Advice For Your Trip
We know that you probably have a lot of questions, whether you are just discovering Canvas or if you have been planning on booking a trip for awhile now. We want to answer every single one! This page is a great place to start; browse through some of the most common questions and answers and remember, we will be here to help you though the entire process.
Yes, your yacht will provide plenty of safe-to-drink water from the yacht as well as bottled water. Most yachts have reverse osmosis filtration system that will supply water during your vacation. Guests are asked to bring along their own personal refillable water bottles to assist with the lack of local plastic recycling facilities on the islands.
Yes, the BVI’s accept U.S. dollars, traveler’s checks and credit cards (VISA is preferred) in most places. BUT! ATM machines and banks are not located on every island. You should bring sufficient amount of cash for:
- the week (and the crew gratuity)
- Transportation to and from airport or ferry
- Cabs on the islands ($8-10 or more per person for each cab ride)
- Land excursions
- Special requests for food or beverages, spa services on yacht
- Overnight dockage in marinas
- Rendezvous SCUBA diving
Trip insurance is always a good idea and peace of mind for all your travels. Hurricanes, bad weather, unexpected illness or deaths, loss of job are always inconvenient. Canvas is more than happy to refer you to a good trip insurance company.
Your crew is the key to your restful vacation. Gourmet chef, diving instructor, island guide, storyteller, maid, and captain. When you are sleeping, they are cleaning and prepping for the next day. Then you wake up to coffee and breakfast. They typically work 24/7 and are busy NOT to look very busy, as they don’t want to spoil your precious vacation. Then most likely they have 24 hours from when they drop you off your charter and start the next one. They are true professionals. Customary Caribbean is a minimum 15-20% (of total charter cost) on top of your charter rate. Mediterranean is 5-15%. A letter handed to the Captain at the end of the charter with a personal note and the gratuity is more than welcome and appreciated. The gratuity is split evenly amongst the crew members. NOTE: taking the crew out for dinner or buying them a drink, while a nice gesture, should not be considered part of their tip.
Most yachts are outfitted with snorkel equipment. It’s always a good idea to bring along your own mask if you have one, otherwise the yacht will likely provide you with it all.
Yes, in most areas. For the Caribbean, in the BVI waters, you need to obtain a fishing license. This can be done online. NOTE: due to a common toxic alga in the Caribbean coral reefs, fishing is catch and release only, unless your captain approves that the fish is OK to eat.
Absolutely, and encouraged! Many crews love teaching both adults and children about the location. The boats are outfitted with many safety features. Children always need to wear their life vests. If you are brining young children, it is strongly recommended you bring a Coast Guard approved life vest you know your child will be comfortable in. It is also recommended to bring age appropriate games, DVDs, their own well-fitting mask/googles/snorkel. Also, provision of brand specific brands of food can be challenging. Your crew will let you know if they were unable to find something requested so you may bring it with you if needed. NOTE: Please understand although the crew may be great with children, they are not to be used as babysitters unless they offer.
Each Charter Yacht has different qualifications for SCUBA Diving. Please let Canvas know upfront if you desire to SCUBA dive and if you are experienced or if it is your first time. We will be happy to find you the perfect Charter Yacht, Resort Course or rendezvous diving.
There are certain destinations where cell phone access is difficult. Local SIM cards are available. Bring your cell phone, with new digital roaming services offered by AT&T, Sprint & Verizon, all stateside cellular phones will receive and make phone calls in the British Virgin Islands. NOTE: AT&T works best in the US and British Virgin Islands for receiving 4G and LTE non-roaming signals almost all the way up the channel in the BVI because of stray signals from the towers in St. John. Check with your carrier for roaming rates. If you have a smartphone, you’ll be able to check your email for FREE at the hotspots ashore. But do try to unplug yourself from your life and enjoy a bit of peace of mind. You’ll want to bring your iPads or Kindles for reading and internet.
Absolutely not. The luxury of yacht charters is the customization of your vacation. You pick the exact timeframe desired. Usually the charter yacht catalogs pricing is calculated for a weeklong charter, some yachts offer daily rates and you book as short or long as desired. Some yachts charge a surcharge if the charter is shorter than 4 or 5 nights. It just depends on the yacht and the location of the charter.
We’re sorry, but we do not offer single day cruises.
The term “bareboat” equates to the boat being free of crew, food, alcohol, entertainment etc. You may higher a skipper/captain if you don’t have proper proof of certification or previous boating experience. You are essentially renting the raw boat. You are responsible for providing and preparing food and drinks and supplying any other comforts desired on the boat.
A Crewed charter is the opposite of “bareboat”. Your yacht is crewed with a captain and chef. They oversee your wellbeing. The boat is provisioned. They are your personal chef, stewards, engineer, sometimes sport/fitness or dive instructors and deckhands. All while the yacht is being safely navigated by a certified captain. In addition, the crew provides entertainment.
Yes, absolutely! Once your yacht and the details of your charter have been specified, we will issue a standard and approve CYBA (Caribbean Yacht Broker Association ) or MYBA (Mediterranean Yacht Broker Association ) Charter Contract.
All the Charter Yachts we contract with are committed to obey the control of their Charter Yachts and are in charge to fulfill the strict local maritime laws and regulations. Local Coast Guards constantly checks paperwork and registrations of the Charter Yachts and the crew. If not in order, a confiscation of the yacht is at stake and the fines are hefty and extremely painful. Most cruising destinations require a “Trade License” or similar and without the proper paperwork or insurance proof, a yacht will not get their annual license issued. Crews need safety standard certifications (STCW95), work permit and must undergo regularly medical checks.
Possibly. It depends on the type of yacht, the area and rate type. Starrluxe will ensure you get a list of the total estimated “extra cost” prior to signing the contract. Additionally, there is an expected customary crew gratuity.
The Advance Provisioning Allowance is an allowance given by you to the Captain or head Steward of your Charter yacht just like a bank account, in order to provision the yacht on your behalf. This is a efficient, no hassle, no record keeping way of ensuring the Yacht is provisioned properly upon your arrival. This includes fuel consumption. Understandably a motor yacht will surcharge more than a sailing yacht.
The most common way is to mail a check or wire the amount to an Escrow account. Payment to the Charter Yacht 10 days before boarding will be coordinated. Yachts and agents get paid in their local currency only.
Absolutely. Transparency is essential to Canvas. You will receive a full detailed invoice, confirmation of payment and all of the paperwork associated for your satisfaction. Payment options like PayPal, Credit Card, or the use of a third party escrow account are available.
Yes, most islands do have ATM machines, and shops may accept debit/credit cards (VISA is preferred, some accept American Express). But it is advisable to bring some cash (plus cash crew gratuity) for taxi driver/ water taxi etc. The BVI’s (British Virgin Islands) may not have as many ATM’s as the USVI (US Virgin Islands).
Seasickness is not as common on catamarans as monhulls. However, if sailing in rough sea or for a long period of time, away from the shoreline, seasickness may set in. It is a good idea to prevent seasickness with non-drowsy medication, to fully enjoy your trip.
Valid Passports with 6 months left on the expiration dates! Visas if required from your country of origin and the countries you travel through and where your vacation is taking place. NOTE: Valid passports are now also required for all US Citizens coming into the Caribbean.
Canvas will guide you with this process. It depends on your embarking and disembarking ports.
Canvas will provide you with all the most important contact numbers and email addresses for your loved ones at home. Most yachts offer guests cell phones; WIFI and some have satellite phones. There may apply extra charges on these services.