British Virgin Islands Cruising Conditions

Uncover the cruising conditions you can expect on the water and find out the best times to visit.

You can expect spectacular, year-round sunsets in the BVIs | This one is at Anegada

You'll enjoy some of the best yacht charter sailing conditions anywhere thanks to the steady easterly tradewinds and the protection in the lee of the islands from waves and swells.

Generally, for weather conditions, you can expect steady 10-15 knot trade winds from the ENE-ESE, puffy tradewind cumulus clouds, and an occasional shower or squall.

I like to break the BVI yacht charter sailing calendar into 4 seasons. Read more detail about each below.
  • High season: December to March
  • Shoulder season 1: April to June
  • Peak hurricane season: July to October
  • Shoulder season 2: November
To learn more about the unique weather features that affect the Virgin Islands, read my BVI weather and marine forecasting post.

  • Climate by month
  • Sailing seasons
  • Windy current forecast

BVI Yacht Charter Sailing Seasons

BVI high season (December to March)

This is the busiest and most expensive time of the year. Hurricane season is over, and the annual pilgrimage of cruising boats has made it’s way from mainland U.S. and Europe to enjoy the warm Caribbean winter.

Expect crowded mooring fields and frustrated skippers who lost the Boatyball lottery.

Days are shorter (~11 hours vs ~13 hours in the summer).

Most notably, you can expect the Christmas Winds: several days of strong winds (15-30 knots) created by strong high pressure systems in the Atlantic. Make sure you know how to reef those sails!

Wind is usually out of the E to NE and less precipitation falls this time of year.

BVI shoulder season 1 (April to June)

This is my favorite and I believe the best time to visit the British Virgin Islands for sailing trips. We’ve been to the BVIs 3x in May. The crowds have thinned out somewhat and the weather has become more settled.

Expect easy 10-15 knots from the E to SE and an occasional shower to cool things off.
A typical BVI day in Anegada with some cumulus clouds and the occasional shower

BVI peak hurricane season (July to October)

It can be hot, the trade winds lessen (5-15 knots), and tropical mischief can be brewing.

But, you might have the place to yourself. On the flip side, however, some establishments are closed, so keep that in mind if you are planning to hop around the beach bars.

This is the wet season thanks to developing low pressure systems.

BVI shoulder season 2 (November)

This is my second favorite time to sail in the Caribbean and the British Virgin Islands.

Again, the crowds haven’t arrived yet and the weather tends to be settled – similar to April-June.

Trades blow 15-20 knots with wind direction from the E to NE.

The biggest downside of this time of year is the days are shorter. It can make a difference if you plan to spend long days on the water. Otherwise, not a big deal!

British Virgin Islands charter planning?

Consider booking with the Yacht Warriors.