The US Virgin Islands located to the east of Puerto Rico. tranquil waters of US VI is the ultimate destination for first time and returning seafarers providing exceptional sailing conditions. 12 Knots offers great choice of yachts for bareboat or crewed charter in US Virgin Islands.

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US Virgin Islands (USVI) Yacht Charter Reviews with 12knots

Are you looking for a place to recharge, relax, and set your spirit free? If so, the U.S. Virgin Islands should be at the top of your sailing vacation list. This chain of 50 Caribbean islands offers a picturesque oasis for sailing and yachting that you’ll never want to return from.

St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands is considered the sailing capital of the Caribbean. The beautiful waters, ideal wind conditions, and favorable temperatures make it perfect for both novice and experienced sailors alike. If this is your first sailing vacation, choose the U.S. Virgin Islands for an unforgettable experience as you navigate the waters by sailing boat or catamaran.

12 Knots offers both bareboat and crewed yacht charters for anyone interested in visiting the U.S. Virgin Islands. We offer two types of boat rentals with the option to either skipper your own sailboat or have one of our crews take care of the heavy lifting. 12 Knots takes care of every detail of your trip to ensure your sailing vacation is truly relaxing.

Things To Do In The U.S. Virgin Islands

The U.S. Virgin Islands have a variety of activities both in the uninhabited islets and cays, as well as on the largest islands of  St. Thomas, St. Croix, St. John, and Water Island. The archipelago was settled by Europeans from several counties, making the culture of the U.S. Virgin Islands an exciting blend from around the world. The U.S. Virgin Islands offers plenty of shopping, seafood, and wildlife adventure to enjoy during your stay.

St. John has a beautiful national park that is perfect for hiking and taking a relaxing swim on the shore of Trunk Bay. Many consider Trunk Bay to be the most beautiful of all beaches in the U.S. Virgin Islands. It is a must-see whether you sail to it or begin your trip on St. John.

For a glimpse of history, you may drop an anchor at St. Croix and visit the Estate Whim Plantation Museum. This restored plantation house rests on 12 acres of picturesque hills and shows what Caribbean life was like during colonial days. St. Croix also sits on a large coral reef, perfect for a day mooring and half-day of snorkeling.

If rent a yacht in St. Thomas it will also offer you some of the best duty-free shopping selections in all of the Caribbean. Whether you’re looking for local boutiques or designer clothing and electronics, St. Thomas is the place to go for most of your shopping. As you walk along Main Street, you’ll find everything you need.

Sailing conditions in the US Virgin Islands

The U.S. Virgin Islands are known worldwide for their ideal sailing conditions. The northeastern trade winds are strong in the wintertime, but otherwise you can expect calm waters, warm temperatures, and an overall pleasant sailing experience. The weather is warm year-round with an average temperature between 75ºF and 82ºF.

The seas range from three to four feet throughout the year, and wind speeds average from 10 to 25 knots throughout the year. The Christmas winds reach the highest speeds and allow an experienced skipper to sail for several days back to back. However, if you are a novice sailor, springtime will provide easier sailing conditions.

Best time for sailing vacation

Typically the winter and early spring months are the best times to sail in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The trade winds are strongest in December, January, February and the beginning of March. The weather is nice and cool, but can be a bit chilly for swimming. If you want to venture into the Virgin Islands on a bareboat charter, this is the best time to go.

However, if you are a novice sailor or interested in a crewed yacht charter, the spring and early fall months can be a good alternative. The winds are typically less strong in the summer and June to August are the best months for swimming since the water temperature rises significantly. This period also offers best prices for yacht charters however you should be aware of possible weather changes as this is a beginning of the hurricane season that usually runs from August to October.

The fall offers wind speeds of 10-15 knots on average which can be perfect for beginners to navigate the seas by sailing boat or catamaran. However, this is when the hurricane season is strongest, so be careful about when you plan your sailing trip. Fall can be ideal for crewed yacht charters in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

If you consider yacht charter for Christmas or New Year we strongly recommend to make all arrangements and bookings far in advance. The number of charter boats in US Virgin Islands is quite limited and usually prices second half of December significantly go up. But if you make boat reservation 6 or more months in advance you may get good early booking discount.

Difficulty level

Sailing the U.S. Virgin Islands is ideal for beginners and experienced skippers alike. Depending on the season you can experience relaxed sailing or more challenging conditions. The U.S. Virgin Islands offers a variety of calm bays, short passages between the islands, strong trade winds, and vast expanses of water to tailor your experience to your skill level.

Line of sight navigation, moderate waves and consistent trade winds, will make novice sailors feel most comfortable in the U.S. Virgin Islands as opposed to other Caribbean areas. Most of the major islands are close together, so you won’t have to sail for more than a few hours between them.

Main charter bases

Almost all yacht charters in the U.S. Virgin Islands will start in St. Thomas. Main charter bases are located in Compass Point and Red Hook marina, offering professionally maintained sailing boats, catamarans and power boats for bareboat rentals. This is the perfect place to begin your sailing trip due to it’s close proximity to other major islands that offer plenty of experiences to enjoy. Sets you up your sails for an unforgettable adventure on the new sailing boat or catamaran in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Boat types for charter

The region of the U.S. Virgin Islands offers relatively easy sailing conditions. Because of this, you may find here a variety of sailing boat rentals of different sizes and types that may fit best the level of your experience. Below are the links some boat types with prices available for bareboat rent:

  • Sailing yacht charters
  • Motor yacht charters
  • Catamaran charters
  • Trimaran charters

Travel information

Because most of the yacht charters in US Virgin Islands start from St. Thomas, we recommend flying directly to this island, booking a resort a day or two before your trip. This will give you some time to explore Magens Bay Beach, schedule an ecotour of the island’s rich natural landscape or simply relax and buy all necessary groceries for the upcoming sailing vacation.

As you travel by sailing boat or catamaran, the nearby St John is a great place to anchor and stop for incredible snorkeling, diving, and beach bumming for an afternoon. More experienced sailors can venture to St. Croix, which may take 4-6 hours of sailing depending on the weather conditions. This could also be good chance for novice sailors to master their skills if they have professional skipper on board.

U.S. citizens do not need a passport or visa to enter the islands, while non-U.S. citizens must follow all travel protocols for the U.S. mainland. If you are a non-U.S. citizen, be sure to check with your health insurance provider to ensure they cover overseas medical care. Medical facilities are available for most of the larger islands of the U.S. Virgin Islands.

No matter what kind of sailing itinerary you choose, new experience on board of your yacht in the U.S. Virgin Islands will be one for the books. This group of islands is favorite among sailing community because of its endless beauty and opportunities to explore. If you’re ready to set sails, check our website for the best charter in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Frequently Asked Questions about yachting in US Virgin Islands (USVI)

How much does it cost to rent a yacht in US Virgin Islands (USVI) ?

The price of yacht charter in US Virgin Islands (USVI) depends on number of factors (age & size of the boat, time of the year). On our web site you may find boats from $1,749 per week and all the way up to $66,930 per week. The median price for a one week charter in US Virgin Islands (USVI) is around $16,133

How many boats are available for rent in US Virgin Islands (USVI) ?

We offer professional fleet of 116 yachts available for bareboat or crewed charter in US Virgin Islands (USVI).

What are the main yacht charter bases in US Virgin Islands (USVI) ?

Most of the boats for charter in US Virgin Islands (USVI) are available at the following bases: St. Thomas - 116 boats
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