Choosing Boat/Itinerary, How to Book, Where to Meet
+ WHAT TRIP IS BETTER? JVD/BVI OR USVI?
When considering things to do in St.John, boating and boat tours are extremely popular. The actual itinerary decision is different for every group. We often host groups for multiple trips during each vacation and have hosted the same group for one of each or both days in either the USVI or both days to Jost. Here are the main differences:
- The USVI sails are more sailing/snorkeling focused with 2-3 stops including a deli lunch or buy your own pizza from the infamous Pizza Pi boat. This trip focuses on beauty, water, nature in and around the Virgin Islands National Park and neighboring Cays.
- The JVD,BVI sail requires passports, $70/p cash for customs, money for lunch ashore & souvenirs and is more about the shore time at idyllic White Bay and the Soggy Dollar Bar for a painkiller and lunch.
Any of our sailing experiences are leisurely, relaxing and memorable days on the water.
+ SHOULD WE BOOK A SAILING CATAMARAN OR POWERBOAT TRIP?
+ HOW DO I BOOK A CHARTER WITH SALTY DOG DAY SAILS?
We have several methods to facilitate bookings:
- Contact us here with inquiries about itineraries, rate clarification, help in choosing the right boat option from our fleet or customizing private charters.
- Already decided? Book a trip using our secure online calendar and activity picker for both public & private trips. CC Processing & booking fees applicable to all online bookings.
Call us at 340-244-7290!
We love/prefer email and our replies are quick & detailed allowing you to consider options in writing so no confusion. Have questions requiring discussion? No problem, just call us to go over anything that needs further clarification–we’d love to hear from you!
+ CAN SALTY ACCOMMODATE CRUISE SHIP PASSENGERS?
On an infrequent basis, the stars align and your cruiseship port call time allows for the logistics required for your group to taxi from the port to Redhook and take the hourly passenger ferry to meet our scheduled itinerary PUBLIC trip departures. We are willing to be flexible with itinerary timing for private charters with boat minimums, but it does require considerable discussion to arrange.
The cruise ship port is nearly 9 mi away from our boats' home port in St. John which is roughly 1.5 hr transist in each direction. we charge a boat repositioning fee for guests who wish us to meet the ship rather than hassle with the land/ferry logistics.
In most cases, we suggest you contact a St. Thomas based boat charter company with options departing from Charlotte Amalie rather than from Red Hook. The ships also have dedicated excursions that you may book directly. These options are coordinated with ship port times and require a lot less headaches. Should you choose to make St. thomas or St. John a land-based vacation in the future, it would be our greatest pleasiure to host you for a memorbale day on the water.
+ DOES SALTY OFFER TRIPS TO VIRGIN GORDA & THE BATHS?
Yes and No! The BATHS are an iconic natural beauty wonder located on the far SE end of Virgin Gorda which is approximately 22nm upwind from your departure location of Cruz Bay, St. John. There are NO SAILING VESSELS capable of going to the BATHS on a DAY CHARTER, but we did go to the dark side and add a powerboat to our fleet!For BATHS/Virgin Gorda itineraries, please consider our PUBLIC powerboat tour, a private powerboat charter or a MULTI-DAY sailing charter. Our day charter sailing experiences are leisurely, relaxing and memorable days on the water.
+ ARE CHILDREN DISCOUNTED?
The USCG counts passengers regardless of age and therefore our boat expenses, insurance and liability are all based on total passenger count regardless of age--in fact many insurance companies consider children more of a liability for insurance and safety reasons. We do provide extra safety gear as a result.
On PUBLIC trips we offer a nominal reduced rate for children ages 5-10. We do not book children under 5 for public trips and there are no 'free-children' as they are all sellable seats with a limit of 12 per boat so free seats are lost revenue that covers insurance & other business expenses related to all passengers regardless of age. We require 6 Adult paid tickets for public trips to sail.
Private charters have a base rate for up to 6 regardless of age and guests 7-12 are rated per passenger based on Adult or Child ticket rate.
+ DO THE BOATS HAVE ADEQUATE SHADE?
All our boats offer shaded seating options. For more information, please visit the FLEET individual boat pages to view options.
+ DO THE BOATS HAVE TOILETS/BATHROOMS?
Each boat has amenities listed on their individual page under the FLEET tab. All boats have toilets. Catamaran LUCKY DOG and Catamaran OFF CAY have full bathrooms whereas Catamaran BAD DOG has only an emergency only portable toilet in a bare hull. The powerboat ISLAND DOG has a very basic boat toilet in the forward cabin storage area.
+ WHERE DO WE MEET THE BOAT FOR OUR CHARTER?
All our PUBLIC/Per ticket passenger excursions depart from St. John. Trip itineraries and timing as described are based on a St. John departure.
Private charters, by arrangement, can possibly pickup/drop off in St. Thomas from the Redhook area on USVI sailing itineraries. Please note the below FAQ on the topic.
+ CAN THE BOAT PICK US UP IN ST. THOMAS IF WE DO A PRIVATE CHARTER?
All PUBLIC tours meet in St. John. Private trips may arrange alternate pickup locations. Please email SaltyDogDaySails@gmail.com to discuss the possibilities and charges. Options are all on the Redhook/East end of St. Thomas, some require a docking fee and all are weather permitting. We always suggest a St. John departure as the crossing between islands is known to be particularly lumpy and not the best way to START your day!
Trip Preparation & Day of Charter FAQ’s
Parking, Food & Beverages, Snorkel Gear & Packing
+ WHERE DO WE MEET OUR CHARTER?
Charters meet at the Virgin Islands National Park Visitor's Center (big yellow building adjacent to the international arrival and Customs area) in Cruz Bay St. John located on the North Shore Road across the street from Morgan's Mango/Virgin Islands Expedition Company near the old ballfield. If you are coming from St. thomas on the ferry, turn left as you exit the ferry and it is about a 4-6 minute walk. Here is a google map to the RED PIN meet location:
+ WHERE MAY WE PARK FOR OUR CHARTER
Parking is one of St. John's biggest issues. For you 'peace-of-mind' we suggest a paid lot like the Lumberyard, Slimman's or Wharfside Landing near the Beach Bar. Drop guests and baggage at the National Park and send the designated driver only to go park. Parking is not permitted at the National park until after 5pm. you will get ticketed or towed from there and also at Mongoose Junction.
+ WHAT SHOULD WE BRING FOR OUR CHARTER?
Your comfort translates to your enjoyment. Please bring necessities that include: towels, reef-safe sunscree (NO SPRAY SUNSCREEN ALLOWED), hats, cameras and any items that may be required for your health during the day.
+ DO BOATS HAVE SNORKEL GEAR OR MAY WE BRING OUR OWN?
All of our vessels are outfitted with professional quality and comfotable snorkel gear available for your use or rent per the trip description terms.
Should you wish to bring your own, please be courteous and PRE-RINSE SAND from gear and bags. We leave the sand on the beach as it is disaterous to boat electrical pumps and overall guest comfort.
+ DO WE BRING OUR OWN BEVERAGES & FOOD?
Most sailing charters provide a welcome fruit & baked good spread together with a family-friendly open bar after the first snorkel stop. Powerboat tours include limited open bar after first snorkel stop. Full day tours incorporate lunch stops. Personal food & beverages are discouraged on public trips. We request that you discuss with us any options to supplement as it is normally our preference to provision for you at a nominal fee so we may procure boat-friendly packaging. We prefer no coolers, no glass bottles and no red wine.
Make sure you stash snacks for the kiddos as just -in-case! Chips and cookies are all super lightweight and have a tendancy to blow everywhere. Its up to you, but we suggest individually wrapped bars snack bags like goldfish, fruit roll-up and items that do not require plating for crumbs.