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7 Days in the British Virgin Islands (sidebar)


Know Before You Go

 

Cruising Permits

Cruising and charter permits are required.

Seasonal rates: (December 1 – April 30). All recorded charter boats: $2.00 per person per day. All non-recorded charter boats: $4.00 per person per day.

Out-of-season rates: (May 1 – November 30). All recorded charter boats: $0.75 per person per day. All non-recorded charter boats: $4.00 per person per day. www.britishvirginislands.com/...

 

Customs & Immigration

If you’re not going to use an agent to clear in, I would recommend going to either JVD, Virgin Gorda or Soper’s Hole to enter. Tortola’s customs and immigration office is very busy and commercially oriented. Things just seem calmer at the smaller facilities, but, nevertheless, try to go when there are no ferry boats on the dock – it’ll save a lot of time.

Make sure to bring small change in odd denominations as there is a charge for the immigration forms – it’s something like 27 cents a form (that’s probably not the exact number, but it always seems to be different each time) and they seem very happy if you can pay to the penny.

 

Dockage

The BVI marinas were not really built for the megayacht crowd. There is dockage, but space is always very limited, especially around holidays. If you want to be on a dock, make arrangements early.

 

Fishing

Get fishing licenses. While many countries have laws requiring fishing licenses, the BVI government actually enforces theirs. Cost is $35 ($10 application fee; $25 for the permit). The temporary permit can be obtained from the Department of Conservation and Fisheries. Tel: +1 284 494 5681/3429 or +1 284 468 3701 ex. 5555/1; Fax: +1 284 494 2670; cfd@bvigovernment.org.

Spear-fishing is not permitted.

 

Personal Water Craft

No PWCs in the BVIs. The rule is taken very seriously here. You might see a few around Virgin Gorda or Tortola, but I’ve been told that they are in rental programs that were grandfathered in prior to the ban.