Prior to Covid-19, many people loved traveling the world by way of cruise ships.
Cruise ships afford guests the ability to visit many different locations during a single vacation, while offering a wide variety of food options and activities that everyone in a group can enjoy. However, in light of Covid-19, being on a cruise ship in close proximity to thousands of people you don’t know has many feeling uneasy, and subsequently looking for alternatives.
For those who love the cruise experience but might not be comfortable boarding a large cruise ship anytime soon, now is the perfect time to consider a BVI catamaran charter.
Yacht charters can be surprisingly affordable for a group or family traveling together to the British Virgin Islands. Private BVI charters offer all the advantages of cruise ships; being on board a boat, visiting multiple islands during one vacation, great food, etc.—but a private charter offers additional benefits and security that go above and beyond a commercial cruise. Below are 8 reasons why yacht charters make for the ideal vacation in 2020:
1. Private Yacht Experience
Travel with only your immediate group.
The biggest advantage of a private yacht charter is the control over who you travel with and who you have onboard. On a private yacht charter, you travel only with those people in your immediate party, be that your family or your group of friends. Your charter is a totally private experience for the people you chose to travel with. Unlike a cruise ship, you won’t be exposed to hundreds (or thousands!) of other people all aboard the same ship, sharing the same common areas.
2. Fewer People
Avoid the cruise ship crowds!
On a private yacht charter, you can have a maximum of 12 guests or as few as 6-8, depending on the yacht rental. Small group charters of these sizes can avoid the constant lines and herds of people you would typically find on a cruise ship. No waiting in crowds to board the ship, to catch the tender to your shore excursion to White Bay on Jost Van Dyke, or to grab a plate of food at the buffet. It’s just your group onboard the yacht rental, so you will be able to spend more time actually enjoying your charter vacation rather than constantly waiting around with hundreds of strangers.
3. You Control Your Itinerary
See what you want to see.
Private yacht charters have no pre-set itinerary. On a bareboat charter, you choose what to do and in what order. On a captained charter, guests work with the captain ahead of time to create a custom itinerary based on group preferences, like the best scuba and snorkel spots. Either way, all of your ‘must-see’ BVI spots (the Baths, Willy-T, Soggy Dollar Bar) are all on the charter itinerary regardless of how many stops you would like. And your itinerary is completely flexible, so you can always change it during your trip. If you’re enjoying an amazing afternoon snorkel at the Indians off Norman Island, you don’t have to cut your swim short. If there is an island you love or a beach you want to stay on a second day, you can do so, there are no timelines mandating where you have to be or when. By stark contrast, a cruise ship requires all guests to be back on board the ship for a specific departure time or they leave without you!
4. Shore Time Is up to You
Spend 100% of the time on your boat.
In addition to your itinerary being completely flexible, you also have the freedom to decide how much, or how little time you want to spend ashore. If you prefer to simply relax with your friends and family on your yacht rental, you can do so. On crewed charters, the chef plans all your meals on board with a fully-stocked bar, so there’s no reason you have to go ashore. If you want to completely socially distance and just spend time with your family and friends, you can simply swim off your yacht, enjoy paddle boarding or other water sports around the boat or relax on a secluded and uninhabited beach. Alternatively, if you want to visit some of the popular beach bars and restaurants in the BVI such as Cooper Island Beach Club, Oil Nut Bay, and the world-famous Foxy’s Bar you can choose to do so. Your comfort comes first, so you choose where and how you want to spend your time!
5. BVI Businesses Operate Outdoors
Even onshore, you're usually outside.
When you are on a yacht, most of your time is spent outdoors in the fresh, tropical breezes of the Caribbean. Many of the restaurants take advantage of the beautiful island setting and BVI climate so they are designed to be open-air without any walls. Without walls and being primarily outside, it is very easy for restaurants to support safe, social distancing protocols without detracting away from the dining experience. Also, the most popular BVI bars are called ‘beach bars’ for a reason! They are simply huts or buildings set up on the beach, that are totally open to the outside. You can grab a famous BVI ‘painkiller’ at your favorite bar and then walk down the beach to find your own sun lounger or picnic table to enjoy your drink and the beautiful views!
6. Amazing Food
Personalized Around Your Preferences.
Why crowd around the buffet with hundreds of people, or sit down at your ‘assigned seat’ for dinner each night with a group of people you don’t know. Whether onboard a bareboat charter or crewed charter, guests control mealtime. For Bareboat charters, guests can shop ahead of time at local pantries to stock their boat with all of their favorite meals, drinks, and snacks. On Crewed Charter, guests will complete a ‘preference sheet’ detailing the likes, dislikes, allergies, and food preferences for everyone in the group. The chef will then tailor each meal around the preferences of the group. Guests frequently say the food they enjoy during their charter rivals the best meals they’ve ever had in high-end restaurants. The cost of your meals and drinks is included in a crewed charter rate so unlike on a cruise ship, you don’t have to worry about what your bar bill will be like at the end of your vacation!
Smaller areas, cleaned frequently.
On a private yacht, it is easier for the crew to achieve and maintain the highest cleanliness standards. Crew members clean each guest cabin and bathroom daily. The yachts keep a full array of cleaning products onboard, including antibacterial cleaners and sprays to ensure virus and germ particles are eliminated. The chef keeps the galley spotless and is professionally trained in food safety to ensure proper food handling practices. Unlike a cruise ship with thousands of rooms and an unlimited number of common areas to clean, a private yacht is much smaller so it is easier for the crew to ensure it is continually cleaned and sanitized to ensure guests’ safety and comfort.
8. Island Hopping
See many places during one vacation.
One advantage shared by both cruise ships and private yacht charters is their unique ability to let you see many different islands, and even countries, during one vacation! You can unpack one time, and watch the view change out your window every morning as you approach another new BVI location, each one more beautiful than the last. Traveling via the water allows you to access locations that often are otherwise inaccessible and you can cover more area than if you just spend a week of vacation in one location.
Private Yacht Charters are available all over the world and in a wide variety of yacht styles and sizes. You can charter a sailing catamaran, power catamaran or a luxury motor yacht. Private charters also cover a wide range of prices, typically based on the size and style of the yacht you want to charter. There are many very affordable private charter options available, with rates similar to what you would pay for a week aboard your favorite cruise line! Depending on the yacht you choose, there are options starting at $2500/person/week all-inclusive of your private yacht, full-time crew and all your food and beverages!
While you are stuck at home dreaming of where you are going to travel next, now is the perfect time to call your family and friends and plan your private yacht charter vacation to the BVI with Virgin Charter Yachts!