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Old 17-02-2010, 12:40   #1
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Customs and Immigration Procedures - St. Kitts and Nevis, etc.

We are chartering a Moorings cat in May out of St. Martin and hope to visit several of the surrounding islands. We're on the boat for 10 days.

The loose "plan" is to visit Anguilla, St. Barts and possibly one or more of Statia/St.Kitts/Nevis.

On a previous charter, we cleared in/out of BVI to the USVI. We're all good sports about these things - realize they take time and just make the best of it....

I'm researching the procedures ahead of time - so hopefully we won't get any surprises.

One thing that is not clear - do all 8 people on board have to go in to each of the offices or can captain take all the info alone? I have multiple copies of passports and a detailed crew list typed out.

In particular, the St. Kitts/Nevis check in/out seems tedious and time consuming. Anyone done it recently that could comment?

I'm hoping it's more like stopping by the customs office on the way to the nearest bar!!

If it's known to take a 1/2 day to process, we might just stay closer to St. Martin and enjoy the time at a more leisurely pace.
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Old 17-02-2010, 18:43   #2
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I would recommend that you come to Nevis to clear in to the Federation of St. Kitts & Nevis. Either pick up an orange "Q" buoy off the ferry dock at Charlestown or a white mooring buoy off the Double Deuce restaurant about a quarter of a mile north of that at the southern end of Pinney's Beach, and dinghy down to Charlestown to clear in. The Customs office is on the second floor of the Cotton Ginnery building right there at the port. Then you walk up to the police station for immigration, not too far away. Finally check in with the Port Authority at the port area to pay for your mooring. $15 US for two days or $20 for a week. It takes about 45 minutes, all told, unless the Customs guys are late opening the office and you have to wait. Only the captain has to go to clear everyone in. Take their original passports and your crew list.

At Customs, tell them you'd like a cruising permit for Pinney's Beach, Tamarind Bay, Oualie Bay, and the following St. Kitts anchorages--Majors Bay, Ballast Bay, White House Bay and Basseterre. That covers anywhere you'd want to go.

Most people find that Nevis is much more cruiser friendly than St. Kitts, and if you want to do a day trip over there, you can take the ferry for $10 US per person.
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Old 17-02-2010, 20:39   #3
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May/June '09
Gustavia, St Barths - Easiest, Most Professional & Friendliest. Captain only needed with boat papers - surprising that immigration was not that high on their list - so we HAD to request that they stamp our passports - but they were very gracious. Park/Mooring fee is done at natural resources park office (open part time) down the dock from Customs

Charlestown, Nevis - H3 knows better than me - we took the DD/Sunshine (between the two-late in the afternoon) mooring route. Next am early, the journey began. I will give them a break because they had computer problems & a very belligerent comm'l captain that put a wrench in the "gears".
Think I was 2nd or 3rd in line of pleasure craft. One Captain at a time - no crew necessary/allowed - just boat papers/passport info to fill out forms. After Customs, it was a walk to the police station for immigration, next stop Port Authority office (adjacent to Customs) to pay for mooring / entry permit and then return to Customs to prove we went to all the places we were told to hit. Belligerent Captain still in the mix - baseball bat in the hands of Custom agent just in case. I did get the cruising permit/permission to travel the federation - Total time - 1.5 to 2 hrs.....
I checked out of St. Kitts at the new cruise ship bldg - Computers were up but since our stuff was unable to be entered on the front end - it took time to input then get Zarpe.

St. Kitts - I would also agree that taking the ferry would be easiest. Tough part is getting to Customs/Immigration vs anchorage. Only truly safe/ tenable one near downtown is the marina in the new Cruise ship complex because Basseterre is an open / south facing town without a protected anchorage. We needed water (empty) so we chose to stop there vs filling at the comm'l dock in Nevis - tricky at best & shorthanded. We were visiting St. Kitts anyway - anchored at White House Bay - and did our island travel from there. Last morning, we hit the marina (pre-arranged) crew did water & ice while I did Customs checkout.

Oranjestad, Statia - Pretty laid back - done at Commercial (and I do mean comm'l - huge oil terminal activity plus other ships unloading) dock
Customs - Friendly ladies - simple form Captain only necessary
Immigration - Police station annex connected to Customs - he just happened to drive up as we were walking out - guess we would have had to hit the town station if not there - he did a quick look & it was over. Check out with customs very easy - I walked in to ask about best time since we were leaving next am - they offered to do it on the spot & I did not even have my papers with me - they just pulled their copy & I was on my way with zarpe. Left the next am.
Note - this was a rolly to very rolly(depending on tug traffic and swell angle) anchorage. maybe in the winter with different wind angle it might be different.........not on my list to return.

P.S. Anguilla - 8/05.......very friendly & helpful ladies - Customs & Immigration in same bldg at Road Bay. Read Cruising Guide & Noonsite as they have a tricky cruising & park mooring fee schedule if you take your boat to the various anchorages. We passed on that (minimal fee) and hit a couple of beaches, etc with out dinghy & 9.9 outboard (only 2 people). If you have a big crew than it might not be bad pp.
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Old 17-02-2010, 22:05   #4
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Wow! Thank you both for such great info!! It really looks like, weather cooperating, we should still plan on hitting (hehe - not literally, of course!) several islands. I'm printing your responses and putting them in my book of notes I always take with me.
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Old 17-02-2010, 22:33   #5
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Couple More

My memory kicked out a few more

Gustavia was very rolly in the outer anchorage - Anse du Corossol. Charter company restricted inner harbour docking, anchoring, mooring. To prevent crew mutiny moved to Anse du Colombier (NW corner of island- kinda isolated) for night 2 before we left for Nevis next am.

il Fourchue - between SXM & St.Barths - we stopped here for last 2 nites & 1 day.......marine park island uninhabited.

Doyle's Cruising Guide was very helpful as usual in planning.

If you have more questions - fire away or send PM.

Have Fun
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customs, Nevis, St Kitts

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