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Old 07-10-2014, 18:56   #16
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Re: BVI Ferry Service

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Originally Posted by maytrix View Post
Well, if you are counting the leg to EIS, you should also factor in the ferry as a leg in the trip as well. Still looks like St Thomas is less time overall.

For us, we are able to take a red eye to San Juan so we're on Tortola between 9am and 12pm rather than going through St. Thomas and getting there by the end of that day. So we gain a whole day. Travel time is certainly more and in our next trip there's 4 legs (BOS-JFK-SJU-EIS), but we work a full day and take a 9pm flight and are on the island 12 hours later - albeit a little tired.

If all things were equal, we'd go for the shorter flight too. Other benefits to flying in/out of Tortola though are after 10 trips you can join the VIP club and get expedited arrival and if you sign up for Global Entry, you can speed through customs on the return as well. In the end, we've found there to be a lot less waiting. Cost can be the other factor though too, St Thomas can often be cheaper.
St. Thomas is a direct flight. I can think of zero reasons to connect to Tortola. Buy your tix at the ferry. If you have a larger group consider the Dolphin water taxi - they have great service and won't leave you hanging if you come in late.

Dolphin Water Taxi - Dolphin Water Taxi
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Old 07-10-2014, 19:42   #17
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Re: BVI Ferry Service

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St. Thomas is a direct flight. I can think of zero reasons to connect to Tortola. Buy your tix at the ferry. If you have a larger group consider the Dolphin water taxi - they have great service and won't leave you hanging if you come in late.

Dolphin Water Taxi - Dolphin Water Taxi

So you think getting in 9am vs 5-7pm isn't a good reason? Even when we would only get in at 12pm it was still worth the 2-3 legs (depending on time of year) to get a half day start. I'd rather spend that first day in a nice anchorage than on the dock.

Plenty of reasons to go through St. Thomas depending on where you are coming from . Just saying, there's also plenty of reasons to go into Tortola. Really depends on where you are coming from though as East coast is typically direct to San Juan and then the 2nd flight to Tortola. I'd consider that 2 legs to be the same as going via ferry to St. Thomas - both are two legs to get to Tortola. West coast is a whole other ball game - in the middle, probably 50/50 depending on the airport.

Water taxi is a great option for larger groups, but is a lot more expensive.
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Old 07-10-2014, 20:35   #18
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Re: BVI Ferry Service

Always great to fly into EIS (Beef Island) particularly if you are on a crewed charter, which can pick you up right in Trellis Bay. Our ferry service is notoriously unreliable and a source of consternation to everyone who lives and works in the BVI. They aren't going broke, but they don't really care much, either. You have to call on the day to see if the ferry you want is running. The water taxi can make sense, depending upon the number of people. A tip for flying into Beef: if you have five or more people, become a "corporate" flyer by buying ten one way legs (or more, if necessary) for about $150 each. They come in coupons and can be used by any one. You get the corporate fare for any seat available, not just a limited number. Often it is about the same money as flying into St. Thomas, and usually way less hassle. Remember, you have various taxes on the recently increased ferry fare (the USVI just imposed a $10 Tax to go to Tortola) plus a cab ride to the ferry dock, plus, if you are coming in on an afternoon flight, particularly on Spirit, you well may be late and then you have to fork over for a night's hotel - never cheap.
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Old 07-10-2014, 20:43   #19
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Re: BVI Ferry Service

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A tip for flying into Beef: if you have five or more people, become a "corporate" flyer by buying ten one way legs (or more, if necessary) for about $150 each. They come in coupons and can be used by any one. You get the corporate fare for any seat available, not just a limited number.

Don't even need to have 5 people. Just need to be able to use them in a year or buy more. We bought a 10 pack in July for just my wife and I. We're using the other 3 in November. And I believe even if you don't use them in a year you can put them towards a new book.
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Old 08-10-2014, 09:32   #20
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Re: BVI Ferry Service

Yep, that's true. I mentioned the five people in case of "one time" visitors who would want to use the whole book at one shot.
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Old 08-10-2014, 10:01   #21
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Re: BVI Ferry Service

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Originally Posted by maytrix View Post
So you think getting in 9am vs 5-7pm isn't a good reason? Even when we would only get in at 12pm it was still worth the 2-3 legs (depending on time of year) to get a half day start. I'd rather spend that first day in a nice anchorage than on the dock.

Plenty of reasons to go through St. Thomas depending on where you are coming from . Just saying, there's also plenty of reasons to go into Tortola. Really depends on where you are coming from though as East coast is typically direct to San Juan and then the 2nd flight to Tortola. I'd consider that 2 legs to be the same as going via ferry to St. Thomas - both are two legs to get to Tortola. West coast is a whole other ball game - in the middle, probably 50/50 depending on the airport.

Water taxi is a great option for larger groups, but is a lot more expensive.
We've been flying to St. Thomas for 30 years...planes to the BVI get cancelled or delayed on a regular basis, especially in the winter. Also, I have been the victim of theft a few times. Othertime, your bags get picked up by the cruise line people by accident and sent onto the cruise pier instead of onto the next flight. To me, prefer the predictability of a direct flight from the east coast to STT.

We can have all our food and booze shopping done and laying on the beach drinking a rum drinky in the BVI by 1 PM. Of course, we are coming out of Philly or the east coast, YMMV on your location.

You could do it faster by sending a list ahead of time to your taxi driver, who will be happy to do your shopping for you. Then you only have nic-naks to pick up before you are on your way. Plus, if you need any hard to find items, you are better off doing that in St. Thomas.

I agree that the water taxi is much more expensive.. but if you have a big group its worth it.
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Old 08-10-2014, 10:58   #22
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Re: BVI Ferry Service

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I did not know about this! Thanks! -SEC
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