YACHT CHARTER VACATION FAQS
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The British Virgin Islands require a valid passport. Please check for visa requirements if you are a US citizen. Non-US citizens should check the requirements for entry to the US Virgin Islands if traveling through the USVI and BVI. You’ll find BVI tourism board information here.
St. Vincent & the Grenadines.
There is no bad time to go to the Caribbean. Temperatures range from 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit. Winds are slightly higher in the winter months. You can expect slightly higher rates during holiday weeks, and anchorages are busier. Generally, Thanksgiving through Easter is considered the high season. New Years’ charters are booked up to 18 months in advance.
Yes. All yachts have VHF radios and cell phones. Most yachts have WiFi onboard for guests’ use. Set your phone to not roam and activate WiFi calling, unless you are in the US Virgin Islands. Please check your cell phone provider to see about roaming charges on your phone plan.
Your private yacht chef caters to most special diets and allergies. Send your preference request (provided in an email) and the chef plans a menu. It is not uncommon to have several special diets on one charter. If this is a need, Epic Yacht Charters will inquire with yachts during the search process and discuss it with the chef.
ABSOLUTELY! A yacht vacation is great for families. Children have a blast snorkeling, running on the beach with water toys, and swimming. Just bear in mind that the crew cannot take responsibility for the children’s welfare, and young children will need to be supervised. Some yachts have age requirements for children. We will check with the yacht’s crew before booking.
Yes. Most yachts are fully air-conditioned and equipped with watermakers and icemakers. Generators provide power to run all systems anytime required.
Most yachts offer wireless internet access on board. Internet connectivity in the Caribbean isn’t as fast as in modern countries, but it will support email and basic web browsing. Some areas of your sailing may be faster than other areas. There are areas of the BVI that will pick up US cell service near the USVI. Please consult your cellular provider about roaming charges while you travel.
Travel insurance is always a good idea. Major travel insurance companies can cover cancellation due to extreme weather or an Act of God, emergency medical issues, and other specific situations. Please check with a travel insurance company such as SquareMouth. Trip insurance is a must during the Hurricane months of August, September, and October. Down south in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, you will not require travel insurance for the hurricane season.
In the unlikely event of you canceling your charter, all payments are forfeited. However, if the yacht can re-book a different charter for the same dates, there is a chance of a partial refund. In some cases, a future date can be chosen, and the deposit can be held. Please enquire about the COVID-19 amendments.
Yes, Epic Yacht Charters has the ability to book luxury Tortola villas in addition to your yacht vacation. Please enquire.
There are various airlines flying directly into St. Thomas. The airport code is STT. Flights are also daily from Puerto Rico, code SJU. Most international flights depart in the afternoon, which is convenient since your yacht charter ends at noon. Once in the USVI, short flights will take you to St. Croix or the British Virgin Islands including Virgin Gorda.
There are multiple ways to get to the BVI, including the Tortola airport. The airport code is EIS. The Tortola airport has many flights daily from Puerto Rico and St Maarten via Cape Air, Seaborne, and Liat Airlines. You can also fly into St Thomas and take a scenic 45-minute ferry ride into the BVI. The ferry arrives at multiple ports in the BVI, and with advance notice, we can arrange for your yacht to pick you up. Private water taxis are available if you wish to depart in your own time and travel in style with your group.
You should fly commercial or private into Nassau (NAS). From here, your yacht will pick you up or you may want to fly to the Exuma Cays with a small plane to start your sailing vacation there and be dropped off in a different location.
15-20% of the charter fee is standard for the crew gratuity. Your crew is on call 24/7, working hard to ensure you have the vacation of your dreams. They begin preparing for your charter from the moment they receive your requests in a preference form. The crew’s goal is also to provide you with exemplary service. The gratuity is given to the crew at the end of the charter in cash App or electronic transfers. Please check with us with the crew’s preferred payment method.
Once you decide on the yacht, Epic Yacht Charters puts a complimentary reservation on the yacht. Next, a contract is drawn up, and details to proceed with the booking are solidified. Your deposit is also required at this time. Travel arrangements can be finalized after the contract is countersigned by the yacht. If you are more than 6 months away from your charter dates, a 25% deposit is required. Then 25% at 6 months out, and the final 50% is due 60 days before the charter. If your charter is within 6 months of booking dates, 50% will be required for the deposit. Your monies are held in escrow, and the yacht is paid right before your charter.
Crewed yacht charters range from $18,000 per week to $80,000.00 per week. Larger sailing/power catamarans start closer to $40,000.00 per week. Most yachts offer all-inclusive week-long charters, and in certain areas, a tax is required and will be considered in your final payment. Luxury motor yachts may also have an all-inclusive fee or a standard fee plus running expenses because of fuel usage.
Most yachts are all-inclusive with a professional captain and private chef. Larger vessels may have additional crew such as deckhand and stewardess. All meals, snacks, standard ship’s bar (liquor, wine, beer, and soft drinks), fuel for the vessel and tender, insurance for the vessel and crews, all water sport activities, and Scuba diving on some vessels are part of your package. Not included are crew gratuities, optional marina docking/berthing for an overnight stay, excursions and meals ashore, port fees in the BVI, special requests for top-shelf liquor, wine, or excessive alcohol consumption, and transfers and from the airport.
Most yachts will provide a range of amenities and extras, so please check with the crew before you arrive that you do not have to bring unnecessary items. This allows you to arrive carefree, knowing that you can travel as light as possible. The most important items to remember are your travel documents (Covid and entry protocols) and passports. Customs and Immigration would like to see you leave after your wonderful stay in the Caribbean, so flight tickets booked back home is essential. Ensure that your passport is valid and up to date and that it will not expire whilst on your vacation in paradise.
Remember that storage onboard yachts are usually limited, and it is not easy to store large hard suitcases. Strong rolling soft bags are great and are easily stored on airplanes. The temperature ranges from around 75f to 85f in winter and around 85f to 95f in summer. So you would probably spend more time in your swimsuit, shorts, and T-shirts with flip flops. Shoes are not worn on boats, and being barefoot adds to the island-style feeling. Water shoes/flip-flops are also great for wading in shallow water on trails. We recommend casual and comfortable attire onboard, and if you want to dress up a little for dinner ashore or a little dancing with local entertainment, something a little more stylish may be in order. A light sweater and cover-up are recommended for cooler nights. Hats (not expensive, as they may blow overboard) or baseball caps help keep the sun off your face.
Your camera or GoPro should definitely be on your list as you would want to share those great memories later on social media or print the photos later to show everyone what a great vacation you had. If you have an underwater camera or video, bring that as you may get to take a few stunning underwater photos of the beautiful creatures of the Caribbean Sea. Chargers for your devices are handy just when you need them. Portable waterproof speakers are fun on the upper deck and connect to Bluetooth audio.
Sunscreen is a must. Please bring only non-spray sunscreen as it often stains towels and decks orange because of ingredients. “Reef friendly” sunscreen is preferred as it does not impact the ocean reefs. Check with your crew before arrival, some crews may provide some. Please do not bring “flushable” wipes.
Sunglasses help with glare and good eye-care from the strong sun.
Motion sickness is not common on catamarans, but if you are prone to motion sickness, bring wrist bands, ear pads, or Dramamine tablets.
Bug spray is provided by most boats, but you may bring your own small favorite brand if you prefer. Remember to check this item in your luggage as it may not be carried on the plane.
You may want to walk or hike ashore, and a small backpack/dry bag comes in very handy to carry bottled water, sunscreen, and gifts purchased on your island tour. Well, that should help. Please feel free to contact us if you have suggestions for other excited guests ready to embark on a vacation of a lifetime with Epic Yacht Charters.
Here is an interesting blog about what to bring.
Having a hard time visualizing your crewed yacht vacation? Take a look at a sample itinerary to get the ideas flowing and plan your trip.
There are a few things not to be missed. Take a look at our favorite anchorages, restaurants, beach bars and shore excursions.