Getting Around U.S. Virgin Islands
The best way to get around any U.S. Virgin Island is in a car -- either your own rental or a taxi. Car rental agencies have offices at both airports -- The U.S. Virgin Islands has two; one on St. Thomas and one on St. Croix. Ferries from St. Thomas are the most efficient way of getting to St. John or even the British Virgin Islands. You can also take a ferry from St. Thomas to St. Croix, but the sea-plane is a faster and more popular option.
Taking a cruise is also a popular way to travel to the Virgin Islands -- in fact, St. Thomas is the busiest cruise port in all the Caribbean. Although its port is less busy, you can also take a cruise to St. Croix. Popular lines to visit both islands include Holland America Line and Royal Caribbean.
|Car||Rental car agencies are on each island, and car barges will allow you to transport your vehicle between islands. But driving in the U.S. Virgin Islands can be nerve-wracking. The roads are often narrow, winding, steep and bumpy. Ask to rent a car with four-wheel drive, remember to keep to the left and beware of the blind curves.|
Each individual island offers public transportation that's affordable but not necessarily reliable. Vitran buses circulate on St. Thomas and St. John, connecting their respective tourist attractions. On St. Croix, buses run between Christiansted and Frederiksted approximately every 45 minutes with stops at popular shopping centers and tourist sites.
|Taxi||V.I. taxis look like sawed-off pickup trucks that have been converted to have three to five bench seats in the cab. You'll see hoards of them in downtown Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas or by the docks in St. John and St. Croix, and they're a great way to move around the islands. They'll stop at all the major tourist sites. But beware: they aren't metered, so negotiate your fare before accepting the ride. Most pay somewhere between $7 and $15 per person for a roundtrip taxi to and from the hotels to top sites on St. Thomas; between $6 and $25 per person to get around St. John; and between $6 and $30 per person for a roundtrip taxi around much of St. Croix.|
Taking a ferry boat is an affordable way to travel amongst the U.S. Virgin Islands or to daytrip to the British Virgin Islands. Boats frequently leave from the Red Hook dock in St. Thomas heading to Cruz Bay, St. John or Tortola, BVI, and there's usually a daily charter that shuttles between St. Thomas and Virgin Gorda or Jost Van Dyke, BVI. Catching a boat to St. Croix is trickier -- ferries leave from both Red Hook and Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, but not every day. Schedules for all inter-island ferries change, so you should contact the companies directly for times.
It will take approximately two hours to reach St. Croix from St. Thomas if you take a boat. So many travelers prefer to splurge for the Seaborne Airlines sea plane, which also has routes to the British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Schedules and prices vary, so you should check the airline's official website to plan your day.
Entry & Exit Requirements
Although a passport is not required to travel between the United States and the U.S. Virgin Islands, you must bring a passport if you're planning to visit the British Virgin Islands during your stay. Visit the U.S. State Department's website for more information on entry and exit requirements.