the highest point on the island providing incredible vistas across Petite Martinique, Carriacou, and the nearby Grenadine islands which may be next on your adventures.

Ready to set sail?

If you’re ready to start your journey to a Caribbean island paradise, continue the next leg of your adventure in our journal about St Vincent and the Grenadines. To view our full itinerary of voyages to Grenada with luxury yacht Chronos, or historic Brigantine Florette, head to our Caribbean schedule.  

*Please note that all our voyages travel with the power of the wind, therefore although certain locations and anchorages mentioned have previously been visited by our vessels, there is never a guarantee or set itinerary for any of our voyages*

10 of our favourite Caribbean anchorages, beaches and bays

St Lucia Caribbean Marigot bay unsplash

One of the many joys of a Caribbean sailing holiday is the opportunity to visit unspoiled, authentic destinations away from the tourist hustle and bustle. Our voyages to the Caribbean aim to visit new anchorages nearly every day, providing fantastic opportunities to experience the islands like never before. Where you anchor can make all the difference to your holiday, and our experienced skippers and crew know the best secret Caribbean anchorages, ensuring you the most enjoyment both from the boat and ashore. 

Discover deserted islands lined with rainforests, sail through volcanic bays in the wake of pirates, and dive right off the boat into pristine waters filled with magnificent coral reefs. Although sailing with the wind means no anchorage can ever be guaranteed, we’ve compiled our top ten Caribbean anchorages, beaches, and bays below.

Les Saintes Bay, Guadeloupe

Les Saintes Bay, named by UNESCO as one of the world’s most beautiful bays, is located in the volcanic island chain of Îles des Saintes, in Guadeloupe. Flanked by 18th century forts, this Caribbean anchorage provides a blend of old world historical charm with quintessential tropical scenes, where coconut trees and white sands abound. The area is renowned for its historical usage by pirates and buccaneers. This is easy to imagine when aboard the traditional windjammer Eye of the Wind, who often finds herself at this picture perfect Caribbean anchorage.

Loubiere, Dominica

A small bay on the island of Dominica, Loubiere offers easy access to all the main attractions of the island. Anchor close to the shore, where the sounds of Dominican music and singing in the streets will drift across to the boat, tempting you to shore. The bay is a short distance to the main port city of Roseau. Here you can immerse yourself in the colourful local culture, and experience the delights of the local markets.

Another highlight of Dominica is the renowned Champagne Reef, a natural wonder sure to leave you speechless. As you snorkel through beautifully coloured coral and fish, bubbling waters erupt from volcanic thermal springs on the ocean floor. When the bright Caribbean sun hits the microscopic bubbles, they crackle and explode in the water like tiny diamonds, hence the name Champagne reef. If you’re looking for a Caribbean anchorage with easy access to snorkelling, local markets, and culture, Loubiere is sure to delight.

Dominica is a potential Caribbean anchorage for luxury classic yachts Rhea and Chronos on their voyages surrounding the islands of Antigua, Dominica and Guadeloupe.

Tyrell Bay, Carriacou, Grenada

Tyrell Bay lies on the small island of Carriacou, forming part of the country of Grenada. Named the ‘Gateway to the Grenadines’, it’s a popular Caribbean anchorage for our voyages with historic brigantine Florette. Set off from the boat and make use of the onboard kayaks to explore inlets filled with mangrove trees, with oysters living in the dense protective branches. If island exploration is on the cards for the day, hop ashore to journey around the island of Carriacou, perhaps stopping off in some of the infamous local rum bars!

St George’s Harbour, Grenada

Grenada is home to so many of our favourite Caribbean anchorages that we simply couldn’t resist adding it to the list twice!

Located on the southern end of the island, many consider St George’s Harbour to be the most picturesque Caribbean anchorage and it’s easy to see why. Awaken at sunrise to take in the scenery surrounding the boat, with the island’s rolling green hills dotted with splashes of brightly coloured villages and settlements. Spend the day exploring the island further, swimming in waterfalls, trekking around crater lakes and sampling the local rum. St George’s Bay is a frequent starting point for our Caribbean voyages, and we truly believe there’s no better place to start your sailing adventure in Grenada!

Pitons Bay, St Lucia

sailing classics caribbean

One of the most iconic anchorages in the Caribbean, and a favourite of luxury yachts Chronos and Rhea on their Caribbean sailing holidays. Anchor beneath the ancient volcanic wonders known as the pitons, which dominate the island’s skyline. The bay is part of a protected region that has been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. As a result, the area is teeming with vibrant marine life, from parrotfish and angelfish to some of the rarest turtles in the world. Soufrière, a laidback, idyllic town with authentic Caribbean charm and appeal, is easily accessible from the mooring.

English Harbour, Antigua

Caribbean Antigua anchorage

A natural harbour, with a long naval history as a strategic port, English Harbour lies on the southernmost tip of Antigua. Along with a thriving international boating community, the area is also home to a wide variety of local cafes and restaurants, ready and waiting to tempt you to shore. If relaxation is on the agenda for the day, the plentiful beaches surrounding the harbour make for a great visit. Unwind on the soft white sand as turquoise water laps at your feet, looking out over the lush green mountains that dominate the landscape. Falmouth Harbour is within walking distance and often a starting point for Caribbean voyages with luxury yachts Rhea and Chronos.

Colombier, St Barthélemy

Only accessible by boat or on foot, the secluded and coveted beach of Colombier is a popular anchorage for Skyelark on her voyages around the island of St Barths. Utter bliss and calm, rugged beauty reigns supreme in this quiet corner of the island. Although there aren’t as many amenities as other anchorages, this simply highlights the varied nature of sailing in the Caribbean. From one day to the next you could be celebrating in busy beachside bars, or unwinding on a seemingly private beach with nothing but the waves crashing at the shore. Due to the island’s volcanic origins, there is an abundance of unique wildlife, as well as many shallow reefs ideal for snorkelling.

Road Town, Tortola, BVI

Tortola Caribbean

Road Town, a bustling harbour and the main hub of the island of Tortola, is a frequent Caribbean anchorage for traditional tall ship Eye of the Wind and historic brigantine Florette. Views of the luxuriantly green surroundings will greet you as you anchor here, and the streets are lined with vibrant restaurants and shops. Enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of the beach during the day, perhaps taking part in some of the water sports available on shore such as snorkeling and scuba diving. As night falls, head to the neighbourhood bars and restaurants, where locals congregate for live music and dancing.

Cumberland Bay, St Vincent

One of the lesser-known bays in the Caribbean, Cumberland Bay is a popular anchorage for luxury yachts Chronos and Rhea. Situated on the verdant island of St Vincent, this anchorage showcases the very best of the island. A tranquil bay, surrounded by a luscious forest of coconut palms, it is the ideal location to decompress and enjoy the water sports available on Chronos and Rhea. A wonderful spot for swimming in protected waters after jumping off the bowsprit!

Anse Noire, Martinique

If you’ve seen enough crystal clear waters and white sand beaches, head to Anse Noire on the island of Martinique for a change of scenery. Jade green waters and black volcanic sand make for an anchorage straight out of a dream.  A small, secluded cove lined with palm trees, it is a place of reflection and tranquility. Head underwater to get up close with the local marine life, including sea turtles that often visit to rest on the seagrass that lines the bay. A possible stop off the boat for many of our Caribbean voyages, Anse Noir is a must see if the winds allow!

Find out more about sailing in the Caribbean

If any of theses anchorages have tempted you, find out more about sailing holiday charters in the Caribbean with our extensive fleet. Whether it’s luxury classic yachts Chronos and Rhea, Oyster 62 Skyelark, windjammer Eye of the Wind or historic Florette, there’s a Caribbean adventure to suit all!

View all Caribbean voyages >>

Sailing in the BVI

Carlisle Bay on the Caribbean island Grenada

British Virgin Islands

The British Virgin Islands are absolutely the jewels of the Caribbean.
This necklace of volcanic islands consisting of the main islands, Tortola and Virgin Gorda are encircled by the smaller and enchantingly named islands Fallen Jerusalem,  Dead Chest,  Salt Island Peter, Cooper and Ginger Island. These smaller islands conjure up tales of treasure maps and piracy offering a unique sailing experience throughout the Island group.  These extraordinary names hark back to the days of explorers and pirates, made accessible by sailing across the aptly named Sir Frances Drake Channel named after the Queen’s favourite Privateer and Westcountry hero, Frances Drake.  What better way to immerse yourself in RL Stevenson’s inspiration for Treasure Island.  Who knows what treasure you will find.

Today, we can enjoy these protected waters under sail enjoying every aspect of what these gems have to offer.  With a steady warm wind of 15-50 knots, the climate makes for a lot of sunshine for the perfect sailing holiday.  Getting away from the bare-boat charter,  Schooner Twister, or Eye of the Wind offers a more authentic way to discover paradise and a lot more comfortable than Jack Sparrow’s Black Pearl! For those looking for total luxury, classic yachts Chronos and Rhea glide effortlessly around these crystal clear Caribbean seas.

After a night under the stars, the perfect way to start the day “island style” is with a swim, diving over the side into balmy crystal waters.  A breakfast gleaming with fresh tropical fruits start the day in anticipation of sailing to our next destination.  

These islands provide some of the best and easier diving and snorkelling encounters anywhere in the Caribbean.  With underwater national parks,  spectacular reefs and historic shipwrecks, an underwater world teeming with fish and coral all the colours of the rainbow awaits.

 Of course, the absolute favourite has to be the Baths on the island of Virgin Gorda.  Here, amongst the white coral sands, giant boulders known as Batholiths form wonderful caves and glistening blue pools.  A day spent here is never enough, lazing in the sun or  drifting through the waves uncovering the wonderful world beneath.

Away from the bustling commercial centre of Road Town on the island of Tortola is the quieter “Sopers Hole”.  This wonderful anchorage, gently watched over by pelicans is a great place to explore the island.  Sage Mountain National Park is a great climb through some unique rainforest and is home to vast mahogany trees and boasting extraordinary views over the archipelago.  If it’s a quiet day you are after, then you can’t get more perfect than Smugglers cove to the north of Tortola.

Historically, the British Virgin Islands strategic geographical location and climate started important industries growing cotton and sugar.  Back in 1750, plantations of sea island cotton were exporting over a million pounds of cotton to the Lancashire mills.  As the cotton trade declined, sugar plantations took their place exporting cane and molasses. And yes, you guessed it,  from sugar you get Rum which is the drink of the Islands.  So make sure, as the sun goes down you head to Pusser’s Landing for their famous Rum Punch, known as a Painkiller!!

Wildlife in the Caribbean is also a real treat. Spot graceful Green and Loggerhead Sea Turtles gliding effortlessly through the water and Bottlenose Dolphins swimming with the wake of the bow. Whales also frequent the Caribbean sea, with the warm water providing the perfect breeding grounds at this time of year for the humpback whale. Birdlife in the Caribbean is an incredibly beautiful sight. Keep your binoculars at the ready to spot these colourful delights. With species only native to the Caribbean, these are once in a lifetime encounters! Pink Flamingoes are also a common bird across the Caribbean islands; these sociable creatures inhabit the blue lagoons, mudflats and lakes, living in colonies that can contain thousands of individuals.

Before you leave the islands, after a good day sailing,  you must try the local lobster, and the best way to do that is at Foxy’s Bar on Jost van Dyke.  Since the 60’s Foxy has been entertaining sailors with amazing BBQ’s on the beach, rum punches and great live music.  As a finale to your treasured isle holiday, what could be better?!

Take a look at our ships offering sailing holidays around the BVI >

10 Reasons to sail in the Caribbean

St Lucia Caribbean Marigot bay unsplash

The Caribbean is regarded by many as the Best Place in the World to holiday. Home to thousands of islands and perfect sailing winds (out of hurricane season of course!) we would have to agree with this… Forget the all inclusive Caribbean resorts and head for an authentic Caribbean adventure on an all inclusive sailing holiday! Sailing trips to the Caribbean should be on everyone’s bucket list, and if you’re still not convinced then here are our top ten reasons for choosing a sailing holiday in the Caribbean!

1. Warm Weather
Temperatures in the Caribbean sit between 23ºC to 30ºC all year long both day and night – so you can ditch those woolly jumpers but don’t forget the suncream! Whilst there’s plenty of time to be spent ashore sunbathing on the beach, one of the best things about yachting in the Caribbean is the gentle ocean breeze as you relax on the deck of the boat.

2. Perfect Sailing Winds
We obviously make sure that our holidays occur outside of the hurricane season! The Caribbean has constant trade winds, averagely blowing at about 15 – 25 knots from the East, most of the year. Dream sailing conditions making island hopping a dream to navigate for our skippers on Eye of the Wind, Chronos, Rhea, Blue Clipper and Skyelark. So whether you’re joining us on a 5* luxury yacht, or on a traditional tall ship, the warm winds make sailing a breeze..

3. Beautiful Beaches
We have all seen the photos of the pure white beaches hugging the islands providing the perfect holiday backdrop. Whilst typical Caribbean beach resorts are brimming with tourist hustle and bustle, our boats can take you to so many “off the beaten track” beaches you won’t know where to look! So whether it’s beaches overlooked by the volcanic mountains of St Lucia, or tropical beach destinations hidden along the shores of Antigua, find your favourite hidden gem beach in the Caribbean (and be sure to let us know!).

4. Wonderful Wildlife
From flamingoes to Sea Turtles, Marmut Monkeys to rare butterflies, the Caribbean is home to a rich and diverse abundance of fascinating wildlife and rare species. One of the benefits of a sailing holiday in the Caribbean is the proximity to marine wildlife. From our boats, you can swim with dolphins and sea turtles, snorkel with tropical fish in beautiful coral bays or even rent a diving suit at a local village and explore the shipwrecks. Whatever island you visit, rest assured you won’t be short of wildlife spotting opportunities.

5. Crystal Clear Waters
Low water density and lack of industry make for fantastically clear waters so swimming and snorkelling are top of the list for activities! And not only are they crystal clear but the average water temperature is also 27ºC – it’s like swimming in a lovely bath! Many of our voyages are able to take in the world class snorkelling destinations in the Caribbean, including the reef-lined Bequia Island or the under-water world of Tobago Cays.

6. Thousands of Islands
The Caribbean is made up of thousands of islands and with so much to explore, you’ll be longing to return for more from the moment you arrive. A skippered sailing holiday is the best way to experience as many islands as possible, with each mainland wonderfully culturally different from the next.

7. Fabulous Food
Traditional Caribbean food is a fabulous fusion between African, European, East Indian and Chinese cuisine. Your all inclusive Caribbean vacation starts with our on board chefs, who will certainly make sure that they are hopping ashore to grab the local delicacies to cook up a feast for your dinner. The seafood is especially fresh and the spices available will be like nothing you have tasted before. And of course, you must try the Caribbean rum!

8. Colourful Caribbean Culture
From the beautiful timber buildings to the local festivals to the wildlife, there are so many ways in which the Caribbean is full of colour. It would be impossible to choose the best Caribbean islands to visit, with each having its own unique community and culture. A sailing holiday in the Caribbean allows you to soak in as much culture as possible on your tropical vacation! The festivals reflect the rich and cultural diversity of the islands and if you catch one, you will be in for a once in a lifetime experience!

9. Interesting History
The Caribbean is steeped in colonial history with each island seemingly worlds apart from the next. The BVI is home to many pirate stories and shipwrecks while the Dominican Republic, Antigua and Barbuda are full of historical and archaeological places of interest for those who love to sniff out a bit of history. A skippered sailing holiday to the Caribbean means you have built in tour guides in the form of our experienced crew who will be more than happy to make recommendations on all the top sights and hidden gems.

10. The Caribbean People
Whatever island you visit, you will find the (majority!) of locals to be friendly, happy-go-lucky and amazingly laid back. As you anchor from one port to the next be sure to befriend the locals, as they know all the best hidden gems of the area. They really do make your Caribbean sailing holiday experience a relaxed one!

Take a look at our sailing holidays in the beautiful Caribbean.