Life in the Virgin Islands is laid back and that is part of the pleasure. The idea is to relax and not let inconveniences upset you.
Remember you are on Island time, so the locals will move at a slower pace and service may take longer than you are used to in restaurants and airports. Carry your valuables, medications, toiletries and a swim suit in your hand luggage in case your suitcase is delayed. As to where the yacht will await you be sure you know before you leave home. Taxi drivers are familiar with marina locations – and rates are posted at the airports. There are the typical shared taxis that have very reasonable rates but there are also private taxis that are more expensive. The boat can provide you with the name and telephone number of a reputable taxi company. You should board no sooner than the agreed time on contract, normally noon. The crew needs every minute to make sure the yacht is in perfect condition for your arrival. If your arrival is delayed let the Captain know by calling the relevant number depending on where your pick up is.
Surf & Turf
You might wish to arrive in the islands a day earlier or stay a day or two after your sailing vacation with us. We offer a sleep aboard option that is very practical for when you simply cannot find a flight that puts you in your pick up location before 3:00 pm. If you would like to use this option please ask your Captain when making your reservation. There are also some very good options for staying on land, from some of the best beach resorts in the world to some very nice family operated guest houses. Check out some options in our Useful Links section below.
The weather here is very consistent. The average daytime air temperature is around 83 degrees and during the night it falls a few degrees. The water temperature is roughly the same as air temperature. If it rains it pours and the sun will shine a short time later. Rarely does it rain or stay overcast for extended periods. If you are visiting us between June 1st. and November 30 th., please consider taking travel insurance in case some tropical weather happens to occur during the dates you have scheduled your visit. This will protect you and we will be glad to have you with us on a later date.
For more details on the weather and sailing conditions during your dream sailing vacation visit: passageweather.com. If you are interested in taking travel insurance here are some options that our guests have used before: travelguard.com allianztravelinsurance.com americanexpress.com
You should have received a food and drink preference sheet to be filled in with regard to all members of the charter. (Download Guests Preferences Form Here) This is to allow the Chef to plan your meals based on the information provided including any strong dislikes or food allergies indicated. All food and drink requirements for your charter have to be provisioned ahead of your charter start date so be sure to have returned your preferences 45 days before the charter start date. The yacht stocks a standard wines and spirits list which is included in the charter fee, (please ask for more detail if required) Special requests or premiums liquors can be put aboard, at an additional cost, and per request in advance. For safety, all soft drinks and beers will not be in glass bottles. This may affect sourcing a particular choice you require but the crew will endeavor to provide you with your choices.
On any boat space is relatively limited so please bring soft sided luggage or duffle bags which can be stowed easily. T-shirts & shorts are the usual uniform of the day when you are not in swimwear and only a few clothing changes are really required. Clothing should be kept to the minimum when packing. You will be in swim attire most of the time. It is advised to bring a long sleeved and full length cover up that’s light and cool to wear to prevent sun burn especially if fair skinned. Evenings can be cool especially out on the water so a light sweater will come in handy. Temps range from 85-90F during the day and 75-80F at night. Eating out is normally casual attire. One pair of flip flops or sandals is all that is required ashore. If you need to wear shoes aboard they must have clean white soles, be non-marking and non-slippery and only worn on the boat so you will need a second pair of foot ware for shore.
If possible please use fabric roll-up suitcases/bags because they stow easily and thereby free your cabin space. Please remember that we have very limited alternative stowage space for your bags.
Bring any medications required with you, as access to pharmacies on the islands can be limited. Sunscreens and bug sprays are recommended. DO NOT bring any illicit drugs, your Captain will terminate the charter immediately without refund if any illegal drugs are being consumed by the guests. If your doctor has put you on a treatment with any Schedule II or III drugs, please notify the Captain prior to your arrival, bring with you only the amount of the specific drug that you will need for the number of days you will be on board and also bring a copy your prescription and a letter from your physician explaining any possible interaction of the drug that you are taking with alcohol or any other substance and how it may affect you in responding to an emergency situation on board.
The tropical sun can be very damaging to the skin, so bring protective lotion that does not stain towels, bedding, cockpit cushions and decks. Sea & Ski, Coppertone and Clinique lotions are non-staining. Pre-Sun and Bain de Soleil are very damaging and oils and sprays in general are not allowed on board. After sun lotion with Aloe Vera is advised. A wide brimmed hat or visor and sunglasses will help shade you. A lycra swim shirt is a good idea as well.
When buying sun screens and tanning lotions please stay with the oil free products because the oil based ones can make the decks slippery and stain the leather cushions and trampolines. You also might consider bringing bug spray. Depending on the time of the year and location, we tend to get no-see-ems which bothers some more than others.
You will find flip-flops/water shoes convenient for walking ashore. On board Sea Chateau the ideal is to use a pair of non-marking, non-slipping deck shoes.
In the Virgin Islands people always dress casually. On board the yacht you will need the minimum of light summer clothing. Guard against packing too many clothes. A few changes of shirts, bathing suits, shorts, sun dresses and underwear is all that is needed. No need to bring any towels as we have everything aboard.
The meeting location and time will be prearranged but the crew will be sure to be in constant contact prior to your arrival to assure the optional meeting time and location. If possible please use fabric roll-up suitcases/bags because they stow easily and thereby free your cabin space. Please remember that we have very limited alternative stowage space for your bags.
GETTING TO KNOW YOU
On your arrival you will be welcomed by the Captain and Chef who will show you around the boat and let you settle into your cabins. The Captain will explain some do’s and don’ts and ask about your special interests for the cruise. This is your chance to plot the course for where you want to go and what you want to do. The Captain has extensive knowledge of the islands and will be able to give you lots of ideas and help of places to see and entertainment to join in, including taking the helm and trimming the sails if you wish. Remember though, the captain is responsible for the yacht and those aboard, and has the final word in all decisions.
Once you have settled on board we will discuss the suggested itinerary. The final route will depend upon your desires, input and weather constraints. Please remember that you will always be at liberty to make changes while on route. Should you request to be at a Marina during your charter stay, the marina dockage and utilities charges will be at your own expense. The Captain will ask you for a credit card to proceed with the booking formalities.
Check out a sample itinerary in our EXPERIENCE page.
Passports are required. Depending on your nationality you may also need a Visa. Please consult your travel specialist and take the necessary precautions. Upon arrival please hand all the passports to the Captain. He will take care of your clearance into the BVI. When clearing into the US though, all guests will need to present themselves in the Customs and Immigration Office. Your Captain will take care of all forms necessary .
Unless you wish to use your own snorkeling gear there is no need to pack these as they are provided on the boat along with towels. If possible please use fabric roll-up suitcases/bags because they stow easily and thereby free your cabin space. Please remember that we have very limited alternative stowage space for your bags.
MASKS & FINS
The yacht is equipped with an assortment of masks, snorkels and fins. If you happen to own a mask it is wise for you to bring it along. This applies especially to scuba divers.
Rendezvous diving is available with professional and experienced local diving companies. Please let us know before your boarding and we will make all the necessary arrangements. When buying sun screens and tanning lotions please stay with the oil free products because the oil based ones can make the decks slippery and stain the leather cushions and trampolines. You also might consider bringing bug spray. Depending on the time of the year and location, we tend to get no-see-ems which bothers some more than others.
Should anyone want to fish, a fishing license is required and can be obtained before your arrival. Please let the Captain know and he will take care of the details. A small charge of $45 p/p applies. You can either add this to your final charter rate payment or pay it in cash to the Captain upon arrival.
For more details on all the fun water activities you will enjoy on board Sea Chateau please visit our PLAY TIME page.
There are several ways that your loved ones can contact you while on board Sea Chateau. A few days before your charter begins please ask your Captain for the details. Internet access is also available if you bring your computer, via wireless hotspots, depending on the cell phone providers coverage. Also, depending on your carrier, if you have a data enabled phone you should be able to get your emails but be sure to sign up for an international plan.
MUSIC & MOVIES
Even though Sea Chateau has a great selection of digital music please feel free to bring CD’s of your choice along with any personal MP3 players or phones, which will usually plug right into the yacht’s entertainment system. In addition, we have a 40′ flat screen TV and over 300 movies on DVD’s. Again, feel free to bring any of your favorites as well as any games you think you might enjoy.
You are welcome to bring a blow dryer but be sure to let the crew know prior to your use as the generator must be on in order to operate. There is one on board and we will be glad to lend it to you also. The electricity aboard is 110v and you should have no problem in charging you phones, cameras, or any other electronics.
LOVE YOUR CREW
Your Captain and Chef/Mate are a professional team. You are guests in their home. You will savor your own quiet time staring up at the starry night sky or reading a book. The crew will appreciate being allowed such times also- after all they will probably be the first ones up and last to go to bed at night, working hard to please you.
If you come to think of the crew as friends (and you probably will) tipping may seem awkward at the charter’s end. But tips constitute a major part of their working capital, and if you have enjoyed their efforts, they’ll appreciate your letting them know in this way. Industry standards are a tip of 15 to 20% of the total charter fee, the same as going to a fine dining restaurant in the U.S. Cash is highly appreciated and putting your gratuity in an envelope with a note or thank you card at the end of the charter is a nice way to avoid any awkwardness.
Tipping in the islands for restaurant, taxi services is also a customary 15-20%. If you prefer to use a check or credit card, please let the Captain know a couple of days before your departure date and he will make the necessary arrangements. In case of credit card payments, a small processing fee will apply.
Restaurants & Bars
Hook Line and Sinker Restaurant. STT
Fat Turtle Bar Restaurant, STT
Marina Cay. Pussers Bar Rest
Scaramouche Rest., Soper’s Hole
Fish and Lime Rest. Soper’s Hole
Foxy’s, Jost Van Dyke
Coco Maya Rest., Virgin
Saba Rock Bar Rest. Inn. North Sound
Soggy Dollar. White Bay
Myetts Rest. Cane Garden Bay
Ivan’s Bar. White Bay
Pirates Bight, Norman Island
Gourmet Gallery St. Thomas
“Byron and Heather were perfect hosts! He is so knowledgable about the area and Heather is a great cook. I would definitely love to go on another cruise.”
Lisa KennedyApril 2017
“Thank you so much for a wonderful Thanksgiving and another fantastic family vacation. The food was amazing! And the girls picked up kneeboarding so quickly! We’ll have to see how they do at wakeboarding next time. We are all so grateful for these wonderful family trips and your kindness and patience with the little ones. It was so relaxing and the views and sunsets were spectacular. Thanks again”
The Colman'sNovember 2015
“This was the perfect first experience in the BVI’s. Your knowledge of the islands, hospitality & the amazing cuisine complemented the beautiful views & the amazing waters. We look forward to being able to share this experience again in the future with more friends & family. Cheers and many thanks.”
The Gammichia FamilyJune 2015
“The ultimate family vacation!! We were never bored! The fishing, water sports, the sailing, the relaxation, the Caribbean Showers, and the amazing food were a few of the highlights! Your attention to detail, from planning the perfect itinerary for us, to the special touches and constant attention you gave us, was spectacular! Thank you!”
Pelose FamilyDecember 2012