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Renting vs Chartering a Boat for the Day in the Virgin Islands

USVI BVI boating

When staying in the US Virgin Islands, whether you’re on St. Thomas or St. John, you’re surrounded by other islands you’re going to want to explore. Between the USVI and BVI, there are countless snorkel spots, beach bars, and other iconic locales. This is why the region is known as a boater’s paradise. You can hop on a boat for the day and island hop, easily seeing several different stops within the daylight hours.

If you’d like to go boating, the first question to determine is whether you’d like to rent a boat or charter a boat. In general, our recommendation is always to charter a boat whenever you can. In fact, all of the boat trips on our website are charters. Here’s why:


  • When you charter a boat, it comes with a Captain (and sometimes crew) who knows the boat. They will be familiar with how to operate it, how it has been maintained, and where all of the necessary equipment is located.


  • When you charter a boat, your Captain is also knowledgeable about the region. This means that they will not only know where to avoid hazardous conditions (you won’t get stuck on a reef!), but they also know fun stops and cool secret spots to explore.


  • When you charter a boat, no one in your group needs to worry about being the designated driver. Everyone can imbibe all the Painkillers and Bushwackers they desire without jeopardizing the safety of the passengers or the boat.


USVI BVI boat charters


  • When you charter a boat, there is always someone to stay with the boat, if need be. Whether there’s limited space at a dock, not enough mooring balls, or everyone wants to snorkel to shore, your Captain can stay with the boat while you all continue the fun.


  • When you charter a boat, there are typically more amenities that come with it than a bareboat rental. That means you may have access to snorkel gear, floats, coolers, and more. Check out the charter boat options to see which boats offer which amenities.


Renting a boat is definitely an option if you’re familiar with the area and have boating experience. However, even with that in mind, chartering a boat with a captain allows everyone onboard to have a safe, positive, stress-free experience for the day.

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From $1095

Fully Customizable Charter! Multiple Stops with Lunch Option. Visit the BVIs! Lounge on the sundeck under a canopy or in our comfortable stateroom. SUP, Snorkel with sea turtles, float on our inflatable island! Many lunch stop options. Come explore the waters of the Virgin Islands with us! Drone video upon request.

From $1450

Spend an exhilarating 8 hour day gliding over the waves and exploring the US Virgin Islands for up to 12 people. The ultimate unforgettable day comfortable seating for twelve people, a side entry ladder, refrigerator and fresh water shower.  Excellent sound system with 14 speakers on board a friendly, knowledgeable captain see it all!


From $1,595

This double decker 45’ Catamaran MV Sea Wolf comes with Captain and crew to make the #1 Party Yacht for up to 12 passengers! Bluetooth Stereo, Bar stools, tanning beds, Instagram Perfect! The two 370hp engines provide speed to visit many bays and beaches around the Virgin Islands!

  • Most Popular
From $125

Spending a day at Maho Beach? This discounted couples day pass includes all day use of one stand-up paddleboard or kayak, two floating noodles, 2 beach chairs, one umbrella or tent (weather dependent) and snorkel gear to snorkel with sea turtles at Maho Bay on the St. John’s iconic North Shore.