How to prepare for your Crewed Charter Yacht Vacation in the BVI (2023)
Part 2 – Essential things like passports & money!!!
Make sure you have your passport, travel documents and cash (US$) with you. It’s also a good idea to have copies of important documents stored electronically or in a separate bag.
When you arrive in BVI, Immigration will need to know the name of the yacht and place of meeting (e.g., the name of the marina) so make sure ALL your party knows this as they enter.
Most places accept credit cards, but ATM machines may be spaced out round the islands, ask the crew and they will advise you as you travel round. While credit cards are widely accepted in most places, it’s always useful to carry some cash for smaller vendors or places that may not accept cards. Notify your bank of your travel plans to avoid any issues with your cards. The larger islands (Tortola and Virgin Gorda) have banks, but the smaller ones do not.
Life in the British Virgin Islands is very laid back, with delightful weather and warm seas. Sunglasses must be high on your list!! Maybe a spare pair too.
In some places you can swim ashore to a local bar for happy hour so zip lock bags are a must for keeping items such as money waterproof. They are easy to pack and extremely useful in a wet environment. Telephones and cameras may be better in a proper waterproof container. Remember its very easy for these to go overboard so a floating container with some sort of handle would be the best or better still hang round your neck leaving both hands free for swimming.
Sailing in the Caribbean Calls for SP 30 Sunscreen or Stronger
Sunscreen and after sun care is important from the very beginning. We consider SP15 only a moisturizer here! The sun can be brutal combined with the reflection from the water and the prevailing winds. If you do not want to be burnt, bring a minimum of SP 30, SP 50 is best for the first few days. Remember to use it on your feet too. No spray or oil-based sunscreens please. Some yachts do not always provide sunscreen and you may prefer certain makes so make it high on your list. The non-perfumed sunscreen is the best. Sunscreen oils are not allowed on yachts because of the staining to the decks.
Everyone travels with a phone/camera and their music, great but bring a disposable waterproof camera too. You will enjoy trying to capture those elusive fish while snorkeling. Go-pro are the most popular in the BVI as they have waterproof cases and are very versatile. Disposable batteries and cameras are quite expensive in the BVI so bring them with you for capturing those fish underwater.
Remember to bring USB adapters and connecting cables for all your telephones etc. as the yachts cannot supply these. Check the specification of each yacht to see what they have onboard which will be compatible with your devices.
Yachts have snorkel equipment on board, however you may want to bring your own mask and snorkel, fins are bulky to carry so you might consider leaving them behind as they will have most sizes on board. Make sure you mention all your parties fin size on the preference sheet so the crew can double check they have them. For example – three of your party may have the same size 6 and the yacht may only have 2 sets, this gives them the chance to add extra if necessary. Also kids sizes make sure the crew is aware of the sizes before the charter begins by specifying on the preference sheets.
Insurance is very important not just for travelling cancelation. Medical insurance is important as the British Virgin Islands are not part of American health care or Canadian or anywhere else for that matter. Tourists will be charged for any hospital occupancy and medicine.
Fishing, most yachts troll for fish however it is required by law for the yacht and each individual guest to purchase fishing licenses for their charter. Please let us know so we can arrange this well in advance. We can supply the link and it can be purchased online before you arrive. The yachts crew will arrange for this to be picked up before the charter begins.
Food glorious Food!!! Preference sheets will be sent out well before the charter begins. The preference and information sheets are very important as they provide valuable information for the boat crew, especially on the food and beverage side. Every luxury crewed yacht charter menu is unique and tailor-made for the guests from the preference sheets, so it is essential that the crew know exactly what you like and dislike plus any allergies. This will include beverages too. Every yacht provides standard bar should you require more expensive drinks then that will be at your expense.
Smoking is not allowed inside the yachts as its a fire hazard, however most yachts allow smoking on the aft decks outside and the crew will indicate exactly where they would like you to smoke. Each yacht might have different areas which will depending on the direction on the wind.
Gratuity is at the discretion of the charter guests, traditionally based on 15 to 20% of the charter fee e.g. Charter fee is $18,000 then the gratuity would be between $2,700 and $3600. Tipping is a valuable indication to the crew of how you enjoyed your charter vacation and is considered part of their wages. Usually it is paid in cash and handed to them at the end of the charter as the guests are leaving, nowadays crews can accept the payment in different ways such as cheques and sometimes by card. Dynamic Charters can supply this information once your charter is booked.