Caribbean Cruise '09
photo by J. J.

Charlotte Amalie is the capital city of U.S. Virgin Islands. This harbor city is the destination for many cruise ships, because of its deep water harbor. Accordingly, there is extensive shopping and tour excursions here.

Getting there

By plane

An international airport serves the city and island, with direct flights from many hubs, on many airlines. Its modern terminal has U.S. Customs & Immigration services, as well as duty free shopping. People arriving will find queues of cabs ready to take them to any part of the island. Some hotels offer shuttles, but most need to be arranged in-advance.

By boat

Cruise ships stop during daylight hours, not so much for people to reach the island, but to briefly visit. In high-season, so many ships and passengers visit simultaneously that the city's population may double.

Traveling around

(see this discussion topic for Saint Thomas)

Walking: The downtown area is quite compact, with streets crowded with vehicles. Covering the shopping district on foot is most effective. Outlying areas in the city largely involve considerable walking distances.

Taxis: Readily available everywhere.

Rental car: With more than two large ships in port, the city per se has very heavy traffic and almost no parking during the daytime. Motor travel then may best be done by taxi. Outside the city, a rental may be worthwhile. Although a United States territory, everybody drives on the left side of the road. Caution must be exercised, especially at intersections, and generally around the island because the roads are somewhat narrow and wind a lot as they transit hills and mountains, with occasional washouts.


  • Paradise Point offers an excellent view of the island. The Skyride takes about 5 minutes each way, and costs 18USD. Up top is a short walking trail where many local flowers and birds can be found.

  • 99 Steps constructed in the mid 1700s of brick brought from Denmark as ballast.

  • St. Thomas Synagogue the oldest synagogue under the flag of the United States of America.

  • Charlotte Amalie Harbor is one of the most beautiful harbors to be found anywhere. There are almost always lots of sailboats and yachts moored in the harbor, many with windmills spinning away. It's ringed by hills, and when there are several cruise ships docked, it can be quite a sight.

Things to do

  • Fort Christian, a bright red Danish fort completed in 1680, is the oldest standing structure on the island. It also holds St. Thomas' museum which exhibits historical photos and documents, antique furniture, a cane press, local flora and fauna and more. The fort's roof affords excellent harbor views. Adm: $3; under 15 free (2007).

  • Reichhold Center for the Arts, 2 John Brewers Bay, Phone: 340-693-1559, .

  • Captain Nautica Powerboat Excursions, .



  • Galleon House Hotel, Government Hill, .


When the ships are in port, the open air bazaars are full of bustle, and the stores (all duty free) are packed. More than four large ships or so in port at once can make downtown midday a challenge; shopping early can help. You can shop both downtown and at malls near the cruise ship docks...HavenSight has many of the same shops as downtown in smaller versions; Crown Bay has just a few thus far. Bargaining is appropriate in the bazaars, and can be tried in stores.

(See same subject under "St Thomas" for more details)


  • University of the Virgin Islands, 2 John Brewers Bay, .

Contact & location

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The photos displayed on this page are the property of one of the following authors:

J. J., Margherita-Italy, Tim Jansa, Germano Schüür, vkalathil, Elysium, Brian & Jaclyn Drum, vlasta2, L. E. MacDonald, Daniel Lobo, MeRyan

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This travel guide also includes text from Wikitravel articles, all available at WikitravelView full credits

Wayne Frick, David, Jaakko , Ben lila and Ravikiran Rao, Episteme and Jonboy

This travel guide also includes text from Wikipedia articles, all available at WikipediaView full credits

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