Join Us in the British Virgin Islands!
Getting Here –
Important reading for SwimVacationers, Click here – Pre-Trip Sheet
From the US and Canada: You can either fly into St. Thomas (STT) in the USVI and then take a 40-minute ferry ride over to Roadtown on Tortola in the BVI, or you can fly directly to Tortola’s Beef Island (EIS) in the BVI. The best flights to Beef Island from Puerto Rico don’t always appear on the big travel websites like Travelocity. You may be able to piece together a flight using a big airline like American, followed by a smaller carrier like Cape Air or Air Sunshine. It is often possible to fly to Puerto Rico the night before we set sail, spend the night in Puerto Rico, then fly to Beef Island (EIS) early the next morning.
Unless it is more than a $125.00 saving per person to fly into St. Thomas, we generally find the extra “hassle factor” is usually not worth it, and it’s best to fly into Beef Island. If you do fly into St. Thomas and need help making sure your ferry connections over to Tortola, we are more than happy to help. There are often more direct flights from the states to STT, and some guests may want to stop there and shop! If you are coming into St. Thomas, you will be able to get a cab outside the airport to take you to the ferry dock. You can catch a ferry from either Charlotte Amalie or Red Hook. The folks at the ground transportation desk at the airport will be very helpful in getting you there. We prefer Charlotte Amalie, as it’s a faster cab ride from the airport. For ferry information, check this link: www.tortolafastferry.com
From Europe: London Heathrow connects to Antigua, then Beef Island, or from France to St. Maarten to Beef Island.
Have patience through all your connections. Things slow down a bit in the Caribbean. If it were really, really fast and easy to get here, there would be too many tourists which would ruin your active vacation experience.
A valid passport with an expiration date not less than 6 months after your return is now required for all trips to the British Virgin Islands. If you do not have one or need to renew, start now.
Cell phone service in BVI is good and getting better. Be sure to switch to an international plan before your trip, or get a Skype account. Our yacht has sometimes speedy / sometimes spotty wifi, so bring your laptop if you wish.
Although your charter fee will be paid in advance, there will be some additional charges along the way. Incidentals can be paid at the end of your charter by cash, traveler’s checks, personal check or credit card. There is a 5% surcharge for using credit cards.
Costs NOT covered by your charter / SwimVacation fee:
- Meals and drinks NOT on Promenade.
- Gratuity. At the end of the cruise, please consider leaving a gratuity for your crew. The customary amount is 15% to 20%, but this is completely up to you and how much you enjoyed your charter. If you leave your gratuity with the Captain at the end of the cruise, he will share it evenly among the crew members.
- BVI Airport Development Fee. As of 2012, an agent will collect $10.00 from you on arrival and departure from the Beef Island Airport.
- Departure Tax. The BVI currently levies a departure tax at the rate of $10.00 per person leaving by air, $5.00 leaving by sea.
All SwimVacation customers must be self insured for medical and repatriation costs, and for all activities you will pursue on your vacation. Many health insurance policies to not cover costs related to these activities. SwimVacation has teamed with a multisport insurance company to provide you with coverage for the length of the trip at a very reasonable cost ($20 to $30 covers the whole week). Click here for more information. For more comprehensive trip insurance, including trip cancellation coverage, we recommend Insuremytrip.com.