About the Grenadines
A few years ago I had an opportunity to visit with Ted and Gina. They were at that time the crew aboard the charter yacht COOL CHANGE. The yacht was based in the Grenadines back then.
Ted could see I didn’t have much experience yet booking charters in the Grenadines. He suggested preparing me a Cheat Sheet with some things I’ll need to know when booking charters the Grenadines.
Air Service to the Grenadines
Booking charters in the Grenadines may appear a little complex to the uninitiated. In practice it is no different than booking a yacht anywhere else. Familiarizing yourself with the various Caribbean airlines hubs may take a bit of effort. It’s a breeze once you got that figure out. You will be equipped to find the easiest down-island routings as well as embarkation and disembarkation points. to the Grenadines.
For additional reference air service in the Caribbean check-out this link to the Superyacht Service Guide Directory for information about Caribbean & Central America’s Aircraft & Helicopter Charters / Airlines & Airports / Ground Handling.
The Grenadines offer something different compared to what charter guests may have encountered in other areas of the Caribbean.. One way to familiarize yourself with the area is to take a look at the annual magazine In and Outs of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
There is also an excellent video entitled The Caribbean You’re Looking For. We are certain that you will be most impressed with the presentation.
The Grenadines is well known for it’s scuba diving with most of the Islands offering reputable ‘Rendezvous Diving Operators‘. Your Captain will be happy to arrange a Rendezvous Diving wherever and whenever. The average cost for such a dive is around $ 90.00 for a two tank dive.
Meeting the Yacht and Routings
Typically the crew will meet the guests in St Vincent where the yacht will be anchored at Young Island Cut. The Captain will usually be on hand to greet you at the airport. It will be late afternoon or early evening when you finally board your yacht. Your charter actually does not start until the next morning. So, in that case the crew will usually offer complementary accommodations. for your first night of arrival.
The guests will have the option to eat aboard the yacht that night or have a nice relaxing dinner ashore. Should you decide to eat aboard that night, you will be required to eat at least one evening meal ashore during the charter.
The Best Way To Get There
a) Airline Hubs to use when heading South down-Island from St. Lucia Hewanorra International Airport are:
Jet Blue, Delta, American Airlines, US Airways, Air Canada, Westjet, British Air, Virgin Atlantic plus others.
Connect to St Vincent using SVG Airlines who operate a daily service. Click here for SVG Airlines St Lucia Schedules and Airfare.
Barbados International Airport served by most major US airlines as well as international airlines such as Jet Blue, Delta, American Airlines, US Airways, Air Canada, Westjet, British Air, Virgin Atlantic plus others. Connect to St Vincent using SVG Airlines daily service departing 1600 hrs. Click here for SVG Airlines Barbados Schedules and Airfare.
b) Airline Hubs to use when heading Northwards up-Island:
Grenada International Airport served by American Airlines direct flight from Miami and Delta Airlines direct flight from New York JFK besides British Airways and Virgin Atlantic from the UK.
We strongly recommend avoiding Liat Airlines if at all possible due to unreliable service, if there is an improvement we will notify you.
Fees and Taxes
- Park Fees in the Tobago Cays are EC$ 10.00 ($3.75 USD) pp overnight.
- Tobago Cays EC$ 40.00 ($ 15.00 USD) per night if on a mooring ball.
- Grenadines Cruising Taxes are EC$ 35.00 ($ 13.25 USD) per person per week.
- Grenada Cruising Taxes are EC$ 75.00 ($28.50 USD) for the yacht.
- Mustique Moorings (compulsory) EC$ 250.00 ($ 94.50 USD) for up to 3 nights
Should you stay aboard the yacht during this period, a complimentary first night will still be given however, the charter should be extended beyond a week to allow for the extra days spent in St Vincent.
First Port of call will be Bequia followed by Mustique (if requested), Canouan Island, Union Island, Palm Island, Petite St Vincent, Mayreau Island and the Tobago Cays. The routing is flexible and can be rearranged to suit the guests’ preferences.
Guests will disembark to fly back to their original ‘hub’ airport from Canouan Island or Union Island. There are small airports on Bequia, Mustique, Canouan Island, Union Island, and Carriacou served by small inter-island carriers such as SVG Air.
Charters Departing From Grenada
Booking a charter out of Grenada is easy and convenient. There is however one consideration traveling north from Grenada requires a crossing from Grenada to Carriacou. The trip takes around 6 hours and once leaving Grenada mainland we have to sail past ‘Kick ‘em Jenny’ an undersea volcano.
The sea between Carriacou and Grenada can be quite rough and is not recommended for sailors without strong stomachs. There is a perfect option to this obstacle. You can fly direct to Grenada then use SVG Air from Grenada to Carriacou. Click here for SVG Airlines Grenada Schedules and Airfare. These flights are numerous and very reasonable at $41.00 USD per person one-way.
Your captain will collect guests in Carriacou and clear customs into The Grenadines at Union Island, a short sail. The charter route will be focused on the lower Grenadines around Tobago Cays, Union, Petit St Vincent and Canouan. Should the guests wish to sail up north to Bequia If time allows the crew will be happy to oblige. Flying into Grenada from the USA is via American Airlines direct from Miami or choose Delta direct from New York. Europeans can use either British Air or Virgin Atlantic.
While in Grenada, you may wish to book into one of the local resorts and spend a day or two touring the island, which is recommended before setting off to board your yacht in Carriacou.
If the guests are dive enthusiasts, there is the opportunity to connect with local dive operators in Carriacou to dive some unique spots in the area. Click here for information about SCUBA diving in Carriacou..