BVI Holidays

So You Want To Be A Sailor!

Sailing, and in particular sailing in the British Virgin Islands, is one of life’s greatest pleasures. You’re out there in nature – the sea, sun, wind and water are the ingredients that make for memorable sailing experiences. You become the master of your own destiny in a life of freedom and multiple choices. The wind calls the tune and at the end of the day you are moored in a quiet cove sipping a cool happy-hour cocktail.  I have been in a local beach bar many times and heard a visitor look seaward at a sleek sailing vessel and say, “Oh, I wish we could do that.” Well you can… and you should.

The British Virgin Islands is famously named “The Sailing Capital of the World” and this is no idle brag. With hundreds of beautiful and diverse anchorages all within easy reach, the archipelago is a sailor’s paradise. Pioneers like Charlie Carey of the Moorings and Bill Hurst of BVI Bareboats (now BVI Yacht Charters) saw this and began successful charter yacht operations back in the late 60s. Not far behind these visionaries were Steve and Doris Colgate, directors of Offshore Sailing School and Rob and Gina Swain of Swain Sailing. They saw the need for sailing instruction and took the plunge.

Today they are still at the helms of some of the BVI’s premier sailing schools.

When sailing in the BVI, you are always in sight of land, the navigation is easy and there is no fog.  If you would like a week ashore and a week afloat, this can be arranged or of course you can have the full duration of your holiday with the wind in your hair and the sun on your face.

Sailing is nothing short of exhilarating.  If you can’t sail and would like to learn, call BVI Holidays and we will be happy to arrange everything for you.


Food – Glorious BVI Food!

I have just returned from yet another busy but productive trip to the beautiful British Virgin Islands.  So many new and exciting things happening – a new hotel springing up on Cane Garden Bay, a wonderful new restaurant called Tropical Fusion in a setting to die for with the most amazing food.  I absolutely never take photos of my food but…I had to make an exception in this case and this was the tranquil scene as I ate.

Another new discovery was on Anegada in the shape of a small collection of villas with pool.  Quality people doing quality things to keep the standards up and their flags flying.

The BVI retains its beauty and its charm and the friendliness of the people and their eagerness to ensure that their visitors have a memorable holiday and will want to return to their islands, really is second to none.

If your choice is a villa on the beach, a small boutique hotel, a sail boat or a motor yacht or….a combination of these, BVI Holidays will be delighted to arrange this for you.

If you are considering visiting the British Virgin Islands for the first time or if you are contemplating a return visit – pick up the phone and call BVI Holidays.  A truly amazing experience awaits you.


Richard Branson and the Mighty Ocean

Dear friend of BVI Holidays

Below is a letter written by Sir Richard Branson – proud owner of Necker Island in the beautiful British Virgin Islands. This is addressed to you, to me and to everyone worldwide.  Read on….

I love the ocean. Most people around the world love the ocean too. That’s a great starting point for us all, but it is not enough. We need to put our time, our energy, and our money where our hearts are to protect and restore our most precious natural asset, the blue in our blue planet.

The Ocean is Everybody’s Business. It’s why we incubated Ocean Unite, to unite and activate powerful voices for ocean conservation. It’s why I’m a proud member of the Ocean Elders, working to protect, value, and celebrate the ocean and its wildlife. It’s why we are heading to the United Nations to speak at The Ocean Conference next week.

If the ocean was a country (it is the world’s 7th-largest economy), we would all be clamouring to do business with it. Now is the time to wake up to the damage we are doing, to commit to protecting the ocean, and to invest in its future health. When the ocean benefits, we all benefit. I am not talking about charity. This is business. And the Ocean is Everybody’s Business.

All the best,

What more can we say……

Joyce Kinniburgh
Managing Director
BVI Holidays


The sun is out, the sky is blue, there’s not a cloud to spoil the view and the temperatures are almost (not quite!) the same as they are in the beautiful British Virgin Islands.  Lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer that we never want to end but…of course we are right here in Old Blighty and of course we know that they will end, the temperatures will drop, the clouds will mask the sun and the sweaters will be coming out again.  Right now though, it’s champagne and strawberries and we are all enjoying the beautiful weather.

If you want this to continue, book a holiday to the BVI – stunning white sand beaches, swaying palm trees, turquoise waters, chilled cocktails…..shall I go on?

Call BVI Holidays to create the perfect holiday for you.

Pippa Middleton and the BVI

Pippa Middleton and James Matthews tie the knot this weekend in what will be the high society wedding of the year. Pippa has been in organisational over-drive in the run up to her big day and will no doubt be looking forward to having some downtime on honeymoon. Pippa’s not a girl for relaxing though, from completing gruelling endurance marathons to cooking up a storm in the kitchen for her recent cookery book, she will no doubt want to enjoy her hobbies while away. Peter Island Resort and Spa in the BVI could be the perfect honeymoon destination for Pippa and James.

Pippa is a big fan of tennis (and the aristocratic sub-sport of showcasing designer dresses at the Royal Box on Wimbledon Centre Court).  Pippa and James may also like to try their skills at stand-up-paddle boarding, kayaking, small boat sailing or Hobie-catting.  How could Peter Island Resort and Spa in the British Virgin Islands not appeal with so much to do, or Pippa and James can simply relax in a hammock slung between the palm trees with a chilled cocktail. Robert De Niro has stayed at Peter Island, which features Beachfront Suites and villas perched above the resort enjoying spectacular views, a marina and private dining by tiki torchlight on the sand.

Peter Island Resort and Spa in the beautiful BVI is a wonderful honeymoon destination and not just for Pippa and James.

Getting to the BVI

I am asked this question a lot….how do we get to the British Virgin Islands?  How accessible are the islands?

Okay….the easiest way is from London Gatwick non-stop to Antigua with either British Airways or Virgin Atlantic.  British Airways has a higher frequency of flights and better connections to the BVI than Virgin.  On selected days, there is a non-stop flight with inter-Caribbean Airways which operates between Antigua and Tortola and takes 1 hour and 5 minutes.  At the moment, this flight is 4 times a week, but they may well increase this to 7 in the near future.  On the other days, Liat – another Caribbean airline operates with 2 stops (no plane change) en-route to Tortola.

You can also fly from Manchester via Paris and St Maarten to Tortola and from Edinburgh or Glasgow, the best way again is to come through Gatwick.  You can come down the day before, enjoy one of the airport hotels and fly out the following morning.

It is really marvellous that the British Virgin Islands do not have any direct flights from the UK – that is the main reason that the islands have remained unspoilt and uncommercialised, unlike a lot of the other, bigger Caribbean islands.

Come….enjoy uncrowded white sand beaches, turquoise blue seas and swaying hammocks among the palm trees.  Call BVI Holidays today and we will be happy to arrange this for you.


Every full moon in the British Virgin Islands, if you visit Trellis Bay, you will be treated to a truly spectacular sight….fire balls on the beach.

Aragorn’s Fire Sculptures are each uniquely designed and created by hand from steel spheres ranging in size from 12 inches to 5 feet in diameter.  These sculptures are made by hand cutting the elaborate stories out of steel balls and then placing firewood inside them. Lighting them ablaze is a truly incredible sight to see.  With each phase of the fire, from raging start to ember-glowing finish, the imagery changes.

Once the design was perfected, Aragorn continued to develop new shapes such as his Fire Cubes and Pyramids.

Aragorn’s Fire Sculptures are on display outside his studio on the beach at Trellis Bay, on Beef Island in the British Virgin Islands and are photographed daily by visitors and art appreciators. Each Full Moon and during the Trellis Bay New Year’s Eve festival, he places the Fire Sculptures on mounts in the sea just beyond the shoreline for the public to view. The sculptures are fueled with firewood and set ablaze. On New Year’s Eve the festivities gain momentum against a backdrop of fountains and fireworks accentuating the life and movement of the sculptures themselves.

Aragorn’s Fire Sculptures are in several private collections and galleries around the world, but originated in the BVI.  Custom fire sculptures are available for purchase from his studio at Trellis Bay, British Virgin Islands.


Almost Zip Lining in the BVI

An unforgettable thrill for the whole family.

This is a zip lining tour that takes place at the top of Johnsons Ghut high in the hills above Tortola, with spectacular views overlooking the south coast and Road Town Harbour, a virtual “Shangri-La” of lush vegetation, tropical birds and flowers and the newest attraction – the Original Virgin Canopy Tour. Similar to a “zip-line” but much safer and quieter, it will provide you with all the thrills and adrenaline you are looking for but is also fun for all members of the family.

This is a tour where you will have breathtaking views of Tortola and the surrounding islands and on a clear day you can see as far away as St Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands.  Once you have completed the paperwork you will be fitted out with your canopy tour gear. Following a brief orientation and safety talk on how to use the equipment, you will arrive at the take-off point of the tour.

From here you will enjoy spectacular views of the islands while sailing through and over the rain forest canopy. The tour has been expertly designed for adventurers of all ages (from 5 to 95) and every stop along the way provides you with amazing photo opportunities to share with your friends and families.

The Original Virgin Canopy Tour, in the BVI including the outfitting and safety talk and the 7 traverse and other challenge components will take approximately 1 to 1 1/2 hours.  The tour was designed by world renowned designer Darren Hreniuk, who pioneered the first canopy tour zip-lines in Costa Rica in the 1990s and has since invented many unique products that help makes this tour safe and enjoyable. This is an absolute “must do” experience even if you have already done zip-lining before. The designers’ safety system is much safer and quieter than outmoded “WIRE” zip-line systems.  Closed in footwear must be worn.

Following your tour you can enjoy some refreshments or snacks and take in the spectacular views over Road Town, the capital of the British Virgin Islands.

Richard Branson’s New Dive Site

Richard Branson and his team are planning to sink the former USS YO-44, a ship that served – and saved lives – in Pearl Harbour during WWII. This historic vessel was primed to be scrapped for metal before Owen Buggy, former marine mechanic and photographer on Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands, identified it and the team dreamed up this project. The ship will form the centre-piece of a unique new dive site called The Maverick BVI Art Reef in the BVI.

It will include a large scale art sculpture of an 80-foot Kraken. This will double as a human interest feature for divers and a coral out-planting platform, which will kick-start a thriving reef ecosystem through innovative and effective coral restoration techniques. It will probably be one of the most unique dive sites in the world.

The project will also help to rehabilitate heavily over-fished marine populations; a special focus will be on bringing back vulnerable species of Grouper, such as the Goliath Grouper. Like Sir Richard, the BVI Tourist Board is confident this new dive site will boost the local economy by putting the British Virgin Islands on the world map as a top dive destination. What’s more, the project is supporting cutting edge scientific research called eDNA (environmental DNA) facilitated by NPO partners Beneath the Waves, as well as swim programs and providing ocean conservation platforms for inspiring our next generation of ocean stewards.

This is a real innovative project and credit to Richard Branson and his team for saving this WWII ship from the scrapyard.


Sharks and Crocodiles!

Apologies for my radio silence – I have been on holiday in Australia for the past 4 weeks visiting Sydney, Adelaide, Alice Springs, Katherine, Darwin and Perth.

Beautiful beaches are plentiful in Australia but sadly swimming is a dangerous pastime from most beaches due to the prevalence of sharks and crocodiles.  Some beaches have shark nets to cordon off a safe bathing area, but you do not see many people in the sea.

In the beautiful British Virgin Islands the swimming is safe and you can actually snorkel with sand or nurse sharks which are harmless to humans and if you are lucky enough to spot a school of dolphins, your day will be complete.

Australia and the BVI – two very different and truly amazing destinations.  If you don’t fancy travelling for a day and a half, choose the BVI – only a short hop (by comparison!) from Gatwick to Antigua, then on to Tortola.

Below – idyllic snorkelling at the Indians in the beautiful British Virgin Islands.