YACHT CHARTERS
Many of our guests are new to yacht chartering. The more information we are able to share with you, the more fun your vacation will be. Choose from the categories below, for everything from required reading to helpful hints.

Your Nr. 1 Decision - Your Broker Company
What is a Yacht Charter Vacation ?
How do we go about booking a Charter?
How do we get there from here?
What do we need for customs and immigration?
Tell me about the crew.
What about the weather?
Should we dine out?
Tell me about the shopping?
What if there is an emergency at home?
Should we tip the crew?
What other expenses should we expect?



Your Nr. 1 Decision - Your Broker Company

The best way to book your charter is with a professional Charter Yacht Broker such as the Barrington Hall Corporation. Having been captains in the Caribbean for 5 years means that our staff are experts on where to go during your vacation and how to make decision on selecting those out-of-the-way locations. However we also like to cover what we feel is the best one week of the year and explain how to select dates for your vacation which has more quality than other dates. Our personal knowledge of each captain and crew who we present to you is vital to the ultimate success of your adventure. Our overall knowledge of our industry is provided to you with the aim of making your vacation better.

Your first decision is to select the correct broker to work with.

What is a Yacht Charter?

A yacht charter is basically a short term rental agreement. If the agreement is for the yacht only, without crew services or provisioning, it is called a "bareboat" charter. If the agreement includes the services of a Captain, chef and perhaps additional mates, it is termed a "crewed " charter. It also may be called a "term" charter which refers to a specified time commitment.

While on board, the general activities and movements of the yacht are at your direction. The Captain has the last word in all actual decisions. His first concern will be for the safety and comfort of all the guests. The Captain's practical knowledge of your cruising area will help you create an itinerary unique to your party's needs.

Your crew contacts you well before the charter starts. They discuss your food preferences, health and activities for your stay aboard. You'll get to know them even before you arrive and they are available to answer all your questions.

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How do we book our charter?

Generally, no matter how you book your charter, you will find that it requires a deposit. This deposit is not refundable and can be as high as 50% of the total fee. This means you should be very sure of your dates and the number in your party before you sign a contract.

The contract is carefully written to protect all parties. If the yacht cannot perform, all funds are returned. If the guests cancel, the deposits are forfeited. If there is a problem during the charter, the amount would be prorated in an equitable fashion. When you have signed and returned the contracts, a confirmation letter would be sent. Please check the details carefully and advise of any discrepancies.

The final payment for the charter is due forty five days (45) before embarkation.

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How do we get there from here?

Yacht Harmony motors the waters of the Virgin Islands and the Bahamas. The British Virgin islands lie 1100 miles east-southeast of Miami. The primary airport of the B.V.I. is Beef Island, and the airport locator for travel planning is EIS. The Beef Island airport is midsized and does not support non-stop air service from the U.S. or Europe. Your flights will use commuter carriers for connections to the Beef Island destination. The largest of these carriers is American Eagle, a subsidiary of American Airlines. Cape Air, Liat and Air Sunshine also provide commuter flights from various Caribbean destinations. Connecting flights to the B.V.I are usually routed through San Juan, Puerto Rico. Many flights are available to San Juan, and the easiest way may be to use American Airlines and enjoy the ride. Upon arriving at the airport, take a taxi to the yacht. Your Captain provides details before your arrival. In most cases we will arrange for the captain to meet you at the airport.

You can also get to the BVI by routing through nearby St. Thomas. St. Thomas has a number of airlines offering direct flights from many U.S. cities. Once in St. Thomas, you can take a ferry to nearby Tortola, the main island of the BVI. From the ferry, take a cab to the yacht.

Transfers to and from the airport/ferry can be prearranged by your Captain. These transfers are not included in your charter fees so you should pay & tip your driver accordingly.

Because of the distances traveled and time zones crossed, it may be difficult to arrive in the BVI early in the day. Your charter starts at noon and completes at noon one week later. If your arrival is later than 4 pm, you might want to consider a night in a hotel prior to your charter, so you could board promptly at noon on the next day.

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What do we need for customs & immigration?

The British Virgin Islands are a sovereign nation with unique and independent requirements for visitors. You should be prepared to present a valid passport when entering and exiting the BVI. There may be small fees such as departure taxes to be paid. Immigration officials want to know where you are staying, how long you are staying, and may ask for proof of a return ticket. These are not trick questions, but please answer them carefully.

Please do not bring anything illegal such as, guns, knives, drugs etc. A word to divers, spearguns are not allowed in the BVI. It is unwise to bring food or commercial goods with you.

Customs officials are generally pleasant and efficient and are willing to go the distance to make your entry and departure a pleasant one.

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Tell me about the crew.

Your crew are professionals dedicated to your perfect vacation. In the course of the week they wear many hats. They are there to serve you and guide you safely and comfortably through your charter. They also can be a great source of fun.

Chartering is an intimate setting and you would find the crew in tune to your personalities. If you view your crew as service staff, they do that masterfully. If you rely on them for guidance and entertainment, you will have a great time. If you include them in the personality of your week, you would certainly find new friends. It's all up to you.

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What about the weather?

It doesn't matter matter where you're from, the weather in the Virgin Islands is better. The coolest of winter days might be in the upper 70's; while the hottest of summer days would be in the upper eighties. The key to Virgin Islands' weather is that you're in the tradewinds and you're surrounded by clear, warm water. The water temps vary from the upper 70's to mid 80's and temper all weather in the tropics. Your only likely problem that is weather related will be sunburn. Squalls when they occur are soon past. Okay, so much for the chamber of commerce weather report. Here is the real world:

It can rain, it can be too windy, and ,yes, there are such things as hurricanes. Your Captain keeps a constant watch of developing weather and will alter the itinerary accordingly. Hurricanes are very rarely an issue. The yachts do not sail from August 15th thru October 15th. Historically, 90% of all Caribbean hurricanes occur in this season. Honestly, it is rare to have the weather impact your enjoyment of your charter.

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Should we dine out?

Yes! Now don't get suspicious. We aren't cost cutting. The cuisine on board for your yacht is excellent. Your chef has planned for your every need, your every snack, your every beverage and certainly, your every meal. The reason to dine out is to explore and enjoy the unique ambiance of the islands.

If you choose to dine out, yes, you pay the bill, but it will be worth it. Most guests find a lunch and a dinner ashore provide a variation to your week that you will enjoy. The point is that you enjoy the islands.

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What about shopping?

Shopping can be your whole day or just a diversion. It's up to you. The treasures ashore run the whole spectrum, from trinkets and t-shirts to diamonds. So let's get down to basics. The Virgin Islands use the good old American dollar as their currency. If your dollars are running short, credit cards are accepted for almost everything. If cash is really a problem, a trusty A.T.M. is never far away. Checks, however, don't work too well.

If you shop a lot, keep your receipts. You will need to declare values when returning thru U.S. customs. There are restrictions on the quantities of liquors you can bring back and don't even think about returning with Cuban cigars...

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What if there is an emergency back home?

Your Captain will give all the contact information you will need for your office, family and friends to find you in an emergency. You will never be out of contact during your stay aboard. You may be unavailable but voicemails and e-mails will be waiting for you when you get back from scuba diving. The contact numbers your Captain provides are for true emergencies. If you need closer contact with friends, office or relatives, bring your cell phone and set up a personal contact number for the duration of your stay.

If you need to return home in an emergency, your Captain will be able to assist you in travel plans. You can usually be at an airport in a few hours. Unfortunately, no refunds will be made by the yachts if a health emergency cuts your charter short. Again, you might consider travel insurance if this is a concern.

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Should we tip the crew?

Yes. A straight answer to a sensitive question, but let's explain...

Tips are never mandatory. Gratuities are made as an appreciation of excellent service. We are confident that your crew will exceed your expectations. If this is not the case, there is absolutely no reason for a gratuity.

After your stay aboard, you will realize that your crew are more than hardworking, more than just personable, more than professional. Their only additional benefit from their exceptional service is the gratuity.

We suggest you consider a gratuity of 10-20% of the total charter fee.

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What other expenses should we expect?

Its always hard to guess how much real cash to bring You are certain to need cash for transfers to and from the airport or ferry. Cabs in the islands are not a bargain. You may be grouped with other riders and take a circuitous route. Even so, $10 or more per person for each cab ride can put a dent in your cash quickly. You can expect a departure tax, usually $5 per person at the airport. Other adventures ashore are at your discretion. Some may accept credit cards, some not. There are a few ways to incur extra charges on your yacht. They include special requests for food or beverages, requests for overnight dockage in marinas, and a few extra costs for scuba instruction.

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Luxury Crewed Yacht Charters
British Virgin Islands
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