St. Thomas to Tortola Ferry questions - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 17 Old 01-24-2013 Thread Starter
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St. Thomas to Tortola Ferry questions

Doing a BVI charter in march and was wondering if it is necessary to reserve tickets for the ferry. Also, are some ferry faster than others?

Last time we flew SJ to Tortola but this time it is significantly cheaper and direct flight from Boston into St. Thomas.

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post #2 of 17 Old 01-24-2013
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Re: St. Thomas to Tortola Ferry questions

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Doing a BVI charter in march and was wondering if it is necessary to reserve tickets for the ferry. Also, are some ferry faster than others?

Last time we flew SJ to Tortola but this time it is significantly cheaper and direct flight from Boston into St. Thomas.
It is actually not recommended to pre-book since that limits your possibilities once you get there.

And be prepared from some ferry trouble. The TTOL page has oodles of information on this, as well as on other BVI insights. Point your browser to Traveltalkonline: Viewing forum: British Virgin Islands
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post #3 of 17 Old 01-24-2013
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Re: St. Thomas to Tortola Ferry questions

We purchased our ferry tickets ahead of time and had no problems.

Donna


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post #4 of 17 Old 01-24-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: St. Thomas to Tortola Ferry questions

That sucks. We have 9 people. Maybe it would be better to hire a boat.

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post #5 of 17 Old 01-24-2013
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Re: St. Thomas to Tortola Ferry questions

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That sucks. We have 9 people. Maybe it would be better to hire a boat.
The TTOL people (many of which are well-informed) talk about a water taxi service called Dolphin or something as a alternative. Might be worth renting for a group your size.

I should add I have used the ferries and had no major issues (without pre-booking). Last time was a couple years ago though.
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post #6 of 17 Old 01-24-2013
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Re: St. Thomas to Tortola Ferry questions

Don't book.

There is lot's of space even for 9.

The ferries run on island time.
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Re: St. Thomas to Tortola Ferry questions

With 9 people it might be just as well to hire a boat. That's about the break-even point compared to the cost of the ferries. The TTOL website above can provide good information about that.

And, yes, sometimes the ferries run on time and making reservations ahead of time works out. Sometimes.

A lot of times the ferries run on their own schedule, though. Leaving early, or (more often) leaving late, or getting cancelled altogether. Even with a group of nine I would recommend just going to the ferry terminal and buying tickets for the next available ferry.

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post #8 of 17 Old 01-24-2013
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St. Thomas to Tortola Ferry questions

I've just showed up twice to the ferry dock. Once with 7 people and once with 10. Got on no problem both times. Both ways. Different ferrys each time. It just depended on who had a ferry ready to go and who got my bags first.
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post #9 of 17 Old 01-24-2013
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Re: St. Thomas to Tortola Ferry questions

The ferry situation is getting worse, as mentioned some of the recent thread at traveltalk go into great detail.

- Never buy tickets in advance. Since the ferries tend to depart on "Island Time" and the ferry companies are in competition and won't honour each other's tickets you might have a ticket to ferry that will leave in an hour but could catch one leaving in 10 minutes - if you wish to pay for another ticket.

- The last ferry of the day is often timed so that you can't make it from a flight to STT
- Since the service is not reliable, you need to add at least one hour to your arrival time to make sure you don't miss a flight due to a ferry failing to depart or being overfilled.

- With 9 people Dohm's or other water taxi taxi services are a great option, but you will still be paying more than the normal ferry rates.


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post #10 of 17 Old 01-24-2013
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Re: St. Thomas to Tortola Ferry questions

Road Town Fast Ferry seems to have the nicer boats and has arrangements with most of the charter companies so you can buy combined taxi/ferry tickets which theoretically makes things easier BUT.... here is what I posted on a previous thread

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I’m a bit late in posting this but we also had technical problems with our American flight from Miami on May 5th (trend here?) and missed the 4:15 ferry along with a whole bunch of other folk. I called Fast Ferry and the 4:15 had left at 4:45. Although we could have caught the 9:00pm from Red Hook, someone called Native Son and, when they heard that there were a bunch of us (someone said forty but I think it was actually less), they held the 5 o’clock ferry until we all got there. So we all piled into taxi vans to Red Hook and the ferry actually left just after 6:00. Of course we “lost” the prepaid fare on Fast Ferry but at least we arrived at a reasonable time.
So I’ve changed my mind and think TQA has the best approach – next time I will take the timetables and phone numbers for all the ferries and just get on the next one.
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