When is the Best Time to Visit the US Virgin Islands?
If you’re planning a yacht charter to the US Virgin Islands, you should consider the four different sailing seasons:
High season: December to March
Shoulder season one: April to June
Peak hurricane season: July to October
Should season two: November
My recommendation? The best time to visit the US Virgin Islands is during shoulder season one (April to June). Enjoy predictable weather, longer days, steady wind speeds, fewer crowds, and more affordable yacht charter pricing.
Below, I summarize each to help you make your decision. If you want to learn more about weather and marine resources for the US Virgin Islands, check out this post. It focuses on the USVI neighbor next door, BVI, but the conditions and tools are just as applicable.
US Virgin Islands 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.
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.
USVI shoulder season 1 (April to June)
This is my favorite and I believe the best time to visit the US Virgin Islands for yacht charter trips. 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.
US Virgin Islands 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, such as Pizza Pi VI, so keep that in mind.
This is the wet season thanks to developing low pressure systems.
USVI shoulder season 2 (November)
This is my second favorite time to sail in the Caribbean and the US 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 that the days are shorter. It can make a difference if you plan to spend long days on the water. Otherwise, not a big deal!
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