BVI Holidays

The Best Family Holiday Anywhere!

Family fun has always been at the core of Bitter End. Each of their activities and excursions was inspired by an adventure originally planned by Myron and Bernice Hokin for their young grandchildren when Bitter End was the Hokin family retreat.

While Mum and Dad enjoy the Introduction to Sailing Course, or head off for a morning swim or snorkel, their children can take part in a variety of water sports activities designed exclusively for Bitter End kids. Serious fun is guaranteed and you may discover a young Russell Coutts, JJ Isler or Jacques Costeau in your family!

Junior Summer Sailing (for youngsters seven and up.)
A fun way to learn basic boat handling, terminology, rigging, sail trim, and make new friends. Instruction on Optimist sailing dinghies, Sunfish, Laser Picos, Hobies in three hours of on-the-water training.
Prerequisite: swim test.

Junior Watersports Program and Kids Camp
Kids learn to snorkel, windsurf and sail in well-supervised and lively sessions.

Private lessons are available to gain specialised skills.

Here is a typical week in the life of a Bitter End Junior!

Monday
Kids Sail
Kids join  our Kids Camp Director, on a Hobie to sail the North Sound. They will help rig the boat, operate the jib, and perhaps even captain. During the sail, campers play games and tell stories for a bit of learning and a lot of fun!

Trail Hike
Children love to hike Bitter End’s trails. Led by an instructor, we hike all the way up Guy’s Trail for some awesome views. For younger hikers, we stay on the Mangrove trail and include a bit of lizard counting along the way. All hikes typically end with a cool-off dip in the pool.
 
Tuesday
Kids Sail and Volleyball at Prickly Pear
Children join their sailing instructor on a Hobie and sail to Prickly Pear, a nearby island, for swimming and a volleyball game.

Scavenger Hunt
One. Two. Three. Go!! Kids race around the resort to answer twenty questions and find the ten items on our list. How much oxygen do you need to breathe underwater? When your kids run to the dive shop to answer questions like this, they’ll be sure to let you know!

Wednesday
Kids Sail and Beach Games
We top off an exciting sail to Sandbox with a game of soccer, SPUD, monkey-in-the-middle and as many others as time will allow!

Arts and Crafts: Children love to make something that is a reminder of their Bitter End vacation. We help them to paint seashells, string colorful island bracelets, or colour a picture of their favourite thing to do at Bitter End.

Thursday
Kids Snorkel
See the world under the sea! Bring fins, snorkel gear, and a willingness to be wowed, because the reefs are fantastic! Kids must be avid swimmers. An instructor will be in the water to lend a helping hand.

The Great BEYC Sandcastle Competition: Join a team and compete for the ultimate bragging right: being the best “sandcastler” of the week! Kids supply the creativity and we offer all the sand toys they can imagine.
 
Friday
Kids Choice
Sail, snorkel, beach games…the choices are endless and the fun is guaranteed.

Beach Olympics
Competition heats up as teams of Bitter End kids compete in relay races, scavenger hunts, sandcastle competitions, and trivia contests.
 
Pizza Party
All BEYC kids are invited to join our Kids Camp Director for pizza and cupcakes to celebrate the end of an awesome week. New friends gather and play indoor games in the sailing school before enjoying a movie.

Saturday

Kids Skipper
As newly minted junior sailors, Bitter End kids show off their skills and take their instructor for a sail around the North Sound.

(subject to change, to accommodate the kids’ interests!)

Bitter End is a great all round resort hotel for families, couples, singles and groups of friends and they offer an amazing deal for families with more than 50% discount off the childrens’ connecting room from mid April – mid August and mid October to mid December.  It is excellent value for money with so much included.

There really is something for everyone at Bitter End Yacht Club and I promise you will be talking about your memorable holiday for years to come!

Call BVI Holidays to book your stay at Bitter End on beautiful Virgin Gorda.

The BVI’s Smaller Gems

In the Sir Francis Drake Channel just west of St. John are some of the BVI’s smaller islands. Starting with Norman Island and following the chain up to Virgin Gorda are Peter, Salt, Cooper and Ginger islands. A sailors’ jingle for remembering the order from west to east goes: “Norman and Peter give Salt to Cooper and Ginger.”

Norman Island, made famous by Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic pirate tale Treasure Island, is best known for its geological formations known as “The Caves.” A highly photographed snorkelling site in the BVI where schools of colourful fish literally swim right along with you while exploring the three caves with interesting coral and mineral formations. In the large bay called the Bight, are moorings for boats and a unique floating restaurant, fashioned from an old sailing ship as well as a pirate-themed restaurant ashore.

Peter Island, another island named after a Dutch privateer, is now home to a world-class resort complete with seaside spa and restaurants. With regular ferry service from Tortola, one can enjoy the beautiful beach at Deadman’s Bay or dine al fresco by the sea. Dramatic scenery and beautiful tropical plants and flowers around the resort make a stroll through the grounds truly spectacular. Just off to the east is Dead Chest, another island in the BVI bearing the mark of pirate lore.

Salt Island with its steep hills and contrasting low lying salt ponds is virtually uninhabited. Once home to a small settlement of BV Islanders who sifted through its salt ponds to extract the chunky sea salt, it is now more famous for the Wreck of the Rhone, an 1800’s British Mail Steamer, which lies sunken off its south western shore and is officially a marine park attracting divers from all over the world.

Cooper Island attracts numerous boaters with a safe anchoring harbour and a palm-fringed white sand beach. There is a beach club restaurant for entertainment as well as some overnight cottages by the sea. Snorkeling sites are just in swimming distance with Cistern Point a favourite for those hoping to see a leopard ray or possibly a sea turtle.

Ginger Island, at the far western tip close to Virgin Gorda, is mountainous and rugged and sparsely developed with cliffs dropping sharply to the sea. Neighbouring Fallen Jerusalem is another designated national park with large boulders forming what looks like the ruins of an old fortress wall.

In all, there are 60 varying and very different islands making up the archipelago which is the British Virgin Islands.

BVI explore map of other islands

If you haven’t already been then do call to rectify this right now!

Happy Birthday to Her Majesty!

London and most of the country are getting ready for the big event on April 21st – the 90th birthday of our monarch – Queen Elizabeth II.

The Queen has visited the British Virgin Islands in the past as have other members of our Royal Family.  She has been presented with many gifts but probably the most unusual is a bag of salt given to her by the people who lived on Salt Island in the BVI. 

The last remaining resident of Salt Island died in 2004 and now the island is uninhabited, but with a lot of history to recount.

Happy Birthday to her Majesty!

 

Diving in the British Virgin Islands

Diving in the British Virgin Islands is spectacular to say the least.  It is one of the best destinations in the world for SCUBA diving.

From reef to wreck diving the BVI has it all, with hundreds of excellent dive sites to explore all over the BVI.

Near Norman Island four rocky peaks jet up from the ocean floor to break the water’s surface. These pinnacles are called the Indians.

These rocky formations are quite spectacular when viewed from the 50 foot sandy bottom. The beautiful colours of the lavish corals and sponges contrast with the rocky ledges and steep walls that rise to the surface. On the east side of the rocks you’ll find a large cave filled with Glassy Sweepers.

Keep an eye out for Hawksbill Turtles on the deeper sections and nudibranchs in the pond.

On the lee side of Norman Island is a spectacular rocky maze of canyons and ridges that finger off into the sandy bottom.

Large sharks have been spotted here, as have sleeping Nurse Sharks, and large green eels. There are lobsters here that are so big, you’ll be reluctant to get too close! On the smaller side, tiny crabs, baby eels and stealth shrimp can be found living in the many anemones.

 

Anegada is known for miles of white sand beaches and the 18 mile long Horseshoe Reef, the largest barrier coral reef in the Caribbean and the fourth largest on earth. The reef makes navigation to Anegada difficult and because of this the diving is second to none due in part to the many wrecks that lie beneath the waves. 

This is only scratching the surface of the wonderful diving there is to be found in the beautiful BVI.  If this is of interest to you, please do call for further details.

A Wonderful Holiday at Frenchmans

Joyce

I would like to thank you for arranging our recent holiday at Frenchman’s Cay in Tortola. Your obvious personal knowledge of the BVI was invaluable in helping us choose the right place and within our budget.

Your attention to the detail of our personal requirements made certain that all the arrangements worked perfectly and gave us confidence that we would get everything we paid for and we certainly did.  I would have no hesitation in recommending others to use you as their personal travel adviser.

Thanks again.

Geoff Evans

You’re welcome Geoff…..you could also have an amazing holiday at Frenchmans.  Contact BVI Holidays today!

Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous

Try to beat this for world class sailing!

The 2016 edition of the Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta and Rendezvous concluded on Saturday 12th March in the BVI with prizes awarded to the top yachts in each of the four competing divisions. Three days of racing accompanied by stronger than expected winds and set against the stunning backdrop of the British Virgin Islands made for an unforgettable event for participants and spectators alike. The 21 participating superyachts together with the motor yacht fleet taking part in the Westport Rendezvous enjoyed a packed schedule both on and off the water coordinated by organizers the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda on Virgin Gorda and Boat International.

The fleet experienced perfect conditions throughout the regatta creating some nerve shreddingly close results

The fleet experienced perfect conditions throughout the regatta creating some nerve shreddingly close results.

Tactical duels and neck-and-neck finishes characterised racing across all divisions while consistent winds of 18-24 knots put owners and crews to the test over the  three race days. In Class A the 34-metre Nilaya and the 33-metre Inoui battled for victory from day one with each posting a bullet in the first two races and heading into the final day on equal points. Overall victory went to Belgian boat Nilaya after she clinched the win in the final race of the event to beat the Vitters-built Inoui by just one point.

Nilaya’s tactician Bouwe Bekking commented on the event: “It’s a fantastic spot to race. There are so many opportunities as regards courses and it’s great for the guests as well because the scenery is beautiful as well as the racing being great. It was a little bit windier than we expected for this time of year but that made it interesting and it was a superb event.”

Click here to see the video highlights from the Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous 2016

 

Class B saw a different winner on each of the race days and just two points separated the top four boats in the final classification. The 2015-launched Unfurled took a convincing victory in Race 1 but an equipment failure in Race 2 prevented her from finishing the course while the 60-metre Hetairos took the win. The third and final race saw yet another boat triumph as the 38-metre Perini Navi yacht P2 crossed the line ahead of Unfurled to take the overall win in the class.

It was another Perini, the 59-metre ketch Seahawk, that took the early lead in Class C and consolidated her position with a second bullet in Race 2 ahead of the 50-metre sloop Ohana. A hard-fought battle in the final race saw the Dubois-designed Bella Ragazza nip across the line just 5 seconds ahead of Seahawk, bringing her to second place overall with Seahawk and Ohana in first and third place respectively.

Things were more clear-cut in Class D where Donald MacPherson’s Swan 90 Freya dominated from the outset, posting consecutive bullets in each of the three races. Second place went to the Oyster yacht Maegan and the Southern Wind yacht Blues came in third.

The Westport Rendezvous Cruise in Company motor yachts pose for their photoshoot in front of Mosquito Island

The Westport Rendezvous Cruise in Company motor yachts pose for their photoshoot in front of Sir Richard Branson’s Moskito Island

As is customary at Loro Piana Regattas, superyacht owners and their guests enjoyed a scintillating social programme which commenced with a Welcome Cocktail on the YCCS Clubhouse Lawn on Virgin Gorda. Owners and their guests were then invited to an exclusive dinner hosted by Loro Piana with entertainment from virtuoso British pianist Oliver Poole, while crew relaxed at a beach party across the North Sound at Bitter End. Oil Nut Bay resort hosted a fabulous Fire and Ice Beach Party the following evening and festivities concluded with farewell drinks after the final prize giving at YCCS Virgin Gorda.

The Westport yachts participating in the Rendezvous also had a busy schedule which took in some of the sail racing, a cruise in company, a line-up in the North Sound for photographers, a lunch at Scrub Island Resort and Spa and a scavenger hunt on the final day as well as participation in all of the evening events in the regatta programme.

The 34m Baltic Nilaya won the Boat International Media Trophy 2016

The 34m Baltic Nilaya won the Boat International Media Trophy 2016

Boat International Media and Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, Virgin Gorda, would like to thank our sponsors for helping to make the Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta and Rendezvous a great success.
Special thanks go to our main supporter; Loro Piana, host partner; Oil Nut Bay, silver sponsors; BVI Tourist Board and Westport, and event associate Willis Towers Watson.

The Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta and Rendezvous 2017 will take place from 10th to 13th March in Virgin Gorda while the next appointment for the superyacht fleet is in in Porto Cervo for the Mediterranean edition of the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta from 7th to 11th June.
 
 If you would like to participate in this exciting and amazing event next year or just be there to soak up the atmosphere and ambience, call BVI Holidays and we will be happy to arrange this for you.

Calling Competitive Sailors!

The BVI Spring Regatta is the one Caribbean Regatta that has something for everyone who attends.  Race & Cruise your way through the beautiful British Virgin Islands.  The week long BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival starts on 28th March and takes you throughout the beautiful British Virgin Islands. Starting at Nanny Cay on Tortola, the schedule of events takes in Peter Island, Norman Island, Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke, Necker Island and countless others.  This event offers some of the best racing in the Caribbean.  Only the best survive to take home the Gold and the Glory, along with great stories and experiences that keep sailors coming back year after year.

This exhilarating sailing regatta is an annual event and will be happening again from 27 March 2017.  Places are booked up far in advance, so if you are a competitive sailor and would like to participate in the Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival in the BVI next year, call BVI Holidays today and we will be happy to arrange this for you.  Bring your team along if you have one, if not you can always join with fellow sailors, just let us know.

Bitter End Racing Pro Am 2006

A WONDERFUL ACCOLADE!

I know I have an excellent record of very satisfied clients who have travelled with BVI Holidays to the beautiful BVI but, it’s just lovely when someone, who leads a very busy life, takes a moment to commit pen to paper.  This is what Jilly and Tim very kindly wrote about their recent BVI experience.

We came across Joyce’s website when friends told us the BVI were a heavenly place to visit around Xmas and New Year. What a stroke of luck! This is a woman who lives and breathes the BVI; she knows and loves the islands with a passion, and she’s so enthusiastic about sharing her knowledge of the restaurants, hotels, resorts, beaches and bars. She organised a week in a charming hotel on Tortola, with stunning views of Cane Garden Bay, and then sorted out a week on a catamaran (skipper included), so that we could really explore these beautiful islands. We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Joyce. She puts the E in expert!

How kind and thank you so much – of course the BVI is an all year round destination and not just for Christmas and New Year. Do call BVI Holidays – I would be delighted to assist in arranging YOUR holiday to the British Virgin Islands.

virgin-gorda2.jpg

Happy New Year!

It is nearing the end of the first week in January 2016 and another year stretches ahead.  I wonder if we will once again fast forward to December and wonder where the year went?  Doesn’t time fly these days! 

BVI Holidays wishes everybody a very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2016.  Time to plan ahead and make the most of the spare time available to us.

We were lucky to have the warmest December on record but apparently, it is set to become very cold next week…so we hear!

So…..instead of looking at this…..

weather-winter-forecast-snow-632611

Call BVI Holidays today and…..you could be looking at this…..

2015-11-01 15.15.48

Kind of a no brainer?

Happy New Year!

Happy Christmas from BVI Holidays!

Once again we are seeing another year draw to a close.  2015 has held both happy and sad memories for all of us. My thoughts right now are with these poor people in Cumbria who have been flooded for the 3rd time in just a couple of weeks.

On a positive note, our very own Major Tim Peake has become the first Briton in space since 1991.  What a joy and an honour!  God bless him and his two companions and may they arrive home safely following a successful mission.

This year BVI Holidays has been delighted to commence working with several new properties in the British Virgin Islands, but I believe the most momentous is Sir Richard Branson’s very own Moskito Island in the BVI.  The Branson Estate consists of 3 luxury villas which have 11 bedrooms between them.  All with their own swimming pools, they are perfect for a group of friends or families.  BVI Holidays is proud to be associated with promoting this luxurious property.

I wish you all a Happy Christmas and a Happy and Healthy 2016.

imagesWBDS87NR