Saint Croix Island is a Caribbean island, as well as a county and constituent district of the USVI (United States Virgin Islands), an unincorporated territory of the U.S. With its area of 214.7 km2 (82,88 ml2), St. Croix is the largest island in the territory. However, the capital, Charlotte Amalie, is on Saint Thomas Island. St Croix Island's population is around 50,000, its highest elevation point (Mt Eagle) is 355 m (1165 ft) and the island's nickname is "Twin City" for the two towns located on its opposite ends - Christiansted (eastern) and Frederiksted (western).
Saint Croix was once a Caribbean agricultural powerhouse. However, this period ended with the industrialization of island's economy during the 1960s. Just like many other Caribbean islands, Saint Croix Island has tourism as one of the major sources of revenue. A number of other industries also contribute to the economy.
Although Saint Croix is a US territory, the USVI are maintained as free port in anindividual customs zone. Therefore, travelers to / from mainland USA and Puerto Rico must clear USA's customs but don't have to present a passport, and just need proof of US citizenship / nationality. All USVI beaches (including on St Croix) are public and free of charge (no entry fees required).
In early-February 2019, USVI Port Authority approved a feasibility study to look at the possibility of bringing bigger (Quantum-class) liners by upgrading the cruise terminal (Ann E Abramson Marine Facility) at Abramson Pier. Currently, the berth can't handle larger-sized vessels, the largest now being RCI's Radiance-class (passenger capacity 2500). Royal Caribbean's Quantum-class (world's 3rd largest) could bring 4900+ tourists per port call. St Croix Port Authority contracted the local marine consult company "Moffat & Nichol" to start the USD 86,500 study - to be paid from USVI's FY2019 budget for capital projects.
Saint Croix Island cruise terminal
Cruise ships to St Croix USVI dock (anchor) at Frederiksted (western coast) or Christiansted (north-eastern coast). Large-sized cruise liners dock at Frederiksted Pier (officially Abramson Pier). This is a deep-water docking pier with length 465 m (1526 ft). It is located on island's western coast and has berthing capacity 2 vessels symultaneously. Pier's max gross tonnage limitation is 142,000 GT-tons (max draught 29 ft / 9 m). Anchorage for larger vessels is available in the outer harbour waterway. Pier's platform is equipped with a fendering system (designed for submarines).
Facilities at cruise port Frederiksted include tourist kiosk and public restrooms on the pier. Taxis, tour- and shuttle buses transport cruise passengers to Christiansted. Several beaches are located within walking distance from Abramson Pier ("Ann E Abramson Marine Facility" cruise terminal). A shopping area is also within walking distance from the terminal. Pier's elevation points are 3 m (10 ft / at its outermost point) and 1 m (3 ft / at its innermost point). This allows berthing of scuba diving and sailing boats.
Smaller cruise ships anchor at Christiansted's Gallows Bay Dock, located approx 1,6 km (1 mml) east of downtown. Frederiksted port's old pier was destroyed by Hurricane Marilyn in 1995. Most of its remains were removed and sunk in 30 m (110 ft) deep water, approx 3 km (2 ml) north of the new pier. This is a popular diving site (now known as Armageddon).
Abramson Pier is a popular scuba diving and snorkeling destination, especially for first-timers. Here are also held sport fishing-, swimming- and paddleboarding (Coconut Cup) competitions. A large public beach (with many restaurants and bars) is located directly off the pier.
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