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October 2020 COVID-19 Update: The Caribbean

By Steve Mandaluff   25 September 2020

There's good news for anyone planning a Caribbean yacht charter vacation this winter, as a number of countries have announced that they will be relaxing their COVID-19 travel restrictions.

If you missed getting away during the summer, the Caribbean's tropical cruising grounds will be calling your name this winter. After all; clear blue sea, powdery-sand beaches and endless sunshine are the perfect components for a luxury yacht charter vacation with friends and family. 

But as Coronavirus travel restrictions continue to impact our vacations and plans- which Caribbean destinations are open to visitors and superyachts? 

US Virgin Islands: Open

Panoramic view over town in US Virgin islands, with blue sky and hills in background
Wooden chair in foreground on grass with yachts moored in background
Three chairs on beach next to tree, looking towards clear seas and blue skies

As of 19 September, the US Virgin Islands have reopened to leisure travel. Routine temperature checks and health screenings will take place at all ports of entry and a negative COVID-19 test is required for all incoming passengers. Anyone without a negative test will be required to quarantine at their own expense.

Masks are mandatory when entering businesses and attractions and beaches are open with social distancing required. If you plan to step on shore to visit any restaurants or other venues, ask your yacht crew to call ahead and make a reservation.

The USVI's are perfect for charterers based in America looking for a superyacht escape.

Known as ‘America’s Caribbean Paradise’, visitors travelling to the US Virgin Islands from America don't need a visa to visit.  

The largest of the three islands, St Croix, is the least visited and has a wonderfully relaxed and laidback feeling, with a beautifully rugged landscape to explore. 

St Thomas is the busiest island, and is the place to go for a buzzy scene. St John is a gorgeous mix of little coves and tropical forests;  the perfect location for getting away from it all and relaxing. There are plenty of secluded bays where you can drop anchor, as well as sandy beaches where you can set up a beach picnic and enjoy five-star dining in the most scenic surroundings.

British Virgin Islands: Opening December 1

Sand island with small crop of trees viewed from above and yachts in clear water around it
Person snorkelling in crystal clear Caribbean water
Old town courtyard on British Virgin Islands with tree in foreground

The British Virgin Islands have also announced they are welcoming visitors back to the islands from 1 December.

The British Virgin Islands are a collection of volcanic islands, characterized by deserted bays, incredible dive spots and strikingly beautiful coastlines. The islands are largely unspoilt and offer tranquil sailing opportunities alongside top-notch yacht facilities.

The main island of Tortola has almost everything you could want, thickset, jungle-covered, mountainous peaks, vibrant towns, numerous snorkelling opportunities and long stretches of secluded sands. Virgin Gorda is an idyllic gem, famous for The Baths National Park, an eye-catching landscape and geological wonder. Tiny Jost Van Dyke may be small, but it is packed with restaurants and bars, mountainous scenery and a hugely welcoming vibe.

Bahamas: Opening October 15

Small U shaped coral island in Bahamas viewed from above with yacht in water
Horse and cart behind cars on road in Nassau, BahamasBrightly colored beach hut doors

International travelers are currently welcome in The Bahamas, and the islands will be relaxing their restrictions further on 15 October. This date will see the reopening of beaches and a number of hotels across Nassau and Paradise Island, Grand Bahama Island and the Family Islands.

The latest commercial airline to return with scheduled flights is Delta Air Lines, and from 1 November they will fly to the islands from Atlanta. This is in addition to American Airlines, JetBlue and Silver Airlines who began offering flights in September.

Anyone entering The Bahamas must apply for a Bahamas Health Visa, and show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than five days prior to arrival.

The Bahamas are a playground for luxury yacht charters.

The 700 coral islands that make up The Bahamas are of picture postcard-esque beauty. With crystal clear waters and lush golden sands, all beneath sun soaked skies the archipelago is a slice of tropical perfection.

New Providence Island is home to the Bahamas capital of Nassau, and is rich in culture and history.  Closest to the main coast of the USA, Grand Bahama Island is the place for water-sports enthusiasts or just adrenaline-fuelled thrill-seekers. Always vibrant, the island also has a vast expanse of beautiful and isolated beaches to retreat to when needed.

If you are interested in a visit this winter, you can view and compare the complete fleet of charter yachts in the Caribbean.

To make a booking or find out more please contact your yacht charter broker.


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