A popular place to visit when on St. Thomas is to visit Coral World Ocean Park. Today we will talk about the Marine Gardens and the Caribbean Reef Encounter mainly. Be sure to come back to hear about the other attractions!
The marine gardens consist of a gallery of 21 jewel tanks. It provides great views of hundreds of marine species in their unique habitats. You can watch many, many creatures explore their habitat and it is quite a sight to see.
Caribbean Reef Encounter
The Caribbean Reef Encounter is an 80,000 gallon coral reef aquarium that surrounds you as you enter the the aquarium. The aquarium is open to the elements, which means the thousands of reef animals that are housed here receive natural day and moonlight and experience rain just like a natural reef would, which is wonderful.
Feedings and Show times
09:30am Caribbean Reef Encounter
09:45 am Shark Shallows
10:15 am Stingray Lagoon
10:30 am Sea Lion Presentation – In the Marine Gardens
11:00 am Turtle Talk
11:30am Shop Talk - Wednesdays only
Noon Bird Talk – Aviary
12:40 pm Observation Tower
1:00 pm Shark Shallows
1:30 pm Caribbean Reef Encounter
2:00 pm Sea Lion Presentation – In the Marine Gardens
2:30 pm Stingray Lagoon
3:00 pm Turtle Talk
3:30 pm Iguana/Tortoise Talk
What to eat when you’re there
The Beach Café – At The Beach Cafe you can have a nice lunch right outside the park gate. The beach café serves breakfast from 8:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. so you can enjoy pancakes or an egg sandwich even before the park opens. There are also sandwiches, pizza, grilled burgers and hot dogs, sodas, ice cream, beer and specialty frozen drinks with or without alcohol available until approximately 4 p.m.
The Shark Bar – Inside the park adjacent to the Shark Shallows, under the shade of towering palm trees, enjoy fare from the grill, a variety of sandwiches and salads, chicken wings, pizza, great French fries, soft drinks, beer, and specialty frozen drinks with or without alcohol, including our signature Shark Bite.
Coral World is located near Coki Beach on Coki Point, a peninsula on the northeast shore of St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. It is very close to Sugar Bay Resort & Spa and is only a short taxi ride away. If you are traveling from a different location to Coral World, please read the directions below.
Taking a taxi is the easiest way to get to Coral World. Taxis are readily available at the cruise ship docks, hotels and the downtown shopping district. The taxi fare from the Havensight cruise ship dock and downtown is approximately $9 per person for two or more passengers. The taxi fare from the Crown Bay cruise ship dock is approximately $10 per person for two or more passengers. The taxi ride from downtown and the cruise ship docks is 20-25 minutes long.
Driving west on Route 38, turn right at the Coral World sign (Route 388) about one half mile past the entrance to the Wyndham Sugar Bay. Driving east on Route 38, Smith Bay Road, turn left at the Coral World sign (Route 388) about one quarter mile past the Texaco gas station (Route 388). Alternatively, follow the blue Tommy Starfish road signs along the blue route on your driving guide to Route 388.
Public transportation is available from downtown and near the cruise ship dock, however it might be unreliable. If you decide to take a bus, take the bus that reads “Red Hook” and tell the driver you are going to Coral World. The bus stop nearest to Coral World is about a 10 minute walk from the park entrance. The fare is $2 in exact change.
You can also take a boat to Coral World and anchor in Water Bay and then take a dinghy to the Coral World dock.