Necker Island Day 3


Our third day on Richard Branson’s incredible Necker Island was was mostly off-island…

First, nearly all of the guests took a motorboat trip to a local natural attraction on nearby Virgin Gorda, called The Baths.  We did a bit of snorkeling there, but with very little visibility I didn’t even bother to take underwater pictures or video.  Honestly I felt like The Baths were a bit overrated, but it was still fun hanging out with other guests and the always-friendly Necker Island staff. We returned to Necker Island in time for lunch.

After lunch, four of us went scuba diving at a nearby dive-site named “The Invisibles”.  This was my first dive since my too-exciting certification last winter (see: Learning Scuba and feeding fish).  Visibility wasn’t great, but there was plenty to see and I had a blast.  I’m hoping to do more before the week is out.  Unfortunately, I was disappointed by the quality of video from my free-after-Sears-points Activeon camera.  I’ll definitely spring for a better underwater camera when I have a chance.

You can see a bit of The Baths as well as my Scuba experience in the following video:

Shortly after we returned from scuba, a number of us kayaked, paddle boarded, or stand-up-pedal-boarded to a sand-spit just off of Necker Island in order to watch the sunset and the full-moon rise.  The sun played its part perfectly, but the moon lollygagged a bit and we had to return to the island for dinner before it appeared.


Overall, it was another excellent day both on and off Necker Island.


Necker Island is Sir Richard Branson’s home and favorite hideaway situated in the British Virgin Islands, a stunning and unspoiled area of the Caribbean.  My wife and I are currently enjoying a 1 week vacation on Necker Island.  The usual price for a Celebration Week on the island is just north of $30,000.  Instead, we paid 1.2 million Virgin Atlantic miles.  For additional background, please see “Considering the 1.2 million mile Necker Island challenge,” and “Days away from Necker Island.”

* The island is normally hired exclusively for up to 34 guests sharing 17 bedrooms on an all- inclusive basis. Rates start from $78,000 per night ($2,294 per person per night). It can also be shared with others during Celebration Weeks; these are held several times each year and allow guests to book individual rooms as opposed to hiring the entire island. Prices for Celebration Weeks start from $30,000 for a 7 night stay.

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[…] Necker Island Day 3 […]

Joseph May

I’ve been to the Baths in Virgin Gorda about a dozen times. It’s really not about the snorkeling, it’s about the rock climbing. It is wonderful.

Also with mentioning, isa quick boat ride over to Jost Van Dyke. It is also wonderful.


The value of this trip is when one can do more than vacation like strike a deal with Virgin or something!

dotti cahill

thanks for the updates…keep them coming!!!!!


do you have the underwater setting on for your camera? I often forget and the difference in how the pics/video turns out is dramatic. It looks like you are having a great trip – love the daily reports! (now if only I could trade in 1.2 mil HHonors points for this!)


My question is off topic. My husband and I are flying to Munich next year and I am trying to book with points. Is is better to make my stop in the US or try to get over to Europe some place? Is is best to try and book with points soon or do you think “Saver points” will come up as we get closer to he departure date. WE have points with United, American and amex so we have lots of choices. The points range from 110,000 to 150,000 one way. I missed a 70,000 point and wonder if this will be likely to come back. Thanks for all your advice.


Thanks for the daily trip report.

A better camera will give you the same quality. What you need is an underwater light. Light will bring all the colors you see into the video/picture.


Hmmmmm….looks just like Costa Rica but 10X the price. But a very interesting splurge. We’re off to Thailand on a similar trip in Feb. Love this hobby!

Carl P

You’re bringing back memories. On a travel press junket to BVI (where I was doing video work) one stop was at Virgin Gorda where we stayed at the Bitter End Yaucht Club. I still recall the small bottle of Absolut and some OJs there as a welcome gift.

I did a few hours on Necker Island touring and got in a little snorkeling.

I’m doing a quick read here and will have to check out videos this evening.

dotti cahill

went to bitter end years ago ..nice experience

Jarvis Marcos

I love that you actually made this trip happen, what an amazing use of miles!

It’s not necessarily that the camera is low quality, you just need to put a red filter over the lens, as red light can’t make it past 5m of water depth.

If you add red back in, on your video editing software, you’ll see a big difference 😉


Batholith formations like that are only found adjacent to beautiful water a few places in the world, and are more easily reached than the Seychelles. If you didn’t think they were impressive, you may not have spend enough time there or seen all they have to offer.

Francisco C

Agree with Brenton. When I have been, the Baths have been a beautiful place to visit. Just avoid the crowds.


Interested to know if Mr. Branson is aware of how you “hacked” Necker Island and if he had any feedback?


is that why he choked you in that latest picture you posted? 😀
that’s hilarious!


Is Richard Branson staying on the island during your week? Or did he just fly in to meet your group and then leave for one of his other residences?


Not sure a go-pro would be that much better for scuba based on your video and my shots with mine because of the shift in light wavelength (for reference see some of my gopro pictures here with high visibility and no post editing –

That’s why having a good light source with you while diving will improve the photography more than the camera you use. From the dive masters at my shop, I’ve heard applying a filter to bring out the other colors post processing helps also. Otherwise, it’s the same expensive rabbit hole with typical cameras, just more so because it’s more specialized.