We recently returned from a 10 day cruise around the US and British Virgin Islands with friends. Here’s our master itinerary – it’s the perfect way to see some of the best spots in the BVI’s in 10 days!
Day 1: St. Thomas
Flew into St. Thomas with some friends, spent the night in Crown Bay Marina. We splurged for a slip, very unlike us! But man, was it convenient for friends arriving from the airport with stuff! We love to avoid a dinghy ride and soaked luggage when possible!
Day 2: St. John
Rough seas! Sailed to St. John, spent the night on the national park moorings (make sure to pay your fees and support the park) just outside of Cruz Bay. Battled the uncharacteristically rough seas and took a treacherous dinghy ride into Cruz Bay for a night on the town. Everyone was in good spirits even after getting soaked by rogue waves. We need a bigger dinghy. Stopped at The Longboard for some ceviche and cold beers. Walked down towards the beach to play some corn hole and carry on drinking at the Rum Hut.
Day 3: Jost Van Dyke
Still wicked wavy! Had to motor to Jost Van Dyke and it wasn’t pleasant! We climbed and crashed through head on waves for a solid 3 hours. Sorry to our friends on board who had never sailed before – this was a rude introduction to our favorite past time. Cleared customs in Great Harbour before heading to White Bay to post up at the Soggy Dollar Bar, named for the wet money you’ll find in your pocket after swimming ashore. Rescued some beached and drunk sailors, dropped them at their boat before proceeding to the bar where we ordered enough painkillers to last us the entire vacation. No wonder our photos were blurry!
Filled to our ears with coconut milk and rum, we stumbled back to the boat and cruised around the corner to spend the night in Great Harbour. Here lives a one of a kind bar named Foxy’s. It’s a must. Bring an old license plate or a patch from your police squad, fire department or college. You’ll know why once you arrive.
Day 4: The Bubbly Pools to Virgin Gorda
I woke up before everyone and moved the boat to Manchioneel Bay where the Bubbly Baths can be found a short walk from the mooring field.
We splashed about for a bit then returned to the boat and had a great sail (about 4 hours) to Saba Rock on Virgin Gorda. Make sure you can be on shore by 5pm to watch the fish feeding!
Day 5: The Baths and Spanish Town
From Saba Rock, it’s a quick sail down to the Baths. Perfect spot to have lunch and explore.
After the Bath’s, we spent the night in Spanish Town. We anchored just outside the harbor and rode our trusty dinghy into town. There is an amazing restaurant thats about a 15 minute walk (or short cab ride) from the marina. CocoMaya sits right on the beach and serves Asian fusion.
Day 6: Cooper Island
Cooper Island Beach Club is one of my favorite places in the BVI’s! Enough said. Plenty of moorings and a perfect beach club, come here to watch the sun go down and contemplate how you’ll probably never leave the islands.
Day 7: The Indians and Norman Island
When you leave Cooper in the morning, you’ll pass Salt Island, Peter Island and the wreck of the Rhone on your way to the Indians. Salt is definitely worth stopping at if you have time. Go explore the salt pond on shore! The wreck of the Rhone seems to have mostly washed away but it’s worth seeing if you haven’t seen it before. Last year we swam with some sea turtles over the old wreck and that was the highlight of the day!
The Indians has the best snorkeling. There are a few national park moorings that you grab for a few hours while you snorkel and have lunch. From there it’s a 15 minute sail to The Pirates Bight on Norman Island where you can get fresh Conch Ceviche and a cold beer! After dinner, its an absolute must to go to Willie T’s. Prepare yourself for a rowdy BVI night.
Day 8: Scrub Island and Marina Cay
Early that morning, we had to drop some friends off on Tortola to catch the fast ferry to St. Thomas for a flight home. After, we turned and sailed to Marina Cay and discovered Scrub Island Resort! Holy smokes, what a pool!! Highly recommend the swim up bar (you have 2 to choose from) for a cocktail, or 4.
Day 9: Coral Bay, St. John
Coral Bay is a well kept secret where the real sailors hang and no charter boats dare venture. The bay is well protected on 3 sides, providing a calm, secure anchorage. After we settled in, we went to shore to explore. What a completely different vibe than the rest of the Virgin Islands! We met lots of mainland transplants who now call Coral Bay home. We ate a burger at Skinny Legs while listening to live music. The place was packed and the burger was perfect. After the meal we walked about 10 minutes around the bay following Highway 10 towards Pen Point. We were surprised to find lots of shops and restaurants! What an awesome place – we will definitely come back!
Day 10: Frenchtown, St. Thomas
10 days flew by and just like that we were back on St. Thomas. We spent our final day walking around Frenchtown before ending our trip with an amazing dinner at Hook, Line & Sinker. By the end of the evening and a bottle of wine, we were trading stories with the owner. He even drove us to the airport the next morning! If you’re ever in the area, you must go in for a meal!