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Travel Notes

Travel Notes

Getting to Bequia

Most visitors from outside the Caribbean approach Bequia via direct International flights into Barbados. International arrivals into Barbados are in the early afternoon, which (assuming no outbound delays) allows convenient onward connections to Bequia. Barbados Grantley Adams International Airport is served by the following major airlines : American Airlines, Air Canada, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Jet Blue (New York), Delta (Atlanta), US Airways (Philadelphia & Charlotte) and West Jet (Toronto), along with various charter and regional airlines.

Barbados to Bequia

From Barbados, visitors can choose either to fly direct to Bequia (55 minutes) or fly to St Vincent (35 minutes) then take the ferry to Bequia (1 hour).

SVG Air offers scheduled daily flights from Barbados to Bequia which are designed to connect with international flights. Flying time is approximately 55 minutes, reaching Bequia in the late afternoon. SVG Air  also offer an extensive range of private charter routes.

SVG Air Tel: 001 784 457 5124  www.svgair.com / res@svgair.com

Bequia Airport

Arrival: You will be expected to present a completed immigration form provided by your incoming airline. Visitors must also be able to show a return ticket out of St Vincent and the Grenadines. An Octopus representative will be at the airport to meet you for your transfer.

Departure: An Octopus representative will accompany you on your return transfer to the airport. There is a national departure tax of EC$40/US$15 for each passenger leaving St Vincent and the Grenadines.

To Bequia via St Vincent

As an alternative to flying direct into Bequia, visitors may choose to travel to St Vincent and then take the ferry onward to Bequia.

The most frequent airline to fly you direct to St Vincent E.T.Joshua Airport from Barbados as well as other hubs is L.I.A.T.

L.I.A.T     Tel: 001 784 457 1821/ 458 4841 www.liatairline.com

Bequia Ferry from St Vincent

After arriving at the airport in St Vincent, visitors should take a taxi (approx US$10) to the ferry dock, officially known as the Grenadines Wharf in Kingstown to catch the ferry to Bequia, either the Admiral (green andyellow) or the Bequia Express (red and white).

Once at the ferry dock, you must pass through the Grenadines Wharf terminal. Pay for your ferry ticket once onboard. Fares are EC$20 one way and EC$35 return (return tickets are valid for any time if you travel both ways with the same ferry company). US dollars will be accepted by both taxis and ferries at about 2.70 EC$ to 1 US$.

The ferries, all of which offer snack and drinks bar and a choice of interior air-conditioned seating or outside benches for the best view, are frequent on weekdays but less frequent at the weekends. Schedules can also be subject to seasonal change, so it's sensible to check with the ferry companies or the Bequia Tourism Association before planning your journey. In the low season, the last weekday ferry to Bequia (Bequia Express) leaves St Vincent at 6pm. The 7pm (Admiral) ferry to Bequia only runs on Saturdays and Sundays.

Admiralty Transport: 001 784 458 3348 / Bequia Express 001 784 458 3472

Visas

All visitors entering St Vincent and the Grenadines require a valid passport (for at least six months) and a return or onward ticket.

Entry visas are not required for American or Commonwealth citizens, or for those nationals of a country which has a visa exemption agreement with st Vincent and the Grenadines.

Visas are only required from nationals of the following countries: Dominican Republic, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, The Peoples Republic of China, Iraq, Iran and Nigeria. Please check with government websites for an up to date list.

Health

No vacinations are required (unless arriving within six days of transit through or stay in an infected area). For further information on vacinations or health outbreaks please check with government websites.

Health care is generally good throughout the islands but you should always seek medical advice before travelling abroad and ensure all vacinations are up to date.                                                                                              

There are six public hospitals throughout the islands including one on Bequia and three private hospitals.

Full travel and health insurance is recommended.

Water is safe to drink, as an alternative, bottled water is readily available.

A healthy repect for the strength of the sun is essential. Insect repelent is a good idea if you have sensitive skin.

Currency

Local currency in St Vincent and the Grenadines is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar (XCD) which is tied to the US$ at approximately US$1 to EC$2.67. Most businesses and taxis will accept US$. 

US$ rather than sterling travellers cheques are recommended.

Credit cards are widely accepted and there are two banks on Bequia with ATM facilities, both issuing local currency.

ATM facilities are available on a few of the other islands and credit cards are also accepted.

Clothing

Casual resort wear is the general rule for both men and women during the day. Out of respect for local customs, swimwear should not be worn on the street, or in shops and restaurants.

The Caribbean is casual, no jacket or tie is required normally, however there are a couple of exceptions. Beachwear is fine for the yacht and island beaches.

Bring some lightweight natural fabric clothing as temperatures tend to remain warm during the day and evening, although during the winter months and whilst sailing the temperature can decrease making it necessary to put on long sleeves or a second layer.

Lightweight jackets are provided on the yacht.

Security

Bequia is a safe island with a reputation of being able to walk around day or night in safety. Petty crime is rare but as with anywhere in the world it is advisable not to walk to walk around with all your valuables and money on display. It is best to apply common sense in this instance.

A safety deposit box is available for your use inside the villa.

Children

Bequia is a family destination and all ages are welcome.

Children generally enjoy the outdoors and here they are free to experience a totally natural Caribbean environment.

Childrens meals and requirements, along with babysitting can all be catered for subject to prior notice.

The villa contains one cot and high chair. If you require more facilities or wish to bring your own please advise us at time of booking.

A nominal charge may apply for additional facilities and services.

Electrical

The villa is serviced by 220v mains (UK 3 pin plugs) and will accept standard UK plugged appliances. You will require a travel adaptor for all non Uk appliances. 

On board the yacht we operate on 24volt and 12volt. We also carry a small inverter which allows the charging of phones and other small electrical devices with either a British or European plug.

Weather

Daytime temperatures consistently average between 24C/75F and 30C/86F throughout the year. A 'chilly' evening in the winter months (January to March) might see a low of around 21C/70F and in the summer months the temperature will occasionally reach 32C/90F.

Tradewinds bring cooling breezes for most of the year.

The famous Christmas winds bring stiffer steady breezes, lively seas and perfect sailing weather.

Seasons

The 'dry' season from December/January to late April/early May coincides with the 'high' season for visitors, with clear sunny skies, good sailing breezes, low humidity and minimal rainfall. The island is totally reliant on rain for it's water, so the arrival of the 'rainy' season in May/June is always welcomed.

The warmer, summer months of May to November are a welcome mixture if cooling showers, sunshine and light breezes, with the occasional downpour.

Population

An intriguing mix of native Bequians of African, Scottish, Irish, French, Indian and carib descent-many of whom can trace their ancestry directly back to the islands earliest inhabitants of the 18th century- - and more recent settlers from Europe, America and canada who have chosen to make Bequia their home.

English is the native language and open friendliness is a chracteristic for which Bequians have always been well known.

Bequia is home to approximately six thousand people.

Getting Around

Taxis

Bequia's famous open-backed taxis are well known for their courteous and friendly operators. Taxis are widely used for getting around. Rates are fixed and can be paid in EC$ or US$.

Dollar Vans

Often crowded, never dull, these closed vehicles are the cheapest way to get around to most parts of the island. Fares vary from EC$1 to EC$4 per person which is payable once on board, depending on the length of the journey.

Water Taxis

A fun and unusual way to get from the main port to the most popular beaches. The cost is roughly EC$15 one way to the beach.

Renting a Vehicle

Several car, jeep and scooter rental companies operate on the island, offering both daily and wekly rates. If you are renting a vehicle on the island, you will need to get a local driving permit. These are available from the revenue office in Port Elizabeth on production of a valid National or International driving licence from your own country and payment of a fee of EC$65 (about US$25).

Octopus will be happy to arrange a car hire for you with prior notice. There is parking space available at the villa.

Gratuities

As this is such a high service vacation, it is customary to give the crew a gratuity at the end of the vacation - it is not mandatory, just very appreciated by the crew. the average gratuity in the charter industry is 15% on the cost of the charter.