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The British Virgin Islands archipelago is made up of 50 odd islands and has long been the number one sailing destination in the Caribbean for the spectacular scenery, short line of site passages and the fun filled island atmosphere. This is the best destination for new sailors to cut their teeth on a bareboat or flotilla charter.
Terrance B. Lettsome previously known as Beef Island airport.
San Juan, Puerto Rico is the main routing for passengers destined to the BVI. American Airlines is the biggest carrier with ongoing service from there to Tortola Beef Island with American Eagle. Several other airlines also fly the route and LIAT and Cape Air have service from San Juan to Tortola. Beef Island is to the east of Tortola, the two islands are connected by the Queen Elizabeth bridge.
The alternative route is to fly direct to St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands and then take the ferry to West End or Road Town Tortola. Please note that the last ferry departs St Thomas at about 4:30pm so you need to arrive early enough to make your connection.
You can catch the ferry from downtown Charlotte Amalie or the Eastern end of St Thomas at Red Hook. There are three main ferry companies that run between St. Thomas and Tortola some are:
There are no direct flights to the British Virgin Islands from Europe. All flights connect through another Caribbean airport such as Antigua, St Thomas (US Virgin Island), Puerto Rico, St Kitts or St Maarten followed by a connecting flight to Beef Island Tortola. British Airways offers a daily scheduled service from Gatwick to Antigua and Virgin Atlantic fly from Gatwick to Antigua Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
$25.00 per boat/week (4 persons)
$35.00 per boat/week (6 persons)
$45.00 per boat/week (8 persons)
$55.00 per boat/week (10 persons)
Each additional person pays $5.00/week
$2.00 per person/per day during winter (peak season)
$0.75 per person/per day during summer season (low season)
BVI is safe and tourists don’t need to be too concerned with safety. Petty theft and violence is almost non-existent on the islands.
There are no travel visas required by North American, European or Australian visitors to the British Virgin Islands with 30 days granted upon arrival. Guests traveling from outside North America or Europe or not holding valid US, Canadian, European or Australian passports, must check with their nearest Consulate. You require a passport that is valid for at least 6 months beyond your stay to enter the British Virgin Islands as well as a return ticket. It is advisable to check that your tetanus shot is up to date and a certificate of vaccination against tetanus, hepatitis A and B is recommended (but not compulsory) to all travelers. A yellow fever vaccination is compulsory for travelers coming from zones known as infected.
Road Town’s Peebles General Hospital is the only major medical facility on the British Virgin Islands and provides free emergency care to anyone who needs it. United Kingdom citizens who are young children or over 69 years of age are also entitled to free medical care on the BVI. However, most other health care services can be expensive, especially for those requiring transportation to Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, or the mainland United States. It is advisable to purchase medical and cancellation/interruption insurance when traveling abroad on adventurous holidays.
GMT -4 hours.
The currency used in the British Virgin Islands is the US Dollar USD. ATM cash machines are available on Tortola but once you head into the islands they are harder to find so it is wise to carry USD cash with you. Credit cards can be used for shopping at most islands. The most well known are MasterCard (EuroCard) and Visa and AMEX.
The electric current is 110/120 volts AC 50Hz which is the same as the United States. American appliances can be used without an adaptor.
The main supermarket, Riteway is found on Tortola. European imports are heavily taxed so you can expect to pay more than at home. Once in the islands it is more difficult to purchase supplies with smaller limited stores only available.
The British Virgin Island's country code is +1284. Many hotels and resorts have direct dialling facilities (IDD), and card phones are available in post offices and stores, the local mobile network is Digicel. More and more restaurants and cafes are now offering wifi services.
As in the United States it is customary to leave a gratuity. In restaurants, bars, and nightclubs, tip service staff and bartenders 15% to 20% of the check, tip checkroom attendants $1 per garment, and tip valet-parking attendants $1 per vehicle. Tip cabdrivers and other service providers 15% of the fare or bill.