How do I get to Tortola (Paradise)?
From Canada or USA; deciding to fly into St Thomas (USVI) rather than directly into the airport in the BVI usually gives you a much larger selection of airlines and prices! It is then just a short ride across on the ferry to the BVI into Road Town or West End. Be sure to check the ferry schedule to see what time the last ferry leaves!
From the UK or Europe; flying into Antigua (ANU) or St Marten (SXM) then connecting to Beef Island Airport (EIS) is usually the shortest route! Try Virgin Atlantic, British Airways or Norwegian Airlines for daily services from London Gatwick to Antigua. LIAT then has regular flights to get you the rest of the way. Fancy traveling in style? Contact Fly BVI for private charters to the BVI from Antigua or St Marten!
Do I need a Visa or Passport?
Do I have to start on any particular day of the week?
Can I sleep aboard the night before my charter begins?
All of our charters run from noon the first day until noon of your last day. A very popular option is to sleep aboard your vessel the night before your charter is due to start. With many flights and ferries not arriving until later in the day, sleeping aboard the night before will mean you do not lose a day of your charter due to travel!
The boat would be ready from 4.30pm in the afternoon for the sleep aboard. There is a cost of $30 per person with a minimum charge of $120.
What are the ferry times?
For up to date ferry times look at the BVI Welcome page. We would always recommend confirming these times directly with the ferry company a few days before you arrive as they can be subject to change!
Road Town Fast Ferry is the only company to operate a direct service to Road Town from Charlotte Amalie- it takes around 45 minutes!
If you have a large group or think you might miss the last ferry- consider contacting one of the water taxis! They will work to your schedule, ensuring you get to the BVI without any stress! The customs office at the West End, Tortola is now open until 9pm!
Can you recommend a place to stay?
Need to somewhere to stay the night after your charter finishes? Or fancy spending a few days on land, check out some of our recommendations for places to stay;
Maria’s by the sea -Located in the heart of Road Town, it is only a 2 minute walk to the ferry terminal and 5 minutes from our marina by taxi!
Fort Burt- Just across the road from the marina where we are located! They usually offer a 10% discount for our guests!
Sebastian’s by the Sea– Located the West end of Tortola it is about a 25 minutes ride in a taxi from us. There are lots of beaches and restaurants close by!
Tamarind Club– Around a 15 minute taxi ride from us at the Eastern end of Tortola. They have a great atmosphere with a very popular Sunday brunch and pool with swim up bar!
Waterfront Executive Townhouse– A beautiful 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom split level Townhouse overlooking Road Harbour. It’s centrally located- just a 10 minute walk into Road Town and 1 minute from our docks!
What certifications are needed to charter with you?
We will primarily be looking at your sailing experience, rather than your certifications. Ideally you would have previous experience of skippering similar types and sizes of vessel that you are looking to charter. Also practical experience of anchoring, picking up moorings and any knowledge of mechanical engines and boat systems a plus.
As part of the booking process, we would ask to see a copy of the skippers sailing resume, unless you have chartered with us before as a skipper.
Can I hire a skipper?
Yes, if you are not an experienced sailor then you can hire a skipper for your trip! It is an additional $175 per day and you would need to provide them with one of the guest cabins, food, water and gratuity.
Some charterers decide to have a skipper for just the first couple of days to get you familiar with the vessel you are on.
What time can I get on board and when will my briefings begin?
All our charters begin at noon, so this will be the time you can get access to the vessel. Once on board we can then begin your two briefings; boat systems and chart.
If you have booked a sleep aboard, the vessel will be ready from 4.30pm, but please remember that your charter still does not begin until noon the next day. We will however try to start your briefings that morning, if at all possible!
What happens if I arrive after 5pm?
No problem! For your convenience a white board with your party’s name and which boat you are on will be left outside the office. Our office hours are 8.30am to 5:00pm.The vessel will be plugged into shore power so you won’t have to worry about batteries or generators! All the lights, cabin fans, refrigeration and air conditioning (if you boat has it) will be on for you.
The Pub is usually open for dinner and drinks, it is easily within crawling distance of your yacht!
Can you arrange a transfer from the ferry terminal or airport?
Once your charter is booked, just let us know your arrival details and we can then arrange for Sebastians Taxi’s to meet you. Look out for the bright oranges shirts with a Conch Charters sign!
To our base they charge $5 per person from the ferry terminal and $13 per person from the airport. Please note that there are minimum charges for one or two people.
What are the facilities at your base?
We are part of Fort Burt Marina! There is power and water, as well as a fuel dock, restrooms, showers and ice, which can be purchased from the marina office.
Next to the marina is the Pub, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner (closed for breakfast and lunch on Sundays!). A few minutes’ walk down the road is a small Riteway grocery, great for re-stocking any items that you might have forgotten!
Fort Burt hotel is just across the road if you need a place to stay at the end of your charter. They usually offer our guests a 10% discount!
During Your Charter
What is the best route to go?
Check out our Sailing Itineraries page. But here are some things not to be missed if you are new to the BVI;
- Snorkel at either the Caves or the Indians on Norman Island (or both if you have time!)
- Explore the Baths on Virgin Gorda
- Relax on the beach at White Bay, Jost Van Dyke with a drink
- Hike to the Bubbly Pool, Jost Van Dyke (particularly if there is a north swell!)
- Scuba Dive the Wreck of the RMS Rhone off Salt Island
- Experience the Full Moon at Trellis Bay’s Fireball Party
- Watch the Sunset over the Sir Frances Drake Channel from Cooper Island
- Enjoy the tranquillity while on a stand-up paddle board in the North Sound
Can I visit the USVI?
Yes, however we only allow you to visit St John. You will need to plan and allow for adequate time for clearing the boat and everyone on-board through customs in both the BVI and USVI. Once you arrive in the BVI, we will be happy to discuss this process in more detail.
Be aware if you were planning on heading over to St John during your trip on the boat, you are required to have a US visa as you are entering US waters on a private vessel (not a commercial service).
Do you rent watersports equipment?
The BVI is the ideal setting for many great watersports activities! You can rent water toys, wind surfers, kayaks, stand up paddle boards and fishing equipment from;
Scuba diving equipment can be rented from;
It is better to book your water toys before you arrive in the BVI! Please be sure to arrange the delivery time for when you are going to be on board.
Do I need a fishing license?
Anyone over the age of 18 years old is required to have a fishing license to fish in the BVI! You can obtain a license by either contacting the Conservation and Fisheries Department directly or one of the many watersports companies can assist;
To be able to fish from your boat, the vessel needs to be registered as a fishing vessel which all of the vessels in our fleet are- contact the sales team if you need to find out the registration number.
Please note: fishing without a license in the BVI is illegal for anyone over 18 years old!
Can I bring food with me?
What’s on board?
What type of equipment will I find on board?
All our vessels come fully equipped with all the basics you will need in the galley for cooking on board. For morning coffee there is either either a stove top percolator or a coffee maker for vessels with a generator.
You are able to plug your music player directly into the sound system, remember to bring an auxiliary cable with you!
Take a look at the complete equipment list to see what is on board and check out what is included in Conch’s Care Package!
Is there Wifi?
We have WiFi installed on all of our boats!
The cost is approximately $17 per day if you decide on 5 days or longer, however it is a bit more expensive if you only want it for a couple of days. You don’t need to pre-book, you just log on and pay with your credit card when you are on the boat. Instructions are in your boat book.
It is suitable for email, browsing and Facebook but it is not fast enough to stream or downloading videos. You can connect up to 7 devices to it at one time.
Please note coverage is about 85% due to the geography of the BVI
Don’t forget that you will be given a Galaxy tablet containing information about your vessel and the BVI. You can use this to browse the internet!
Is there Snorkeling equipment available?
Snorkeling equipment is included with your charter. Once you arrive you can have a look through our selection of masks, snorkels and fins to find ones that are the right fit for you! However if you have snorkeling equipment that you use regularly and know fits you well, we would recommend bringing it with you!
Unfortunately we do not have equipment available for younger children, our smallest size fins are an adult size 3/4.
How to stay in touch incase of emergency?
We will provide you with a local cell phone, with $20 credit ready for you to use. Locals calls will cost around $0.20 per minute, international $0.25 per minute. You can even give the number out to people back home so they can call you!
If you plan to also use your cell phone while visiting, be sure to contact your provider in advance to confirm roaming charges! Don’t be surprised by a large bill when you return home!
Payments, Extra Costs & Cancellations
BVI Cruising Permit
This is the Government’s piece of the action;
- $2.00 per person per day December 1st — April 31st
- $0.75 per person per day May 1st — November 30th
The National Parks Trust Mooring Permit
This goes directly to protecting our amazing coral reefs;
- $25 per week up to 4 people
- $35 per week up to 6 people
- $45 per week up to 8 people
- $55 per week for up to 10 people
This is $36 per day to a maximum of $400 and is non-refundable.
This is $1500 for any sailboats or a $3000 for power catamarans, which includes both the Vessel and Dinghy. A pre-authorisation on your Visa or MasterCard is taken upon arrival.
Every boat must take a cell phone with them. The charge is $20, which goes straight onto the phone to give you $20 worth of credit, it is $0.25 for international calls to USA, Canada and UK and only $0.20 for a local call.
With your dinghy you will get a 5 gallon tank of fuel. It is dependent on how much dinghy driving you do, but usually this is sufficient for your trip!
Are there any additional costs after the Mandatory Extras?
That’s down to you! The overnight moorings available for you to use cost around $30 per night, which we would recommend rather than anchoring. Not only does it ensure that your skipper gets a good night’s sleep, it also helps to protect the BVI for everyone!
If you decide to eat out, there are many wonderful restaurants for you to choose from. Lunches out will usually range from $12- $20 and dinners $20-$30. Drinks are cheaper during happy hour!
You will also need to re-fuel the vessel at the end of your trip. Diesel is around $4.20 per gallon (prices may vary). There is a fuel dock at the marina making it easy to re-fuel when you return!
How much will the deposit to secure the charter be?
|Charter Cost||Deposit Amount|
|$4000 to $7000||$2000|
|$7000 to $10,000||$3000|
You can pay the deposit to secure your charter by phone or email! Please note that we can only accept payment by either Visa or Mastercard, no checks!
When is the final balance due?
The balance of your charter is due at least 45 days before your charter is due to begin. Our system will automatically send you out a reminder close to this due date. You can pay many ways;
- Mail us a check- it needs to be in US dollars. Please allow at least 2 weeks as mail to the islands can be very slow!
- Pay by card- call or email us your details! Please note that there is a 3% surcharge on all card transactions (except for the deposit)
- Cash on arrival- if you prefer you can bring cash or travellers checks to pay the balance on your arrival. If you do not bring cash, we cannot accept personal checks once you arrive in the BVI. Card transactions are subject to the 3% surcharge.
What is your cancellation policy?
Charterer may cancel subject to the following charges;
- Up to 90 days prior to commencement: $150 service charge
- 89 to 46 days prior to commencement: FULL deposit
- Less than 45 days prior to commencement: 100% of charter cost.
Can I buy Trip Insurance for my holiday?
For trip insurance we would recommend Travel Insured International
*Note that Hurricane season runs from the beginning of June through to November – if your trip is curtailed, cancelled or interrupted by a storm we do not offer any refunds.
Whether your charter falls in hurricane season or not, we would still recommend that you buy trip insurance tailored to your requirements when you book!