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US Virgin Island Yacht Charter

A yacht charter in the US Virgin Islands is a fantastic way to explore the beauty of the Caribbean, and getting to the USVI is so easy, with direct connections from many major US Cities. Fly directly into St. Thomas and start your charter from Charlotte Amalie Harbor.

Nearby, St. John offers top-notch snorkeling at Trunk Bay, dubbed one of the world’s most picturesque beaches, and upscale vibes at Caneel Bay.

Down south in St. Croix, Christiansted offers cool colonial architecture and a lively scene, while Fredericksted is perfect for sunset views and calm dives.

You can also jump across to the British Virgin Islands. It’s just a short sail to Tortola and Virgin Gorda, where the iconic Baths National Park awaits.

Several Yachts docked at Yacht Haven Marina USVI

Note that not all charter yachts have permits to cruise in the BVI, so make sure you check this with your broker beforehand.

As for the types of yachts, you have a range from sailing yachts and catamarans to motor yachts, with catamarans being particularly popular for their stability, spaciousness, and affordability.

We have also seen a growing demand for luxury experiences, which has brought bigger and more luxurious motor yachts to the USVI. These yachts offer high-end amenities like Jacuzzis, spas, gyms, and large selections of water toys like jet skis and even mini submersibles, essentially serving as floating luxury hotels.

Note: while the BVI has a ban on Jet Skis, the USVI does not!!

🗓 Best Time to Go: December to March | ✈︎ Cyril E. King Airport, St. Thomas

Why Charter in the US Virgin Islands?

Turtle in clear water in the USVI

1

World-Class
Diving & Snorkeling

The US Virgin Islands are world famous for their clear, turquoise water, ideal for underwater exploration. There is a lot to see: vibrant coral reefs teeming with fish, turtles, rays, and reef sharks.

Chartering one of our many yachts featuring onboard scuba gear gives you easy access to some of the best dive sites in the Caribbean, including iconic locations like Trunk Bay, Buck Island, and the RMS Rhone wreck.

If diving isn’t your cup of tea, the shallow waters of the Virgin Islands are also perfect for snorkeling or even exploring the reef from the comfort of a paddleboard.

US Virgin Yacht Charters with Scuba Gear

3

The Caribbean’s
Biggest Yacht Selection

The US Virgin Islands offer a diverse selection of crewed yachts, including catamarans, motor yachts, and superyachts. The only place that really compares is the Mediterranean, but on this side of the Atlantic, the US Virgin Islands are ahead.

The US  Virgin Islands is especially a popular destination for luxury travel, and in the last few years, we have seen a significant increase in larger motor yachts to satisfy the many who are seeking a more extravagant charter vacation.

(The USVI holds one major advantage over the BVI: Its water is much deeper, allowing for larger yachts. This is why almost all larger motor yachts are based in the USVI, even those that charter in the BVI.)

2

Itineraries inc. both
USVI & BVI

Our yacht charters in the Virgin Islands often combine both the US and British Virgin Islands, offering a diverse itinerary and the chance to see more amazing destinations.

Starting and ending in Yacht Haven Grand on St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands, charterers can hop across the border with a quick immigration check-in and explore popular destinations in the BVI, such as Norman Island, Tortola, Peter’s Island, and Virgin Gorda.

It’s worth noting that many larger yachts, even if chartered in the BVI, commence from Charlotte Amalie Harbor in the USVI, as the harbors in the BVI are too shallow to host large yachts.

Best 7-Day Virgin Island Itinerary!

Types of Charter Yachts in the US Virgin Islands

Catamarans
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Sailboats
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Power Catamarans
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Motor Yachts
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High End Yachts
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Charter Yachts with Scuba Diving Onboard
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Charter Yachts with a Jacuzzi
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Charter Yachts with a Jetski
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Luxury Yachts
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Charter Yachts with Multiple Jetskis Onboard
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How to select the right yacht

When selecting a yacht, there are several factors that should be considered:

  • What is the right yacht speed for the itinerary you are planning?
  • Will your yacht be able to enter the British Virgin Islands territory?
  • What yacht is right for the Virgin Islands’ shallow waters?
  • What do you want in terms of onboard amenities and water toys?

Our Charter Brokers bring extensive firsthand experience, having served as crew members, captains, or chefs on yachts in the past. This knowledge equips them with the insight needed to assist you in making the perfect decision for your US Virgin Island yacht charter.

But let’s take a closer look at the different yacht types and their advantages:

Catamarans

Catamarans are the more affordable choice, offering more space compared to monohulls. Their shallow draft allows them to navigate in the shallow waters around the USVI and the BVI, significantly increasing their cruising grounds.

We are also seeing catamarans becoming bigger and more luxurious, and they are now starting to compare to some larger motor yachts in terms of space and amenities.

Motor Yachts

Motor yachts are the choice for those who wish to see more in a shorter time. The higher speed of motor yachts gives you more flexibility, and you can simply fit more into your itinerary.

You can find motor yachts of all sizes, ranging from small motorboats suitable for bareboat charters to mega superyachts with luxurious amenities like jet skis, Jacuzzis, scuba gear, and onboard cinemas.

Sailing Yachts

Sailing yachts are also available and are a great option for those who wish for a more traditional experience with sailing in focus—the weather conditions are definitely ideal for it!

But sailing yachts also do come with some limitations, as the water in the Virgin Islands, especially in the British Virgin Islands, is very shallow, and monohulls generally are deep drafted, limiting where they can go and how close to the beaches they can anchor.

APA vs All-Inclusive Yacht Charters

When planning to charter a catamaran in the US Virgin Islands, there are two main options to consider: APA (Advance Provisioning Allowance) yacht charters and All-Inclusive yacht charters.

When choosing between an APA yacht charter and an all-inclusive yacht charter, clients should consider their desired level of customization, budget flexibility, and overall vacation experience. Both options offer unique advantages, and understanding the regional differences in the Mediterranean and Caribbean will help clients make an informed decision to ensure an unforgettable yachting vacation.

Yacht Charter Options

APA YACHT CHARTER

An APA yacht charter is popular for clients seeking a customized, high-end experience. In this charter arrangement, the client pays a base fee for the yacht rental and crew. On top of this base fee, an advance provisioning allowance (APA) is added, typically around 20-30% of the yacht’s base rental cost. This APA is intended to cover expenses such as food, beverages, fuel, marina fees, and any other costs that might arise during the charter.

ALL-INCLUSIVE YACHT CHARTER

In contrast, an all-inclusive yacht charter offers a hassle-free experience with a set price that covers all expenses related to the yacht, crew, food, beverages, and activities. Clients can relax and enjoy their vacation without worrying about additional costs or budgeting for unexpected expenses. Nevertheless, the issues are the same as in a luxury All-inclusive resort – you can’t have a hot tub full of Moet…

Where to Go on a US Virgin Islands Yacht Charter

Out of the many places we offer yacht charters, we are confident in claiming that the US Virgin Islands (USVI) offer some of the most sought-after destinations in the Caribbean. From the natural beauty of St. John, with its secluded beaches, lush hillsides, and captivating hiking trails, to the vibrant culture of St. Thomas, home to the bustling capital of Charlotte Amalie, there is something for every craving.

There remember, there is also the option to expand your cruising ground to include the British Virgin Islands next door, with famous destinations such as the Baths National Park on Virgin Gorda, Tortola Island, Jost Van Dyke, and many more.

Contact one of our expert brokers to learn more about what yachts have the paperwork to cruise between the two island groups.

St John
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St. Thomas (South Coast)
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Charlotte Amalie
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Gregerie Channel
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St. Croix
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Our recommended USVI-BVI Charter Itinerary

STARTING AND ENDING IN ST. THOMAS

DAY 1 | Yacht Haven Grand – Trunk Bay, St. John

DISTANCE:12nm DURATION: 1 hour

A jewel in the crown of the US Virgin Islands National Park, Trunk Bay is forever collecting accolades for being one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

Backed by dark green forests that run down to meet the satin-colored sands and the endless hues of blue, Trunk Bay is perfect for dropping anchor with a rum in hand or ducking underwater to follow the coral trail.

There’s something about Trunk Bay that seems gloriously untouched. The coral trail runs on for 225 yards and teems with coral and colored fish.

For those who prefer to prop up on the sands, the beach is well served with sun chairs, food and drink stands, and everything you need to stay put in paradise all day.

Trunk Bay, St. John

DAY 2 | Trunk Bay – Tortola Island

DISTANCE:11nm DURATION:1 hour

Tortola is the largest island of the British Virgin Islands and is one of the best-known yacht spots in the Caribbean.

The busy harbor at Cane Garden Bay is the charter boat capital of the Caribbean, and with good reason—along with some interesting ruins and the fabulous National Park at the top of Mount Sage, Tortola offers spectacular powdery white, sandy beaches, wonderful snorkeling opportunities, and fantastic restaurants and bars that serve local brew.

A visit to the Callwood Rum Distillery and a stroll around Craft’s Alive Village for souvenir shopping are musts.

Also don’t miss a visit to Smuggler’s Cove, a perfect shallow reef ideal for scuba beginners and untouched by civilization.

DAY 3 | Tortola Island – The Baths, Virgin Gorda

DISTANCE:10nm DURATION:1 hour

The unrivaled star of the Virgin Gorda – The Baths is a fairytale destination for any yacht charter crowd.

As one of the best beaches in the Caribbean, you will love this landscape of pink granite slabs, hidden coves, cathedral-like caves, and shimmering saltwater pools, all perched on the edge of the sea.

The boulders have been adorned with ladders and ropes so you can climb and cross this natural obstacle course.

Wallow in the warm rock water pools, soak up the sun on your favourite boulder, and be enchanted by the natural grottos.

When you need a hint of refreshment, the nearby yacht club will tempt you in with long lavish lunches and afternoons being pampered at the spa.

DAY 4 | The Baths – Anegada Island

DISTANCE:23nm DURATION:2 hour

Anegada is a coral island and the northernmost island of the BVI group. It should not be missed thanks to its beautiful white sand beaches, quaint beach shacks, and the large horseshoe-shaped reef that protects its immaculate shores.

This unique island is the only inhabited island in the British Virgin Islands that is not volcanic. This low-lying island, with the highest point of only 28 ft (8.5m), is made up of coral and limestone and is surrounded by one of the world’s largest reefs.

The island is also known for its large salt ponds which used to be home to thousands of flamingos which were caught for food and their feathers during the 19th & 20th centuries. They have recently been re-introduced to the island and the population is flourishing. Anegada also boasts several species of turtles and the endangered rock iguana.

DAY 5 | Anegada Island – Dog Island

DISTANCE:17nm DURATION:1.5 hour

Named by sailors who would pass through these parts and assume that the noise of barking seals was actually dogs, Dog Island boasts five uninhabited islands sitting west of the Virgin Gorda.

George Dog offers a national trust mooring, and with exceptional visibility, a movie-set-like backdrop, and a local favorite lunch spot, it’s a must for snorkeling and diving enthusiasts.

Beneath the blue, you can swim alongside rays, garden eels, the brightest shoals of fish, and wise old turtles.

The other dogs have no real beaches to speak of, but for those who want to visit a number of top-tier snorkelling spots, including Bronco Billy, which is rumored to be a favorite of Jacque Cousteau’s, the dogs are a dream

DAY 6 | Dog Island – Jost Van Dyke

DISTANCE:18nm DURATION:1.5 hour

Named after an early Dutch settler, Jost Van Dyke is a small picturesque island northwest of Tortola. At 4 miles long, the island is home to only a few hundred permanent residents and is known for its idyllic yacht anchorages.

Connect yourself with the local culture at White Bay – a magical place of positive energy in BVI yacht charters and a famous meeting place for sailors.

Swim from your boat to the famous Soggy Dollar bar for a painkiller. Hang out in the hammock in Hendo’s Hideout, get a roti or seafood, and relax on the beach. Weekends are more party-like, with day trips from USVI filling the beach bars.

DAY 7 | Dog Island – Cruz Bay, St. John

DISTANCE:7nm DURATION:40 min

Cruz Bay is the perfect place to finish off a Virgin Island yacht charter for those who are craving a little civilization after the serene anchors at some of the Virgin Islands’ most remote cays. The main town on the island is where you will find a wealth of ritzy restaurants, boutique shops, buzzing bars, and high-class hotels.

As the largest commercial hub on St John’s and with over two-thirds of the island being a national park, this is where the action and cultural offerings are centered. Guests can catch local art and history at the Elaine Ione Sprauve Museum.

For those who want to follow their passion for outdoor pursuits, there’s snorkeling at the nearby Hawksnest Bay and 4X4 land adventures by jeep.

View over Bay Cruz, US Virgin Islands full of yachts

Our Favorite Destinations in the US Virgin Islands

White beach and turquoise water in Maho Bay, US Virgin Island, with a green forest in the back.

Maho Bay

Located on the northern shores of St. John, Maho Bay offers a serene retreat for yacht charters seeking respite in the beautiful nature. With its turquoise water and white beach voted “Visitor’s Favorite Beach,” Maho Bay provides an ideal setting for both relaxation and exploration. Charter guests can also enjoy activities such as snorkeling among vibrant coral reefs, kayaking, or paddleboarding along the coastline.

Our #1 recommendation for Maho Bay is a snorkeling trip to see the sea turtles and rays that feed in the sea grass just off the beach.

Along the eastern shoreline running out to the point separating Little Maho from Maho Bay Beach, you will find patches of reef with a wide variety of corals and abundant marine life. The water is shallow (between 3 to 10 feet deep), giving snorkelers easy access to the coral, which includes species such as purple sea fans, sponges, anemones, and hard corals like Mustard coral, brain corals, and Elkhorn. You will also find a diverse fish life, with many varieties of wrasse, damsel, tangs, parrot fish, angelfish, and lionfish.

Along the western shoreline between Maho and Cinnamon Bay, you will also find excellent snorkeling opportunities, with coral and fish becoming more plentiful further from the beach. Snorkeling in shallow waters ranging from 3 to 12 feet deep, even novice snorkelers can enjoy a variety of marine life. While snorkeling, keep an eye out for Nurse sharks, which are slow-moving and not a threat but should not be disturbed.

Learn more about Maho Bay anchorage!

Coral Habor

Located on the eastern shores of St. John in Coral Bay, Coral Harbor is a premier destination for yacht charters, offering a mix of natural beauty, cultural charm, and recreational opportunities.

Coral Bay Harbor is renowned for its vibrant local culture and community. Yacht charter guests can explore the charming waterfront village, where colorful shops, galleries, and restaurants showcase the island’s rich heritage and artistic spirit. From sampling local cuisine to browsing handcrafted goods, there’s plenty to enjoy in Coral Bay Harbor.

For those seeking adventure, Coral Bay Harbor offers a variety of recreational activities, such as guided snorkeling excursions to nearby reefs, as well as Kayaking and Paddleboarding.

Beyond the harbor, the surrounding landscape offers plenty of opportunity for exploration. Yacht charter guests can hike scenic trails that wind through lush tropical forests, leading to hidden waterfalls and panoramic viewpoints. Birdwatching, nature photography, and eco-tours are also popular ways to experience the natural beauty of Coral Bay Harbor and its surrounding areas.

Learn more about Coral Harbor anchorage!

Coral Bay - St John - USVI
View of Caneel Bay in the US Virgin Islands (USVI), with its lush green forest, white sandy beaches and turquoise water.

Caneel Bay

Located on the northern coast of St. John, Caneel Bay is one of St. John’s top chartering destinations offering a whole 7 secluded beaches and over 170 acres of protected land.

For outdoor enthusiasts, Caneel Bay offers an array of recreational activities. Yacht charter guests can partake in snorkeling excursions to explore the vibrant coral reefs teeming with marine life, while kayaking and paddleboarding allow for leisurely exploration of the bay’s tranquil waters.

Caneel Bay is committed to environmental conservation and sustainability, with guided eco-tours providing insights into the region’s rich biodiversity and conservation efforts. Hiking trails wind through the resort’s lush grounds, offering opportunities to observe indigenous flora and fauna in their natural habitat.

For those seeking relaxation, Caneel Bay Beach Club offers Cabana rentals for a day of beachside lounging. Guests can also indulge in an extensive menu of exotic cocktails, perfect for unwinding under the Caribbean sun.

Learn more about Caneel Bay anchorage!

Francis Bay

Visit Francis Bay and you will find yourself on one of St. John’s longest beaches. This beautiful beach has calm waters and a lovely, sandy shore. On weekdays, this beach is not too crowded, and it is easy to find a private spot.

The Francis Bay Trail runs along the salt pond located just inland of the beach and is an excellent place for bird watching, especially early in the morning.

The best snorkeling in Francis Bay can be found on the eastern and western ends. They provide some ideal snorkeling opportunities. It’s not uncommon to see green sea turtles near the seagrass beds on this part of Francis Bay Beach.

You can also find other marine life common in the Virgin Islands like rays, colorful fish like honeycomb cowfish and butterflyfish, and plenty of coral. If you’re lucky you might catch sight of squid. You need to diligently look out for them as they’re not always easy to spot among the many different places in the Virgin Islands National Park.

Learn more about Francis Bay anchorage!

View of Francis Beach in the US Virgin Islands (USVI), from the beach with rocks in the foreground, overlooking the crystal-clear turquoise water with yachts on the horizon.

How to Get to the US Virgin Island

A yacht charter vacation to the US Virgin Islands is both fantastic and convenient. Positioned in close proximity to the US mainland, the USVI provides easy accessibility for travelers, with frequent direct flights from major hubs like Miami, New York City, Boston, and more.

One distinct advantage of selecting the USVI as your yacht charter destination is its status as US territory. This ensures a smooth and stress-free experience for charter guests, as they encounter no hurdles with border crossings or unfamiliar customs procedures.

Where to Stay in the US Virgin Islands

For those looking to extend their stay before or after their yacht charter and explore the land, the USVI offers many accommodations that meet US standards of luxury and comfort. Unlike the British Virgin Islands (BVI), where villas are more common, the USVI has numerous hotels and luxury resorts operated by well-known US chains.

TOP 5 BEST PLACES TO STAY IN THE USVI:

  1. The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas
  2. The Buccaneer, Christiansted
  3. Gallows Point Resort, Cruz Bay
  4. Marriott’s Frenchman’s Cove, St. Thomas
  5. The Westin St. John Resort Village

BH

Beth Hecimovich

Jan 05, 2024

Daniel and Martina were outstanding and helped us execute the trip of a lifetime ! Very responsive and available to assist with anything and everything. They made sure that every detail was addressed and that our family was treated well. We have worked with other Charter Brokers in the past and DMA Yachting service and knowledge was far superior. Highly recommend.

S

Skye

Jan 08, 2024

Chris was incredibly helpful in our first charter experience every step of the way. He helped us select the right boat, walked us through all the options available to us and helped ensure that we had an incredibly memorable experience. Thank you to the entire team for making our New Years celebration once in a lifetime! We are already looking forward to planning our next charter through DMA.

What Our Clients Say

Our clients speak of unparalleled service, exquisite yachts, and a seamless booking process, highlighting the excellence of their charter experiences in the US Virgin Islands.

Our Team

Booking a crewed yacht charter in the British Virgin Islands with us is easy—just contact one of our Expert Charter Brokers and tell us what you want!

William Mc Nally
William Mc Nally

Charter Broker

Marcelle Hailwax
Marcelle Hailwax

Charter Broker

Chris de Kock
Chris de Kock

Charter Broker

Alex Hailwax
Alex Hailwax

Charter Broker

Yanna Pristas
Yanna Pristas

Senior Charter Broker, Associate CYBA Member

Daniel Asmus
Daniel Asmus

Owner, Charter Broker, Active CYBA Member, IYBA, ECPY

Martina Asmus
Martina Asmus

Owner, Charter Broker, Active CYBA Member, IYBA, ECPY

Mo Pristas
Mo Pristas

CharterGuru

Louis Lamprell
Louis Lamprell

Charter Broker

Sarah Klische
Sarah Klische

Charter Broker

Andrea Pristas
Andrea Pristas

Charter Broker

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