By far my favourite day while exploring the United States Virgin Islands was our ‘Island Beach Bar and Island Hopping Boat Tour’ which was run by ‘Stormy Pirates’ and offers a full 8 hour boat tour, commencing from the marina in St Thomas or in St John. Where else can you go beach bar hopping by boat in a tropical archipelago? In this post I will outline our fun-filled trip, and hopefully by the end, I will have persuaded you to add it to your Must Do list on your next trip to the islands.
Our day started at 9am outside the Visitors Center at St John’s marina. You can be picked up from either St Thomas or St John depending on which island you are residing. Once boarding the boat, we were introduced to the crew and the other guests who were joining us on the charter. We were offered a drink to start the excursion, of which I chose the classic Rum Punch, which they made by mixing the locally made Cruzan Mango Rum, with a combination of fruit juices – it was delicious, even at 9am! The crew outlined the various safety procedures on the boat, and then we were off, speeding through the turquoise water with a sensational sea breeze as we headed off to our first stop. We learnt about the history of the islands, and the crew were keen to point out any specific landmarks as we sailed by.
The first stop was Dinghy’s Beach Bar on the small secluded Water Island. There is no dock here, so we had to swim to shore, a fun way to begin the charter! The crew provided wet-dry waterproof bags to put your valuables in if you felt the need to bring them to shore, however most people chose to leave their phones and cameras on the boat and just swim to shore with a few banknotes to buy a couple of drinks.
Dinghy’s beach bar is a fantastic rustic establishment with chairs in the sand, offering delectable cocktails and a fine array of seafood snacks. The U.S. Virgin Islands are famous for the ‘Painkiller’ cocktail, but one of my favourites at this particular bar was a special cocktail that I hadn’t seen anywhere else – a Peanut Butter Bushwacker! It was like a cocktail and a whole dessert in one, I believe it consisted of dark rum, various coffee and chocolate liqueurs, coconut cream, pineapple juice and of course peanut butter! I highly recommend you try one of these if you visit, and don’t let the milkshake-like appearance fool you – it’s plenty boozy! After a couple of drinks and a chance to sample some of the islands fresh seafood dishes, we meandered our way back to the boat ready to continue our adventures.
The next pitstop was to Pizza Pi at Christmas Cove on Great St James Island. It is a floating pizzeria only accessible by boat – a truly unique experience! I was incredibly impressed with the captain’s ability to bring the boat so close that we were able to easily pick up the pizzas boat-side! We dug into the pizzas, which were surprisingly delicious given that they were made on a tiny boat in the middle of the sea! Our drinks were topped up and cruised on to our next stop – Coki Beach.
Coki Beach is on the island of St Thomas; it was a popular and lively beach, there appeared to be a lot of tourists here as the beach has free access, a couple of bars and lots of loud music to get the party started! Once we anchored just off shore, the crew brought out some pool noodles, floats and snorkeling equipment for us to use and enjoy. A few people swam to the beach to explore and grab a drink at the beach bar, others took advantage of the snorkeling equipment to view the plethora of tropical fish close to the reef, while the rest chose to stay on the boat and share stories with the captain. My friend was very unlucky to step on a sea urchin while snorkeling here, and the crew on board were incredibly helpful, gathering a bucket of vinegar to help dissolve the stings trapped in the skin, and a healthy top up of rum punch to ease the pain!
Our final stop of the tour was to Lovango Beach Club, an upmarket luxury resort with a price tag to match! The rates for staying at this beautiful hideaway were very much out of our price range, as were the daily fees for a cabana rental; but it was wonderful to sit at the waterfront restaurant for a couple of hours and enjoy some of the delicious curated cocktails with a view overlooking the other cayes and islands. All of the guests from the charter chose to sit together and we all bonded like we had known each other for years! If you get a chance to have a quick walk around this exclusive resort, it’s well worth a little gander, the grounds really are beautiful; it was the perfect end to an exceptional adventure day.
As we made our way back to the humble island of St John, we said our goodbyes to the guests and crew and reminisced on what was the best day of our stay on the U.S. Virgin Islands. The crew were incredibly professional and hosted a wonderful trip for all of us – I can’t thank them enough for all the effort they put into making our day so enjoyable. If you get the opportunity, I urge you to book it right away – you will not be disappointed! Book it here!
For more photos and videos, have a look at my “St John” highlights reel on Instagram 🙂