British Virgin Islands - General Info
Frequency: 60 Hz
US dollar (US$)
Effective 1 July 2015, the I cent and 2 cent EC coins will be withdrawn from circulation. The coins will no longer be valid either as consumers will not be able to conduct transactions using these coins. Persons can present the coins at any of the commercial banks which operate within the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) to receive face value.
A price rounding system will be implemented within the ECCU countries for the settlement of cash transactions only, whereby the total payment, inclusive of duties, fees and taxes, will be rounded symmetrically to the nearest five cents. Non-cash payments using cheques, debit andcredit cards will not be impacted and therefore will not be rounded.
International dialing code for British Virgin Islands is +1 284
Modern GSM mobile phone and 3G wireless broadband services are available throughout the islands.
Digicel update December 2014:
Anyone cruising through the islands using Digicel should be aware that you cannot top up a sim from one island in another as used to be able to. So if for example you want to use the sim bought here while cruising through other islands, you should either put on a large enough sum to cover your needs, or you can set up an account and do it online, but you cannot get it topped up in another island.
You can top-up Digicel at https://online-top-up.digicelgroup.com/
Tortola, the main island of the British Virgin Islands, is the location of the BVI’s only major airport, the Beef Island Airport (EIS)) at Tortola’s adjoining Beef Island on its East End. There are also two smaller airstrips on Virgin Gorda and Anegada. Tortola’s Beef Island Airport does not accommodate major jets, only 70-80 seat turboprops and small jets.
Airlines flying into the BVIs include:
American Eagle: +1 (284) 495 2559
LIAT: +1 (284) 495 1187
Air Sunshine: +1 (284) 495 8900
Cape Air: +1 (284) 495 2100
Between the US and British Virgin Islands:
Native Son Inc. Tel: (284) 495 4617
Smiths Ferry, Tel: (284) 495 4495
Nubian Princess, Tel: (284) 495 4999
Inter-Island Services, Tel: (284) 495 4166
Speedy’s Ferry, Tel: (284) 495 5240
Roadtown Fast Ferry, Tel: (284) 494 2323
Foreign Embassies in British Virgin Islands
United States Embassy, Bridgetown, Barbados (also responsible for the BVI): +1 246 436 4950.
Canadian High Commission, Bridgetown, Barbados (also responsible for the BVI): +1 246 429 3550.
Australian High Commission, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago (also responsible for BVI): +1 868 628 0695.
Easter Festival, on Virgin Gorda
BVI Spring Regatta, on Tortola, March-April
BVI Music Festival, late May
Jost van Dyke: Foxy's Wooden Boat Regatta, late May
BVI Festival in Road Town, early August
Nanny Cay Nations Cup, December
British Virgin Islands - Emergency Telephone Numbers
Emergency: dial 999 or 911
Virgin Islands Search & Rescue: VISAR
Emergency Centre Operations (284) 494-4499, http://www.visar.org
Virgin Islands Search and Rescue (VISAR) is a voluntary organisation dedicated to saving life at sea. It is the officially recognised search and rescue service in the British Virgin Islands, where it provides 24-hour cover every day of the year in close co-operation with the Royal British Virgin Islands police, fire and ambulance services
Foreign cell phones can call emergency services by dialing 767 or 911.
IMRAY AND ADLARD COLES PILOT BOOKS are available at a discounted price for Noonsite.com users via World Cruising Club
A Cruising Guide to the Lesser Antilles 2.0 (Volume 1: Virgin Islands) - February 2016
Author: Frank Virgintino
Available free from www.freecruisingguides.com as well as a Kindle version from Amazon and other EPub bookstores.
A Thinking Mans Guide to Voyages South - the many facets of Caribbean Cruising
Author: Frank Virgintino
Published: 3rd Edition January 2013
Available as a Kindle version at www.amazon.com as well as other EPub bookstores.
The latest edition of this route planner is larger than ever. For more details see this report
2011/2012 Cruising Guide to the Virgin Islands
By Nancy & Simon Scott
Publisher: Cruising Guide Publications; 15th Edn.(2011)
Completely revised and updated edition with full color sketch charts, these guides have been indispensable companions for sailors and visitors to these islands since 1982. Covers both British and US Virgin Islands.
•Anchoring and mooring information and fees.
•Customs, immigration and National Parks regulations.
•Particulars on marina facilities and the amenities they offer.
•Water sports - where to go and where to rent equipment.
•Shore-side facilities, restaurants, beach bars, shops, provisions, Internet connections.
•Alphabetical - by island - Directory of goods and services.
Everything you will need to help make your vacation an enjoyable and memorable experience in a concise easy-to-use format.
Yachtsman's Guide to the Virgin Islands & Puerto Rico
Editor - Meredith Helleberg Fields
Publisher Tropic Isle Publishers Inc
ISBN - 9780937379004
By Nancy and Simon Scott
Publisher - Cruising Guide Publications; Rev edition (Jun 2000)
Excellent companion to the Cruising Guide to the Virgin Islands, featuring stunning, color, aerial photography, it captures 46 of the most popular anchorages in the Virgin islands. Graphic illustration overlays aid in navigation to show you where the reefs and rocks are and where you will find safe passage.
Grenada to the Virgin Islands Pilot
By Jaques Patuelli
Publisher Imray, Laurie, Norie & Wilson Ltd (3rd Edition 2014)
Covering the Caribbean from Grenada and Barbados to the Virgin Islands is a translation from Jacques Patuelli's original French version. Each island is dealt with in detail and pilotage notes are followed by tourist information and the usual data on formalities and facilities.
Cruising Guide to the Leeward Islands 2014/2015
By Chris Doyle
Publisher Cruising Guides Publications - 13th Edition
ISDN 13: 13: 978-0944428979
This thirteenth edition covers the islands from Anguilla to Dominica, and is an essential tool for all cruisers sailing this region
By Chris Doyle
Publisher Cruising Guides Publications 2nd Edition 2010
ISDN 13 978-0944428825
Depicts 43 anchorages and harbors throughout the islands of Anguilla, Sint Maarten/Saint Martin, Saint Barts, Saba, Statia, Saint Kitts, Nevis, Barbuda, Antigua, Guadeloupe, Marie Galante, Iles des Saintes and Dominica from Road Bay, Anguilla to Roseau, Dominica. The book is to be used in conjunction with navigational charts and is a companion book of The Cruising Guide to the Leeward Islands. It is an indispensable aid for the yachtsman or charterer visiting these legendary islands.
Routes and Waypoints
By Captain Pieter D. Brown
Publisher Baico Publishing Consultants Inc., Ontario, Canada (2011)
A Navigational & Piloting Guide of Suggested Routes with Waypoints from Eastern Canada to Grenada including: the Canadian & USA E. Coasts, Bahamas, Turks & Caicos, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Leeward & Windward Islands.
Read Review here
Grenada to the Virgin Islands
By Jacques Patuelli
Publisher Imray Laurie Norie & Wilson- 3rd Edition 2014
This edition covers each island between Grenada and Barbados to the Virgin Islands and is a translation from Jacques Patuelli's original French version with pilotage notes, tourist information, formalities and facilities
Online Cruising Guide
Free guide for sailors with lots of useful info. and updated charts.
Official website for the BVI Tourist Board.
Useful photo gallery with over 500 photos and maps of the individual islands.
BVI Cruising Guide
A guide to the islands harbours and day anchorages along with tips for each that are the result of over a decade of chartering in the BVI.
Another online guide including some interesting info. on anchorages for yachts.
The Different Faces of the Virgin Islands
The Virgin Islands are a great place for a charter escape, but do you really want to cruise there? And if so, where are the hidden gems? This article by Attainable Adventure Cruising, June 2015, gives a good overview of what you can expect.
August 2016: Customs & Immigration hours updated for all BVI ports.
February 2016: Formalities checked/updated.
October 2015:Security Section updated
September 2015: Formalities checked/updated using information from WCC.
May 2015: Publications checked
April 2015: Updated information added to General/Money
January 2015: Weather links updated.
November 2013: Details of Cruising permit and Park permits fees checked.
April 2013: Formalities checked.
Noonsite welcomes information and updates especially regarding clearance, customs and immigration procedures from cruisers visiting this country.
PleaseE-mail noonsite with any new information, updates or corrections. Even just a short email confirming that the current data is accurate would be most helpful.