A passport is the principal requirement for entry into the Caribbean. Visitors from some countries may also need a visa - if in doubt ask us to check with the BVI Immigration Office for you. U.S. citizens will no longer be able to cruise through the Caribbean and then re-enter the United States with only a driver's license or voter's registration card as identification. A passport is required. This doesn't apply if you're only making stops in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. These islands fly the U.S. flag, thus no passport is needed.
These should be brought with you. There are pharmacies on the islands but your particular prescription may be impossible to obtain. Most yachts do carry a basic medical kit.
Rarely do our clients suffer from sea sickness. The many islands that make up especially the Virgin Islands offer wonderful protection from the ocean beyond. You get ideal sailing winds without rough seas. If you are susceptible to motion sickness we recommend you bring over the counter medication - but we don't expect you will need it after the first day.
Bring soft luggage that can be stored in your stateroom. Whatever you bring in the way of clothes will undoubtedly be too much. Repeat guests always pack much lighter the second time around!
Most of the yachts are "no shoes" boats, so please don't go running out to buy some expensive pair of yachting shoes. You probably won't use them. We suggest you bring along sandals, sneakers and maybe reef shoes. If you prefer to wear shoes on deck, talk with your captain about it, before you start your trip.
Modern day sunscreens are very effective. You should come well stocked up. May we just mention that many of the lotions which contain PABA stains the decks and so do oils. Please try to bring PABA free lotion only.
Bring plenty of film for your camera and maybe some spare batteries as well. Many guests bring their own video cameras and it's fun watching the footage at the end of the day!
We encourage you to bring a selection of your own iPods and most boats will be able to plug them into the sound system.
Do not bring towels. The yacht will provide enough towels for you.
Most of the yachts have a phone and some even internet access .
Most of the yachts do not allow smoking under deck. Some yachts are all together smoke free, please request the appropriate scenario for you.
Some yachts offer family specials. Children have fun on a yacht vacation if they are water safe.
Yachts are not unlike a small hotel or restaurant and gratuities are very much appreciated. If you are pleased with their service, then the usual guideline for a tip is 15% to 20% of the charter fee, which is shared equally amongst your crew.
Weather in the Caribbean Virgin Islands:
Lying just over 1000 miles from the equator the Virgin Islands enjoys a balmy sub-tropical climate, plied by constant trade winds. Temperatures rarely drop below 77F in the winter or rise above 90F in the summer. The night temperatures vary by only 10F. Hurricanes are very rare and are most likely to occur from late August to the end of September. Our year is characterized as follows:
While the US Mainland and much of Europe is locked in the icy grip of winter the BVI enjoys fresh trade winds and abundant sunshine. Daytime temperatures average 80 - 85F dropping to 75 - 80F at night. Winds average 10 - 20 knots providing exciting sailing conditions and cool night ventilation. Short localized rain showers may pass over us but these rarely last for more than 30 minutes. Xmas and New Year are the busiest weeks of the season and the Caribbean high season is January - April.
Spring and Fall:
From the middle of April the winter trade winds begin to moderate and we experience a slow increase in daytime temperatures. Daytime highs average 90F, nighttime lows 80F and there is a 20% chance of short showers. The islands take on a fresh green lushness that heralds the arrival of a new season. In Fall it is the reverse pattern, except that we are prone to more rain showers. Spring represents excellent value to visitors. Anticipating the summer, most prices drop on May 1st and there is a gradual reduction in the number of visitors to the islands. Finding a quiet anchorage gets easier and the snorkeling and diving are fabulous with reduced wave action.
July, August and September are the quietest months in the Caribbean. It is the warmest time of year with daytime highs of 95F but nights remain comfortable at 80F. You enjoy the tranquil anchorages and lazy sailing days and some yachts have air-conditioning throughout the boat for those still nights.