St. Thomas Boat Charters: The Best Rentals, Info, and Locations!
This page may contain compensated links. For more information read our disclaimer here.
by Kristin Young | Updated On: July 2, 2020 | USVI
With beautiful Caribbean waters lapping at the shores, blue skies, and salty sea winds, it’s no doubt that the best way to enjoy the US Virgin Islands is by embarking on one of the many amazing St Thomas Boat Charters.
Some of the more amazing and unique attractions of the famous Virgin Islands consist of the world famous snorkeling points and island-hopping tours, which nearly all require a boat. Exploring this side of the Virgin Islands on a charter boat is tons of fun because it grants you access to places that are unreachable without a boat.
Visit everywhere from a floating taco stand to stunning deserted islands, or day trip to the famous Baths on Virgin Gorda. Even the little ones will enjoy the fun water activities and unique experience of a day spent at sea.
Depending on your needs and budget, consider taking a St Thomas yacht charter, with crew options from just a captain all the way to a full staff.
St. Thomas Boat Rentals are a unique and fun way to get the most out of your time on the islands.
How much does a Boat Charter Cost?
For the best possible experience while vacationing the Virgin Islands, you don’t really need to break the bank! We have compiled a price breakdown, so you will know what to expect- including all of those little extras that add up.
This chart includes price of gas, captain’s fee, and gratuity considering there are 6 adults on board.
approximately $500+ for half day and $700+ for the full day
Prices tend to be a bit higher for weekend rentals, and a bit lower for longer term/weekly rentals.
Duration: 3-4 hours for half day and 7 hours for the full day.
Amenities: Charters usually provide coolers, snorkel gear and water at no additional charge.
A bareboat rental in St. Thomas is possible, but usually requires strong boating skills and knowledge of the area. If you can prove your experience and have a license with a similar size of boat, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a bare boat rental in St. Thomas.
The captain’s fee is different from the base price and is typically between $150-$175 plus gratuity for day trips. If planning a multi-day trip, you will also need to include a provisioning expense for the captain that is usually around $30 per day.
This would be 15-20% of the entire cost of the rental, including captain and crew’s fee.
Fuel costs depend on your destination, the kind of boat you have hired and the distance traveled. The fuel fees can range anywhere from $100 to $250 for a half day boat trip to roughly $200 – $300 for a full day trip.
Virgin Gorda in the BVI is a further destination and comes with a bit higher fuel costs- not to mention customs fees. You can expect to pay around $300 – $500 for fuel for a round trip to Virgin Gorda.
Customs fees (going to BVI):
As of now, the custom charges for going to the British Virgin Islands is $75 for one person, which needs to be paid in cash. This is subject to change, so check with your boat rental company for the latest status on the day of renting the boat.
Boat Charters in St. Thomas by Type
Although St Thomas boat charters offer different options, Powerboats are the most preferred boats for day trips. If you want a full service experience, go with one of the major companies, but for a more independent traveler, there are great options from places like boatsetter- which is similar to Airbnb, but for boats.
Power Boat Charters
Most Power boat charters are in the Red Hook area of St Thomas. There are tons of options. To book ahead most can be booked online, but if it’s not high season, you may be able to walk the docks and hop on a boat charter that day, even without a reservation.
There are tons of boat rental options out there, but here are some of the top companies on St. Thomas that are reputable and have great reviews.
One of the top rated boat rental companies in St. Thomas, Sonic Charters has multiple center console boats offering both half and full day fully customizable charters.
Midnight Sun Boat Charters
This gorgeous fleet of black power boats definitely stands out among the crowd. Midnight Sun has both 37′ and 43′ luxury open hull boats for up to 12 people.
One Love Charters
One love Charters are among the top St Thomas Boat charter sites, simply because they are passionate and dedicated. Run by travel enthusiasts and experts, One Love Charters have just one boat, but their service is impressive and they offer plenty of amenities and fun!
St. Thomas Boat Rental
One of the most popular boat rental companies in the area, St Thomas Boat Rentals has many different boat and amenity options, with most charters being designed for groups of 6 people. But, they can create special deals for larger groups as well. Some charters even include light meals or snacks, or you can always choose to bring your own.
See and Ski Rentals
See and ski rentals have been operating for over 20 years and boast of raving reviews on multiple travel websites. Again, they have several options for tours from island hopping to fishing, and even lobster diving!
Nauti Nymph rentals are an award winning service, operating since 1984. They are experienced, fun, and offer professional tours. They’ve been voted the best boat rental company in St. Thomas several times.
St. Thomas Sailing Charters
The sparkling waters of St Thomas make it an undeniably amazing destination for sailing as well. You can find a St Thomas catamaran charter or sailboat charter from many of the harbors, but the harbor at Red Hook is the most popular place to sail from.
There are full day sailing tours, half-day sails and romantic sunset sail tours available. Catamaran St Thomas tours are extremely popular in this area. Catamarans are a great sailing option as they offer more room to relax and enjoy the views, even from inside.
St Thomas sailing charters can offer a lot of fun filled sailing options on the Virgin Island waters. You can take a more active and adventurous tour or simply relax and unwind on the deck.
Find a Multi-Day Sailing Charter
We are living in a digital world where it is fairly easy to get lost in the sea of options that the search engines throw at us. Hence looking for the perfect sailing charters can be a daunting task but fret not as we are here to guide you.
CYOA Yacht charter
They are one of the most experienced service providers in the area and own a well-maintained fleet of 44 boats for rent.
Virgin Island Yacht Charters
They are located at the Compass Point Marina and offer captained and bareboat sailboats in the area. They have – Catamarans, Monohulls and the powerboats, making them a one-stop sailing and boating company to contact for your needs.
Find a Day Sail Charter
There are plenty of options for day sail charters or even a few hour cruise.
Ciao Bella Charters
This unforgettable day sail tour on a new luxury catamaran also includes lunch, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, paddleboards and water floats. You REALLY need to check this out!
Sailing on the Pisces luxury catamaran for the day will take you to all of the best snorkeling spots around St. Thomas, St. John and even over to the British Virgin Islands. It also includes alcoholic and non-alocholic beverages, SUPs, floats, and snacks.
Stormy Pirates offers several boat options not only for day sailing, but also for power boats and group tours. They have tons of great reviews on trip advisor and are a great choice for any boat charter.
St. Thomas Boat Tours
With a mind-blowing variety of boat tours available in St Thomas, it gets really difficult to pin down the best one. To make things simpler and easier for tourists, here is a compiled list for your convenience, so that you can enjoy the place with a relaxed mind. Please note there are many customized and standard tours also.
Find a Group Boat Tour
Our Favorites from Get Your Guide:
- Snorkeling and boat tour from Charlotte Amalie : Virgin Islands Snorkeling and Boating Tour is a handpicked tour which covers a 4-hour trip to Turtle Cove & Honeymoon Beach. The booking fee includes snorkeling with turtles and refreshments.
- Catamaran Snorkel, Sail and Beach Tour: Luxury Catamaran Snorkeling, Sailing & Beach Tour- a choicest pick to sail on a 47-foot sailing catamaran for a half day. Includes snorkeling, sailing, and phenomenal beaches. It is a small and personalized tour.
- BVI: Baths and Jost Van Dyke Full Day Boat Tour: This day trip includes a continental breakfast and an open bar along with snorkeling (both equipment & instructions) and snacks all day. The facilities such as restrooms, sundeck and shade are included.
Our favorites from Viator:
- St. John Snorkel and Sail Beach Charter: This upscale, semi-private charter that starts from the lovely Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Restaurant and takes max 12 guests embarking on an exquisite 4-hour long sail which includes snorkel and beach adventure to St John.
- Turtle Swim and Catamaran Tour to Buck Island: This is an ideal tour for families with children. They take you to Buck Island on a 45-foot Catamaran and let you swim with turtles at Turtle Cove.
- BVI: Baths and Jost Van Dyke: On this breakfast boat ride to Virgin Gorda’s Baths you can have fun at the grottoes and other features at the BVI’s.
St. Thomas Fishing Charters
If you want a fishing vacation in St Thomas, don’t you worry as there are plenty of options for fishing excursions.
Find a Fishing Charter
These are our top picks for the best fishing charters in St Thomas –
They operate from Red Hook and charter every day of the week. They are often fully booked, so make sure to check in advance.
Double Header Sport Fishing
They are hugely popular because of their experienced and friendly captains. With both inshore and offshore options and well as many pick up points, Double Header is always an easy choice.
Best Places to go on a St. Thomas Private Boat Charter
There are a lot of places to see with St Thomas boat charters as the captain can even take you to private spots according to what you like. Here are a few suggested itineraries for full and half days:
For a full day charter, head to the east to the British Virgin Islands or to the West to the “Spanish Virgin Islands”.
If you go the BVI route, the 2 best snorkeling spots to check out are Norman Island, with both The Caves and The Indians, or Virgin Gorda with the baths. Both are phenomenal locations. The baths have incredibly beautiful scenery that rivals the Seychelles, and the snorkeling off Norman Island is some of the best in the world.
For half day charters, spend it snorkeling your way along the north shore of St. John. These world famous beaches are difficult to get to by car as parking is incredibly limited. Beach hopping on St. John isn’t really an option by land, but by sea, you can see and snorkel them all in a half day!! Make sure to check out Waterlemon Cay for sure!
St. Thomas boat charters can’t be missed while on the island, will be an incredible and memorable experience you will talk about with friends and family for years to come. But, don’t wait to book! Sometimes you can get lucky and grab something last minute, but the best charters often book up in advance- especially in high season. So, scroll back up, pick your favorite, and lock it in!
Read Next: Guide to the Best Snorkeling in St. Thomas
Hi! I’m Kristin, a lover of everything tropical. Along with my family, I spend as much time as possible searching for the best beaches, snorkeling, hiking, and fun in the sun!