Factors Influencing the Price of British Virgin Islands yacht charters
The British Virgin Islands (BVI) is a popular (if not the most popular) yachting destination; offering clear water and yearlong warm weather to those who choose to vacation on British Virgin Islands yacht charters.
If you’re in the initial planning stages, cost is likely a concern. British Virgin Islands yacht charters are an affordable vacation option for families, college students, newlyweds and retirees. In recent years, luxury yachting has become more accessible and affordable.
The total cost of British Virgin Islands yacht charters combines mandatory, optional and rental fees, all of which are determined by the following factors:
- The Season for British Virgin Islands yacht charters – Do you plan to take your yacht rental vacation during the slow or busy season?
- Types of British Virgin Islands yacht charters – Do you want to vacation on a sailboat, catamaran or motor yacht?
- Captain and Crew Aboard BVI Yacht Charters – Do you need a captain and chef during your yacht vacation?
- Yacht Charter Additional and Mandatory Extras – Do you need cancellation insurance, a sailing instructor or cell phone rental? Is yacht insurance, departure tax and fuel included in the weekly yacht rental rate?
The Season for British Virgin Islands yacht charters
The yachting industry has a slow and busy season. In the BVI you can expect to pay up to 40% more for a yacht charter in the winter months. If you’re price sensitive you should consider planning your BVI yacht charter vacation during a slow time of year to decrease the initial rental fee cost:
- High Season ($$$$) – February, March, end of December (during the holidays)
- Mid Season ($$$) – January, April, November
- Low Season ($$) – May, June, July, early December (before the holidays)
- Off Season ($) – August through October
The organization you book your trip though may have specific dates (ex: December 15) that trigger an increase in pricing so be sure to check how the prices change from one charter company to the next.
Types of British Virgin Islands yacht charters
In the BVI you can rent sailboats ($), catamarans ($$) and motor yachts ($$$). The type of boat influences the price of the charter and the type of vacation you will have. During the mid season you can expect prices to be within the following ranges:
- Monohulls (sailboats) – prices range from $2,000 to $8,000
- Catamarans – prices range from $5,000 to $15,000
- Motor Yachts – prices range from $10,000 – $100,000
The sailboat and catamaran prices above are for 7-day BVI yacht charters without crewmembers. The motor yacht prices are all-inclusive and include a chef, captain and fuel.
Captain and Crew Aboard BVI Yacht Charters
You can hire a captain and cook to join you on your trip, or you can forgo the cost and sail without the extra help. Depending on the charter company you may be able to reserve a captain-only trip, but keep in mind you are responsible for meals (including feeding the captain).
In the mid season the addition of a captain can run approximately $175 dollars a night, increasing your weeklong charter by $1,225. You can forgo a captain if you have the proper license or can prove that you have adequate boating experience. Not sure if you need a captain? Read more about the benefits of having an experienced crewmember aboard.
Yacht Charter Additional and Mandatory Extras
The prices above are the average charter rates in the BVI, which do not include typical mandatory fees:
- Gratuity – It is expected to tip your crew between 5% and 15% at the end of your trip.
- Travel – If you are visiting from out of town you will need to arrange a flight into Beef Island Airport (EIS).
- Government & Cruising Taxes – These taxes range from $.75 to $2 per person, per night (depending on the season).
- Departure Tax – You’ll pay a $20 departure tax per person at Tortola airport.
- Yacht Insurance – Yacht insurance is on average $40 a night for a $1,000 deductible.
- Turnaround Fee – If you need to cut your vacation short, a turnaround fee may apply and is typically less than $5 a night.
- Cleaning Fee – The cost of cleanup after the trip is between $50 and $150.
- Fuel – The additional major cost for motorboats is fuel, which can be about $150 a day ($1,050 additional for the week).
The basic charter rate does not typically include these optional extras:
- Scuba Diving Instructor
- Scuba Equipment
- Cell Phone Rental
- Arrival Night Accommodation
- Sailing Instructor
- Cancellation Insurance
- Premium Liquor
British Virgin Islands yacht charters: The Bottom Line
While there are many factors that dictate the cost of your unique vacation, the typical cost of BVI yacht charters is between $4,000 and $9,000. After choosing a charter company review the contract for a detailed breakdown of the additional mandatory and optional costs. If they have not already, ask the company to estimate tax and fuel charges. These numbers can help you finalize the real price of your BVI yacht charter vacation.