flying logistics from Toronto

Posted By: psod

flying logistics from Toronto - 07/30/2015 01:08 PM

So having been to SXM numerous times,, we've decided to venture out and try and plan a bareboat catamaran out of Tortola ,,, flying to SXM with WJ is a no brainer,,but seems getting to Tortola requires some logistics,,just wondering if anyone could chime in with their suggestions,,,
looking at mid-Feb,,
Posted By: Carol_Hill

Re: flying logistics from Toronto - 07/30/2015 01:13 PM

Don't know about Toronto in particular, but many people fly into St. Thomas and take the ferry from there, so check how easy or hard it is to get to STT for you, and the cost, versus flying all the way to EIS.
Posted By: NeilCanada

Re: flying logistics from Toronto - 07/30/2015 01:41 PM

I am from Hamilton and avoid Pearson. I have been to Tortola 6 times and have consistently used Buffalo airport (smaller, friendly, easy parking). Expedia was great to arrange flights…AA or Delta and usual connect in Charlotte to St Thomas. Try to get as early flight as you can so that you can catch the ferry. There are some logistics, flights, connections, ferry, cabs etc. We just came back this month and the travel was a day affair…first flight at 6am…at the dock at 5pm. YYZ to SXM MUCH easier but it is worth it.
Posted By: maytrix

Re: flying logistics from Toronto - 07/30/2015 02:39 PM

If you don't want to make the travel an all day affair, take a look at JetBlue out of JFK or BOS. There are typically red eye flights from both of those airports to san Juan. You could then take an early morning flight the next morning and be on Tortola early in the morning. I imagine you could get a direct flight from Toronto to JFK our BOS. Maybe even end of day, so you aren't doing much travel during vacation time.

We've done this out of Boston many times. Work a full day Friday and head to the airport that evening for a midnight flight. Then a 7am flight from san Juan. So we try to sleep on the plane and then have breakfast in the airport before the morning flight. We've found the cost of this for us to be close enough to flying in to St Thomas especially considering we gain a whole day as flying to St Thomas we'd get in end of day.
Posted By: Sailorric

Re: flying logistics from Toronto - 07/30/2015 02:43 PM

We're from the Hamilton area also and almost always fly out of Buffalo to St. Thomas. It's never direct but the last few times we've arrived in STT around 12:30pm with an early flight out of Buffalo.

Neil, I think we're your neighbour, we're just up Hwy 6 from Dundas!

Posted By: henryv

Re: flying logistics from Toronto - 07/30/2015 08:15 PM

You can book flights from SXM to Tortola on Liat. You will need to collect your luggage and check in with Liat as they are not partnered with WJ or AC but this is not %a big deal. We routinely travel to Tortola this way. It is a much nicer route than going through St Thomas or San Juan.
Posted By: Carol_Hill

Re: flying logistics from Toronto - 07/30/2015 08:17 PM

..yeah, except for the LIAT part!! <img src="" alt="" /> Have you flown Winair between SXM and Tortola??
Posted By: henryv

Re: flying logistics from Toronto - 07/31/2015 02:17 PM

My wife does not like flying on small planes so Winair is not an option for us. Liat has improved their service in recent times - we have been happy with them.
Posted By: Carol_Hill

Re: flying logistics from Toronto - 07/31/2015 02:29 PM

OK, I guess it depends on your definition of a 'small plane'! <img src="" alt="" /> Anything with props qualifies as a small plane to me. <img src="" alt="" />
Posted By: CanadianSailor

Re: flying logistics from Toronto - 07/31/2015 03:29 PM

I fly from Ottawa and the day begins with a 6AM or so flight to one of the US hubs (Newark for United, Philly for US Air, etc). I recall a similar timeline for boat crew coming from Toronto one year. The arrival time at the hub allows you to be on a 9:30-10:00AM flight to St Thomas arriving at 2:30-3:00PM which gives you enough time to make the last ferry of the day. The ferry ride over is a great way to kick start the trip as it is a bit of party with everyone hitting the Pump Room (bar at the ferry dock) before departure. The ferry is not as much fun at the end of the trip.

Air Canada use to do a weekly (Saturday) flight to St Thomas from Toronto. You may want to check their schedule to see if they are running it this winter. However as stated, it is often cheaper even with the drive, to go to a U.S. border city/town and start your flight there. I've never flown West Jet but it would be a good idea to see if STT is on their destination list.

With an early start, ferry wait time, crossing to Tortola and then growing old in the Roadtown customs line up, you don't arrive at your boat until 6:30-7:00 PM which makes for a long travel day. On my last two trips I decided to go down a day before the boat is available and stay a night at the Village Cay Marina.

I've never done the drive & fly from a US airport (living in Ottawa, we would drive to Syracuse, not Buffalo). It saves money though a winter storm could play havoc with a drive at the start or end of the trip.

Posted By: TomB

Re: flying logistics from Toronto - 07/31/2015 03:56 PM

Another option:

I just looked on Kayak for flights in mid-February from Toronto to St Thomas and the prices seemed pretty good for that time of year. $476 This was a Wednesday Departure and Thursday return.

6:55a YYZ 4:15p STT 8h 20m 1 stop (CLT)
5:40p STT 12:15a YYZ 7h 35m 1 stop (CLT)

Another option you could look at is chartering out of USVI with a pick-up in Red Hook. Short taxi ride from the airport, and you are on the BVI side of the island (STT) to begin your charter. Request to stay on the boat the night before departure. Enjoy Red Hook for the evening and get in the island frame of mind.

Your charter begins Thursday morning and it is short sail to the BVI. Highly recommend a brief stop for snorkeling in Leinster Bay, St John. Your last night could be in JVD and with a 5:40 PM departure you could sail back to Red Hook and catch that flight easily.

Food for thought. Stay away from the Saturday to Saturday the cost of flights can be significantly higher. Vacations always come down to Time vs Money - I like the extra day! <img src="" alt="" /> Another big plus for me with this plan is I like to be completely adjusted to island time on the weekend. The best day to go to the beach is on Saturday because most travelers are traveling.
Posted By: Carol_Hill

Re: flying logistics from Toronto - 07/31/2015 04:24 PM

Tom--Playing the devil's advocate, but there is a reason why Saturday/Sunday flights are more popular--many or most people have a limited number of vacation days and their work week is Monday to Friday. A Sat to Sat or Sat to Sun vacation only uses 5 vacation days and Wednesday to Thursday uses 7.. Even if I pay more for the weekend flight, I'd rather have the two extra vacation days to use somewhere else!
Posted By: TomB

Re: flying logistics from Toronto - 07/31/2015 05:19 PM

Vacations always come down to Time vs Money - I like the extra day!

Carol - I do not disagree with what you are saying. We choose "Time" because the travel is less stressful. The flights are not as crowded. You are in paradise on the weekend when the locals are also enjoying a day off. Your logic is not flawed and I think most in North America would agree with you. The older I get, I think I like the word Holiday better than Vacation. The difference is a state of mind. <img src="" alt="" /> <img src="" alt="" /> <img src="" alt="" />
Posted By: Carol_Hill

Re: flying logistics from Toronto - 07/31/2015 06:14 PM

I do get where you're coming from, as we have been trying lately to not fly on the weekend, which is easier since we're both self employed now. However, it's a balancing act, to know what to do, as the more business days we are closed, then the more it costs us in lost business. Anyway, so long as one arrives, if the end result is being in the ilons, it's all good..
Posted By: sail2wind

Re: flying logistics from Toronto - 08/01/2015 12:27 AM

A few airlines websites allow you to look forward or back a few days of your booking. This can be very useful in picking your departure dates. Fortunately, we are very flexible in travel dates and have saved hundreds moving a day back or forward.
Posted By: letsgosailing

Re: flying logistics from Toronto - 08/02/2015 09:01 PM

Westjet DIRECT to SXM, then the LIAT flight is great. (Until you line up for 45 mins at immigration in Tortola! LOL) Liat have 2-3 flights after your Wj flight arrives in SXM.

IMO, much easier and cheaper than going via St Thomas, and then taxi, and then ferry and then taxi again.

Contact Sebastian Transport for getting from EIS to your charter base. Very professional, and cheaper than a taxi

This way you also avoid the US security/ airports, and hassle. I just flew from EIS to SXM last week, and the plane was new, and seated around 100 ppl.

Liat has improved over the last few months/year and is running on time, if not a few minuted early. Nice change from the past!

I would definitely prefer 2 flights, and arrive in EIS, rather than 3 or 4 flights, and a ferry. Less chance of lost luggage, and if you have time, you can have a beer at Sunset Beach Bar while waiting for your flight!

Safe travels.
Posted By: gordaguy2

Re: flying logistics from Toronto - 08/02/2015 10:23 PM

Just did it yesterday - 9:30 flight via westjet to SJU then catch the 3;30 flight on Air sunshine arrived in VG around 4:00 ish. Love Air Sunshine and WJ
Posted By: psod

Re: flying logistics from Toronto - 08/04/2015 04:15 PM

thanks for the the replies,,,
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