Charlotte Amalie, is the capital of the United States Virgin Islands and the most popular cruise port in the Caribbean. Named for a Danish Queen, the city features pastel houses that are heavily sprinkled against a background of emerald hills. Colorful sloops dock along the waterfront, and a few steps back, down alleyways lined with old Danish warehouse buildings, is a world-famous shopping center.
What to do in Charlotte Amalie, St. ThomasThe most popular things to do in St Thomas involve its white-sand beaches, clear waters, and amazing landscapes. You’ll have your pick of just about any water activity you can think of. Land-lovers can also explore the interior of the tropical island with numerous, scenic and active tour options. For those looking to pull out the credit card, this is the port stop to charge away. St Thomas is a haven for shoppers, particularly those looking for something shiny.
Sightseeing & ToursThere’s plenty to see on the island. A very popular option is the tram to “Paradise Point.” It’ll take you to the top of the island for roughly $20 where you’ll have amazing views. Or, head to Coral World where you can get amazing underwater views without ever getting wet. If the port feels too busy, you can also island hop to St Johns, located by ferry just two miles away.
ShoppingSt Thomas shopping is revered in the cruise industry. From your ship, it’s a quick walk to start your duty free shopping voyage into the streets of Charlotte, Amalie. While known primarily for its abundance of jewelry options, you’ll find everything from fragrances to alcohol to foodstuffs. Find specific shopping destinations and more details for St Thomas below.
BeachesCharlotte, Amalie offers magnificent beach options. You’ll even find one that was named among the Top 10 Beaches in the World. Check out our detailed beach section for specifics.
Water SportsFor the adventure seekers, you’re in luck. There are numerous ways to take in the island’s beauty while also getting that heart pumping. Your “dry” adventures will include zip-lining, rock climbing, hiking and more. If you’re looking to get wet, some of the many tours offered include jet packs, fly boards, jet-skis, snorkels, scuba, and much more.
Shopping in Charlotte Amalie, St. ThomasSt Thomas’ shopping scene is infamous among cruise passengers. We know some cruisers who make shopping in Charlotte, Amalie the highlight of their cruise. You’ll find every major named brand you can think. Plus, there’s the incentive of shopping “duty free.” If you’re in the market for a big-ticket item, this is a good chance to save a few bucks. Below are the major shopping areas to provide you with the best shopping options while in St Thomas.
Veteran's Drive & Main StreetOn these two major thoroughfares, you’ll find densely-packed retail activity. Expect lots of jewelry stores, clothing items, fragrances, alcohol, electronics, and souvenirs. You can also expect some high-pressure salesmen to bark at your while roaming the streets. If you have a specific, high-end item you’d like to buy (watch, ring, etc), you may want to contact the stores beforehand. The larger chains (Diamonds International, Little Switzerland, etc) will offer VIP services like transportation, air-conditioned lounge, free drinks, etc.
Yacht Haven GrandeThis ultra-high-end marina caters to the elite. You’ll find massive yachts docked here and high-end shops serving that clientele. You’ll likely be docked at Havensight Terminal. If so, the Shops at Yacht Haven Grande are within walking distance. Even if you’re not looking to spend a ton, it’s still worth a stroll.
Beaches in Charlotte Amalie, St. ThomasSt Thomas has dozens of beaches lining its scenic coastline. Many are rocky and uninviting, while others offer all of the amenities and beauty you could hope for in an ideal beach day. You can't go wrong with the St. Thomas beach options belo.
Coki BeachCoki Beach is another of St Thomas’ most popular beach options. While it’s great for relaxing, it’s particularly popular among snorkelers and scuba fans. The calm waters, gradual descent, and spectacular undersea activity make it so alluring. At Coki Beach, you’ll also have easy access to Coral World Ocean Park. This is one of St Thomas’ more known attractions. You’ll find sea lions, turtles, sharks, and more.
Honeymoon BeachHead to Honeymoon Beach to avoid the swarm of cruise passengers. Located on St John’s Island, this beach has crystal clear waters, rich marine life, and hammocks scattered in the surrounding coconut trees. From Crown Bay, you can jump on a quick ferry to get to Honeymoon Beach for roughly $10. You’ll also find equipment for rent, bathroom facilities and food options.
Magen's BayThis is, by far, the most popular beach option for cruise passengers visiting Charlotte Amalie. It’s been voted into the Top 10 Beaches in the World and for good reason. The one-mile stretch of white sand beach offers a number of other amenities making for a convenient trip. At Magens Bay you’ll find lifeguards, clean water, changing rooms, food options, shaded area, and cab stand. The entrance fee is $5 for adults and $2 for kids and the taxi fare should cost roughly $20 to get there from port. Just know it’ll likely be crowded due to its popularity.
Best cruise excursions in Charlotte Amalie, St. ThomasWe've analyzed tens of thousands of cruise tours to find your ideal attraction while in port. Based on these reviews, here are the Best Cruise Excursions in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas
Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas cruise port map
Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas Cruise Port TerminalsSt Thomas’ main cruise ship terminal is called “Havensight.” Also available to large ships is the port of Crown Bay. The two docks can handle a combined six cruise ships (roughly 20k passengers). On extra-congested days, a ship may be forced to anchor in the bay and to tender to shore.
Note: If you’re going on a shopping spree, know that the U.S. imposes limits to what you can bring home tax free. Specifically, you’re allotted $1,600 in goods.
Havensight TerminalThis is St Thomas’ main cruise ship terminal, located just east of Charlotte Amalie’s downtown area. A quick five minute cab ride will get you downtown. Or, you can hoof it in roughly 25 minutes. When exiting Havensight, just take a left and you’ll be there shortly. However, if looking to shop, you’re also provided dozens of shops directly in your terminal area. Although, we’d advise this option only for “last minute” items.
Crown BayLocated west of downtown Charlotte, Amalie, Crown Bay Terminal offers space for an additional two cruise ships. You’ll find many amenities in the open-air plaza just after exiting your ship. If you need an ATM, coffee, internet, a quick bite, or tourist info, you’ll find it here. Additionally, you’ll have access to jewelry stores and named brand items. Crown Bay is roughly two miles from downtown, so we advise taking a taxi. It should cost around $5.