As the Caribbean prepares for the upcoming charter season, the British Virgin Islands (BVI) is keen to welcome superyachts back to its crystal-clear cruising grounds. Making up the northern portion of the Virgin Islands, the smattering of islands and inlets is composed of Tortola, Virgin Gorda and Anegada, to name a few.
Long established as a playground for luxury yacht owners, the BVI took a battering from Hurricane Irma when she tore through the Caribbean hotspot last year. Damaging almost 90 percent of the islands’ infrastructure and incurring millions of pounds in relief efforts, the BVI was one of the island chains hit hardest by the tropical cyclone.
But, displaying remarkable resilience in the face of crisis, the BVI was quick to start getting back on its feet. Now, after a year’s hard work, the island is ready to replace itself back on the map as a superior yacht charter destination in the heart of the Caribbean.
In a fitting testament to spirit and strength of the BVI’s islanders, many of the marinas and 80 percent of the local charter fleet were up and running just two months after the storm hit. Between then and now, the archipelago has come a long way in its recovery.
Although the landscape bears the scars of the storm, the BVI is still unmistakably a tropical paradise. Many popular charter stop-offs are completely operational, including Cooper Island Beach Club, Leverick Bay and Anegada. Bars, eateries and clubs across the islands are also in full swing, and Foxy’s world-famous New Year’s Eve party even went ahead as early as last year.
Many popular charter stop-offs are in full swing, as are world-class bars, eateries and clubs across the islands.
Other beloved hotspots are in the process of being rebuilt, and are set to open in time for the winter charter season. In land, the terrain will need more time for foliage to flourish and return the hills to their emerald green hue, but the seas are still breathtakingly blue. Coral gardens below the surface are a thriving metropolis, virtually unscathed by the storm and and are bordered by long expanses of white-sand beaches stretching out invitingly.
With a signature laid-back Caribbean charm coupled with a spirit that couldn’t be doused by Hurricane Irma, the BVI has made massive progress in the space of a year. Although the local economy has taken a beating, it’s hoped that an influx of yacht charters in the Virgin Islands will help breathe a bit of life back into the region.
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