Arriving By Sea

Sails, Surf and Seacraft

Journeying to the British Virgin Islands over the ocean is one the most romantic ways to reach us, and is steeped in centuries of seafaring tradition. 

Arriving via the sea allows you access to the following ports of entry:

  • Road Town, Tortola | Hours; 8:30am to 8:00pm (daily)
  • West End, Tortola | Hours; 8:30am to 4:30pm (Monday to Thursday) 8:30am to 6:00pm (Fri., Sat., Sun.)
  • Great Harbour, Jost Van Dyke | Hours; 8:30am to 4:30pm (daily)
  • St. Thomas Bay, Virgin Gorda | Hours; 8:30am to 4:30pm (daily)
  • Gun Creek, Virgin Gorda (reopening soon)

(Note: All entering vessels must clear in with BVI Customs and Immigration immediately upon arrival into the territory, and retain a valid passport and boat registration papers.)

Customs & Immigration

Customs and Immigration offices are located in the following areas:

  • West End, Tortola (Monday – Sunday, 8:00a.m. – 9:00 p.m.)
  • Road Town, Tortola (Monday – Sunday, 8:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.)
  • Great Harbour, Jost Van Dyke (Monday - Sunday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.)
  • Spanish Town, Virgin Gorda (Monday – Sunday, 8:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.)

U.S. citizens travelling by air to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda must present a passport or other WHTI-compliant documentation to enter or depart from the United States. Visitors from some countries may also require a visa for entry. If you have questions regarding the necessity of a visa, contact the nearest BVI Tourist Board Office, your areas British Embassy, or the BVI Government Chief Immigration Officer at (284) 494-3471, or (284) 494-3701 Ext. 4700.

For more information or questions, contact the offices of Immigration and Customs.

Yacht Clearance

The British Virgin Islands welcomes the arrival of private watercraft. If you plan to exit and then re-enter the British Virgin Islands during your sailing vacation, please be certain to follow the proper procedures for clearing your yacht and crew with both BVI Customs and Immigration.

(Note: after-hours entry may be arranged in advance. Additional fees will apply. If you wish to arrive outside the normal hours of operation, please call BVI Customs at any of the following: 

  • (284) 468-6800
  • (284) 468-6801
  • (284) 468-6802
  • (284) 468-6803 

(Also, be certain to contact BVI Immigration at (284) 494-3701 ext. 4700 to make after-hours arrangements.)

Your captain may only clear all crew provided he or she has all of the required documentation (including the ship’s documentation, and valid passports for all crew members). If you plan to leave BVI’s waters, be sure these items are back aboard prior to leaving the charter base. Also, ensure that you attain clearance into the territory you plan to visit. Don't forget to stop off again at any of the above listed BVI ports of entry on return to the British Virgin Islands. If visiting the USVI, you may clear in at Cruz Bay, St. John or Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas.

If you are not either a US or Canadian citizen, and are entering the USVI waters on anything other than a commercial carrier (ferry, airline, etc.), you must obtain a visitor's visa. Visitors from the UK and all other countries should consult their local US Embassy prior to arrival in the British Virgin Islands to determine what is required to obtain the proper visas for crew wishing to exit the BVI by yacht.

As of January 31, 2008, U.S. Citizens travelling by sea may be required to present a valid passport or other documents as determined to enter or re-enter the United States. Visitors from other countries may also require a visa for entry.