BVI Catamaran Sailing Charters Vs San Blas Catamaran Sailing Charters
There is no clear winner in this battle, it ultimately depends on what you are looking for and what you call "Paradise".
The exponential increase in large cruise ships carrying vast amounts of tourists to the major sailing charter destinations in the Caribbean including the BVIs has bought the corresponding deterioration of the once peaceful and picturesque anchorages and other locations.
What was once the most requested sailing locations are not only losing their charm, but also giving way to a totally different type of tourism, and one that will completely change the scene.
Cruise ship in Tortola, the BVIs
Not that the BVIs, the USVIs are totally lost, but hey! it is just not the same as years before.
Soggy Dollar Bar in the BVIs
Back in 2019 before the pandemic, the number of cruise ships were already noticeable. Fast forward to 2022 and in the post pandemic scenario, the numbers are well above the 500k cruise passengers/year.
Let’s face it: for tax collection purposes, governments of the major sailing charter destinations will always prefer to profit from major operators like Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Lines and others, rather than trying to collect their taxes from a myriad of small charter operators or even worst, yacht owners licensed to charter their own catamaran or sailboat. This fact plays a major role in the transformation of the off the beaten path sailing destinations into a more "tourist-friendly" locations with all kinds of services, including popular tourist attractions...
Not all in the BVIs is bad, for one, for once you have the best catamarans available in the market and a lot of them can be rented as bareboat, such thing does not occur in San Blas.
Our catamarans have attached an all inclusive service including captain, cook and provisioning and the cost at a first glance is higher than renting a catamaran elsewhere.
Main reason why bareboat charters are not possible: San Blas is a labyrinth of reefs and hidden navigation dangers
Why is it like this and why is the price of catamaran sailing charters are more in the San Blas islands in comparison to the BVIs?
San Blas and the more than the 365 islands that comprise this archipelago, not only are the most secluded part of the Caribbean, but they are also extremely hard to navigate and that should only be attempted by local captains.
Food, water, decent diesel etc, is not only overpriced but 40 miles out of the away No marinas or any repair facility within easy reach. Added to this scenario there is also the peculiarities of the Guna people and their "shailas" or chiefs who do not permit any major player not connected in any way and to the local population of indigenous. Moorings, Sunsail and Dream Yacht Charter in San Blas?
BVI famous anchorage, Treasure island.
Empty anchorages at BBQ island, San Blas
Dutch cays residents
Conclusion: Choose a catamaran charter in the BVIs for the regular sailing experience, social exposure and similar culture and ways. Choose sailing San Blas on a catamaran for a mix of secluded anchorages, untouched nature with vibrant underwater life and an the cultural enrichment derived from interaction with the Guna Indigenous.