Full Breakdown of Trip Costs | What to Bring
This course is offered through Study Abroad in May. Apply Now!
Our class will be traveling to the island of St. John, US Virgin Islands. We will be staying at the recently reopened Cinnamon Bay Campground . We will spend most days snorkeling the amazing fringing reefs that surround St. John, traveling via open air safari taxis. On our last full day on the island, we will circuit the island on a sailboat, stopping to snorkel at some more remote locations.
- Familiarize yourself with the list of things to bring
- Familiarize yourself with the emergency action plan
- Notify your credit card(s) of your trip plans, so that they know to expect charges from the Virgin Islands. We had at least one student’s card get canceled in the past, because the credit card company thought the charges must be fraudulent.
On the island
We’ll explore all of the great snorkeling spots on the island that are accessible by road. We’ll also check out some of the island’s natural and archaeological beauty, including visiting the petroglyphs, and visiting some of the islands historic sugar mill plantation ruins. We’ll generally snorkel during the day and return to the campground around 4 PM. We will meet as a group to talk about what we saw snorkeling each afternoon. Students enjoy leisure time after dinner.
Students will need to purchase their own tickets, but students should plan on either traveling on the same flights as listed below or arriving shortly before the flights listed below, so that the entire group can travel. If this is not possible, please notify the instructors, so that separate travel arrangements can be made to ensure that you arrive safely on St. John. Note that students do not need to return to RDU as the course transitions to online/remote starting May 30, 2023.
May 20, 2023 – Depart for St. Thomas
- Flight 564: RDU – MIA, 6:00 AM – 8:11 AM
- Flight 2490: MIA – STT, 11:05 AM – 1:52 PM
May 29, 2023 – Return from St. Thomas
- Flight 2490: STT – MIA, 2:42 PM – 5:50 PM
- Flight 1566: MIA – RDU, 8:23 PM – 10:36 PM
- It is recommended to have a valid passport with an expiration date greater than six months from the end of the trip or a certified copy of your birth certificate.
- Bring frequent flyer information, if applicable
- You pass through US Customs on your return. PEOPLE UNDER 21 ARE NOT ALLOWED TO BRING LIQUOR BACK INTO THE COUNTRY! If you try it, they will force you to pour your bottles down the drain. For persons over 21, customs allows one bottle of liquor to be brought into the country, free of duty. Our experience tells us it’s best to avoid bringing anything back that may cause extra scrutiny, and you can find everything at the ABC store for a similar price anyway.
We will use open-air safari taxis to travel on St. Thomas and St. John. We will take a ferry ride between St. Thomas to St. John.
At Cinnamon Bay, we will be staying in the Eco-tents which can accommodate up to four people. You will be expected to share a tent with at least one other person. Amenities will include: beds (twin bunk beds), sheets, towels, pillow, pillow case, pots/pans/dishware, cook stove, lantern, and picnic table. For more details, please visit https://www.cinnamonbayvi.com/book-now
For a news article from the St. John Source about the campground’s reopening, check out Cinnamon Bay Campground Reopens.
Food, shopping, etc.
- NO place on the island takes state-side checks!! Most places take credit cards, but cash is sometimes your safest bet
- On St. John, the main town Cruz Bay has a couple of grocery stores, numerous places to buy souvenirs, restaurants, and a Dive Shop. If you want to book a dive trip for your free day, we recommend Low Key Watersports. On the other side of the island, a smaller, quieter town called Coral Bay has a few restaurants and shops. We’ll have dinner with Esther at Ekaete Pink Corner.
- Use the buddy system – Someone should always know where you are
- You can get sunburned easily while snorkeling! Reapply sunblock frequently or wear protective clothing when in the water. In addition, sunscreens with the Toxic Three O’s (Oxybenzone, Octinoxate, Octocrylene) are banned in the Virgin Islands. You will need to purchase sunscreen with zinc or titanium oxides as the main ingredients. Here’s a great reef-safe sunscreen guide: https://newsofstjohn.com/reef-safe-sunscreen-guide/