The US Virgin Islands Best Guide

Things To Do While In Port

Things to Do In Port

The USVI has an abundance of activities and attractions. It all depends on what you would like to do or enjoy. There are dozens of beaches, great shopping options, tours, diving, snorkeling, parasailing, boating, sailing, island hopping, picnicking, getting married, restaurants, bars, historical buildings. Start/Join a discussion about activities in the USVI or to get opinions of activities you plan to do while in port; go to the Travel Forum.


There are many gorgeous shorelines in the Virgin Islands. This site has the best beach guides for the USVI, each guide includes great photos, descriptions and a check list for amenities like restrooms, accessibly, snorkeling and more. Select the appropriate island beach guide. St. Thomas Beach Guide, St. John Beach Guide, St. Croix Beach Guide and Water Island Beach Guide.

On St. Thomas, there are no beaches within easy walking distance from the cruise ship docks, you will need to take a taxi or rent a car. On St. Croix, Frederiksted Beach is within walking distance of the Frederiksted Pier. Beaches on St. John require a drive or hike from Cruz Bay. Water Island is accessible from St. Thomas by taking a ferry to the island. Beaches are in walking distance from the ferry dock once on Water Island.

Popular Beaches

The beaches listed below are only a few of the great beach options you have. They are some of the more popular choices.

Water Island Honeymoon Beach relaxing
St. John Trunk Bay snorkeling, relaxing
Cinnamon Bay snorkeling, relaxing
Hawksnest Bay relaxing
St. Thomas Magens Bay relaxing, great for kids
Coki Beach snorkeling
Sapphire Beach snorkeling, relaxing
St. Croix Frederiksted Beach close to pier, nice
Cane Bay relaxing, diving
Protestant Cay quiet, relaxing, great view

(Relaxing means swimming, laying out, reading, having a picnic all rolled into one. For amenities offered at these beaches use the complete beach guides mentioned above.)

British Virgin Islands

Some visitors to St. Thomas on cruise ships inquire as to whether a day trip to the Baths on Virgin Gorda or to Jost Van Dyke is a possibility by ferry. The BVI islands although close are not close enough for a cruise ship visitor to get a worthwhile visit out of their time by ferry. Additionally the ferries to Virgin Gorda and Jost Van Dyke are not daily or frequent. This sort of day trip is best suited for someone who is an on-island visitor. As a cruise ship visitor with only a limited 8 or so hours your best bet is to visit the island your ship is calling on or to daytrip to an island that is closer so that you have more time to enjoy the location.

Getting Married

Brides and Grooms wishing to tie the knot in the Virgin Islands will find this to be a dream location. Some choose to marry through the cruise ship while others use an on-island coordinator. More information on Weddings in the USVI

Hotels One Day Use as Guest

Some hotels allow visitors to come to the hotel as a “day guest”, use their pool and buy drinks and eat at their restaurants. Water sports equipment, chairs, snorkel gear will have to be rented. Some hotels request that you stop into the front desk and “check in” that you will be there for the day while others charge a “day guest” fee which includes use of beach chairs. You might call the hotel you are interested in to inquire further about being a “day guest”.

Points of Interest

Each Island has special attractions. Favorites on St. Thomas are Fort Christian, Coral World, Paradise Point Tramway and Mountain Top. On St. John you will find Annaberg Plantation, Trunk Bay, Cinnamon Bay and Plantation and an assortment of hiking trails throughout the National Park. On St. Croix there is Christiansted and Frederiksted forts, the Whim Plantation, Cruzan Rum Factory and other great sites . Visit each island ‘s attraction guide for pictures and descriptions; St. Thomas Attractions, St. John Attractions, St. Croix Attractions and Water Island Attractions


The Virgin Islands are renowned for shopping and for great buys on jewelry, alcohol, crystal and more. Learn more about shopping, best buys and store hours. Shopping in St. Thomas, Shopping in St. Croix or Shopping in St. John

Best Buys

The USVI is known for its great duty free shopping deals. Alcohol is by far the best-priced item to purchase. Jewelry, high-end electronics, gemstones, watches, crystal, linens are also great buys to look out for. Areas to shop on St. Thomas include Charlotte Amalie and Havensight; on St. Croix, Frederiksted and Christiansted; and on St. John, Cruz Bay.


Snorkeling is a favorite activity for cruise ship visitors to the USVI. Where are the best spots? On St. Thomas a favorite spot in Coki Beach. On St. John, Trunk Bay and Cinnamon Bay. A charter to Buck Island from St. Croix is a great choice.

St. Thomas and St. John in One Day

It is possible if you head out early off the ship to visit both islands on your own by ferry/taxi or by renting a car. You can visit St. John see a little of the island and then head back and see a little of St. Thomas before getting back on the ship. This half-day on one island and half day on the other makes for a busy day. Visit St. John first and spend the remainder of the time on St. Thomas.

Virgin Islands Books & Maps