First of all, we shall explore how to get to the BVI by boat or plane. You will be provided with specific ferry connections, airports and companies, as there are no direct flights from the EU or the US. That, of course, makes getting to the BVI and spending your vacation there a little trickier – but also a more individual and rare experience.
Each one of the British Virgin Islands holds its own secret and unique beauty. They are neither mainstream nor common nor are they overcrowded with mass-tourism or that congested atmosphere that plenty of other popular vacation destinations have.
Following, we will focus on the customs offices around the BVI, passport checks and other procedures.
Prices of flights vary depending on location, time of booking and airline.
There are four main airlines that provide their services in the area of Caribbean islands – BVI Airways, Cape Air, Air Sunshine, Delta Airlines and LIAT. Note that American Airlines (and it’s subsidiary American Eagle) stopped flying to Tortola early 2013.
A popular route is via Delta Airlines – they travel to St. Thomas in the USVI, then you take a taxi to ferry port in Charlotte Amalie. There you take a boat to Tortola. Then it’s just a short taxi ride to your destination.
Those traveling from the EU have basically two options to choose from – British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and American Airlines. They can help you get to the BVI directly mainly through Antigua or San Juan and from there just a short flight to Beef Island Airport (or St. Thomas).
Anegada – Auguste George Airport
Beef Island / Tortola – Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport
Virgin Gorda – Virgin Gorda Airport
Prices from St. Thomas on United States Virgin Islands are approximately around $55. The ferry routes to the BVI are usually shorter than one hour and there are a frequent connections between USVI and BVI. See all ferry schedules for BVI.
Visitors can also get to the BVI by a cruise ship – there is a main pier on Tortola—Road Harbour.
Anegada Ferry Dock
Tortola – Road Harbour
Tortola – Soper’s Hole
Tortola – West End
Jost Van Dyke – Great Harbour
Virgin Gorda – St. Thomas Bay
Virgin Gorda – Gun Creek
Note: All vessels that enter the sovereign territory of the BVI must immediately proceed with the clearing process with BVI Customs and Immigration authority.
Anyone trying to get to the BVI from either United States of America or Canada has to have a valid passport (for at least 6 months after planned end of vacation) or birth certificate and one valid (for at least 6 months) accompanying ID with photo.
Anyone trying to get to the BVI from either the European union or one of non-EU countries has to have a valid passport (for at least 6 months after planned end of vacation). No exception here on the contrary to USA/Canada. Note: some countries (usually those out of European Union’s borders)
Citizens trying to get to the BVI from some of the islands of the Caribbean have to make sure that they hold a valid visa before arrival in the BVI. This does not apply for all of these islands however.
Note: Detailed information for each of Caribbean islands can be found at the BVI Tourist Board office, or the Chief of Immigration Department, BVI Government:
Tel: (284) 494-3471 or 468-3701 ext. 4700.
These offices are located on Tortola in Road Town and West End. The BVI of Virgin Gorda also has an office in the Yacht Harbour. Additionally, you can find one customs office on Jost Van Dyke in Great Harbour.
Monday – Friday: 8:30am – 4:30pm
Saturdays: 8:30am – 12:30pm
Note: Office is closed on Sundays and BVI public holidays
You are allowed to come to the BVI bringing your own food, but there are few restrictions – mainly because of problems with Mad Cow disease. The legislation thus bans the import of all products that contain meat. There is an exception if an application is submitted in advance. Cost of this permit is $25.
The general import duties for food vary from 10% to 15%. But be assured that plenty of fresh and quality foods are available in local stores in all seasons.
There is a range of taxi service providers in the BVI, offering various types of vehicles – you can take a taxi saloon car or if traveling in a group, a bus with the pleasure of AC. Also, there is the exclusive experience of cruising the islands in those famous roofless cabrio-like busses.
Beware that taxis in the BVI charge per person. A trip from for T. B. Lettsome Airport to Smugglers Cove is $60 per person. Nevertheless, it is possible to negotiate on the prices (although not every taxi driver will want to).