St Thomas (usvi)
Charlotte Amalie Cruise Port

Panoramic Photo of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

St Thomas Port Overview for Cruise Travelers
 - Where Cruise Ships Dock, Beaches, Highlights, Shopping, Landmarks, Active Pursuits and Basics

By: Editor-in-Chief | Date: February 12, 2018

St Thomas is one of the most visited islands in the Caribbean and the most popular of the U.S. Virgin Islands Cruise Ports. Located in the Northeastern area of the Caribbean Sea, St. Thomas is part of the Leeward Islands enjoying both a wonderful and reliable weather in the winter months. But as all cruise travelers are aware, St Thomas can also be hit by devastating hurricanes.

St Thomas and the 2017 Hurricane Season

Due to the devastation of both Hurricanes Irma and Maria, St. Thomas and its two cruise harbors - Crown Bay and Havensight - were off-limits for sometime. However, on November 10 (2017), the Adventure of the Seas (Royal Caribbean) docked in Crown Bay and since then most cruise lines have returned to St Thomas cruise docks.

It should be noted that some top attractions have not been fully restored - like the Zip Line - but most are open. Other attractions are not back to their former glory but in good enough state to be fully enjoyed such as the Coral World Ocean Park.

Although most written reviews have been updated the photographs below and in all other pages where taken before the 2017 Hurricane Season. Sites that are sill under recovery and not open are clearly marked as TEMPORARY CLOSED.

Photo of bay in St. Thomas

Photo by Matt Wade CC-by SA

Where and What

St. Thomas is a small island with 32 square miles (about the same size as Manhattan - 33.77 square miles). One of the nicest aspects of calling on a cruise to this island is that St. Thomas is both safe and very easy to explore. Cruise ships offer excellent tours to most of St. Thomas attractions and highlights but if you wish to explore the island on your own the taxi services are very good alternatives. Taxis are fairly priced and can literally take the cruise ship traveler to all highlights, beaches, main sites and attractions of St Thomas.

Where Cruise Ships Dock

Being one of the most popular ports in the Caribbean with more than 1.5 million visitors per year, St. Thomas has two cruise ship harbors. The Havensight Cruise Ship Dock with 3 docking spots is located East of Charlotte Amalie and within walking distance (around 20 minutes or $5.00 USD per person by Taxi) - Learn more about the Havensight Dock and Terminal. The Crown Bay Cruise Ship Dock with 2 docking spots is located 2 miles West of Charlotte Amalie and the walk is not particularly pleasant (taxi fare to downtown is around $5.00 USD per person) - Learn more about Crown Bay Dock and Terminal.

Photo of bay in St. Thomas

Anchoring - Charlotte Amalie Bay

Photo ©

It doesn't happen often but sometimes cruise ships have to anchor in the bay right in front of Charlotte Amalie and cruise travelers will be transfered to town on a tender boat - Discover where the tender boat moors in Charlotte Amalie. Wherever your cruise ship docks in St Thomas it will always be very easy to travel around by taxi.


Best Beaches and Duty-Free Shopping

St. Thomas is known for its sugar-white sand beaches - Magens Bay is rated amongst the top 10 in the World - although sometimes these can get a bit crowded when there are 5 to 6 ships in port. However, there are so many beaches to explore that you will surely find a nice spot to enjoy the spectacular Caribbean Sea with its crystal clear turquoise waters.

Photo of Shops in Charlotte Amalie

Shops - Charlotte Amalie

Photo ©

St. Thomas is also praised amongst savvy cruisers as a Shopper's Paradise and it is guaranteed that before arriving in port you will have on-board your cruise ship 'shopping guides' marketing selected stores - the likes of Diamonds International, Effy, Tanzanite and so on. The on-board guide will be offering all sorts of bargains, coupons, deals, and promotions. However, besides the stores promoted by the on-board shopping guide, there are many other shops that the cruise traveler should look into.

Historical Landmarks, Lunch or a Quick Bite

If the cruise ship traveler chooses to explore Charlotte Amalie, the capital of St. Thomas, where most shops are located and where you will find some very interesting landmarks, you should contemplate having lunch or a quick bite downtown, where there are quite a few nice places to eat.

Most of the historical landmarks in St. Thomas are located in Charlotte Amalie and there is an interesting itinerary that will take you to all of these, including the famous Blackbeard's Castle, the 99 steps and Fort Christian amongst 20 other landmarks. But if you do not have the time, the energy or the interest to see all of these, you should at least visit the Synagogue with its unusual sand floor.

Photo of 99 steps in Charlotte Amalie - St Thomas

The famous 99 steps in Charlotte Amalie

Photo ©


Active Pursuits

Panoramic View of from Paradise Point, in St. Thomas.

Cruise Ships Docking - St. Thomas

Photo ©

For those interested in more active pleasures Ziplinning in St. Thomas is a must. Although the Zip Line is currently closed it is advisable to check the the Zipline Facebook Page for updates as it is scheduled to open at any time soon. The Coral World Ocean Park is open and offers exotic aquatic adventures. A sightseeing tour of the island will take you to the Mountain Top, Drakes Seat or the Paradise Point where you will enjoy astonishing sceneries. The latter is easy to explore on your own if docked at Havensight Cruise Ship Dock. For those that prefer to explore off-the-beaten-track sites or that have been in St. Thomas before, an excursion to the pristine beauty and quaint charm of St. John should be in your plans.

St. Thomas Basics

Language English is the official language.
Currency: The US$ dollar is the official currency and legal tender.
Phones: Area Code: 340. Most US phones may work but is advisable to check with your provider to avoid roaming charges.  
Entry Requirements: Passport NOT is required for U.S. citizens with valid photo ID such as a driver's license. Non-U. S. visitors are required a valid passport.
Electricity: Standard American 120 V current.
Rent-a-Car: Avis and Budget by the Havensight Mall. Thrifty and Dollar at the Airport.
Driving: Driving is on the left.
Emergencies: Dial 911
Drinking: Legal drinking age is 18 years.
Smoking: Smoking is prohibited in restaurants and public buildings. Bars may allow smoking outdoors.
ATM's: On the main street in Charlotte Amalie and at both cruise terminals.


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The information on this page was accurate when last updated and published but changes may have occurred without notice.
It is advisable to confirm details with local tourist information before planning your cruise, tour or excursion of St. Thomas.
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