The British Virgin Islands

The British Virgin Islands are made up of two large islands, Tortola and Virgin Gorda, along with over fifty other smaller islands of which some are still uninhabited. Islands of sumptuous beauty, their volcanic nature forming breathtaking scenery, perfect for relaxation and water sports, you can only be delighted by your cruise, whether on a sailboat driven by the winds or a motorboat to explore the surrounding islands.

General Information

Geography and Climate
Coordinates: 18° 27′ 0″ N — 64° 37′ 1.2″ W
Time Zone: UTC -4
Area: 153 km²
Main Islands: Virgin Gorda, Tortola, Anegada, Jost Van Dyke
Ideal climate for navigation more»
Administration
Government: British Overseas Territory
Head of State: Queen Elizabeth II
Capital: Road Town at Tortola
Population: 24000 hab (19000 at Tortola)
Language: English
Money: US Dollar

Useful Information

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  • anegada-bvi
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  • guana-island-bvi
  • jost-van-dyke-bvi
  • norman-island-bvi
  • peter-island-bvi
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  • tortola-bvi
Useful Info
Entry Requirements: passport/Visa more»
Avion : No international direct flightsmore»
Ferry : Inter-islands connectionsmore»
Importation of Food more»
Recommended Health Insurance more»
Electricity: US Outlets, 110V (60 Hz)
Internet & Phone Communication more»
Navigation in the BVI
Clearance & Customs fees more»
Cruising Permits required more»
Bareboat boat charter: boat license or license with sailing experience required
Mooring Permit required more»
Spearfishing & Fishing Restrictionsmore»
Jet-ski & Water ski Restrictions more»
Catering more»
Rescue & VHF guard more»

With BlueAround Yacht Charters discover this heavenly land and sea: do not hesitate to contact us!

We are pleased to answer your questions or book your boat: Contact us!
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Subtropical Climate:
Average Annual Temperatures 25°C – 29°C

Constant winds: ideal for sailboats

July to October: the rainy season, the hurricane season

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  • All persons entering the BVI must have a valid passport with at least six months left on it.
  • British nationals do not need visas to visit the BVI. It is normal practice for BVI Immigration to issue you with a one-month entry stamp on arrival. You can then apply for an extension for up to six months. Customs and Immigration offices are located on Tortola in Road Town and the West End, on Virgin Gorda in the Virgin Gorda Airport, St. Thomas Bay Terminal, and the Owen Harrigan Visitors Centre at Gun Creek and on Jost Van Dyke in Great Harbour. You may be required to provide evidence (e.g. an onward ticket) of your plans to leave the BVI at the end of your stay.
  • If you are not a British national, you may need a visa to visit the BVI. If in doubt about the necessity of a visa, contact the nearest BVI Tourist Board Office, the nearest British Embassy, or contact the Chief Immigration Officer, Immigration Department, BVI Government at: Tel: 284-494-3471 or 284-494-3701 Ext. 4700.
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Airports

  • Main Airport: Beef Island International Airport (EIS) at Tortola (East End – Beef Island)
  • Small Airport of Anegada (NGD) : Inter-island aviation to Tortola & St Thomas.
  • Small Airport of Virgin Gorda : Inter-island aviation to Tortola, St Thomas & Puerto Rico.

Flights from the USA, Canada, Europe, South America
No direct flights to the British Virgin Islands’ main airport, the Terrence B. Lettsome Airport (EIS): all flights must connect through another Caribbean airport on islands such as Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, Antigua, St. Kitts, or St. Maarten/St. Martin.

  • Flight Puerto Rico (SJU) to Tortola (EIS) by American Eagle, Air Sunshine, LIAT & Cape Air.
  • Flight Antigua (ANU) to Tortola (EIS) by LIAT.
  • Flight St. Maarten/St. Martin (SXM) to Tortola (EIS) by LIAT or Winair.
  • Flight St. Kitts (SKB) to Tortola (EIS) by LIAT or Winair.
  • Flight St. Thomas (STT) to Tortola (EIS) by Air Sunshine.
  • Inter-island flights from Tortola to surrounding islands: make sure those flights are still available if you arrive at Tortola after 4 PM.

From Caribbean islands to BVI

  • From Puerto Rico (SJU) to Tortola or Virgin Gorda by Air Sunshine.
  • From St. Thomas (STT) to Tortola or Virgin Gorda & Anegada by Air Sunshine.
  • From Antigua (ANU), St. Maarten/St. Martin (SXM), St. Kitts (SKB) to Tortola by LIAT or Winair.

Some inter-islands companies:

  • Air Sunshine
    www.airsunshine.com – Tel: (284) 495-8900
  • Bohlke International Airways
    www.bohlke.com – Tel: (340) 778-9177
  • Caribbean Wings
    www.bvi-airlines.com – Tel: (284) 495-6000
  • Fly BVI, Ltd.
    www.fly-bvi.com – Tel: (284) 495-1747
  • Island Birds
    www.islandbirds.com – Tel: (284) 495-2002
  • VI Airlink
    www.viairlink.com – Tel: (284) 499-2938
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Between Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke, peter Island and the USVI.Powered by Hackadelic Sliding Notes 1.6.5


Yacht owners, charter guests, and visitors need to submit an application to bring food into the BVI. Approved permits cost $25.00. For more information, please call the Department of Agriculture at 284-495-2532.

Foods are available in the BVI on a year-round basis. BVI import duties charged on food products range between 5% and 15% of the invoice value.

For more information:
BVI Customs Department
Phone: 284-494-3475
Open from 8:30am to 6:30pm

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    Recommended Health & Travel Insurance:

  • Only 1 hospital in the BVI and medical facilities are limited
  • Complex medical problems are frequently referred to hospitals in the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, or the mainland USA
  • There is no hyperbaric chamber in the BVI. Patients requiring treatment for decompression illness are transferred to St John, US Virgin Islands. Most sensitive medical cases are transferred to San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The dengue mosquito is found in BVI, and you should take normal precautions against mosquito bites.
Seek medical advice before travelling to BVI and ensure that all appropriate vaccinations are up-to-date.

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Phone

Phone Code:
– From any country to BVI: +1-284 (7 digits)
– From BVI to USVI, USA & Canada: 1 (+ country code)
– From BVI to other countries: 011 (+country code)
– operator: 0

Phone provider:
Digicel BVI Ltd.
Road Town, Tortola
www.digicelbvi.com
Tel: (284) 300-2273

Internet

BVI Internet Domain Name: .vg

Mobile & Internet Provider:
Road Town, Tortola
www.cctwireless.com
Tél: (284) 494-3825

Non-exhaustive list of cyber cafe or cyber stores:
In addition to a number of restaurants that provide the Internet to their customers, you will find:

BVI Marine Wi-Fi
Several places in the BVI
Rates: $19.99/day, $79.00/week, $150/2 weeks & $280/month.
www.bvimarinewifi.com

BVI Public Library
Road Town, Tortola
Rates: $1.50/h
www.bvilibrary.gov.vg
Tel: (284) 494-3428

Bits n Pieces
Road Town, Tortola
Rates: $3/15 mn, $5/ 30 mn
Tel: (284) 494-554

The Pub
Rates: $5 /30 mn – Free Wifi
Road Town, Tortola – Tel: (284) 494-2608

Serendipity Bookshop & Internet Cafe
Road Town, Tortola
Free Wi-fi
www.bvibooks.com
Tel: (284) 494-5865

Nauti Virgin Too @ Andy’s Chateau
Virgin Gorda
Tel: (284) 544-5077

Trellis Bay Cybercafe
Beef Island
Rates: $2.50/5min – $5/15min – $20/h
www.windsurfing.vg
Tel: (284) 495-2447

Rates are for information only and are subject to change at any time by merchants and businesses.

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All vessels and crews entering or exiting and re-entering the territory must clear in with BVI Customs and Immigration immediately upon arrival into the territory:

Ports of entry and exit are located in Road Town and West End on Tortola, Great Harbour on Jost Van Dyke and St. Thomas Bay in Virgin Gorda.

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Friday: 8:30am-4:30pm
  • Saturday: 8:30am-12:30pm
  • Sunday: closed

After-hours clearing may be arranged in advance with additional fees.
Tel Customs: (284) 494 3475
Tel Immigration: (284) 494 3701 ext. 2538

All boats, yachts, sailboats, ferries passengers must pay entry fees at each entrance and exit. A valid passport, boat registration papers & visa are required.

The captain may clear all crew, fill in a form at the entrance and exit with a comprehensive list of the crew members and provide boat’s papers, the last clearance, the passports of all persons on board (with occupation and address).

NB: to visit the USVI from BVI clearance required at Cruz Bay (St. John) and Charlotte Amalie (St. Thomas). A visitor visa will be required for non-US or Canadian cruise. Check with your U.S. embassy to obtain the requested visa.

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The cruising permit is required and must be paid for each day of your stay.

December-April: $2/pers/day
May-November: $0.75/pers/day
Non-recorded charter boat : $4/pers/day

For more information, ask the Customs Department:
Tel: 284-494-3475 or 284-468-3701 ext. 2533

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The mooring permit is required for the use of National Parks’ buoys.

It is forbidden to anchor in areas designated as marine reserve or protected area (around the wreck of the Rhone (Salt Island) and the Horseshoe Reef (Anegada), and only the mooring with buoys made available is allowed.

This permit can be obtained from:

  • The National Parks Trust (61 Main St. Road Town, Tortola -Tel: (284)494-3904),
  • Boats Charter companies and diving clubs,
  • Customs and Immigration Departments while clearing in.

Terms of Use
Provision of 200 mooring buoys by “The BVI National Parks Trust “in order to preserve the seabed and reefs:

  • State of the buoy to check every time, The BVI National Parks takes no responsibility for any concern,
  • Available on most dive sites,
  • Daytime mooring only,
  • System of “first come, first served”,
  • Duration of use: 90 minutes max.

Color codes of buoys:

  • Blue: for dinghy only
  • Orange : no diving
  • White: non-commercial boats (boats with divers, red and white flag or alpha international)
  • Yellow: commercial vessels (day-charter and professional divers)
  • Large yellow buoys: commercial vessels over 55 ‘or over 35 tons.
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  • Recreational or commercial fishing without the correct permit carries steep penalties. A temporary permit can be obtained from the Ministry of Natural Resources & Labour or the Department of Conservation & Fisheries (Tel: (284) 494-3429).
  • Spear fishing is not permitted in the BVI. The use of SCUBA equipment to capture or remove any marine animal or coral is against the law. (except written authorization from the Department of Conservation and Fisheries.
  • Fishing within the boundaries of any marine park is strictly forbidden.
  • Turtle hunting is totally prohibited from April 1 to November 30.
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It is prohibited to use imported jet skis into territorial waters.
Water skiing and jet skiing are prohibited in National Parks.Powered by Hackadelic Sliding Notes 1.6.5

Only Tortola and Virgin Gorda have the yacht clubs and marinas with all facilities, installations, marine industry companies, shops and stores needed to supply or re-supply all types of boats.

But it is also possible to restock fuel, water and some food to Peter Island and Jost Van Dyke.

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Virgin Islands Search & Rescue (VISAR)
VISAR is the only volunteer organization of marine search & rescue of BVI (Tel: (284) 494 4357).
In case of problems:

  • VHF channel: 16
  • Tel 767 (SOS)
  • Tel 494 4357 (494-HELP)
  • Tel 999 or 911 (ask Fire & Rescue for VISAR)

VHF channel

  • VHF: 16

Radio

  • Tortola Radio: VHF 27
  • Virgin Islands Radio: VHF 85
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