This cruising ground is scheduled to re-open December 9, 2017. Please refer to our latest travel advisory for more information.

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This Travel Notes page offers information on how to get to Tortola, Cruising Ground Information and other General Information. Here you will be able to learn more about arrival/departure procedures, base facilities, water toys, provisioning, The Mariner Inn, and things to do around the base!

How to Get There

Customs & Immigration
A valid passport (for each passenger) and crew list is compulsory for clearance. Expiration date must be no earlier than 6 months after your planned return. A customs declaration form must be completed at the port of entry.


IMPORTANT: If you are planning to visit The US or Spanish Virgin Islands please notify The Moorings in advance of your charter. Not all yachts within The Moorings fleet have the required documentation so yachts must be assigned accordingly in advance.  Also, a B1/B2 VISA is required for non-American citizens to cruise The US or Spanish Virgin Island waters. If you plan to explore the USVI or Spanish Virgin Islands, please make sure you have the appropriate VISA requirements. 

Taxes / Departure Tax 
The airport departure tax is $20 pp – payable in USD at the airport. The ferry departure tax is $20 pp – payable in USD at the ferry dock.

Environmental Levy: $10 per person payable in USD at the port of entry upon arrival

Cruising Tax: Paid on the invoice prior to charter, USD $6 per person per day.

Two ways to get to Tortola:
1. Fly to Tortola’s Beef Island Airport; take taxi to the base.
2. Fly to St. Thomas and take the Roadtown Fast Ferry into Roadtown Harbour, Tortola.
 

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.

Airports

  • Beef Island: EIS (accessible through San Juan: SJU)
  • St. Thomas: STT

Servicing Airlines

  • American Airlines
  • Liat
  • Continental Airlines
  • Cape Air
  • Windward Islands Airways (WinAir) - servicing from St Maarten with connections from Copa Airlines and Air France

Due to the number of flights which we organize, the Moorings can offer some great rates to many destinations. Please make sure you contact your Vacation Planning Specialist before you book your flights.

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

  • Air-conditioned mini buses serving complementary bottled water, from Beef Island direct to The Moorings Reception area
  • Reliable on-time service
  • Special contracted rates & taxi/ferry packages
  • No delays waiting for taxis to arrive, or fill up with random travelers

To book your transfers with The Moorings, call 888.350.3575.

Beef Island Airport to Road Town
Distance is approximately 30 minutes by taxi. For your convenience, you may purchase round-trip tickets for Beef Island Airport transfers in advance of your charter.

St. Thomas to Road Town
For your convenience, you may purchase your ferry tickets or a combination of ferry/taxi tickets in advance of your charter. The distance is approximately 60 min by ferry transfer. Please contact our Vacation Planning Team for more details regarding both available options.

Car Rental
Major car rental agencies, such as Hertz and Budget, well as local ones, are available on Tortola. Client will need a BVI license (US$10), obtainable with a valid driver's license.

Ferry Services
Road Town Fast Ferry provides ferry transfer service from Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas to Road Town, Tortola where The Moorings base is located. Ferry transfers can be purchased with or without land shuttle service. Pricing and schedules are below.

Details:

  • Round Trip Cost with Shuttle: $90.00 adult round trip ($74 child) including shuttle to and from St Thomas to Road town and back no stops
  • Round Trip Cost without Shuttle: $60.00 round trip ($40 child) excluding shuttle
  • St. Thomas Port Tax: A $10 Port Tax is required for anyone leaving St. Thomas traveling to Tortola. This can be paid in cash at the Ferry desk upon check in.
  • *Ferry times are subject to change seasonally* - schedules can be verified online

St Thomas to Tortola
Monday thru Saturday:
  8:30am ferry -  Need to arrive in St Thomas by 7:45am
  12:00pm ferry – Need to arrive in St Thomas by 11:15am
  4:15pm ferry – Need to arrive in St Thomas by 3:30pm
Sunday:
  12:00pm ferry – Need to arrive in St Thomas by 11:15am
  4:15pm ferry – Need to arrive in St Thomas by 3:30pm
Need at least 45 mins or more from the time your flight departs to the ferry departs.

Tortola to St Thomas
Monday thru Friday:
  7:00am ferry – Flight needs to depart 10:30am or later
  10:00am ferry – Flight needs to depart 1:30pm or later
  2:30pm ferry – Flight needs to depart 5:00pm to later
Saturday:
  7:00am ferry – Flight needs to depart 10:30am or later
  10:00am ferry – Flight needs to depart 1:30pm or later
  12:00pm ferry - Flight needs to depart 3:30pm or later (this ferry is seasonal)
  2:30pm ferry – Flight needs to depart 5:00pm to later
Sunday:
  9:00am ferry – Flight needs to depart 12:30pm or later
  12:00pm ferry - Flight needs to depart 3:30pm or later (this ferry is seasonal)
  2:30pm ferry – Flight needs to depart 5:00pm to later
Need 3 ½ hours from the ferry departing in Tortola to your flight departure time in St Thomas.

To book your transfers with The Moorings, call 888.350.3575.

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Cruising Ground Information

Marinas
In general, there are many outlets offering a range of services in the BVI cruising area. Major items and fuel are normally available only from the larger outlets, harbors and marinas, such as: Soper's Hole, Nanny Cay, Road Town, Hodges Creek, Leverick Bay, Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour and Bitter End Yacht Club. Other outlets that provide water, ice and a wide variety of provisions can be found at Cane Garden Bay, Trellis Bay, Penn's Landing, Jost Van Dyke and other locations throughout the islands. Note: Moorings yachts at the Tortola Base are provided with navigation charts for the British Virgin Islands cruising area only.

Marinas - Tortola

Marinas - Virgin Gorda

Marinas - Peter Island

Sailing Area Restrictions
The National Parks Trust protects a number of reefs and areas. When cruising the waters of BVI, clients will be required to buy a Parks permit to enable him to pick up the day mooring balls. A National Park Fee is charged in advance.

An additional fee charged by The National Parks Trust in the BVI applies to guests who visit the Baths. Guests entering by sea (via dinghy) or by land pay $3.00 each per adult and $2.00 each per child. This is in addition to the National Park Permit purchased by Crewed Yachts or by Bareboat guests.

Some of the areas protected are: Prickly Pear, West Dog, Spring Bay, The Baths Devils Bay, Fallen Jerusalem, The Caves, The Indians and the Wreck of the Rhone.

Private Moorings Fees
Moor Seacure Ltd. Tel: 284-494-4488 Fax: 284-494-2513 - at locations throughout the BVI provides private buoys on a fee per night basis (US$30 per night approx.). A listing of Moor Seacure sites is covered in the chart briefing.

National Marine Parks Moorings Permit
The British Virgin Islands have protected many anchorages in the cruising ground by designating them Marine Parks. The government, to protect the area from damage by anchoring, has installed moorings buoys. Charterers are required to use these mooring buoys. Clients purchase a Marine Parks Permit for their use.

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General Information

Area: 59 sq miles (153 sq km) 
Population: 18,000 
Capital city: Road Town on Tortola 
People: African descent (90%), North American, Asian 
Language: English 
Religion: Methodist, Anglican, Catholic, Muslim, Baptist, Jehova's Witness, Adventist 
Government: British Dependent Territory 
Major industries: tourism, offshore banking and fishing
Tipping: 15-20% is generally acceptable if it has not been added already
Currency: The Local currency is the United States Dollar (USD) 
Electricity: The voltage used is 110-120 Volts (Same as U.S./Canada)
Time: UTC/GMT -4 hours.

Festivals & holidays

  • New Year's Day
  • Labour Day
  • Good Friday
  • Easter
  • Easter Monday
  • Whit Monday
  • Territory Day
  • Independence Day
  • Emancipation or Kadooment Day (Carnival)
  • Discovery Day
  • St. Ursula's Day
  • Christmas Day
  • Boxing Day

* If a holiday falls on a weekend - the following business day will be considered a holiday as well.

Tourist Information Centre
Road Town, Tortola, BVI 
Tel: (284) 494-3134 Fax: (284) 494-3866 
E-mail:  info@bvitourism.com

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Banks, Money Exchange & Post Office

Banks
Banks in Tortola: Scotiabank; Chase Manhattan; Barclays Bank (the only bank that will exchange foreign currencies) & Banco Popular.
Hours of Operation: 9:00am – 2:00pm / Monday – Friday

Currencies / Money Exchange
Accepted Forms of Payment:
US Dollars and US travelers checks are used throughout the BVI. Visa and MasterCard are also accepted in most places.

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 mailbox is available at the Mariner Inn front desk and stamps can be purchased in the dive shop on the Moorings dock.

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Health & Safety

Travel Insurance
Moorings offers 'Charter Care' which is a comprehensive travel insurance scheme for your complete peace of mind. If you have your own travel insurance, please make sure that it covers all of the destinations and activities of your Moorings vacation.

Vaccination and Immunization Information
Information on shots and immunizations can be found at http://www.bviwelcome.com
The BVIs are generally risk-free of contagious disease. 
At time of publication, an International Vaccination Certificate is not mandatory

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*Please note country entry/exit and vaccination/immunization requirements can and do change. The Moorings is not accountable for these requirement changes and we advise visiting the destination’s authority website to receive the latest updates.

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