When we think about a BVI Yacht Charter we have all heard about “Boy Trips” to the Caribbean. It usually involves massive amounts of alcohol and, -with no wives or girlfriends to inhibit them- grown men acting like, well…boys. But, who says the guys should have the monopoly on fun getaways? If your life is so busy you cannot find time to squeeze in lunch with your favorite girlfriend; taking care of your own needs is taken off the to-do list; it has been a while since you laughed at yourself or maybe you are reaching that certain birthday milestone, isn’t it time to find your girlfriend groove again on a “chick” trip? Whether it is a group of friends with a past history together, sisters, mothers and daughters, or other women relations, a chick trip is the time to get together and leave all the annoyances and stress of your daily lives at home. It is a chance to get away, let down your hair, and just enjoy yourself and each other, without having to worry about your husband or boyfriend, the kids, the house, the car, your job or any other responsibilities. Perhaps there is no better place to get away from the daily grind and have a chance to bond, reconnect and rejuvenate than on a girls-only BVI yacht charter. Now, do not panic! Even if you have never been sailing or do not know how, sailing in the British Virgin Islands is easy and safe. Think of it as a floating pajama party. If you book through a charter broker, they will help you make all the arrangements and will even think of things you probably did not know to ask.
Imagine a “girls’ night out”, but longer! A sailing charter in the BVI is a chance to relax and feel free to be just who you are, to do what you want-when you want- without having to please someone else. It is about friendship, connecting and support without competition. It is a time to truly be yourself – to laugh, cry, hoot and holler, sing, relax and just be girls again all with the incredible adventure of exploring the BVI by sea on a chartered yacht. People come from all over the world to experience sailing on the exquisite turquoise blue waters of the BVI. Referred to as the sailing capital of the Caribbean, the BVI is truly the finest and safest sailing area in the world. The islands are extremely beautiful and are relatively close to one another. There are constant trade winds, yet the islands are well protected from the Atlantic weather. The calm seas and line of sight navigation make them ideal for first time BVI yacht charterers. The anchorages are beautiful and there are many isolated coves and deserted sandbars where you can just jump overboard and swim ashore. In addition, if you are looking for onshore adventure, there is plenty to do in the BVI. There are many options for booking yacht charters in the BVI. If someone in your group is an experienced boater, a bareboat BVI yacht charter is the ideal adventure where you captain your own boat and visit the islands at your leisure. If no one knows how to sail, or you simply want to experience a life of luxury as you are pampered aboard a private yacht- no worries. Try a crewed yacht, in which you are looked after by a captain and crew, and where your wishes are their commands. Whether you choose to laze about all day onboard or engage in some exciting activities, you will not be disappointed with your time spent on either type of BVI yacht charter.
So, what is a girl to do on a BVI yacht charter other than just hang out with the girls? If you do not know how to sail – learn. Many captains on crewed yachts are more than willing to share their knowledge. Otherwise, there are plenty of other activities sure to be fun:
Snorkeling and Scuba Diving: The snorkeling and scuba diving in the BVI is fabulous. The water is incredibly clear and warm, and because the sand is light and often shallow, the corals have excellent color. There are many pinnacles, canyons, caverns and tunnels to explore. There are coral heads in shallow water and coral gardens in shallow reefs. Diving in the BVI is easy and safe, suitable for both learners and newly qualified divers. Although not particularly challenging for experienced divers, there are some interesting wrecks, including the RMS Rhone. Many dive companies in the BVI will do rendezvous diving. This means that they will collect you from your yacht rather than you having to go to the dive shop.
Windsurfing and Kite Surfing: This can be arranged through one or two operators dotted around the islands.
Shopping: Don’t most girlfriend getaways include some sort of shopping? Unfortunately, the BVI is not as much a shopper’s paradise as some other islands in the Caribbean, but there are some shops to distract you. You will find some small boutiques offering locally made handicrafts, but most of the merchandise is imported from other Caribbean islands. The BVI does, however, have some prolific and talented artists, so if you are looking for souvenirs, visit some of the galleries scattered around the islands.
Hiking: There are large areas of undeveloped land in the BVI with paths all over the place- they just are not marked. The best places to hike are in the two National Parks – Sage Mountain on Tortola and Gorda Peak on Virgin Gorda. On Virgin Gorda, Victoria Wheatley will take you on a guided tour of Gorda Park where she will explain the history and medicinal properties of the plants and trees.
JR O’Neal Botanic Gardens: Let’s face it- men do not always share our interests- and the guys in your life could probably not care less about flower gardens. So why not visit a place where you will not have to rush through because “he” is bored. Situated within a wall in the center of Road Town, the gardens are devoted to indigenous BVI and Caribbean-wide flora, and are divided into sections on either side of a central alley of royal palms. Areas are devoted to orchids, cacti and local herbs, and there are collections of heliconia, anthuriums and 62 species of palms.
Yoga/Holistic Activities: The scenery in the BVI is exceptional and makes an ideal backdrop for the pursuit of yoga and other holistic activities, although the islands themselves offer only limited opportunities. Fort Recovery, in West End, Tortola, offers complimentary yoga and Pilates sessions that take place on their dock each day at sunset. The Spa at Leverick Bay, Virgin Gorda, can arrange private Indian hatha yoga sessions on your yacht. There are also individual practitioners that will come to your yacht for a private one-to-one session.
Spas: Of course a girls’ getaway is going to include spa time! Although there are no BVI yacht charters yet with on-board spa facilities, do not let that stop you. There are a number of major hotels and resorts in the BVI that have recently put in spas that you can utilize. Two to note are The Spa at Little Dix Bay and the Peter Island Resort. The Spa at Little Dix Bay, Virgin Gorda, has a beautiful setting on a ridge overlooking Sir Frances Drake Channel. There are eight treatment rooms, all linked by walkways through the rocks and greenery. Two rooms are wet rooms and three are on the cliff edge. Treatments include massage with hot and cold stones, reflexology and aromatherapy, body wraps and cleansers, as well as facials and manicures. Although you can use the facility, you must book in advance because hotel guests take precedence. The Spa at Peter Island Resort sits above its own beach in Reef Bay. There are ten treatment rooms, including wet rooms, regular massage rooms, and two rooms set separately right above the sea. Treatments include a salt scrub using salt from Salt Island just a few miles away, body wraps and different sorts of massage including a “sand bundle” massage using local sand. There is also a beauty salon. Visitors can use the spa by appointment only. Finally, if you really want the ultimate in pampering, you can arrange for an independent massage therapist to come onboard your BVI yacht charter.
Music, Dining and Drinking: Men know how it is with “the guys”, so make it your version. The BVI is very good at entertainment. If you are looking for great music, you will find it in the bars and restaurants. You will also eat well in the BVI. If you have a crewed yacht charter with a chef, he or she will be an excellent cook. You will also find many good places to dine throughout the BVI that range from 5-star gourmet meals to tasty snacks at roadside stalls. And, let’s face it, even if you normally do not drink at home, it is hard to resist those incredibly refreshing rum drinks. The beach bars have to be counted among some of the best features of the BVI. Whether it is a shed beneath the palm trees on an isolated stretch of sand or something more substantial, there is usually at least one bar in almost every bay. You can sail from bay to bay, snorkeling, stopping for lunch, and then, after anchoring in the afternoon, catch the sunset with a rum drink in hand at a cool, funky fun Caribbean hangout.
So, if a BVI yacht charter sounds like the perfect paradise for you and your girlfriends, just do it! If you share expenses, a yacht charter vacation can be surprisingly affordable. There are yacht charters to fit almost any budget. To make the most of your BVI girlfriend getaway, follow these tips:
1. Book your charter now. Agree on a date and put it in your planner right away. It is hard to back out of something you have already paid for.
2. Create a kitty for shared expenses like meals, taxis, etc. It saves the group from figuring out each person’s share at every stop without arguing over who should get the check this time.
3. Bring old photos. You will spend time on the trip reminiscing, so it is fun to have the pictures.
4. Take lots of photos of each other, but decide in advance whether swimsuit pictures are allowed. Next year, you will be glad you took photos of all the fun you are having now.
5. Try new things. Being inept is okay. It is impossible to be embarrassed in front of a close girlfriend. After all, she has seen you at your best and worst.
6. Consider sharing toiletries. I mean seriously, do you really need 6 bottles of shampoo?
7. Stand up for yourself. If part of the group wants to snorkel and you just want to hang out and read that trashy romance novel, it is okay. It is your vacation!
8. Leave behind the blackberries, pagers, laptops, kids, men, and maybe even the hairdryers, curling irons and make-up.
9. Book it forward. If you loved your BVI yacht charter, book next year’s getaway right away. You may get preferential treatment which may mean savings and upgrades.
A girlfriend getaway on a BVI yacht charter provides a great opportunity for laughter, swapping stories, shopping, exercise, exploring beautiful scenery, learning new skills, and relaxing, all while on a Caribbean adventure that is out of the ordinary. There is no where else you will find the tremendous support, encouragement and bonding that occurs on a sailing chick trip. So if you are looking for a unique way to recharge your batteries and stay connected with your gal pals, climb aboard. You will be glad you did. Just cast off with the girls and throw all of your cares to the wind!