During particularly busy times (i.e. January through March), your ship will dock at Havensight also called West India Company Dock, the primary dock for cruise ships, or Crown Bay, which opened a new port facility in early 2007. If more than six ships call on St. Thomas in one day, your ship could be anchored in the harbor; the tenders will drop you in the heart of Charlotte Amalie.
Havensight: Right at the dock at Havensight is, in essence, a mini-downtown. There are more than 50 shops, many of which are outposts of Charlotte Amalie's better-known boutiques. The dock is 15 to 20 minutes walk from town. Plenty of taxis available.
Also within the expansive Havensight shopping area is Dockside Books, the island's only bookstore; Gourmet Gallery, with a terrific selection of wine and Caribbean beer; a post office;
Across the main drag running outside Havensight's facility are convenience stores, coffee shops and Cafes which offer free WiFi for customers. New -- and within walking distance from the Havensight pier -- is the Yacht Haven Grande Marina; when you exit your ship, turn left and follow the dock around the harbor. It's the first genuinely upscale shopping and dining area to open in St. Thomas in years.
Beyond the immediate facility, the best bargains on duty-free liquor can be found at K-Mart.
Crown Bay: It is quite difficult to (40 min) walk from Crown Bay to downtown. However, taxis can usually be found waiting in a designated area. Taxis are shared, about $5 par person.
Printable map to take along.
Cruise calendar for this port and which dock will be used.
Watch a destination video.
Many visitors explore Charlotte Amalie to shop rather than to look at history. The proximity of the historic buildings to the stores however, makes it easy to enjoy both. To really embrace the historical sights you must look beyond the shops, vendors and people. Try to picture the past; complete with forts, plantations, warehouses and pirates, among the many other images of St. Thomas' History. Exploring Charlotte Amalie is a rewarding experience and easily done on foot (wear comfortable shoes).
Take a ride on The Skyride to Paradise Point and enjoy a breathtaking view of St. Thomas Harbor. Then travel to Mountain Top, the highest point on St. Thomas, and see spectacular views of Magens Bay, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
Check out Coral World Marine Park, where you can touch sea stars at the touch pool or explore the mystery of life in a mangrove lagoon off the Coastal Trail.
Sit back and enjoy a relaxing half-day sail to Buck Island aboard a large sailing yacht, then snorkel in Turtle Cove.
It pays to compare your cruise line shore excursions here.
Getting around any of the Virgin Islands is fairly easy. All of the islands have bus service and/or a regulated taxi service. You can "bargain" for most things on the islands, but the taxi and bus rates are regulated. Taxi rates are charged per person one way and are expensive.
Use the safari dollar buses. Wait for one at a bus stop. Pay the driver when you exit $1 for short distances and $2 for longer distances.
If you want a real treat for a beach then walk over to Crown Bay Marina right beside the cruise ship dock and take the ferry over to Water Island. This is a short ferry ride five to ten minutes. Honeymoon beach is a short walk from the ferry dock on Water Island. It rivals any beach on the islands and won't be crowed or over run with other cruisers.
St. John: To get there, regardless of where you dock, hop in a taxi and head to the Red Hook Ferry dock. The ferry to Cruz Bay St. John leaves every hour on the hour. If you make the 9:00 AM ferry, you'll beat the crowds and have more time on the island. It's only about a 20 minute ferry ride. When you get off the ferry there are bunches of taxis waiting to take you to the beach or on an island tour or both. It's about $6 per person from the dock to Trunk Bay with a couple of wonderful scenic overlooks on the way.
Heading back, it is recommended you take a ferry that leaves Cruz Bay no later than 3 hours prior to your ships departure. There are always plenty of cabs at Red Hook waiting to take passengers back to ships, too.
Magens Bay features a well-protected white sand beach stretching for nearly three quarters of a mile. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the island, as well as a gathering place for locals.
St. Thomas is the bargain-shopping bazaar of the Caribbean. There are over 400 shops along the Main Street area in Charlotte Amalie and some 50 more in Havensight Mall. Great bargains are found on precious gemstones, and on fine jewelry and watches. Cameras, electronic goods, and designer clothing are also available, as are a selection of island rums and liquors, with great bargains on your favorite spirits.
Custom allows $1200 worth of goods per person duty-free. And there's no sales tax!
English is the official language but you may also find Spanish being spoken.
Shopping hours Mon-Sat 0900-1700. When cruise ships are in port, some larger shops open on Sunday.
1 Jan New Year's Day.
6 Jan Three Kings' Day.
Jan Martin Luther King Day.
Feb Presidents' Day.
May Memorial Day.
3 Jul Emancipation Day.
4 Jul Independence Day.
Jul Hurricane Supplication Day.
Sep Labor Day.
Oct Columbus Day.
Oct Virgin Islands Thanksgiving Day.
1 Nov D Hamilton Jackson Day/Liberty Day.
11 Nov Veterans' Day.
Nov US Thanksgiving Day.
25 Dec Christmas Day.
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