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 and immigration
A valid passport (for each passenger) and a crew list is compulsory for clearance. The passport expiry date must be no earlier than six 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 meet the appropriate visa requirements.

Taxes / departure tax 
The airport departure tax is USD 20 per person – payable in at the airport. The ferry departure tax is USD 20 per person – payable in at the ferry dock.

Environmental levy: USD 10 per person payable 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 team of professional tourism ambassadors, the USVI Greeter Program is structured to accommodate guests looking for 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. Kevin Hughes at the British Virgin Islands Tourist Board by email: [email protected] or by phone: 1 (284) 494-3134.

Airports

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

Servicing Airlines

  • American Airlines
  • Liat
  • InterCaribbean Airways
  • 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 organise, the Moorings can offer some great rates to many destinations. Please make sure you contact your Holiday Planner 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 minibuses serving complementary bottled water, from Beef Island direct to The Moorings Reception area
  • Reliable, punctual service
  • Special contracted rates and taxi/ferry packages
  • No delays waiting for taxis to arrive, or fill up with random travellers

Call your Moorings Holiday Planner to book your transfers: 033 0332 1513

Beef Island Airport to Road Town
Travel time 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 transfer time is approximately one hour by ferry. Please contact your Holiday Planner 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 (USD 10), obtainable with a valid driver's licence.

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. 

  • Round trip with shuttle: USD 90 adult round trip (USD 74 child fare) including shuttle to and from St Thomas to Road Town and back, no stops.
  • Round trip without shuttle: USD 60 round trip (USD 40 child fare) excluding shuttle
  • St Thomas port tax: A USD 10 port tax is required for anyone leaving St Thomas and travelling to Tortola. This can be paid in cash at the ferry desk upon check in.
  • *Ferry times are subject to seasonal change* – schedules can be verified online

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

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

Call your Moorings Holiday Planner to book your transfers: 033 0332 1513

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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, harbours and marinas, such as: Soper's Hole, Nanny Cay, Road Town, Hodges Creek, Leverick Bay and Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour. 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

Sailing area restrictions
The National Parks Trust protects a number of reefs and areas. When cruising BVI waters, clients will be required to buy a Parks permit to enable them 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 USD 3.00 each per adult and USD 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 (USD 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 as 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 need to purchase a Marine Parks Permit to be able to use the buoys.

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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: Thelocal currency is US dollars (USD) 
Electricity: The voltage used is 110-120 Volts (Same as US/Canada)
Time: UTC/GMT -4 hours.

Festivals and 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:  [email protected]

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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) and Banco Popular.
Hours of operation: Monday to Friday 9:00 am to 2:00 pm

Currencies / money exchange
Accepted forms of payment:
US Dollars and US travellers cheques 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. Monday to Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Saturday 9:00 am to 12:00 pm 
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 holiday.

Vaccination and immunisation Information
Information on vaccinations and immunisations can be found at http://www.bviwelcome.com
The BVIs are generally free from risk 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/immunisation 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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