St. Croix, USVI
Language and Currency
What is St. Croix Like?
What is the Weather Like?
Where Does the Ship Dock?
Where is the Shopping?
What is There to Buy?
What is There To Do?
Is There Anything of a “Don’t Miss Quality?
Are There Any Great Restaurants or Bars?
As one of the US Virgin Islands English is the official language and the US Dollar is used as currency.
St. Croix is the largest of the US Virgin Islands measuring 28 miles long and 7 miles wide. It is located 40 miles south of St. Thomas and 75 miles east of Puerto Rico. A major sugar producer until the late 60’s, many of the abandoned sugar mills and plantations have been restored as restaurants, inns and shops. The terrain of this tropical island is quite diverse from the lush Caledonia rain forest in the western mountains to rolling hills in the interior and dry rocky red cliffs and spindly desert vegetation on the eastern end. There are only two main towns in St. Croix, Frederiksted on the western coastline and Christiansted on the northeast side of the island. Nature reserves and national parks account for much of islands lure.
St. Croix enjoys a subtropical climate year round with average temperatures in the winter of 82°F and 88°F in the summer. Trade winds provide cooling tropical breezes that make the weather idyllic.
Ships dock in Frederiksted and the town is located directly at the end of the pier. Christiansted, the other main town in St. Croix and also the capital, is approximately 17 miles away. Taxis are readily available, but they are not metered so make sure you negotiate a price. Rates required to be posted in the taxis are per person for 2 or more passengers. Expect to pay double if you are traveling solo. There are, however, shared taxi vans that also run between the two main towns at a cost of $1.50 each way, or $2 after 6 pm. Renting a car is the best way to explore the island.
Duty free shopping can be found in both Frederiksted and Christiansted. Frederiksted is very small and you will find most of the shopping located between the two main streets: Strand St. and King St. In Christiansted you will find numerous cafés, jewelry shops and art galleries lining the grid of narrow streets within the city.
The standard duty free items are available, as well as chic fashions and local arts and crafts. Cruzan rum and the Crucian “hook” bracelet are the two “must purchases” while in St. Croix.
For some serious athletic rejuvenation, St. Croix is an excellent port to take advantage of the variety of outdoor activities. The 12 mile ”Pedal through Paradise” , a three hour coastal bike tour along relatively flat terrain, is an excellent choice for families, as well as less experienced cyclists. If you are a diehard bicyclist than the Tropical Mountain Bike Tour encompassing the rugged rain forest terrain provides a much more challenging experience. Some of the best scuba diving and snorkeling in the Virgin Islands can be found off the shores of St. Croix. An obvious first choice is Buck Island National Park, a 30 minute boat ride from Christiansted. Buck Island is a mile long deserted rock with a pristine coral sand beach. The entire island is surrounded by an extensive reef system. West of Christiansted on Route 80 is Cane Bay Beach and nearby, picturesque Davis Bay Beach (final scenes of Trading Places were filmed here) that both provide some excellent snorkeling only 100 ft. offshore as well as great dive spots. St. Croix is also the only one of the Virgin Islands with wall diving. Most popular is Salt River Canyon, an underwater rift that is just 20 minutes by boat from Christiansted. Windsurfing is also very popular in St. Croix and is a great place to learn. Experts head to Salt River or Duggan’s Reef, while Hotel on the Cay, which is sheltered by Long Reef, provides calm waters great for novices as well as experienced windsurfers. A restaurant, bar and complete water-sports center are also available. If you enjoy body surfing, waves are often perfect at Shoy Beach in Christiansted. Go through the Buccaneer Hotel entrance, right along the golf course and travel the dirt road to Buccaneer Estates. From there, follow the path to the beach. Miles of white sand and tranquil waters beckon you at Sandy Point Beach, not far from the pier. Another excellent choice is Rainbow Beach, about a mile from the port. Carambola Golf Club and Buccaneer Golf Course are both excellent, challenging courses for the golf aficionados. Horseback riding in the rain forest, kayaking, and hiking round out your choice of outdoor options. If you prefer to do some sightseeing, your best choices are a tour of the Cruzan Rum Factory, a visit to Whim Great House, a restored sugar plantation with a museum, exhibits and restored buildings dating back to the 18th century, or a stroll through St. George Botanical Gardens, a 17 acre flower filled park built around a sugar cane village. Finally, if you are in port on a Wednesday, Harbor Nights is a block party that is sponsored by the merchants and residents of St. Croix along the waterfront known as “The Strand” (right at the end of the cruise ship pier). A fireworks display concludes the 6-11 pm festivities.
No trip to St. Croix is complete without a visit to Buck Island National Park.
Yes, I do have some excellent culinary recommendations. If you are in Christiansted, sample the Alaskan king crab cakes or pecan roasted pork loin with ginger mayo at Kendricks. This open air restaurant on Company Street offers excellent French cuisine. Also in Christiansted, if you are in the mood for Caribbean fare head for Indies and order their spring rolls and spice rubbed chicken or sample one of their outstanding fresh seafood selections. Closer to the pier, in Frederiksted, I would suggest Blue Moon on Strand St. The Greek swordfish and key lime pie were superb.
22 users found this review helpful.
On St. Croix we took the Buck Island Snorkel Excursion. If you are looking for a shopping tour, Frederiksted doesn’t have a lot to offer and Christiansted ...read more
11 users found this review helpful.
We are both certified to dive so this was the interesting port for us. I had emailed and checked on diving from shore the Cane Bay Wall. The dive shop is located...read more
55 users found this review helpful.
Upon arriving at St. Croix we could really tell it was a virgin island because there was not much to see around the pier. It is quite a walk from the...read more
14 users found this review helpful.
Our ship made an unexpected stop at St. Croix to get a fuel. We went on shore and were very surprised by worm welcome from local people. It was getting dark, but all...read more
ST. CROIX HERITAGE TOUR
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