BVI Travel Updates

FAQ

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Travel Info

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!

Yes, everyone needs a passport to travel to the BVI with at least 6 months until it expires. Visitors from some countries may also require a visa for entry. If unsure please contact the BVI Immigration Department or the BVI Tourist Board

No, you can start you charter any day of the week! However we are closed on 25th December and 1st January so you could not start or end your charter on these days. To check availability click here!

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 $75 per person with a minimum charge of $200.

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!

Water Taxi

If you have a larger group or think you might miss the last ferry- consider arranging a water taxi! They will work to your schedule and can deliver you directly to our marina, ensuring you get to the BVI without any stress!

Need 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!

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.

You can download and complete our Sailing Resume Form, then submit it below or email it to sailing@conchcharters.com

Yes, if you are not an experienced sailor then you can hire a skipper for your trip! It is an additional $225 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.

Arrival Information

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!

Our office hours are 8.30am to 5:00pm. If you arrive after 5pm, no problem! For your convenience a board with your party’s name and which boat you are on will be left outside the office. 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!

how to get here map

Our taxi service (Sebastian’s) can meet you at either the airport or the ferry terminal to bring you to our base. Costs are $13pp from the airport (minimum charge $30) and $6pp from the Road Town Ferry Terminal.

New taxi regulations mean that the taxi must be pre-booked by yourself, you can do this at this link:
www.transportbvi.com

Please take a copy of your booking with you for the taxi dispatcher on arrival.

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 everyday. A few minutes’ walk down the road is a small Riteway grocery store, great for picking up 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!

how to get here map

During Your Charter

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

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).

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.

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 most of the vessels in our fleet are – contact the sales team to find out more.

Duty is payable on any food that you bring into the islands and should be declared at customs.

If you bring food in a cooler learn more about selling the cooler to us.

The last thing you might want to do is go grocery shopping when on holiday. You can tick this off by placing an order in advance for provisions. Ask for your order to delivered to your boat once you arrive. Please note: We are unable to accept your delivery orders.

If you prefer to go to the store yourself, we offer complementary taxi vouchers for return trips to the the main RiteWay in town for two people. Just ask the office staff when you check in.

There is also a smaller RiteWay store 3 minute walk away from our base. Perfect for picking up essentials and any items you might have forgotten.

For more information check out our provisioning page.

What’s 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!

We have WiFi installed on all of our boats!

The cost is approximately $30/$40 for 1 day or $135/$205 for a week, depending on the length of your boat. You don’t need to pre-book, you just log on and pay with your credit card when you are on the boat. You will find instructions are in your boat book.

There is free WiFi on our docks, just ask our friendly office staff for the password.

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.

We will provide you with a local cell phone, with $20 credit ready for you to use. Locals calls will cost around $0.30/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

Please note the Government permits (Cruising and National Parks) prices can be subject to changes!

BVI Cruising Permit

This is the Government’s piece of the action.

With effect from 1st August 2017 – $4 per person, per day

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
Insurance

This is $38 per day to a maximum of $400 and is non-refundable.

Security Deposit

This is a deductible of $3000, no matter how long your charter is. This is guaranteed by a pre-authorization with a Visa or MasterCard before your charter starts. Your card will not be charged unless the boat or dinghy is damaged.

Phone

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 $0.30 for local and international calls to USA, Canada and UK.

Dinghy Fuel

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!

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!

Charter Cost Deposit Amount
Under $4000 $1000
$4000 to $7000 $2000
Over $7000 $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!

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.

Charterer may cancel subject to the following charges;

  • Up to 90 days prior to commencement: $300 service charge
  • Less than 90 days prior to commencement: No refund
  • For additional options, you may wish to purchase The Optional Conch Charters Cancellation Plan.

By purchasing The Optional Conch Charters Cancellation Plan for a one-time fee of $200, you will be entitled to cancel your charter subject to the following:

 

Up to 90 days prior to charter start Refund Option: Full refund of all monies paid with no charges.

Reschedule Option: All monies paid will be held on account and applied to a new charter within 24 months.

89 – 45 days prior to charter start Refund Option: Refund of all monies paid minus $150 admin charge.

Reschedule Option: All monies paid will be held on account and applied to a new charter within 24 months.

44 – 30 days prior to charter start Refund Option: Refund 50% of all monies paid.

Reschedule Option: All funds paid will be held on account and applied to a new charter within 24 months.

Less than 30 days prior to charter start Refund Option: No refund.

Reschedule Option: 50% of all monies paid will

The Optional Conch Charters Cancellation Plan must be purchased at the time of booking

The last thing you want to see is thousands of dollars evaporate because of an unforeseen event. Conch Charter’s is proud to partner with World Nomads to give you peace of mind while your on vacation.

You can buy and claim online, even after you’ve left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from over 130 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers like you, with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities including sailing and scuba diving.

*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.

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