Cruising in the British Virgin Islands

A British Virgin Islands cruising experience should include these notable waypoints.
British Virgin Islands
In addition to world-class snorkeling, Anegada is known for its centuries-in-the-making conch mounds. Courtesy BVI Tourism

The British Virgin Islands offer the cruising crowd a plethora of rest-and-relaxation opportunities, but every great location has some can’t-miss attractions. For boaters who are planning a voyage through the BVI, these three spots have something to offer everyone on board.

The Baths 

The Baths National Park, along the southwestern tip of Virgin Gorda, is the crown jewel of BVI attractions. The rounded forms and very presence of The Baths’ iconic massive granite boulders—as large as 40 feet in diameter—are a testament to the volcanic and geological forces at work over millions of years.

Rope handrails, arrows and wooden stairs guide visitors through this natural playground of cave-like passages and secluded turquoise pools tucked between the boulders. It’s a choose-your-own adventure, with some nooks requiring a tight squeeze or army crawl and other stretches perfectly suited for a leisurely stroll or dip. Sunlight spills through the openings, illuminating social-media-worthy spots such as the triangular-shaped path known as “the cathedral” and creating entrancing dancing reflections off the pools onto the rock walls. The route ends at the white-sand expanse of Devil’s Bay, a tranquil spot for swimming or snorkeling.

Cruisers should arrive at The Baths early to avoid cruise-ship crowds and to secure one of the coveted mooring balls and spots along the offshore dinghy dock line.  


The only all-coral island in the BVI, Anegada is a favorite destination for world-class snorkeling as well as spiny lobster. Its annual Anegada Lobster Festival is one of the BVI’s top events of the year. Anegada is an easy day trip from the Bitter End Yacht Club, which is located about 10 nautical miles to the south.

Rising a mere 28 feet above sea level at its highest point, Anegada is easy to explore on foot. Look for rock iguanas, wild orchids and tropical birds along the Bones Bight nature trail. Spot flamingos from the Flamingo Pond Lookout. Or chill out on Cow Wreck Beach.

Anegada’s surrounding reef, however, is the far bigger draw. Check out more than 300 shipwrecks, tunnels and caves, Volkswagen-sized brain coral, and such species as stingrays, angelfish and parrotfish.


If you’re in the mood for an incredible story or a great joke shared over a rum drink, then seek out Philicianno “Foxy” Callwood at his eponymous bar, Foxy’s, which has anchored the beach at Great Harbour on Jost Van Dyke since 1968. Foxy is a Member of the British Empire as well as an inductee into the CYBA International Hall of Fame for his contributions to the island’s heritage and yachting tourism industry, but there’s no need to stand on ceremony. Instead, raise one of his signature libations—perhaps a Dread Fox or a Sly Fox—and toast this BVI legend.