Active Caribbean ‘The Cruising Guide to the Virgin Islands’ book review – an excellent Virgin Islands cruising guide book

This Virgin Islands cruising guide book, written by Nancy & Simon Scott, is a complete guide for yachtsmen, divers and watersports enthusiasts

Published by Cruising Guide Publications, Inc.


This Virgin Islands cruising guide book is another travel book on the Caribbean we LOVE to handle. It’s chunky, printed on quality paper, has excellent colour reproduction, hundreds of interesting photos which give a good ‘feel’ to each of the Virgin Islands (even before you go), plenty of charts (as you would expect), and a separate planning chart (produced for planning and not for navigational purposes). This Virgin Islands cruising guide book is spiral bound (16th Edition 2013-2014*).

If you’re thinking of taking a sailing vacation in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) or the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) then this book is a must buy item to read before you go and, of course, to take with you. Divers and water sports enthusiasts, as well as yachtsmen, will also find it invaluable.

As a starter, there’s a lot of general information you’ll find interesting – about pirates of the Caribbean, the history of the Virgin Islands, what to take with you, travel planning, and cruising your own boat to the islands as well as chartering a yacht. Safety, health and emergency information is included as well as some typical sailing itineraries, plus information on cruising permits.

Cruising information includes navigation, Virgin weather, communications and customs, immigration and formalities. There’s a list of anchorages of the BVI and of the USVI, and several pages on diving in both the British Virgin Islands and the US Virgin Islands. Each island has a dedicated chapter with paragraphs on navigation and piloting, anchoring and mooring, ashore, island connections (emergencies, restaurants, marinas, provisions, boat yard services, dive operators).

This Virgin Islands cruising guide book goes into helpful detail about the time of year you’re thinking of visiting, and selecting a charter company and choosing a bareboat, captained, or fully-crewed sailing charter. Their recommendations are wise, so we found several of their tips useful to know before we arrived in the Virgin Islands.

The suggested sailing itineraries give a good idea of how to get the right balance between sailing, snorkelling and exploring. Their advice on planning itineraries with a blend of activities – and not cramming everything into a seven-day cruise – should be heeded. As the islands do not appear far apart, it’s easy to be over-ambitious (as we discovered to our cost!) so seriously consider taking one of their suggested sailing itineraries – the authors have lived and sailed in the Virgin Islands for years.

This Virgin Islands cruising guide book is designed to “incorporate both detailed information regarding a given anchorage and a quick visual guide to the cruising sailor, both with aerial photography and detailed anchorage charts”.

The publishers own introductory description of ‘The Cruising Guide to the Virgin Islands’ – namely that this Virgin Islands cruising book is “the complete guide for yachtsmen, divers and water sports enthusiasts” – is absolutely spot on. We recommend it.

Virgin Islands Cruising guide book info

Books are regularly updated, so if you are thinking of buying a copy of ‘The Cruising Guide to the Virgin Islands’ make sure you buy the latest version of this Virgin Islands cruising guide book.

Click on the book image to buy the latest Cruising Guide to the Virgin Islands, and other Caribbean travel books ⇒

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