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  • Writer's pictureCaptain Randy and Shelly

Tips for Yachting in the Virgin Islands with Physical Limitations

Updated: Feb 3

A private yacht charter as a special vacation experience can be shared by everyone, regardless of physical limitations. We want to highlight destinations known for their accessibility & inclusivity, making everyone feel welcome.


Some things to think about when bringing a family member on a yacht trip who has mobility issues: Their preferred pace, special consideration for their preferences of different activities and a willingness to pay attention to their comfort level.


With respect, openness, and a genuine desire to explore the world together, our clients are finding ways to explore the Caribbean via a crewed motor yacht, catamaran, and sailboat.


While there are many 100-foot plus charter yachts with cabins on the main deck, elevators and hydraulic deck lifts, for something smaller & more affordable, we suggest 86' Motor Yacht The Peddler or 80' Catamaran Skye. Both are currently in the Virgin Islands and they are great choices for those with mobility issues!


Let's focus on island amenities with easy access for those with special needs:


Magens Bay Beach, St. Thomas, USVI:

Magen's Bay Photo by Yacht Charters Guru

If you’ve never really fully explored in the U.S. Virgin Islands, we have some thoughts about visiting the USVI. If you are interested in a USVI/BVI charter for something new to do, We have reconfirmed today there is a beach “Access Mat” pathway and “WaterWheels” into/out of the water at beautiful Magens Bay in St. Thomas. The brightly colored vinyl mats, along with beach-friendly wheelchairs, give the physically disabled easy access to the water and pave the way for enhancements to come.


Located on a beautiful beach located on the north side of St. Thomas, USVI, Magen's Bay is known for its clear turquoise waters, soft white sand, and lush vegetation. 

  • It's one of the most popular beaches on the island, and for good reason! It's a great place to relax, swim,snorkel, kayak, or paddleboard. There are also plenty of amenities available, such as restrooms, showers, and concessions.

  • The water at Magens Bay is typically calm and clear, making it perfect for swimming and snorkeling. There's also a protected area for young children to play in.

  • If you're looking for something to do besides swimming, there's a nature trail that winds through the hills behind the beach. You can also rent kayaks or paddleboards and explore the bay.

  • Magens Bay is a great place to relax and enjoy the beauty of the Caribbean. It's also a popular spot for weddings and other special events.


Trunk Beach in St. John:

Trunk Bay, St John

Trunk Bay has beach accessible paths to water, wheelchairs, restrooms, changing rooms, etc. Trunk Bay Beach was donated to the USVI National Park Service by Laurence S. Rockefeller about 50 years ago. This blissful spot soothes the soul with its translucent azure water and sugar-white sandy beach backed by lush green trees. Offshore are pristine coral reefs teeming with colorful marine life. Whether you're hoping to hike, swim, snorkel, sail, or laze about on the beach, you'll find access to it all at the Virgin Islands National Park. You’re bound to see Sea turtles in the waters of the Virgin Islands National Park, St. John.


*Don't Miss: The Underwater Snorkel Trail at Trunk Bay: allows you to snorkel along above the trail and read the underwater signs to learn about the many animals that depend on the coral and ways to protect these fragile reefs. 


Hawksnest Beach in St. John:

Hawksnest has accessible paths to water. Snorkeling is lovely here.

Lovango Cay Restaurant & Beach Club: 

There’s a really sense of occasion as you cruise up to the dock at the Lovango Resort. It’s a very “buzzy” private island resort with a great restaurant and easy access from the dock and up the ramp to the restaurant. Enjoy a lunch or dinner ashore!


Trails & Paths in the USVI:

Cinnamon Bay Self-Guided Trail: offers a wheelchair-accessible boardwalk which winds through the historic ruins. It runs through the ruins of Cinnamon Bay Plantation and up into the forest. Signs along the trail provide information about plants & animals along with life and culture during plantation days.

Wander through the ruins and read the waysides to learn about life in the plantation days. Then for those who are able, venture up the hill through the bay rum, tyre palm and other native trees. Smell the bay rum leaves as you progress through the trees. You may see the above ground tombs of the former plantation owner's wife Anna Margarethe and her children, located in the shady grove of the genip and bay rum trees growing above the plantation. The trail passes over the gut, which provided water to the plantation below.


Francis Bay Boardwalk:

Offers a wheelchair accessible boardwalk to a beautiful salt pond, perfect for bird viewing. The Lower Francis Bay Trail might work for those with mobility issues and it’s calm there on the beach with no surf. Known as a prime bird-watching trail by the VI Audubon Society, it has been visited by many professional & amateur ornithologists. The boardwalk safely weaves park visitors through the forest of sea grape, maho & mangroves between the beach. The salt pond, offers a unique & valuable opportunity for people to peacefully observe the animals and plants that thrive in the marsh-like ecosystem. Visit the Virgin Islands National Park has offered weekly Ranger-led birding hikes and provided field trips to hundreds of classrooms. For those Francis Bay Trail starts at the Francis Bay Sugar Factory. It continues past the Mary's Point Estate house and around a salt pond. The dry tropical forest and salt pond provide an excellent opportunity to view birds. Snorkeling is very good here! One of my favorites! 


Annaberg Plantation:

Features a wheelchair accessible path which meanders throughout the ruins. For those with physical limitations, you'll need to go to Cruz Bay and get a taxi to visit; but it is worth seeing. If you love to hike and are anchored in Leinster Bay, then you and crew member could go to shore via tender and walk up to the Plantation from the bay early one morning before it gets too hot. You will enjoy the views thoroughly! Its beautiful! 


Soper’s Hole Marina, Tortola:

Lined with quaint shops and a kaleidoscope of colours, Soper’s Hole is the Caribbean dream. This is a good day stop to shop a little or have lunch. The lower dock is convenient for stepping from the tender onto a solid walkway.


Exploring Ashore in Tortola:

We suggest one member of the crew join you for a half-day Tour of Tortola that includes these easily accessible highlights: 

  • Beautiful scenic drive across the highest part of Tortola.

  • Great photo opportunities.

  • Visit beautiful J.R O’Neal Botanical Gardens. It's flat, small and easy to walk.

  • See the ruins of the Church at Kingstown.

  • Visit the Virgin Islands Maritime Museum-This stunning, historic building is a great place for visitors who want a little background about the island’s history.

  • Explore the former distillery but now privately owned art gallery Josiah’s Bay Plantation-There is lovely beach too! 


Docks in the BVI that are Easy to Access: 


Bitter End Yacht Club, North Sound Virgin Gorda: Dockage Available

This dock can accommodate yachts easily. The boardwalk stretches to the Beach is hard packed here and should be an easy walk for those who need sand.

Enjoy the classy outdoor bar, made from a boat!


Oil Nut Bay Marina Village, Virgin Gorda:

Secluded spectacular high-end resort with of course, a restaurant & shopping. Fun to visit for a day; and if you want to stay here, just let us know! We stayed here last year in a beautiful villa. It takes about an hour to see everything on Golf Cart. The only way to visit Oil Nut Bay is via boat or helicopter. 

 

Leverick Bay Marina, Virgin Gorda:

A little shopping, a pool, 2 restaurants, a visit to the spa and good place to catch a cab to a barbecue restaurant with view for miles around! 


Cooper Island Beach Club Boardwalk:

You'll want to sip on a Rum Punch and enjoy Conch Fritters and Curried Chicken Roti here! Small beach; but the boardwalk stretches the entire property. It’s nice. Don’t miss the Rum Bar with its extensive collection of high-end rums, the ice cream & coffee shop, good boutique with well-chosen items for sale.


We could go on and on! There are a lot of things to see and do here! Let us know if you've enjoyed an easily accessible dock or beach and we'll add them to the list!

 

About Us: Your Charter Yacht Brokers: Capt. Randy & Shelly Tucker!


If you want to experience a luxury yacht charter vacation first hand and up close, there is no better way than on your own privately crewed yacht with a full-time professional Captain and Chef/First Mate. We've been sailing and chartering for well over twenty-five years.


The U.S. Virgin Islands and British Virgin Islands were our "backyard" which we came to love and cherish. So much so, that we sold everything in 1997 and moved to Charlotte Amalie, USVI as owners & operators aboard the 72' sailing yacht Three Moons. We do know the ins and outs of this special place & the people who live there. That's what makes us an official "Yacht Charters Guru”! Never been on a chartered yacht vacation? We will help you personally design your charter yacht vacation. Imagine being able to sail into small bays with beautiful white sands & fantastic snorkeling. A yacht vacation is a great way to spend time with your friends or family.


Why use a CYBA Certified Yacht Charter Broker?

Key Takeaways:

  • As a member of CYBA, the Charter Yacht Broker’s Association, we adhere to strict yacht charter booking protocols. We have access to the CYBA industry escrow account to protect your money.

  • Charter yacht crews, yacht owners and travel agents do not have access to this account.

  • If it is a busy yacht with lots of charters, the crew are taking care of guests onboard and they honestly do not have time to answer a lot of travel questions.

  • This is what differentiates professionally licensed yacht brokers from anyone else trying to book charters.

  • Very Important! It is not safe to send your hard-earned money directly to a business or yacht that is not accredited by a professional charter industry association to handle yacht charter client funds. Always ask!

  • We have access to the The CYBA E-Contract Charter Agreement. It is made available by CYBA for electronic use only by established, industry recognized and reputable Yacht Brokers.


Choose from an extensive list of yachts, including our spacious and stable catamaran charters, power catamarans, traditional monohull sailboat vacations, or high-end luxury motor yacht charters in the U.S. Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, Bahamas, Belize, Croatia. Greece, and the Mediterranean.


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 as possible.


6 Reasons Why We are Qualified:


1. As Members of the Charter Yacht Brokers Association, The Virgin Islands Professional Charter Yacht League, and the BVI Charter Yacht Society, 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.





  



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