You appear to be visiting from UNITED STATES. Please visit our US website for our USD prices and US terms and conditions.

Check Availability

 
 

BVI One Week Flotilla

Essential Information

 

The Sunsail BVI location is now open. Please refer to our latest Caribbean Updates for more information.

  • Address & Map
  • Arrival & Departure
  • Sailing Information
  • Banks & Money Exchange
  • General Information
  • Electrical, Phones & Music
  • Activities
  • Provisioning
  • Health & Safety
  •  

    Address & map

     
    Address

    Sunsail Tortola
    Wickhams Cay II
    Road Town
    Tortola
    British Virgin Islands
    Tel: 00 1 284-393-2331
    Fax: 00 1 284 495 1767
    Email: tortola_sunsail_custserv@thlmarine.com

    Location

    The Sunsail base is located at Wickhams Cay II just outside Road Town.

    Base Open Hours

    The base is open 8.00 am until 5.00 pm, 7 days a week (evening staff to cover until all flights have arrived).

    Base/Shore Facilities

    39-room Hotel & Spa – Mariner Inn
    Showers and toilets
    Restaurants and bar
    Swimming Pool
    Provisioning store
    Selection of shops
    Renport – Internet Café
    Renport – DVD movies/players and electronic gadgets rental
    Outfitters – water sport rental

    SC Divers - dive equipment rental

    Customs feesApprox. US$20 (in & out)
    Water    Yes
    Ice    US$3.50 per bag
    Fuel (diesel)Pre-paid fuel is more cost effective
    Showers    Yes
    Laundry    No
    Garbage disposal Yes
    Gas    Yes
    Provisioning    Yes
    Accommodation Yes
    Bar & RestaurantYes
    Money ChangeRoad Town Monday – Friday only
    Bank    ATM machine on site
    Other machinesin Road Town & Spanish Town
    Telephonethe base issues a free phone to each boat through partner Renport, allowing free calls to the base. Renport offers great service plans that can be purchased on site, at rates fare more preferable than roaming.
    Jeep/Car Hire Available through reception

    Back to Top

     

     

    Arrival & Departure

     
    Time Difference

    The BVI is – 4 hours GMT

    Airport

    Tortola’s airport is situated at Beef Island, at the eastern end of Tortola. Airport Code: EIS
    Beef Island Airport to Wickhams Cay II Marina: - Taxi ride: 30 mins

    Transfers

    Sunsail can assist with arranging your airport transfers. Please send us your travel details where required. The approximate taxi fare to Sunsail base from Beef Island airport is $12 (one way) per person.
    Please note: Clients arriving independently should bring a copy of the charter contract / invoice.

    If you pre-book a taxi, the local taxi driver will be advised of your name and arrival time, and carries a Sunsail sign to identify himself to you at the airport. Transfers should be paid to the driver directly in cash; unless transfers were arranged with a vacation planner in which case you must produce a copy of your booking invoice.

    Take this opportunity to pre-book your premium transportation to The Sunsail Base on Tortola, for a stress-free travel experience. Our dedicated transfer service tracks your flight to ensure a taxi bus with Sunsail signage is awaiting your arrival, with:

    • Reliable on-time service
    • Special contracted rates & taxi/ferry packages
    • No delays waiting for taxis to arrive, or fill up with random travellers

    To book your transfers call a Sunsail Vacation Planner.

    Transfers from/to BaseTransport Cost (one way)Transfer
    Met at STT, transfer to Roadtown Fast Ferry, ferry to Road Town and taxi to Wickhams Cay MarinaTaxi / Ferry / Taxi

    Adults $76 round-trip $38 one-way Children (4-11) $61 round-trip $33 one-way Toddlers (1-3) $15 round-trip 

    90 minutes from STT to base
    Beef Island Airport to Wickhams Cay MarinaTaxiIf you are taking Virgin Airways flight – cost included in flight inclusive package30 minutes approx
    Beef Island Airport to Mariner Inn, Wickhams Cay II, Road TownTaxi$12 per person one way, minimum charge $2730 minutes approx

     

    St. Thomas. Transfers If you are landing into St Thomas in the morning or before 4pm (approx) you should be able to make the ferry to Tortola. To pre-book a taxi from the airport in St Thomas, the ferry and the taxi from the ferry Terminal in Tortola to Sunsail base please contact your Sunsail booking location.

    Please provide accurate flight details including flight numbers, times of arrival and departure, and number of passengers.
    If you are arriving later than 4.30pm and cannot make the last ferry or wish for a private transfer you may contact Dohm's water taxi and book a private transfer: +340-775-6501. They do get booked up so please don't leave this option too late to confirm.

    If you are arriving later than 4.30pm or wish to spend a night at St Thomas we would recommend staying at the Windward Passage Hotel, which is a 10 minute taxi from the airport and across the road from the ferry terminal. This hotel is within the downtown area of Charlotte Amalie, where you can walk to various restaurants and duty free shops. If you are flying in the day before your 6pm charter start, we would highly recommend that you enjoy a day in St Thomas prior to arriving at the Sunsail base.

    If you travel via St. Thomas, enjoy the benefits of the BVI Tourism Board Meet and Greet service. Staffed with a professional team of tourism ambassadors, the USVI Greeter Program is structured to accommodate guests whom seek connections to taxis, ferries, the seaplane, luggage inquiries, and more. The service is accessible from kiosks stationed in the Cyril E. King Airport and the Edward Blyden Marine Terminal in Charlotte Amalie. The program is in place throughout the week, serving guests from the United States, South America, Canada, Europe, and the wider Caribbean.
    For additional information, you may contact Mr. Kevis Hughes at the British Virgin Islands Tourist Board by email: khughes@bvitourism.com or by phone: 1 (284) 494-3134.
     

    Taxi fares

    We are unfortunately no longer able to offer a taxi service, unless it has been pre-booked with the sales office prior to arrival. If you choose not to pre-book a taxi and have no other transport arranged, then you will need to take the first government taxi available at the posted government rates. For more information including tarifs see: http://www.bvitourism.co.uk/taxi-services

    Luggage

    We would highly recommend packing prescription medicine and essential clothing (swimsuit, t-shirt and shorts) in your hand luggage as occasionally your luggage may arrive at the base after you do.
    Please pack using soft-sided bags, as these are easier to store on your yacht. A small storeroom is available at the base which can be used to store luggage while on charter

    Passport and Visas

    Please ensure your passport is valid for the period of travel and for six months after you return.
    Your passport name must match the name on the flight ticket otherwise you may not be able to travel and insurance may be invalid. If your child is not already included on a valid British Passport they are required to hold their own passport. British Passports holders do not require a visa.
     
    If you wish to sail to the US Virgin islands during your yacht charter you must have a US Visa (typically B1/B2), and a return flight ticket to your country of origin. This visa may be obtained from the US Embassy in London on 09068 200 2909 or www.usembassy.org.uk prior to departure. The ESTA program does not allow travel to the USVI on a Sunsail boat. Speak with your Sunsail representative to ensure you (and your boat) have acquired all of the necessary documentation before departure.

    Please note the Virgin Airways charter flight flies direct from Gatwick to Antigua, therefore if you are a non-British passport holders you should check visa requirements with the relevant Embassy.
    It is your responsibility to ensure relevant visas are obtained where necessary. Sunsail cannot be held responsible for refusal of entry or travel due to lack of visas. If you are in any doubt please contact your Embassy for full details.

    You must fill in a Customs Declaration Form on entry to The BVI, whether you arrive by sea or air.

    Please note country entry/exit requirements are subject to change. Please check with your local government or travel office for up to date information or passeport requirements. Sunsail is not accountable for any requirement changes.

    Customs and Immigration

    Before leaving the airport, you will have to clear Immigration and Customs.

    A landing card will be given to you on the plane, along with a Customs declaration form. It is not possible to take fresh food into most Caribbean islands and airlines will assume no liability for perishable articles that may be confiscated by Customs.

    On departure from Tortola a tax of $20 US per person will be levied – please organise departure tax payment prior to queuing at the departure gate.

    There will be no departure tax from Antigua to London Gatwick if staying less than 24 hours.

    On Arrival

    All boats are prepared, as per the booking, for a 6pm boarding time. The first evening is a sleep aboard where you will have the time to unpack provisions and settle into your boat.
    The following morning you will receive an on-board Boat Briefing that is mandatory and takes approx 1 hour. If we have 2 of the same boats starting we may do this brief with other guests. Briefings start from 8am (7.30am on Saturday’s) and are scheduled by the base.
    You are also required to attend a chart briefing. For bareboat charters this happens at 9.30am (8.30am on Saturdays), 12:30pm and 4:00pm daily. Flotilla briefings are on Saturdays at 9.30am for one week flotilla and at 10.30am for 2 week flotilla

    Out of Hour’s Arrival procedure

    If you have provided arrival details later than 5pm, the night manager will be on the base to meet you.  If we do not receive arrival details, (and there are no confirmed times for arrival) a message will be left on the front door indicating the location of your boat on the dock.

    On Departure

    Please disembark by 11am or 9am if on the Virgin Airways flight.
    Before disembarkation please complete your debrief form, which is to let us know if you have encountered any problems with the boat or broken anything during the trip; this enables us to rectify problems for the next charter.

    In addition to filling in forms we also require you to bag dirty laundry and leave in the cockpit, empty all cupboards and fridges of food and throw away, return any lifejackets borrowed from reception and ensure that the boat is handed back to Sunsail in a clean and tidy state.  We reserve the right to charge for boats left less than shipshape.

    Final Friday Information

    On your final Friday – Please leave your boat by 9am. Upon return to base please ensure that a member of your crew checks your return flight and taxi transfer time and completes the paperwork with the debriefer assigned to your boat. 

    At the airport you will need to pay the $20 departure tax, $5 for under 6 year olds, which can be paid in cash or by credit card.

    Back to Top

     

     

    Sailing Information

     
    Sailing Experience Level

    BVI is a Level 1/2 sailing area
    Experience levels are based on sailing conditions and length of passages within your chosen sailing area.  Follow the link for more information on the sailing conditions.

    This rating scale is designed as a guide based on the prevailing conditions during the most popular season.

    Sailing Licences

    Although no sailing licences are required for cruising in the British Virgin Islands, we strongly advise that you take any sailing certification on holiday with you.  This may be useful should you be contacted by Customs or Port Police.  If you have not already done so then Skipper and 1st Mate will be required to fill in a Sailing CV to confirm that you have the necessary skills to sailing in this region.

    National Park Day Time Mooring Permits
    The National Parks Trust of the British Virgin Islands has established a system of daytime moorings in reef sensitive areas. This is to eliminate the erosion of reefs but also to help damaged reefs to recover.
    For this reason, should you wish to moor, snorkel or dive in any of the BVI National Parks, a Mooring permit is required  The cost is dependent on the number of passengers but it ranges from $25 per boat per week for 4 people to $55 per boat per week for 10 people.. Payment must be made to the sales office in advance with the final balance and the permit is issued on arrival at the base.
    There is also a government tax that enables you to cruise around the British Virgin Islands which will be charged by the sales office.

    Night Time Sailing

    Night Sailing is not permitted; you must be moored at least one hour before sunset at all of our locations.

    Overnight moorings buoys, by Moore Secure, mostly cost $30 per night, although this can be up to US$65 per night in places like Peter Island. Payment can be made at the bar managing the moorings, or usually someone will come out to your boat to take payment. Dockage in Marinas currently starts at US$1.50 per foot per night.

    Cruising Area Limits

    BVI: All the British Virgin Islands, including Anegada and US Virgin Islands (Chase boat coverage and 4-hour guarantee is not offered if you visit Anegada and USVI).
    For Bareboat Charter with Sunsail Crew NO sailing in US Virgin Islands and Spanish Virgin Islands.
    If you wish to sail into the USVI you must have a US Visa which has to be obtained before arrival in the Caribbean
    Rest of Caribbean: No further than 20 miles out from Puerto Rico to Grenada, excluding Saba, Montserrat, Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago

    Mooring Fees and Taxes

    Most overnight stops in the BVI will be at mooring buoys/anchor as opposed to alongside quays.
    BVI National Park Fees and cruising taxes are now paid before departure.

    Formalities and Taxes

    A valid passport & crew list is compulsory for clearance.

    Checking out of BVI by boat: paid to Customs Office, US$20 per person
    Checking in to BVI by boat: paid to Customs Office, US$7.30 approximately
    Environmental Levy: paid upon arrival, US$10 per person
    Departure Tax and Security: paid at airport, US$20 per person
    Departure Tax: paid on ferry, US$20 per person
    Cruising Permit: paid on invoice, US$6 per person per day
    Chartering from another country into the BVI's, Customs will charge cruising tax on entry into the BVI set as USD 6 - 16 per person per day, depending on the yacht's home port.
    National Parks Day Time Mooring Permit: paid on invoice US$25-55 per boat, per week.
    Night Time Moorings: US$30 per night (Although this can vary, with prices up to US$65 per night at places like Peter Island).
    Virgin Island Search & Rescue (VISR): US$2 per person. 

    Area & Sailing

    More information on the sailing in this area

    Charts & Pilot Book

    All the charts and pilot books you will need for the sailing area are on board the yacht.  Charts and pilot books can be purchased by mail order from the UK chandler Kelvin Hughes by contacting them direct on 02380 634911 or www.kelvinhughes.com

    Fuel

    We would highly recommend that all clients’ pre pay fuel due to the high volume of boats returning to the marina and requiring fuelling on any given day.  Cost is approximately US$5.98 per gallon.  Fuel is available at Marina Cay, approximately two hours from the base.

    Cool Boxes

    Cool boxes are available at the base on a first come first served basis at no additional charge. Please return them clean and undamaged otherwise there will be a charge for replacement. Only one per boat.

    Skippered Charter Information

    The skipper’s time is booked from 12:00pm to 12:00pm in 24-hour periods. If you have reserved him for the first day of your charter and have a 6:00pm start, he will use this time to ensure he is happy with all aspects of the yacht and will be at the base to meet you upon your arrival. If you have reserved him for a later date on your charter he will start at 12:00pm on that day.

    The skipper is responsible for the safety of the yacht at all times. He is not permitted to dive with you, nor leave the vessel overnight. He must conduct a safety brief with you before leaving the dock regardless of the duration of his contract with you.

    For “check out charters” (anything less than the full duration of the charter) the check out skipper’s time is booked from 6:00pm to 6:00pm to allow for a meet and greet in the evening and go over basic systems, then a full day with you the next day. This skipper is required to give you a thorough briefing on all aspects of the yacht and dinghy in addition to assisting you with planning an itinerary for the trip and advising you how to contact the base, the return to base procedures and the emergency assistance procedures. It is suggested that you attend the scheduled chart brief that will be supplemented by the skipper during his time with you on the yacht. It is also suggested that you make it clear exactly what you want to cover…anchoring, docking, etc.

    The skipper will be required to give you as much information as you require concerning the yacht and its systems, sailing skills and navigation in general.

    The skipper fee does not include food or beverages for the skipper and are the responsibility of the client. It is suggested that you discuss this on the first day with the skipper and establish whether you will give the skipper cash for meals, whether you have included him in your provisioning or whether you will accommodate him as part of the group for meals ashore.

    The skipper must have his own cabin. We prefer not to put the skipper in the bow due to the shared heads and size of the cabin. If you expect him to stay in the bow, please let us know well in advance so that we can choose the appropriate (small) skipper.

    For one-day check out skipper’s it is the client’s responsibility to get the skipper back to the base. If you prefer not to come back to the base you must pay for his expenses (ferry, taxi, etc.) to get him back to the base.

    The average tip for a skipper is 15 to 20 percent of the skipper’s fee. This is, of course, at the client’s discretion.

    More information on Skippered Charter Options.

    Back to Top

     

     

    Banks & money Exchange

     
    Currency

    US$ is the currency used throughout the British Virgin Islands. Credit cards are widely accepted except in smaller establishments. Small denomination US$ travellers cheques are also accepted.

    Banks are situated in Road Town, Tortola and Spanish Town, Virgin Gorda and operate under normal banking hours, 9am – 2pm Monday – Friday.  Local banks on Tortola include First Caribbean, Banco Popular, Scotia Bank and First Bank. Travellers checks,. We do advise clients to change money before arriving in Wickhams Cay, although US$ traveller cheques are accepted as widely as Dollar bills.  

    ATMs are also available at these locations. There is also an ATM at the airport a 10 minutes cab ride from the Sunsail base. There is an ATM at the marina base.  
     

    Credit Card Information

    Visa and Mastercard are accepted by most restaurants and hotels, as well as by local stores and supermarkets

    Back to Top

     

     

    General Information

     
    Post Office

    Located on Main Street, Road Town; Tel: 284 494 3701.  Mon. - Fri: 8:30am/4:30pm, Sat.: 9:00am - 12:00pm
    Note: A postbox is available at the Mariner Inn front desk and stamps can be purchased in the boutique. 

    Language

    The language of the British Virgin Islands is English.

    Cost of living in the BVI

    Prices vary from restaurant to restaurant, however the following is a guide for your reference:

    • A bottle of wine costs about $9 in a grocery or supermarket and from $22 in a restaurant.
    • A bottle of beer costs about $3 to $4
    • A cheap snack can be bought for about $5 (local chicken, rice dish)
    • A budget meal will cost around $10 to $15 (burger, roti wrap – not including drinks)
    • A mid range meal will cost around $20 to $25 (fish, meat in sit down restaurant – not including drinks)
    • A top end meal will cost around $60 to $80 (Brandywine Bay, Sugar Mill, etc., 3 course meal – not including drinks)

    The average shopping bill for 4 people for 1 week (suggesting all breakfasts, all lunches and 4 evening meals are spent on board) would be approximately $350 to $400.

    Restaurants

    As well as the three restaurants on the base, there are numerous restaurants a short taxi ride away from the base. Most restaurants within the BVI close at 10pm
    The Dove – 5 minute taxi
    Pussers Road Town – 5 minute taxi
    Capriccio del Mar – 5 minute taxi

    For more information on restaurants in Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada, Jost van Dyke and the other islands please speak to our base team who will be happy to provide information and recommendations. 


    Restaurants closed during September – Low Season
    If you decide to travel in low season there is likely to be a limited choice of restaurants to eat ashore and you should provision accordingly. This would be a perfect time of year to enjoy a BBQ off the back of your boat.

    Tipping

    Tipping is standard and expected in all restaurants / bars and for other services undertaken during your holiday. The rule of thumb is generally 10-15% of the amount charged. Some establishments automatically add this onto the bill.

    Shopping

    There is a deli and provisioning facility available at the base and supermarkets are located in Road Town. Supermarkets are generally open daily and the hours of operation vary based on the day of the week as well as low or high season. At the base there are a number of souvenir shops. 

    DVD / Internet / GPS Packages

    If you need to stay in touch or fancy settling down to a mid-week movie, you can consider the excellent packages available from Renport, pre bookable through your sales agent, or conveniently located at the base. Coffee Makers, inverters and blenders are also available for hire.

    Hotels

    Mariner Inn Hotel – located at the base.
    The Mariner Inn Hotel has rooms available for those who want to overnight, or stay longer. Each room has A/C, and private bath with shower.  

    Address – Mariner Inn Hotel (This hotel can be booked through your charter sales agent)
    Wickhams Cay II
    Road Town
    PO Box
    British Virgin Islands
    Tel: 001 284 494 2333
    Mariner Inn Hotel is situated just 20 minutes taxi ride from the airport and 5 minutes taxi from Road Town.
    Mariner Inn Hotel consists of:-
    39 rooms with air conditioning
    Rooms have either a king bed (accommodates 2 pax) or 2 single-beds that accommodate up to 2 pax or 3 with a rollaway (at additional cost). Each room has a private bathroom, a small under-counter fridge, sink and coffee making facilities telephone, wireless internet, TV, in-room safe, hairdryer, iron and ironing board
    Please note that none of the regular rooms adjoin.

    Hotel facilities consist of:
    Nearest beach (20 minutes drive)
    Swimming pool
    ATM on the base
    Bar and restaurant (last orders 9.30pm)

    Mariner Inn main restaurant: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner available.
    Charlie’s: Lunch and Dinner including a lighter fare menu for dinner.
    Ginny’s: 07:00 until 15:00 for coffee and sandwiches, plus special Indian nights during the week.

     

    Back to Top

     

    Electrical, Phones & Music

     
    Electricity

    The standard voltage on all yachts is 12 volts. In order to use electronic equipment that is 220v you will need an inverter suitable for use in a cigarette lighter. You may rent an inverter through your charter sales agent

    Mobile phones

    Your mobile phone may work when in the BVI please check with your service provider for coverage details and call costs. You will need to activate international roaming on your contract. 

    However, every yacht charter comes with a mobile phone - these must be collected from Renport before departing the base. This will also be covered in the chart briefing. These phones allow free calls to the base numbers which are pre set up in the phone memory and also gives the base the ability to contact you should the need arise. You can also use these phones to make local and international calls by purchasing credit with the phone - this is cheaper than roaming rates for calls.

    Music/Ipods

    All boats are fitted with a radio and CD player. If you wish to listen to your IPOD whilst sailing you will need to bring along an I-trip or FM radio transmitter.

    Back to Top

     

    Activities

     
    Fishing

    Fishing equipment can be added to your Sunsail Catamaran Charter.
    Due to recent regulations set by the British Virgin Islands Conservation and Fisheries department, we are no longer offering fishing equipment aboard Sunsail monohull charters in the British Virgin Islands.
    Vessel registration is required for any boat wanting to fish in the BVI. We offer this on all of our catamaran fleet in the BVI. The cost is $50 USD per boat. Please contact a Sunsail Vacation Specialist to register your yacht.
    In addition to the vessel registration, a personal fishing license is required for any adult fishing in the BVI’s. Sunsail diving and fishing equipment partner, Sail Caribbean Divers, has provided this Fishing License Application for your convenience. The cost is $65 USD per person and permits are valid for 1 month. Please email your application to kit@sailcaribbeandivers.com at least 2 weeks in advance of the charter to allow for government turnaround time. You will be able to pick up your fishing permit and sign-out your equipment at Sail Caribbean Divers, in the pink hut, when you arrive at the base.
    Please note that you may not fish in the National Parks, and unless fishing well offshore, fish should not be eaten due to Ciguatera poisoning. No spear fishing allowed.

    Diving

    A range of scuba diving packages are available and can be pre booked through your charter sales agent. 

    We also offer Rendezvous Diving  with Sail Caribbean Divers - A PADI 5 Star IDC Centre, who offer Redezvous diving at various points throughtout the BVI, for Certified and Non Cerified Divers. Please call and talk to our sales agents about this product if you are interested in adding it to your holiday.

    Watertoys available

    Snorkelling - We have a range of snorkelling gear which you may wish to use. We are limited on children’s sizes so if you have your own you may wish to bring them with you.

    Standup Paddle Boards - the newest way to experience the water. Experience gliding on the water's surface; this is as close as it gets to 'walking on water' and is suitable for all ages.

    *Daily rental rate: $25.00 (intermediate/beginner board - 11' long, 32'' wide)

    Emotion traverse sup - Daily rental rate: $17.00 (entry level paddle board - 10' long, 36'' wide)

    Float - Daily rental rate: $2.75

    Kayaks - Available for one or for two, a bit of kayaking is always a great ingredient to spice up your holiday.

    *One-man kayak - Daily rental rate: $15.00

    *Two-man kayak - Daily rental rate: $20.00

     

     

    Provisioning

    Provisioning is available in this location.  More information on Provisioning.

    Back to Top

     

    Health & Safety

     
    Illness or Injury

    If you are taken sick and visit the doctor or hospital during your trip please have a member of your party contact the Sunsail base manager as soon as possible.
    If you will need to make a travel insurance claim please contact your claim insurer’s emergency medical service immediately.
    Obtain receipts for any medication, treatment or transport you have to pay for and submit with your claim.

    Safety

    All yachts are equipped with adult life jackets and harnesses, we leave it up to you to decide when personal safety equipment should be worn.
    We have a limited supply of children’s life jackets (age 4+ only) if you have your own children’s life jacket we would encourage you to bring it along. Additional life jackets are available for rent from SC Divers. 
    Children under the age of 16yrs should not operate an outboard engine and should be supervised at all times when in the dinghy.

    Back to Top