Captain Randy and Shelly
Party Like a Rock Star in the Virgin Islands on New Year's Eve
We've been to the famed Foxy's Bar & Restaurant at Jost Van Dyke 18 times for New Years Eve! Foxy has been entertaining his guests since 1968 and we've visited him many many times since our first trip in 1988 and then living full time in the Virgin Islands for almost 2 decades! Read on to learn more about booking a crewed yacht charter vacation in the Virgin Islands to ring in the New Year 2023.
First and most importantly: As of January 2022, the ports remain closed to yacht charter vessels arriving from the U.S. Virgin Islands to the British Virgin Islands. Yes, it's a big deal.
What does that mean?
Bottom Line: If your heart is set on going to Foxy's and the Soggy Dollar Bar on New Years Eve, everyone in your group needs to be fully vaccinated AND book a charter yacht that is based and registered in the British Virgin Islands. Yes, you could fly to St. Thomas and take the ferry over but that isn't as easy with current entry protocols. Remember, the USVI is a U.S. Territory and the BVI is a British Territory. The entry protocol rules are very different between the 2 territories and they change frequently. Trust us. Fly to EIS / Beef Island Airport and board your BVI yacht at one of the marinas. Be prepared to have 3 covid tests: 1 test 48 hours before you arrive, 1 upon arrival if your test is more than 48 hours old, and 1 to return back to the USA. Yes, we know, it's a lot of testing. Contact us for a list of BVI yachts that are available for the week of New Years.
See the design for this past Old Years Night from Foxy's:
What if the ports reopen to charter vessels arriving from the USVI to the BVI?
Good News! All charter contracts are currently being written so that if the ports between the 2 territories reopen, you'll get to enjoy both the USVI as well as the BVI! You will have to pay the British Virgin Islands (BVI) cruising taxes and permit, BVI National Park permit and BVI customs fees (collectively known as the "BVI Fees"). If the charter itinerary includes the BVI, you'll pay the fees directly to BVI Customs and Immigration when the Yacht clears into BVI territory at an approximate cost of $200 per guest per week.
What if everyone in my group doesn't want to jump through all the hoops to visit the BVI?
We can easily recommend many professionally crewed yachts in the USVI! American citizens can easily visit the USVI without the hassle of multiple covid tests and possible quarantine after arrival. It's really a win-win scenario if you are struggling with leaving the continental USA. The USVI is safest and easiest place in the entire Caribbean to visit in 2022-2023. If you don't want to "miss the boat", you need to book your New Years charter within the next 2 months. The demand for charter yachts in the USVI is huge and the fleet has grown exponentially in the past 12 months. Contact us for a list of USVI yachts that are available for New Years.
Feeling undecided? See the USVI Sample Sailing Itinerary:
U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS
Meet at your charter yacht at 12:00 NOON. It’s very likely that you will spend the first night anchored at Water Island. There is a great hike that loops completely around the entire island that might interest everyone. Go to Joes Dinghy Bar or Heidi’s Honeymoon Grill for a cocktail afterwards (heck, go to both beach bars!) and/or watch the sun go down or do water sports until your crew is ready to serve dinner.
Heidi’s Grill, situated on the beach offer delicious lunches for purchase for all types of palates including: vegetarians, vegans, flexitarians and omnivores. Her burger was voted #1 in the U.S Virgin Islands. On Saturday evenings she turns her food cart into a gourmet station serving upscale cuisine that rivals any chic metropolitan restaurant, all while giving you the best view in the house – candlelight seating on the beach. Don’t forgot to bring your camera as the sunsets are magnificent. In addition Heidi’s provides Monday night movies on the beach, think motion picture by the ocean. The screen is nestled between two palms and Heidi sells traditional movie fare: hot dogs, popcorn, and good old fashion movie candy.
Dinghy's Beach Bar and Grill resides on the other side of the beach. It’s just a short stroll from the main part of the beach. If you are looking for a cold beer, a fancy cocktail, good food, and some salty sailor stories, this is the place to go. In addition, Dinghy’s often offers live music for your listening pleasure.
DAY 2 Enjoy a pleasant breakfast, then dinghy over to Mary’s Point or Whistling Cay for a guided snorkel tour, learning about the coral reef ecosystem and fish/coral identification. Return to the yacht for a lovely lunch on board and a swim. Enjoy a short sail up the channel to Watermelon Cay, St John. There is a nice shore-side trail to the Annaberg Ruins where you will enjoy a historical tour of the sugar plantation and slavery. You can also choose a shorter walk up to Murphy’s Mansion with amazing views over the bay. Nearby the mooring field you will have an opportunity to kayak, paddleboard and snorkel, or dive around the Cay, and for the fishermen, there are salt flats for bone-fishing or fly-fishing. For the snorkelers: You can snorkel completely around Watermelon Cay. It’s very easy if the current is running in your favor. & the underwater topography as well as the variety of fish from one side of the cay to the other is fascinating. This is another calm anchorage for stargazing as well as snorkeling for starfish!
DAY 3 Breakfast followed by a nice hike/snorkel at Waterlemon Cay or motor sail up to Newfound Bay for some fishing and lobster hunting. Continue on to Coral Bay to enjoy some time walking around this quaint town or the swim-up festive “Lime Out” floating taco bar or sail to Salt Pond Bay. Enjoy a quiet afternoon on a gorgeous white sand beach surrounded by gorgeous views. Other options include snorkeling at Booby Rock, a Scuba dive, or take a hike on Ram Head Trail for an Epic sunset view with St. Croix in the distance. Another stop-over at Hansen Bay for some fun on the tube and paddleboards is a fun option.
DAY 4 After an early breakfast, you can decide whether to stay in the St Thomas area or enjoy sailing a few hours South to St. Croix. (This is an option at your discretion, dependent on weather. Approx. sailing time: 5-6 hrs)
If you are interested in a longer beam reach sail and fishing along the way and exploring the largest island in the Virgin Islands territory, then St. Croix is a great diversion from the beaten track. It is quiet, a very friendly island with a fascinating history. If you are already on the South end of St. John it will be easy to depart roughly 35 miles to the South where you will be able to see how long the island of St. Croix is. This tropical island is famous for world-class Scuba diving and fishing on the North Shore, snorkeling with sea turtles at Buck Island, and fascinating historical stories.
For the more adventurous, you may want to rent a jeep and explore the rainforest where you can stop at Norma’s Domino club where you can feed beer to the drinking pigs, see beautiful beaches, and drive to Point Udall the Easternmost point of the land of the USA. Maybe a round of golf? Try the Buccaneer Golf course for a unique island golfing experience. Tour the Danish fort of Christiansvaern near the anchorage. See Fort Frederick, Estate Whim, or the famous Cruzan Rum factory. Dance the night ashore to local bands and then sail back to St. Thomas in the morning of Day 6.
Photo: Christiansted Boardwalk, St.Croix
Day 4 / Option
If you chose not to sail to St. Croix you can continue here. After a hearty breakfast, Enjoy a downwind sail to Lameshur Bay, St. John (we’ve never anchored there with your group & it’s great!) for a lunch stop and water sports. In the afternoon sail to Cruz Bay on the Western side of St. John. Anchor the yacht near the harbor and take the tender in to explore this very colorful town and meet the friendly locals for a little shopping at Mongoose Junction. This small complex is a favorite stop for outdoor bars and great shopping with lots of locally made items. Stop in for a cold one at the street-side Woody’s bar with a World famous happy hour. Don’t miss trying a frozen “Lime in da Coconut” with rum! Your Captain will find a calm anchorage near Caneel Bay for the night where you can enjoy another perfect sunset over St. Thomas. You also might want to try the hike from town over to Caneel Bay. There are 2 trails, high/low and both are great!
Breakfast followed by lots of water-sports after a beam reach sail to Magens Bay, St. Thomas. Weather permitting this is the perfect spot for wakeboarding, paddle-boarding, water skiing, and tubing. Or you can chill out on the beach where you can find secluded sections of the beach all to yourself or stop at the Beach Bar and enjoying local cocktails. Try the frozen bushwhacker or a Pina colada.
Another option for today: Sail to the newly opened resort at Lovango Cay. Enjoy the afternoon using the Infinity Pool, Chaise Lounges, Cabanas, Live Music, Great Food, Spectacular Snorkeling… paired perfectly with island breezes and an unforgettable dinner ashore. (I personally think you would really enjoy this!)
Motor or sail over to Great St. James Island where you can anchor at Christmas Cove. Here are some of the best snorkeling where spotted eagle rays and turtles are in abundance. Close to shore is a shallow ledge where a large variety of smaller schools of colorful fish hide. This anchorage is part of the Parks division and mooring balls are free. This is also the permanent anchorage for “Pizza Pi” where homemade pizzas are made on a converted boat with a real pizza oven sold to neighboring charter yachts. On the weekends, this is the spot to hear live music from different bands performed at the stern of a large catamaran. Its very popular!
Not too far West lays “Cow and Calf” which is perfect for Scuba diving near the anchorage. If you are not into the party crowd surrounding the pizza boat and the live music, sail for historic Buck Island on St. Thomas and enjoy a quiet evening, enjoying the sunset and the pretty scene.
After breakfast, snorkel the wreck of the Cartanza, an old freighter with a fascinating history and/or dinghy over to Turtle Cove to swim with the turtles. Head off on a downwind sail to Honeymoon Beach, Water Island. Enjoy lunch on board and then spend the afternoon on the beach or rent golf carts and explore all the island. At sunset, it is nice to have a “cocktail cruise” in the dinghy and slowly motor through the narrow cut to historic downtown Charlotte Amalie and enjoy cocktails. The lights of this harbor at night are the prettiest in the Caribbean. Enjoy some local nightlife downtown or enjoy a special last night dinner aboard theme party.
After breakfast, you have the chance to see more of the historic Charlotte Amalie. Along its historic waterfront – now a modern-day shopping district – are the restored 17th- and 18th-century warehouses that once held molasses, rum, spices and other trade goods awaiting export. Check out Emancipation Gardens and work of a few calories hiking up the 99 steps. Built in the 1700s to make climbing Government Hill a bit easier, this staircase is one of St Thomas's most famous landmarks. The stairs were a good way to use up the bricks that were ballast in the British and Danish ships, while making travel around the city easier. The ships would pull up to the quay on Front Street, unload their ballast and fill the holds with rum, sugar and other goods. Take advantage of duty-free shopping for jewelry, watches, crystal and buy some rum to take home. Check out the bargains at the vendor’s plaza or go upscale shopping at the boutiques.
Note: Your charter is finished at 12:00 Noon. Your crew may be willing to hold your bags until time to go to the airport.
Amalia Cafe is our favorite place in the historic downtown area to grab a drink & a meal/snack before we leave the island: https://www.amaliacafe.com/ . The large oval bar located directly behind the restaurant is a great spot for the guys to hang out while the girls shop.
If you are looking to buy jewelry from a trustworthy shop with designs you won’t find anywhere else, it’s located across from the Amalia Cafe restaurant: https://www.okidanokh.com/. Artwork and other fun things: Go to the Fish Face shop located next door: https://fishfacevi.com/
Not into shopping? You can have an early breakfast and check out Hassel Island a haven for hikers with more than 135 acres that is part of the Virgin Islands National Park. Originally connected to St. Thomas Island by an isthmus, Hassel Island forms the western edge of St. Thomas Harbor. The Danish government first separated Hassel Island from the main island in 1860, and in 1919, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers widened the channel. The Hassel Island Historic District includes the entire island and contains the ruins of early 19th-century English fortifications and of mid-19th-century shipping and coal stations. Ruins include Fort Shipley, or "Shipley's Battery," an important remnant from Britain's occupation of St. Thomas Island during the Napoleonic Wars (1801-1815), when Denmark had allied with Napoleonic France. British forces constructed Fort Shipley on the highest point of the then peninsula. Directly behind "Shipley's Battery" sit the remains of "Creques Marine Railway," constructed in the 1860s by the Orkanshullet Island Coal and Oil Fuel depot. There is plenty to do and see in the USVI!
About Us-Your Charter Yacht Brokers: Capt. Randy & Shelly Tucker!
We do not sell yachts like many other agencies so there is no conflict or distraction in our focus for your yacht charter. Our service is free to you. We travel extensively to boat shows and yacht charter shows year-round to personally view and inspect as many of the yachts.
6 Reasons Why We are Qualified: 1. As Members of the Charter Yacht Brokers Association and the Virgin Islands Professional Charter Yacht League, we maintain contact with the yachts to keep abreast of the very latest information on crew/yacht conditions and new yachts entering the arena. 2. We stay on top of local and Federal Governments to keep informed about changes in our industry, as well as involve ourselves with the changes in the environment in which we offer charters. 3. We engage in open dialogue with local publications to help keep the government and the public aware of this important industry in our islands. 4. We attend multiple charter yacht industry shows in the Caribbean and Mediterranean, go aboard each of the yachts, meet the crews, attend association meetings and seminars. We'll happily share our notes about changes to the boats and crews and confirm any newly added features and upgrades as well as re-fits to the boat’s decor like new carpets, interior and exterior soft goods & fun new water toys. 5. As a seasoned charter yacht Owner & Crew, we have access to the "inner circle" and know all the insider facts. 6. We've developed a longtime friendship with vendors of services such as local taxi drivers, ferry companies, good places to stay on land, great restaurants, and much more.