West Indies Charter Yacht Services Limited
Q: What is the cost of A Crewed Charter?
A: The cost of crewed charters vary depending on the size of vessel, power or sail, number of people on board, etc. The duration of the charter is usually a week, but can be any length. Generally, all food, beverages and water activities are included. Diving is usually extra.
The price per person starts around $1200. Motor yachts cost more than sail. Groups on larger yachts can often be less expensive per person than a couple on a small yacht. Yachts are available for parties of 2 or more. Large groups may prefer to charter more than 1 yacht and travel as a flotilla. This is very common, especially for corporate groups.
The summer season may be less expensive than winter in the Caribbean. Summer season is May 1st to December 14th. Winter season is December 15th to April 30th.
Xmas and New Years usually have an additional fee. Dockage and shore excursions are extra.
Gratuities are the norm when the service merits it. Remember that your crew work hard to ensure your vacation is a great one. They are your chef, bartender, tour guide, waiter, ….
Q: What kind of activities are there to do?
A: All yachts have water sports and will vary depending on equipment. These might include snorkeling, Scuba Diving, kneeboarding, water-skiing, windsurfing, kayaks, fishing and, of course, sailing.
Most water sports are included but some are extra, and can be arranged by your crew. These would be diving and parasailing. On shore activities can be recommended by your crew and will vary depending on the island.
Q: What type of food and drinks are served?
A: The menus are designed around your food preferences. The chefs are excellent and can usually prepare any dish requested. Drinks such as wine, beer and alcohol are included as part of the “ships bar”. The amount and variety will vary depending on the cost of the charter with larger, more expensive yachts providing finer wines and premium liquors.
Q: What’s our itinerary going to be like?
A: The itinerary is based on your preferences of activities. The crew know the territory very well and will tailor the cruise to fit your requests. The Virgin Islands and the Caribbean offer a tremendous variety of bays, anchorages and towns to visit. It isn’t possible to see everything in one visit, however, and you may need to adjust your itinerary to accommodate your schedule and activities you have chosen or return again in the future for another charter
Q. What Should You Bring?
First, only bring soft sided luggage since space is limited and storage is easier. Also hard luggage can damage woodwork and paint. For clothing bring casual wear, mostly shorts and t-shirts, and swimsuits. A few of the more formal restaurants require long pants and collared shirts and occasionally a jacket, but “smart casual” is the norm.
You can bring your own mask and snorkel if your inclined, but all yachts carry an assortment of sizes. If you are expecting to scuba dive, check with your broker to make sure of the available equipment on board the yacht. Most yachts carry sunscreen of the type they prefer used, so generally it is on board. If you bring your own, please don’t use oily lotions as it stains the yachts’ upholstery.
Q. What’s the Weather like?
The extremely consistent weather conditions in the Virgin Islands are one of the reasons this area is considered to be one of the best cruising grounds in the world!
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The trade winds are nearly constant ranging from 10-25 knots, allowing for wonderful sailing. It also keeps it nice and pleasant for sunbathers! The water temperature ranges from 76 to 85.
Q. Where can we Cruise?
The 3 most popular cruising areas in the Caribbean are:
The Virgin Islands: US & BVI
Leeward Islands: St Martin & St Barts to Antigua
Windward Islands: St Lucia to Grenadines
Generally your cruising would be contained within one of the island groups mentioned above. To cruise other areas in the Caribbean is possible, but it will require more planning and usually cost, due to airfare, provisioning, etc. Check with your sales agent for more information.
Q. Island Do’s and Don’ts
Remember, you are visiting in a different land, with its own culture. If you find the local islanders gruff, try saying ‘Good Morning’ ‘Good Afternoon’ and ‘Good Evening’. A smile and polite greeting may seem old-fashioned to you, but here, they are still very much a part of everyday life here in the islands. Try it, you will very likely get a broad smile in return, and may make a new friend. Who knows, you might even start a trend when you get home! In towns, the local islanders generally prefer you to be covered up. T-shirt and shorts are fine, shoes are often optional, but bikini tops are not appropriate in their eyes for city wear. Now, on the beach, that’s another story! Passports are necessary to travel between the US and British Virgin Islands – they are two separate countries. In absolute worst case situations, a photo ID and Birth Certificate might get you through immigration both in the BVI and US immigration, but a current passport will ensure smooth sailing.
Q. Do you offer Special Cruises?
Yes, there are cruises to meet almost every need. Some of these include:
Many programs are available for diving from beginner up to Advanced Diver. The variety of diving and the beauty is unmatched in the Caribbean and includes reef, night, cave and wreck dives.
Learn To Sail
Most yachts are happy to share their knowledge of sailing with you and there will be opportunities to steer the boat and adjust the sails if your want. There are, however, captains that are qualified sailing instructors for those charter guests that are interested in learning more.
A few yachts are available with the captain only. The yacht is available with the captain at a lower rate than fully crewed and the charter guest pays all the expenses. These would be provisions (including enough for the Captain), fuel, water, taxes, etc. Also, you prepare the meals and look after your cabins. This might be a good choice for those that want to eat ashore frequently and don’t need the personal service that a fully crewed charter includes.
Honeymoon and Wedding trips
We have done weddings aboard our yachts on occasion, most of which were pre-planned! More commonly though is the honeymoon cruise. Our private yachts provide one of the most romantic ways to begin your new life together – without any worries after all you’ve gone through with the preparation.
Most of our yachts will do everything to accommodate your personal dietary requirements. Many can do vegetarian menus that will delight everyone, not just the vegetarians! Kosher is available on some boats, though often in ‘modified’ form due to the constraints of a yacht’s galley. The most important thing is to get in touch with the yacht as soon as possible and communicate your special needs early. With enough warning, most things are possible even here in the islands!
While all of our yachts are willing to make accommodations for specific needs, some yachts have unique abilities in this area. Please look in the catalog for yachts showing this symbol:
Many yacht crews do not mind their guests ‘expressing themselves’, and the seclusion possible on your own yacht ensures you privacy.
With advance notice of your needs, your Charter Vacation Specialist can help arrange a charter where everything fits together perfectly. We can be sure that you have the crew, accommodations, cuisine, destinations and activities you want for your vacation.
We know these Boats and Crews!
West Indies Charter Yacht Services, Ltd.
Toll Free USA: 877-772-7245
Phone/ Fax: 303-860-0005
Email For Availability And Reservations