St. John, USVI
Trunk Bay, St. John, USVI
Language and Currency
What is St. John Like?
What is the Weather Like?
Where Does the Ship Dock?
Where is the Shopping?
What is There to Buy?
What is There To Do?
Is There Anything of a “Don’t Miss Quality?
Are There Any Great Restaurants or Bars?
English is spoken and the currency is the US Dollar.
The smallest of the US Virgin Islands, measuring 16 sq. miles, St. John is located about 5 miles east of St. Thomas on the Pillsbury Sound. More than 2/3 of the island has been designated as a US National Park, which has allowed it to maintain an unspoiled beauty not found on the other US Virgin Islands. Heavily protected coral gardens surround the island of white sand beaches, crescent shaped bays, emerald cays and turquoise waters. This lush mountainous island, home to over 900 species of wildlife, offers spectacular panoramic views and numerous hiking trails. Life here is slow-paced, low key and peaceful, much to the liking of the 3500 very friendly residents. Don’t expect much nightlife on this pristine island as nature is the real draw and creates its own serene ambiance.
Like all the US Virgin Islands, St. John enjoys year round temperatures that vary from 70° to 90°F. The water is an almost constant 80°.
Ships actually dock in St. Thomas and a trip to St. John will require a ferry ride. Grab a taxi or catch a Vitran Bus ($1) from Market Square to the Red Hook Ferry dock. Ferries run every hour starting at 6:30 am, at a cost of $3 one way ($1 for children) for the 20 minute ride to Cruz Bay. Ferries also depart from downtown Charlotte Amalie but on a much more limited schedule and cost $7 one-way for a 45 minute trip. Smaller ships anchor quite a way from the harbor and tender into the ferry dock.
There are two main shopping areas in St. John, both very close to the Cruz Bay ferry dock. Mongoose Junction is just up the hill along the main road about 5 minutes from the dock. Wharfside Village is steps away from the ferry dock. If you are lucky enough to visit St. John on the last Saturday of the month, otherwise known as St. John Saturday, you can enjoy the day long feast and crafts fair in the center of town.
Although you will probably reserve most of your shopping for St. Thomas, the art galleries, studios, upscale boutiques and jewelry stores offer many local crafts and artwork. Look for handcrafted jewelry with petroglyph designs, and replicas of zemis (ancient religious figures retrieved at the Cinnamon Bay archaeological dig).
Some of the best snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing, hiking, sailing and underwater photography are to be had in and around St. John. Once you arrive by ferry to Cruz Bay, you can hop a safari bus to take you to one of the numerous beaches on the island. Although it can get crowded, one of my favorite is Trunk Bay. This beautiful beach has a 225-yard underwater snorkel trail. Fifteen underwater plaques identify the coral reef and fish life you encounter on the self-guided tour. Restrooms, showers, snack bar and snorkel rental are available on site. If your ship is in port long enough, in order to avoid the heaviest crowds, plan to visit Trunk Bay in the afternoon, as many of the cruise ship excursions are scheduled for morning. Another excellent snorkel beach is Leinster Bay, but it requires a short hike to access. On Caneel Bay, Honeymoon Beach is a favorite of day sailors. If you want a less populated beach, then head for Hawksnest Beach. If you don’t wish to spend the day at a beach, take a 2 hour taxi tour of the island which includes a stop at Annabergs Ruins, an abandoned 18th century sugar plantation. The ruins offer exhibits on Danish colonial life and slavery, demonstrations of native cooking and crafts, as well as tours of the portions of the plantation that are still intact. If you prefer to venture out on your own to do some island exploring, jeeps can be rented at Cruz Bay for the day (just be aware if you rent a 4X4, driving is on the left and no road will take you completely around the island). You can take to the hiking trails on foot, horseback or mountain bike. No matter what your plans, just make sure you have checked the ferry schedule and allow enough time for the return trip to St. Thomas and then back to the ship.
Personally, I think everyone’s first trip to St. John should include a trip to Trunk Bay to experience the underwater snorkel trail.
As I am an avid boater, one of my favorite spots is Skinny Legs on Coral Bay. This sports bar is not much more than a shack, but serves one of the best burgers in the Caribbean to the yachting crowd who anchor nearby. I have not sampled the West Indian cuisine that is offered in the gourmet restaurants on the island, so if you happen upon one that is exceptionally outstanding, please share your discovery.
3 users found this review helpful.
We’ve docked every other time in St. Thomas, but there were three ships already docked and the Dawn and one other ship anchored in the harbor and we took...read more
1 users found this review helpful.
Having been to St. Thomas previously, we already knew the best thing to do was to take a taxi to the Red Hook ferry and go directly to St. John, arguably one of the...read more
We took a shore excursion boat trip over to St. John to snorkel. Our snorkeling destination was Trunk Bay, but in the open-air bus along the way, we also saw several...read more
1 users found this review helpful.
In the afternoon we headed out on the Leylon Sneed for a snorkeling trip to St. John. This excursion was the highlight of our trip. Enjoyed the hour and a half ride...read more
15 users found this review helpful.
After doing my research before the cruise, I knew I must see the beaches of St. John and go snorkeling. I was right! This was one of our best days on the...read more
LEINSTER BAY TRAIL HIKE AND SNORKEL
LEINSTER BAY TRAIL HIKE AND SNORKEL $60 Per Person All members of your family will enjoy this 2 mile hike beginning with a seashore...read more
LIND POINT HIKE AND SNORKEL
LIND POINT HIKE AND SNORKEL $48 Per Person The mission of this company is to promote the natural and cultural history of St. John and to protect its pristine beauty...read more
ST. JOHN ISLAND AND BEACH TOUR
ST. JOHN ISLAND AND BEACH TOUR $148 Chartered For 4 People St. John's is famous for its beautiful white sandy beaches and this tour will give...read more
ST. JOHN ISLAND TOUR
ST. JOHN ISLAND TOUR $120 Price 1- 4 People See St. John. It's laid back, rural, beautiful. These fun open air buses will show it all to you. As you depart from Cruz Bay...read more
SAILBOAT LESSON...LEARN TO SAIL ON CINNAMON BAY
SAILBOAT LESSON...LEARN TO SAIL ON CINNAMON BAY $96 Per Person This package combines a one hour sailboat rental with a half hour, private lesson. You will...read more
SNUBA AT TRUNK BAY IN ST. JOHN
SNUBA AT TRUNK BAY IN ST. JOHN $71 Per Person Explore the beauty of the underwater world in the easiest and safest way possible. Try Snuba®!...read more
KAYAK...FULL DAY ADVENTURE
KAYAK...FULL DAY ADVENTURE $81 Per Person Our full day trips are a great way to explore the most remote parts of St. John and the surrounding cays. We...read more
KAYAK...HALF DAY ADVENTURE
KAYAK...HALF DAY ADVENTURE $49 Per Person Away from the hustle and bustle of the port of St. John, you will glide quietly along the picture-perfect...read more
SCUBA...TWO TANK DIVE FOR CERTIFIED DIVERS
SCUBA...TWO TANK DIVE FOR CERTIFIED DIVERS $88 Per Person Is your wife on the ShoreTrips art studio tour? Are your kids kayaking along the shoreline with our...read more
WINDSURFING...BEGINNER LESSON $95 Per Person Cinnamon Bay is world famous. Here you will find good wind and very little chop. It is a very good place to learn to...read more
WINDSURFING...TWO HOUR INTERMEDIATE EQUIPMENT RENTAL
WINDSURFING...TWO HOUR INTERMEDIATE EQUIPMENT RENTAL $64 Per Person This rental is for two hours of intermediate grade windsurfing equipment on world...read more
MOUNTAIN BIKE GUIDED TOUR
MOUNTAIN BIKE GUIDED TOUR $58 Per Person Our tours are a great way to see the Virgin Islands National Park, while riding our top-quality,...read more
' ZODIAK BOAT RENTAL FOR FULL DAY
14' ZODIAK BOAT RENTAL FOR FULL DAY $178 For Up to 6 People Enjoy a day of Adventure.... Rent a dinghy and explore the tropical turquoise...read more
' ZODIAK BOAT RENTAL FOR / DAY
14' ZODIAK BOAT RENTAL FOR 1/2 DAY $108 Per Person Enjoy a day of Adventure.... Rent a dinghy and explore the tropical turquoise waters and white sandy beaches of...read more