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The Moorings - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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British Virgin Islands Travel Information & Planning Guide

Base Location

Wickhams Cay II

Nearest Airport

Terrance B. Lettsome Int. (EIS)

Provisioning Service

Online Provisioning Store Available

Cruising Licenses

No formal license is required

Jump to section

Before You Travel

How to get there, boarding time/check out.

  • What's On Board
  • What to bring

Health & Safety

About the marina, cruising grounds, provisioning, things to do, water toys & sports.

General Conditions

Time Zone UTC/GMT -4 hours

Tourist Information Center   Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands  Tel: +1 284-852-6020 | 1-800-835-8530      E-mail:     [email protected]

General Information Area: 59 sq. miles (153 sq. km.)   Population: 18,000    Official Name: British Virgin Islands  Capital City: Road Town on Tortola   Official Languages: English   Religion: Christian   Government: British Dependent Territory    Climate: Tropical with its rainy season from June through November.

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Airport    Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport (EIS) – Please note that you will be required to pay a $10 USD tourist tax in cash upon arrival. You will need to keep your receipt for the remainder of your stay. (Please note: this ‘tax’ is an Environmental & Tourism Levy payable at ALL ports of entry (ferry and clearing in by boat too), not just the airport.

  • Cyril E. King International Airport (STT) – You will need to take the Ferry into
  • Servicing Airlines:
  • American Airlines
  • InterCaribbean Airways
  • Silver Airways

Flights   Due to the number of flights we organize, the Moorings can offer some great rates to many destinations. Please make sure you contact our in-house flight specialist at  866.649.2003  before you book your flights.

Ferry The St. Thomas ferry connection operates daily between St Thomas and the British Virgin Isalnds. Reservations can only be made directly with the ferry companies and schedules are released around 3 month in advance. We recommend pre-booking your ferry tickets to ensure a smooth transit and to avoid disappointment. 

When booking your ferry please ensure that you are allowing yourself enough time to get through security and customs at the airport, this can take up to 2 hours.

Ferry Services departure tax of $20 per person will be applicable

The following ferry companies operate between St Thomas and Road Town Tortola

  • Native Son Ferry
  • Smiths Ferry
  • Road Town Fast Ferry  

There is also an option to leave from Road Town Tortola to go into Red Hook St Thomas by:

Aquatic Rentals Private water taxi options include: Island Time Dolphin Shuttle Chill Out Charters

Transfers    Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport (Beef Island) to the Base   Take this opportunity to pre-book your premium transportation to The Moorings Yacht Club on Tortola, for a stress-free travel experience. Our dedicated transfer provider, Wheatley’s, tracks your flight to ensure a taxi bus with Mooring’s signage is awaiting your arrival, keep an eye out for a Wheatley’s representative who will be dressed in blue:

  • Air-conditioned minibusses, from Beef Island direct to The Moorings Reception area
  • Reliable on-time service
  • Special contracted rates & taxi/ferry packages
  • No delays waiting for taxis to arrive, or fill up with random travelers

Please contact our Vacation Planning Team at  888.350.3575  for more details regarding all available options or to book your transfers. Please note: The St. Thomas ferry connection is currently operating with two ferries a day with limited capacity. Until further notice reservations can only be made directly with the ferry companies.  Click here for information on current BVI ferry operations and entry prodecures . 

Car Rentals   Major car rental agencies, such as Hertz and Budget, as well as local ones, are available on Tortola. The client will need a BVI license, obtainable with a valid driver’s license for $10 USD per driver.

Standard Boarding Time Procedures   Charter Boarding Time: 12:00 PM  Sleep Aboard:  Boarding Time: 6:00 PM  

**Please note that you will not be able to leave the base on the day of your sleep aboard

Please inquire with the base staff upon check-in to confirm that day’s briefing schedule. 6PM Sleep Aboard reservation briefings are the following morning.

All skippers and first mates must watch the online Chart Briefing which covers all you need to know about the cruising area, the use of the VHF radio, how to call for assistance, and more. A Boat Briefing will also be provided onboard your yacht.

Late Arrivals If arriving after hours, a message will be left on the front door indicating the location of your boat. The Chart Briefing and Boat Briefing will be held the following morning prior to departure.

Check Out Procedures Charter End Time: 11:00 AM for Sailing Charters & 10:00 AM for Power Charters

A debriefing and final walkthrough will be done upon return so please allow enough time to complete this before the charter end time.

What’s on Board

Coolers   Coolers are available at the base on a first come first served basis at no additional charge. Only one per boat.

Mobile phones    Check with your service provider for information about cell coverage in this region.  Guests can purchase a SIM card from Digicel if needed. Guests can also rent from Renport directly if they wish.

Music/iPods    While most of our newer boats have Bluetooth capability, we cannot guarantee all boats are outfitted with this equipment. For your convenience, we highly recommend you bring an AUX cord so you can listen to music from your mobile devices.

Electricity In the BVI, 110/60V AC, 60 HZ standard US 2-pin plugs are used. The Moorings docks are equipped with 110V power outlets. All yachts are equipped with power cables and 110V plugs. Yachts must be hooked into shore power or must have the generator on (if applicable) to use the boat outlets for hairdryers, computers, etc. There is a 12V cigar lighter outlet by the chart table on all of our yachts and many yachts now have USB ports. Some larger vessels may be outfitted with Three Phase Electricity. 

Wi-Fi   Wi-Fi is now available on all Exclusive and Exclusive Plus yachts in the BVI . For an additional fee, Wi-Fi can be added to Club yachts. Please visit  our extras page  for more information.

For more information on what’s included on your yacht, please view the full list  here for Bareboat Charters  or  here for Crewed Charters .

What to Bring

Customs & Immigration Entry, exit, and visa requirements depend on the locations you are departing from and traveling to. You are responsible for having the correct documents so make sure to check with the consulate of the countries you plan to visit before you travel. Visit  for the latest information.

Cruising Licenses   A formal sailing license is not mandatory to charter here. A completed Sailing or Power resume is required to ensure you have the necessary experience required to charter yourself.

Luggage & Packing List   Soft-sided luggage or duffel bags are best, as luggage storage space on your yacht may be limited. We have no facilities for holding luggage at the base. Pack lightly and review our suggested packing list for required and necessary items to bring.

  • Pack essential prescription medicine and change of clothing in a carry-on bag*
  • Passport and other travel documentation
  • Tickets and paper confirmations for pre-planned activities
  • Light-colored, light-weight clothing
  • Formal wear for upscale dining establishments
  • Swimwear and cover up
  • Hats and sunglasses
  • Sandals and flip-flops
  • Athletic shoes and hiking boots
  • Travel-sized toiletries and hygiene products
  • Insect repellent and OTC pain relievers/ointments
  • AUX cable for playing music through your device
  • 12V DC to 110V AC power inverter (for boats without generators**)
  • 12V to USB power adapter for charging mobile devices
  • Please bring your own Snorkel and Snorkel Mask & fins will be provided by the base 

*We would highly recommend packing prescription medicine and essential clothing (swimsuit, t-shirt, and shorts) in your hand luggage as occasionally your luggage may arrive at the base after you do.

**All boats include a 12V DC outlet (a “car” outlet). Boats with generators have 110V outlets in the Caribbean and 220V in the Mediterranean and Exotic locations.

Drones The use of flying drones may be restricted in some areas. For current drone regulations in this destination, please visit .

Currency   US Dollars and US traveler’s checks are used throughout the BVI. Visa and MasterCard are also accepted in most places.

Gratuity   A 10 to 15% tip is standard at restaurants, taxis, etc., as well as $1 USD per bag for bellhops.

Taxes & Fees You might incur some costs while on charter such as mooring and docking fees or cruising taxes. We highly recommend bringing enough of the local currency to cover these costs, debit, and/or credit cards. 

Security Deposit   A security deposit must be paid at the base by Visa or Master Card and is refundable at the end of your charter subject to there being no loss or damage. To significantly decrease your security deposit, purchase our  Yacht Damage Waiver insurance ahead of time.

Travel Advice Your health and safety are important to us. For advice on how to stay safe while on charter, please review  Travel Advice Information . Current travel and safety information can be obtained by visiting

Swim Safe  Swimming is often a fun and important part of a vacation. However local rules, flag systems, currents and where swimming may be permitted, can be different and vary from country to country. Snorkel vests, Life Jackets and Diver Down flags are all available on board. 

  • Talk to children about water safety at the start of a vacation, making them aware of the potential dangers.
  • Accidents can happen at any time on vacation, but often they happen on the first and last day, so keep watch and do not get distracted when your children are playing by, or in the water.
  • Children in or near water should always be supervised by an adult and never left unattended. 
  • Get in the water with them, it is easier to keep an eye on them as well as good fun. Floatation devices are highly recommended for children but are not a substitute for supervision.


  • Check warning flags and signage on the beach and only swim where it is permitted. 
  • Beware of dangerous currents, these can be very powerful. Not all beaches have lifeguards and/or warning flags.
  • Beware of underwater hazards, such as reefs, rocks, sudden changes in depth and marine life.
  • Never swim where a sign says not to e.g. in zoned areas for jet boats or jet skis.
  • Never swim at night or after drinking alcohol.


  • Never swim alone, ‘buddy up’ with others in your party and use the snorkel vests provided.
  • Know how and where to get help. If you see someone in difficulty; raise the alarm, preferably the emergency services. Ensure you know the correct number for the country you are in.


  • Consider swimming lessons before you go if you think it would be useful to learn proper swimming technique.
  • Even if you regularly swim in a pool, remember that open water swimming can be very different. 

BVI have a range of interesting diving spots, but it is not permitted to dive independently. Rendezvous diving is advisable, which can be booked through local operators on the islands. SailCaribbean have an office on our base – they are a PADI 5-star IDC centre offering rendezvous diving at various points throughout the BVI, for certified and non-certified divers.

Safety All yachts are equipped with adult life jackets, harnesses, snorkel vests & diver down flags. You can see all this equipment demonstrated in our online safety briefing, and we strongly recommend that you make use this equipment during your vacation. This safety equipment will be displayed in the saloon of your boat on boarding – If you have any questions feel free to ask our base staff during your briefing. 

We have a very limited supply of children’s life jackets on base so highly recommend that if you are travelling with children, you bring their own. This ensures that children have correctly fitting jackets that are comfortable for them. 

Children should not be allowed in the dinghy without a life jacket or buoyancy aid and should wear a buoyancy aid or harness whilst on deck. 

Children under the age of 16 should not operate an outboard engine and should be supervised at all times when in the dinghy. 

Vaccination and Immunization Information   This destination is generally risk-free of contagious disease. Visit for the latest information.

Travel Insurance   The Moorings offers  comprehensive travel insurance , through our partner, Redpoint, for your peace of mind. If you have your own travel insurance, verify that it covers the destinations and activities of your Moorings vacation. 

Address    The Moorings  Wickhams Cay II   PO Box 139, Road Town   Tortola, British Virgin Islands

Base Hours    The base is open from 7:00 AM to 11:00 PM, seven days a week (evening staff to cover until all flights have arrived).

July – September: our hours are 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM

Marina Facilities Bar, Coffee Shop, Restaurant  24 Hour Security   Cable TV & WiFi Internet   Laundry (for a fee)   Restrooms & Showers  Allamanda Gallery The Moorings Yacht Club Hotel

Dock Facilities Bow Moorings   Fuel Dock

Experience Level A formal sailing license is not mandatory to charter here. A completed  Sailing  or   Power   resume is required to ensure you have the necessary experience required to charter yourself.

Cruising Area Sailing lanes are generally open; however, the National Parks Trust protects a number of reefs and sailing areas. Download The Moorings’  BVI Charter eGuide here .       

Cruising Area Restrictions     It is strictly forbidden to sail alone, we require a two-person minimum on board.

Charts & Pilot Books All the charts and pilot books you will need for the sailing area are issued at your chart briefing.

Nighttime Sailing    You must be moored at least one hour before sunset. Night Sailing is not allowed without permission from the base manager. The decision to allow night sailing is based on your skill level and can be requested in advance. You will need to fill out the  Sailing  or  Power  resume for the base to review but we cannot guarantee approval.

Cruising Permits & Taxes Cruising taxes and a Marine Parks permit are included in your yacht charter cost. 

Please Note: If you enter The Baths by land, you must take your permit from your charter documents with you or you will be charged an additional entrance fee of $3 USD for adults and $2 USD per child.                 

Moorings Fees & Taxes Moor Seacure Ltd. manages moorings balls throughout the BVI. Mooring fees are charged nightly (typically $30 USD per night). also manages reserved mooring balls in select BVI destinations. Please visit to check availability.

Marinas   Fuel, waste and oil disposal services are normally found at larger harbors and marinas, such as: Nanny Cay, Road Town, Hodges Creek, Leverick Bay, and Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour. Other outlets that provide water, ice and a wide variety of provisions can be found at Cane Garden Bay, Trellis Bay, Penn’s Landing, Jost Van Dyke, and other locations throughout the islands. Note: Moorings yachts at the Tortola Base are provided with navigation charts for the British Virgin Islands cruising area only.

Nanny Cay Resort and Marina  Penn’s Landing  Marinas – Virgin Gorda  Leverick Bay Resort  Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour

Around the Base

Accommodations The Moorings Yacht Club Hotel (Tortola)   Nanny Cay Resort and Marina (Tortola)  Leverick Bay Resort (Virgin Gorda)   Maria’s By The Sea  Treasure Isle Hotel  Nanny Cay Hotel

Banks Scotiabank, Chase Manhattan, CIBC (will exchange foreign currencies) and Banco Popular.

Open Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM

Post Office    Located on Blackburn Highway in Road Town.

Open Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM and Saturday from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Dining Brandywine – approximately 15-minute taxi ride  Bananakeet – approximately 25-minute taxi ride  Pusser’s – approximately 5-minute taxi ride

The Moorings Provisioning Online Provisioning is available. Order your provisioning in advance and enjoy more time on the water. Online orders must be placed 5 days prior to your departure date.  Visit our online BVI Provisioning Store

Moorings Care packages  are included on every yacht. These packages contain some of the basics to get you started for your vacation.

There are also a number of grocery stores within walking distance, or a short car ride, from the base which you can use, for example Riteway Supermarket, One Stop Superstore, Bobby’s Supermarket, and The Ample Hamper. Hours of operation vary based on the day of the week as well whether it’s the low or high season, so be sure to call your desired store ahead of time.

Shopping   Allamanda Gallery   The Allamanda Gallery  showcases the photographic artwork of Amanda Baker, who has been capturing the British Virgin Islands (in all its hues) since her arrival as delivery crew on a Moorings 432 in 1988. After ten years of owner, operating a private charter boat based in Tortola, she launched Virgin Portraits Photography and opened the first “Allamanda Gallery” in 2007 in Road Town. In July 2021, she opened Allamanda Gallery #5 located opposite Charlie’s at The Moorings base, offering an array of prints, books & souvenirs, as well as customizable metal prints, canvases and beautiful scenic photographs all available to ship worldwide. Unique teak framing and creative displays are her forte’.

Tours Take a tour of the island   Explore the cruising ground from high up in the mountains. Hire a taxi and go for a drive through many of the steep hills. 

Brandywine Bay   Taxi out to this Tortola restaurant for one of the best fine dining experiences in the BVI. With stunning views, lush décor and a mouthwatering array of Mediterranean cuisine, Brandywine is an excellent setting for celebrating a special occasion or simply commemorating your first or last night in Tortola. Popular menu items include Moules a la Mariniere (steamed mussels in white wine), lobster and fennel salad, lamb shank and filet mignon.

Explore North Shore   Take a taxi out to the north shore and explore an array of beautifully secluded beaches like Smuggler’s Cove and Long Bay Beach.

Zipline Gear up, lock in and whiz through the hills overlooking Tortola on a fun-filled zip line tour. It’s a thrilling experience that’s perfect for the entire family. Front desk reception can arrange zip line excursions for customers as needed.

For your convenience, you can add water toys to your charter prior to arrival at the base. They will be waiting on your boat upon arrival. You are able to rent these at the base; please keep in mind that we have limited availability. For more information, please view our  Water Sports Options .

Scuba Diving    The Moorings dive partner, Sail Caribbean Divers is a PADI 5-star dive company in the British Virgin Islands and is located at our base. They offer rendezvous excursions to any one of the BVI 73 official dive sites, as well as equipment rentals, instructional courses and more. Sail Caribbean Divers has four custom dive boats ranging from 26’ to 46’. They can accommodate parties from 6 to 24 people per boat.

If you are interested in an unforgettable diving experience, please visit  Daily Dive Trips – Sail Caribbean Divers  to see prices and instructions on how to book. If you have any queries regarding the diving packages on offer, please email  [email protected] .

Choose from a variety of options and arrange a meet-up at any of the locations listed below. SCD will bring their custom dive boat(s) and everything you need for a safe and fun scuba excursion.

Discover Scuba – for those who do not have certification  2 tank dive AM or PM & 1 tank dive PM – must show certification, must bring it with you

Pick up locations for Rendevouz Diving:

  • Cooper Island 
  • Marina Cay 
  • Norman Island 
  • Trellis Bay 
  • The Moorings Yacht Club (our base)

Snorkeling    We are unable to provide masks and snorkels to our customers, fins are available if you wish to use them. We are limited on children’s sizes so if you have your own you may wish to bring them with you.

Fishing   If you plan to fish in the BVI, you will need to obtain your recreational fishing licence directly from Sail Caribbean. For instructions on how to apply for a fishing permit, please visit  Fishing Permits – Sail Caribbean Divers.

Please take note on the following:

  • Once granted the fishing permit, it is  only valid for one month.
  • Taking lobster and spearfishing (any method) are prohibited.
  • It is illegal to have bill fish in one’s possession or to have more than 30lbs by weight in one’s possession per boat.
  • Sail Caribbean Divers offer spinning rods and trolling rods for daily and weekly rental.

Please see the rental reservations form and pricing:  SCD RENTAL RESERVATION FORM – WC2 MARINER INN & MARINA ( . Send your rental forms to  [email protected] . If you have any queries about fishing licences, please email  [email protected]

Cruising Conditions

During the winter months (Nov. to Jan) the wind is from the northeast at 15-20 knots. The Christmas winds can produce 25-30 knots for several days at a time. In February the winds move to the east and by June it changes to the southeast at 10-15 knots. September & October the trade winds are at its weakest and the weather can be less settled. By November the high pressure system around Bermuda starts to stabilize and 15-20 knot breezes become the norm.  Local seas are “relaxed” seas and generally in the 3-4 foot range.

Tides In the British Virgin Islands, the tide range is very small: 12 inches – 18 inches (one to two feet) including the variation of level due to atmospheric pressure and dominant winds.

Weather Forecasts    Client can obtain the weather situation at any time by listening to the maritime weather forecasts. Weather updates are given hourly during severe weather.

  • ZBVI 780 kHz AM 8:00am daily and up-date every hour on the ½ hour.
  • V.H.F. WX 03 (not available in all areas)
  • WVWI 1000 Khz AM 7:55 a.m. daily
  • FM99 99.5 Mhz AM 7:55 a.m. daily
  • WOSO 1030 Khz AM every hour daily
  • Weather Fax call 284 496 6900

Historical Weather  (Averages by month):

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