I’m starting to feel that the British Virgin Islands simply does not want our business. Beginning August 1st, the fees paid to enter the BVI via boat are set to rise yet again.
This time, it’s the cruising permits fee. The fee for foreign-based charter companies – all of us here in the USVI – will now be required to pay $16 per person for a cruising permit, up from $4. This means that the charter boats who normally charge $45 for customs, will likely increase that to $57 a person. That’s a ton of money especially when traveling with a family or group. And no fault of the charter boats, of course.
What exactly are we paying when we pay the customs fee? We have to pay the cruising permit, a port fee, a commercial license fee, a passenger tax, plus a park fee when applicable. (Boat captains, please chime in if I’m missing anything here.)
So what exactly should you do? I say stick to USVI waters. There is plenty to do here. In fact, my friends and I have been having just as much fun in US waters lately than we have over in the BVI (although we do miss seeing our friends over at the Soggy Dollar Bar).
Like to snorkel? Check out Christmas Cove, Lovango, Buck Island or Hurricane Hole. Visit Maho Bay or Mermaid’s Chair over on the North Side of St. John.
Looking to do a little barhopping? Visit Angel’s Rest in season. You can also visit Water Island and the ABI bar over on St. Thomas year round. You can grab lunch at one of those spots too, or over at Pizza Pi, the floating pizza boat.
Heck, you can simply enjoy the sights of St. John by water. If you haven’t circumnavigated the island by boat, I highly suggest doing so.
We’ve also heard rumblings that the fees to enter the Baths on Virgin Gorda are increasing as well. If anyone has more info on that, please let us know.
Happy Sunday everyone!