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Hundreds Expected to Attend Anegada Lobster Festival

November 25, 2015

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Hundreds of people are expected to flock to Anegada this weekend for the third annual Anegada Lobster Festival taking place on Saturday, 28th and Sunday, 29th November. The much anticipated two-day event will kick off on the evening of Friday, 27th November with the Lobster Crawl, a night of bar-hopping and dining along the beach next to the port of entry. The event, which was launched by the British Virgin Islands Tourist Board to stimulate travel and interest in less traversed islands, has grown over the years and now attracts twice as many guests to that coral island compared to the inaugural year.

You can read the full press release here: ANEGADA LOBSTER FESTIVAL 2015

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St Maarten-based carrier flights to BVI and Antigua

October 21, 2015

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Caribbean airline WINAIR is embarking on a major expansion push, the carrier announced this week.

In its initial push, the St Maarten-based carrier has announced plans to increase frequency of flights to St Kitts, Nevis and Tortola in the British Virgin Islands.

The company is also adding two new destinations to its network: San Juan and Antigua.

The company additionally announced the acquisition of a fifth DHC-6-300 aircraft “which will expand our fleet and charter business within the north-eastern Caribbean,” the company said in a statement.

WINAIR’s Tortola flights will resume daily operation Dec. 15, with the addition of a midday flight and a total of six frequencies per week.

The St Kitts and Nevis flights will mean splitting St Kitts and Nevis flights to single direct flights, operating five times weekly and operating two days a week as combined flights, both of which will begin Nov. 30.

In December, WINAIR will add a daily midday frequency from St Maarten to St Kitts and Nevis.

Beginning Nov, 28, WINAIR and its partner, Air Antilles, will launch service to San Juan on ATR-500 aircraft; St Maarten-Antigua flights will launch begin with daily service, seven days a week starting Dec. 15.

See the original article on Caribbean Journal here.


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Norwegian launches new routes to the Caribbean from London Gatwick

April 22, 2015

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epua0oohxxdl3zho0x4pNorwegian continues to expand its long-haul network with new direct routes. Starting November 2015, Norwegian will launch a non-stop service between London Gatwick and the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico. As of May 2015, Pula in Croatia will be a new destination from London Gatwick. The airline is also adding more weekly flights between London Gatwick and New York.

“The response we’ve had on our intercontinental destinations has been overwhelming and it is obvious that affordable fares were scarce before Norwegian entered the market. This makes it even more enjoyable to add more destinations to our route map of more than 100 destinations. We are looking forward to welcoming new and returning customers on our new routes between London Gatwick and the Caribbean,” said Norwegian’s Chief Commercial Officer Thomas Ramdahl.

“We are also adding more weekly flights between New York and London Gatwick, and Los Angeles and London Gatwick because of the great response. Pula in Croatia is also a new destination from London Gatwick this summer,” he added.

Norwegian has a long-haul and a short-haul base for cabin crew and pilots at London Gatwick. The routes across the Atlantic will be operated by the Gatwick-based crew and Norwegian’s US-based crew.

An excellent starting point for island hopping in the Caribbean
Norwegian’s new Caribbean destination from Gatwick will be popular among sun- and adventure seekers; Puerto Rico is an excellent starting point for island hopping. The introductory fare from London Gatwick to Puerto Rico is £269 one way.

“Puerto Rico is more than ready to broaden its horizons in the European market and we are very excited to welcome Norwegian’s new service to San Juan. Puerto Rico offers an outstanding variety of options making it an attractive a five-star Caribbean destination accessible to British and Scandinavian travelers. We are certain that Norwegian’s five weekly flights will significantly boost and diversify the tourism industry in Puerto Rico. We look forward to a productive partnership with Norwegian,” stated Ingrid I. Rivera Rocafort, Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company.

Today, Norwegian also launches direct flights between Scandinavia and Puerto Rico, as well as flights between the largest of the U.S. Virgin Islands, St. Croix, and Copenhagen. Las Vegas is also a brand new destination; the airline will now offer flights between Stockholm/Copenhagen and Las Vegas.

New routes:

Caribbean – San Juan, Puerto Rico
London Gatwick – two weekly departures on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Start date: November 4, 2015
Copenhagen – one weekly departure on Fridays. Start date: November 6, 2015
Stockholm – one weekly departure on Tuesdays. Start date: November 3, 2015
Oslo – one weekly departure on Sundays. Start date: November 1, 2015

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“Well-set-up” is an understatement

March 14, 2015

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This blog piece originally appeared on Swizzle Media, 5th February 2015, and is reproduced with their kind permission here. The original piece can be viewed here.



I’d not been back to Antigua since I left in 1994. After graduating from college and spending three years skiing and surfing, I set off to see the world as a paid deckhand. My first gig was a delivery from subfreezing Newport, Rhode Island, to balmy English Harbour aboard a Swan 65. I had no money, nor a place to stay once we arrived, but how hard could it be, I thought, to find a job on one of those superyachts? I found out; it was hard. So as the months wore on and the little money I’d made on the delivery dried up, I was homeless in paradise, sleeping on the beach. After years of living hand-to-mouth, I was finally ready to return home and join the adult world. Antigua was my crossroads.


I wasn’t consciously avoiding a return to Antigua, but I wasn’t yearning to go back. Then I started thinking: Wouldn’t it be cool to explore the island with my fiancée, Caroline, from the comfort of a well-set-up charterboat? It was.

“Well-set-up” is an understatement. The Beneteau 473 Undaunted we chartered from Horizon Yacht Charters in Jolly Harbour, on Antigua’s west coast, was immaculate, and the service provided by Al and Jackie Ashford and the whole Horizon team was top-notch. First stop—Falmouth Harbour, 12 or so miles down the south coast.


We nosed out of the slip and leaned into the wind bending around the southwest corner of the island—a wonderful reentry into the cruising life. We could have tacked our way up through Goat Head Channel between Middle Reef and the mainland, but the engine and autopilot were happy to keep us safe in deep water and heading effortlessly toward Falmouth. Since the annual, and very popular, Antigua Sailing Week was on, I wanted to claim some territory in what I expected to be a busy and crowded anchorage.

Falmouth and English Harbours are must-stop destinations for any Antigua-based charter. Falmouth, a big harbor with good holding, is both well protected from, and cooled by, the easterly trades. Services abound for visiting cruisers, and there are plenty of restaurants, bars, and Internet cafés.


Historic Nelson’s Dockyard in English Harbour is a 10-minute walk from the Falmouth dinghy dock and well worth a visit (you can walk, bring your boat into Freeman Bay and dinghy in, or try to find a space for stern-to mooring at the Dockyard quay). The buzz was electric by Caribbean standards. Every aspect of the Caribbean sailing life—crews in matching T-shirts hustling for provisions, well-tanned liveaboards spending a lazy day ashore, racers recounting the day’s competition, and plenty of visiting charterers, tourists off cruise ships, and locals make this place seem like the epicenter of the Caribbean sailing scene. In many ways it is. We spent a couple of days there while Caroline finished up some work within reach of an Internet connection and I revisited the scenes of my youth. The beach I had slept on had not changed, nor had (except in size and quantity) the big boats in the harbor, and the international crowd. But the road to Shirley Heights had been repaired, and marinas had been built. The buzz of English Harbour offered Caroline a window on my misspent youth, but after a couple of days we were ready for less buzz, more sailing, and a lot more solitude.


All we had to do was sail through the entire Race Week fleet first. As it happened, our departure put us in competition with over 200 racing boats rounding a leeward mark that could have doubled as our intended waypoint. We wound our way through the fleet, taking care not to mess with anyone’s line, and then it was just us. Wing and wing. Water gurgling in our wake. Cruising at last. To avoid bashing to windward along the southeastern side of the island, we retraced our path along Middle Reef, headed for Deep Bay. The biggest effort required was to flop the genoa over as we cleared Johnson Point and started reaching north. Deep Bay is a peaceful anchorage and was our staging point for an island north of Antigua we wanted to explore (I hesitate to mention its name for fear of enticing everyone to go there and spoil it).


We realized why Barbuda doesn’t get overrun with charter boats when we emerged from the relative protection of the reef that wraps around the northern side of Antigua. The trades were honking. The seas were building, spray was flying, and the boat was heeled well over. Caroline held on tight and flashed me a look that said “I thought this was going to be a peaceful sail. What have you gotten me into?” I’d reefed down nice and snug, the hills of Antigua quickly fell into the distance, and the boat performed beautifully; I assured her that this is the sailing people dream about and tried my best to look very much in control. That didn’t make the passage north any less exciting, especially because for about 18 of the 25 miles there is no land in sight. We wanted solitude, right? Needless to say, Caroline was the first to spot the low-lying island we were headed for.

Things calmed right down as we barreled into the protected waters of Barbuda’s western side. Our course brought us past a pristine pink-and-white sand beach that we paralleled for about an hour. Do the math. We sailed past this gorgeous undeveloped beach in flat water at 6 knots—6 miles of sheer bliss. There were a couple of cruising boats along the beach, but none were within 2 miles of us when the anchor went down and the dinghy was humming us in to shore.


The beach forms a narrow barrier between the open ocean and a large inland lagoon. The peace was palpable. Chris Doyle’s accurate and informative cruising guide promised that George Jeffries (who answers to Garden of Eden on VHF channel 16) would be available to take us on a tour of the island’s frigatebird colony. Is this what the Garden of Eden looked like?

George picked us up on the lagoon side of what we were already calling “our beach” at 0900 the next morning. He took us across to the colony in the large mangrove forest where thousands of frigatebirds live and raise their young, and talked about the island like he was talking about his own family. Quite a contrast to the buzz of Antigua. He then brought us into Codrington, Barbuda’s only village, but not before he stopped the boat in the middle of the lagoon. “I want to check something,” he said. Then he threw a Danforth anchor off to the side (seemingly at random) and started hauling in a trap that was teeming with lobsters. How did he know where it was? There was no buoy, no marker of any kind on a monochromatic stretch of water. After spending the better part of the day with George, it was obvious to me that the island and its surrounding waters are simply part of his DNA.

After lunch in the village, where we were treated like friends, George brought us back to our dinghy. “Man, I like it here,” I said. All Caroline did was smile as she drove the dinghy back to our boat. Of course, after a hard day of visiting the Garden of Eden, we needed to recover with a little snorkel, a long walk on a beach without footprints, and a quiet time of watching the sunset.

We didn’t want to leave, but we wanted to see more of the island too. So the next morning, after George had dropped off some fresh lobster, we decided to head to a new anchorage about 15 miles southeast. It would be upwind for part of the way, but we’d be sailing in protected waters. When the next beach came into view, we had no trouble getting excited about parking for a few more days and exploring a new private paradise. There was nobody there, all the way to the horizon. I didn’t want to get my shorts salty, so I just took them off and jumped in the water to check the hook. It was like we’d sailed into a movie. The few buildings on the shore belonged to Coco Point Lodge, one of the Island’s few hotels, but there was nobody in sight.

We spent a few more enchanted days here—dining on lobster in the cockpit, beach, soft sand, sun on the skin. But we knew there was still a rocking little passage back to Antigua waiting for us, and it was only when we could no longer put off leaving that the anchor finally came up and we pointed the boat back out into the open ocean. The trades had lessened a bit, and our angle back to Antigua was a little broader than it was on our trip over, so when Caroline flashed me a look of “Love” rather than “What have you gotten me into,” I knew we’d done good. Plus, we’ll be back in December. After several preemptive honeymoons, being engaged for over a year, and trying to figure out a wedding venue, we realized that this island is the only place for us to get married.

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September 18, 2014


In its efforts to better cater to the needs of the Territory’s growing international business clientele and visitors, the Government of the Virgin Islands, through the BVI Tourist Board, is pleased to announce the launch of its new concierge air service from Antigua.

The new flights launch between Antigua and Beef Island on October 31, and connect with the arrival and departure of scheduled British Airways and Virgin Atlantic flights between London Gatwick and Antigua.The connecting flights are scheduled to run twice a week, on Fridays and Saturdays and will be operated by locally owned, VI Airlink.

The package will include a personalised meet and greet concierge service. This will ensure that guests are met after clearing immigration and will be escorted through the baggage hall, customs and security, thus providing a stress-free connection.Premier and Minister of Tourism, Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith OBE, stated, “Our tourism market has grown significantly over the years and it is important that our visitors are connected easily and quickly to the Territory.”“I am pleased that we have listened to our industry partners and added the extra airlift needed to facilitate the connection. I am also delighted that the Government of the Virgin Islands has been able to partner with a world-class BVI airline such as VI Airlink to offer our visitors efficient service and a friendly BVI transition from Antigua,” Premier Smith noted.

Manager UK, BVI Tourist Board Ginny Hawksley stated, “The launch of these new flights enables travelers from the UK to enjoy more time in the British Virgin Islands, thanks to a quicker transfer time in Antigua. The personalised meet and greet concierge service also takes the stress out of connecting flights and ensures guests arrive in style and depart feeling truly relaxed.”The timing of the new flights will allow visitors departing from the British Virgin Islands to enjoy more time in their destination on the day of departure, while incoming guests will arrive in time for dinner.

Neville Brathwaite Junior, a spokesman for VI Airlink, stated, “V I Airlink is proud to partner with the BVI Tourist Board, to be the first and only BVI registered Airline to connect the BVI to Antigua in over ten years.”The new concierge air service is subsidised by the Government of the Virgin Islands, and can be booked worldwide on the web as it is available via Global Distribution System (GDS). The Government of the Virgin Islands, through the BVI Tourist Board, remains committed to marketing and promoting the Virgin Islands as an ideal tourism destination, whether for business or leisure.

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Peter Holmberg September 2014 Report

September 17, 2014

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I have just returned from three good events.  First was Cowes Week in early August, sailing the IRC52 Cape Fling.  Huge event, 1000 boats, 36 classes, and some great tidal racing in the Solent.  We had a good week, wining IRC Class 0.
Next up at the end of August was the Newport Bucket on the Briand 125 Superyacht P2.  Light to moderate conditions, some good upgrades to the boat, and plenty challenging with 36 crew!  We sailed a good regatta and came away with a first in class and fleet.
Last event was the Rolex Maxi Worlds in Sardinia in early September on the Richael-Pugh 82 Highland Fling.  Some great racing around the islands and rocks on a really fast boat.  And another solid win, so a successful trip!
Next up for me in late September is the Regatta Royal in Cannes, followed by Voiles de St. Tropez, both on the restored 1930 Fife designed 6 meter NADA.  Quite a change from the carbon speedsters, but a great experience to sail amongst hundreds of beautifully restored yachts in what is as much a celebration of sailing, as it is a regatta.
Following this in late October I have the Caribbean Sailing Association’s Annual Conference where I serve as President and help lead our annual gathering of all the regions regatta directors, handicap measurers, youth sailing programs, and sailing associations as we all come together to focus on sailing.  A good cause that allows me to give back to this great sport, and the region I love.
Then in November my last overseas event for the year, the IRC Nationals in Cape Town, SA on the IRC 52 Cape Fling.

Read more about Peter’s professional sailing activities here.

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Summer Sizzle BVI 2014 Launch Party

July 17, 2014

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It’s about to get sizzlin’ hot at Bamboushay, the BVI’s social address on this Friday, July 18 for the Summer Sizzle BVI 2014 Launch Party. Bamboushay, will offer Sizzle shots and signature cocktails all night long as a bevy of BVI’s beautiful models kick off the most anticipated fashion event in the Caribbean. The organizers are offering ticket specials and discounted weekend packages which will be available at the Launch Party.

Summer Sizzle BVI will bring the glamour of the runway to the shores of the islands, positioning the BVI as a fashion hotspot. Since the event launched in 2009, it has attracted visitors from around the globe and offering a dynamic platform for international and emerging designers to showcase their collections to an audience of fashionistas, media, tastemakers, jetsetters and global consumers.

Summer Sizzle BVI Fashion & Lifestyle Weekend  is scheduled for July 24 – 27, 2014 and  includes the Welcome Culture & Style Party in celebration of the 60th Anniversary of BVI Festival on Thursday, July 24th at Maria’s by the Sea with music by DJ Wiz, the White Fashion Gala on Friday, July 25th at Cultureville, adjacent to the Beef Island bridge on Tortola with the sounds of New York’s hottest DJ, DJ Protégé and one of BVI’s top DJ, DJ Bertrum. Summer Sizzle BVI “Global Glamour” Runway Show on Saturday, July 26th at U.P.’s Cineplex Crystal Ballroom on Tortola, followed by a VIP After-Party, as well as a Sailing Excursion & Beach BBQ on the island of Virgin Gorda on Sunday, July 27 as the grand finale to the weekend. The festive event will be hosted by Kenny Burns, media personality and VP of Marketing for REVOLT TV and  Claire Sulmers, Writer and Editor, Founder of and other celebrity guests.

The “Global Glamour” Runway show will feature collections from designers such as: Cesar Galindo, Eduardo de las Casas, Go by Gottex, Andrew Nowell, Jaer Caban, Aqua Couture by Roger Gary, Michael Alan Stein, Per Te, Rich Kim, Andrew Harris, Carlton Jones, Nikini Resortwear and Althea Gaskin Feurich. BVI’s very own talented designer Trefle Designs by Kristin Frazer will present her kids swim & resort collection and Menen I Designs by Markita Smith will make her debut on the international stage. The showcase also will feature a multi-cultural cast of models from the BVI, USVI, New York, Curacao and Puerto Rico.


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July 8, 2014


Virgin Gorda ranked as one of the world’s Top Islands in 2014 “World’s Best Awards”

TORTOLA, B.V.I (July 7, 2014) – The British Virgin Islands Tourist Board (BVITB) is thrilled to share news of the “World’s Best Awards” 2014 reader’s survey from Travel + Leisure, whereby Virgin Gorda was ranked the Top Island for the Caribbean, Bermuda and the Bahamas. Virgin Gorda is ranked No. 8 on the Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards 2014 list of Top Islands Overall.

Other Top Islands in the ‘Caribbean, Bermuda and the Bahamas’ category included Exumas, Bahamas, St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands, and St. Lucia. Virgin Gorda was the only Caribbean island to be included in the top 10 overall rankings.

“This is indeed good news. Part of my Government’s vision for our tourism industry is to create a captivating and safe tourist destination,” said Premier and Minister for Tourism, Dr. the Honorable D. Orlando Smith OBE. “Though the natural beauty of our islands is exquisite, we are constantly seeking ways to develop attractions to add to the BVI tourist experience. We are strengthening our product and adding to our current tourism menu while exploring ways to make our offerings more attractive and relevant for new and repeat visitors.”

Premier Smith added, “We will continue to establish BVI as a global brand, welcome more visitors to our shores streamline processes to attract investors; continue to create efficiencies and fresh market opportunities and most of all work with the private sector to make our tourism industry even more vibrant; providing the ultimate, unique visitor experience.”

“I wish to commend the Chairman Mr. Russell Harrigan and his team for the work they are doing to reposition this Territory as a prime tourism destination in the Caribbean,” Premier Smith said.

For Travel + Leisure’s 19th annual poll, readers were asked to cast their votes for hotels, destinations, and companies that epitomize the very best in travel. Islands are rated on the following characteristics: natural attractions/beaches, activities/sights, restaurants/food, people, and value. This year’s list is considered one of their most comprehensive to-date.

Virgin Gorda is the third-largest and second most populous of the British Virgin Islands, measuring eight and a half square miles. The dramatic shape of the island Virgin Gorda is said to have reminded Christopher Columbus of a reclining woman, or “Fat Virgin.”

The beautiful island entices travelers with its yacht clubs, quiet coves, safe anchorages and luxury resorts and villas. For a quintessential Caribbean vacation, stroll or swim one of the unspoiled beaches in stunning settings such as Savannah Bay or Devil’s Bay.

Natural beauty is in abundance on Virgin Gorda; adventurers can discover the indigenous plant-lined trails, nature sanctuaries and natural wonders of our protected national parks. A must-see is The Baths, a popular attraction where huge granite boulders create mysterious grottos, saltwater pools and a connecting trail that entices visitors to swim and snorkel.

For visitors wanting to experience a day on Virgin Gorda, ferries run regularly between neighboring Tortola’s Road Town and Spanish Town, which also has its own airport.  Another ferry from Beef Island’s Trellis Bay takes passengers to accommodation at Leverick Bay, the Bitter End Yacht Club and Biras Creek.

Learn more about the BVI’s Virgin Gorda at

The results of the Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards 2014 are available on and will be featured in the August issue of Travel + Leisure, on newsstands July 18.

About the British Virgin Islands

An archipelago comprised of 60 islands and cays, the British Virgin Islands (BVI) are located 80 kilometers east of Puerto Rico, in the northwestern region of the Caribbean Sea. The main islands are Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost Van Dyke. Road Town, located in Tortola, is the British Virgin Island’s capital.

The BVI is renowned as a destination for sailing, diving and snorkeling. The destination’s vast topography provides unique opportunities for hiking, outdoor adventure and sustainable tourism. The BVI is home to many famous attractions that include The Baths on Virgin Gorda, the Wreck of the Rhone off the coast of Salt Island, The Caves off the coast of Norman Island, the flamingos on Anegada, White Bay Beach on Jost Van Dyke, and Sage Mountain on Tortola.

Despite its status as a United Kingdom territory, the BVI uses the U.S. dollar as its official currency. The BVI Tourist Board invites everyone to experience the seduction of our pristine and exquisite home. For more information on all that BVI has to offer, visit

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New flights launch to The British Virgin Islands

June 26, 2014

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Launch of VIP daily service from Antigua makes it even easier to visit these beautiful Caribbean islands

The British Virgin Islands (BVI) are consistently recognised as one of the most breathtaking destinations in the world and now getting there is even easier as the BVI Tourist Board announce a new VIP air service.

The new flights launch between Antigua and Beef Island in The BVI on June 26th 2014 and connect with the arrival/departure of scheduled British Airways and Virgin Atlantic flights between London Gatwick and Antigua. The twice a week flights, on Saturdays and Sundays, operated by VI Airlink, also include a personalised meet and greet concierge service meaning guests will be met after clearing immigration and be escorted through the baggage hall, customs and security, ensuing a stress-free connection.

Commenting on the new VIP air service, Sharon Flax-Mars, Director of Tourism says: “Our passenger numbers from the UK have been growing and I am proud to say that we listened to our industry partners and added the extra airlift they need.  I’ll be even prouder when we welcome their guests in The BVI and share some of our most enchanting secrets whether it’s the 16 miles of sandy beaches on Anegada, our abundant reefs waiting to be snorkelled or simply our glorious sunsets with cocktail recipes to take back home.  I am pleased to be working with a world class BVI airline offering our visitors efficient service and friendly BVI welcomes from Antigua.”

Ginny Hawksley, Manager UK, BVI Tourist Board goes on to say: “The launch of these new flights enables travellers from the UK to enjoy more time in the British Virgin Islands thanks to a quicker transfer time in Antigua. The personalised meet and greet concierge service also takes the stress out of connecting flights and ensures guests arrive in style and depart feeling truly relaxed.

The timing of the new flights will allow visitors departing from the British Virgin Islands to enjoy more time in their destination on the day of departure, while incoming guests will arrive in time for evening supper.

Neville Brathwaite Jr, a spokesman for V I Airlink, said: “V I Airlink is proud to partner with the BVI Tourist Board, to be the first, and only BVI registered Airline to connect the BVI to Antigua in over ten years”

Flights start from £249 round trip, including taxes.  For more information and to book call your travel agent or phone 0843 289 3589.


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