Q: How fast/far do I need to be able Swim?
A: We host swimmers with a very wide array of abilities. You need not be a champion swimmer. However, you must be able to maintain a steady pace for at least 1 mile, and you must be familiar with the occasional rigors of open water swimming. Our typical customer swims at least twice a week and has a good level of fitness.
Q: How long are the swims?
A: Usually between 1 and 3 miles per session, depending on the ability level of the group. Elite swimmers will be given optional longer distances, and our fitness/recreational swimmers will have shorter distances.
Q: Can I continue my running training?
A: Yes. Upon request, we will arrange training runs on Tortola or on the nearest island big enough to run on. We can also arrange for road bike rentals or storage for your bike on Tortola.
Q: Who else will be on SwimVacation?
A: People like you. Fitness and competitive swimmers, triathletes – people who enjoy exercising during their vacations.
Q: I have special dietary requirements. Is that a problem?
A: No problem. Just fill out the appropriate area on the booking page, and the crew will do its very best to meet your needs.
Q: Is it safe?
A: Yes. Your guides are trained lifeguards and are certified in first aid and CPR. You will always have two guides in the water with you. Your guides have extensive open water swimming and rescue experience.
Q: Can I bring my non-swimming partner/spouse/friend?
A: Yes, and there will be plenty for them to do while you’re swimming (see Activities on The Trip page).
Q: Where will we be swimming?
A: We swim among the British Virgin Islands, home of the safest, most scenic open water swimming in the world. Our charter vessel allows us great flexibility, so we swim wherever the best conditions exist that day. Courses may include island-to-island hops, swims along coral reefs, around island cays, along white sand beaches, and across secluded bays. Sometimes we will have a destination swim: to a great beach to splash around for the afternoon, to a floating restaurant/bar, or to a great snorkeling spot. Click Here for a map of our typical swimming spots.
Q: What is not included in the trip cost?
A: Airfare, ferries, cabs, lodging before and after the trip dates (if required), and a 10-20% tip for the crew are not included in the cost of the trip. The BVI currently levies a departure tax at the rate of $10.00 per person leaving by air, $5.00 leaving by sea.
Q: What are the accommodations?
A: We live aboard the spacious and luxurious Promenade, a 65-foot long, 35-foot wide trimaran sailing yacht. The crew consists of a captain, a cook, and two to three SwimVacation swimming guides. This is a high-end adventure, with gourmet meals, warm towels after your swim, fabulous cocktails, and individual attention to every detail to make your vacation the best you will ever have (see Accommodations on The Trip page).
Q: What about wildlife?
A: You will see thousands of tropical fish, turtles, rays, and beautiful coral reefs. Shark sightings are very rare in the BVI, but you may catch a glimpse of an 18-inch nurse shark if you try very hard.
Q: What do we do all day?
A: Aside from the swimming, we eat, drink, lounge around, play water sports of all kinds, nap, hit the town, sail, talk, relax. Those wishing to can often squeeze in a run, then take a nap.
Q: Do I need a passport?
A: Yes. A valid passport with an expiration date not less than 6 months after your return is now required for all trips to the British Virgin Islands. If you do not have one or need to renew, start now. Start here: www.travel.state.gov.
Q: What should I bring?
A: Pack light. Bring at least 2 swimsuits, and at least one pair of clear and one pair of tinted goggles. A hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen are a must. Shorts and t-shirts. Pack a pair of water shoes and/or sandals. We will supply swimming caps.
Q: I still have questions!
A: No problem. Call or email Hopper. We are here to help you get the most out of your SwimVacation.