Charter Options for Cruise Ship Visitors

Every year, hundreds of thousands of visitors to St Thomas arrive on cruise ships and are eager to explore and seek out new experiences.


The majority of our business comes from full day private charters, but generally speaking, due to the arrival and departure times of the cruise ships, most cruise ship visitors don't have enough time to experience a full day on the water. Shades of Blue Charters does, however, offer a couple of other charter experiences that mesh perfectly with the various cruise ship arrival and departure times...which is why they are the perfect cruise ship excursion for those who want to get out on the water but have limited time.


Private Charter Option

On a private charter, the boat is yours for the day; the only people on the boat besides your family and friends are the captain and crew. You work with the captain to design the itinerary for your time on the water. We offer two private half day charter options daily: one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Each trip is 3.5 hours long. The morning trip runs from 8:30am - 12:00pm and works well for the cruise ship visitors disembarking in St Thomas early. The afternoon trip runs from 1:00 - 4:30pm and works best for those disembarking in the late morning. You can find more information about our private half day charters here.

Group Trip Option

Group trips are a little different from private charters. On a group trip, we mix groups of people on the same boat (i.e. your family of four, and 2 other couples for example) and the captain sets the itinerary. Group trips are priced per person and are "all inclusive". (Learn more here.) New this season is a group trip called the "3 Hour Tour". The "3 Hour Tour" group trip is offered twice daily on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Like the half day private charter, the group trip will run once in the morning and once in the afternoon and work pretty well for cruise shippers arriving early or late morning.

The Logistics

Regardless of whether you choose a private half day charter or a group trip, you'll just need to hop in a taxi and meet the boat over at Sapphire Marina on the east end of St Thomas once you get off the ship.

At the end of your charter, you still have plenty of time for a little more fun before heading back to the ship. You can walk from the marina to the beach to grab a bite to eat and a drink at one of the restaurants and bars right on the beach at the Sapphire Beach Resort. Alternatively, after getting off the boat, you can take a short taxi ride to nearby Red Hook and eat in one of the many restaurants there before heading back to the ship.

The Bottom Line

Many cruise shippers will take advantage of the tours offered by the cruise ship company and often don't even consider "going out on their own" because they don't know where to start or they think it's too hard to work out the logistics. It's actually pretty simple; Shades of Blue Charters has a couple of different product offerings with different price points for cruise ship visitors who want to experience a fun day on the water. So, if you're reading this, keep us in mind for your St Thomas port call on your next cruise. As always, give us a call at 877-SBLUEVI if you have any questions!