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Thoughts on getting to Tortola

Posted By: maytrix

Thoughts on getting to Tortola - 08/07/2017 12:40 AM

As I am looking into our next trip and costs, it has become a lot more costly to fly into EIS, especially with 3 of us now.

So as I have been looking into the various options, I had a thought. Couldn't we hire a Captain for a day to bring the boat to us in St. Thomas? Pick us up and we sail back dropping the Captain off. Same thing returning back to STT.

I figure this is a nominal cost, prevents us from having to deal with C&I with a huge group coming off the ferry and gets us on the boat right away.

Thoughts?

And on a side note - does BVI VIP get you anything at the ferry, or is that still only at the airport?
Posted By: DEL

Re: Thoughts on getting to Tortola - 08/07/2017 12:58 AM

Seems like the cost of a captain for a day (+ tip and meals and probably taxi from West End) plus a charter day (frequently 2X a sleep aboard) would be significant expenses. I guess it depends how much you dislike waiting in the C&I line in Road Town.
Posted By: Deepcut

Re: Thoughts on getting to Tortola - 08/07/2017 01:36 AM

agree with Del.
Typically start day after we land in STT. We have been able to make ferry every trip to Road Town. Sleep Aboard ready for us a marina (air conditioner/lights on) and we get to boat about 5-6pm. Leave next morning after getting provisions delivered and settled in.
What are your intentions about provisions?

Not sure if BVI VIP gets you any VIP treatment at Ferry.
Posted By: bukovsrp

Re: Thoughts on getting to Tortola - 08/07/2017 03:39 AM

On our last trip in June, we got to STT at 12:30. Kevin got us to ferry dock for 1:30 ferry. We cleared customs and at boat in Sopers Hole by 2:50. It was so easy, airfare was much less. The main thing though, is the connections were much better and we got on boat sooner than the SJU/EIS route.
Posted By: warren460

Re: Thoughts on getting to Tortola - 08/07/2017 10:59 AM

Matt won't be charged for the extra days or sleep aboard on his boat. I think that he is on to something. But is a captain all that is needed? How about a crew? And 2 days food.

Re the ferry dock. I have been told no to west end and yes to road town. We went through road town on July 28th and nobody from the VIP club was there in spite of assurances that they would be.

I guess it's hit and miss.
Posted By: CDavis2

Re: Thoughts on getting to Tortola - 08/07/2017 11:32 AM

We take this approach on most of our trips and it works very well. We usually check back in at Great Harbour after picking up the boat in Red Hook. Please keep in mind that American Yacht Harbor will charge you a small fee for the drop off. There are also good provisioning options on St Thomas that are less expensive if your schedule allows for a short stop.
Posted By: CaptainJay

Re: Thoughts on getting to Tortola - 08/07/2017 12:08 PM

Matt you could just fly yourself in the day before to Tortola and pick the boat up and meet the rest of the crew in Red Hook.
Posted By: GeorgeC1

Re: Thoughts on getting to Tortola - 08/07/2017 12:33 PM

The ferries were really bad two years ago. They have improved quite a bit lately. I think the whole avoid the ferry at any cost is getting a bit overblown. The bigger issue is the poor customs clearance process at Roadtown. You can avoid that by clearing at WestEnd and cabbing up.
G
Posted By: CHS_JDE

Re: Thoughts on getting to Tortola - 08/07/2017 01:38 PM

Would be interested to hear if any others find it better to clear in to West End than RoadTown
Posted By: xrayman67

Re: Thoughts on getting to Tortola - 08/07/2017 02:13 PM

Quote
CaptainJay said:
Matt you could just fly yourself in the day before to Tortola and pick the boat up and meet the rest of the crew in Red Hook.

Some charter companies require a minimum of 2 persons aboard to leave the marina.
Posted By: CaptainJay

Re: Thoughts on getting to Tortola - 08/07/2017 02:18 PM

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xrayman67 said:
Quote
CaptainJay said:
Matt you could just fly yourself in the day before to Tortola and pick the boat up and meet the rest of the crew in Red Hook.

Some charter companies require a minimum of 2 persons aboard to leave the marina.


Most do he owns the boat.
Posted By: FrenchLaundry

Re: Thoughts on getting to Tortola - 08/07/2017 02:47 PM

We have done this a few different ways and happy to share what we have done - which has some pros and cons. We have kids so an easy entrance was important to us. We have had our captain - who is amazing, check our boat out of Tortola (check out of BVI) - we had the provisions, fishing gear, sporting rental all delivered to our boat. He checked the boat out of BVI and moored at Caneel Bay or Leinster Bay at St Johns. We landed, headed to redhook - from there we have done 3 things. One, he picked us up at redhook, 2nd - we had a water taxi take us directly to the boat being moored at Caneel Bay, 3rd - we took the ferry to St. John's, loaded up the taxi and took it to Leinster Bay to a boat that was moored, provisions in the fridge, and a glass of wine waiting for us. We spent a couple of days on St. Johns and then checked back in to the BVI for the rest of our trip. We love St John's so that was part of the plan. I would recommend the 2nd or the 3rd option due to the issues with mooring balls. The first works well depending on the day and season.
Posted By: aarpskier

Re: Thoughts on getting to Tortola - 08/07/2017 02:55 PM

Quote
warren460 said:
Re the ferry dock. I have been told no to west end and yes to road town. We went through road town on July 28th and nobody from the VIP club was there in spite of assurances that they would be.

Same experience at RT on June 14. Disappointed.
Posted By: FrenchLaundry

Re: Thoughts on getting to Tortola - 08/07/2017 03:02 PM

One other thing to note regarding having two on the boat to leave Tortola. The captain we have is very strong and he basically told Moorings they were crazy - he said he could handle it. TMM - would not allow it, but they offered a person that we could pay to take it over to St Johns.
Posted By: warren460

Re: Thoughts on getting to Tortola - 08/07/2017 03:15 PM

Adrian, Matt is not subject to those restrictions.
Posted By: maytrix

Re: Thoughts on getting to Tortola - 08/07/2017 03:26 PM

Thanks for all the responses!

Jay, that would probably work if we had others joining us. If it was just my wife, myself and our son then I don't think she'd be so happy being on her own smile

As far as why I want to avoid the ferry, it is simple. Every time we have done it, it took a long time going through customs - and that was BEFORE we had our son. He has even less patience then I do, so my goal is to avoid the amount of waiting he might need to do.

And as Jay said, we own the boat so there's really no added boat costs for us except for a Captain.

I've got 2 commuter book coupons still, so for our next arrival, we'll end up flying in. Just looking at options for the future or possibly for our departure.

Thanks!
Posted By: GeorgeC1

Re: Thoughts on getting to Tortola - 08/07/2017 03:50 PM

Having him stay at Leinster would be a nice option however he has to take the boat up to Cruz bay for customs first so why not just meet him there?
G
Posted By: Deepcut

Re: Thoughts on getting to Tortola - 08/07/2017 07:44 PM

Boat Owner does have more options.
Posted By: zhawk

Re: Thoughts on getting to Tortola - 08/07/2017 08:05 PM

I have always had good luck with the ferries.

I have cleared at West End off the ferry a few times and it was quick...but it's been awhile. Still easy???
Posted By: GeorgeC1

Re: Thoughts on getting to Tortola - 08/07/2017 08:50 PM

West End is still decent except on Saturday's. In general ferry travel should be avoided on Saturdays.
Posted By: TWB

Re: Thoughts on getting to Tortola - 08/08/2017 02:06 AM

Quote
aarpskier said:
Quote
warren460 said:
Re the ferry dock. I have been told no to west end and yes to road town. We went through road town on July 28th and nobody from the VIP club was there in spite of assurances that they would be.

Same experience at RT on June 14. Disappointed.

We were met at the ferry terminal in Road Town on July 19th. I called Tammi when we boarded the ferry in St Thomas and told her which one we were on. She had the lady in the little tourist office at the dock meet us.
Posted By: CaptRobear

Re: Thoughts on getting to Tortola - 08/08/2017 04:52 AM

So for a charter from The Moorings in Road Town, we have always ferried in to Road Town to get short low cost taxi ride, but C&I in RT is a pain. How long is taxi ride from West End and approx cost?
Posted By: maytrix

Re: Thoughts on getting to Tortola - 08/08/2017 12:03 PM

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TWB said:We were met at the ferry terminal in Road Town on July 19th. I called Tammi when we boarded the ferry in St Thomas and told her which one we were on. She had the lady in the little tourist office at the dock meet us.


So what did this get you? Did you move through customs quickly?
Posted By: TWB

Re: Thoughts on getting to Tortola - 08/08/2017 12:47 PM

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maytrix said:
Quote
TWB said:We were met at the ferry terminal in Road Town on July 19th. I called Tammi when we boarded the ferry in St Thomas and told her which one we were on. She had the lady in the little tourist office at the dock meet us.


So what did this get you? Did you move through customs quickly?

As we were queuing up to go to C&I she was waiting with a sign with our names on it. She then walked us to the front and all the way through the process. She even corrected my immigration form where I had left it incomplete
Posted By: maytrix

Re: Thoughts on getting to Tortola - 08/08/2017 01:17 PM

If we could get that kind of service, that would be great! Sounds like the key might be calling when you are at the ferry on the STT side?
Posted By: FrenchLaundry

Re: Thoughts on getting to Tortola - 08/10/2017 01:29 PM

Yes - you could but you would get to Leinster Bay late in the day and the probability would be low to get a mooring ball.
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