The British Virgin Islands are known for their excellent sailing, and sea-loving travelers will be inspired to hit the seas. Below are tips and guidelines for ensuring a safe and enjoyable passage.
If you want to enjoy some time on the water, without the cost and responsibility of sailing on your own you can join an excursion. Wondering what it's like to go along for the ride? Check out the table below to find contact phone numbers for area day sailing companies.
|Aaron Rentals||(284) 494-8917||Downtown Road Town||Tortola|
|Aristocat Charters||(284) 499-1249||Village Cay Marina - Downtown Road Town||Tortola|
|B&B Charters||(284) 496-9341||Leverick Bay Marina - Leverick Bay||Virgin Gorda|
|BVI 360||(284) 541-1281||Road Town||Tortola|
|BVI Sea and Land Tours||(284) 541-2369||Jost Van Dyke||Jost Van Dyke|
|BVI Yacht Charters||--||Road Town||Tortola|
|(284) 494-2268||Downtown Road Town||Tortola|
|C&D Power Boat Rentals||(284) 495-1401||3.9 mi. (6.2 km) East-Northeast of Road Town||Tortola|
|Conch Charters||(284) 494-4868||Fort Burt Marina - Downtown Road Town||Tortola|
|Day Trips BVI||(284) 340-3434||Soper's Hole Wharf & Marina - Frenchman's Cay||Frenchman's Cay|
|Footloose Sailboat Charters||(284) 494-0528||Wickhams Cay 2 - Road Town||Tortola|
|Island Rydes Boat Charters||(284) 541-3068||3.2 mi. (5.1 km) North-Northeast of Spanish Town||Virgin Gorda|
|Island Surf & Sail||(284) 494-0123||Soper's Hole Wharf & Marina - Frenchman's Cay||Frenchman's Cay|
|Kuralu||(284) 495-4381||West End||Tortola|
|La Boheme Charters||(284) 541-4861||Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbor - Spanish Town||Virgin Gorda|
|Mystique Charters||(284) 494-0740||Soper's Hole Wharf & Marina - Frenchman's Cay||Frenchman's Cay|
|Powerboat Adventures||(248) 346-5658||S&K Amazing Rentals - Setting Point||Anegada|
|Sea It Clear||(284) 343-9537||Spanish Town||Virgin Gorda|
|Silmaril Sailing||(284) 342-6248||Peter Island Resort & Yacht Harbour - Peter Island||Peter Island|
|Spirit Of Anegada Day Sails||(284) 499-0901||Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbor - Spanish Town||Virgin Gorda|
|True Blue Power Boats||(284) 541-6666||Prospect Reef Marina - Road Town||Tortola|
|(284) 494-2564||Village Cay Marina - Downtown Road Town||Tortola|
The Virgin Islands are known around the world for their incredible sailing and fishing. Here it seems the water is always warm, and conditions are always picture-perfect. From hardened sailors to those just acquiring their sea legs, many people travel via yacht each year to explore these beautiful islands, participate in annual races, or just enjoy the Caribbean's wintertime warmth.
Almost every charter will offer travelers the option of having food provided by the charter company, or providing their own food. Remember that on a crewed charter you are responsible for providing food for everyone onboard, and stocking a ship can be difficult. It can be a hassle to get foods through customs into your departure country if leaving from a country other than your own.
The most popular large yacht charter companies currently serving the Caribbean region are and . Both serve the British Virgin Islands. However, there are more than just these two, including some local companies.
Evaluating the option of chartering a vessel? Check out this next chart to get in touch with a charter operator serving this area.
|(284) 494-0303||Downtown Road Town|
|(284) 541-9341||B&B Charters - Leverick Bay|
|--||3.2 mi. (5.1 km) East of Road Town|
|(284) 494-8787||Nanny Cay|
|(284) 495-9993||Village Cay Marina - Downtown Road Town|
|(284) 494-5820||Nanny Cay Marina - Nanny Cay|
|(284) 495-1970||Downtown Road Town|
|(284) 495-4099||Frenchmans Cay - Tortola|
|(284) 546-0026||3.9 mi. (6.3 km) East-Northeast of Road Town|
|(284) 495-2526||Nanny Cay Marina - Nanny Cay|
Each type of charter will come with its own expenses:
Bareboat charters include only the cost of the charter.
Skippered charters will cost vacationers the charter rate, and an additional per-day fee for the skipper. These usually range between $80(USD) and $120(USD) per day, but will vary skipper to skipper.
Crewed charters will cost more than bareboats to begin with, but the crew is also tipped at a rate of 10 to 15 percent of the charter's total cost. . Traveler's tip: These tips make up 30 to 50 percent of a crew's income, so this is an important addition to remember.
Travelers should make sure they've read all the fine print. While this is always a good idea, deposit and insurance fees can be added to the cost of a charter. It is suggested that these charges may best be made on a credit card, in case of mistakes or problems. Cancellation policies can also be and important and overlooked piece of the fine print.
Those interested in sailing to and around the Virgin Islands can find their perfect choice in charter yachts available throughout the region.
Travelers may enter the the BVI at any of four ports of entry: Road Harbour and on Tortola; on Jost Van Dyke; and on Virgin Gorda. Customs and immigration offices are open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturdays, excluding holidays.
Arrivals and departures outside these times are possible but must be scheduled, and will incur additional fees. To schedule an arrival or departure, travelers should call customs at 284-494-3475 and immigration at 284-494-3701 ext. 2538. When sailing into the islands outside of office hours, raise the Q flag and enter customs as soon as possible.
To clear customs, be sure the crew and ship have all required identification and paperwork and that all are present. Visas are not required for nationals of commonwealth countries, most European countries, Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Ecuador, Japan, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Russia, Turkey, Tunisia, Uruguay, Venezuela, and the United States, if the visit does not exceed six months. However, residents of other countries will need a visa for entry.
Customs will not allow firearms to remain on the boat. they will be retained at customs until the ship leaves port. Certificates of health and rabies shots for animals must be shown to customs officers, and there is a $5(USD) fee per pet.
Some fees are paid according to the size of the boat, but other taxes and fees are flat. The British Virgin Islands cruising tax states that all visiting yachts from other Caribbean islands or from outside the territory must obtain cruising permits from Customs officers upon entering its territorial waters. This will cost $4(USD) per person, per day. Foreign boats must also pay $10 to $15(USD) per visit per boat, as well as a $4(USD) departure tax per person.
Yachts registered in the British Virgin Islands and chartered by visitors will also need to purchase a cruising permit, at $2(USD) per person per day from Dec. 1 through April 30 and $0.75(USD) per person per day from May 1 through Nov. 30. Crewed charters do not require captain and crew to pay the cruising fee, but guests will have to pay. Bareboat charters require the fee from all passengers.
For further questions, the British Virgin Islands' customs offices can be reached at 284-494-3475.
Seriously considering traveling to the BVI in your own vessel, or one you charter in a different location? Check out the listing that follows to get summary information for marinas in the area.
|(800) 223-1108||Oil Nut Bay||Virgin Gorda|
|(800) 872-2392||Oil Nut Bay||Virgin Gorda|
|(284) 495-9084||Cooper Island Beach Club - Cooper Island||Cooper Island|
|(284) 495-9258||Foxy's Taboo Restaurant - Jost Van Dyke||Jost Van Dyke|
|(284) 494-0528||Road Town||Tortola|
|(284) 494-4200||Road Reef - Road Town||Tortola|
|--||Frenchman's Cay||Frenchman's Cay|
|(284) 494-5000||3.2 mi. (5.1 km) East of Road Town||Tortola|
|(284) 495-7421||Leverick Bay Resort & Marina - Santu Patia||Virgin Gorda|
|(284) 494-2393||Road Town||Tortola|
|(284) 494-2332||Road Town||Tortola|
|(284) 494-2512||Nanny Cay||Tortola|
|(284) 495-1134||3.9 mi. (6.3 km) East-Northeast of Road Town||Tortola|
|(284) 495-2000||Peter Island Resort & Spa - Peter Island||Peter Island|
|(242) 494-3773||Road Town||Tortola|
|(284) 340-5678||Pusser's Marina Cay Resort - Marina Cay||Marina Cay|
|(284) 494-2745||Bitter End Yacht Club - Oil Nut Bay||Virgin Gorda|
|(284) 494-2263||Parham Town||Tortola|
|(284) 495-4589||Frenchman's Cay||Frenchman's Cay|
|(284) 494-2124||Downtown Road Town||Tortola|
|--||Downtown Road Town||Tortola|
|(284) 495-5500||Spanish Town||Virgin Gorda|
|(284) 393-2000||5.6 mi. (9.0 km) Northeast of Spanish Town||Virgin Gorda|
Vacationers will need to acquire a permit for recreational fishing in order to fish in the waters surrounding the British Virgin Islands. However, be aware that spearfishing, lobstering, and collecting live shells, as well as the use of jet-skis, is prohibited.
Boats have caused damage to the national parks in the British Virgin Islands, thus there is a new program in effect. Sailors will need to make use of mooring buoys in areas that have had damage due to anchoring. To cruise, travelers must obtain a National Parks mooring permit and hold to the following regulations:
Travelers assume responsibility for any damages they cause to themselves or their crafts as a result of using these moorings. The rules and regulations of seafaring in the British Virgin Islands have kept the waters safe and watersports enjoyable.
|Trellis Bay - Beef Island||18.4462147917||-64.5318245888|
|Maya Cove - 3.3 mi. (5.3 km) East of Road Town||18.4234765283||-64.5670044422|
|St Thomas Bay - Spanish Town||18.4487752893||-64.4405651093|
|Pond Bay - 1.8 mi. (2.9 km) Northeast of Spanish Town||18.4689757697||-64.4155454636|
|Cow Bay - Mosquito Island||18.5058816152||-64.3987226486|
|Brandy Wine Bay - 2.1 mi. (3.4 km) East of Road Town||18.4150685122||-64.5858979225|
|South Bay - Mosquito Island||18.5117765367||-64.390193224|
|Boughers Bay - Downtown Road Town||18.425369802||-64.6168184274|
|Malone Bay - 4.5 mi. (7.3 km) Northeast of Spanish Town||18.4985561456||-64.388422966|
|Bakers Bay - 4.5 mi. (7.2 km) Northeast of Spanish Town||18.4918408474||-64.3819856644|
|Dog Bay - 4.0 mi. (6.4 km) Northeast of Spanish Town||18.4816752606||-64.3840456009|
|Manchioneel Bay - Cooper Island||18.3855965005||-64.5139074326|
|Prickly Pear National Park - Prickly Pear Island||18.5085921411||-64.3720185757|
|Hallovers Bay - Cooper Island||18.3757815527||-64.5102918148|
|Robins Bay - 5.1 mi. (8.3 km) Northeast of Spanish Town||18.4919222465||-64.3694114685|
|Salt Island Bay - Salt Island||18.3742950085||-64.5316529274|
|Eustatia Sound - Prickly Pear Island||18.5096603971||-64.3619227383|
|Lee Bay - Salt Island||18.370588774||-64.5344638824|
|Little Bay - 5.5 mi. (8.8 km) Northeast of Spanish Town||18.4932042777||-64.3639612198|
|Vixen Point - Prickly Pear Island||18.5030735617||-64.3601846695|
|Deadman's Bay - Peter Island||18.3558600614||-64.5705556817|
|The Spring Bay - Peter Island||18.3513387814||-64.5789670944|
|White Bay - Peter Island||18.3476931496||-64.5752549171|
|Little Harbour - Peter Island||18.3545716361||-64.6005105972|
|Manchioneel Bay - 6.5 mi. (10.4 km) West-Northwest of Road Town||18.4512933371||-64.7107601166|
|Sprat Bay - Peter Island||18.3495057942||-64.602162838|
|South Bay - Peter Island||18.3391185||-64.5730018616|
|Long Bay - Little Jost Van Dyke||18.4506826981||-64.7237849236|
|Sopers Hole - West End||18.3869913161||-64.7011792656|
|Newfound Bay - 3.0 mi. (4.9 km) East of Coral Bay||18.3462878415||-64.6686172485|
|Haulover Bay - 2.4 mi. (3.9 km) East of Coral Bay||18.3489666445||-64.6780157089|
|Great Harbour - Great Harbour||18.4425771113||-64.7512936592|
|Pomato Point - Anegada||18.7268280231||-64.4036364555|
|Princess Bay - 1.6 mi. (2.5 km) East-Northeast of Coral Bay||18.3550657952||-64.6928215027|
|Cow Wreck Bay - Anegada||18.7233893856||-64.3846786022|
|Borck Creek - 1.0 mi. (1.5 km) East-Northeast of Coral Bay||18.3532939462||-64.702091217|
|Coral Harbour - Coral Bay||18.3446327255||-64.7128415108|
|Leinster Bay - 1.9 mi. (3.1 km) Northwest of Coral Bay||18.3653299419||-64.7365951329|
|Francis Bay - 2.3 mi. (3.7 km) West-Northwest of Coral Bay||18.3615013236||-64.7460579872|
|Lower Bay - Anegada||18.7134820631||-64.315713644|
|Saltpond Bay - 2.7 mi. (4.3 km) South of Coral Bay||18.3081565879||-64.7068762779|
|Grootpan Bay - 2.6 mi. (4.2 km) South of Coral Bay||18.3089103318||-64.717862606|
|Trunk Bay - 2.0 mi. (3.3 km) Northeast of Cruz Bay||18.3526829645||-64.7707557678|
|Hawksnest Bay - 1.4 mi. (2.3 km) Northeast of Cruz Bay||18.3480801242||-64.7795963287|
|Caneel Bay - Caneel Bay||18.3436245459||-64.7874498367|
|Cruz Bay - Cruz Bay||18.3316454562||-64.7969716787|
|Chocolate Hole Bay - Chocolate Hole||18.3165137946||-64.7845959663|
|Great Cruz Bay - Cruz Bay||18.3200756271||-64.7891288996|
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