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St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix
Boating and Sailing Recreational boating is one of the U.S. Virgin Islands’ favorite activities. Choose from a luxury yacht with a full crew, a glass bottom boat tour or a fun sail with snorkeling stops along the way. Half-day and full-day tours are plentiful and you can often rent a small powerboat on the spur of the moment to explore on your own.
Fishing Whether catching your dinner off the dock or going for the big game challenge of the deep sea, there’s no limit to fishing fun in local waters. There have been several world record catches in the area, and numerous catch and release fishing tournaments such as the famous U.S.V.I. Open Atlantic Blue Marlin Tournament attract amateurs and professionals alike. Wahoo, dolphin, grouper, snapper and tuna are common catches, and there are a number of larger game fish such as kingfish and marlin in open waters.
Diving, Snorkeling and Other Underwater Explorations Exploring the underwater world is a unique adventure that you’ll want to experience time and again. Colorful reefs filled with exotic fish, natural grottos, walls, cave formations and shipwrecks are yours to explore just below the surface, often just off the shoreline. Snorkeling and diving equipment are readily available.
Check with any water sports center for diving, SNUBA and SCUBA lessons, certification and tours. For some high-paced action, try a Breathing Observation Submersible Scooter (BOB). Coral World Marine Park’s Sea Trekkin’, a walk on the ocean floor wearing a space-age helmet, was recently named worldwide Sea Trek operator of the year.
Kayaking Immerse yourself in the fascinating natural environment on a kayak tour. You see places other boats can’t access and get an up close look at protected mangroves and lagoons and their interwoven ecosystems of island plants, wildlife and fisheries. Rent a kayak of your own from many water sports centers or take a group tour with companies such as V.I. Ecotours (340) 779-2155 on St. Thomas, offering combination kayaking, hiking and snorkeling packages on St. Thomas, St. John and Hassel Island. Tours are available at the Salt River National Historic Park and Ecological Preserve on St. Croix and open-sea kayaking is available on St. John.
Parasailing Wisk along the wind and waves with an exhilarating parasail! The island view is spectacular, the perfect opportunity for one of a kind photos. Enjoy a relaxing soar from high above or opt for a thrill seeking wet and wild bounce across the waves. Check with your concierge, charter company or water sports center for bookings.
Board Sports Boogie boards, wake boards, surfboards, kiteboards, stand-up paddleboards, windsurfers, if it skims the water, you’ll find it in the U.S. Virgin Islands! Boogie boards are an inexpensive alternative for the youngsters, with all the fun of boarding in the safer shallow surf at any beach. Stand-up paddling can be a leisurely glide near the shore or a real workout for the more ambitious. Surfing is best between November and March. Hull Bay on St. Thomas, Reef Bay on the north side of St. John, Sprat Bay on Water Island and Judith’s Fancy on St. Croix offer the best surfing, with swells of 6 to 8 feet.
Steady tradewinds make Sapphire Beach and Morning Star Beach on St. Thomas and Divi Carina Bay on St. Croix ideal for kiteboarding and windsurfing. Equipment for rent or purchase and lessons are available.
Jet Skis and WaveRunners Jet Skis and WaveRunners are a powerhouse romp on the sea, racing at exhilarating speeds. Single and double-seaters are available for rent by the half hour on St. Thomas and St. Croix, but are prohibited in National Park waters.
Specifically St. John
Clear crystalline waters, soft sands and warm sun make the perfect combination for tropical fun on St. John!
There are so many ways to enjoy the water and St. John offers them all, from a lazy day of floating near the shore to exhilarating windsurfing adventures. Explore with a snorkel tour, hop aboard a sailboat or surf the waves. Don’t bother bringing your own equipment. It’s easy to purchase or rent. Dive shops and beachside sports shacks offer a variety of water toys, sports equipment, tours, lessons and dive certification. There are many charter boats available for group or private sails and fishing expeditions, and many arrange for pick-up at your St. John hotel. Information booths in Cruz Bay and Mongoose Junction can set up your tour or talk to your concierge for bookings.
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No passport is required for U.S. citizens traveling to the U.S.V.I., if another proof of citizenship, such as driver’s license or birth certificate with picture ID, is available. Non-U.S. visitors need a valid passport and appropriate visa. No immunizations are necessary.
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