All the bareboat charter companies we represent provide a cell phone aboard each yacht. Calls to the charter base are free. Outgoing calls (both local and international) are charged at rates as dictated by the different providers.
BVI Cell Phone Companies:
The providers are CCT Global Communications
, Digicel BVI Ltd
and Lime BVI. If Lime didn't have such an annoying delay in getting to their site, I would have provided the link. Sorry!
Ask your yacht charter broker which phone service applies aboard your yacht. It's also a good idea to ask for current rates when you arrive at the charter base so you can take that information with you.
All of the phone companies are located in Road Town, Tortola
and are within walking distance of the main roundabout. If your personal phone is unlocked, you may want to buy a chip from any of them and prepay for calls. You can top up online or at a number of different payment centers around the BVI. It will be a lot less expensive to buy the chip and prepay, rather than to use your own cell phone and pay astronomical
Some of the companies offer really inexpensive phones (with their chip installed) and if you plan to return to the British Virgin Islands, you will always have a permanent BVI number. Just top up as and when needed.
If you have an AT&T phone, you can sometimes get a signal on Tortola
at the Fish n' Lime Restaurant parking lot, on Norman Island
and sometimes on Jost Van Dyke
or Virgin Gorda
... provided you have clear line of sight to St. Thomas.
Be sure to turn off your digital roaming in your settings though. The BVI signal will come up by default but the AT&T signal is often available. You can also get AT&T to switch you to international service for a month. Just remember to have them switch you back when you get home. :)
Wi-Fi Service aboard Your Yacht:
TMM offers free
Wi-Fi service aboard all yachts. Wi-Fi is also available aboard all other yachts we represent, at a price
. This should be arranged in advance. Prices vary from one company to the next, so best to ask what the going rate is once you have booked the boat.
Having said that ... there are literally dozens of Wi-Fi hotspots all over the British Virgin Islands
. Most of the bars and restaurants offer free Wi-Fi connection, provided you are a customer. Some of them don't even bother with password protection. Staying connected (albeit intermittently) is rarely a problem.