The Yacht Week British Virgin Islands: An Unforgettable Experience
Picture this. You just arrive. It’s dark out. The only thing you can see is just within a small radius from overhead street lights.
You were just on two flights, one to St Maarten and another smaller local flight from St Maarten to Beef Island in Tortola.
You can faintly see outlines of boats slowly bouncing up and down while tied up and what’s directly around you.
You put your bags in the boat, get into your room and head out in a taxi to a restaurant. It’s quiet, but it gets louder, the bass becomes more prominent and the music becomes clearer, you arrive with a slew of new energy, lights, and accents of people from all around the world. This is the opening night of Week 1 for The Yacht Week in the British Virgin Islands.
When you wake up to pull the slide back, you reveal two things. You see that you are almost eye level with the blue water and an absolute explosion of vibrant colours from all around compared to the night before. Then, you laugh to yourself as you hear the ‘cock-a-doodle-doo‘ sound of the nearby rooster, the cliche morning noise as the sun comes and heats up all that is around the docks.
You come above deck and you see a full landscape of yachts and catamarans all docked around you. People having their coffees, prepping for sails and those chatting to other skippers and crewmates. Then you introduce yourself to your other crewmates. They are all interesting people, all terrific in personalities and experiences from all around the world. You meet your new family for the week of absolute fun, sun, and exceptional sailing.
This is how I started one of the best trips of my recent memories.
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At the beginning of the new year, I was invited to the British Virgin Islands by Day 8 to attend the first week of The Yacht Week. The Yacht Week is one full week of activities, adventure, day and night parties and socializing all on beautiful boats and islands. Beautiful people from all around the world congregate for The Yacht Week, made famous by The Yacht Week route in Croatia. We love that Day 8 is expanding these lines out to different places all around the world, seeing each spot in a new and different way. Besides the British Virgin Islands, they have multiple routes in Croatia, one in Greece, and Montenegro.
The trip was filled with a lot of different ingredients that made up this unforgettable experience, here is our breakdown of The Yacht Week.
The Day 8 App
We had some strong wifi on the boat (which is always very key) and allowed us to stream music, connect with others online, get work done (if needed) and receive news and daily updates from the Day 8 app. After downloading the app after I was saying I was attending, the Day 8 app was a seamless way to stay in the know about what was upcoming with the trip.
The Day 8 app itself is great, it gives you the names and boats of the people who were on the trip with you, making connecting easy. You also get notifications about what’s happening that day, what the weather is like and what you can expect. Each day seemed different than the last as we went to numerous islands all around the British Virgin Islands. As opposed to other types of vacations on land, like all-inclusive resorts, this gave us a chance to cover a whole area instead of one hotel and the area around it. Even a few weeks after the trip, we still use the Day 8 app to post photos about our time there and remind each other of memories. It’s definitely a must for any of The Yacht Week routes.
The sailing was a definite highlight of the trip. If you love being on boats either to enjoy the scenery or enjoy the gentle rocking of the waves, this would be your trip. We would sail for a few hours a day and stop off at multiple areas throughout the British Virgin Islands. Actually, there wasn’t a lot of places we didn’t go in the area. We covered Jost Van Dyke, Cooper Island, Little Necker Island, Virgin Gorda, Anegada, Norman Island, Peter Island, Tortola, Spanish Town, and The Baths. I loved this part of the trip because it felt like we were on a whole tour of the Caribbean instead of just staying in one spot the whole time.
Each day was sun and fun-filled relaxation with some options for more fun when you get to each location. You could enjoy some yoga, take a trip inland, dive and explore a shipwreck, go for a mountainous hike, jet ski, explore and sunbathe on the islands or just stay on the boat and jump off the back while anchored to some beautiful tall green coastal backgrounds.
One of my favourite spots to go to were The Baths. It’s basically a beachfront rock garden with massive boulders filling the spaces. This made for cave-like walking, climbing and beautiful scenery.
When it comes to The Yacht Week, I loved the fact you could live on a yacht or catamaran for a week. It gives you a sense of what it would be like to own a yacht and sail down south. When it comes to living on a yacht compared to living on land, you have to be a bit more careful with things like long showers, or else your water would run out. If you are going to be attending The Yacht Week, try to get to the area earlier so you can pick the rooms first. Some are closer to the engine versus some are further towards the front of the boat, which makes sleeping a bit easier. Some cabins even have their own bathroom as well, so the early bird gets the worm in this case.
One of the best things about the trip was having a host on board. Ours was named Cara and her food every day that she cooked just made the trip that much better. Sometimes you don’t know how much food can affect a trip until you had some delicious meals. It was definitely a highlight of the trip. The fact that she also made all of this delicious food while we were moving, sailing and rocking the boat, made the meals that much more impressive.
One of the best things about The Yacht Week in the British Virgin Islands was the day and night bars and parties. Bladtkramer was one of the DJs spinning throughout the week, providing a great soundscape to keep people motivated and moving after hours of sunkissed relaxation. We had different styles of venues throughout the week, with some more established as a venue for a big dance party, while others were more of a typical beachside bar. One was even on a big ferry boat in the middle of this cove. Each of which you would have to dinghy back and forth to from your boat if it wasn’t tied up to a dock.
One of my favourite nights was when the boats were all tied up and you could go from boat to boat and meet your neighbours. Everyone was always so welcoming, such great energy on each boat and venue and the music was a great range of things.
Here is one of my favourite aspects of the trip, by far. The people that you meet on this trip are going to be friends for life f0r me. The people, the staff, and the attendees on the other boats all just made the experience that much more enjoyable. I met people from Sweden, Texas, UK, Japan, Scotland, New York City, and the list goes on. There was a mix of solos, couples, and groups of people all coming down to enjoy an eventful seven days. Each of these people who I met share a great common bond between them, they all have traveled and want to travel more. It definitely inspired me to bring out the round world map and then put a few destinations on my destinations list.
Another favourite aspect of the trip was having a skipper/captain on board. Pernilla was our skipper and taught me a lot about how to operate, park, drive, and sail the yacht. That kind of knowledge makes me want to go sailing more and I really enjoyed the experience of getting to know the yacht. If you really wanted to get involved, you could actually feel like what goes into owning a boat and for me, I felt like I was the owner of the boat for a week with how much I learned.
The British Virgin Islands
The British Virgin Islands will go down as one of my absolute favourite places to go to in the Caribbean, for a couple of reasons. On September 6, 2017, Hurricane Irma ripped through the British Virgin Islands and did some major damage. However, one of the reasons that I love British Virgin Islands so much is the attitude and resiliency of their people. They are still rebuilding this paradise, but in our minds, they are going to be constructing an even better future for the British Virgin Islands to be an even more popular destination. There seems to be new energy to the British Virgin Islands, with lots of construction, new opportunities, and new strength. People like Richard Branson, who has his famous island, Necker Island, is investing a lot in the development, sustainability, and progress of the British Virgin Islands. The British Virgin Islands are open for business and we are excited to see how it all develops over the next few years.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to going on a vacation, seeing a whole region, getting that sense of wanderlust fulfilled, and having an eventful trip that creates dozens of new memories, The Yacht Week routes should be high on your list to check out. The British Virgin Islands Week 1 route has been a highlight of my year and my year just started. The people, the memories, the fun, the relaxation, and the locations will continue to be a memorable experience that will live on and expand in different ways.
I would personally like to thank Day 8, The Yacht Week, and everyone involved for having me on this trip and looking forward to more routes in the future.
For more information about booking your trip for The Yacht Week in the Caribbean (British Virgin Islands), be sure to visit their website. The British Virgin Islands Route operates from the months, December, January, and March, so book now before your spot fills up!
Thank you for reading.