St. Croix, US Virgin Islands
The largest of the U.S. Virgin Islands, St. Croix is perhaps the least known to cruise passengers, and that’s a shame. St. Croix features scores of nature activities and water sports, from horseback riding through the rain forest to some of the region’s best scuba diving and snorkeling. History buffs will love the numerous historic attractions, such as Fort Frederik, the Estate Whim Plantation and the Christiansted National Historic Site’s numerous monuments, reminders of St. Croix’s Danish heritage. Those who enjoy the offbeat will be thrilled to tour the Cruzan rum distillery or feed beer to the island’s famous drinking pigs. (Captain Morgan also has a facility on St. Croix.) A burgeoning food culture, anchored by the island’s extensive agriculture, is becoming internationally known. And beach bums have scores of choices, both on the west end and farther afield.
Historic Christiansted is a 17 mile taxi ride from Frederiksted. Fort Christiansvaern is the Virgin Islands’ best preserved colonial fort. There are also many art galleries and studios in the town.
Located 2 miles from Frederiksted is the Estate Whim Plantation Museum, a three room historically restored plantation house. Tour the house, restored windmill and sugar factory ruins. There’s a gift shop on site.
Nearby, the Cruzan Rum Factory offers free guided tours. Also check out the Captain Morgan Experience at the Captain Morgan rum distillery, tours of the plant are offered, complete with tastings.
Other options include horse riding at Paul and Jill’s Stable and Farm on the west end of St. Croix, scuba diving at Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve and a kayaking tour of the mangrove forests at Altoona Lagoon.
Historic walking tours and eco-tours are available, hosted by locals with inside knowledge.
Other excursions include snorkelling in Buck Island National Park and an island tour through the rain forests, museums and sugar plantation ruins.
The nearest beach to the Frederiksted pier is Sandy Point, a huge stretch of sand where leatherback and green sea turtles nest from April to June.
The disabled cruiser visiting St. Croix
Where You’re Docked
You’ll dock at the pier in Frederiksted, the island’s second-largest town, unless your ship carries fewer than 200 passengers — then it can dock in Christiansted. Frederiksted is on the island’s west shore. Christiansted, which is larger, is about a 30-minute cab ride away.
The Fort Frederik Museum, the Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts and a handful of restaurants are all nearby. For many cruisers, the popular Fort Frederik beach, which is located within a 10-minute walk of the pier just north of the fort, is all they need.
Good to Know
People in St. Croix take religion and family seriously, and many shops and some historic sites are closed Sundays. Most excursions, beaches and restaurants, though, are open and ready for business.
The currency is the U.S. dollar, and many places also accept credit cards; a fair number of smaller restaurants are cash only, though. St. Croix has no sales tax. ATMs are readily found in Christiansted and Frederiksted.
English is the official language but often with a Caribbean twist of unique pronunciations and vocabulary thrown in. The island still attracts visitors from Denmark, so you might see some signs and menus in Danish, particularly in Christiansted.
A Crucian hook bracelet, with a horseshoe-shaped closure, which you can buy from numerous jewelry shops (Sonya Ltd. is the most famous). And of course, there’s always Cruzan Rum.
Because it’s the most agricultural of the Virgin Islands, St. Croix restaurateurs have access to a bounty of local produce. Consequently, the food there is the best that weve had in the Virgin Islands. Go local with chicken, served with curry, stewed or in a roti, or search out Caribbean lobster (sweeter than its Maine counterpart). Or try one of the more upscale restaurants that have opened; the St. Croix Food & Wine Experience keeps getting bigger every spring, and the international chefs it brings have encouraged restaurants to up their game.
Points of Interest
- St. Croix – a seven-
St. Croix Accessible Excursions
Whether your cruise ship stops in
St. Croix Accessible Guided Tour
This 4 hour accessible