Published: Nov 11 2019
A gorgeous territory of the United States, the US Virgin Islands sit and shine in the middle of the Caribbean Sea. They draw in thousands of visitors each year who are looking for a tropical escape and for fun activities like boating, scuba diving, and more. With stunning beaches, nature preserves, and countless things to do, the US Virgin Islands are the perfect tourist and vacation destination. No need to renew your passport if you're an American citizen either - you can travel to the US Virgin Islands with your regular ID, and use US dollars for transactions once you've arrived.
With sapphire-blue waters and sunny weather year-round, the US Virgin Islands are an obvious destination for a beach-lover. A popular activity for sun worshippers visiting USVI is a boat rental or charter, for a chance to cruise around for a day and see more of the islands from a fresh perspective. In addition to private boat charters, visitors can also enjoy exciting activities like jet ski rentals, stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, and scuba diving in all of the US Virgin Islands.
Depending on the type of traveler you are and what sort of experiences you're looking to have, you'll want to take some time to evaluate the different benefits of the islands of USVI to pick the right one for you. Book a boat rental and go snorkeling in St. Thomas to check out sea turtles, or cruise around on a sunset dinner sailing charter in St. Croix. A romantic boat cruise is perfect in St. John, also considered to be the "Love City," popular amongst couples on vacation.
St. John is a great destination in the USVI for nature lovers and folks looking to escape and unplug. The National Park Service manages more than half the island, The main destinations on St. John and the jumping-off point for boat tours and rentals are Coral Bay and Cruz Bay. For something off the beaten path, skip the busy crowds at Trunk Bay and charter a boat to the secluded Honeymoon Beach. Renting a boat in Cruz Bay or Coral Bay is easy - with lots of motor yachts, sailboats, and jet skis to choose from. Here you can also book snorkel tours to see the coral reefs, which are popular to enjoy from catamarans. Sip tropical cocktails on board with the sun warming your skin, as a captain and crew take you from Cruz Bay around St. John or stopping off at some of the tiny, uninhabited islands just off the coast.
Boat rentals and charters from Cruz Bay and other points of St. John are available captained for maximum relaxation and enjoyment during your holiday.
The largest of the US Virgin Islands in terms of geography, St. Croix is a popular destination for water sports and active travelers looking for some adrenaline and fun during their vacation. It's not as romantic as St. John, nor as busy as St. Thomas, but instead it carves out its own niche for scuba divers looking to explore reefs and wrecks. A large amount of area that is designated as a nature reserve or marine protected on St. Croix is what gives it an abundance of fish and wildlife to see. Even just a snorkeling tour in St. Croix would offer some incredible views of fish and marine life.
Other things for visitors on St. Croix to enjoy include kite surfing, parasailing, paddleboard yoga, and more. It's truly a wonderful destination for vacationers who can't sit still when they are trying to relax.
Most of these excursions leave from Christiansted or Frederiksted, two of the more popular cities of St. Croix.
Hidden gems on St. Croix that will provide you with a once-in-a-lifetime experience are the bioluminescent bays in the Salt River Bay National Historic Park. A kayaking tour through these bio bays will leave you aglow on the water, able to see fish swimming below. The illuminated lagoons will seem like magic in the night. It's an incredible experience to have and is a special place to visit if you're staying on St. Croix.
Visitors traveling to St. Thomas will undoubtedly find themselves in Charlotte Amalie, as it is the capital and largest city of the US Virgin Islands. Charlotte Amalie is also the site of the deepwater harbor where cruise ships come to port and boat charters leave from.
Boat rentals and private boat charters are popular in St. Thomas because they give vacationers a way to escape the crowds of the beaches and the people at the resort pools. Getting your own slice of the sea to swim in and a private boat deck to sunbathe on is magical. Motor yachts, sailboats, and catamarans are all popular rental choices in St. Thomas. Jet ski rentals are also a popular and fun option to fly through the waves from Red Hook or Charlotte Amalie when on vacation in St. Thomas.
Snorkeling tours by boat or from beaches are another wonderful experience to enjoy while in St. Thomas since the water clarity and temperature are so inviting for seeing fish and sea turtles while you swim at the surface. Snorkel off your boat rental or book a special snorkeling tour and stop at beloved spots like Sapphire Beach or Coki Beach.
To have the best boating and travel experience in the US Virgin Islands, there are a couple of things to keep in mind.
- Book early if traveling in high season. This includes the "spring break" times around March and April, as well as during the winter holidays in December. You'll want to make sure you get a good deal, not only on hotel and resort rooms but also boat rentals and water experiences.
- Inquire about everything that is included when booking a boat rental. Drinks, food, water toys, snorkeling equipment, and any other details are good to inquire with the captain about.
- Use GetMyBoat to rent a boat. It's a great choice in the USVI for more price transparency and options, rather than expensive and limited options typically offered at beach resorts and hotel concierges.
-Be wary of hurricane season, which typically runs from June through November. Check the weather before your trip, and consider buying travel insurance in case you have to make some last-minute changes or cancellations.
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