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By No owner — last modified Mar 28, 2017 08:18 AM

 Cayman Islands - General Info

Time Zone

UTC -5

Yachting Essentials

Electricity

Voltage: 120 V
Frequency: 60 Hz

Opening Hours

Everything closes down by 6pm and nothing is open on Sunday.

Money

Cayman Islands dollar (CI$)

The Cayman dollar is tied to the US dollar at a fixed parity of $CI1 = $US1.25.

The US dollar is widely accepted and so are most credit cards (not American Express).

Communications

International dialing code for Cayman Islands is +1 345.

Contact your cell phone provider to make sure that they offer phone coverage in the Cayman Islands. Find out if you can be upgraded to internationa roaming or look into renting a cell phone or SIM card to use with your personal cell phone if your cellular company does not offer coverage in the Cayman Islands.

There are no area codes in the Cayman Islands, so simply dial the phone number.

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/

Northwest Caribbean Net, 1400 UTC 6209 USB, alternates 6212 and 6516, 7 days/wk. Generally covers Providencia north to Mexico on the Carib side, including Providencia, San Andreas, Honduras, Guatemala, Belize, Mexico, Cuba, Jamaica and the Caymans. They often follow boats all the way home to Key West through Galveston on the US coast, and sometimes boats heading south will continue to check in down to Panama, but not often.

Diplomatic Missions

Events

Batabano: Carnival weekend, last week of April/beginning of May

Cayman Brac has Brachanal the following Saturday.

Million Dollar Month: June, sport-fishing tournament.

Pirates Week: end October/beginning of November. Eleven days of music, street dances, costumes, games, food and drink, "pirate invasion", Kids Day, glittering parade, sports events, Heritage Days, fireworks! Find out more here.

Emergencies

Emergency Telephone Numbers in The Cayman Islands

Grand Cayman

  • Police, Fire, Hospital 911
    * Divers Recompression Chamber 911
    * Hurricane Emergency Operations (345) 949 6555
    * National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC): (345) 949 6555 (Available after an activation). Website: www.neoc.gov.ky
    * Red Cross (345) 949 6785
    * Executive Air Ambulances (345) 949 7775
    * Caribbean Utilities Company (345) 945 1282
    * Water Authority (345) 916 1000
    * Consolidated Water Company (345) 947 4347

Cayman Brac

  • Police 911 or (345) 948 0223
    * Fire 911 or (345) 948 1245
    * Hospital 911 or (345) 948 2225
    * Electricity (345) 948 4224
    * District Commissioner (345) 948 2651

Little Cayman

  • Police 911 or (345) 948 0083
    * Fire 911 or (345) 948 0011
    * Clinic 911 or (345) 948 0072
    * District Officer (345) 948 1051

Publications

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 Cayman Islands 2.0 - Nov 2015
Author: Frank Virgintino
Available free from www.freecruisingguide.com or on Kindle from Amazon or any EPub store.
Covering Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac as well as Little Cayman.

A Thinking Mans Guide to Voyages South - the many facets of Caribbean Cruising
Author: Frank Virgintino
Published: 3rd Edition January 2013
ISBN 9781304133847
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

Cruising Guide to the Caribbean
By William T. Stone and Anne M. Hays
Publisher: Sheridan House. Rev Rep edition (August 21, 1998)
ISBN-13: 978-0924486579

Update History

January 2017: Formalities and fees checked/updated.
November 2016: Information about permitted length of stay added to Customs section from Michael Carroll.
December 2015: All formalities and fees checked/updated from www.FreeCruisingguides.com.
October 2015: Security Section updated
May 2015: Publications checked
April 2014: Immigration & Customs checked.
March 2013: Clearance checked.

Noonsite welcomes information and updates especially regarding clearance, customs and immigration procedures from cruisers visiting this country.
Please E-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.

Share |
mischa
mischa says:
Mar 27, 2017 06:01 PM

We plan to visit the Islands on our small 30ft vessel where there is no holding tank installed and we simply do not have space to install one. I wrote emails to the port authority and the environmental department and both of the confirmed that their laws do NOT require every boat to have a holding tank, just that it is forbidden to discharge ANY waste water into the sea. So if you have no holding tank, but you are going to stay in a marina or always use the facilities ashore, you are good to go. You won't be denied entry because you have no holding tank.

ohana
ohana says:
Jan 29, 2017 03:46 AM

We are currently in Cayman, it's a wonderful place to visit and a shame so few yachts stop here. I'd like to correct and update a few things we've learned here:
1. You can stay up to 6 months WITHOUT paying import duty on the yacht. You will initially get 30 days on clearing in, then you need to apply for an extension in writing to the main customs office by the airport. Email is acceptable but it would be best to phone the office via the number on the customs website and ask them who to email it to. When my extension hadn't been issued by day 30 I went personally to the customs office. The correct office is the one upstairs with a separate entrance, not the main office downstairs. I explained that it was the last day and the staff were very helpful and I left with a letter granting the extension. The extension costs 100 cayman dollars per month.

2. Mitchells creek is a great, sheltered place to anchor in 2m, weed and mud but the anchor held well on second attempt. Anchor off the end of Lime Tree Bay road and there are some holes in the corner of the concrete wall there where you can lock your dinghy. Cost U Less big box supermarket is just over the road.

There are a line of free orange mooring buoys off georgetown, to the west of the main dock. If you ask "Port Security" on channel 16 they will usually permit you to stay on them as long as you like. Also free short term mooring buoys at all the dive sites.

The entrance to the stingray city sandbank is just East of Main Channel and marked by small white floats. Main channel itself is usually well buoyed but some buoys were missing at the start of our visit (now replaced).

Make sure to get the free PDF cruising guide from the freecruisingguides website and make use of the waypoints in it to navigate North Sound.

You can get parcels delivered duty free but its a hassle. After trying all the other customs officies I found that they need to be collected from the customs office in the port authority building, not the airport or the cruise terminal. A customs officer is supposed to accompany you and see the parcel going onto the boat but this requirement might be waived.

Cayman is a very friendly place to visit, probably the most developed and "first world" of the caribbean islands. It has a wide range of shops and well stocked supermarkets. AL Thompson is a huge superstore for DIY, hardware, paint etc. etc. and prices are pretty good compared to the chandleries.

Cayman does have good boatyards and chandleries but their prices are excessive and we chose not to use them.

Michael Carroll
Michael Carroll says:
Nov 19, 2016 12:39 PM

My George Town Grand Cayman formalities experience: Directed by "George Town Port Security" to the free orange/blue stripe moorings for overnight, then to north ferry dock in hogsty bay for formalities. 30 day visit from Immigration. 3.5 hour Customs (drug) search. No health inspection. N.B. vessels staying longer than 30 days are subject to 12% import duty.

Franklin Gray
Franklin Gray says:
Jul 31, 2014 12:58 PM

And a note for gun owners, they will inspect your boat with a drug and gun sniffing dog so you will have to declare your guns and they will take them and lock them up, even if you have safes on board. First time that has happened to me so far.

Franklin Gray
Franklin Gray says:
Jul 31, 2014 12:55 PM

Caymans is not a duty free country. Of course, like many countries, you can get duty free parts for your boat but customs really doesn't like to do that and they go out of their way to make it difficult for you, just like every other country.

Also, Harbour House Marina isn't a marina, but a yard with tie ups alone a channel. The WIFI goes down every Saturday night and doesn't come up until Monday morning. A good place to get repairs done though but if you use their shipping, the costs are very high and they use a 1.25 exchange rate if you use Visa to pay.

Check-in is easy but make sure you have some very good fenders as you will be asked to pull your boat up to a concrete dock where wakes are common.

Oh yeah, and everything closes down by 6pm and nothing is open on Sunday.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
May 22, 2014 02:44 PM

We approached Cayman Brac by night and tried to get in touch with the customs but we got no answer. Mr Raymond Scott that works as a Shipping Adviser did answer and helped us to do a safe approach. I wish all countries could have the same service! Makes life a lot easier and safer for us sailors! The Ship adviser also helped us out with contacting the customs and immigration so that we could clear in- Thank you for this service!
Daniel & Anna

patricia920
patricia920 says:
May 08, 2014 12:26 PM

Fuel. You can get discounted, tax free fuel after you get your departure papers. A substantial savings. However to get fuel at the Govt. dock is a disaster in the making. I would never do it again no matter what the savings.

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