Before the days of the internet and the ability to search and find out about different options for vacations, most people used travel agents for international travel and vacations. Often these travel agents would use charter brokers, professionals who organize luxury boat charters for individuals or groups.
Today, it is very simple to go online and book your own boat charters and communicate directly with the charter staff. This is a great opportunity to create your own unique itinerary and vacation, plus you can also get an idea of what to see and do based on suggestions from the charter company.
When traveling to the U.S Virgin Islands or the British Virgin Islands, booking a charter is a wonderful start to your vacation or at any point during your stay. These charters can include half or full day short trips, overnight tours, or extended tours of more than two days and up to a week or more depending on your needs while in the Islands.
For people planning their own boat charter, there are some very important points to keep in mind. Top charter companies will always provide you with the information you need and ensure they understand just what you expect from your charter before they have you sign any type of contract. To determine the best charter company for your needs make sure you ask about the following issues.
Rates and Additional Fees
For most standard luxury boat charters, you will be charged a fee based on several factors. The number of days and nights as well as the actual fuel costs, based on travel distances, will be included in the price.
Additionally there will be the crew and the captain as well as any other specialty requirements you may have. Some tours and charters offer all-inclusive pricing. This will usually include the full cost for beverages including wine, beer and rum, soda and light snacks as well as pre-set meals on a menu for extended or overnight charters.
Last minute changes in your travel plans, or adding additional travel may result in additional charges even with an all-inclusive tour or charter. Planning your travel route with your charter company in advance is one simple and easy way to stay within your travel budget.
Make sure you have all the information about your tour in writing. This includes any upgrades or additional features or perks that the yacht company is offering. Verify the information and take the time to read the agreement before you place your deposit and sign the agreement for service.
Boats, Passenger Numbers and Creature Comforts
When you are on a luxury boat charters, you want to be pampered and have all the features of home while at sea. Keep in mind the yacht, particularly for the longer charters, will become your hotel on the water, so you want the quarters to be luxurious, spacious and well-maintained, and you want to be able to relax and enjoy yourself based on your travel needs.
The best charters will provide everything you need in the way of water equipment, deck equipment and accommodations. You should ask about issues such as showers on board, dining areas, refrigerators and the galley (kitchen) area. You will also want to ensure that the living quarters have air conditioning for your comfort while you are traveling.
All of the yachts will have a maximum number of passengers that can be on board. Some companies have several boats and yachts to accommodate both small, private groups for anniversaries or honeymoon trips, as well as larger boats that are perfect for a family or several couples taking a trip together.
Learn about the Islands
When booking a charter, it is a great idea to learn a bit about the islands and what they feature. Of course, your charter boat company can also make recommendations of places to do and sites to see based on your interests or specific places, events or activities you want to take in.
There are several very good websites providing information about the BVI and the USVI. Both have their own tourism websites that are full of information about the most popular places to go as well as some of the more out of the way locations.
There are also specific holidays and special events on the islands, which each of the islands hosting their own unique festivities. Christmas and New Years are always popular times to visit, and there are many activities and events over the season.
During the summer months, there is great outdoor entertainment and many of the bars and restaurants along the beaches offer live music and dancing out under the stars. There are different types of restaurants offering classic Caribbean foods and lovely fresh seafood to just about any other cuisine you can imagine. Different areas of the BVI and USVI have different cultural influences, so you can always find something new to try.
You may also want to look into some of the unique areas to visit in this part of the Caribbean. You will find an underwater national site, multiple national parks, museums, galleries and, of course, some of the most amazing beaches you will find anywhere in the world.
There is more to see and do than just beaches in the USVI and BVI. There is terrific shopping in Charlotte Amalie, the capital of the USVI. Here you will find world-class shopping, food and entertainment. Remember, as a US citizen in the USVI, you will need a passport to enter the BVI and then return to the USVI, so be sure to have that handy at all times.
If you are on a budget, don’t be worried about sharing this with the charter company. The best companies will try to accommodate your budget and tailor a charter that will provide you with a wonderful experience and still stay within your spending limit. They may also recommend an off-season trip which can work to your advantage to lower costs or even extend your stay with the lower off-peak rates.
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