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Cruz Bay

Cruz Bay is small, busy town that can be walked from one end to the other in a few minutes. Near the harbor are a number of car, jeep and motor scooter rental vendors. There is a lot to explore and some may want to rent a car for a day to quickly get an overview of this beautiful island.

Cruz Bay

Cruz Bay has many good restaurants covering a full range of prices from small local smoothie and fast food stands to 5-star dining experiences. For fine food, Caneel Beach Terrace at the Caneel Bay Resort is a good choice, or stay within walking distance in town and dine at Paradiso located in the Mongoose Junction shopping center.

Usually in the plaza off Strand Street, fronting the harbor, there are open-air markets or trucks selling fresh fruits and vegetables.

Many small shops line the streets of Cruz Bay and range from the practical to high-end jewelry and gift stores. Mongoose Junction, north of the National Park Service office, has a pleasant mix of restaurants and shops in a courtyard setting. Other shops are in the town business are just off the ferry dock area and on Strand Street.

Arawak Indians petroglyphs

Arawak Indians petroglyphs.

U.S. Customs and Immigration

In many ports worldwide, a vessel arriving from a foreign port raises a yellow pratique flag and awaits customs and immigration officials to board the boat for inspection and to complete paperwork. In other areas, the captain goes ashore to clear in and once the paper work is done, the rest of the crew members go ashore to the immigration office and are officially cleared into the country.

In the U.S. Virgin Islands, however, everybody gets in the dinghy and travels to the Customs and Immigration building and clears in person. Rarely and only under special circumstances, are pleasure boats boarded and inspected. There is only a small dock in front of the customs building and it needs to be kept clear for passenger ferries arriving from the BVI. There is no room in this part of the harbor to anchor or moor. Therefore you must anchor in the outer harbor where there is little or no room to drop the hook.

There is no dinghy dock at immigration so use the one next to the national park headquarters and walk south to the immigration and customs office. So much for homeland security; anyone so inclined, can enter the port, come ashore and disappear. However, if caught, the penalties for not clearing Customs and Immigration are harsh. Customs and Immigration, now part of the Department of Homeland Security, has been equipped with high speed boats to patrol for un-cleared vessels moored in U.S. waters. In the past, Customs has allowed boats to moor in other harbors such as Caneel or Great Cruz Bay and take a cab in to the town of Cruz Bay to clear in. Check to see if this procedure is still allowed.

We presume that the congestion in Cruz Bay will be eased by the opening of the new cargo terminal at Enighed Pond.


Starfish Market

On the main east-west street, at the top of the hill (the street appears to be unnamed) is the Starfish Market with a good selection of fruit, vegetables, bakery, meats, seafood, frozen foods, wine and other grocery items. It’s not the least expensive in town but offers good quality.
7:30am to 9pm
Fax: 340.779.4950

Dolphin Market

Dolphin is also considered to be a good full-service supermarket, but with lower prices. Located in the Boulon Center.
7:30am to 11pm


St. John Hardware

For last-minute parts and hardware. Located on Enighed Street.

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