Caribbean Tall Ship Sailing around the British Virgin Islands
- Vessel: Florette
- Where: British Virgin Islands
- Duration: 8 days
- Embark: Road Town, Tortola - 18 May 2024, 16:00
- Disembark: Road Town, Tortola - 25 May 2024, 10:00
Join classic wooden windjammer Florette for a Caribbean sailing adventure around the British Virgin Islands.
Join historic tall ship Florette on the island of Tortola in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) for an authentic Caribbean sailing holiday. These islands are steeped in seafaring tales and ancient history and have some of the best sailing grounds in the Caribbean.
This Caribbean sailing holiday adventure certainly has something for everyone. From traditional tall ship sailing in perfect trade wind conditions to island hopping, wildlife spotting and general tropical island relaxation.
- Traditional tall ship sailing
- Hands-on sailing experience
- Caribbean island hopping
- swimming & snorkelling
- Kayaks & SUP’s
- Private Cabins
- Sail area & highlights
- Life on board
- Travel planning
- The boat
- What's included
- Boat schedule
YOUR SAILING AREA
The colourful capital of Road Town is the hub of island city life on Tortola and a great place to join tall ship Florette. She’ll likely be the oldest boat anchored in the horse-shoe shaped harbour so will make an easy spot from the shore!
As with all our sailing holidays, Florette will make the most of the Caribbean trade winds sailing and island hopping through the British Virgin Islands, exploring the plethora of both inhabited and secluded uninhabited islands. This is Caribbean paradise sailing at its best as you get to grips with sailing a historic vessel in one of the best sailing grounds in the world.
British Virgin Islands
The British Virgin Islands are a sailors paradise and with a history steeped in piracy, it’s easy to see why people fall in love with this island chain. This necklace of paradise islands consist of the main islands of Tortola and Virgin Gorda but are surrounded by hundreds of smaller, enchanting islands. Even the island names are influenced by seafaring tales and pirate history from Fallen Jerusalem, Dead Chest, Salt Island Peter and Ginger island. 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, Sir Frances Drake. They conjure up tales of treasure maps and golden chests while offering unique trade wind sailing conditions and plenty of paradise anchorages.
The main island of Tortola is the charter yacht capital of the Caribbean and 80% of the BVI’s population live here. Although it makes great access for transport, this bustling town is known for its full moon parties and wind-surfing. Our boats will sail away to discover the quieter side to this island and the surrounding uninhabited islands with remote anchorages, giving the chance to dive on shipwrecks and enjoy the bougainvillea-clad hillsides for relaxed walking. The south-west of Tortola is home to Sage Mountain National Park which is perfect for hiking trails. Spend the week island hopping this tropical paradise, relaxing in beachside bars, enjoying sunset BBQ’s on the beach and making the most of the perfect trade wind sailing.
From solo travellers to couples to families or friends, there is something for everyone on this Caribbean sailing adventure. An unforgettable and versatile sailing holiday with daily trips to explore ashore, offering a pleasant contrast to the social life on board. Swim, snorkel and kayak in secluded bays with crystal-clear water and miles of soft sandy white beaches.
All voyages for Florette
Guest berths: 28 Rig: Brigantine
Florette is the last active, originally built brigantine in the Mediterranean and one of the last wooden windjammers that are still actively sailing. After nearly 50 years operating as a cargo ship and a world war, she was discovered by the Haynes family at the end of the 70s, lovingly restored to a charter vessel and returned to her original condition. She still remains in the same family, sailing and exploring the Mediterranean to this day.
Over the past 45 years, Family Haynes has been faithfully restoring and maintaining her charm with her traditional rigging and still set all her sails by hand. As she was built to carry over 200t of marble deep sea, her construction is twice as strong as compared to a normal ship of her size. She is constructed with double oaked frames and up to 13 meters long, 14 cm thick ironwood planks (azobe). Her topsides are built in the finest mahogany. She was originally launched in winter of 1921 in Italy as a pure wooden sailing ship with no engine to serve as a cargo ship. She still runs cargo trips across the Atlantic today.
She has been equipped with the latest safety standards in accordance with EU guidelines for historic charter and sailing school ships and approved for deep-sea navigation.
Florette maintains a full ocean classification for historical sail training and charter vessel. She actively sails 6-7 months in the Mediterranean and spent last winter crossing the Atlantic and sailing in the Caribbean.More about Florette
LIFE ON BOARD
AUTHENTIC TALL SHIP SAILING
Florette and her crew always try to combine traditional classic sailing while immersing guests in the natural landscapes ashore; volcanoes, ancient culture and the specialities of the regional Italian cuisine. Florette invites you to get involved with her traditional sailing. With an original rig, it is certainly an all-hands on deck approach – which is surely part of the magic to this adventure sailing holiday.
Sailing Florette is a true family affair. Captain Ron is the 2nd generation to run and sail Florette with his family after his parents bought the boat back in the 70’s. Ron was brought up on the boat, as he is now doing with his family. Alongside Ron and his wife Nicole, Florette is fully crewed with experienced and knowledgeable sailors. Nicole is also the boats chef, cooking up fabulous cuisine, so you won’t be going hungry after a day of sailing and exploring.
Florette commands attention wherever she sails with her traditional wooden hull, decoratively carved transom and her impressive sail rig. Sailing with her is part of the magic of this adventure holiday and is a huge part of the experience. She also has sea kayaks, stand-up paddle boards and snorkelling gear for guests to use at no extra cost. There is also fishing gear available which is used to catch fresh fish for supper!
Sleeping and Relaxation
Florette is one of the larger boats in our fleet so she has ample space both above and below decks. Her Captain and family live-aboard but they have their own separate quarters. Guests can enjoy private cabins in combinations of 2-3 berth bunks. All cabins share a total of four toilets and three showers with another shower on deck for a rinse off after some sea swimming. For Caribbean voyages only, under 30’s have the chance for a true authentic Caribbean pirate experience to stay in a hammock! Each hammock will be allocated a seamans chest for any belongings and will strung up in the saloon between 9pm and 8am.
A generous saloon, bar and eating area sit below decks with a traditional wooden finish. Above decks there is a large cushioned area for relaxation, sun-bathing or sleeping beneath the stars (bring your own sleeping bag if this is something you fancy!). An alfresco dining area sits mid-ships, perfect for lunches in the sun or dinners at sunset.
Nicole prepares meals using local fresh ingredients, seasonal produce and local fish to make excellent, healthy dishes. Breakfast onboard everyday and six meals are included in the ticket price. These six meals can be a combination of lunches or dinners with the rest of guest meals eaten ashore at guests expense. The ticket price reflects this and gives guests the opportunity to sample and enjoy the local cuisine. If for some reason, Florette cannot get guests ashore, meals will be offered from the boat at a reasonable price.
Please check the What’s included tab for a breakdown of the ticket price and the board cash.
- HALF BOARD – All breakfast (includes tea and coffee), six meals (combination of lunch or dinner)
- Use of all facilities on board including snorkelling gear, paddle boards, kayaks, board games
- All bedding (pillow, duvet, bedding)
- All tender trips during the voyage, to and fro the boat
- Full crew, plus tuition
What’s not included
BOARD CASH (in EUROS OR USD)
- (€20 per person, per trip for water maker (unlimited water)
- €14 per person, per day for waste charge)
- 6-7 meals ashore (at guests expense)
- Tea/Coffee/Alcohol (cash honesty bar)
- Wash or swim towels
- Use of sleeping bags for sleeping on deck (only if you want!)
- Any local taxes including departure and landing tax – estimated to be between €100-200 per person . If there are places guests want to go that have a landing tax, the cost will be split between those that want to go and added to your honesty tab.
- Domestic flights
- Crew and tour leader tips
Florette and her crew can organise extra activities for guests including things like wine tasting, BBQ evenings and pizza making nights. None of these are mandatory and will depend on the feeling of the group but once agreed, will be planned, costed and split between the guests. Florette runs a very fair ship and is transparent with any extra costs. All guests are responsible for recording their own usage/extras in their honesty tab which is payable in EUROS/USD at the end of the trip.
We do require 12 guests to run this voyage, which we know is achievable for this boat given the leas time and good following she has. However, the boat reserve the right to cancel the trip up to 60 days before departure if this minimum number is not reached. For the payment, we ask for a 25% deposit now and no full balance payment until the 60 day date once the voyage has been confirmed. If the trip does not go ahead, your deposit will be refunded in, but we can not be liable for the cost of your flights.
Travel insurance notes
As this is an active adventure holiday, we advise that everyone has the appropriate personal accident travel insurance whilst onboard in addition to standard travel insurance which would cover you in the time between making your booking and departing for your adventure. These policies can sometimes be combined so please check with your travel insurance provider.
Please read more information on our Insurance guidelines page.
This voyage will be more than 12miles offshore.
Are all meals included?
Not all meals are included. Breakfast is provided everyday and 6 meals are included in the price, which will be lunch or dinner depending on the itinerary. Lunch can be eaten ashore or extra meals may be offered but there will be an extra charge.
Are there any added extra's?
Soft drinks & alcohol may be purchased onboard.
Are drinks included?
Tea/Coffee is included at breakfast. All other drinks/alcohol can be purchased onboard with an honesty bar.
Can you cater for dietary needs?
Yes, please ask at the time of booking.
Are there any water toys?
Yes, Florette carries Kayaks and SUP's for guests use - a buoyancy jacket must be worn.
What language is spoken onboard?
What are the sleeping arrangements?
5x family cabins (double+single), 2x double cabins, 4x twin bunk cabins, 4x hammock bunks
How many toilet/showers does she have?
4 toilets with 3 showers & 1 deck shower
Is there WIFI?
No, but you should easily be able to reach 3G/4G from the shore.
Can I charge my phone/Camera?
Yes, please bring european adaptors
Are there life jackets provided?
Are Waterproofs provided?
Do I need sailing experience?
No, absolutely not! Just a lust for adventure.
Will I be sea sick?
Everyone reacts differently but we recommend if you are at all worried to take some medication 24 hours before departure.
Is bedding included?
All bedding is but towels are not. If you would like to sleep under the stars on deck, you will need to bring your own sleeping bag.
From: Road Town, Tortola
To: Road Town, Tortola
To see where the ports are, along with your likely sailing area, please view the sail area & highlights.
Terrance B. Lettsome Airport (EIS) takes just a 2 minute taxi ride to Trellis Bay, and a 15 minute taxi ride to Road Town, the latter costing about £40 (2022 price).
Flights go to Terrance B. Lettsome Airport from London Gatwick. OR fly to Amsterdam or Paris via St Martin.