Is SwimVacation for Me?
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. Please note that due to the nature of our Hawaii trip, we ask that our guests be able to complete a mile in 45 minutes.
Q: How long are the swims?
A: Usually between 1 and 3 miles per swim, 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 are happy to arrange training runs for you. In the islands, you can hit the nearest island big enough to run on. In Hawaii, you can run right from our front door, or from any of our swim locations. We can also arrange for road bike rentals or storage for your bike in Hawaii.
Q: Who else will be on SwimVacation?
A: People like you. Fitness and competitive swimmers, triathletes – people who enjoy exercising during their vacations, and people who love to do so in water.
Q: I have special dietary requirements. Is that a problem?
A: No problem. Just fill out the appropriate area on the booking page, and our crews and chefs will do their 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 at least two guides in the water with you, and they have extensive open water swimming and rescue experience.
Q: Can I bring my non-swimming partner/spouse/friend?
A: Please do! 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: The British Virgin Islands is home to some 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, around island cays, along coral reefs and 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. In Hawaii we swim along some of the most pristine coral reef systems in the world. In addition to swimming the famous Kona Iron Man course, we swim other famous Big Island spots including Two Step and Captain Cook Bay. Sometimes we swim from one pocket beach to the next, and quite often we encounter wild dolphins and manta rays along the way.
Q: What is not included in the trip cost?
A: Your airfare, ferries, cabs, and lodging before and after the trip dates (if required) are not included in your Swimvacation fare. A 10-15% tip for your crew is customary but optional.
*The BVI currently levies a departure tax at the rate of $40.00 per person leaving by air, $10.00 leaving by sea.
*In Hawaii, your transfers to and from our beachfront home on the first and last day of our trip ARE included in your fare.
Q: What are the accommodations?
A: In the British Virgin Islands, we live aboard a private, spacious and luxurious catamaran sailing yacht. Each cabin has en suite bathroom and there is plenty of deck and lounge space for resting in between activities. Our crew consists of a captain, a cook, a deck hand and two to three SwimVacation swimming guides.
In Hawaii, we enjoy a private, beach front residence designed and built in true Hawaiian style. Generous deck space connects the airy bedrooms with living spaces that are open to the sea air. Our delicious meals are prepared by our island family, gourmet caterers Dan and Clare Bobo of Island Thyme Gourmet. Your SwimVacation team consists of two guides in the water, and our local island beach lifeguard Ryan McGuckin, who guides us from atop his stand up paddle board.
All of our trips are high-end adventures, 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 more about out accommodations on our trip pages).
Q: What about wildlife?
A: You will see hundreds of tropical fish, turtles, rays, and beautiful coral reefs. Shark sightings are very rare in the BVI, but you may catch a glimpse of a lazy nurse shark if you are very lucky and try very hard. We've never seen a shark in Hawaii, but we've had wild dolphins join us for a swim on every trip so far.
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: If you're joining us in the British Virgin Islands, Yes. A valid passport with an expiration date not less than 6 months after your return is now required for all trips to the BVI. If you do not have one or need to renew, start now. Visit www.travel.state.gov.
No passport is required for travel to Hawaii.
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 contact us. We love to talk about what we do, and are here to help you get the most out of your SwimVacation.