British Virgin Islands 2018

There's that one particular harbor…

Getting There

When it is time to book your flights, call me or email me. We’ll work this out together. There are no non-stop flights into Tortola, BVI from the mainland. Timing and cost are significant factors. I’ll help you figure out the best way to get there. In the meantime, consider stocking up on your skymiles. This is the cheapest way to get there.

For those who would like to work it out on their own, here are a few tips:

There are several different ways to get to Tortola from the mainland USA. You can fly American Airlines to Tortola, via San Juan, Puerto Rico. No other major carrier offers this option. Unless your flight into San Juan is non-stop and departs early, you’re likely to end up on the late afternoon or early evening flight from San Juan to Tortola, and will arrive on island sometime around 5 or 6 pm. However, our crew members taking this option also routinely arrive as late as 9 or 10 pm. This option has the advantage of putting you right on Tortola, which is nice. It has the disadvantage of being an American Airlines route, and unless you’re someplace like Dallas, Miami, or Chicago, you’re likely to have to make at least two connections and spend an entire day just getting to Tortola. You also arrive later than the alternatives. It used to be a beating to travel through San Juan, but in the last few years they’ve finished construction and streamlined the C&I procedure, so there’s no trouble with that.

The most common alternative is to fly another carrier into St. Thomas, USVI. Our favorite is Delta, but there are others (see the list of airlines in the “Transportation” section in the third column over on this website). This typically places us on St. Thomas by mid-day or early afternoon. From here we catch a ferry (we prefer the Road Town Fast Ferry, which is non-stop to Road Town, Tortola). We arrive around 5 or 5:30pm. It’s a nice way to get to Tortola. However, be careful that you don’t arrive on St. Thomas too late to catch the last ferry off the island (see the ferry schedules in column three). Otherwise you’ll be looking for a hotel room at the last minute. Some will even plan on spending the night on St. Thomas and then go over to Tortola the next morning. We’d rather not.

In addition to getting unexpectedly caught on St. Thomas, this option will add about $100 to your travel expenses for round trip ferry tickets for two people and another $30 or so for the additional taxi ride (arrive on Tortola and you only pay for the taxi from the airport to The Moorings…arrive on St. Thomas and you pay for the taxi ride from the airport to the ferry as well as the taxi on Tortola from the ferry to The Moorings). And if you take this route, make sure to go upstairs at the ferry terminal at St. Thomas and get that first Painkiller while you wait for your ferry. Then you’ll know you’ve arrived!

There are other creative ways to get there. Some fly American to San Juan and then charter a smaller plane to get them to Tortola. This is probably the most fun way to get there, but is a little more expensive than the previous options. Similarly, you can arrive on St. Thomas instead and charter a small plane to get you to Tortola. This would be cheaper than chartering from San Juan and more expensive than taking the ferry. We did this once (chartering from St. Thomas to Virgin Gorda). I’m a private pilot, so I’m used to small planes. We loved it.

However you get there, be patient. It’s the better part of the day getting there, so settle in and expect delays, etc. It will all be made better by that first Painkiller.

And if you’re a member of our crew, the goal is to arrive at The Moorings by 6pm on Wednesday in order to participate in the welcome dinner. If you can make it, I’ll buy you that first painkiller!

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