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Indians, Caves, Aquarium – BVI Snorkeling Trip from St. John

While it is possible to incorporate some snorkeling into our day trip to Jost van Dyke, most of the prime BVI snorkeling spots are near Norman Island and part of our Norman Island Day Trip. There are no houses or beachgoers nearby so the water is super nice and clear.

The Indians

The Indians are an amazing deep water snorkel and are constantly named among the top 5 BVI snorkeling spots. They lie just north of The Bight at Norman Island and about half way between the easternmost tip of St. John, USVI and the westernmost tip of Peter Island. Four rocky pinnacles rise straight up, about 100' from the ocean floor. Approximately 50' of that is above water. There are lots of blue tangs, parrotfish, cow fish, damsel fish, sergeant majors, jacks, queen angels, wrasse, trunk fish, eels and if you're lucky, you might spot a queen trigger fish.

The Caves

Norman Island is a well-known destination for cruisers and other tourists because of 3 water-level caves at the base of cliffs just outside the western edge of The Bight. The are ideal for snorkeling.

Note: Different from the other spots, both Caves and Indians charge a 20$ mooring fee which has to be paid upon checkin into the BVIs.  These fees can be avoided by going to free spots like the Aquarium but if you don't mind the fee and want to snorkel the Indians and Caves, we can of course go there, just let the Captain know before check-in to the BVI so that he can pay the fees (fees can be paid with credit card).

The Aquarium

is another great but lesser know snorkeling spot which you will most likely have to yourself. The advantage over Indians is that you don't have to pay a mooring fee. The water is super nice and clear and calm and you will see lots of good stuff. From there it's a very quick ride over to Pirate's Bight where you can have some great lunch at "Pirate's" or "The Club"

From there you can head over to Jost van Dyke for some "Painkillers" at infamous Soggy Dollar Bar or take the route along the South Shore of St. John for more snorkeling (Tektike, Booby Rock) or fishing (Norman Island and Fishing Charter)


Ready to go?

Book your Day Trip from St. John to Norman Island here

You can use the calendar below to directly make a booking (select date and hit book now). Not sure yet? Then you can also send us a Booking Enquiry with this form or via email to rockhoppinusvi(at)gmail.com


Online Booking

Or the form below to to make a booking. Select your date and pay a 150$ deposit. The rest is due on day of charter (after trip, cash, card or cheque). All prices include captain and fuel. Not included: BVI customs/mooring fees and gratuity

 

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Which BVI should I visit on day trip from St. John?

You are planning a trip to St. John and are wondering "'Which BVI should I visit on day trip from St. John"? Well, firstly you can't go wrong every single island is beautiful. Secondly, don't overplan or overthink it! Our captains are really flexible and you can always change itinerary during the day based on weather, wind and what you feel like doing. Still, here is a brief outline to help you choose the right trip for you!

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Beach, Bar, Drink & Party


Snorkel, Beach, Bar & Drink


"I want to go back to Soggy Dollar but see more than that!"

  • B-Line (Little Jost van Dyke, Beach Bar & Snorkeling), Bubbly Pools, Sandy Cay, Jost van Dyke (Soggy Dollar)

"I want to see it all!"

  • Virgin Gorda, Norman Island & Jost van Dyke. Yes, our boat is fast and we can do all islands in one day and get a bit of everything, beautiful Nature at The Baths, Snorkeling at Norman and Drinks at Willy T. and  to end the day at Soggy Dollar bar.

Relaxation away from crowds / Good food & Snorkeling


Beautiful Nature


"I have no passport / Don't want to pay BVI Customs"


Family Fun


"I have not been on boats much and am afraid I might get sick!"

  • Start with  Jost van dyke, our boat is fast and was built for offshore fishing - it will be a quick, smooth ride of 20mins.

"I want to spend some romantic couple time"

  • B-Line, Sandy Cay, Sandy Spit and Soggy Dollar (Jost van Dyke Trip)
  • Peter Island: visit their spa & resort for some romantic couple time and then head to Jost van Dyke afterwards.

"I want to paddleboard"

  • Virgin Gorda. Paddling around the boulders is a truly otherworldy experience. If you don't want to go that far, Jost, B-Line and Sandy Cay are also nice. If you are an experienced paddler you can do a downwinder from Sandy Cay to Soggy Dollar.

"I want to go snorkeling & fishing!"

  • Try our half day snokel & half day fishing combo
  • Or go to Norman Island for Snorkeling, Wily T. or Pirates and then we can go back along the South Shore and fish all the way back (Jost van Dyke stop not possible in this option)

"I have seen it all! -  show me something completely different and stunning!"


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"I need to see how it looks like there!"

Watch the videos below.....


While the choices are unlimited our pricing is simple

Price is based on the furthest island, all other stops are included. The price includes captain and fuel - no hidden extra charges. Not included are BVI customs and mooring fees and gratuity for the captain. We provide water and ice and you can use our Easybreath full face masks for free.

  • Sunset Cruise: 250$
  • Half day USVI: 400$
  • Jost van Dyke or Full day St. John: 650$
  • Norman: 800$
  • Cooper or Peter: 850$
  • Virgin Gorda: 950$
  • Anegada: 1050$

Island by Island Overview


Jost van Dyke, BVI (closest to St. John)

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Named for an early Dutch settler and former pirate, rugged scenery and colorful folklore make up Jost Van Dyke.  With fewer than 300 inhabitants, it measures just four miles by three.It retains the island culture that much of the Caribbean has lost. Jost Van Dyke is a little island with a big reputation. It is also home of the Soggy Dollar Bar, the bar that invented the famous Painkiller Cocktail.

If you only want to visit one island, Jost has it all. White Bay is one of the best beaches in the world, Soggy Dollar always makes it on the top 10 beach bar lists and there are a more bars, restaurants and shops to roam around. A day trip from Jost van Dyke.


Norman Island, BVI

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Norman Island sits East of St. John and just seven miles south of Tortola at the southern tip of the British Virgin Islands. It is 2.5 miles long with a total land mass of only 600 acres and feels like it is a million miles from anywhere. It is one of a number of islands reputed to be the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s pirate novel Treasure Island.

After Jost van Dyke it is second closest to St. John. While there is not much to see on the island itself, Norman Island is home to Pirate's Bight (Pictured above), infamous floating Bar Willy T. and some of the best BVI snorkeling spots (Indians, Caves, Aquarium etc.)


Cooper Island, BVI

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Cooper Island sits East of Norman Island and is home of Cooper Island Beach Club. It is a more upscale and relaxed setting vs. for example Soggy Dollar bar and the food is just great. There is also some good snorkeling. It's not a place where you want to spend the whole day but it is great for a relaxed lunch or afternoon.


Virgin Gorda

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Virgin Gorda is the third-largest (after Tortola and Anegada) and second most populous of the British Virgin Islands (BVI). Christopher Columbus is said to have named the island “The Fat Virgin”, because the island’s profile on the horizon looks like a fat woman lying on her side. It is a bit of a longer, more expensive ride from St. John.

The Baths are Virgin Gorda's most famous attraction. They are a sublime jumbled collection of sky-high granite boulders. The rocks are made of volcanic java from about 70million years ago and form a series of grottoes that fill with water and shafts of kaleidoscopic sunlight and look truly otherworldly.


Peter Island

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is home to Peter Island Resort & Spa, a casually elegant British Virgin Island resort and spa hidden away on an 1,800-acre oasis of tranquility. It is a great place to spend some romantic couple time before heading to Jost van Dyke to end the day with some painkillers.


Anegada

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Anegada is the northernmost of the British Virgin Islands and a much longer ride. It lies approximately 15 miles (24 km) north of Virgin Gorda. Anegada is formed from coral and limestone, rather than being of volcanic origin. While the other islands are mountainous, Anegada is flat and low. It is the only all-coral atoll in the VI and a mere 28 feet above sea level. That's the place where we ourselves go to relax, it is so small, quiet and laid back.

Going to Anegada for a day can be a bit of a stretch (depening on ocean and due to customs hours), you might consider doing a customs overnight trip to truly have time to explore it's beauty

 

 

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Half day snorkeling half day fishing charter

If you would like to do some fishing while on St. John without going on a hard core full day fishing charter, this trip might be for you.

We will first head to Norman Island where you can snorkel the Indians, Caves or Aquarium, then you can have lunch at Pirate's or The Club and then we take a route South of St. John on the way back (we can start fishing as soon as we hit USVI waters.
We take a maximum of 6 people on this charter.

Snorkeling and Lunch at Norman Island

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We start our trip at 9:00 AM  at National Park Dock and head to Tortola West End to check you into BVI customs. From there we can go head to some of the snorkeling spots around Norman Island like Indians, Caves or Aquarium.

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The water is super nice and clear and you will see tons of different sea life.

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As with all trips, you can use our Easybreath Full Face Masks (or traditional fins and masks) for free.

 

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When you have spent enough time snorkeling we can stop for lunch, you have the choice between 2 restaurants at Norman Island, "Pirate's Bight" and "The Club"

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Pirates Bight is the traditional lunch choice at Norman Island, they serve Fish Tacos, Chicken Tenders, Chicken Fajitas, Grilled Mahi Sandwich, Chicken Roti, BBQ Bay Back Ribs, Blacken Tuna, Stuffed Eggplant or a tradtional burger.

the-club-norman-island

The Club is a relatively new restaurant in the temporary structure that housed Pirate's Bight during the remodel, it is slightly more upscale and expensive, they serve Maki Rolls, Paella Tasters, Open Face Sandwiches, Fritters and more.

Fishing on the way back to St. John

the second half will be spend fishing, iwe can fish along St. John's South Shore all the way back. After the trip, Captain Steve will clean the fish for you and you can keep enough fish for a big dinner.

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Half Day Snorkeling Half Day Fishing Charter Pricing:

  • Norman Island (Pirates, Willy T., Snorkeling) and fishing on way back (along St. John South Shore): 900$ incl. captain, fuel and fishing equipment use plus BVI customs
  • other options are available upon request call/text Captain Steve on 340-626-2859 for more information

fishing-charter-stjohn

Booking a Fishing Charter from St. John, USVI

Email us on rockhoppinusvi(at)gmail.com or use the form below to to make a booking. Select your date in the calendar and pay a 150$ deposit. The rest is due on day of charter (after trip, cash, card or cheque). All prices include captain, fuel, water, ice, fishing rods and bait. Not included: BVI customs/mooring fees and gratuity. Should we have to cancel the trip due to adverse weather (which we don't expect) the deposit will of course be refunded.

If you catch some fish that you would like to take home with you for dinner Captain Steve can clean it for you.

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Pirates Bight, Norman Island, BVI

Pirates Bight sits on the hauntingly beautiful Norman Island, which is said to be the inspiration for Robert Lewis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island.” The restaurant and bar opened in 2002 and has since become a destination of choice for the sailors and visitors who flock year-round to the British Virgin Islands for its renowned sunshine, seas and beaches. The bar and restaurant earned its reputation as a family place of relaxed afternoons, legendary parties into the night, and the famous cannon shot at happy hour each night.

Now, when the yachts, sailboats and other vessels arrive at this historic spot, they will find a transformed destination. Led by Lane Pettigrew, described by Architectural Digest as “the Caribbean’s architect laureate,” a team of designers, construction crews from Meridian Construction and hospitality experts re-imagined and rebuilt the Pirate Bight experience.

pirates-bight-norman-island-bvi

A revamped food menu includes a fresh takes on Caribbean classics like fried conch and barbequed ribs, while also extending into freshly caught local fish and locally sourced produce. You can check out their menu Pirates Bight Norman Island Menu.

While much has changed, the spirit of fun and adventure remain at the heart of the experience. Pirates Bight is a great stop on a day trip to the BVIs.  You can relax and have lunch there on the way back from the Baths (Virgin Gorda Day Trip) or after snorkeling and before having drinks at Willy T. if you are doing the Norman Island Day Trip.

pirates-bight-norman-island-day-trip

If you are taking a paddleboard on your day trip, you can also paddle from Willy T. over to Pirates. It takes about 10 minutes, it is mostly upwind but on the way back to Willy T. you will usually have downwind. The beach is flat, sandy and easily accessible. With food or drinks you can use the comfortable beach chairs for free. Aside from the beach, food and drinks there are also restrooms of course and a little souvenir shops with some nice T-Shirts and Cover-Ups for sale.

pirates-bight-stjohn-norman-island-day-trip

"The Club" on Norman Island

the temporary structure that hosted Pirate's after the original burned down now is home to a new bar / restaurant called "The Club" which serves great food, check out their menu here.

More information on Pirates Bight, Norman Island:

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Day Trip St. John – Cooper Island (BVI)

 

We have quite a few repeat guest and returning St. John visitors who have been to Virgin Gorda and Jost van Dyke and are asking for something new. Cooper Island is a lesser known, small, isolated island and can only be accessed by private boat.

 

cooper-island-beach-club-bvi

Where is Cooper Island, BVI?

where-is-cooper-island

 

It is on the South Side of Tortola and about half way between Norman Island and Virgin Gorda.

 

It hosts a small, eco-friendly (75% of their power is solar generated), beautiful resort which has just undergone major renovations. There is great fresh food (it is famous for the chicken roti), awesome cocktails, a beautiful beach and good snorkeling. There are even some tables in the water.

Day Trip St. John - Cooper Island

Here is a quick write up and a few pics and a video from a day trip from St. John to Cooper Island last Tuesday. We met our guests at High Tide at 9:00 AM, filled out the customs forms and checked into the BVI at Tortola Westend. From there we headed straight to Cooper Island.

 

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We arrived there before the rush, beating the bigger boats and went for some snorkeling right off the beach where we saw Barracudas, squid and lots of colorful fish.

 

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We spent some time wandering around the resort, checking out the shop and the coffee bar and then sat down in the comfortable loungers for lunch.

 

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 Lunch at Cooper Island Beach Club

We had some excellent Chicken Roti in the beautiful and relaxed setting and then left to snorkel some of the famous but also the lesser known snorkeling spots in the area.

 

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After the snorkeling we went to famous Party Boat Willy T. for some cocktails and of course jumped of the deck. Our jumps were quite stylish compared to the lady after us, who landed flat on her belly.

 

day-trip-stjohn-willyt-bvi

 

From there we went along the South Shore of St. John, passing impressive Ram's head and stopped for another snorkel at Tektike, which can only be accessed by boat.

Snorkeling Tektike

The Tektite snorkel is one of the absolute best snorkeling spots on the island of St. John. The name, Tektite, refers to a research project conducted at Beehive Bay a small cove on the southeastern tip of Great Lameshur Bay. The Tektite Project was conducted in 1969 in a cooperative effort by the U.S. Department of the Interior, the U.S. Navy, NASA and the General Electric Co. The purpose of the study was to investigate the effects on human beings of living and working underwater for prolonged periods of time. More information on the Tektite Project is here.

 

You will see a very wide variety of fish and amazing coral formations.

 

snorkeling-norman-aquarium

 

We saw some moving sand and after a bit of patience spotted the beautiful ray.

 

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After a great day on the water, we arrived back in Cruz Bay, St. John right in time for a beautiful sunset. Here is what our guests had to say about the trip:

 

5* "Absolutely fabulous!! Had a fabulous time with Captain Steve!" M.H., April,2015

5* "Great day in the BVIs with Captain Steve and Lucy. They will totally customize your trip to what you would like to see and do for the day. We have chartered from other companies in the past and Rockhoppin Adventures is by far the most professional, well run of any that we have used in St. John", E.H. April 2015

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Day Trip St. John Cooper Island Video

Send Booking Enquiry Day Trip St. John - Cooper Island

Ready for a great time on the water? You can fill out the form below or send an email to info(at)rockhoppin.com or rockhoppinusvi@gmail.com. We will get back to you within 24 hours, usually faster. We get tons of emails with weird business proposals through the contact form and it does sometimes happen that a booking enquiry lands in the spam folder (or our response lands in your spam folder). You can also text us on 340-514-5527 to make sure it went through.

 

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October Special: Shared Day Trip St. John – Willy T.

St. John to Willy T. Day Trip

A private charter is great, but can also be pricey if you are just alone or a couple. So we are running a special: Day trip St. John - Willy T. (Norman Island) which can be shared by couples / singles. The price is 290$ per couple or 150$ (single). These prices are incl. fuel and captain excl. BVI customs fees. The possible dates are Oct 16th and 21st. Our powerboat is a 32FS regulator, with twin Yamaha 250s and cushioned, forward-facing seating. It will provide a very comfortable ride from St. John to Norman Island. NEW DATES! Read More