FAQs

{ Yes, we have the blues... }

What to bring?

For BVI trips, don’t forget your passport and $70 cash per person for customs fees. 

Other than that, you will need to bring your credit card/cash (for drinks, lunch, and shopping), camera, towel, sunglasses, non-spray, reef-safe sunscreen, your favorite playlist and any snacks you may want. We will provide water and our famous “Shades of Blue” drink. If you have other drinks you’d like to bring along, we have room in our built-in coolers.

Why no spray sunscreen?

Spray sunscreen will stain the fiberglass and cushions on the boat not to mention cause damage to our coral reefs.  Please don't apply spray sunscreen prior to boarding or while on your trip because we want to keep Island Girl looking sharp for many years.  

Where do we meet?

All trips depart from either the National Park Dock in Cruz Bay on St John or from Oasis Cove Marina on St Thomas unless specified otherwise. Start times vary depending on the itinerary and trip. All reservations and details are confirmed via email once a date has been secured.

What about a gratuity?

A gratuity for a job well done is certainly appreciated and is left to the discretion of our guests. Your captain has a lot of responsibility for showing you a good time and making sure you are safe. If you would like to show the captain your appreciation, the standard rate is 15-20% of the charter cost.

Customs fees?

When traveling to the British Virgin Islands you must pay for entry and exit fees.  These fees total $70 per person and are payable to the captain in cash at the start of the charter.

Is a deposit required and what type of payments do you accept?

At the time of booking, we require a $250 deposit that you can pay securely with a credit card using our online booking software. On the day of your charter, you will settle up with the captain at the end of the day. You will pay the remaining charter balance plus the cost of fuel with the same credit card you used to pay the deposit. We only accept cash for BVI customs fees and a gratuity for the captain for a job well done.

Why Shades of Blue Charters?

Shades of Blue Charters will help you enjoy what will likely be the best day of your vacation. Our private charters are customized for each group depending on your interests. Our captains have vast local knowledge and will play a key role in ensuring a fun, safe day on the water. Our boat,  Island Girl, was totally refurbished in 2019 - everything is brand new. She is spacious and comfortable with plenty of seating for all in the sun or shade. Our awesome sound system will allow you to crank up your own playlist as we whisk you and your group to each stop on your day’s itinerary. Island Girl is a catamaran designed and built by Ocean Express for offshore cruising. She’s lightweight, fast, stable and smooth and burns up to 40% less fuel than similarly sized, heavier boats. We also have built in coolers to keep the drinks and snacks cold.

What’s the cancellation policy?

Please read our cancellation policy here.

What happens if there is rain in the forecast?

Even if the forecast is calling for rain, we will still go out. A daily rain shower somewhere in our charter area is pretty normal down in the islands. Out on the water, you can usually see the rain showers coming and we always try our best to avoid them. Our boat has a large canopy and plenty of dry storage which provides protection for you and your belongings in the event of a shower. The good news is that most rain showers move on through just as fast as they came leaving sunshine and blue skies behind.

Do you ever cancel because of weather?

Yes, occasionally we will cancel charters due to weather. More times than not, weather cancellations happen due to high winds and the rough seas that usually accompany them. Also, there may be days when the captain may decide to alter an itinerary based on sea conditions (i.e. the 30+ mile trip to the Baths can be unsafe and rather unpleasant in the wrong conditions). Ultimately, all weather related decisions are made by the captain whose number one priority is the safety of the passengers and the vessel.

Do we need to bring food with us?

You’re welcome to bring food if you’d like, but most charter guests eat breakfast before boarding and plan a lunch stop somewhere during the day. The captain can help you choose depending on the day’s itinerary. Some of our favorite places to stop for lunch are the Willy-T off Norman Island, Foxy's Taboo or Hendo’s Hideout on Jost Van Dyke, and Pizza Pi in Christmas Cove. 

Can we bring our own beer/drinks?

Absolutely! We have plenty of room so bring as much beer as you want. You can bring your own cooler or just use our built-in coolers. For safety, no glass bottles please. We will also have plenty of water on board to keep everyone well hydrated as well as a few gallons of our famous Shades of Blue rum punch.

Do you mix groups of guests?

We only offer private charters and do not mix groups/parties. If you book a day with Shades of Blue Charters, your group will be the only group on board.

How Long Is The Trip?

Our full day charters are 7 hours and typically run from 8:30am - 3:30pm. 

Our half day charters are 4 hours and begin at 8:00am or 1:00pm.

What’s the name “Shades of Blue Charters” all about?

When we first started coming down to the Virgin Islands years ago, we were totally blown away by the shades of blue you see in the water. We looked forward to seeing it every time we visited and we missed it when we left. Even now, all these years later, seeing all of those shades of blue in the water never gets old.