A Guide to Sailing in St Vincent & the Grenadines

31 January | 9 min read
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 >