Make the most of your trip to this real-life pirate island!
Located within the British Virgin Islands, Norman Island is the place to go for any of those travelers who like to think they would have made a pretty good pirate back in the day.
Rumors and reports have swirled regarding the island’s piratical past. People say the island was named after a pirate named Norman. Many report pirates hiding their booty on the island (like real chests of gold doubloons!). Some even say that Robert Louis Stevenson used the island as inspiration for his novel, Treasure Island.
But regardless of which of the rumors and reports are true, the fact still remains: Norman Island is a lovely little escape from real life and a must-add stop to any cruising itinerary in the area.
Fast Facts About Norman Island
First, the basics:
Norman Island is privately owned by Henry Jarecki, but despite this, tourists and sailors are still allowed to stop by for snorkeling, diving and other fun.
Norman Island is about 600 acres in size and just under three miles long.
The island’s large harbor provides substantial protection for passing ships, which may have been one reason why pirates supposedly liked the island so much!
Everything you need to know about
your island vacation.
Kick Back & Relax at the Island's famed eatery.
Even though there aren’t any permanent residents that live on Norman Island as of right now (well, unless you count the wild goats), there is still a restaurant on the island, where visitors can moor their vessels and hop ashore for great eats and great times — complete with live music!
Pirate’s Bight serves a range of upscale dishes with Caribbean-inspired flavors, and you can expect plenty of seafood on the menu (fresh, of course). Right in front of the open air restaurant is a great beach with crystal clear waters for swimming, snorkeling, or just soaking it all in! If you are lucky, Jessie who has been serving guests here for years, will serve you right on the beach!
….. and not far away in the same protected bay is…..
Surprise! Anchored in the bay is an old fishing boat converted into a floating pirate ship bar, and restaurant the ‘Willy-T’! Pull up in your yacht tender, tie up, hop aboard and have a wild time with your fellow pirates! Cause some trouble by jumping off the roof into the crystal clear waters with a whoop and a holler, dance to the great music onboard, and tilt back the famous shotski with your friends….savor that mystery shot invented by the pirate behind the bar! This is day life or night life you don’t want to miss!!
Explore the Caves
You may not be able to find any pirate booty in these caves, but you will find a great time. The Norman Island caves are a fun spot to swim, snorkel, and explore. Created by a rocky cliffside, the cave systems are dark, a little creepy and totally cool — especially given that the legend is that Blackbeard himself stored his treasure here.
There are three caves within the cave system, and two go pretty far back into the island. One has a beach entrance. You can get close to the cave entrances with your yacht tender and snorkel in the crystal clear waters along the rocky shoreline…brightly colored tropical fish abound. Snorkel right into the caves! You don’t have to hold your breath in the caves so it is easy for everyone…who knows, maybe you will find treasure!
Snorkel in Crystalline Waters
If you want to explore the underwater wildlife and see what beautiful sights await beneath the waters of Norman Island, you’ll want to don your snorkel mask. Snorkeling is a popular option for island visitors, thanks to the nearby coral formations and the numerous colorful, tropical fish.
The Norman Island caves are popular for snorkeling, and some have called the caves one of the best spots for snorkeling in the entire British Virgin Islands. The water here is calm and protected and provides great snorkeling for everyone no matter their age or ability!
If you’re not snorkeling with a guide, you’ll want to be sure to bring all the needed equipment, including a flashlight, as the caves can get pretty dark.
Another popular snorkeling spot is the Indians, an area north of Norman Island that offers excellent deep water snorkeling when weather conditions allow. The Indians are named for their giant, 60-foot rock formations. On one side there are incredible coral formations along a wall that plunges down to the seafloor 40 feet below. On the other side of the massive rock formation are acres of shallow water snorkeling where tropical fish abound.
Hike around the Island
Of course, not all of the Norman Island fun takes place in the water. If you’d rather stay nice and dry, you can head off on one of the island’s hiking trails. For an island that’s relatively small, it’s impressive that Norman Island boasts nearly 12 miles of trails.
One of the favorite hiking spots starts right behind the island’s beach restaurant, and the trail leads you up a hill, to a small peak, where you’re treated to views of the Sir Francis Drake Channel to the north. To the south you will look out over the deep blue Caribbean sea.
Yachting through the Caribbean on your own private luxury yacht is the ultimate vacation. Now's the time to make it a reality.
Want to Visit Norman Island?
If you want to visit Norman Island during a trip to the Caribbean, there are a few things you’ll need to know.
Firstly, Norman Island is part of the British Virgin Islands, so you’ll need to have a passport on your person when traveling there.
Secondly, the only way to reach Norman Island is via boat. Many travelers choose to visit as part of a day trip from one of the other British Virgin Islands, or even from nearby St. John, one of the U.S. Virgin Islands.
However, unless you only plan to eat at the restaurant and hike around the island, you’ll want to have your boat at your disposal, so that you can more easily access all of the best snorkeling and swimming spots around the island.
Why a Charter Cruise is the Best Way to See Norman Island
As you may have guessed, visiting Norman Island doesn’t seem like it would be the easiest task when it comes to planning your Caribbean vacation, but it actually can be quite convenient. In fact, your entire trip can be incredibly easy to plan — if you book a charter cruise.
A charter cruise provides you and your family or friends superior levels of personalization, privacy and luxury, at a level that you just won’t find if you stay at a resort or book a traditional cruise.
When taking a charter cruise, you’re traveling on a private yacht, which essentially means the world is yours. Whatever you want to see, do, explore or experience, it’s all within reach. If you can sail there, you can go. See the spots you want to see (like Norman Island!), enjoy the activities you’ve dreamed of experiencing. On a charter cruise, it’s all up to you.
On top of the increased flexibility and the individualized experience, a charter cruise is very private, ensuring safety and security for you and your loved ones, during a time when travel, if not managed properly, can come with a lot of health risks.
When seeing the Caribbean via charter cruise, there are no worries about being in tight, enclosed spaces with lots of strangers and there’s no reason to worry about a lack of social distance. (And even if you’re not necessarily worried about these types of travel risks, sometimes the privacy is just a nice touch, especially if you’re traveling for a special occasion, like a honeymoon, anniversary or milestone birthday.)
Visiting Norman Island with Suite Life Yachting
Wondering what to expect when traveling around the Virgin Islands with Suite Life Yachting?
Our individualized cruising experiences are tailored to your specific needs right from the beginning. Our concierge (who happens to be Suite Life’s own Captain Roy!) will work with you to create the perfect itinerary that focuses on your interests, likes and dislikes.
Once you’re in the area, it’s time to hop aboard our 92-foot luxury yacht, with its four staterooms and tons of space to spread out and relax, whether you’re enjoying a frosty beverage on the deck or hopping out for a swim in some of the most pristine waters you’ve ever laid eyes on.
When it’s time to fuel up for a day of adventures on one of the many Caribbean islands, you’ll enjoy fresh, delicious meals prepared by the yacht’s personal chef. And if you would prefer to hang around on the yacht rather than head ashore, you’ll still have plenty to do, as all water sports are included in your experience, from paddle boarding to snorkeling.
All you have to do? Sit back and have an awesome time. Captain Roy and his trusty crew will see to it that all your activities are fun and safe. Furthermore, through it all, the refreshments flow out of Suite Life’s bar and fresh food is served right out of the ship’s galley: you will never go thirsty or hungry!
No matter your travel goals or travel style, if you’re headed to the Virgin Islands, there’s no better way to see a different view every day than via a charter cruise, and Suite Life Yachting’s years of experience traveling, living and working in the region guarantees your family a memorable vacation that you simply won’t find elsewhere. And the best part? The entire experience is wrapped into one convenient fee that is more affordable than a similar experience if you were to purchase the same services a la carte.
So, what are you waiting for? …..To Norman Island and beyond!!!! It’s time to begin exploring all the adventures the Virgin Isles offer.