About Virgin Kayak Tours
Family Run since 1998
Virgin Kayak Tours and Outfitters is a family-run company in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. We’re passionate about giving St. Croix locals and visitors the best experiences exploring the Salt River National Park and Ecological Preserve.
Experience the Unique Difference With the Hobie Mirage Drive Kayak
Virgin Kayak Tours and Outfitters has tried them all in more than 25 years of exploring St. Croix by kayak. The Hobie Mirage Drive Kayak stands apart from the rest by far.
From clear bottoms to classic sit on tops with a paddle, nothing compares to the ease of use and maneuverability of the Hobie Mirage Drive Pedal Kayak System. Its pedal system uses one of your body’s strongest muscle groups (your legs). So, it doesn't matter if you’re 6 or 96, an Olympic athlete, or a couch potato, this kayak is easy and fun for anyone to use.
As you kayak through St. Croix’s Salt River Bay, sit back, relax, and move your legs back and forth to go. The best part? Your hands are free to explore the bioluminescent magic through your fingertips. We even give guests a net to agitate the water for an incredible glow.
If you choose a daytime tour when the bay isn’t glowing, your hands-free experience is perfect for sipping on a beverage (our kayaks have cup holders!) and taking pictures of the beautiful scenery.
In 1997, Bryan and Jill Updyke read a news article on The Hobie Mirage Pedal Kayaks and opened the first Hobie Kayak Dealership in the Virgin Islands. They soon began offering kayak tours around the island so locals and visitors could explore the Salt River Bay in these award-winning kayaks.
In fact, they contributed a lot to St. Croix over the years. They founded The St. Croix Kayak Club, The Caribbean Indigenous Arts and Crafts Museum, and the fabled Maroon Cave. They also commissioned The Cra Cra, a Kalinago dug-out canoe, opened AYAY ART, built and founded Cane Bay Campground, and became advocates for Salt River Bay National Park by removing abandoned vehicles and trash and erecting signs. They even taught pre-Columbian history and art to local schoolchildren and held pottery seminars in the Taino tradition.
In August 2015, Bryan and Jill moved their kayaking tour location to Salt River Marina, right across from the bioluminescent bay. This is where they created the museum space and where you can see many of Bryan's pit-fired ceramics. It's also where several Kalinago dug-out canoes and a collection of original Taino artifacts are displayed. There is also a full Hobie Kayak display where locals and visitors can learn more about and purchase a kayak for themselves.
Sadly, Bryan passed away unexpectedly in August 2020. At this time, Jill was ready to retire and see Virgin Kayak Tours continue with a new family. JT, one of the guides, couldn’t resist considering taking on the venture. After discussing the opportunity with his family, the Thompsons took over to continue what Jill and Bryan built.
Today, guests can experience the same memorable tours and St. Croix’s biobay beauty. Inside the shop, guests can enjoy an expanded retail section and an updated Hobie Kayak area, displaying more boats and various parts and accessories. The museum space is currently closed while renovations are being made to be able to continue honoring Bryan and his passion for pre-Columbian history.
Meet Our Team
photos coming soon
John and Patty Thompson
Facilities Manager and Kayak Guide
Operations Manager and Kayak Guide
Kayak and SUP Guide
Revy and Oasis