Getting there & away
St Thomas is the most popular cruise ship destination in the Caribbean, with more than 1000 arrivals each year. These ships pull in to the West Indian Company dock in Havensight on the eastern edge of St Thomas Harbor, and to Crown Bay Marina to the west.
There are excellent ferry connections linking St Thomas and St John with Tortola, Virgin Gorda and Jost Van Dyke. St Thomas/St John This Week magazine prints the full timetables. You must have a valid passport to travel between the USVIs and British Virgin Islands.
Ferries travel several times daily from Charlotte Amalie (St Thomas) to Road Town (Tortola), often via West End (Tortola). Costs are similar (round trip US$49, 60 minutes); departures are from Charlotte Amalie’s Marine Terminal.
Native Son (774-8685; www.nativesonbvi.com)
Road Town Fast Ferry (777-2800; www.roadtownfastferry.com)
Smith’s Ferry (775-7292; www.smithsferry.com)
Ferries also travel from Red Hook (St Thomas) to the British Virgin Islands. Inter-Island (776-6597) goes to Jost Van Dyke on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (round trip US$50, 45 minutes); and to Virgin Gorda Thursday and Sunday (round trip US$60, 75 minutes). Native Son runs between Red Hook and Tortola (West End) four to five times daily (round trip US$45, 30 minutes). Inter-Island ferries also travel from Cruz Bay (St John) to West End (Tortola) three times daily (round trip US$45, 30 minutes).
Transportation Services (776-6282) used to operate a ferry twice a month from Charlotte Amalie’s waterfront to Fajardo, Puerto Rico (round trip US$100, two hours). At press time, the service had been discontinued, but it may start up again.
Americans do not need a passports to visit the US Virgin Islands, but all other nationalities do. When departing the USVIs, Americans will be asked to show photo identification (such as a driver’s license) and proof of US citizenship (such as a birth certificate). If traveling to any other Caribbean country (besides Puerto Rico, which, like the USVIs, is a US territory), Americans must have a valid passport in order to re-enter the US.
The USVIs have two airports.
Almost all flights to the USVIs from outside the Caribbean either originate in or transit through the US (including Puerto Rico) via these airlines:
The following airlines fly to/from the USVIs from within the Caribbean:
Air Sunshine (888-879-8900, 800-327-8900; www.airsunshine.com) San Juan
Cape Air (800-352-0714; www.flycapeair.com) San Juan
Liat (774-2313; www.liatairline.com) Antigua