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Old 05-12-2018, 12:17   #1
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Picking up passengers in St. Thomas from BVIs

We'll be checked in to the BVIs. We would like to pick up the couple joining us from St. Thomas.

Is it possible to pick them up in the boat (without checking out(BVIs)/in(St. Thomas)), go back to BVIs and have them check in?

Can two passengers check in to the BVIs when the boat and other two passengers are already checked in?

We are leaving BVIs together.

We don't want any problems.
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Old 05-12-2018, 13:44   #2
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Re: Picking up passengers in St. Thomas from BVIs

I have experience doing what you suggest and it did not go well on returning to BVI.

You need to check out of the BVI and into USVI. Then do the reverse when returning to the BVI.

Or just have the people joining you take the ferry.
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Old 05-12-2018, 13:49   #3
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Re: Picking up passengers in St. Thomas from BVIs

It might be better if they take the ferry and get picked up in BVI.
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Old 05-12-2018, 13:52   #4
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Re: Picking up passengers in St. Thomas from BVIs

Never call your guests/friends passengers. They are crew. Calling them passengers makes you a commercial vessel with lots of rules.

Especially call them crew when clearing in/out of a country.
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Old 05-12-2018, 14:03   #5
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Re: Picking up passengers in St. Thomas from BVIs

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrRobinson View Post
Or just have the people joining you take the ferry.
This ^^^^


Not going through the check-out/check-in dance is illegal. The odds of getting caught are low, but the consequences can be severe.


The ferries are simple to use and not that expensive.
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Old 05-12-2018, 15:46   #6
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Re: Picking up passengers in St. Thomas from BVIs

It is not hard to check out (JVD) and into USVI (Cruz Bay). Then on return, check all back into BVI at JVD. If you report arriving into BVI before they were open, they may charge you an overtime fee.
If you want to spend a couple days in/around St John, then do it. If it is solely for pickup, then ferry.
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Old 05-12-2018, 17:04   #7
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Re: Picking up passengers in St. Thomas from BVIs

I agree with all above, but if you actually do head to the USVI, tell the BVI folks what you are doing. If you are only going for a short period - I think it's 24 hours - there is a separate "temporary" check out status that will save you some money when you return. But, the ferry is the best bet for your crew.
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Old 06-12-2018, 09:14   #8
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Re: Picking up passengers in St. Thomas from BVIs

Quote:
Originally Posted by stormalong View Post
Never call your guests/friends passengers. They are crew. Calling them passengers makes you a commercial vessel with lots of rules.

Especially call them crew when clearing in/out of a country.
This ^^^^^^^^^^^^ Very important!

Also, if flying back to a country where you've left your boat (returning to the boat), we use the "Crew Only" clearance line at the airport. That avoids the long lines of citizens returning with all their international shopping baggage and tons of stuff to declare. Even though originally designated for incoming air line crew to clear in, we've only been challenged once. We said we were "crew" on a boat and they waived us right through.
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Old 06-12-2018, 09:26   #9
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Re: Picking up passengers in St. Thomas from BVIs

The Ferry is the only way to go. Quick, cheap and on time.
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Old 06-12-2018, 09:39   #10
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Re: Picking up passengers in St. Thomas from BVIs

Thanks for all the input. The answers were what I was unfortunately expecting.
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Old 06-12-2018, 11:18   #11
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Re: Picking up passengers in St. Thomas from BVIs

Watch your bags on the ferry. Voice of experience.
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Old 06-12-2018, 11:25   #12
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Re: Picking up passengers in St. Thomas from BVIs

If you are not US citizen it’s even more complicated as you have to have a VISA in USVI when a vessel is involved, same for your crew.
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Old 06-12-2018, 11:53   #13
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Re: Picking up passengers in St. Thomas from BVIs

If you use the ferry, don't assume that the schedule posted will be the actual schedule that day. They can change on a whim.
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Old 06-12-2018, 12:46   #14
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Re: Picking up passengers in St. Thomas from BVIs

It’s doable - did it twice last month. I checked out at Sopers Hole, West End and checked in at Cruz Bay. I anchored in Charlotte Amalie and had my ‘crew’ tell the taxi to drop them off in front of Emancipation Park, where I was waiting with the dinghy tied up at the head wall. I arrived early and got provisions at the Pueblo grocery store a couple of blocks from where the cruise ships dock - booze, beer, and wine included. There is a dinghy dock up in the corner. One advantage of this is that if they are late getting in and the ferry is done for the day, you have them on board and the party starts. For me, about the only drawback is if there is a stiff easterly blowing, you’ll be motoring, if you are wanting to get east in reasonable time. Checking in again at Sopers Hole or Jost Van Dyke, only the captain need go ashore with passports. Yes, it cost some money, but what doesn’t. Enjoy your time with your crew. BTW, if you have time, radio ahead to Pizza PI (pizza made on a boat just before Current Rock off St James Island) for a fresh baked pizza.
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Old 06-12-2018, 12:52   #15
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Re: Picking up passengers in St. Thomas from BVIs

There is lots of good advice in the above posts, and, I think, one error.

The error: When we were there in March 2018, the Cruz Bay USVI Customs house had been blown to bits by the hurricane so all clearances had to be made either by phone, if you have the Local Boater Option, or at the customs house at the St Thomas ferry terminal.

The good advice:
Have your guests take the ferry from Red Hook and clear customs and immigration in Road Town where you can pick them up and add them to your crew. Never call them or let them describe themselves as "passengers."

I would add:
In most countries, the captain must take new crew to customs with their entry documents and add them to his/her crew list, the list you made out when you entered with your boat. Before your guests leave, you should go back to customs again and remove them from your crew list. They usually will need proof of their pending flight reservation. This can usually be done the day before they fly. You should ask about this procedure next time you are at the customs house in the BVI.
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