Seeking advice: best BVI daysail for a young family
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Seeking advice on the best BVI daysail for a family of four with small kids (aged 7 1/2 and 5). Like the idea of a small tour (Pirate's Penny) but unsure if the swim in to the Baths is ideal (although my kids are good swimmers). Don't want to be herded or crowded on a boat in a large group (ala cruise ship tours - yuck!). A private charter is not in the budget (at least from the pricing I've seen). Seeking relaxing day, beautiful beaches and calm, easy snorkeling. Has anyone taken a similar daytrip with young kids? Staying in STT so need to have a STT pickup.
I've done Limnos, and there were quite a few kids on that trip. I thought it was great for them, because they got a chance to hang with other kids, and at that time the lunch they served onboard was very kid friendly. Now they stop for lunch at a restaurant.
With Limnos, you hike down to the Baths instead of swimming in. That may be easier for kids, though honestly I wasn't paying attention to the kids then, so I can't say how they did on the hike. They were excited about snorkeling at Norman off the boat, and I noticed the Limnos crew paying particular attention to them when in the water.
I think many families choose this company because of the cost, and they have a good reputation. The boat is large enough so that the kids can kind of find their own space, but I don't think it accommodates cruise excursion numbers. In fact, the day I went, the boat captain had his wife and kids on board, and they did the excursion with the rest of us!
You have to google for their info. Limnos Charters.
Thanks MS. Unfortunately Limnos is under contract with the cruise lines until the end of the year and won't take 2012 ressies until they know if they're contract will be renewed.
Sail would be too slow to go to the Baths on a day sail. You want a power boat. Try Lion in Da Sun
Ever consider taking the ferry from CA or Red Hook to VG? It costs less and you have more time in VG.
The ferry will drop you off at the dock where you will go through British customs (you will need passports) and from there you can catch all kind of transportations such as taxi, bus or even tour trams (Speedy's) for a 10 min ride to the Baths. You will get off in a parking lot where you will follow signs to a trail to go down the hill to the Baths. There will be a small restaurant on the beach where you can find some shade or shelter in case of rain.
Make sure to take the kids through Devil's Bay. The kids will love that. Go to Spring Bay, next door, for some good snorkeling.
Back to the parking lot on top, there are 2 eateries, one is a nice restaurant with sweeping oceans views and a swimming pool. The other place is the very popular Mad Dogs known for their sandwiches.
The ferry schedule is at the right corner above. It takes about 60 to 90 min one way.
Another idea for a day trip is a 30 min ferry to Jost Van Dyke. After a visit to White Bay, I can refer you to a local who can take you on his boat to visit the Whirlpool and nearby little islands :Green Cay, Sandy Cay and my favorite of them all, Sandy Spit, a tiny little island of may be 5,000 ft2 with one single coconut tree.
Hope the info helps. Have a great trip.
call john at 813-465-2665.
He is a private charter and has great rates.
I took that trip on that boat to the baths a few years ago, To me I thought it was a small old boat, The ride was choppy on a good day in beautiful conditions. I'm sure a larger boat or cat would have been ideal. The swim into the baths was almost too much for me and a few others. They had a couple of noodles, but we let the grandpa and the one kid have them, It depends upon how many other boats are there, but I can tell you that usually very many are, and it's crowded therefore you could be back behind many boats. You don't just pull up close like a parking spot, and we were one of the last to arrive since it's not as fast as some others.
That day we were there I couldn't believe how out far we were, and it was a long swim in very deep water between other boats with many people in the water kicking. The water around the baths was described as a washing machine because of the way the water spins and rushes around and through the bolders. I wouldn't recommend that or any other small boat with little kids.
Don't miss the baths, I hope the kids don't get sea sick, I've seen that and it's not pretty.
I ,as a mom, did the swim-in to the baths with a 2 year old on a floaty from a boat anchored pretty far out in the water. Had no problem - used fins for better momentum. If your kids can swim and they offer noddles or seat cushions as floats, you should be fine.
The Adventure Center at Marriott Frenchman's Reef has a new boat that sounds similar to Limnos. You can contact them through their website.
Is the BVI for Mom and Dad or the Kids?
I think the BVI, especially JVD, is a long time on the boat. Why don't you check Capt Mike on Fury and let the kids fall in love with the blue water in minutes not hours. Mike is good with the younger set and when the kids see a turtle they will not remember if they are in the BVI and USVI.
Here is Fury day trip's link. I think you will be much happier at the end of the day.