Trunk Resumes Fee Collection; Cinnamon Continues Construction

Trunk Resumes Fee Collection; Cinnamon Continues Construction 1

We’ve got some updates about two of your favorite St. John beaches!

Several months ago, the National Park Service (NPS) suspended most of their operations over health and safety concerns for their employees, volunteers, and visitors due to COVID-19.  The suspension of services resulted in the temporary closure of hiking trails, bathroom and shower facilities, and the National Park Visitor Center on St. John.  One nice perk that came from the closure was the suspension of the collection of admission fees at Trunk Bay.  Our island residents took full advantage of the fee waiver and had the beach nearly all to ourselves all summer!

Trunk Resumes Fee Collection; Cinnamon Continues Construction 2
A nearly empty Trunk Bay was a rare gift for St. John residents this summer!

This week, with guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state and local public health authorities, and the US Virgin Islands Governor’s Executive Order easing some of the virus restrictions, the NPS is transitioning their re-opening on St. John in a phased approach.

Read moreTrunk Resumes Fee Collection; Cinnamon Continues Construction

Business Spotlight: Shop On-Line at the Honeymoon Beach Boutique

Business Spotlight:  Shop On-Line at the Honeymoon Beach Boutique 4

One of my favorite things about visiting the BVI are the little beach boutiques! Soggy Dollar Bar, Foxy’s and Sydney’s Peace and Love all have really eclectic shirts, cups, stickers and other merch that I have accumulated over the years and always remind me of a great day on the water! I’m happy to say that several little boutiques like this have popped up in the USVI. So you can get your souvenir shopping fix during a great day on the water right here on St. John.

Read moreBusiness Spotlight: Shop On-Line at the Honeymoon Beach Boutique

St. John Tours: See the Island with Me!

St. John Tours: See the Island with Me! 5

Hello everyone and happy Thursday! We just wanted to take a quick moment today to remind you all that we conduct island tours here on St. John.

We started conducting island tours in each 2017, and the reception has been amazing! I absolutely love this island, and I love sharing that love with all of you. Whether this is your first visit to the island or if you are a repeat guest, I guarantee you will see something new. In fact, at least half of my guests are repeat visitors to the island!

During your tour, we will do a little sightseeing – St. John has some of the most beautiful views in the world. We will check out some of the island’s stunning beaches – who doesn’t want to dip their toes in our beautiful Caribbean waters! We can stop at one or more of the island’s sugar plantation ruins, and we can even do some light hiking if you’d like. I can guarantee some sea turtles sightings and we usually stumble on the donkeys too! I will tell you about the history of the island, and I can share with you the current happenings on island. Most importantly, we will have fun!

So you may be wondering what makes my tour different from the other island tours? Well, what makes us different is that we are the only, personalized tour on St. John. I will take guests pretty much anywhere they want to go. The taxi tours are sometimes limited in where they are able to go, but not us. I enjoy taking my guests off the beaten path and to out-of-the-way spots that they would typically never see. Another difference is that I can only take up to four guests and I never combine groups, so it’s a more private and personal tour. When I am out and about with my guests, it’s more like I am out with friends. And I love that.

So what types of tours do we offer? Well here are the details:

  • Half-Day Tours: For those of you who want to see a great deal of the island, but do not want to commit a whole vacation day to a tour, our three-hour, half-day tours are for you! These tours are great for those of you who would like to see the island from the eyes of an insider, but you do not want to commit to an entire day to touring the island. During this tour, we can still do some sightseeing, we can check out the beaches, ruins, and do some super light hiking (like a tenth of a mile walk in the woods to a beautiful site) while learning about the island’s history and current happenings. The only difference with this tour is that the stops are a bit shortened when compared to our full day tours. We offer half-day tours from 9 a.m. to noon or from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The cost for a half-day tour is $300.
  • Full-Day Tours: Our full day tour is five hours long and includes a lunch stop in Coral Bay or over at Lime Out. During these tours, we can see nearly the entire island if you’d like to. We can check out the beaches, ruins, hiking trails and more! If you’d like to spend some time snorkeling with the turtles, we can do that! Want to see the more obscure, out of the way places? We can do that too! Again, all tours are completely customizable, so we will do exactly what you want! Don’t have an itinerary? Well we’ll provide options and you can choose what you would like to do and see! The cost for a full-day tour is $425.
  • Land and Sea Tours: We offer St. John’s only land and sea tour. For this tour, we partner with our friends at Flyaway Charters in Coral Bay. These tours are six hours long. For our land and sea tours, guests spend the first half of the tour exploring on land with me, and then they spend the second half of the day on the water with Flyaway Charters. These tours are really the best of both worlds for someone who wants to see all that St. John has to offer in just one day. You can do some snorkeling at some great offshore spots and even visit Pizza Pi, the Caribbean’s floating pizza boat, or Lime Out, St. John’s floating taco boat! Flyaway Charters can also provide a great deal of history of the island. The cost for a land and sea tour is $600. Fuel for the boat is not included, and costs between $50 and $100 depending on where you choose to travel.

All prices are per tour.

Don’t they all sound great! Who is ready to book??!

If you are staying in the Cruz Bay area, I will happily pick you up right at your villa, condo or hotel. If they are staying outside of the Cruz Bay area, we can arrange a meeting point. We’ll pick you up with a cooler filled with water and ice, and if you’d like, we can bring along a jug of Painkillers for an additional $50 fee. We have beach chairs, noodles and boogie boards for you to use throughout the day. And to make your day even better, we can even take the top off of the Jeep!

You can book directly with me either by emailing me at [email protected], or by messaging me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/newsofstjohn. Please let me know which tour you prefer, as well as your preferred date.

Want to know what other guests have said? Then please check out my reviews on TripAdvisor.

I look forward to meeting you all and showing you just how amazing this little island is! Thanks everyone, and have a great day!

Tag: St. John Tours

Commercial Debuts Featuring You!!

The Department of Tourism just released its Virgin Islands Nice commercial. As you may recall, a casting call was held a few months back. Anyone recognize anybody in the commercial??

Check it out:

[vimeo clip_id=95973491 ]

And here’s the song and video that inspired it all…This doesn’t ever get old in my opinion.


Help Track the 2013 Hermit Crab Migration

Photos by Steve Simonsen
The 2013 hermit crab migration and a close up of the Caribbean hermit crab. Photos by Steve Simonsen.

It happens often, and it’s pretty cool. Thousands of hermit crabs migrate in the US Virgin Islands and on St. John. Researchers are looking for your help this year in their efforts to track the predicted 2013 migration.

Their request is pretty simple: If you happen to come across hermit crabs anywhere on the island, they would like to know about it. This could be in your backyard, at your villa, on a trail or even on a roadway or in a parking lot. Researchers are asking that you make note of the date, time, location, number seen, as well as the direction they are traveling (toward or away from the water). Once you jot down that information, please fill out their questionnaire which can be found here. You can help determine when and where the hermit crabs are migrating.

Last year’s hermit crab video taken by Steve Simonsen was so incredible, it went viral. To date, it’s received more than 476,000 views on Vimeo and YouTube.

Check out last year’s video here:

Film Society presents award-wining film-makers

Sthjohnfilm 
A double feature of Oscar-nominated documentary films will be in the spotlight next month when the St. John Film Society begins its 2013 Visiting Filmmaker Series.  

Jim Klein will introduce and discuss his film, Union Maids, an oral history of women and the labor movement in the 1930s. Tom Shepard will show his PBS-funded documentary, Scout's Honor, focusing on the Boy Scouts' anti-gay policy. Together the filmmakers have directed and worked on about a dozen other films.

Through grants and support from the National Endowment for the Arts, Virgin Islands Council on the Arts, and St. John Community Foundation, the Society brings filmmakers to the island both to screen their films and to meet with audiences interested in hearing about the film-making process.

Both films will be shown March 5 at the St. John School of the Arts.

Sis Frank Concert Series announced

The St. John School of the Arts is preparing to kick off its first Sis Frank Concert Series to honor and remember the co-founder of the school.  In past years, Ms. Frank would invite musicians to perform in concert.  The school, and its director, Kim Wild, have committed to continue the tradition.

The first concert will be January 4, featuring Garry Dial, a jazz pianist from New York City, performing with Luba Dolgopolsky, a School of the Arts voice instructor.  Later in the month, the Ahn Trio will be featured. The sisters are well known for their classical and chamber music concerts.  The Ahns were a favorite of Sis Frank.

A concert in late March will feature faculty members of the School of the Arts in concert, and in April the New York Empire Trio will offer a program of classical and contemporary music.

Tickets to each concert cost $30. The entire series is $100.

Park Friends announce winter seminars

An ambitious schedule of dozens of classes, tours, and workshops has been announced by the Friends of the Virgin Islands National Park.  If you’re interested in learning more about the island’s natural and cultural heritage, from experts, these are the tickets.

ScheduleThe offerings include classes on making batik, creating flowers from recycled glass, painting with pastels, tropical photography, and making pepper sauce.  You can also sign up for a marine biology sailing trip, a building green house tour and a native plant hike.

Other examples:

  • Local historian David Knight will host a tour of downtown Cruz Bay on January 6.  He will describe its founding in 1766 and his own recent efforts to have the area recognized as a Historic District.
  • Another class, on Feb. 25, will feature Eddie Bruce, a master drummer, in a night of ethnic percussion and a celebration of the full moon.  He will demonstrate ritual techniques of both West African and Afro-Caribbean cultures.

The cost of the seminars run from $25 to $155. The Friends organize the educational seminars every year to increase awareness and enjoyment of the Park. 

Simonsen sets Tropical Light workshops


Simonsen
Steve Simonsen
, St. John’s world class Caribbean photographer, is offering a series of four Tropical Light Photography workshops this winter.

Working with and accommodating tropical light, snorkel photography, underwater photography, and getting beyond the basics of shooting on “auto” are fodder for his four-hour morning classes.  Each is priced at $55, except the underwater workshop which will cost $125 plus the cost of a dive with Low Key Watersports.

Classes are being offered from now through January.  Yoiu can find details on Simonsen’s Facebook page here.