Frequently Asked Questions
Here are answers to our
most frequently asked questions.
What does all-inclusive mean?
"All Inclusive" means the fee includes the
yacht, Captain, Chef, all meals, snacks, open bar (!),
use of all toys and amenities listed for that yacht,
fuel, water, moorings, ice. Not included are your airfare,
ferry and taxi to the yacht, gratuity (15-20% is common),
island trips and drinks or meals ashore. Open bar means
that all alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks are included
except for special requested premium wines, liquors
and champagne. The amount and variety will vary depending
on the cost of the charter with larger, more expensive
yachts providing finer wines and premium liquors. Please
have a look at http://www.caribbeancruisingvacation.com/included.html
for more information.
What does captain only mean?
"Captain only" means the fee includes the
yacht, the captain and use of all toys and amenities
listed for that yacht, but does not include all other
expenses such us provisioning (for you and the captain),
fuel, water, moorings, ice, etc. Other items not included
are your airfare, ferry and taxi to the yacht, gratuity
(15-20% is common), island trips and drinks or meals
ashore. You are responsible for the provisions, cooking
(or dining ashore) and cleaning up the boat at the end
of the charter. Please have a look at http://www.caribbeancruisingvacation.com/captain-only-charters.html
for more information.
Where does my charter start and end?
It depends on the yacht and how many people are in your
group. Most yachts are flexible and can start and end
your charter on St. Thomas, USVI and on Tortola, BVI
depending on what works best for you. Special request
for other islands to start from are possible, but have
to be discussed with the yacht. Because of US Coastguard
regulation, crewed yachts are only allowed to sail with
a maximum of 6 guests on US waters. Therefore, charters
with more than 6 guests have to start and end in the
When does my charter start and end?
Your charter will start at noon and end at noon. You
can start and end on any day as long as the yacht is
available. If your flight arrives later than noon, you
can board the yacht at that later time, but you can
also decide to arrive a day before your charter and
stay in a nice hotel or resort . This enables you to
start your charter the following day at noon, rested
and refreshed. We can assist by recommending hotels
and resorts that suit your needs.
Why are charters counted in nights?
Since your charter will be from noon to noon, we count
your charter in nights (or 24 hour days). Most charters
are 7 nights: Saturday to Saturday or Sunday to Sunday,
Can I charter for more or less nights than 7 nights?
Yes! Most crewed yachts have a minimum of 4 nights.
To calculate your rate, just divide your 7 nights rate
by 7 and multiply it with the number of nights you want
to charter. Please note that charters less than 6 nights
are subject to a 10% premium in addition to the daily
rate. Some yachts offer a discount if you sail 2 or
Are the given rates negotiable?
No. The cost of the yacht will be the same regardless
of whether you book through a broker or directly with
the yacht. The price is set by the yacht owner and not
the charter yacht agency handling your booking.
What kind of food can I expect?
All crewed yachts have excellent chefs on board and
your meals will be prepared with fresh high quality
ingredients. Most gourmet meals on board will be better
than what you can find in our local restaurants. Please
have a good look at the sample menus that every yacht
provides on their web sites as it gives you a very good
indication of what you can expect. Before your charter
you will fill in a preference sheet so the chef knows
exactly what your group likes and dislikes and can plan
the menu accordingly.
Are special diets available?
Yes! Most yachts can accommodate vegetarian, low sodium
or low fat requests. Also, most chefs will prepare something
different for children, if they are picky eaters. Some
yachts offer Kosher, Vegan, Gluten free or other menus.
However, this should be requested prior to booking.
What will my itinerary be like?
This is your private charter and there will be no standard
itinerary! Your itinerary will be based on your preferences
of activities. Your crew know the islands very well
and can guide you and make recommendations on where
to go, but it is still up to you how long you want to
sail and what other activities you want to do. Please
look at http://www.caribbeancruisingvacation.com/attractions.html
for more information about our islands. We can also
provide you with some sample itineraries.
When is the best time to charter?
The peak tourist season is December to May, but this
has more to do with the weather in North America and
Europe than it does with the reliably balmy Virgin Islands’
weather. Christmas, New Year, Easter weeks and during
the American Spring Break are the peak season weeks
and need to be booked far in advance. Our off-season
runs from mid August through the end of October, which
is hurricane season, with greater chance of storms or
hot weather and not much breeze. Our ocean temperature
is very comfortably warm throughout the year, but if
you want to swim or snorkel for hours, April till July
are your best months as sea is at its warmest then.
Please click on http://www.worldtravelguide.net/country/42/climate/Caribbean/British-Virgin-Islands.html
for more information on our climate.
Should I plan a sailing vacation even though I’m
not a big sailor?
Absolutely! The Virgin Islands are gorgeous and there
is much more to do than just sailing. There are dozens
of beautiful anchorages and beaches to enjoy, many excellent
spots for diving and snorkelling, a variety of shore
excursions are available, you can go shopping or hiking
and you can always find something going on in the evening.
The best way to visit these islands and anchorages is
with a yacht and the crewed yachts offer so much more
than sailing! Our islands are more sheltered from the
open ocean than other Caribbean areas. They are close
to each other and there are numerous quiet and flat
calm anchorages with pristine white beaches. You rarely
need to sail more than an hour or two to get from one
anchorage to the next. Often, you will anchor somewhere
for lunch and snorkelling. After a short afternoon sail,
you will arrive in a different anchorage ready to enjoy
cocktails and dinner. Alternatively you can decide to
charter a power yacht if sailing is not your thing.
Can I scuba dive from the yacht?
That depends if the captain or chef is a Dive Master
or Dive Instructor and offers diving. If you are a certified
diver you only need a Dive Master on board that can
dive with you. For those of you who are not certified
and would like an introduction to diving, a Dive Instructor
can do a resort course or get you fully certified on
the boat. All other yachts can offer Rendezvous diving,
whereby a dive company picks the divers up from the
yacht to do a 1 or 2 tank dive. This is ideal if not
everyone in your group wants to dive, because they then
do not need to wait for the divers to return to do other
Do I need a passport to travel to the British Virgin
Yes! As of 1 Jan 2006, all American citizens travelling
to the BVI require a passport. It is no longer possible
to enter with only a birth certificate and picture ID.
Citizens of the USA, Canada and most European countries
do not require a visa. However, citizens from some other
countries are required to have a visa to visit the BVI.
Please click on http://www.gcfi.org/56th/BVI_and_USA_visa_requirements.htm
for more information.
What does a courtesy reservation or hold mean?
If you are interested in a crewed yacht, you can make
a courtesy reservation without obligation. This will
place the yacht on hold for your dates and give you
time to make a final decision and arrange flights. The
hold is valid for one week, but can be extended if you
need additional time.
How do I book a charter?
When you are ready to book your charter, we will e-mail
a contract for you to sign. The signed contract can
be e-mailed or faxed back to us and your first deposit
paid. Charters that are booked 6 months or more in advance
require a 25 % deposit and charters of less than 6 months
in advance require a 50% deposit. The final payment
is due 45 days before your charter starts.
How do I pay for my charter?
Most charters are paid for by credit card (we can send
you an authorization form). We accept Visa and MasterCard.
Other payment options are wire transfer (I can send
you the instructions) or you can send a US Cashier's
Check or US$ Money Order by FedEx or DHL.
What should I pack?
Not much! Most people bring too many clothes they don’t
wear on charter. Be sure to pack light as storage on
most yachts is minimal. Please be sure to pack a hat
or cap(that won’t blow off!), sun glasses, sunscreen,
t-shirts, bathing suit, shorts, sarongs, insect repellent
(for the beach at sun-set), flip-flops or water shoes
and casual evening wear. Beach towels will be provided
on board. Squashy luggage is essential, like a duffel
bag that will fit into a drawer when not in use. Please
if you have more questions!
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