General Info, Travel Info, & FAQs are provided to assist with your vacation.
ATMs Not all ATMs in the Caribbean operate like those in your home country. Some may only accept a four digit PIN number, so if yours is longer you may want to change it before your trip. Ensure you keep your travel money in your primary chequing account as some ATMs default to this account and will not allow you to choose another. Withdrawal fees are generally much higher outside your home country.
The main banks are Banco Popular (tel 340/693-2777), Bank of St Croix (tel 773-8500), FirstBank Virgin Islands (tel 775-7777), Scotiabank (tel 340/774-0037) and Virgin Islands Community Bank (tel 773-0440).
FirstBank has a branch in Cruz Bay on St John.
BANKING AND BUSINESS HOURS FirstBank: Mon-Fri 8:30-3pm
Post Office Post offices are generally open Mon-Fri 8:30am-4pm with some opening as early as 7:30am and some closing as late as 5:30pm. A few also open Sat 7:30am-12 noon.
CHURCHES/RELIGIONS Predominantly Protestant, including Anglican, Baptist, Episcopalian, Jehovah's Witness, Lutheran, Methodist, Moravian, Pentecostal, Seventh-day Adventist and Wesleyan, as well as Roman Catholic. Christian Science, Judaism, Mormon and non-denominational also represented.
CURRENCY AND CREDIT CARDS The local currency is the US dollar, which is divided into 100 cents. Paper money runs in denominations of $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 bills, and coins in 1¢, 5¢, 10¢ and 25¢ pieces. Major credit cards and traveller's cheques are widely accepted.
EMERGENCY PHONE NUMBERS American Express: lost or stolen card, 336/393-1111 (call collect); lost or stolen cheques or cheque cards, 800/221-7282 Discover Card: 801/902-3100 MasterCard: 800/307-7309 Visa: 410/902-8022 (call collect) Western Union: no outlets on St John - Christiansted, St Croix: K-Mart (Sunny Isles Shopping Centre), 719-9190; Pueblo Supermarket, 77-1272 (Villa La Reine Shopping Centre), 773-0118 (Golden Rock) - Frederiksted, St Croix: K-Mart, 692-5848 - Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas: K-Mart, 774-4046 (Lockhart Gardens Shopping Centre), 777-3853 (Tutu Park Mall); Pueblo Supermarket, 774-4200 (Subbase), 774-2695 (Sugar Estate)
DEPARTURE TAX There is no departure tax.
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS Entry requirements for the US Virgin Islands are the same as those for the mainland United States.
Canadians require a passport if they are arriving by air. US citizens do not require a passport, but they must provide proof of citizenship, such as an original birth certificate with raised seal and official photo identification, such as a driver's license.
Citizens of the UK require a machine-readable passport (MRP) valid for six months past their expected stay. UK citizens without MRPs require a non-immigrant visa in addition to their passport. Note: MRPs issued between October 26, 2005 and October 25, 2006 must have a digital photograph on the data page and those issued on or after October 26, 2006 must have an integrated chip with information from the data page (e-passport). The "Travel advice by country" section (for the United States) of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website (www.fco.gov.uk) lists questions and answers to help you determine whether or not you are eligible to enter the US without a visa.
Non-citizen residents of Canada and nationals of other countries may require a non-immigrant visa. Note: A visa does not guarantee entry into the US. It allows you to travel to a US port of entry, such as an airport, and request permission of the Department of Homeland Security immigration inspector to enter the country. For more information consult your nearest United States consulate/embassy, call the US Immigration Department at 800/375-5283, 340/774-1390 (St Thomas), 340/778-1419 (St Croix) or visit the US State Department's website (www.travel.state.gov/visa).
Note: As of January 23, 2007, all persons travelling by air to the Caribbean, Mexico and Bermuda will require a valid passport, Air NEXUS card or US Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Document to enter and/or re-enter the United States in accordance with the US Government's Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. For more information visit the US Government's Bureau of Consular Affairs website at www.travel.state.gov.
Some countries require single/lone parents or other adults travelling alone with children to provide documents showing evidence of parental/custodial and/or access rights, and/or documents authorizing consent from the parents, legal guardian, and/or the court for the children to travel. Parents of adopted children, particularly those of a different nationality, should carry the proper documents.
NEAREST FOREIGN REPRESENTATION British Embassy: 202/588-6500 (Washington, DC) Consulate General of Canada: 305/579-1600 (Florida), 866/600-0184 (toll free to Ottawa)
As of January 16, 2007
British pound sterling
European Union euro
HEALTH STANDARDS The quality of medical care is on par with the mainland US. There is no hospital on St John, but it does have the Myra S Keating Clinic (tel 776-6400). The Roy Lester Schneider Hospital (tel 776-8311) is located on Sugar Estate on St Thomas, and the Governor Juan E Luis Hospital and Medical Centre (tel 778-6311) is located in Christiansted on St Croix. A number of private clinics and practitioners are also available, with a higher concentration on St Thomas, where there is also a hyperbaric chamber.
Your home medical program may not provide payment for medical services outside your home country. Obtaining adequate medical/travel insurance, including air ambulance coverage, and consulting a physician or travel medicine specialist six to eight weeks prior to your trip to determine health risks and necessary vaccinations is recommended.
There are numerous pharmacies. Most are open seven days a week.
Emergency phone numbers: Ambulance, 992 Fire, 921 Police, 915 Air Ambulance, 772-1629 Emergency medical services, 776-6222 Hyperbaric chamber, 776-2686 US Coast Guard, 776-3497 VI Search and Rescue, 772-8390
ILLEGAL ITEMS There are severe penalties for possession, use or trafficking in illegal drugs. Prescription drugs should be clearly labeled in their original containers. There are strict regulations for exporting or temporarily importing firearms and certain foods and plant and animal specimens.
Prohibited items include Cuban cigars, lottery tickets, narcotics and dangerous drugs, obscene articles and publications, seditious and treasonable materials, hazardous articles (such as fireworks, dangerous toys, toxic or poisonous substances), products made by prison convicts or forced labour, switchblade knives and fully automatic weapons and semi-automatic assault-type weapons.
For more information call the Customs Attaché or Commercial Officer at your nearest US consulate/embassy or call US Customs at 340/774-3264 (St John).
LANGUAGE English is the official language. Spanish and Creole are also spoken.
POSTAGE The US Postal Service (tel 800/275-8777) provides mail service, and postal rates are the same as on the US mainland. Blue mailboxes are located throughout the islands. Courier service is also available.
On St John (tel 779-4227) there is a postal outlet in Cruz Bay.
Post offices are generally open Mon-Fri 8:30am-4pm with some opening as early as 7:30am and some closing as late as 5:30pm. A few also open Sat 7:30am-12 noon.
PUBLIC HOLIDAYS Jan 1 New Year's Day Jan 6 Three Kings Day Jan 16 Martin Luther King Jr Day Feb (third Monday) President's Day Mar 31 Transfer Day Mar/April (varies) Maundy (or Holy) Thursday Mar/April (varies) Good Friday Mar/April (varies) Easter Monday May (last Monday) Memorial Day July 3 Emancipation Day July 4 Independence Day July (fourth Monday) Hurricane Supplication Day Sept (first Monday) Labour Day Oct (second Monday) Columbus Day Oct (third Monday) Thanksgiving Day Nov 1 David Hamilton Jackson Day/Liberty Day Dec 25 Christmas Day Dec 26 Boxing Day/Kwanza
SHOPPING HOURS Shops are generally open Mon-Sun 9am-5pm; however, on Sun some may only open half day or not at all. When cruise ships are in port many shops extend their hours. Conversely, when there are no cruise ships in port, some shops may reduce their hours.
TAXES Hotels add an 8% resort tax to bills. There is no sales tax.
TELECOMMUNICATIONS The phone system in the USVI is modern and cellular and Internet services are available.
The country code is 340. Local phone numbers have seven digits. Most US and Canadian toll-free 800 numbers do work from the USVI. For directory assistance dial 913. For calls to the US and Canada dial 1 + area code + local number. For calls to other countries dial 011 + country code + area code + local number.
Innovative Telephone Company (tel 779-9999) provides communication services for the islands. Public pay phones are located around the islands. Prepaid phone cards are available at vendors throughout the islands.
For more information see the section in FAQs: Can I use my calling card from here?
Cingular Wireless (tel 777-7777), Innovative Wireless (tel 777-8899) and Sprint (tel 800/SPRINT1) provide cellular roaming services. Check with your service provider to see if they have a roaming agreement with one of these companies.
TEMPERATURES Temperatures vary between 77°F and 83°F.
TIME ZONE The islands are on Atlantic Standard Time year round, which is four hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). During the summer the time is the same as on the east coast of North America and during the winter, the time is one hour ahead.
Disclaimer: Information is provided as a service to visitors and is updated regularly. All
information should be verified prior to travel.