Why sail to the BVI?
The British Virgin Islands has always been and continues to be recognized as a world leader of great places to go sailing. Since it became a major charter sailing destination in the early 70’s, you’d think that other cool new locations would have taken its place by now. Not so. The answer lies in its privileged geography and friendly people. Let me lay it out for you:
Jost Van Dyke
If you are a Scuba diver. You have two options. Charter a yacht or catamaran with on-board diving equipment and compressors. This would be suitable for guests who wish to dive more than 2 or 3 times per week. OR you can simply call a dive shop of which there are many in the BVI and have them come out and pick you up from your boat.
Serious snorkelers should bring their own masks and fins, but you can use the boats’ equipment if you are a casual snorkeler.
All visitors to the British Virgin Islands require a valid passport. All visitors to the islands and charter guests are required to check in to BVI customs and immigration upon arrival. This “check-in” can occur as follows:
If you have arrived by air, and flown directly into Tortola’s Beef Island Airport (EIS), you will clear customs and immigration at the airport.
If you have arrived by sea on a private yacht, boat or catamaran you will need to check in immediately at any one of the official POINTS OF ENTRY.
Both the British and US Virgin Islands are interconnected by a reasonably efficient network of Ferry services. They run on time (for the most part) are fairly comfortable, have a good safety record, and, while not exactly inexpensive, are usually cheaper than flying on the small island puddle jumpers they compete with.
Since most of our clients fly in from either the Mainland (usually Miami or Fort Lauderdale) or fly in from Europe the PREFERRED DESTINATION AIRPORT will always be St Thomas (STT) in the US Virgin Islands that can handle large commercial jets.
Even if you are flying in to the islands on a private jet, Tortola’s Beef Island Airport (EIS) has restrictions on the size of the aircraft. Check with your pilot during the trip planning stage.
So, depending on the yacht or catamaran that you have chosen, decisions need to be made about how to get to the BVI from the airport.
The good news is that many charter boats can pick you up in St. Thomas. In fact the Coast Guard regulations have recently been changed and now almost any sized charter group can be picked up in St. Thomas.
Find the top resorts and hotels in the BVI, sorted for you in a helpful list. You can view all the best places to stay on a single easy to read page.
Looking for Secret BVI Locations?
Learn about the lesser-known locations in the Virgin Islands. Complete the form below to download our mini-guide to nature’s little secrets in the BVI.