British Virgin Islands
Update on the COVID-19 situation as of March 25th, 2020
Further to our press release from March 18, 2020, we are updating you on this situation with regard to Horizon Yacht Charters in the British Virgin Islands.
As of Monday, March 23rd, 2020 the Government of the BVI has closed all borders and no-one at all can enter the BVI. As of writing this, the Premier has announced today that there are two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our country, and we will be going into total lockdown from Friday evening until April 2nd at which point there will be a review.
To this end, we are closing our office down completely at Nanny Cay Marina to allow all our staff to self-isolate and stay safe. A few staff members will be working remotely during this time, and email@example.com will be manned for a couple of hours daily. We encourage you defer your questions and emails as we self-isolate so that we can adjust to this new norm. Christalen and Courtney, our amazing charter co-ordinators, will do their best to try and assist you from their homes, but if your query can wait, this would be much appreciated.
Please refer to our policy below, and we are trying our best to reschedule charters where we can. In the meantime, we hope that you insured your travel and encourage you to talk to your insurers about your options. We thank you very much for your continued support during these very difficult times, and we hope you and your families stay safe.
Update on the COVID-19 situation as of March 18, 2020
We, at Horizon Yacht Charters here in the British Virgins Islands, understand how important your upcoming vacation is to you and your group. In these uncertain travel times, we know you will have questions and we hope to be able to provide you with some reassurances if you are holding reservations with us already, or would like to come and sail our beautiful waters.
We work with the very well-renowned Trip Cancellation Insurance company World Nomads, and we strongly encourage you to protect your holiday investment by insuring your vacation. Please find out more by visiting our Travel Insurance Page.
To remind you of our Cancellation Policy; any charters outside of 90 days prior to arrival date can be cancelled and refunded with only a $200 admin fee retained. Any charter deposits and balances you have paid within the 90 days’ timeframe are Non-Refundable as per our Charter Contract terms and conditions. The good news is, the British Virgin Islands is still deemed to be at low risk for travel health concerns. The Government of the British Virgin Islands is taking very proactive measures to ensure our small territory is screened to the highest level – you can find out more on what arrangements are in place by visiting the Government’s website at: https://bvi.gov.vg/
At Horizon, we are also taking extra precautionary measures in further training of our staff, sanitizing our yachts and ensuring standards of hygiene are kept to the maximum levels, as well as working with our local Environmental Health Department for the best sanitization methods to adopt. Each yacht is meticulously cleaned and sanitized after each charter. It is commonly surmised by the medical and scientific professions that viruses on surfaces breakdown in warmer climates much faster than in colder climates. Horizon always instigates a minimum 24-hour turnaround period between each charter, unlike most other companies that have a “same day” turnaround policy.
What if you have paid your deposit but not paid your balance due and your charter is starting within 90 days? If you are still unsure about whether you want to make the choice to travel to the BVI or not, Horizon is waiving the balance due rule of 45 days prior to start date for charters commencing up to May 1st, 2020. Instead, we are requiring that you pay the balance due only 14 days prior to your charter start date, giving you the flexibility to leave your choice until nearer the time of your charter start. If you decide not to travel, your deposit will be non-refundable.
What if you would like to book a charter for later in the year? As previously mentioned, charters outside of the 90 days’ timeframe are fully refundable (apart from the admin fee) so you can book with confidence, and if you also insure your vacation by using World Nomads Travel Insurance you will have the peace of mind that your vacation is covered even within the Cancellation period (please read the Policy wording carefully as each individual’s needs/terms vary). In addition, for new bookings made up to April 15th, 2020, Horizon is reducing its deposit requirements to just 25% of the charter fee to hold the yacht of your choice. The remaining 25% will be due 90 days prior to start date, and the balance will be due 45 days prior to arrival for all charters starting after May 1st, 2020.
If your charter becomes affected by travel restrictions, please consult your Trip Cancellation Insurance provider and airline representatives to enquire about your options. We cannot stress enough that Trip Cancellation Insurance should be taken for all future vacations to avoid financial distress. Please contact us if you do not have insurance as we hope we can reschedule your charter to a later date, depending on availability. The BVI is being placed under a non-essential travel ban as from March 19th, 2020.