It may seem strange to include a section on visiting St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands on a website focusing on yacht charters in the British Virgin Islands. However, both St. Thomas and St. John, US Virgin Islands, are physically very close to the British Virgin Islands and offer an obvious opportunity to include these islands in your yacht charter to the British Virgin Islands. Additionally, the airport on St. Thomas is a common entry point to get to the British Virgin Islands.
There are numerous daily flights in and out of the St. Thomas airport, and transit on to the British Virgin Islands is easy either by commuter air or ferry. There are also a wide variety of hotels and resorts on St. Thomas where you can spend the night or a whole vacation.
There are also several charter services providing yachts and other services departing from St. Thomas. We have utilized these services several times to make it convenient to include St. John, US Virgin Islands, as part of our charter itinerary.
Charlotte Amalie on St. Thomas is the capitol of the USVI as well as the largest city in the Virgin Islands. Many know of Charlotte Amalie because it is a popular cruise ship stop and it has many duty-free shops. However, Charlotte Amalie’s history is long and rich. Columbus visited in 1493 and was greeted by indigenous peoples who had already lived here for hundreds of years. In the intervening 400+ years, there has been significant Danish influence in the region, and, as a result Charlotte Amalie is known for its Danish colonial architecture and buildings. Danish place names are still widely used in the city. Pirates were also a fixture in the region; both Blackbeard and Bluebeard roamed the region (as did numerous other pirates).
If you spend a day or more on St. Thomas, be sure to visit Magens Bay (just over the hill from Charlotte Amalie). Magens Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. There is also the famous Paradise Point Skyride—a tram ride to a mountain peak providing a spectacular overlook of Charlotte Amalie and the entire harbor. You can also take a cab to Paradise Point (generally cheaper than the tram ride).
As previously mentioned, there are a number of yacht charter companies based in St. Thomas. Many of these have their operations bases toward the east end of the island where it is just a short sail to St. John (the next island). Tortola and the BVI are just past St. John. Ferries also leave from St. Thomas to St. John, Tortola, and other destinations.
Driving or even riding in a vehicle in the Virgin Islands (both USVI and BVI) can be a white-knuckle experience as most of the vehicles are left-hand drive (intended for the U.S. market) but driven on the left side of the road. The roads are generally very narrow and can be curvy. A taxi driver on Tortola once commented to us that he enjoyed driving on the left in the left and drive car because “that put him further from the point of impact should there be a crash”. Left unsaid was what that did for his passengers….