There is nothing so ultimately decadent and luxurious as a week or ten days charter on a motor yacht. It doesn’t really matter where you choose to cruise; the highly trained professional captains and crews of most luxury motor yachts know how to make your charter an unforgettable experience. Loads of water toys, professional chefs trained in the best culinary schools of Europe and the US, beautiful interiors, spas, comfortable staterooms with real beds, movies, Wi-Fi, you name it. Most offer SCUBA diving and probably have an instructor on board.
Here’s how the motor yachts operate in practice: in winter, they charter from their “winter base” in the Caribbean and in summer they migrate to the Mediterranean OR they run up to New England or the Bahamas.
The winter bases in the Caribbean vary between St. Thomas, Antigua, St. Martin, St Lucia, Puerto Rico and of course the BVI. They can pick up guests from almost any location depending, of course, on where the last charter guests were dropped off and where their next charter guests will be arriving.
Although the BVI is primarily a sailing destination, it is extremely pleasurable to cruise the Virgins in a nice motor yacht, the waters are protected and if you get bored, you can always pick-up anchor and sail to St. Martin, St Barth or Antigua. Let’s face it, you can get from one side of the BVI to the other in about 2 or 3 hours cruising on a motor yacht..!!
The motor yachts speed of travel and their ability to cruise at night allows you to cover longer distances on a charter so you can see many different Caribbean islands on the same trip.
Of course, all of this is NOT for the faint-hearted; it comes at a price. Simply because from the owner’s perspective, large motor yachts are more expensive to purchase, there is usually a permanent professional crew to pay, the maintenance is scary, and dockage is expensive. So be prepared to shell out some serious bucks for anything over 100’ in length.
There are some smaller motor yachts available in the BVI from say 50’ ft to 80’, that stay in the islands permanently. These are not as mobile or expensive as their mega-yacht cousins described above
You can browse some of the more popular Caribbean motor yachts (both the big seasonal yachts and the smaller local ones) by using our proprietary search engine .
A word about pricing of motor yacht charters: many of the local boats adhere to the Caribbean Terms charter contracts that provide an “all-inclusive” package type pricing structure. By “package” I don’t mean to sound like it’s a holiday camp experience. It’s not. It simply reflects the way you are charged.
The larger motor yachts and mega-yachts are usually chartered under Mediterranean terms contracts where there is a price quoted for the charter of the yacht with its crew, then the fuel that you use is charged separately, the provisioning of the vessel is charged separately (commonly called the APA) and any taxes and fees and delivery charges are also itemized and paid for separately.
At the end of the charter, the captain presents an itemized list of expenditures with the applicable receipts and the charterer will either get money back or have to “top-up” or make up the difference if the expenditures have exceeded the APA.
In spite of its seeming complexity, the Med terms contract is a better deal for the charterer since he / she only pays for what is actually consumed.
In addition to the professional crewed motor yacht inventory, there is a whole different category of motor catamarans available in the BVI. You can charter or hire these bare-boats with a skipper or you can “go-it-alone” if you have the right credentials.
Whether your preference is motor yachting or sailing the BVI and the Caribbean has something for everyone. We can usually find a nice motor yacht or catamaran for you that slides neatly into your budget. REMEMBER though, availability is a moving target. The earlier you start looking and booking, the better selection of yachts you’ll find.
To ensure that your charter yacht vacation is the best it can be, your captain and crew need to know as much about your charter preferences as possible.