BVI News

BVITB seeks proposals to commence late ferry-run from USVI for upcoming tourist season

A passenger ferry departs the Halifax waterfront in dusk light.

The British Virgin Islands will soon benefit from a late ferry-run between Red Hook on St Thomas to Road Town on Tortola.

In anticipation of the upcoming tourist season, the BVI Tourist Board and Film Commission (BVITB & FC) is requesting proposals from ferry companies for what they describe as an ‘early-evening’ trip between the aforesaid locations.

“Given the limited airlift into the territory, this tourist (2019/2020) season once again is projected to have many guests heading to the BVI via the Cyril E King Airport on St Thomas [in the neighbouring US Virgin Islands]. Many of the guests are expected to arrive in St Thomas in the later afternoons, mostly on the weekends, and well after the last regularly scheduled ferry from St Thomas to Tortola would have departed,” the BVITB & FC explained.

“This is an untenable situation for our guests who are usually anxious to proceed to their BVI destination and avoid the costs associated with overnighting in St Thomas. As such, the BVITB & FC wish to realize a service expressly to address this situation with a view towards enticing more guests to visit the BVI in the coming years,” it added.

The Tourist Board indicated that their goal is to establish a reliable ferry service to consistently transport guests travelling to the BVI arriving early evenings and on weekends.

They have therefore invited interested ferry operators to submit their proposals to the BVITB & FC no later than October 28 at 3 pm.

The upcoming tourist season will run from December 5, 2019 through May 31, 2020.

Presently, the final ferry leaves St Thomas bound for the BVI at roughly 5 pm.

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24 Comments

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  1. smh says:

    Make it happen!

    Like 35
  2. Murph says:

    Great Idea!

    Like 26
  3. Dman says:

    From purely a convenience point of view, this is a good idea. Over the last 25 years I have travelled to the BVI many times, always having to make flight arrangements based upon ferry schedules. That’s fine, just the way it is. The flights with earlier arrival times cost more and, with more frequent delays, an added stress to the trip.This is SURELY a better alternative than spending millions on an airport expansion or airline. A great part of the fun of going to the BVI IS the trip from St. Thomas. Making it (and the Customs check in, please) even more convenient is just good policy.

    Like 43
    Dislike 2
  4. Wow says:

    It’s about time
    Forget your international airport and invest in proper ferry ⛴

    Like 39
    Dislike 2
  5. Good! says:

    It’s a good start to do this for the season but I think it would be great to look at it as a long-term venture because it will be a game changer not just for tourists, but for all of us. Focus on finding ways for our Airport to remain profitable, streamline operations etc. so there’s a win-win situation.

    Like 30
    Dislike 1
  6. and please also says:

    Good idea!

    Now if we can instruct the immigration officers to be a bit more efficient and friendly (they have to be thorough and make sure all rules are adhered to, but they can do that smiling too). Traveling to the BVI can actually be fun!

    Like 27
    Dislike 1
  7. A frequent traveler Ms.L says:

    Yes great idea like 5:30 to 7 last hours of boat runs native son the Voyager she start with it first.them the Smith’s ferry

    Like 1
    Dislike 3
  8. Melvina says:

    Awesome. Should be up til 8.. Some planes get in at 5ish in St. Thomas.. Still a Great Idea.

  9. Smart! says:

    If this comes off, it’ll be the most intelligent thing anybody will have done around here in years.

    Like 20
  10. Time Change says:

    Time changes from Nov 5th. Why wait until December. WE have persons traveling all year round,not just tourists.

  11. see says:

    Great thing .. Those extra dollars will be spent here and not St Thomas

    Like 6
    Dislike 1
  12. 3x time to the BVI this year says:

    I am struggling through this exact problem now. While I’m use to dealing with the complication of ferry schedules, Red Hook vs Charlotte Amalie… West End vs Road Town. I welcome a less complicated path to the BVI. This would be a huge benefit since I travel a bit and always encourage others to visit the BVI. Anything to make it easier is better. Welcoming and efficient immigration/custom officers won’t hurt either.

  13. Me says:

    Oh my so happy to hear this. Please can you extend to local residents too. We travel as well. It would be such a great step forward. Thank you Tourist Board for putting this forward!!

  14. Sly Mongoose says:

    That is a fabulous idea. Travelers are always on edge when they arrive at the Cyril King Airport, , praying that they make the boat. If they don’t, it requires an overnight stay on St.Thomas, which cost money unless you have friends or family on that island. I would really like to see this happen. I, myself, will make use of it!!

  15. Richgdgy says:

    Should have happened 20 years ago!

    • It can work says:

      It was great when Road Town Fast Ferry did it couple years back. My shopping in St.Thomas was so much easier and hassle free. Would really love to see it happen all year round.

  16. Optimistic says:

    Why is the BVI so fixated on making the ferry come in late? Don’t get me wrong, I am not against it;but why not focus on the airport so that we can have more passengers coming in from all over the world ?I do not live in St.Thomas .
    I do not live anywhere else but the BVI! Now with that being said you are giving your revenue to St Thomas in terms of people having to pay taxi to get from ferry to the airport and again to pay for baggage fee with the airlines, now they have extra departure tax and bag fees on returning to Tortola. It may seem convenient right now and a quick fix
    I live in Tortola I would love to see the airport expand, talk some more about the airport ,I don’t really care about the fairy.

    Like 1
    Dislike 7
  17. Frequent Travelers says:

    Bout time. I’ve missed a few events That
    tickets were purchased for due delayed flights or other issues outside my power. Also This makes it possible for People to
    travel between the Islands for major events. Wish it was approved for this year Lobsterfest on Anegada.

  18. Lakehouselover says:

    This would be great considering our airlines has changed our arrival time twice and they keep moving it later in the day which makes it almost impossible to make the 4:15

  19. Captain says:

    This is a great idea! Not only for tourists but for us locals who would like to shop. I recently went to St Thomas and the ferries ran to their own schedule not to the times that were posted

  20. ?? says:

    Make a late ferry for guests and locals who wish to travel through ST Thomas and or go shopping but also much work be done on reducing the short hop flight costs between STT/SJU/SXM etc to EIS, NGD and VIJ … if bunny hop flights in the States and Europe are cheap why are ours ridiculously expensive??
    Lets get our tourists here and let them enjoy our fabulous Islands and spend their $$ here.

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