Sailing area: American Virgin Islands
Located between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, the American Virgin Islands are one of the leading archipelagos in the Caribbean. Their tropical climate, their paradisiac beaches and their breathtaking seabed make the American Virgin Islands a leading destination for water sport enthusiasts, especially for sailing. Rent your boat now with or without a skipper to discover the wild beauty of its volcanic islands.
Saint-Thomas, one of the three major islands in the archipelago, is the perfect starting point when sailing around the American Virgin Islands. Collect your motor boat, sailboat, catamaran or yacht at the port of Charlotte Amalie and set sail for the north coast of the island where you will find the most beautiful beaches.
Start by dropping anchor at Magens Bay, the most popular bay on the island with its white sand beach and crystal-clear waters. Referred to as one of the most beautiful bays in the world by National Geographic, its long beach (<1 km) is ideal for running: what could be more enjoyable than taking a dip in the sea after a good run?
Coki Beach and Sapphire Beach are two other unmissable beaches on the island, ideal for savouring a glass of rum, the local drink, with your feet in the vivid blue water. However, if you are looking for a more private beach, opt for Hull Bay beach, sheltered from the tourist trails. Do not forget to visit Drake’s Seat, the highest point on the island that offers a breathtaking view: a 360° view over Saint-Thomas Island, Saint-John Island and their British relatives (Tortola, Virgin Gorda, etc.)
Then continue your cruise eastwards to discover Saint-John Island. The Virgin Islands National Park, which covers 60% of the island, is famous for its seabed and its tropical forest. It is an essential stopover for diving enthusiasts who come here to admire the thousands of fish that live among the coral reef.
Drop anchor in Trunk Bay, where you will find one of the ten most beautiful beaches in the world according to Condé Nast Traveller magazine: a white sand beach that is half a kilometre long where the turquoise blue waters of the sea lap the shore lined with coconut trees. The translucent water is perfect for diving and exploring the reef. At long last, you will be able to boast about swimming among coral, barracuda and parrot fish!
If you want to see turtles, make your way to Maho Bay. Sheltered from the wind, this cove with crystal-clear waters is perfect for snorkelling or spending an afternoon reading in the shade of the mangrove. If your boat hire includes a crew, ask them prepare you a fish and fungi, a local dish with fish, okra and polenta. In this dream setting, a gourmet break is a must!
Then take to the sea and make your way to Sainte-Croix, the largest island in the archipelago, which is also the furthest south. If you are not very comfortable with coastal sailing, we advise you to hire a boat with a skipper in order to safely cross the 70 km between Saint-John and Sainte-Croix.
Make a stopover in the port of the capital, Christiansted, and stroll around the large Danish-inspired houses in pastel colours. If you are visiting at the end of December, do not miss the Caribbean carnival when the entire island moves to the sounds of the calypso, soca, bachata and other local music, With its colourful costumes and electrical atmosphere, Sainte-Croix festival has nothing to envy the one in carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
If you sail north-westwards, we recommend that you stop off at Annaly Bay and its famous natural pools called the Carambola Tide Pools. Protected by the rocky reef that surround them, these natural pools are an ideal spot for relaxing in the calm water and escaping the crowds.
And, if you are interested in a longer cruise, the American Virgin Islands are ideally located in the heart of the Caribbean Sea. It will be easy for you to continue your journey in the British Virgin Islands and to continue to Puerto Rico or even Barbuda.
The temperatures are in the region of 30°C all the year round. But, beware because a subtropical climate means a rainy season in the summer with downfalls that can be quite violent and the risk of hurricanes. We recommend that you sail there between December and May. This period is ideal for sailing because it is the time of the year when the wind is the best and the sea is the calmest.
It is nevertheless possible to sail there in the summer because the downpours are often brief. If you want, we recommend that you travel with one of our skippers who will safely guide you around these areas which they know like the back of their hands.
Which boat for sailing in the American Virgin Islands?
Firstly, this will depend on your needs: travelling with a loved one, friends or family does not necessarily imply the same space. It also depends on the activities you choose: it will be difficult to transport jet skis on a 10-metre boat. If you are looking for a sailboat, a catamaran is a good solution. Its low water draft will allow you to get as close as possible to the dream beaches in this archipelago. Do not hesitate to call our advisers who will help you to choose the boat of your dreams!
Saint Thomas ...