Tortola is a British Virgin Island east of Puerto Rico

The British Virgin Islands are to the east or Puerto Rico. Tortola is a very popular stop, so you might want to work it out before you go. About 15 of the 50 or so British Virgin Islands are inhabited. Tortola will accept local currency, US dollars but not pounds sterling. However, it is a banking centre for many companies of the rich and famous who keep money abroad. Banking as an industry does not offer tourist opportunities, so as it is a small island built on banking there are not that many things to see or do. Beach sun and sea and a circular bus tour. We show you all the options. First, the island tour.

Tortola Cruise Terminal

A lot has changed since the Arawak first inhabited about 100BC and it has been a centre of shipping throughout, and right through the era of the slave trade. The museum is worth finding. It is quite moving and is mentioned in the Solo Cruiser book American Portrait. The new cruise terminal has recently expanded and it looks like there are further plans. The one well appointed major concrete jetty sits two ships and it looks like a second is planned. The difference between our first film above and the second below is incredible and time wise they were just months apart. Cruising is expanding and Tortola is expanding fast.

Often terminals have free wifi, but here some of the cafes have seen this as an opportunity to drive trade and it comes with a purchase or you can purchase wifi. With tourist volume increasing the facilities will follow. These islands are set for an expansion in tourism that they have not seen since the bubble started. There is a newspaper they issue on arrival, it has some good basic information.

The Island Bus Trip

There is a circular route up into the mountains round and down the other side, this has become the standard tour you saw above. We went with Kitty as you have seen. The drivers are merry. If you wish to be merrier, then look for the Reggae Rum Bus. Tortola stills 07The tour does not stop at Bombas Shack, that seems an overnight party place, but it does stop at the islands only working Rum Distillery which is a very small affair

Walking Tour

The walking Tour the magazine suggests is based around the shops that advertise in the magazine, but the other points they feature can be good and should not be overlooked. The Museum of the slave trade is featured in the second film, and is called the Folk Museum which means it can easily be missed. It is worth a look. In the other direction the sugar mill can be glanced at and passed by on the way to the botanical gardens. These feature in our second film.

Tortola stills 09The shops on the way back to the ship are colourful, and have the usual tourist items. It is not a shopping paradise.

Where ever your ship is going next, take a look for a film. We have films everywhere.

Tortola features strongly in the third Solo Cruise romantic series of books. Violet cruises into Tortola and finds and old boyfriend and changes ships as romance slips away again. Load all four Solo Cruiser books to your Kindle these are all free to read with your Kindle library membership or just pennies to buy. Caribbean features in the third Solo Cruise romantic series of books. Violet cruises into Barbados and is painted walking out of the sea. In the series of romantic books for cruisers, Solo Cruiser, by Sally Katz. Book three, American Portrait, features Key West. Violet takes Roy on the Conch train and to Hemmingway’s House.
If you like a romantic read like Bridget Jones and 50 Shades, then download the Kindles versions of the three Solo Cruiser books that make up Violet’s Story before you leave for Southampton (by Coach). Book one is in the book chart, book three happens here in the Caribbean.

SEE THE CRUISE BEFORE YOU CRUISE THE SEA. We have videos of many of the cruise stops you might make from St Lucia to Barcelona, from Tallinn to St Maarten. Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter and share.