United States Virgin Islands

sailing vacations – visiting the “American Caribbean”


Getting Here:

Both St. Thomas’s Cyril E. King Airport (STT) and St. Croix’s Henry Rohlsen Airport (STX) are served by American, Delta, Continental, United, and US Airways. Travelers have the option of connecting through Miami or San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Smaller carriers such as Seaborne Airlines (seaplanes), Air Sunshine and Cape Air fly between St. Thomas and St. Croix, which are 40 miles apart.

To reach St. John, which has no airport, you will need to fly into St. Thomas and ferry to Cruz Bay from either Charlotte Amalie (a 45-minute ride; $10 each way) or Red Hook (a 20-minute ride; $5 each way). The larger St. John hotels also offer private water-taxi service directly to their docks, so inquire when booking. Detailed ferry and airline informationcan be found at www.usvitourism.vi .sunset

Once you arrive, taxis as well as car and jeep rentals are widely available on all three islands. If you plan to spend most of your time at a resort, hiring a taxi to get to and from dinners (and maybe taking an island tour to see more of the island) should be sufficient. Since rates are based on destination, not mileage, agree on the fare before you’re on the road. It’s also best to stick to taxi services recommended by your hotel.

Guests at a villa or campground, and anyone who wishes to explore the islands at their own pace, should consider renting a car. Road conditions are generally good, although there are some narrow/winding spots. Renting a jeep for excursions on St. John is recommended—it’s hilly, and some of the more remote roads are unpaved. Driving is on the left throughout the U.S. Virgin Islands—keep it in mind, but don’t be intimidated.

Starting your Caribbean sailing vacation in St. Thomas: You can easily explore the unspoiled Spanish Virgin Islands or visit the British Virgin Islands. Crewed yacht charters and bareboat charters are available and we will help you to find the right yacht out of this large selection. Regardless of some rumors, Customs and Immigration procedures on arrival and during your cruise are fast and easy.

Shopping in Tax Free St. Thomas for electronics, perfumes, alcohol and cigarettes is shoppers must. St. Thomas is the shopping capital of the Caribbean. Hotels and Restaurants are available in all price ranges.

Often described as “4 lively islands, one gentle people,” St. Thomas, St. Croix, St. John and Water Island make up the “American Caribbean”, offering a very cosmopolitan culture as well as pristine, sandy beaches and crystal clear waters ideal for diving and snorkeling. Explore the lush green island of St. John which is two-thirds national park. Stroll down one of the many long white beaches or hike along a nature trail, many of which end with outstanding panoramic views of white beaches and emerald cays. St. Thomas is filled with bustling towns and great duty-free shopping. At Charlotte Amalie, cruise port and capital of the USVI, white and red-roofed brick buildings from the days of Dutch power stand vibrantly against a backdrop of emerald hills.

St. John was just voted again the Number 1 Caribbean island from the readers of the Conde Nast Travel Magazine.

Hawksnest Bay, St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands…
To narrow down just one great beach on St John is like trying to settle on the best painting in the Louvre. The entire island is awash with gorgeous sands, turquoise blue coves and an overwhelming tropical abundance that will make you weep with joy. Since two-thirds of this island paradise is protected national parkland, it also remains pure and underdeveloped. One can’t go wrong with any of the post-card-perfect beaches here, but if I had to choose just one on which to wile away my days, it would have to be Hawksnest Bay.

visit USVI

US Virgin Islands Background, brief facts…

United States Virgin Island has an area of 352 square km (144 sq. miles) combined.MOKO-JUMBI

The Capital is Charlotte Amalie (St. Thomas).

Nationality of the residents – U.S. Citizen.

Official Language: English

Currency: U.S. Dollar

Time Zone: EST + 1; GMT -4

TOURIST INFORMATION: U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism Tel: 800-372-8784

On-island offices:
78-123 Estate Contant
Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas
Tel: 340 774 8784
Fax: 340 774 4390

Henry Samuel Street (next to post office)
Cruz Bay, St. Johnusvi-flag
Tel: 340 776 6450
Fax: 340 776 6450

53A Company St.
Christiansted, St. Croix
Tel: 340 773 0495
Fax: 340 773 5074

Strand Street
Fredericksted, St. Croix
Tel: 340 772 0357

Climate Average temperatures ranging from 77 degrees Fahrenheit in winter to 82 degrees Fahrenheit in summer. There is less than a 5 degree Fahrenheit difference in temperature from winter to summer.

Entry formalities  A passport is not required. This doesn’t apply if you’re only making stops in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. These islands fly the U.S. flag, thus no passport is needed. However, if you cruise over to the British Virgin Islands or down to Saint Marten, for example, U.S. immigration officials will insist on seeing a passport before they’ll let you back in the country.

Boat races in the U.S. Virgin Islands are hosted year-round, including the International Rolex Cup Regatta on St. Thomas and the Mumm’s Cup Regatta on St. Croix. St. Thomas is also home to the world-famous Virgin Islands America’s Cup Challenge team.

Prices are highest from mid-December through mid-April, and peak during the weeks around Christmas and New Year’s (also called “The Season or In Season”). During this time you’ll find low humidity and the most stable weather.

Rates — not to mention crowds — decrease significantly from June through November, though this is officially considered Caribbean hurricane season. If you plan on booking a trip during this time, ask about cancellation policies, as many hotels and airlines will refund you if there is a major storm. The chances of this happening are relatively slim: The last serious hurricane to hit the U.S. Virgin Islands was Marilyn, in 1995. In fact, many people prefer the summer/fall season; you’re competing with fewer folks for hotel rooms, restaurant reservations, and spots on those sunset cruises. But as a precaution you may want to investigate purchasing trip insurance from a reputable company.

For the best mix of price and weather, consider shoulder season periods: the second half of April, all of May, and mid November to mid December.

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