Owned by Sir Richard Branson, the iconic Necker Island is known by many as one of the most idyllic, luxurious private islands in the world. Characterised by its exquisite turquoise waters, powdery white sand and blissful privacy, if you’re planning a yacht charter in the British Virgin Islands, Necker Island is a must-visit!
The island is private and sleeps up to 48 adults and six children if you’re looking for the ultimate exclusive island experience with friends and family. Usually, you will need to rent out every room, however there are Celebration Weeks hosted throughout the year where you can book individual rooms rather than hiring out the entire island.
Surrounded by incredible coral reefs, warm waters, marine life and wildlife, you can spend hours discovering the hidden gems of Necker Island. In fact, Necker Island is 74 acres in size and has a number of hiking trails where you can experience the stunning scenery and incredible wildlife of the island. If you don’t feel like spending the night, the beaches (up to the high water mark) are open to the public.
History of Necker Island
When you think of Necker Island, you most likely think of Sir Richard Branson, who bought the island back in 1978 for a mindblowing £145,000! Prior to Branson, an aristocrat called Viscount Cobham owned the island, and before the 20th century, the island was uninhabited.
Despite its relatively short history, Necker Island has seen its fair share of headlines as the island doubles as a celebrity hotspot. Some of the world’s most famous people have stayed on the island, enjoying its immense views, beautiful weather and brilliant facilities. From singing sensations Harry Styles and Mariah Carey to sensational actors Kate Winslet and Robert De Niro, will you be walking in their footsteps during your BVI yacht charter?
In 2011, Necker Island became engulfed by a fire caused by a lightning strike which hit The Great House. All the guests on the island escaped unharmed, but The Great House was destroyed and has since been rebuilt. Similarly to Tortola, Virgin Gorda and Jost Van Dyke, Necker Island was also hit hard in 2017 by Hurricane Irma. However, the sensational island has been rebuilt better than ever and is back to being the heavenly paradise it was before the hurricane!
Types of Yacht Charter for Necker Island
So, you’ve decided that you want to visit the world famous Necker Island during your holiday in the Caribbean. Now you can choose exactly how you experience this incredible island. When planning your trip to Necker Island, you should think about the following:
- Where are you going to be visiting from? If you only plan on staying on Necker Island for a night or simply want to visit from afar, you’ll need to combine it with another holiday. With our yacht charters in the BVI, you can create your own unique itinerary and spend the day uncovering the wonders of Necker Island before exploring Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost Van Dyke.
- What type of yacht charter do you want? Your holiday is all about you and that includes how you travel to and from Necker Island. Do you want to take the helm and navigate yourself through the stunning waters that surround the island on a bareboat charter? Perhaps you want to hire a skippered charter and relax as one of our experienced skippers guides you around. For the best of both worlds, you can hire a skipper for just part of your journey and unleash your inner sailor for the rest of the time.
- Which of our world class yachts do you want to sail around Necker Island on? Choose between our stylish, sleek catamarans and our classic, high-performing monohulls. Will you live your best life in the Sunsail 454 – 4 Cabin catamaran or the Oceanis 311 – 2 Cabin monohull?
Get in touch with us today to discuss your options when it comes to your Necker Island yacht holiday.
As you visit the British Virgin Islands for your dream yacht holiday, you’ll want to pack your itinerary with a mixture of relaxing and adventurous activities, from sunbathing on the gorgeous beaches to exploring hidden coves. If Necker Island is on your itinerary, you’ll be wondering what you can expect to get up to during your visit. Here are a few of our top things to do on Necker Island:
- Various water sports such as kayaking, water-skiing and paddle boarding
- Snorkelling and scuba diving in the stunning turquoise waters of Necker Island, exploring the coral reefs surrounding the island
- Going on an adventure around Necker Island on one of its incredible hiking trails, discovering a world of exotic wildlife
- If you book to stay as a guest on the island, you’ll also have exclusive access to yogi, a gym, tennis, spa treatments and more
- If you only want to spend a few hours on Necker Island, you could spend the rest of your day island hopping and exploring nearby islands. Virgin Gorda is the closest so you could visit The Baths on Virgin Gorda, one of the best things to do in the whole of the BVI!
Designing your own itinerary for your yacht charter? Take some inspiration by checking out our BVI itineraries, carefully created to ensure you have the most relaxing, exhilarating, exciting holiday possible.
The fantastic sailing conditions in the BVI mean that sailing around Necker Island is less challenging than other destinations in the Caribbean. At Sunsail, we class the whole of the British Virgin Islands as a level 1 destination, the easiest level which is ideal for first time sailors!
What does level 1 sailing mean? To be qualified to set sail around Necker Island, you must:
- Have accumulated at least five days or 100 miles as skipper on an equivalent size yacht to the one you want to climb aboard
- Achieve your International Certificate of Competence (ICC) or RYA Day Skipper qualification
- Also have a knowledge of charts to be able to plot their position. You don’t need to be an expert by any means, just enough to feel comfortable on the open waters
You can learn all about the qualifications required to sail around Necker Island in our recent blog.
Don’t have the necessary qualifications but still want the adventure of a lifetime? We’re here to help! You have two main options:
- Hire a skipper to lead you around the BVI and Necker Island. This way you don’t need any qualifications and can relax up on deck while your experienced skipper navigates the open waters
Gain the experience and qualifications you need by enrolling at one of our sailing schools or completing our sailing courses. We have appropriate sailing courses for all levels, from beginner to advanced
When you’re planning a yacht charter, one of the most important things to understand before you go is what the sailing conditions are like. If you’re spending a couple of weeks on the water, you need to be confident that you can navigate the waters, and relax in the sizzling sun!
Like most of the BVI, sailing conditions around Necker Island are relatively calm, with warm trade winds throughout the year. You can expect average wind speeds of 9-11 knots making it ideal for sailing around. Necker Island enjoys an average monthly temperature of between 28°C-35°C, ideal for soaking up the sun on the island’s sensational beaches.
When is the best time to visit Necker Island? Of course, if you want to stay on the island without hiring every room out, it’s best to visit during one their Celebration Weeks. However, in terms of sailing conditions, the best time to set sail is between December-April. If you go slightly earlier, between September-December, you’ll be going during the wet season so conditions may be more intense.
At Sunsail, we want you to have the most relaxing, stress-free holiday possible which is why we’re committed to helping you prepare for your visit to Necker Island. Take a look at this fact file for all the important information you need to know about Necker Island:
Size: 74 acres
Population: Owned by Sir Richard Branson, the private island sleeps up to 48 people
Nearest island: Eustatia Island and Prickly Pear Island
Location to main islands: Virgin Gorda is the closest to Necker Island, followed by Anegada, Tortola, then Jost Van Dyke
Sea: Caribbean Sea
Anchorage: There are several places to anchor your yacht, and the conditions are good enough to anchor overnight if you want to
Access to the island: You can access the island from Virgin Gorda, Tortola and several other islands. While helicopters and aircrafts are welcome, you can also charter a yacht to visit Necker Island
Our closest Sunsail yacht charter base in the Caribbean is on Tortola, open Monday-Sunday from 8am-5pm:
Wickams Cay II
PO Box 139
Step Aboard Here
Start your experience with The Moorings on land and sign up to receive e-mails from us about yachts, offers and destinations.