St. Croix Activity Series: Sail to Buck Island

Photo Credit: Big Beard's Adventure Tours

Photo Courtesy of Big Beard’s Adventure Tours

Buck Island is a 1.4 square mile land mass off the north coast of St. Croix on the east end.  Because its reef and beaches are so beautiful and home to endangered corals, it is a nationally protected monument.

A visit by boat is an essential part of any trip to St. Croix and a place that locals visit frequently.  There is no development allowed on Buck Island, so be sure to pack everything you need including snacks / drinks and plenty of sun protection.

A sail or power boat can take you to Buck Island with a guide, snorkeling equipment and refreshments.  Major tour operators offer half and full day tours, the latter of which includes lunch.  (While it’s plausible to kayak to Buck Island, the 3-mile round-trip is not recommended).

With a tour operator, you’ll visit the east end of Buck Island and moor for snorkeling time.  A guide will show you the marked underwater trail to follow.  You’ll also head to the west side to visit Turtle Beach, one of the most idyllic in the world.

Because no boats can pull up on the sand at Buck Island, you must be physically capable of taking a marine ladder into / out of the water and wading into the beach in the shallows.  The water is perfectly clear and the marine floor is soft sand.

Big Beard’s Adventure Tours


The most well recognized tour company on St. Croix with the face of Captain John “Big Beard” Macy on every boat, runs daily tours to Buck Island on both sail and power boats.  The business was recently purchased by longtime team member, Captain Steve Kammerzelt.  Tours can be booked online, by phone or at their headquarters, the store Centipedes, located on the Christiansted boardwalk at the end of Queen Cross Street.

Caribbean Sea Adventures


Caribbean Sea Adventures is another of the large tour operators to Buck Island, with several boats in Christiansted harbor.  The company was recently bought by Matt Ridgway, who just added a whaler to the fleet for private tours.  The CSA storefront is located on the Christiansted boardwalk near the fort, between Avocado Pit and Fort Christian Brew Pub restaurants.  If you’re a resident or repeat visitor to St. Croix, CSA offers a Sunday shuttle to skip the snorkel tour and head straight to the beach for an extended time.

Teroro II & Dragonfly


If you are looking for a more personalized experience with a smaller tour operator, Teroro II and Dragonfly are sailboats (trimarans) under father / son Captains Heinz and Carl.  They operate out of Green Cay Marina (Tamarind Reef) on St. Croix’s east end.  Just take north shore road about 10 minutes east of Christiansted.

This green experience takes you to Buck Island exclusively on wind power.  Ask the crew for directions to the hiking trail to get to Buck Island’s highest point for fantastic views.  You can also walk from the beach to the north side of Buck Island, were lemon sharks can often be seen.

If you’re ready to experience Caribbean life for yourself, Chris and Kerri Hanley can help you find a perfect home or condo on St. Croix or St. Thomas.  As the top broker on-island year after year, Chris is the authority on Virgin Islands real estate.  Contact them today and download their free St. Croix Events and Attractions Guide.

St. Croix Events cover (2)