FAQ

 

 

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Thank you for your enquiry into sailing with us at BVI Yacht Charters. We have designed this page to help you with the planning of your charter, and to help make your sailing vacation planning as stress free as possible. If you have not chartered in the BVI before we would recommend you read through the whole page.  If  you have questions that remain unanswered, please feel free to email us, and we will be happy to help: email

els@bviyc-crewedcharters.com 


 

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Rates

What does all-inclusive mean?

“All Inclusive” means the fee includes the yacht, Captain, Chef, all meals, snacks, open bar (!), use of all toys and amenities listed for that yacht, fuel, water, moorings, ice. Not included are your airfare, ferry and taxi to the yacht, gratuity (15-20% is common), island trips and drinks or meals ashore. Open bar means that all alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks are included except for special requested premium wines, liquors and champagne. The amount and variety will vary depending on the cost of the charter with larger, more expensive yachts providing finer wines and premium liquors. Please have a look at http://bviyc-crewedcharters.com/all-inclusive/ for more information.

What does half-board mean?

Half board charters are similar to All-inclusive charters (see above), but some meals are not included in the rate and guests take those meals ashore at their own expense. This option is for people who would like to experience the local restaurants on their all-inclusive charter.

What does captain only mean?

“Captain only” means the fee includes the yacht, the captain and use of all toys and amenities listed for that yacht, but does not include all other expenses such us provisioning (for you and the captain), fuel, water, moorings, ice, etc. Other items not included are your airfare, ferry and taxi to the yacht, gratuity (15-20% is common), island trips and drinks or meals ashore. You are responsible for the provisions, cooking (or dining ashore) and cleaning up the boat at the end of the charter. Please have a look at http://bviyc-crewedcharters.com/all-inclusive/  for more information.

Are the given rates negotiable?

No. The cost of the yacht will be the same regardless of whether you book through a broker or directly with the yacht. The yacht owner has set the price and not the broker handling your booking. Some crewed yachts give specials/discounts for last-minute charters, summer charters or for charters with children. However most yachts give the same rate for an adult or a child and offer the same rate all year around.

Rates for Christmas / New Year?

The Christmas and New Year’s weeks have a minimum of 7 nights. They also will get a 10% (or more) premium on the daily rate. In addition, some yachts request a minimum number of guests for these week. Half-board options and captain-only options, which normally are offered for any other week, are in general not offered during these 2 Holiday weeks.

Rates for charters less than 7 nights?

The crewed yachts have a minimum of 4 nights. Please note that 4 and 5 night charters get a 16.7% surcharge on the daily rate, so 6 night charters are relatively much cheaper. To calculate your pro-rated daily rate: Just divide your 7 nights rate by 7 and multiply it with the number of nights you want to charter.  Add 16.7% to the daily rate when calculating 4 and 5 night charters.

How much gratuity is expected?

It is customary to tip your crew at the end of your charter, something between 15-20% is suggested, according to the level of service you feel you have received. You can give the captain a US$ personal check, certainly cash or traveler checks. Tipping is at your discretion of course!

Terms of Booking

WHERE does my charter start and end?

It depends on the yacht. Most crewed yachts are flexible and can start and end your charter on St. Thomas, USVI and on Tortola, BVI depending on what works best for you. Special request for other islands to start from are possible, but have to be discussed with the yacht. A few crewed yachts charge a delivery fee if the charter starts and ends on St. Thomas.

WHEN does my charter start and end?

Your charter will start at noon and ends at noon. You can start and end on any day of the week as long as the yacht is available. If your flight arrives later than noon, you can board the yacht at that later time, but you can also decide to arrive a day before your charter and stay in a nice hotel or resort . This enables you to start your charter the following day at noon, rested and refreshed. We can assist by recommending hotels and resorts for your first night or more nights before and after your charter.

Can I charter with 12 or more guests?

The crewed yachts have a maximum of 10 guests (12 guests with children). When you want to charter with a larger group, we can arrange a tandem charter for you. This means you book 2 or more crewed yachts that sail together as a tandem charter. More info

Why are charters counted in nights?

Since your charter will be from noon to noon, we count your charter in nights (or 24 hour days). Most charters are 7 nights: Saturday to Saturday or Sunday to Sunday, etc.

Can I cancel my charter?

When you need to canceling your charter, all payments will be forfeited. However, if the yacht can re-book a different charter for the same dates, you will receive a (partial) refund. We highly recommend you purchase trip cancellation insurance. We recommend http://www.travelguard.com/ as they have the option to cancel for whatever reason.

Can I charter for more or less than 7 nights?

Yes! However, the crewed yachts have a minimum of 4 nights. Please note that 4 and 5 night charters get a 16.7% surcharge on the daily rate, so 6 night charters are relatively much cheaper. To calculate your pro-rated rate for 6 nights or for more than 7 nights: Just divide your 7 nights rate by 7 and multiply it with the number of nights you want to charter.  Some yachts offer a discount if you sail 10 or more nights.

Reservation/Booking

What does a courtesy reservation or hold mean?

When we have discussed all your options and you are interested to book a crewed yacht charter, we will make a courtesy reservation for you without any obligations. This will place the yacht on hold for your dates and gives you time to make a final decision and arrange other things for your vacation, like flights. The hold is valid for one week, but can be extended if you need additional time.

What does a Challenge mean?

We can place a challenge when your preferred yacht has a reservation for the dates you like to book. A challenge means that the other party gets 48 hours (not including the weekend) to book their charter by paying the deposit. If they fail the reservation goes to you and you can then book it for your dates.  A Challenge can also be placed against you, if another party wants to book the dates you have on hold.

How do I book a charter?

When you are ready to book your charter, we will e-mail a contract for you to sign. The signed contract can be e-mailed or faxed back to us and your first deposit paid. Charters that are booked 6 months or more in advance require a 25 % deposit and charters of less than 6 months in advance require a 50% deposit. The final payment is due 45 days before your charter starts.

How do I pay for my charter?

We give a 1% discount if you arrange an ACH (electronic) payment direct into our account in the BVI, a wire transfer or if you Fedex/DHL a cashier’s check. You also can use Visa and Mastercard but then without the 1% discount (No Amex!).

Your Charter

What kind of food can I expect?

All crewed yachts have excellent chefs on board and your meals will be prepared with fresh high quality ingredients. Most gourmet meals on board will be better than what you can find in our local restaurants. Please have a good look at the sample menus that every yacht provides on their online brochures. It gives you a very good indication of what you can expect. All menus will be adjusted to your preferences! Before your charter, we will ask you to fill in a preference sheet, so the chef knows exactly what your group likes and dislikes and can plan the menu accordingly. More info

Are special diets available?

Yes! All the crewed yachts can accommodate vegetarian, low sodium or low fat requests. Most chefs will prepare something different for children, if they are picky eaters. Some yachts offer Kosher, Vegan, Gluten free or other menus. You should definitely request this prior to booking, so we can check with the chef. Also make sure your chef knows about any allergies!

What will my itinerary be like?

This is your private charter and there will be no standard itinerary! Your crew will discuss with you the daily itinerary that will suit your wishes, at the beginning of the charter and every morning. The itinerary will be based on your party’s mood and the weather conditions. Your itinerary is not set in stone and can be changed to your preferences. The itinerary is weather depending as the strength and direction of the wind and the swells can make a sailing route or an anchorage less preferable. More info:

When is the best time to charter?

The peak tourist season is December to May, but this has more to do with the cold weather in North America and Europe.  Christmas, New Year, Easter weeks and the American Spring Break are the peak season weeks and need to be booked far in advance. Our off-season runs from mid August through the end of October. This is our hurricane season, with greater chance of storms or hot weather and not much breeze. Our ocean temperature is very comfortably warm throughout the year, but if you want to swim or snorkel for hours, April till July are your best months as the sea is at its warmest then. November is rain season. More info on BVI Weather

Should I plan a sailing vacation even though I’m not a sailor?

Absolutely! The Virgin Islands are gorgeous and there is much more to do than just sailing. There are dozens of beautiful anchorages and beaches to enjoy, many excellent spots for diving and snorkeling, a variety of shore excursions are available, you can go shopping or hiking and you can always find something going on in the evening. The best way to visit these islands and anchorages is with a yacht and the crewed yachts offer so much more than sailing! Our islands are more sheltered from the open ocean than other Caribbean areas. They are close to each other and there are numerous quiet and flat calm anchorages with pristine white beaches. You rarely need to sail more than an hour or two to get from one anchorage to the next. Often, you will anchor somewhere for lunch and snorkeling. After a short afternoon sail, you will arrive in a different anchorage ready to enjoy cocktails and dinner. Alternatively you can decide to charter a power yacht if sailing is not your thing.

Can I scuba dive from the yacht?

That depends if the captain or chef is a Dive Master or Dive Instructor and offers diving. If you are a certified diver you only need a Dive Master on board that can dive with you. A Dive Instructor can offer a resort course, which is a an introduction to diving. He/she can also offer a referral course, if you would like to get certified on board. All other yachts can offer Rendezvous diving, whereby a dive company picks the divers up from the yacht to do a 1 or 2 tank dive. This is ideal if not everyone in your group wants to dive, because they then do not need to wait for the divers to return to do other activities. More info

Can I fish from the yacht?

Yes! Most of our yachts offer on-board fishing. You need to purchase a fishing license for every person that would like to do some fishing on the charter. Children under 18 do not need a fishing license. We can give you the application form or you can go to the Last Stop Sport’s web site https://www.laststopsports.com/Fishing_Cart.htm as they can arrange it for you.

Will I have internet on board?

Yes. Most yachts have wifi on board, but the connection can be limited and slow. You will be able to check and answer emails or look at Facebook etc. In general, streaming is not possible or limited.

What to Bring

Do I need a passport to travel to the British Virgin Islands?

Yes! All American citizens traveling to the BVI require a passport (As of 1 Jan 2006,). It is no longer possible to enter with only a birth certificate and picture ID. Citizens of the USA, Canada and most European countries do not require a visa. However, citizens from some other countries are required to have a visa to visit the BVI. Please click HERE for more information.

What should I pack?

Not much! Most people bring too many clothes they don’t wear on charter. Be sure to pack light as storage on most yachts is minimal. Please be sure to pack a hat or cap(that won’t blow off!), sun glasses, sunscreen, t-shirts, bathing suit, shorts, sarongs, insect repellent (for the beach at sun-set), flip-flops or water shoes and casual evening wear. Beach towels will be provided on board. Squashy luggage is essential, like a duffel bag that will fit into a drawer when not in use. More info

Can I charge electronics / bring hairdryer?

Yes. The crewed yachts have inverters that give power all day to 120 Volt outlets for charging items like cameras, phones and computer batteries. high-voltage appliances like hair dryers need the generator to start to avoid draining the battery bank. Check with your crew before your charter, as they might have a hair dryer on board for you to use.

How much Gratuity?

It is customary to tip your crew at the end of your charter, something between 15-20% is suggested, according to the level of service you feel you have received. You can give the captain a US$ personal check, certainly cash or traveler checks. Tipping is at your discretion of course!

Crewed Charter Guidelines & Tips

For more information on your upcoming charter, click on our Charter Tips. These are guidelines as to what to expect on a crewed charter, what to bring (and not to bring) and other guidelines and tips that help you prepare for your charter.

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BVI Yacht Charters are the experts in crewed yacht charters throughout the Caribbean. We have visited all the yachts, know all the crew and every anchorage. We have booked many crewed sailing vacations for families, groups and couples with great reviews and happy customers, which means you can book your charter with confidence.

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