FAQs & Advice For Planning Your Adventure
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
No, we do not currently offer single-day charters. A typical charter is 1-2 weeks — however, if you are looking to charter a yacht for less than 6 nights, please contact us to discuss your options.
Wifi onboard, really?
Yes! It’s actually the second most asked question we receive. A vast majority of the yachts do provide WiFi service onboard and in the Caribbean the coverage is quite good. While there are certainly areas without a signal, the captains know exactly where to go for the strongest signals and thus they can ensure that you are in the right place at the right time. Additionally, you can use your smartphone to create a WiFi hotspot if you have that service plan. AT&T in particular is excellent in the Caribbean.
If you’re in the US and ready for a tropical getaway and looking for the least amount of challenges when traveling, the US Virgin Islands (USVI) should be #1 on your list. Unlike international air travelers coming into the US, you are not required to present a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 3 days before your trip or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before you board a flight to the US. Because the USVI is an American territory and on US soil, the new CDC requirement does not apply for travel directly between the USVI and the US mainland.
No, no test is required. If you’re ready for a tropical getaway and looking for the least amount of challenges when traveling, the US Virgin Islands (USVI) should be #1 on your list. Based on the latest travel requirement by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): starting January 26, 2021, all international air travelers coming into the US, even US citizens, and regardless if you have been vaccinated or not, are required to present a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 3 days before your trip or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before you board a flight to the US. Because the USVI is an American territory and on US soil, the new CDC requirement does not apply for travel directly between the USVI and the US mainland.
Testing and International Air Travel | CDC
USVI Update | Press Release
USVI | COVID-19 Traveler Screening Tool
Absolutely! In fact, we recommend it. Whether it’s related to your concerns with COVID or you are just a planner, booking early will guarantee more yacht options to consider than booking last minute. At Canvas Yacht Charters, our client average has been steady at five months or more, especially when booking school vacation or holiday weeks.
The entry requirements related to flying into the US Virgin Islands (USVI) as of September 19, 2020, are outlined below. We monitor this daily and communicate with our clients openly so that they have full confidence when traveling that everything will go smoothly.
Step 1: Each traveler aged five (5) and older will need to complete the travel screening portal – usvitravelportal.com – within five days of your travel and bring a printed copy of the travel certificates with you for presentation upon arrival.
Step 2: Each traveler aged five (5) and older flying into STT, no matter where you are coming from, must have a negative COVID test results taken within five days of entry into the USVI. The original test result, along with the above travel certificate, will need to be presented upon arrival.
When you book a charter yacht, the process to officially confirm the booking comes through an executed agreement between you and the yacht owner. Within that agreement, you will find a cancellation provision as well as a Force Majeure clause. Depending on the agreement being used by the owner, fear of travel – you’re not feeling secure about a situation in the destination where you are booked – is not a reason where a full refund would be triggered, nor does it trigger the Force Majeure clause in this particular case.
In many of the industry-standard charter agreements, the following cancellation provision would apply in which a portion of the charter fee could be returned:
If the CHARTERER cancels the charter before the start of the Charter Period, the OWNER may retain any amounts paid by the CHARTERER as of the date of cancellation and any amounts due but unpaid as of the date of cancellation will remain payable. The OWNER and the BROKER shall use reasonable efforts to book a new charter for all or part of the Charter Period. If the OWNER books a new charter for all or part of the Charter Period, the CHARTERER will receive a refund equal to the net proceeds of the new charter after deducting 20% of the Charter Fee (covering the BROKER’s commission, the STAKEHOLDER’s fee, and administrative costs) and any expenses incurred by the OWNER due to CHARTERER’s cancellation for the cost of provisions and special requests. If, despite reasonable efforts, the OWNER is unable to book a new charter, the CHARTERER will receive no refund.
Alternatively, the primary course of action in this situation is to reschedule the charter within twelve (12) months of the scheduled charter date and with no penalty to apply. If you are unwilling to reschedule and should you have purchased a travel insurance policy with the cancel for any reason (CFAR) endorsement, your insurance policy may repay some or all of the charter fee. Otherwise, it will be up to the owner’s discretion and good faith to go against their contractual obligation and return the charter fee.
The yacht charter industry is well-established and works closely with local associations and government bodies to ensure that they are adhering to the highest levels of safety. There are many eyes watching the yacht charter industry and those involved know that they must take proper action or return to closed borders and lost revenue.
Each management company, crew and/or owner have enhanced their safety protocols to include but not limited to:
- Cleaning and hygiene regimes based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization’s (WHO) guidance.
- Placards throughout the yacht to remind everyone to wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, cover their cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash, etc.
- Daily temperature checks to include the crew.
- Open conversations with the crew daily about how they are feeling.
- Crew will wear masks if required by the guests.
Chartering a yacht has often been considered one of the safest ways to enjoy a vacation. In an easily controlled environment, the itineraries, activities, cuisine and interaction with people can be designed to safeguard you and your guests. The yachts are immaculately clean and industry best-practice safety measures are continually being improved upon to ensure safety above all.
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.
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. Canvas Yacht Charters 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.
Your personal chef will prepare exquisite meals for you to enjoy throughout your trip. So you can relax and indulge in delicious gourmet cuisine while you make lifelong memories.
Every yacht charter comes with a full crew specific to the needs of the boat and your group. They’ll navigate, cook, clean and guide while you simply have fun!
CANVAS YACHT CHARTERS REVIEWS
“Canvas Yacht Charters and Doug are a pleasure to work with. Doug’s follow-up skills are remarkable and attention to detail are bar none. I very rarely leave reviews, but I can, without a doubt, recommend Canvas and Doug to everyone I know. Thanks again D!”
“We recently celebrated our 25th anniversary with three other couples, our dearest friends, on a week-long sailing charter. The trip was arranged by Doug Tibbs at Canvas Yacht Charters, and his assistance was invaluable every step of the way. He listened to our dreams for the trip, the things we were really hoping for and things we wanted to avoid, non-negotiates and crazy ideas, and he filtered them all to present us with several charter options, any one of which would have been wonderful, but we ended up on Ghost. Doug’s attention didn’t stop with the booking. He made sure we were kept aware of various important deadlines, including changes related to covid, connected us with the crew and conveyed to them all our preferences, and was available throughout to answer our big and small questions. This was truly the trip of a lifetime for every one of us onboard—the boat, the crew, the sailing, the food, the adventure. So many thanks to Doug for his care to make it everything we dreamed it could be—and we are already hoping to plan a repeat trip for next year!”
“It’s not often that I end up leaving a review for a service I didn’t end up booking, but the super customer service I received from Heather at Starrluxe definitely merits noting. From the first step in the process, she was helpful, professional, and extremely accommodating despite a difficult itinerary and an expedited time frame. She provided excellent options and went out of her way to address our every requirement. I deeply regret that our travel plans changed and we weren’t able to finalize our charter, but I greatly look forward to working with Starrluxe again in the future. Highly recommend!”
“Enjoyed working with Doug. He was attentive to our needs/desires. Got us a great boat with a great crew. He even got us a price reduction. I will look forward to working with him again.”
“Doug and his team helped us book a trip in two days for the following week. Great communications and expectation setting, which helped make the trip successful. We will recommend them to family and friends for their trips.