BVI 7 Day Charter Itinerary: A Fun-filled Family Vacation

BVI 7 Day Charter Itinerary

For a fun-filled family vacation, charter a boat and cruise through the British Virgin Islands. For our BVI 7 Day Charter Itinerary we rented a power catamaran that comes with a zodiac and cruised around the islands, basically island and beach hopping. It was a great experience, but also challenging being together for 7 days on a boat.

For a fun family vacation in the British Virgin Islands, here is our itinerary and some of the fun activities we did. I hope you can use this BVI 7 Day Charter Itinerary as a guide to help you plan your own trip.

Related: How to Plan a Vacation with Kids, Tips for a Multigenerational Family Vacation, Tips for Flying with Kids, and Tips for Traveling with Kids.

Fun activity suggestions

Snorkeling: Snorkeling is great in the Virgin Islands and the kids will really love seeing all the fish and marine life. Make sure you have them practice at home before your trip.
Paddle Board or Kayak: Rent a paddle board or kayak; they can be tied to the side of the boat.
Sand castles: On the beach kids of all ages love to play in the sand. They can build sand castles or “rivers.” Rather than taking them with you, purchase them when you arrive in Tortola. There are usually shops at the dock where you pick up the boat.

Is the Virgin Islands Good for Families?

The British Virgin Islands, also known as the BVI, is a great place for a fun, family vacation. The BVI are in the Caribbean, to the east of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, and consist of about 50 islands, cays, rocky formations, and islets. The largest islands are Tortola, Virgin Gorda, and Jost Van Dyke.

For an off the beaten path type of vacation, I highly recommend renting a boat/yacht and cruising around the islands. It can be split among a couple of families to make it a little more affordable. Mooring and docking aren’t too expensive (depending on where you go). Other expenses are food, drinks, and gasoline. And, of course, flights to get there.

How to go on a BVI 7 day charter itinerary?

BVI Family Sailing Vacation

For newcomers to this type of boating trip, it is highly suggested to dock somewhere with a gas station, bathroom facilities, and other amenities every 2 to 3 days. Most of these locations also have restaurants, in case you don’t feel like cooking on those nights.

We flew into Tortola with a connection in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and rented from The Moorings because we liked the layout of the boats. But, there are other companies as well. If you don’t have someone that can drive the boat, then you can hire a skipper to do it for you. If you are going to skipper the boat yourself, they will require a test before they release the boat to you to make sure you can do it.

Day 1. Tortola and Jost Van Dyke

After flying into Tortola we went directly to the boatyard. It took a while to get the boat after checking in, so we went into the shops and walked around. When the boat was ready we accommodated all of our groceries and personal belongings and we learned how to use the toilets and shower.

My brother-in-law skippered our boat and he was given the lay of the land. Once he passed the skipper test (and we passed the crew test), we headed out to our first stop.

Soggy Dollar Bar, White Bay (Jost Van Dyke)

A well-known boating spot where they sell drinks and food is Soggy Dollar Bar in White Bay on Jost Van Dyke. The beach is pretty amazing with crystal clear water and gorgeous views. The name comes from people going ashore with “soggy dollars” to purchase their drinks.

Great Harbour (Jost Van Dyke)

BVI Family Sailing Vacation

We moored in Great Harbour for the night. We did some stargazing before we put on a movie for the kids inside. Check with your rental company what kind of hardware they have. When we went, there were DVD players onboard and we rented DVDs on shore when we checked in to pick up the boat.

Day 2. Sandy Cay and Cane Garden Bay

Sandy Cay

On our second day, we stopped in Sandy Cay where we snorkeled, did some boat jumping, and hung out until it was time to head to Cane Garden Bay. The waters in Sandy Cay were very clear and beautiful. We encountered some fish while snorkeling, but not a lot.

Cane Garden Bay

We moored in Cane Garden Bay for the night. Before it got dark, we took advantage and and did some paddle boarding and kayaking. At night the members of the 3 boats would gather one one boat after dinner so the kids could play together, while the adults caught up on family stories.

Day 3. Guana Island and Scrub Island

BVI Family Sailing Vacation

Monkey Point, Guana Island

After waking up in Cane Garden, we went to Monkey Point in the southern part of Guana Island for some snorkeling before heading to Scrub Island. This a great spot for some snorkeling.

Scrub Island

After mooring for a couple of nights, we docked at Scrub Island Resort, Spa, & Marina. It’s a 5-star Marriot resort with a restaurant, bar, pools with a water slide, and, best of all, a dock where you pay a small fee and enjoy the resorts amenities. We also took advantage and showered there so we didn’t have to use the limited water supply on the boat.

Day 4. Savannah Bay and Bitter End Yacht Club (Virgin Gorda)

BVI Family Sailing Vacation

Savannah Bay

After a great time in Scrub Island, we went to our next island, Virgin Gorda. An idyllic spot with an amazing beach, Savannah Bay is a must for your BVI vacation. There are no mooring balls, so you have to anchor and it can be very difficult, but it’s worth it! When we went there was only one other group there, a camp group that left about an hour after we arrived so we had the beach to ourselves.

Bitter End Yacht Club

For the night, we docked at Bitter End Yacht Club. They have restaurants, a beach, and watersports. Some members of the group ate at one of the restaurants and then we all got together to hang out at the beach.

For a more secluded experience, there is another marina nearby, Saba Rock Resort, but with less docking space. Wherever you go, make docking reservations ahead of time.

Day 5. Long Bay and Bitter End Yacht Club (Virgin Gorda)

Long Bay

In 2017 Richard Branson sunk the Kodiak Queen, a WWII ship, off of Long Bay to create an artificial reef. Also as part of an art installation, the ship has a large kraken made out of metal attached to it. There are mooring balls above it to allow boats to tie up to scuba or snorkel.

This was one of the coolest things we did on the trip. Some of us saw Dolphin and just saying this sunken ship with a ginormous kraken on top of it was an incredible sight.

Bitter End Yacht Club

We stayed another night at the Bitter End and we were in luck as it was karaoke night at one of the restaurants. The majority of the adults and some of the older kids went to the karaoke night, while the grandparents stayed on the boat with the little ones and watched a movie together.

Days 6 & 7. The Baths (Virgin Gorda) and Norman Island

The Baths

One of the most well-known spots in the British Virgin Islands is The Baths in Virgin Gorda. With a loop trail that allows you to walk under and over boulders and explore caverns and caves, the kids will enjoy being explorers. After exploring the caves you can snorkel and enjoy the beach.

Warning

It can get slippery, so remember your water shoes. Also, The Baths is very popular and gets very busy, so try and arrive early and be patient.

The Bight Bay, Norman Island

One of our favorite spots in the BVI, The Bight Bay, has a beautiful beach with a restaurant, floating bar, snorkeling nearby, and beautiful sunsets. We spent two nights here before heading back to Tortola and home. During the day we took the zodiac to Treasure Point for snorkeling and also hung out at the beach and did some paddle boarding and kayaking. Some of the adults went to Willy T‘s, a pirate themed floating bar. One of the nights we all ate at The Bight restaurant and the other one the kids performed a talent show on the boat.

Boating through the BVIs can be a fun and relaxing way to vacation with your family. We enjoyed this trip so much that we plan to do it again! I hope this BVI 7 Day Charter Itinerary will inspire you to plan your own boating vacation through the British Virgin Islands.

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