St John Yacht Charters
St. John is part of the US Virgin Islands and a popular destination for yacht charters. Charter guests enjoy visiting St. John for its natural wonders, including 35+ beaches and a national park.
The island’s rich history stretches back to AD 300 when the Arawaks migrated from Colombia and Venezuela and settled there. They inhabited the island until driven away by the more aggressive Caribs in 1300. The first Europeans arrived in 1718 with the Danish West India and Guinea Company, naming the island Sankt Jan, or St. John. Under control of the Danish Crown, it became a hub for the sugar industry with a great number of plantations being established on the island due to the favorable growing conditions. In 1917, the United States purchased what is now known as the U.S. Virgin Islands, including St. John, to create a naval base.
Present-day St. John is known as the “Beverly Hills” of the Caribbean, an exclusive yacht charter destination with breathtaking beaches, lush coastal land, and world-famous coral reefs. Much of St. John’s natural wonders are preserved in a vast National Park that covers two-thirds of the island. Spas, hiking, water sports, and shopping are just some of the activities that make St. John a wonderful addition to your Virgin Islands yacht charter itinerary.
St John Yacht Charters – Things to See and Do
St John is definitely worth visiting while on your yacht charter in the Virgin Islands. Make sure to visit these places:
Cruz Bay is the main town on St. John and your gateway to all that the island has to offer. Located on St. John’s west coast, Cruz Bay offers fine dining, culture, and attractions. Enjoy the unique shops at Mongoose Junction, perfect for purchasing island specialties, enjoying a cocktail at one of its bars, or stroll through its galleries. Explore the island’s art and history at the Elaine Ione Sprauve Library and Museum. Cruz Bay is also home to the Virgin Islands National Park Visitor Center.
Virgin Islands National Park
Virgin Islands National Park is so much more than just its valleys, hills, trails and beaches … it is a record of St. John’s complex history dating back over a thousand years. The Archaeology Program is giving context to the intricate relationship between indigenous Caribbean cultures, European colonial powers, and the Africans brought to the island. St. John is known for hiking, and Virgin Islands National Park has over 20 trails to choose from for hikers of all levels. For those seeking a casual stroll, accessible boardwalks will take you through historic ruins, salt ponds, and a bird viewing deck. Looking for a more challenging hike? Follow the Reef Bay Trail to the petroglyphs and the old Sugar Mill. The park also features the Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument, which includes federal submerged lands that support an intricate system of coral reefs, mangrove forests and seagrass beds.
Home to one of the world’s most beautiful beaches, Trunk Bay is known for powdery white sand, turquoise waters and postcard-perfect scenery. Part of the Virgin Islands National Park, the beach stretches for over a quarter of a mile, and its soft sand extends into the sea. One of Trunk Bay’s greatest attractions is the 225-yard long underwater snorkeling trail, which offers a memorable, guided underwater experience. Trunk Bay also includes a bathhouse, souvenir shop, snack bar, snorkel gear rentals, and lifeguards on duty.
Located on a 170-acre peninsula in Virgin Islands National Park, Caneel Bay is one of the premier vacation resorts in the Caribbean. Once owned by American philanthropist, businessman and conservationist Laurance Rockefeller, the resort was built to blend into the landscape. He was so impressed by St. John’s beauty that he purchased the majority of the island and later donated it to the National Parks Service. Yacht charter guests in St John can enjoy an excursion to Caneel Bay to indulge in one of its fine dining establishments or to unwind after a hike on one of the adjacent trails. The waters are also great for snorkeling and scuba diving, with a diverse collection of marine life, including parrotfish, angelfish, sea fans, spiny sea urchins, and the occasional sea turtle or barracuda.
Coral Bay is the smaller, quieter, quirkier town on St. John, and the perfect spot to sample authentic island cuisine, shop for souvenirs, get to know the locals, or explore some of nature’s greatest masterpieces. Located in St. John’s East End is Hurricane Hole, one of the Caribbean’s best-protected harbors, surrounded by winding roads and spectacular vistas. Go on an unforgettable night hike at Ram’s Head, illuminated only by moonlight, or snorkel Salt Pond Bay, where you might spot a sea turtle or giant hermit crab. For history buffs, the Emmaus Moravian Church is a registered historic site, easily recognized by its orange roof and known for its ghost stories.
Annaberg Historic District
The Annaberg Historic District is located on the ruins of the Annaberg Sugar Plantation in Virgin Islands National Park. Owned by William Gottschalk, Annaberg translates to Anna’s Hill and was named for his daughter. In addition to sugar, molasses and rum were also produced at Annaberg. A trail leads through factory ruins, the slave quarters, the windmill, and the remains of other structures. Placards and signs will guide you along the way, describing the sugar production process and plantation life. Annaberg’s windmill is still a focal point of the site and was one of the largest in the islands.