St. Thomas Cruise Port: Piers, Overview and What to Do

Is your cruise visiting the US Virgin Islands? You'll want to familiarize yourself with each St Thomas cruise port. This guide has you covered!

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Out of the roughly 50 unique islands that make up the Virgin Islands, St. Thomas is one of the three largest. Since it is also one of the US Virgin Islands, it is a popular destination for American tourists and cruisers. 

Aside from the island having all the charm and natural beauty of a picture-perfect Caribbean Island, passports are not required for American citizens, and the US dollar is the official currency, making it a particularly tourist-friendly destination. 

We are going to take an in-depth look at the two main cruise ports in St. Thomas so you can enjoy a stress-free experience when you visit. After we have discussed the ports and their facilities, we’ll also explore some of the nearby attractions and various excursion opportunities St. Thomas offers visitors.

The St. Thomas Cruise Ports

Since St. Thomas is one of the most visited islands in the Caribbean and easily the most visited of the US Virgin Islands, it is actually home to two cruise ports – The West India Company Dock, more commonly known as Havensight Cruise Pier, and Crown Bay Cruise Port. 

Havensight Pier is the largest of the two ports, with three main berths along a single pier. Passengers exit and board ships along retractable gangways. 

Crown Bay is a bit smaller, as it was not purpose-built for cruise ships. In fact, it was once used as a United States naval base but has since been remodeled to accommodate three full-sized cruise ships along the same single-pier design found at Havensight Pier.

Cruise Ships Docked at Crown Bay
Cruise Ships Docked at Crown Bay (Photo Credit: Dennis MacDonald / Shutterstock)

Both cruise ports are located on the southern side of St. Thomas near the capital and largest city in the US Virgin Islands, Charlotte Amalie. Havensight Cruise Pier is located 1.7 miles from downtown Charlotte Amalie, while Crown Bay Cruise Port is located 2 miles to the west, meaning the city is bookended by two major cruise ports. The reason for this is simply due to the immense popularity of the city as a port of call and departure point for cruise ships.

For those planning to rent a vehicle while they visit St. Thomas, plenty of parking spots are available near the two ports. It is particularly easy to find parking at Havensight Pier, as the Havensight Mall has a large parking area that is free to use. Car rental facilities are also located a short walk from each cruise port, so vehicle pickup and drop-off couldn’t be easier.

Getting to and From the Cruise Ports 

Havensight Pier is where most cruise ships dock, so there is a good chance you will find yourself there. Luckily, it is just a five-to-ten-minute taxi to the downtown of Charlotte Amalie.

Taxi at the Havensight Port Area
Taxi at the Havensight Port Area (Photo Credit: Solarisys / Shutterstock)

While traffic can be an issue during the busy season, most cab rides will cost less than $5 and take about ten minutes, so it is still an easy commute. Plus, taxi services operating out of the port are plentiful, especially if you go to the pickup zone just outside the cruise terminal. 

If your cruise ship docks at Crown Bay Cruise Port, travel time and costs are almost identical, but you may want to give yourself more time to return to port, as fewer taxis travel to and from Crown Bay. 

Distance from the Airport to the Ports

Part of the reason why St. Thomas is such a popular Caribbean cruise destination is because both of its main cruise piers are located a convenient distance from the island’s main airport – Cyril E. King Airport. Given it is one of the busiest airports in the Caribbean, there are regular flights to and from the continental United States and beyond.

At just under 1.5 miles away from Crown Bay Cruise Port, it is the closest of the two ports to the airport. Most taxis and shuttles will only take a few minutes to shuttle passengers to and from the airport, as the entire drive involves one simple turn from Airport Road to Terence A. Todman Drive.

Airport in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands
Airport in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands (Photo Credit: elvirkins / Shutterstock)

Havensight Pier is a little further, with 4.2 miles separating the port from the airport, but this is still only about a 15-minute drive in St. Thomas traffic. Not only is it a relatively short drive, it’s a simple one, with the Waterfront Highway directly connecting the two. 

With both ports located such a convenient distance from a major airport, you shouldn’t have difficulty finding your way to your ship if you fly into St. Thomas.

Cruise Lines Calling at St. Thomas 

St. Thomas is an extremely popular port of call, especially for American cruise lines. Hence, there is a need for two cruise ports, even though the entire island is only 32 square miles. You can take a look at the upcoming cruise schedule for the cruise ports right here.

Cruise Ships Visiting St. Thomas
Cruise Ships Visiting St. Thomas (Photo Credit: Dennis MacDonald / Shutterstock)

Each port is used by different cruise lines. Crown Bay is always used by Royal Caribbean as it is large enough for Oasis-class ships. All cruise lines, including some Royal Caribbean ships, use the Havensight Cruise Pier. Here is a breakdown of which cruise lines primarily use which port:

Crown Bay is mainly used by Cunard Line, Princess Cruises, Holland America, and Royal Caribbean. Havensightis is mainly used by Celebrity Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Disney Cruise Line, Carnival Cruise Line, and Royal Caribbean (non-Oasis class ships).

St. Thomas Terminal/Port Facilities and Accessibility 

Both ports use the same single-pier design, so passengers will exit and return to the ship via extended gangways. Once you have left the gangway, you will find modern terminal facilities outfitted with all the amenities you would expect, like clean washroom facilities, well-marked taxi pickup zones, tourist information centers, and vending machines where water bottles and other drinks can be purchased. 

Unfortunately, neither of the two ports offers complimentary public Wi-Fi, but it’s not too difficult to find. Havensight Mall provides free Wi-Fi, and it is located just a five-minute walk from the Havensight Pier.

Cruise Ships at St. Thomas, USVI
Cruise Ships at Havensight Pier, St. Thomas, USVI (Photo Credit: Dennis MacDonald / Shutterstock)

Most restaurants, cafés, and bars near the ports also offer Wi-Fi. You may have to make a purchase to request the Wi-Fi password in some places, but places like Jen’s Island Café & Deli and the Shipwreck Tavern near Havensight Pier have the password openly posted. 

Both ports are also very accessible. With the two welcoming over 1.5 million visitors annually, there has been a clear effort to make sure all visitors enjoy a comfortable experience. Both ports are all on ground level, so no need to worry about elevators or stairs. Wheelchair ramps also ensure curbs and other obstacles do not interfere with accessibility. 

Seasonal Weather Conditions in St. Thomas 

St. Thomas is a year-round travel destination, but weather conditions can vary from month to month. To help you find a time that matches your preferences and pack the right clothing, here’s a simple breakdown of what you can expect:

Cruise Ships in the US Virgin Islands
Cruise Ships in the US Virgin Islands (Photo Credit: Victor Maschek)

Summer (June to August)

Temperatures are usually in the mid-80° F range, with moderate humidity. You should expect occasional showers, but they tend to be brief—pack light, breathable clothing, and sun protection. 

Although the weather is usually pleasant during the summer, the US Virgin Islands have a fairly lengthy hurricane season, with a risk of hurricanes and tropical storms from mid-May to the end of November. If you book during these months, regularly check with your cruise line for departure delays and itinerary alterations.

Read Also: When is the Best Time to Visit US Virgin Islands?

Fall (September to November)

Daytime temperatures drop to the low 80° F range, with chances of showers also rising. Again, hurricanes can still be an issue deep into the fall, so you will want to watch weather reports and cruise line updates before setting sail. 

Pack light clothing for the daytime, with a sweater for the evening. You may want to pack a rain jacket, just in case. 

Winter (December to February)

Daytime highs cool down and tend to stay in the upper 70° F range, but the winter is also very sunny and dry. This makes it a popular time to visit St. Thomas and the other US Virgin Islands. You shouldn’t have to worry about rain, but you may want to pack a sweatshirt and light pants for the evenings.

Spring (March to May)

The spring is delightful in St. Thomas, with temperatures in the mid 80° F range being common. It is also relatively dry, but you may encounter occasional showers, especially overnight. Pack light clothing that will not cause you to sweat.

Things to Do Within Walking Distance 

Part of what makes St. Thomas such an appealing port of call is the wide variety of amenities and attractions within walking distance of the island’s two main ports. 

If, like most visitors, you arrive at Havensight Pier, there are plenty of things to do within the immediate vicinity of the port. Given that the entire island of St. Thomas is known to be a shopper’s paradise, it is no surprise that they have even included a mall directly beside the main cruise port.

Havensight Mall
Havensight Mall (Photo Credit: CathyRL / Shutterstock)

The Havensight Mall is just a 5-minute walk from the cruise terminal, and it offers numerous stores carrying duty-free jewelry, imported liquors, designer watches, sunglasses, perfume, name-brand electronics, and so much more.

Serious shoppers will want to take a taxi into Charlotte Amalie to visit the many stores the city offers, but the Havensight Mall is still a convenient distance for those just looking to do a bit of duty-free shopping before or after enjoying an excursion. 

There are also plenty of restaurants within a short walk of the pier, including some port-of-call classics, like Senor Frogs and Hooters. You’ll also find some island exclusives, like Mojo’s, Barefoot Buddha, and the iconic Shipwreck Tavern.

Skyride to Paradise Point
Skyride to Paradise Point (Photo Credit: Dennis MacDonald / Shutterstock)

For those looking to enjoy more of the island’s natural side, there is also the Skyride to Paradise Point, just a five-minute walk from the Havensight Pier. This gondola is one of the most popular attractions in the Caribbean, as it quickly takes passengers 700 feet above the port, enjoying stunning views and even a fully stocked bar! Although it’s not the island’s highest point, it is still a must-do, and it couldn’t be in a more convenient location. 

Unfortunately, there is far less to do in Crown Bay Cruise Port. However, you’ll still find some basic convenience stores, several duty-free shops, and souvenir stalls selling locally-made items. Still, you’ll want to take a taxi into the city center if you’re going to enjoy more of what the island has to offer. 

If you’re willing to travel beyond the cruise ports, there are plenty of things to do in St. Thomas. Luckily, most are very accessible from the cruise ports. Here are just a few of the highlights: 

Explore Charlotte Amalie

Both cruise ports are roughly two miles from the capital city. This colorful city features colonial architecture as well as modern stores and restaurants. Make sure you visit the historic district packed with 17th-century churches and other buildings. You can even explore Blackbeard’s Castle, located within the city center.

Blackbeard's Castle
Blackbeard’s Castle (Photo Credit: Dennis MacDonald / Shutterstock)

Coral World Ocean Park

One of the most visited attractions in the Virgin Islands, you can enjoy snorkeling and scuba diving lessons with dolphins, sea lions, sea turtles, stingrays, and other marine wildlife. Although it is on the other side of the island, it’s only about nine miles from the two ports, so a 20 to 30-minute taxi ride would get you there. 

Visit Fort Christian

This Danish fort is one of the island’s most iconic historical landmarks. Not only is it the oldest standing structure on St. Thomas, but it also functions as a museum that showcases the unique history of the entire island. Roughly two miles from either cruise port, you can get there in less than ten minutes via taxi. 

The Best Beaches 

Although there is plenty to do in Charlotte Amalie and elsewhere on the island, the beaches are the real highlight of St. Thomas. Here are just a few of the more popular options:

Magens Bay Beach
Magens Bay Beach (Photo Credit: Polina LVT / Shutterstock)

Magens Bay Beach

The beach has a horseshoe shape that gives visitors spectacular views of the turquoise waters with a lush green backdrop. The white sand adds to the tropical atmosphere. At just four miles from the two main cruise ports, it’s a perfect place to spend the day.

Coki Point Beach

At seven miles from Havensight Pier, it is a bit of a drive, but it has some of the best snorkeling you’ll find anywhere in the Caribbean. Many available shore excursions will take you to Coki Beach, so it’s very popular with tourists.

Secret Harbor Beach

Popular with scuba and snorkeling enthusiasts, this eye-catching beach is one of the island’s true hidden gems. Thanks to the surrounding timeshares and hotels, there are also plenty of restaurants, bars, cafés, and ice cream shops, so there’s plenty to do when you’ve had enough beach fun. It’s about 10 miles from Havensight and roughly 8 miles from Crown Bay, so you’ll need to take a taxi. 

Shopping

As mentioned, St. Thomas is a shopper’s dreamland. With designer shops, local craft markets, and plenty of duty-free malls and stores, there’s no shortage of places to find souvenirs and discounted designer goods.

Shopping in Downtown Charlotte Amalie
Shopping in Downtown Charlotte Amalie (Photo Credit: Dennis MacDonald / Shutterstock)

While the Havensight Mall is great for those not looking to go out of their way, you’ll want to head into Charlotte Amalie for the best shopping experience. You’ll find plenty of stores and boutiques on Main Street in downtown Charlotte Amalie. Vendor’s Plaza is another downtown highlight if you’re looking for locally-made goods.

If you’re looking for a high-quality souvenir of your time on the island, St. Thomas is known for fine rum and stunning, hand-crafted jewelry, both of which are available everywhere.

Dining

Foodies will love the wide range of restaurants, bars, and cafes. From traditional Caribbean dishes, like jerk chicken, conch fritters, and fresh seafood, to more recognizable American chain restaurants, you’ll find everything you’re looking for in Charlotte Amalie and the area immediately surrounding Havensight Pier.

Dining Venue in St. Thomas
Dining Venue in St. Thomas (Photo Credit: Dennis MacDonald / Shutterstock)

If you want to try some Caribbean food, Sugarcane Grill is an open-air restaurant that always serves island favorites. Amalia Café Restaurant is another open-air eatery with an amazing atmosphere and even better food. Both are located in central Charlotte Amalie. No matter where you end up going, make sure you try some rum cake at the end of your meal; it’s a must-try in St. Thomas. 

Excursions Offered in St. Thomas 

There’s plenty to do in St. Thomas, so most cruise lines offer excursion packages you can book before arriving in port. The following are just some of the island’s most popular options: 

  • Snorkeling Experiences and Scuba Diving Lessons
  • Parasailing
  • Sea Kayaking
  • Catamaran Tours of the Coastline
  • Tree Limin’ Extreme Jungle Ziplining
  • Historical Walking Tours of Charlotte Amalie
  • Island Rum Tasting Tour and Cocktail Classes
  • Day Trip to Coral World Ocean Park 

Just make sure you book your excursions through your cruise line, as these excursion providers have been vetted and will be aware of arrival and departure times for your ship. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

Can you walk to town from St Thomas cruise port? 

Yes, you can walk to downtown Charlotte Amalie from the two cruise ports, but most people save time by taking a taxi, as taxis are easy to get, and fares are less than $5. 

What are the two cruise ports in St Thomas?

The two main cruise ports in St. Thomas are Havensight Pier and Crown Bay Cruise Port. 

How far is Magens Bay from the cruise port? 

Magens Bay is roughly four miles from the two cruise ports, making it a short drive or taxi ride.

Emrys Thakkar
Emrys Thakkar
The founder of Cruise Hive which was established in 2008 as one of the earliest cruise blogs in the industry. Emrys has been reporting on the latest cruise industry news since the site first launched. Expert insights and tips featured on a number of publications including The Express, Business Insider, and more. Worked for Carnival Cruise Line for 8 years and is well and truly dedicated to cruising! Has also been on a number of cruises so can offer an insight into the industry that many will not be able to do. What's even more impressive is that Emrys has traveled the world by visiting more than 34 countries, lived in China for 8 years, and cruised the Caribbean, Baltic, Mediterranean, Asia, and Europe. Find out more about us here.

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