When is the best time to travel to the Virgin Islands?
by Gillian Birch on Sep 09, 2019
The high season for cruising the Virgin Islands is from December through May. During these months hotels and restaurants are all open for business and beaches and marinas can be very busy. Within this peak season, there is peak-peak season over Christmas/New Year, and again from February through Spring Break.
Virgin Gorda, BVI. Photo by @alton.bertie
As the cold weather bites in Canada, Europe, and the northern United States, sun-seekers head to the Caribbean for some winter sunshine. At this time, you’ll find prices are around 30% higher than the summer rates for everything from flights to watersports. If you’re planning to charter a yacht in the Virgin Islands in the high season, you’ll need to make advance bookings for popular restaurants, spa days, Jeep rentals, and onshore activities. However, the vibe is amazing, everyone is smiling and life is good!
British Virgin Islands. Photo by @alton.bertie
Benefits of Low Season Yacht Charters in the Virgin Islands
The low season for sailing in the U.S. Virgin Islands is from June to November. Temperatures are still in the high 80sF (30°C), but tempered by gentle breezes from the easterly Trade Winds - perfect when under sail. July is the windiest month for sailing with average winds of around 8.8 knots (10mph). However, it is more humid with scattered thunderstorms and more rainfall generally from August through October. You can still enjoy 8-9 hours of sunshine each day but afternoons may have short but heavy showers.
Tortola, BVI. Photo by @hanhanbvi
Tropical storms and hurricanes pass through the Caribbean between June and November, but seasoned captains and yacht charter companies will advise in the rare instance that you may have to change your plans. Bear in mind that tropical storms and hurricanes develop slowly and are tracked by meteorologists for weeks, so there’s no sudden haste if plans need to be modified.
This quieter season means you have beaches to yourself and you can chill out and lime (Caribbean lingo meaning doing very little). Many Virgin Islands residents take time off work in September and October as business is slow. However, for visitors on luxury yacht charters, this simply means you might be enjoying more barbecues and international chef-cooked meals onboard as some restaurants are closed.