Today we're talking about what's going on with the BVI charter industry, and what's changing this year for the upcoming season of 2022/2023.
Last year in 2021, the charter industry had a huge change; a lot of the boats that had previously operated in the British Virgin Islands for years, before the pandemic, suddenly got caught up in the yacht registration process. That made it really difficult for boats to legally operate there.
Basically, it's like an abundance of red tape that's very expensive, and just the process is crazy. There have been occasions when some people submitted 130 pages of documentation just to not get approved.
Most of the boats in the BVI are fairly large and are in the range of $30 ,0000 to $50,000 per week. Very few options exist for yachts under $20,000.
Another change that has happened over the past few years is that many boats have switched over to the US Virgin Islands. They moved there during the pandemic and became successful so they're saying, well, why move back if we're selling out in the U.S. Virgin Islands?
The British Virgin islands however still are the more popular sailing destination and there are more islands to visit than there are in the US Virgin islands.
Another thing to consider is inflation when planning this trip. The cost of doing anything and everything is far more expensive. Groceries are more expensive in the Virgin Islands, it's more expensive to buy gasoline, rent yachts, and do just about anything.
This has caused some of the boats to adjust their rates for their guests too.
If you're trying to book a yacht charter for next winter season, which runs November through July, we suggest booking that now and you might be lucky to find a boat that hasn't had a rate increase just yet.
And then in addition to that, the options are really limited in the British Virgin Islands. So they're going to sell out, everything's going to be sold out, and your only option is going to be to go to the US Virgin Islands.
In addition to that, there are only a few boat rentals available on the British Virgin Islands. Consequently, they're going to sell out, every yacht is going to be sold out, and the only option you'll have is to visit the US Virgin Islands.
Virgin Islands in the US are wonderful, but the British Virgin Islands are still a better-known tourist destination.
So there you have it, the rundown of what's happening in the US Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.
If you are planning a trip to BVI or USVI, get in touch with us now.