The US Virgin Islands are a yacht lover’s dream; a place where home countries collide with the Caribbean magic – all set against a backdrop of pure unbridled blue. You can spend days hopping from one charming island to the next, even blending it with an exquisite discovery of the British Virgin Islands and the remarkable boulder strewn sands of the gorgeous Virgin Gorda.
But of all the islands; St Croix takes the crown for being not only the largest of this island chain, but also one of the most exclusive. For AvYacht owner who feel compelled to set sail for the so-called Garden of the Antilles, here’s our quick glance guide to sassy and sublime St Croix…
Why Stop at St Croix?
St Croix has a stunning topography – while she still boasts those Caribbean clichés of turquoise hues and sweeping sands, she also delivers wild and lonely coastlines, bright buccaneer vibes, crumbling plantations and mills, and deep cool rainforests. Along with an abundance of nature and despite her size, St Croix doesn’t feel hemmed in by the tourist trade. In-fact, this generous dollop of land feels a lot more local than her neighbors. While cruise ships do swing by for the day, there is more than enough space and patience for everyone to find their cool corner of St Croix.
For those AvYacht owner dropping anchor on St Croix, be sure to make time for the Buck Island National Park. 176 acres are ripe for exploring; with crisscrossing nature trails, sugar fine sandy beaches, and one of the most exciting snorkeling and diving spots in the whole of the USVI.
The Buck Island National Reef Monument is a treasure chest of grottos, elkhorn coral sculpted from the pages of a fairytale, and endless iridescent shades of green and blue. Experienced and novice underwater players will find their edge here, and for those who prefer to stay above the waves – you can always watch baby turtles hatch upon the protected sands.
If you have ever dreamed of seeing the land-based constellations born out of bioluminescence, then a lagoon of living lights can be found over on Altona Lagoon or at the Salt River Bay National Historical Park. Take the kayak from your AvYacht and embark on an after dark discovery through these serene midnight sky waters where glow worms and comb jelly fish light up like a thousand stars.
The US Virgin Islands is soaked in history. Start your journey back in time with a visit to the Estate Whim Plantation Museum to get a glimpse into 18th century life for those who once worked in sugar cane production. The great house, the windmill and the bath house are all open to tour.
If you prefer your daytrips served with a finger or three of fiery rum, then the Cruzan Rum Distillery should be at the top of your visitors list. After a tour of the distillery you can taste the finest rum creams or muddled Cruzan cocktails to send you wobbling back to your yacht for a pink tinged sunset supper.
Where to Dine
St Croix is renowned for being one of the hottest culinary spots in the Virgin Islands chain. While your AvYacht will have its own signature chef whipping up a storm, there may be languid afternoons or late nights when you feel like dining ashore.
Balter in Christiansted is said to be one of the boldest new restaurants to grace the island. Cheerful wooden tables accentuate the farm to table feel, the brick and steel aesthetic feels like a breath of fresh air to those usually accustomed to rum shack style, and the pork belly brightened by Haitian slaw, the spiced ginger beer cocktails, and the Danish style smorrebrod take your senses sailing to a whole host of places.
Where to Unwind
Endless days of snorkeling, dining on fresh crab suppers, and kayaking across glittering waters can already leave you fully rested and utterly enchanted. For those AvYacht members looking to up the ante then the historic and highly beautiful Buccaneer Hotel may be just the ticket.
Book yourself in for a session at the Hideaway Spa where mermaid body polishes, purifying facials, and reflexology pressure point massages will have you flowing like silk. Those who get their respite from a round of golf will be charmed by the course at the Buccaneer. Boasting 18 holes and some of the most sublime sea-views imaginable, tee time will never again be as tantalizing.
When to Visit
One of the most popular yacht times for visiting St Croix is part of the wonderful winter escape to the Caribbean. Being relatively close to the USA, the USVI is an easy sail and the weather remains warm and welcoming throughout the year. Those who want to skip the rains may want to avoid September to November. You can also blend a US Virgin Islands itinerary with the chance to discover the bountiful British Virgin Islands too. Check out our AvYachts 40M presently in the USVIs.