As the capital city of the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as the largest city in the chain, Charlotte Amalie is one of the most tourism driven cites in the region. Not only do most sources of transportation originate from Charlotte Amalie, but a great deal of attractions, activities, important landmarks, restaurants, and accommodations are also set in this town. Chances are it would still be just as popular if tourists weren't led to the area by various transportation options.
Charlotte Amalie is unique in the U.S. Virgin Islands because it is the one city where every form of transportation to the island has a home here. Whether you travel by air or by sea, if you don't land in Charlotte Amalie, it is an unusual situation.
Even though the island's main airport (Cyril E. King Airport) is located a little outside of Charlotte Amalie, it is the main gateway for tourist coming to visit the city and . Serving not only the islands of St. Thomas but also all the Virgin Islands (American and British) the services offered here are superb. You will be able to rent a car, hail a cab, and set up excursions right from the airport. While the journey may not be as scenic as a cruise or ferry ride, the convenience the airport has to offer is hard to beat. To learn more about your air travel options in Charlotte Amalie, click here.
Serving as the major port of call for St. Thomas, Charlotte Amalie has a well developed boating culture and infrastructure. Anyone coming by sea, or hoping to set sail from the city should have no problem finding their needs met. With that said, St. Thomas Harbor itself is more well known for cruise ships and ferries. Crown Bay, commonly included in the Charlotte Amalie area, is where you will find most of the docking sites and boat charter opportunities. To learn more about sailing to Charlotte Amalie, click here.
...see as much of the town as possible...
Since Charlotte Amalie is one of the busiest cruise ports in the entire region, many visitors arrive at one of the two local cruise ports -- Havensight Cruise Port. Both ports are located along the southern coast of Charlotte Amalie -- the former just to the west of downtown, and the latter just to the east.and the
Cruise ships typically dock for less than 12 hours, giving tourists just enough time to hail a cab or rent a car for a few hours to see as much of the town as possible. Hiring a cab driver to take you and a group of other cruisers on a tour is a great way to view other parts of the island, or you may wish to stick to the Havensight Mall and get in some shopping before taking off again.or
It is best to settle upon which method of transportation you'll use to get around Charlotte Amalie before you even arrive. Public transportation is of course an option for tourists who plan to stay only in town on their travels, but those who would like to further explore what St. Thomas has to offer will do better to rent a private vehicle to have at their disposal at all times.
If you plan to rent a car for your stay in Charlotte Amalie, there are a few requirements you should be aware of before you arrive. First, if you want to reserve your vehicle before hand, you will be required to provide the rental car agency with a credit card number to hold the vehicle, and then again when you pick the vehicle up you will be asked to provide a credit card number to protect the company in the event the car is damaged. This will be true even if you plan to pay your bill in cash. Then, before you can take off, you will have to prove that you are legally able to drive. This can be done by showing your valid driver's license from your country of origin, or, an International Driver's License, which you'll need if you'll be staying in the U.S. Virgin Islands for more than 90 days, will also do the trick. No one under the age of 25 will be permitted to rent a vehicle in Charlotte Amalie. If you are between 21 and 24, you may want to consider a motorized scooter rental instead. To learn more about renting a car in Charlotte Amalie, as well as information about driving around town, click here.
Thanks to the locations of the airport, two cruise ports, several marinas, and a ferry dock being located in Charlotte Amalie, taxis are never hard to come by – though they may be hard to spot. Taxis here do not have any type of set body style about them. Instead, you will have to learn to recognize them by the dome light or placard reading “TAXI” on the roof, or the letters “TX” on the license plate. You'll also have to get used to the fact that taxis here have set rates rather than metering rides. A full chart of the rates for having a cab drive you around Charlotte Amalie is available when you click here.
The VITRAN bus system is a set of buses that travel from Charlotte Amalie and around the island offering trips for between $0.75 and $1(USD) depending upon if you are traveling to the city of the country. The buses are enclosed, air conditioned, and handicap accessible, but are not reliable enough to be used as your main source of transportation if you have a set schedule in mind. However, if you're willing to wait an hour here and there and go with the flow, this is a great way to have an adventure.
As a major hub for the Virgin Islands, ferries are a common site to see in Charlotte Amalie. Whether you are looking for a day trip on a nearby island, or transport to your final destination, the ferries at Charlotte Amalie will be able to serve you. To find out about the destinations you can reach from Charlotte Amalie, and the companies servicing them, click here.
Transportation to and around Charlotte Amalie is covered by pretty much every method of transport that exists. Whatever your preference, there is a way for you to make it around this spectacular Caribbean town.
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