Monday, August 13, 2012

Cruise Lines Exclusive Private Islands

When choosing a Caribbean cruise you may well come across some islands you never even knew existed. Princess Cays, Labadee and CocoCay are all examples, and they all have one thing in common; they are used exclusively by the cruise lines who own them. So, forget busy ports, hassling street vendors and uncertain territory, and arrive in style at your own private island instead!

The majority of these islands are far too small for locals to reside in, and therefore have been leased out to the cruise companies, providing an exclusive getaway for cruise passengers and a valuable income for the local governments. The cruise lines have transformed the once "dead land" into their own mini paradise islands.

Typically situated in the Bahamas, these islands feature regularly on many Caribbean itineraries. Often reached by tender only, the islands lie uninhabited out in the middle of the ocean, waiting to indulge the lucky passengers who step ashore.

Yacht Charter in the British Virgin Islands

The British Virgin Islands (BVI) is a British overseas territory, located in the north of the Caribbean Sea to the east of both Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. They are part of the Leeward Island chain. The approximate co-ordinates are 18° 20' N 64° 40' W. The archipelago of the Virgin Islands archipelago is made up of the US Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.

The British Virgin Islands enjoy a sub-tropical climate, moderated by the trade winds. Temperatures remain fairly steady year round with a daily maximum of around 29°C in the summer and 25°C in the winter. The BVI averages about 115 cm of rain per year, although this is higher in the hills and coast is drier. The wettest months are September through to December. The British Virgin Islands are in an area that can see hurricanes from June to October and this effectively limits the sailing season to November - May.

Amongst the many attractions on the British Virgin Islands are the; numerous white sandy beaches; the baths on Virgin Gorda, snorkelling on the coral reefs near Anegada; the well-known bars of Jost Van Dyke Island.

The British Virgin Islands include the main islands of Anegada, Jost Van Dyke, Tortola and Virgin Gorda together with over fifty other smaller islands and cays. The smaller islands include; Beef Island, Cooper Island, Ginger Island, Great Camanoe, Great Thatch, Guana Island, Mosquito Island, Necker Island, Norman Island, Peter Island, Salt Island. Only some fifteen of the islands are inhabited. The BVI are mostly volcanic in origin and have a rugged, hilly terrain. Anegada is the exception and is a flat island composed of limestone and coral. Tortola is the largest island, approximately twelve miles long and three miles wide. Road Town, on Tortola, is the capital of the islands. The British Virgin Islands have a total population of around 22,000 people.

The Virgin Islands were first settled by Arawak Indians from South America around 100 BC and inhabited the islands until the fifteenth century when Carib Indians from the Lesser Antilles Islands displaced them. The first European sighting of the Virgin Islands was in 1493 by Christopher Columbus on his second voyage to the Americas. He called them Santa Ursula y las Once Mil Vírgenes (Saint Ursula and her 11,000 Virgins); this was shortened to Las Vírgenes (The Virgins).

In the early sixteenth century the Spanish Empire acquired the Virgin Islands and developed copper mining on Virgin Gorda. Subsequently the English, Dutch, French, Spanish and Danish all sought control of the Virgin Islands. They became a notorious pirate haunt. During the process of European colonisation the native Amerindian population was all but wiped out.

In 1648 the Dutch established a permanent settlement on the island of Tortola. The British captured Tortola from the Dutch in 1672, and the British annexation of Anegada and Virgin Gorda followed in 1680.

The Virgin Islands were considered principally a strategic possession, but were also planted when there were favourable economic conditions. The British introduced sugar cane that became the main crop and source of foreign trade. Slaves were brought from Africa to work on the sugar cane plantations and the islands prospered until the growth in the sugar beet crop in Europe and the United States reduced sugar cane production significantly.

In 1917, the United States purchased St. John, St. Thomas and St. Croix from Denmark for US$25 million, renaming them the United States Virgin Islands and the British renamed the islands they controlled as the British Virgin Islands. The British Virgin Islands were administered either as part of the Leeward Islands Colony or with St. Kitts and Nevis, with an administrator representing the British Government on the Islands. Separate colony status was gained for the British Virgin Islands in 1960 and they became autonomous in 1967.

Since this time the BVI have moved away from an agricultural economy towards tourism and financial services and have become one of the richest areas in the Caribbean. Politically tourism is the more important of the two employing large numbers of the local population and many of the businesses are locally owned. However, economically, the financial service sector is by far the more important and provides nearly 50% of the Government's revenues in the form of licence fees for offshore companies.

The Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport, also known as Beef Island Airport, has regular connections to San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Saint Thomas, USVI. There are also flights from most of the major islands in the Caribbean, Antigua and Saint Martin. It is located on Beef Island, just off the eastern tip of Tortola. Virgin Gorda and Anegada have smaller airports. The islands are a popular destination for cruise ships in the Caribbean and they use the British Virgin Islands main harbour in Road Town on Tortola. The official currency of the British Virgin Islands is the US dollar. Major credit cards are honoured at the larger BVI establishments but do not expect to use them at small restaurants.

The traditional music of the British Virgin Islands is called fungi after the local cornmeal dish with the same name, often made with okra. The special sound of fungi is due to a unique local fusion between African and European music. The fungi bands, also called "scratch bands and use a great variety of instruments. Fingi is a form of festive dance but also contains humorous social commentaries and is a source of BVI oral history.

The British Virgin Islands are one of the Caribbeans most popular yacht charter destinations and Tortola is home to the world's largest fleet of charter yachts. Prospective charters can choose between Skippered or bareboat charter. Motor or sailing vessels. Monohulls or catamarans. The short distances between the islands, often only 2 to 3 hours, make the BVI perfect for the first time yacht charterer and for families with young children. There are many flights to the BVI making access easy. On the downside the BVI can become crowded at peak periods; Christmas; Presidents Week and the Easter holidays. The first two weeks of July are also extremely busy due to Puerto Rico's holiday schedule. Charter Yachts require a National Park Permit; ask your charter company for more details.

Moorings are increasingly popular throughout the British Virgin Islands to prevent anchors dragging on the bottom and damaging the important coral reefs. Although the cynics will tell you it's also about revenue raising and at $30 per night it is hard not to sympathise with this point of view. Overnight moorings are on 18" white balls. Other mooring buoys will be encountered while sailing in the BVI and are colour coded as follows;

Orange - Non-diving, day use only.

Yellow - Commercial dive vessels only.

Large Yellow - Commercial vessels or vessels over 55' in length

White - Non-commercial vessels, for daytime dive use only.

Blue - For dinghy use only

Also note that there is a 90-minute time limit on all moorings.

The major harbour in the British Virgin Islands is at Road Town, on Tortola. And most charters will start and end here. Village Cay Marina is one of the full service marinas available in Road Harbour offering fuel, water, ice, provisioning, laundry, shower facilities, beauty salon and spa. There is a fresh water pool and a waterfront restaurant and bar. Other marinas in Road Town Harbour include Fort Burt Marina and Inner Harbour Marina. There is also another full service marina in Nanny Cay that offers another starting point for yacht charters. The Nanny Cay Marine Centre has amenities including showers, water, gift shop, laundry, ice and fuel, provisioning, storage lockers and two restaurants. There are also a dive shop, mechanical repairs, refrigeration, welding and a 24 hour chase boat service. Allow time at the beginning or end of your yacht charter to explore Tortola. Driving around the island's steep and winding mountain roads offers some breathtaking views. Some of the finest beaches in all of the BVI are located at Cane Garden Bay and Long Bay, on Tortolas's north shore. Restaurants on Tortola are held in high regard throughout the Caribbean. Shopping and nightlife tend to be low-key, but a selection of small clubs playing local music can be found in Road Town and in the beach bars around the Tortola.

West End is shown on the charts as Soper's Hole, a protected harbour lying between Frenchman's Cay and Tortola. The Soper's Hole Wharf and Marina offers a full range of services located in charming colourful houses. The Pusser's Landing features waterfront dining in two restaurants and bars, an outdoor terrace and the company store.

Jost Van Dyke Island was named after a Dutch pirate. It has beautiful beaches, great food and music. Jost Van Dyke is the home to the famous "Full Moon" parties held at Foxy's and Sidney's Peace and Love Bar.

Anegada Island is known for its beautiful pink, sugar sand beach and snorkelling with age-old shipwrecks and coral reefs. Anegada's Reef Hotel is renowned for the local lobster. The dining room and bar are directly on the beach. If you go ashore on Anegada carry bug spray with you. You have been warned!!!

Moorings are available and anchoring is possible all along the coast of Virgin Gorda. Or you can get a berth at the nearby Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour, a marina with docking for 110 vessels, where the ferry arrives for land travellers. Shops are concentrated around the Yacht Harbour area, especially at the Courtyard. Virgin Gorda Island is famous for The Baths, a day filled with cave exploration and water holes within this unique rock formation. Dinghies are no longer allowed on the shore here and you must swim from a dinghy mooring to the beach. The Bitter End Yacht Club is located in North Sound and is a great place pick up a mooring. You will be amongst some of the beautiful yachts in the BVI here. The small deserted island of Prickly Pear is a great lunch and snorkelling spot and is just a dinghy ride from the Bitter End Yacht Club. Spanish Town on the southwest side of Virgin Gorda is a popular stop over for shopping and provisioning.

Norman Island or "Treasure Island" as the locals know it is home to the pirate ship "William Thornton". Legend suggests this to be the fabled site of Long John Silvers treasure trove. Norman Island lies close to the boundary line separating the BVI from the US Virgin Islands. Although uninhabited it is alive with tourism. The caves here are one of the most popular tourist attractions in the BVI. This is a popular overnight anchorage and many charterers will take dinner aboard the Willy T, a 100' steel schooner.

Monday, April 30, 2012

How to Find Cheap Full Service Movers Online

If you are wondering how to find cheap full service movers online then you should know that it is actually pretty simple. You will want to make sure that you get quotes from a number of different companies so that you are able to compare the prices and decide which one is the best for you.

The good news is that there are 3rd party moving quote websites that you can use. These will allow you to input the necessary information and you will receive quotes for many different full service movers.

You will be able to easily compare the movers because you will be able to see them listed beside each other with all the pricing quotes. You will also find in most cases that you can even sort the movers starting with the cheapest and this will allow you to see the company that will be the most friendly on your pocket.

The best part is that you are able to do this all online in a short amount of time. You will be surprised at just how quickly you can get the quotes that you need without ever having to leave your home or make any phone calls to do this. This is certainly one of the great benefits of technology advancing over time.

Cheapest Quotes for Full Service Movers

So if you are looking to move and are looking for the best way to find cheap full service movers online you should know that using this method will certainly benefit you. You will be able to save a great deal of time and by comparing the companies you will also be able to save a great deal of money. You can easily benefit from using this method and once you have tried it you are sure to use it again and again for all your comparison needs.

Get Full Service Movers Quotes:

Friday, April 13, 2012

How To Find Cheap Moving Quotes Online

Using professional movers is a great way to make moving easier. They will carry all the boxes, move large items and make sure they are transported without being damaged. Doing this yourself could take a while, especially if you are doing it alone and without a large moving truck. Since there are so many moving companies available to choose from, it's a good idea to do research!

How to find cheap professional movers online 

There are a lot of different moving companies available all over the country. Some of them offer help with local moves while others can be used for state to state moving quotes. If you want to make the process of finding the right company to use easier, then search online! There are websites that will compare all the top moving companies for you. These sites aren't associated with any particular company, which is why they are so effective for comparison shopping.

Once you are on the third party website for the moving quotes, just give the information that is needed. This will include where you are moving, how many boxes you have, what large items need to be transported and other important information. Once everything is given, the website will then do a quick search with all the top companies that can provide assistance.

When the results come back it will be quick and easy to compare quotes for each professional moving company side by side! This will include how much their fees are, what their base rate is and extra charges that could be included. By comparing each company side by side it's a lot easier to see which charges the least. This could end up saving hundreds of dollars on a move! Since it only takes a few minutes to do this, it's well worth trying out at least once. Chances are the website will be used for the next move as well!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Selecting the Best State to State Moving Company

Using the services of cross country moving companies is an ideal option for people who are planning long distance move. These companies offer several benefits to people who want to move items from state to another. One of the biggest benefits of using the services of these companies is that you can get more work done with the help of these companies. When you move from one state to another, there are several last minute tasks that you must complete at your old home. Completing these last minute tasks, saying good bye to friends and neighbors, making arrangement for your kids' school and several other tasks can be completed with ease when you use the services of moving companies.

Benefits of State to State Moving Companies

Another benefit of these services is that you don't have to tasks that you are not comfortable doing. For instance, many people with back problem may find it difficult to lift heavy items. Moving companies don't hesitate to move heavy items because they do this activity every day. Also, these companies have the experience of packing items the way which reduces the risk of damage.

Picking the Best State to State Moving Company

Since there are several state to state moving companies that can fulfill your requirements, it is best that you quote from as many companies as possible. Getting quote from several companies will help you select the right company that can help you complete your interstate move. You can save up to 70% when select a moving company after comparing prices charged by several moving companies. When you get quote from several moving companies, you also get an idea of the expenses you will incur to transport items from one state to another. Once you get quotes from moving companies, you can compare the price charged by these companies. When comparing prices, make sure you check their terms and conditions, as some companies that charge less may not offer all the services offered by companies that charge a little extra.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Cheap Residential Moving Companies

When making a residential move, whether it is in the same state, same city, or cross country, home owners should compare several residential moving companies prior to hiring one for the job. This is the best way to find the greatest quality and most reputable movers, and it is the only way to ensure you are going to find the most affordable prices for the move, especially when it is a long distance move. No matter what the move is for, when you need cheap residential moving companies to pack and ship your home, taking the time to compare several companies, the rates they offer, the services they offer, the quality of their workers, and the time they can promise the move will be completed in, are all factors that should play a role in choosing the company that a home owner is ultimately going to hire for the job to be done.

Residential Moving Quotes

By considering all of these factors in conjunction with each other, and not only the price, the home owner will be able to find the most affordable rates, but they can also be rest assured that they have the best quality and reputable moving company handling their belongings, and transitioning their belongings from the old home, to their new home. So, when you need a move, whether it is a week away, or a couple months away, taking the time to seek out local and national residential moving companies, and comparing their rates and services, is something all home owners should do prior to hiring the company for the move. It is well worth the time it will take to compare services, when they hire the best, and feel confident with the workers who are handling the move, and handling their belongings during the transition and moving process.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Hiring A Small Moving Company to Reduce Your Expenses

Most people reading this article must be aware of big moving companies. These companies use advertisements and huge billboards to market their services. Even though there is nothing wrong with large moving companies, these companies are a bit expensive when compared to small moving companies.

Why Choose A Small Moving Company?

Small movers are ideal for people who are looking to move limited items in a small geographical area. Most small moving companies specialize in offering local moves that can be driven in a few hours. One of the main reasons why people hire small movers is because they offer reliable service. These companies usually rely on word of mouth to get new business. They don't have huge budgets for advertising campaigns and will take all possible steps to make sure their customers are happy.

Benefits of a Small Moving Company

Small movers will also take steps to ensure your items are not damaged. If the items transported are damaged, it will have a negative impact on the reputation of the company. These companies are extremely careful when they move your belongings which will reduce the risk of damage.

Another reason why you should hire movers is because you can get great deals from these companies. Most full service moving companies have rigid rules when it comes to the prices they charge to move your belongings. The employees of large moving companies are not given the flexibility to change the rate they charge. However, when you approach small movers, you will find that they are extremely flexible when it comes to the price they charge. Their employees are given full freedom to make changes in the rates to help their customers get the best deal. So when you approach small movers, don't hesitate to ask more as these companies are extremely flexible.
Cost of Small Moving Companies

Before you hire a small moving company, make sure you check the price charged by other movers. When you compare the prices charged by moving companies, you get an idea of the expenses you will incur to move your belongings. Since most small movers are flexible when it comes to prices they charge, don't be afraid to ask the best deal they can offer. Also, make sure you check the reputation of the small movers before you hire them. Some small movers may charge you a lower rate because their reputation in the market is not good. It is in your interest that you hire a good small moving company even if you have to pay a little extra.