ST. THOMAS CRUISE PORT INFO

Take a step on a global pathway. Comprised of diverse people and elements from around the globe, St. Thomas is welcoming you ashore. From the moment you glimpse this tiny palm fringed island, outlined with a brilliant azure Caribbean Sea, your mind will be captivated by the islands natural beauty. 

One very important detail when cruising into St. Thomas, the island has TWO ports of call; the West Indian Company dock, referred to as WICO and the Crown Bay dock located two miles west of Charlotte Amalie.

You may wish to reference the cruise ship schedule in preparation of your arrival.

P1060666.jpeg
 

The WICO dock located in Havensight, is the original port of call for St. Thomas.

Situated within walking distance to Charlotte Amalie, the dock has all basic services and amenities; shopping, restaurants, car rental, USPS, ATM, and visitor information.

The one story outdoor shopping plaza includes Caribbean favorites such as:

  • Diamonds International

  • Colombian Emeralds

  • Boolchand's

  • H. Stern

  • Caribbean Surf Co - our favorite store!

If your quest is for higher end duty-free shopping you may wish to explore the nearby Yacht Haven Grande, offering labels such as:

  • Bulgari

  • Coach

  • Gucci

  • Salvatore Ferragamo

You can cover the one mile distance into Charlotte Amalie on foot (the walk can be very warm and noisy along the roadway) or catch a taxi for about $5 per person.

 
Photo Credit: A. Smrcina

Photo Credit: A. Smrcina

Beyond shopping, directly across from your WICO docked ship is the SKYRIDE to Paradise Point or the Pirates Treasure Shipwreck Museum. We always enjoy stopping in to Barefoot Buddha. The almond joy latte and sweet potato wrap will put a smile on your face.

Taxi’s will be waiting impatiently to whisk you away to a beach or shore excursion. Here’s a handy taxi rate chart.

Safari’s are the local multi carrier public transportation of the island and the Antilles EcoQuest mode of travel.

The newest addition to docking in St. Thomas is the Crown Bay Center, developed to berth the largest cruise ships in the world. Ship proximity to Charlotte Amalie is less convenient and while walking to town is possible, the journey is not enjoyable. The docking area is convenient if you wish to hop on a ferry to explore Water Island or partake in tourist trinket shopping. To explore more you will need to arrange transportation. This dock is a little more isolated from activities. Pre-travel planning will be advantageous.

crown-bay-map-only.jpg

If you book a private Antilles EcoQuest we will be happy to greet you at your ship!

Be Aware: cruise ship passengers are required to have both the ship card and one photo ID to re-enter either pier.

GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Time Zone: St. Thomas and all U.S. Virgin Islands are on AST (Atlantic Standard Time) and do not participate in daylight savings time.

  • Duty Free Limits: U.S. residents are allowed: $1,600 per person; 5 liters of liquor (over 21 years); 5 cartons of cigarettes and 100 cigars (non-Cuban). Island made items and loose gemstones are exempt.

  • KEEP LEFT - vehicles operate on the left side of the road, in left driver side vehicles. Pedestrians take caution when crossing streets.

  • Drinking age on the island is 18 years of age.

  • Currency is U.S. American Dollar.

  • Electricity is standard American 120V.

  • Cell phone coverage is not a guarantee. AT&T has the most reliable service. Keep an eye on roaming charges.

  • Emergency Services Dial - 911 If there is an injured person care for them as best you can until help arrives, it could be awhile.

Photo Credit: A. Smrcina

Photo Credit: A. Smrcina

The narrow streets of Charlotte Amalie will quickly transform you back into an era of rich history.

View the islands past and present with an Antilles EcoQuest interpretive guide. Harmonize with the island vibes.

A full day Urban Explorer excursion includes a privately escorted aerial tour of St. Thomas on the SKYRIDE to Paradise Point.

A useful tool in your destination planning. IQCruising publishes accurate and useful information on all Caribbean ports of call.

Welcome ashore and enjoy our little island paradise!

 
 

BIG WHOOP - A GUIDES GUIDE

WHOOP-DEE-DO!

Everyone has a little different take on fun, excitement, and entertainment. To be inclusive of everyone we want to share some of the many activities you will find in the Virgin Islands. Hopefully YOU will find something intensely satisfying!

The cover photo reflects an Antilles EcoQuest dream day: earth, water, and sky. From this spectacular St. Thomas beach location, your biggest decision of the day is to swim in the Atlantic Ocean or the Caribbean Sea. If you’re like us, we’d enjoy them BOTH!

 

Whatever makes you happy, FIND IT and spend as much time as you can enjoying.

 

TROPICAL FLOWERS

P2231387.JPG

If your passion is tropical flowers the island abounds with gardens, patios, and streets adoring a bounty of color and fragrance. Smell the sweet scent of a frangipani, wild gardenia, or jasmine. The Phantasea Tropical Botanical Gardens hosts an abundant array of orchids, tillingsias (air plants), heliconia, and bromeliads.

IMG_4807.JPG
P1170724.JPG
 

ISLAND INHABITANTS

 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
P1060429.JPG

Some very unique land animals make St. Thomas their home. You may view large iguanas, donkeys, tarantulas, red footed tortoise, or mongoose. You will need to leave the urban settings to see more than chickens. Look for mongoose at Magens Bay, donkeys on St. John, and the tortoise is a resident of Water Island.

P1180734.jpeg
 

OCEAN LIFE

 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The undersea world is the BEST part of the Virgin Islands. There’s no need to be an expert; grab a face mask/snorkel and put your head in. It’s that easy! Turtles and rays will typically be in the grassy areas. Octopus will be hiding in the crevasses. Move slowly and quietly, let the sea life find you.

375737_3988573949015_342662101_n.jpg
541508_3988565188796_1108870855_n.jpg
 

CHARTER A BOAT

Departing from Frenchman’s Reef in St. Thomas The VI Cat has an excellent sail to Turtle Cove and a romantic dinner sail.

KEKOA is a favorite in St. John. Well respected captain and crew.

If you prefer speed, check out Southern Hospitality, also located in St. John.

The sport fishing king of the the islands is Ocean Surfari.

Be your own captain, rent with St. John Dinghy Rental.

 

LOCAL FOOD

IMG_3150.jpg

Food trucks are not really our thing, but we have heard good reviews from others who enjoy eating from roadside stands. Look for Roti’s, pate’s, and pop up fruit stands along the roadways.

Brewers Beach road trucks. Johnny cakes, pate’s, and local cold refreshments.

The New Ashleys, just past the rental car pick up area on Airport Road, Excellent Roti’s.

Lakes Chicken, in Smith Bay. The chicken and Johnny Cakes are very, very delicious!

There is no mega or one stop shopping in the islands. K-Mart is the only big name retailer. Other grocery stores include: Moe’s and Food Center in Red Hook, Plaza Extra in Tutu, and two Pueblo’s one near each cruise ship dock.

P1190558.jpeg
P1170946.jpg
 

QUITE TIME

IMG_5641.jpeg

Magens Bay and Sapphire Beach both have lounge chair rentals. Snorkeling can be very quiet and relaxing. Floating along with your ears underwater makes for a fantastic getaway from the world. Others find coffee shops a great place to unwind and people watch. Barefoot Buddha in Havensight has an excellent outdoor seating area and WIFI for patrons.

P1180150.jpg
image.png
IMG_9411.jpg
 

EXCITEMENT

 DCIM\100SPORT

Antilles EcoQuest has the MOST exciting activities in the islands! The FuN lasts for an entire day. Join us for an island adventure. Hike, snorkel, jump, body surf, discover your island connection.

HIKE-SNORKEL-DISCOVER-REPEAT

P1100727.jpeg
 

Antilles EcoQuest looks for ways to connect each person with what brings them joy. Let us help you find your island connection.
Beauty surfaces everywhere you allow yourself to observe.

 
Leave-No-Trace_logo_tagline_url.jpg
fullsizeoutput_2510.jpeg
 
AEQ+combo+-+NO+background.jpg

BIG WHOOP - A GUIDES GUIDE

TOUR VS EXPERIENCE

What’s the difference you ask? Antilles EcoQuest, a unique island experience, not a tour. A personalized adventure exploring sites you wish to see and learn more about. You gain a personal island connection. Tours are often shared with other guests, have a rigid predetermined schedule, and you have limited say in the activities.

Your unique island experience is precisely that, your experience. You deserve more on your vacation than being treated as a tourist. Spend a day with us and be treated as part of our family.

EXPERIENCE TOUR

  • private crowded, up to 100 others on same tour

  • you determine the focus predetermined activities

  • flexible time frame fixed time and schedule; hurried

  • licensed guide inexperienced, seasonal employees

  • access the inaccessible hundreds follow same path/waters daily

IMG_0033.jpg

YOUR ISLAND EXPERIENCE

Uncover island history, snorkel, hike, or lounge by the sea and be one with nature. Your exclusive guide will meet you at your cruise ship and escort you independently via local “Safari” to a beach, trail, or destination site of your selection. Together we will explore what interests YOU.

 

Take the plunge and drift apart from the others. You’ll feel in-tune with the island vibe, a part of something larger than yourself.

IMG_0255+2.jpg

Antilles EcoQuest will integrate you into the island for a day. As a small guide service our reputation depends on your fulfilled dreams. We strive to make each outing unique and aligned with your imagination. We make your day in paradise as relaxed or exhausting as you desire. A slow barefoot hike along sandy tidal pools, snorkeling in the calm Caribbean waters, or an adventurous hike to secluded beaches seldom visited by locals and rarely a tourist in sight.

Urban or beach, your vacation merits personal service and fulfillment. Our guides are trained professionals, certified in Wilderness First Aid, CPR, and licensed in the USVI. Julie is a past U.S. Park Ranger, stationed in the Tongass National Forest, Alaska. Ask her about the bears!

Booking with the large tour company you are just part of the group being ushered along. Your guide will be an inexperience untrained seasonal employee, pointing out landmarks along a scripted tour. Select the intimate unique adventure. Make that island connection of your own. Move away from the crowds and heavily traveled trails.

You are unique, you deserve a unique island experience!

Your Antilles EcoQuest adventure will be exclusive to you.

Yes, you may be offered an opportunity to taste a termite, why not? Our guide service is FuN and adventurous. No worries if you decline the offer, but try something new during your visit. There’s a world that was meant for us to see. Choose to be unique and not follow the crowds. Come explore a small island located in the Lesser Antilles archipelago, find your island connection with Antilles EcoQuest.

STAND APART FROM OTHERS

Your Antilles EcoQuest guide is licensed, insured, and certified in Wilderness First Aid/CPR/AED Rescue. Drug and substance FREE. Meet our guides!

 
 
1552699748317.jpeg
 

BIG WHOOP - A GUIDES GUIDE

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A GUIDE SERVICE

You hire a guide to learn. Typically you are also on vacation, so you want to have a great time in the process. Good guides are passionate about what they do. It’s not just a job it’s a way of life.

“Hydration is key”

in the V.I.

.

Guides are experts who help you safely navigate, both mentally and physically, toward desired goals; whether it’s summiting Mount Everest or learning how to snorkel in the Virgin Islands.  You want to look for experienced, licensed, and insured professionals. 

Finding a guide is easier than ever, thanks to online resources. REI Co-Op  can assist you in finding outstanding local guides.  The Outdoor Project has some excellent tips as well. Prior to travel contact local sport shops in the area you plan to visit. Local knowledge can provide extensive information and names of reputable outfitters, and ones to stay away from. Online reviews can be helpful. Be prudent in reading negative comments.  Not all negative comments are a negative in the guiding world. In some cases weather or safety concerns can shorten an adventure, displeasing the client; no fault of the guide and bravo for them for placing safety priority.

 

Many very skilled and experienced guides share their expertise for the love of the adventure.

Photo Credit: Catherine Tao

Never judge a guide service by pricing. Bad guides can cost the same as great ones! Pricing could be a tool to narrow your options, but don’t let price be your determining factor. Large tour companies are the less expensive option, often times employing a greater percentage of seasonal help. You will also be sharing your vacation with the masses of people booking these tours. Hiring a guide offers you a personalized experience. There is a big difference between an individual leading a tour on a predetermined path and a guide escorting you in the backcountry or through open waters. Experience matters when exploring unfamiliar territories. When your safety is of concern hire the dedicated professional

 

An expert guide will assist you in overcoming fear.

Or help you swim away unnoticed. :)

 

Guides are psychologists. The best guides have the experience and know-how to encourage clients, deal with fear/panic, and assist in boosting your confidence to accomplish a goal.  If you’re fearful of water a good guide will not force you to enter. A good guide will however, share a few of their proven tips and techniques to possibly get you to overcome your hesitation, and enjoy a new experience.  Expert guides are many steps ahead of the current situation and creating ways to make the experience easier, safer, and in-tune with the clients level. 

image.jpg

LOCAL

GUIDES ARE FAMILIAR WITH AREA WEATHER PATTERNS

Ultimately the guide experience should provide you with advanced knowledge, practical experience, and a thrill experiencing something unique and exciting. If your goal is summiting a mountain or catching that first fish on a fly rod, a little guidance from a professional can fine tune your technique and prepare you to reach your goal a little easier and a lot safer. When hiring a guide, your first interest should be in learning from someone willing to take the time to show you. The experience then will be one you look back on fondly for many years to come.

Your Antilles EcoQuest guide is licensed, insured, and certified in Wilderness First Aid/CPR/AED Rescue. Drug and substance FREE. Meet our guides!

 

BIG WHOOP - A GUIDES GUIDE

RESEARCH UP!

We’ve linked you up.

While you’re waiting for your flight to leave, spend a little time planning your adventure.

To discover the hidden gems remember to book your Antilles EcoQuest!

Resources:

 
1811506b-7327-4e2b-9fe7-6374f0337701.jpg

favorite places to dine:

P2231308.jpeg
  • Barefoot Buddha - One of the few establishments offering healthy, vegetarian, and vegan options. Great coffee! Across the street from your WICO docked ship.

  • Island Time Pub. Located in Red Hook, upstairs in the American Yacht Harbor plaza. Family friendly. View overlooks yacht harbor and St. John. Delicious pizza, sandwiches, and the best ahi tuna salad on island..·     

  • Tap and Still. Delicious burgers, fries, shakes. Two locations: one within walking distance of your WICO docked ship and one in Red Hook, in the American Yacht Harbor plaza. We especially like Tap and Still for their cautious use of wasteful products.

  • Pie Whole. Located in Frenchtown. Super pizza and salads. Close to the airport.


Highlights not to miss!

 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  • Drake’s Seat and the view above Magens Bay

  • Utter Delight – alcohol infused ice cream for all ages, near Magens Bay.·      

  • Stop at the Skyline Dr lookout. View from above the Charlotte Amalie harbor, Hassel Island, and on a clear day St. Croix. Great place to sit and watch the sunset.

  • Spend a little time in Charlotte Amalie. Walk the narrow streets, view Danish architecture, and take in the sites of the capital of the U.S.V.I. 

  • Visit a beach. Walk barefoot along the shore, cool off in the crystal clear waters, the underwater world is captivating.

  • Nature lover’s should spend an entire day exploring St. John. Over half the island is managed by the National Park Service.  Park entry is free of charge. Stop at the Visiter Center located within walking distance of the ferry dock in Cruz Bay. 

DSCF1263.jpg

Please be cautious on your water usage while visiting, the islands. Rain catchments are universal. You’ll notice rum is more economical to purchase than fresh water. 

Recycling is not available to island residents. Cruise ships however DO RECYCLE! Please return to ship carrying your daily usage of trash, plastic containers, take out boxes, etc.

Remember to book that Antilles EcoQuest adventure – we can’t wait to show you our islands!


BIG WHOOP - A GUIDES GUIDE

FIVE REASONS TO VISIT THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS

ST. THOMAS - ST. JOHN - ST. CROIX - WATER ISLAND

Are you ready to get away from it all?  A destination that’s easily accessible, seems familiar, yet everything is different?  The U.S. Virgin Islands may be just what you are in need of.  No highways, no shopping malls, and brace yourself, no Target. Yet everything you need is here.  

Visit a different beach everyday of the week, roll down the windows, head-bob to reggae, and move with the curvature of the hilly winding roads. You’ll rarely exceed 30 mph, yet your heart will be racing with excitement. With every turn, the views are absolutely amazing and out of this world! 

ENCHANTED BEAUTY

From the moment you catch glimpse of this tiny palm fringed island, outlined with a brilliant azure Caribbean Sea, your mind will be captivated by the islands natural beauty.  These tiny islands jet from the sea, in waves of lush green-forested hills, only to slope steeply again; creating a landscape of cresting and plunging. Black volcanic rock adds a striking contrast to the soft white sand beaches. These cosmopolitan islands were shaped by Danish heritage and West Indie influences, creating a microcosm uniquely it’s own.  

 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

AQUAMARINE SEA

From above or below, the ocean rewards you. Beaches flow gently into the sea providing easy access to offshore reefs and calm harbors to float your day away.  Block out the world above water and integrate yourself in this salty sanctuary. Skim alongside a school of blue tang, make eye contact with a sea turtle, and observe something unexpected and presentable just to you.  The clear and gentle ocean provides a playground for discovery. Migratory birds and humpback whales visit the archipelago yearly as a winter destination. The reflective turquoise color will captivate your attention and make every photograph spectacular.

GLOBAL COMMUNITY

Take a step on a global pathway; the islands are composed of diverse people and elements from around the globe.  Tourism has exposed the island chain to many influences in recent years. Many family units are comprised of genetically unrelated individuals, but contain deep and rich supportive connections.

USA-Flag.jpg
 

EXPERIENCES MAKE US WHO WE ARE

Expose yourself to remarkable change.  Trying new things is rewarding and vacations are temporary, so you’ll be back home soon enough.  Relax your style with casual dress, flip-flops, and wind blown hair. Sample Caribbean cooking, sweet locally sourced rum, and fresh mangos from a tree. Bask in the sun, lounge under a palm, or take a walk through a forested jungle. Brave driving on the left (in a left driver side vehicle). Visiting the Virgin Islands, you will have ample quirky adventures.

P7142164.jpg

A U.S. TERRITORY

NO PASSPORT required if you are a U.S. citizen.  You are not leaving the United States. Transform a family holiday away from long distance drives and busy streets. There is something for everyone in the Virgin Islands; posh lifestyle or quant cottages, sophisticated dining or beach food trucks. View the unique culture of the USVI. Reach a world away with a four-hour flight from NYC and less than three hours from Miami.  

 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Seeking small town homage or stark solitude, you will find it in the U.S. Virgin Islands. 

Antilles EcoQuest will connect you to your passage.  

Welcome ashore.


BIG WHOOP - A GUIDES GUIDE

Book Now Book Now