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British Virgin Islands

Tortola, BVI: Safe, Uncrowded Yacht Travel during COVID

A lot of people looking for a worry-free vacation are concerned about Quarantine regulations. This report shows how the British Virgin Islands fixed it!

The report states: We received a compelling review from the crew of FOXY LADY who described their quarantine successful charter. No hotel stays required – just hop on your yacht after landing in Beef Island Airport to comply with the strict protocol entering the British Virgin Islands.

Here is Captain Graham and Chef Kristiann’s story and itinerary for a holiday week with three generations on two well-suited tandem charter sailing catamarans.

Greetings from Tortola

Two amazing charter yachts sailing in tandem during Covid-19 restrictions – 62′ FOXY LADY and 44′ ALLENDE (below)

Two Quarantine Options by Captain Graham and Chef Mate Kristiann of the S/Y ALLENDE

“We are proud to be one of the very few crewed charter yachts based in the British Virgin Islands for the 2020-2021 season–meaning we are enjoying quiet anchorages and snorkel sites unaffected by human pressure. It’s a glorious time to be on charter in the BVI. Here’s a report on the two successful charters we’ve hosted since returning to the territory:

Quarantine Aboard

Our Christmas charter was a tandem with 62′ Lagoon FOXY LADY (above) and 44′ Fountaine Pajot ALLENDE (below) welcoming a three-generation family aboard the two boats, which added a layer of complexity. The family traveled into the BVI separately but arrived at about the same time. All guests for the two boats were put in a single taxi from the airport. We took this as an endorsement to mix and mingle the guests, which enabled the usual tandem charter activities such as shared happy hours, switching boats for meals, and group water sports.

Our guests were given a GSM-type tracking device which was put in a waterproof case. The crew set up a charging station on each boat and all that was required from that point on was to keep them charged. We were adamant about our guests not mixing with other vessels, but this wasn’t really an issue since there’s hardly anyone else on the water. The tracking devices were worn from the airport to the boat, and then the next time from the boat to the Day 4 test.

On Day 4, we arrived at Nanny Cay around 7:45 AM.  Even at that hour, we were the 4th and 5th boat to arrive for the day. There were only two taxis serving the marina so we had to wait for the other boats to go first, and in hindsight, we should have organized a private taxi in advance for our group. Our guests said that the Day 4 test was the easiest one they have completed to date. Total time commitment for the Day 4 test, including transit from Peter Island and the wait time was 3.5hrs. Results came in at around 10:30 AM on Day 5.

On charter, we stuck to the designated quarantine anchorages until we had the Day 4 test results in hand. We preferred anchorages where we could tie to shore in order to keep the two boats close together. We enabled the guests to get ashore and stretch their legs. They were huge into water sports, and Captain Jos from Foxy Lady spent hours towing the daredevils around while Captain Graham led snorkel tours.

Without any qualification, the lead charterer said, “This trip has been all that we hoped for and more!”

Quarantine Ashore
Our New Year’s guests opted to complete their 5-day quarantine in a villa ashore before joining Allende. They wanted complete freedom, and while we had it we still spent five out of seven nights anchored in designated “Quarantine Anchorages.” This illustrates how easy it is to run a charter itinerary within the current regulations.

A Sample Charter Itinerary to Share
We drafted a sample charter itinerary for upcoming guests and hope you may also find it useful for promoting charters in the BVI. Just click on the image of the itinerary and download it for sharing.

Pre-Travel Communication is Key
Out of our next five scheduled charters, we feel confident that four will go forward with guests fully informed about travel protocols. We allowed one charter to reschedule to next season due to a lack of childcare at home. Early pre-travel communication is key, and we’re currently speaking to guests with charters booked through the end of March to ensure that their travel arrangements are in order.

Best wishes and we welcome you onboard anytime,

Kristiann & Graham

Here are the current quarantine updates up until March 1, 2021

BVIGateway.bviaa.com

 All Your Needs and Wishes in Mind

We love being able to share good travel news with our readers. This report out of the BVI represents a nexus of safety officials, travel professionals, yacht charters, and guests, and the results are worthy of clinking glasses.

The best yacht charters are created with all your needs and wishes in mind, so break out your calendars and let’s start planning!

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