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Old 18-12-2014, 12:44   #1
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Customs & Immigration in St Thomas

We are currently on our boat in the BVI, heading to St Thomas next week. I know Customs and Immigration is in Charlotte Amalie near the ferry dock, but does anyone know where we can leave the boat and either walk or dinghy over to the Customs & Immigration office? It seems they don't have a dock or moorings of their own.
Thanks!
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Old 18-12-2014, 12:57   #2
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Re: Customs & Immigration in St Thomas

I've always cleared into the USVI from the BVI at Cruz Bay on St. John, but have been told that one can temporarily use the docks (with the mothership, not just the dinghy) close to the ferry dock/immigration offices in Charlotte Amalie - if they aren't in use. I think it might be simpler and quicker to take a mooring off Cruz Bay and clear in there as they've always been fast, friendly and efficient there.
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Old 18-12-2014, 13:25   #3
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Re: Customs & Immigration in St Thomas

Ditto Cruz Bay. Much easier. There is a temporary (short term) anchorage on the green side of the channel leading into the inner harbor. It's a bit shallow, but plenty deep for most cruisers - even monos. Look for the little bay just outside the green markers. 2 hour max. Then just take the dink into the dock in front of the Nat'l Park building. Walk around the head of the harbor, following the road to get to the opposite side where the Customs office is located. It's possible to tie up to the Customs dock, but they charge you - even for your dink. Be aware this is the harbor on the north of the big Cruz Bay anchorage which is chock full of permanent, private moorings. Don't go there. If the temp anchorage is full you can take a mooring around the point north towards Caneel Bay - just a longer dink ride. A bonus here is the very adequate grocery up the hill - Dolphin Market, I think. You can do customs, visit the Nat'l park Office and get rum or Presidente at the grocery all in the 2 hour max time in the anchorage.

If you have to go to STT, suggest you anchor out in the harbor and dink in to the customs office, near where the sea planes tie up. Watch yer head.

2 Hulls Dave
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Old 18-12-2014, 14:42   #4
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Re: Customs & Immigration in St Thomas

We've done both in the past and I would only do St. John's if I have the choice. Much quicker, easier and nicer. Not as many ferries so you don't get the crowd either.
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Old 18-12-2014, 17:11   #5
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Re: Customs & Immigration in St Thomas

Thanks for the input. My husband and I sat down and looked at the charts and decided to do just htat - check into St John rather than Charlotte Amalie. We're on Virgin Gorda now, and will head to Tortola, check out at Sopers and then in at St John. Seems like it will be much more civilized! Thanks so much for the suggestions.
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Old 19-12-2014, 09:03   #6
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Re: Customs & Immigration in St Thomas

We're currently on the pick in Honeymoon Bay, Water Island. We've made the trek to the US Customs office a couple of times, to register for the Small Vessel Program, so we can just call in once we get to PR. Its a 10 minute dinghy ride to Crown Bay Marina, leave the dink at the dinghy dock there, walk by the big supermarket and down the main road for about 20minutes (past the big hardware store), and you're at the US Customs office. It's not far nor hard to do, and the agents are pretty helpful/friendly. Works good.
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Old 19-12-2014, 09:11   #7
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Re: Customs & Immigration in St Thomas

CRUZ BAY - Grab a mooring in Caneel Bay and Dingy around the point - make sure you have life jackets in the dingy (harbor patrol = Barney Fife)... then grab a huge margarita at Margarita Phils across the street!
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Old 19-12-2014, 09:39   #8
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Re: Customs & Immigration in St Thomas

With regard to tieing up your dinghy in Cruz Bay, they actually don't like you to use the Park Service Dock and can get quite exercised about it. And it is correct that they will charge you a fee to tie up at the Customs dock. What I do is to go on the south side of the peninsula that juts out into the middle of Cruz Bay and go over to the dinghy dock where the ferries are. There is one on the south side of the ferry dock that is usually pretty crowded. There is also one on the north side of the ferry dock that is much less crowded and that's the one I use. Then we have about a 150 yard walk to customs. I doubt that they would approve of where I dock, but no one checks it or polices it, at all, unlike the Parks Service dock.

Cheers,
Tim
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Old 19-12-2014, 10:01   #9
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Re: Customs & Immigration in St Thomas

Last time we cleared in at Cruz Bay (2010), it was difficult to anchor or get a mooring. The green side was a little crowded (maybe too shallow?) so the skipper opted to grab a mooring on the red side (we squatted on a private one reluctantly).

And they insisted the whole cap'n and crew show their faces in the office.
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Old 19-12-2014, 10:10   #10
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Re: Customs & Immigration in St Thomas

I agree Cruz Bay. When are you going?

Maje
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Old 19-12-2014, 13:28   #11
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Re: Customs & Immigration in St Thomas

I believe Cruz will log you in and out assuming you are returning to the BVI. Saves some time later.
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Old 21-12-2014, 18:40   #12
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Re: Customs & Immigration in St Thomas

If all onboard are US Citizens there is no need to "log out".


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