Island Hopping from USVI to BVI

Sep 29th, 2005, 07:23 PM
  #1  
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Island Hopping from USVI to BVI

Hate to ask dumb questions but I've never been to BVI. When I take a ferry to Tortola or Virgin Gorda, where do I arrive and what is there? Do I come into a small town? Or do I need to get a taxi to the town and beach areas? Are taxis plentiful? Are there restaurants right in the ferry area? If I have time to go to only Tortola or Virgin Gorda, which is more scenic and convenient? Where can I get an up to date ferry schedule? Just saw that the ferry trips between St. Thomas and St. John have been reduced to two a day instead of six. Not good. Thank you for your help.
Dolores is offline  
Sep 30th, 2005, 03:13 AM
  #2  
 
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Only the ferry trips from Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas to Cruz Bay, St. John are operating on a reduced schedule. They leave at 9 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. The ferry from Red Hook, St. Thomas to Cruz Bay, St. John is operating on its normal hourly schedule. The first ferries in the morning leave from Red Hook at 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m., then on the hour after that until midnight.

In Virgin Gorda, the ferry arrives in the main town. It's not much of a town, however. You'll need a taxi or rental car to the beach.

In Tortola, the ferries to Road Town put you into the main town. You'll need a taxi to the beach. If you take a West End ferry, you'll have to take a taxi or rental car to get to Road Town or anywhere else.

If you want to go to the beach, I'd opt for Virgin Gorda over Tortola. If you want to shop, go to Tortola.

Look here for information about the ferry service to and within the BVI. http://www.bvitouristboard.com/bvi/bvi-gettinghere.htm

You won't have any trouble getting a taxi anywhere where ferries come in.
islandpaddler is offline  
Sep 30th, 2005, 04:46 AM
  #3  
cdt
 
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In addition to islandpaddler's excellent comments, it should be noted that it is faster, easier, and cheaper to ferry to Tortola than Gorda when originating in St. Thomas.

There are two or three days a week when you can take a "direct" (not non-stop) ferry from STT to VG.

If ferrying just to Tortola, I would probably opt for West End. It's closer than Road Town, there's no reason to shop in Road Town if you're staying on St. Thomas, and either way you'll need to take a taxi to beaches.

I feel that the ferry system is one of the best reasons to choose the USVI or BVI for a vacation - the island-hopping opportunities are great.

cdt is offline  
Sep 30th, 2005, 05:33 AM
  #4  
 
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If you have time for only one trip my choice would be to go to VG but thats only because I am a beach lover and like quiet/quaint islands. VG is known for its Baths (huge bolders on the beach). You could take a taxi to the Bath area. There is a nice restaurant called 'top of the baths' right there. Tortolla is also scenic with nice mountain views. The roads are windy. It is more crowded than VG. Tortolla would likely be quicker and more convinient to get to from St Thomas. The ferry ride to VG is probably longer.
mnag is offline  
Sep 30th, 2005, 05:52 AM
  #5  
 
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The Baths are anything BUT quiet. They're unusual and fun-- but more like Grand Central Station.
poss is offline  
Sep 30th, 2005, 09:23 AM
  #6  
 
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As I stated in my post...the island as a whole compared to Tortolla IS quiet. I do take the point though. The Baths are stunning and I hear they can get crowded especially when the cuise ships folks are in town. When we visited the Baths a few years ago that was not the case. Poss have you been to the Baths? Also recommend walking over to Sring Bay for a more quieter atmosphere. Have fun whereever you choose to go.
mnag is offline  
Sep 30th, 2005, 09:35 AM
  #7  
cdt
 
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The Baths were quiet a couple of decades ago but seem to get more visitors with each passing year.

It's easier to avoid the crowds if you are staying on Gorda because you can visit early or late - tougher to do if you're just day-tripping to the fat virgin.
cdt is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2005, 11:02 AM
  #8  
 
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Dolores: If you want to spend the money, and when it comes down to it, ferries do not save you that much more money, you can take the private boat charters to Virgin Gorda. The huge advantage of the boat charter is that you don't have to worry about dealing with ferry schedules or additional land travel or the immigration office. For example, the ferry ticket from St. John to Virgin Gorda is around $60 roundtrip. That's just the ferry. Add on taxis and time spent dealing with immigration etc.,and how much are you saving versus the $110-130 for a private boat charter? We've been to Virgin Gorda 3 times, twice with Limnos and once with Stormy Petrol. It's nice to have someone else in charge of the particulars and just enjoy a full day of traveling through the BVI's. By the way, these boats stop at least once at one other BVI. Tortola can be enjoyed by ferry. We've been there twice. First time, a taxi driver took us on a 4 hour tour of the island for about $75. The second time we rented a car and explored the island on our own. There are plenty of taxis on both islands. While I believe both of these islands have some form of public transportation, I think it is too complicated to figure it out for a one day trip.
Tuxedocat is offline  
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