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St. Thomas Airport
Gateway to the USVI

St. Thomas. As the major interconnecting point to the United States Virgin Islands, and a alternate route to the British Virgin Islands, St. Thomas is itself an attractive vacation destination, especially its capital, Charlotte Amalie, a major cruise ship port and shopper’s paradise well worth at least a few hours planned layover.

Airport. The Cyril E. King international airport (STT) (340-776-6282) (current weather conditions) has a 7000′ runway for large jets, extending that of the old airport into the adjacent waters. The airport is 3 miles (15 minutes) from Charlotte Amalie, easily reached by taxi, public bus or rental car.

Taxis. Taxi vans are plentiful with affordable set rates, especially when carrying more than one person. See Charlotte Amalie below.

Connections. Large intercontinental jets fly directly from such cities as New York (4 1/2 hours), Washington D.C., Chicago, and Charlotte, Miami, and London, England. St. Thomas is served by such airlines as American Airlines, Delta, US Airways, United and Continental.

Caribbean Carriers. Within the Caribbean, travel is usually on turboprops and smaller planes. The major intra-Caribbean carrier is AA’s American Eagle Airlines. American Airlines uses San Juan Airport (SJU) as its Caribbean hub for American Eagle flights to various small Carribean island nations.

Air St. Thomas (800-522-3084), Air Sunshine, Caribbean Wings (495-6000), Cape Air (800-352-0714, 495-2100), Aero Gorda (495-3371) are local Caribbean carriers offering air service to local Caribbean connecting points, including St. Maarten/St. Martin, the Caribbean’s second busiest airport after San Juan, as well as St. Barths.

Charters. Consider chartering out of St. Thomas. Many local Caribbean carriers offer charter flights, sightseeing, and personalized service.

British Virgin Islands Service.
Charter service is available to Virgin Gorda and Anegada as well as Tortola’s Beef Island. Normally a small group is necessary to make a charter flight competitive in price.

BVI Welcome Online’s Getting There and World Travel Guide have general information on airline flights to the BVI.

Ferry Service. St. Thomas also has ferry service from its downtown Charlotte Amalie dock near the airport. The ferries ($40/22 round trip/one way for adults, $28/17 for children 3-11 years old) go to St. John, the West End (Soper’s Hole) and Road Town on Tortola and "The Valley" on Virgin Gorda (see map of ferry routes). In addition, the new Fast Ferry goes directly between Charlotte Amalie dock and Road Town. Red Hook on the BVI side of St. Thomas and Cruz Bay at St. John (another interesting destination) are all well interconnected in the ferry system.

Charlotte Amalie Ferry Dock

Given its small size, assistance with luggage (despite offers) is generally not needed to walk the few steps to the ticket counters inside and adjoining departure areas for the ferries (photo: VI Port Authority). Next door to the right is a seaplane port for the adventuresome traveler, linking St. Croix and San Juan.
Waterfront Stroll. The waterfront connects the ferry dock to downtown Charlotte Amalie. An enjoyable stroll along Charlotte Amalie’s waterfront takes in this huge and beautiful harbour. Magnificent yachts (some owned or chartered by celebrities) line the waterfront, moored "stern-to" in the Mediterranean fashion. Immense, gleaming cruise ships fill the far side. An occasional seaplane comes in for a water landing on the busy ferry dock side.

Charlotte Amalie. Yes, this is ground zero for "shop ‘til you drop," especially for jewelry. A famous shopping destination, Charlotte Amalie is the busiest stop on the cruise ship itinerary, sometimes with a number of cruise ships in port at one time.

When the cruise ships are in, a fleet of taxis springs into action and the streets will quickly be filled with shoppers (photo: Cape Air). Literally dozens of jewelry shops line many blocks of stores extending back from the port.

Quaint alleys as well offer numerous storefronts as well as hidden cafes and other great dining experiences.

Accommodations. Charlotte Amalie has a great variety of accommodations in all price ranges.

Alternative Routes. An alternative route to the British Virgin Islands growing in popularity includes direct jet flights from the US or Europe to St. Maarten and a intra-Caribbean flight on a local carrier, including American Eagle, to Tortola’s Beef Island airport (EIS). This alternative offers the intriguing possibility of a day trip or side excursion to the St.Maarten/St. Martin mulit-national archipelago that includes Anguilla, Saba and St. Barths–all within local ferry/flight distances.

Another alternative is Puerto Rico’s San Juan Airport (SJU) and an intra-Caribbean flight on a local carrier, usually American Eagle to Tortola’s Beef Island airport (EIS).

Delays and Overnight Stays. If allowed, carry on an overnight bag as well as reading material and snacks if desired.

Back to Tortola’s Beef Island Airport
Serving the British Virgin Islands

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