Virgin Islands Boat Rentals – Three Different Types of Boats
When traveling to the Virgin Islands, you’ll want to spend as much time as possible enjoying the warm, crystal blue waters, sugar sand beaches and relaxing at the world’s best beach bars. The only way to do all this is by boat.
Virgin Islands Boat Rentals – Bare Boat Charter
Basically, you’ve got three options to choose from when deciding how to island hop. The first option is called a “bareboat” charter, where you rent a boat, and you’re the captain! If you haven’t driven a boat or you aren’t familiar with the Virgin Islands, this option is probably not for you. You run the risk of missing all the best places and sites if you don’t know the area. There’s lots of islands and inlets, and you can easily lose your bearings. You’ll also need to be aware of docking and mooring laws and etiquette, which are different from island to island and port to port. Another consideration is customs–do you know how and where to clear customs yourself, and exactly when you’ve entered foreign waters? When swimming, someone will need to stay on the boat while others are in the water for safety reasons–they may need help back on the boat and someone needs to watch for other boats in the area to warn swimmers of a potential danger. Most likely, the person who stays on the boat is the person who operates it–so much for your “vacation.” And, of course, there’s liability! When you rent a boat, you are completely responsible for returning it in the condition you took it in. With busy ports and frequently traveled waters, that may be a concern.
Virgin Islands Boat Rentals – Group Charter
Another option is to sign up for a half or full day group tour. While this can be an economical option, the boat usually has about 50 to 60 people on it, so snorkel spots can get pretty crowded–so much so that its not unusual to be kicked in the face by other snorkelers! The agenda on these boats is very structured–usually only 2 or 3 stops–and you really don’t get a whole lot of time at each location because it can take a long time to get so many people on and off the boat. These trips can be fun with the right group of people, but its not a very personal experience.
Virgin Islands Boat Rentals – Private Charter
Your third option is to book a private day boat charter. In this case, you can take up to 6 people in addition to the captain, so the experience is very personal. The captain can make recommendations based on the kind of day you want to have–the best snorkel spots, most beautiful beaches and of course, the best beach bars, and you can spend as much or as little time in each location as you’d like. Feel free to ask the captain questions–most captains are island residents and have a great knowledge of the islands’ rich history!
When booking a Virgin Islands boat rental, or charter a private boat charter, there’s a lot of different style boats available–from basic center-console fishing style boats to luxury powerboats. Consider your group’s individual needs when choosing, because the right boat can make a huge difference in your experience. Center-console fishing style charter boats are great as just basic transportation. They’re fairly inexpensive, but you’ll be sitting on hard fiberglass and you’ll need to be in fairly good shape to climb in and out of these boats. If the boat is part of the experience, consider a charter boat with some creature comforts, like upholstered seating, a large swim step for ease in and out of the water, and a cover for shade if you want to get out of the sun.
Whatever way you choose to go–bareboat, group or private boat charter–you’ll love your Virgin Islands Boat Rental.