The Latest Air, Cruise and Culinary News From the USVI

St. Croix USVI
St. Croix // Photo by NAPA74/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

There’s plenty going on in the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) right now, especially on the island of St. Croix, including updates regarding air, cruise and culinary events.

Most recently, the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism announced the addition of a third American Airlines daily flight between Miami and St. Croix next summer. 

Commissioner of Tourism Joseph Boschulte reported that between June 4, 2020, and August 17, 2020, the carrier will operate a third daily flight, utilizing a 172-seat Boeing 737 aircraft. The flight will depart Miami at 10:35 a.m., arriving St. Croix at 1:14 p.m., while the return flight departs St. Croix at 1:59 p.m., arriving Miami at 5:10 p.m. The other two flights depart Miami at 12:05 p.m. and 5:35 p.m. and leave St. Croix at 3:29 p.m. and 8 a.m. (the following day), respectively.

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American Airlines will serve the Miami – St. Croix market with three daily flights for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday (November 23 – 25 and November 30 – December 2, 2019). American also extended Charlotte – St. Croix flights from Saturday-only to daily during the peak Christmas period (December 18 – 24; December 26 – 30, 2019; and January 1 – 6, 2020). 

In October, The U.S. Virgin Islands strengthened its relationship with cruise line partners as the region is gearing up for a strong growth forecast for the cruise ship industry.

Speaking at the annual Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) Cruise Conference and Trade Show, USVI Governor Albert Bryan Jr. reported that the delegation gathered valuable information about the evolving form of the massive cruise industry. He says that sustained infrastructural investment, dredging projects, the addition of a new port in the Charlotte Amalie harbor, the improvements on Main Street and the upland plans for Crown Bay were important developments for ensuring the Virgin Islands product was trending alongside cruise sector growth. 

Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line (second from right), talks cruise tourism with (pictured clockwise) Commissioner Boschulte, WICO Board Member Jason Charles and Governor Bryan.

Governor Bryan also said areas of opportunity include responding to demand from the European market, as well as revitalizing the visitor experience. It is also important, he says, to collaborate with federal authorities, i.e.: working out visa issues with the U.S. government to allow international passengers to disembark quickly, allowing them to experience more of the destination.

"We have a very mature tourism product in St. Thomas and we have an emerging market in St. Croix (and) St. John,” Governor Bryan said in an official release. “(We must determine) how do we combine those things in the right way that not only gives us the spend that we want, but also attracts the type of customer that's going to have the vacation that they want in the U.S. Virgin Islands."

Lastly: Offerings of the dynamic and diverse culinary heritage of St. Croix are being prepared, served and celebrated this month with the return of Dine St. Croix to the "Big Island" of the USVI.

The U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism announced the culinary event, originally known as Dine VI, was relaunched as Dine St. Croix this fall, providing visitors and residents with immersive cultural experiences, as well as plenty of opportunities to sample the island's culinary offerings across its restaurant scene through November 16, 2019.

Sixteen eateries are confirmed for Dine St. Croix, including 40 Strand Eatery, balter, Beach Side Cafe, Beauregard's on the Beach, BES Craft Cocktail Lounge, BREW STX, Cast Iron Pot Restaurant and Bar, Ciboné, DoughBoy Pretzels, EvRah Blue Moon Ice Cream, Ital in Paradise, Rum and Wine Bar Restaurant, Singh's Fast Food, The Terrace, Twin City Coffee House & Gallery and Un Amore.

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