How much does it cost to charter a sailboat in the British Virgin Islands?

The price of a sailing trip to the British Virgin Islands (BVI) can vary widely, from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands. Here’s a detailed look at what can influence the cost:


Your airfare to the British Virgin Islands is a significant part of your expenses. You have two main options:

  • Direct Flight: Fly directly into Tortola.
  • Via St. Thomas, USVI: Fly to St. Thomas and take a ferry to Tortola.

To estimate your travel costs, search for roundtrip fares from your home airport to Road Town (EIS) and St. Thomas (STT). Don’t forget to add approximately $100 for ferry fees if you choose the latter route.


You’ll likely need a hotel for the first and last nights of your trip. Here are some tips:

  • First Night: Stay close to where you’re getting your boat or consider a “stay aboard” option with your charter company. This can save money and give you a head start the next day.
  • Last Night: Book a comfortable hotel with amenities like a full-size shower to relax and repack before heading home.

Trip Duration

The length of your trip significantly impacts the overall cost. A two-week stay will be more expensive than a one-week trip, but not necessarily double the cost due to fixed expenses like airfare and initial provisioning.


The type and size of the boat you choose greatly affect your expenses. Consider these factors:

  • Length: Larger boats are more expensive.
  • Cabins: More cabins mean you can share costs with more people.
  • Type: Catamarans are pricier but offer more space than monohulls.
  • Age: Older boats are usually cheaper.


Eating out in the BVI can be expensive, with meals easily costing $50 per person. To save money:

  • Cook on the Boat: Order groceries for the boat. While slightly more expensive than at home, it’s much cheaper than dining out.
  • Dine Out Strategically: Have lunch, appetizers, or drinks at beach bars/restaurants and save main meals for the boat.

Bareboat vs. Crewed

  • Bareboat (DIY): Renting a boat without a crew is the cheapest option. You can hire a skipper or chef if needed.
  • Crewed: For a more relaxing experience, opt for a crewed boat. It’s more expensive but includes all meals and sailing duties.
  • Hybrid Option: Invite a sailing-savvy friend to join you. Offer to cover their trip in exchange for their help with planning and sailing.


When you go can also impact costs:

  • High Season: Christmas and spring break are popular (and expensive) times.
  • Low Season: Summer is cheaper, though warmer and muggier. Note that many beach bars close from August to October.

Additional Tips

  • Insurance: Consider trip insurance for peace of mind.
  • Provisioning: Research provisioning services for cost-effective grocery delivery.
  • Activities: Budget for excursions and activities like diving or island tours.

What other factors do you think could affect the cost of a BVI sailing vacation? Have any questions or additional tips? Let’s chat in the comments below!

One comment

  1. Take plenty of sunshine and mix them throughly with chrystal clear waters of the mediterranean amongst all colors of the green and the blue from turquoise to emerald, put a little soft breeze, few shaded beaches with pine trees, add some lonely bays and some some rugged coastlines, stir them with exotic islands and generously add, lush green olives, figs and lemon trees . Then, serve generously with bright blue skies, romantic sunsets and enchanting starry nights.
    How did you like it so far ? Well, if yes then how about a boat trip called “blue Cruise” Furthermore the exotic colors and smells …
    This is a privileged holiday away from the daily routine, more refreshing than any other holiday you have spent before. There is literally no better way to relax, to dream and feel what life is all about ! The taste of unlimited freedom in the middle of turquoise waters to be shared with your loved ones and the friendly people around you, just feel the peace and joy!

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