The BVI are among the world's most popular sailing destinations. They're clustered together and surrounded by calm waters, so it's fairly easy to sail from one anchorage to the next. Most of the Caribbean's biggest sailboat charter companies have operations in Tortola. If you know how to sail, you can charter a bareboat (perhaps for your entire vacation); if you're unschooled, you can hire a boat with a captain. Prices vary depending on the type and size of the boat you wish to charter. In season, a weekly charter runs from $1,500 to $35,000. Book early to make sure you get the boat that fits you best. Most of Tortola's marinas have hotels, which give you a convenient place to spend the nights before and after your charter.
If a day sail to some secluded anchorage is more your spot of tea, the BVI have numerous boats of various sizes and styles that leave from many points around Tortola. Prices start at around $80 per person for a full-day sail, including lunch and snorkeling equipment.
Aristocat Charters. This company's 48-foot catamaran sets sail daily to Jost Van Dyke, Norman Island, and other small islands. West End, VG1130. 284/499-1249.www.aristocatcharters.com.
BVI Yacht Charters. The 31- to 52-foot sailboats for charter here come with or without a captain and crew, whichever you prefer. Port Purcell, Road Town, VG1110. 284/494-4289 or 888/615-4006. www.bviyachtcharters.com.
Catamaran Charters. The catamarans here come with or without a captain. Village Cay Marina, Hodge's Creek, Road Town, VG1130. 284/494-6661 or 800/262-0308.www.catamarans.com.
Moorings. One of the world's best bareboat operations, The Moorings has a large fleet of monohulls and catamarans. Hire a captain or sail the boat yourself. Wickham's Cay II, Road Town,VG1110. 284/494-2332 or 800/535-7289. www.moorings.com.
Regency Yacht Vacations. If you prefer a powerboat, call Regency Yacht Vacations. It handles both bareboat and captained sail and powerboat charters. Wickham's Cay I, Road Town, VG1110. 284/495-1970 or 800/524-7676.www.regencyvacations.com.
Sunsail. A full fleet of boats to charter with or without a captain is available here. Wickham's Cay II, Road Town, VG1120.284/495-4740 or 800/327-2276. www.sunsail.com.
Voyage Charters. Voyage has a variety of sailboats for charter, with or without a captain and crew. Soper's Hole Marina,West End, VG1130. 284/494-0740 or 888/869-2436.www.voyagecharters.com.
White Squall II. This 80-foot schooner has regularly scheduled day sails to The Baths at Virgin Gorda, Cooper, the Indians, and the Caves at Norman Island. Village Cay Marina, Road Town,VG1110. 284/494-2564. www.whitesquall2.com.