“Shopping” in the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) started with the Jamestown Settlers in 1607 when the Englishmen stopped off in Charlotte Amalie Harbor to pick up supplies on their way to the U.S. Today, St. Thomas is a major shopping destination thanks in part not only to an abundance of choice in product, but also thanks to the USVI’s generous duty-free allowance of $1,600 per person, with family members traveling together entitled to a joint declaration for an even higher allowance. Below we offer some of our favorite shops while you’re in port in St. Thomas:
Tip: If you want to share the love of everything retail, gifts valued at $100 or less can be mailed (no more than one package per day), and do not need to be declared in the exemption.
1. Main Street, Charlotte Amalie
How to Get There: As you leave the Havensight cruise port, exit left out of the Havensight Mall and follow along the Waterfront until you reach the U.S. Post Office. Make a right at the Post Office and a left onto Main Street. The trip takes about 10 minutes in a cab or 35 minutes on foot.
2. Havensight Mall
With more than 100 stores and business in Havensight Mall you are sure to find that special something to take home. Conveniently located right at the port, it offers good prices for jewelry, fragrances and watches. Diamonds International and Little Switzerland are two top choices for jewelry, while Dynasty Dazzlers sells jewelry, liquor and perfume. A.H. Riise is a duty-free goods “haven” with jewelry, cosmetics, perfumes tobacco and more.
How to Get There: Walk right off the cruise ship and you’ll be at the outdoor Havensight Mall.
3. Crown Bay Center
St. Thomas’ second busiest port is home to kiosk stores for local goods, as well as jewelry, souvenir and liquor stores. Top stops include Anna’s Souvenirs for gift items, jewelry and general merchandise; Caribbean Choice for locally-designed jewelry; Supreme Liquors; and other outposts for Cardow Jewelry and Diamonds International.
How to Get There: Shops are a five-minute walk from the Crown Bay port if you ship is docked there. If your ship is docked at Havensight, exit left out of the Havensight Mall and follow along the Waterfront until you reach the sign for Crown Bay Marina, and turn left. This walk takes about an hour, or you can take a cab for 20 minutes.
4. Native Arts and Crafts Cooperative
The largest arts and crafts emporium in the USVI, this is the place to go for calabash bowls, spice racks from local wood, straw moko jumbie dolls, woven baskets, and quilts made by some 40 local artisans, including school children and senior citizens. Support the local community by purchasing some of these hand-made items.
How to Get There: As you leave the cruise port, exit left out of the Havensight Mall and follow along the Waterfront until you reach Vendors Plaza, next to the U.S. Post Office. The Native Arts and Crafts Cooperative is across the street. It's 10 minutes by car, or a thirty-five minute walk.
5. Yacht Haven Grande
If you’d like to pair your shopping with some aspirational shopping for mega-yachts then head to Yacht Haven Grande. This upscale waterfront development features high-end luxury boutique clothes and accessories. Well-known names include Louis Vuitton, Gucci and White House Black Market. Bella Vera is a non-chain store for women’s clothing and accessories.
How to Get There: As you leave the cruise port, exit left out of the Havensight Mall and follow along the Waterfront until you reach the sign for Yacht Haven Grande. Turn left into the Yacht Haven Grande entrance. It takes five minutes in a cab or 25 minutes on foot.
6. Zora of St. Thomas
For something unique, head to Zora for good quality and custom-made leather sandals, handmade canvas bags, luggage and backpacks.
How to Get There: Exit left out of the Havensight Mall and follow along the Waterfront until you reach the Fort Christian parking lot and USVI Courthouse. Turn right and Zora will be on the left-hand corner at the next intersection, across the street from Roosevelt Park. It takes 10 minutes in a car and half an hour on foot.