Visiting Different Islands For the Day From St Thomas is easy using the ferry system.
If you have been to St Thomas and are looking for something different to do, how about taking a day trip to a neighboring island. It’s really easy to take a ferry from Red Hook or Charlotte Amalie. There is nothing worse than trying to drive around St Thomas, when there are multiple cruise ships in port. Depending on the time of year you go, will depend on how many ships are visiting. Check out the schedule and plan accordingly. The ferry to some of these islands only run on certain days and could make multiple stops before reaching your destination. From St Thomas we have visited Water Island, St John, Tortola, Jost Van Dyke and Virgin Gorda.
Regular ferry service runs out of Crown Bay to Water Island. It only takes about 10 minute to reach the island. This is an island that you could visit, if you are arriving by a cruise ship. Depending on the time the cruise ship is in port and the ferry schedule, this is an easy DIY day that would be much cheaper than a cruise ship excursion. This is the smallest of the U.S. Virgin Islands. Water Island is a residential island, with a number of homes available to rent. The main attraction are the beaches with Honeymoon Beach being the most popular.
St John is located four miles east of St Thomas. The only way to get to St John is by ferry. The ferry service runs hourly from Red Hook, with limited times out of Charlotte Amalie. If you are taking the passenger ferry, bringing luggage/boxes on board will incur an additional charge. You can watch the passengers ferry arrive and depart on the web cam in St John. Let your family/friends know when you are arriving and wave to them from St John. They will be envious, especially if it’s winter.
The car ferry leaves from Red Hook. If taking a car to St John, make sure your rental agreement allows you to take it over. Not all rental companies allow this. If you would like to rent a car in St John, make reservations in advance, as there are limited day rentals available, depending on the time of year. If you don’t want to drive on St John, there are local taxis at the dock, that will take you around the island. St John is the least developed island, with approximately 60% of the island is a National Park. There are numerous beaches, hiking trails, and ruins to explore. Trunk Bay (pictured below) is St John’s most photographed beach and features a marked underwater trail to snorkel. This beach is very popular with cruise ship passengers and sightseeing tours.
Tortola is the largest and most populated of the British Virgin Islands (BVI). A passport is required to visit the BVIs. The northern coast has the best beaches on the island. Smugglers Cove is pictured below.
Jost Van Dyke
Jost Van Dyke is the smallest of the BVI. White Bay beach is a small beach with white sand and pretty turquoise water. If you want to party on the beach all day this is the island for you. This is where the day trippers come to spend the day. The boats moor off the beach and the passengers swim in to get the famous painkillers at the Soggy Dollar Bar. Depending on the time of day this beach gets packed. Check out Soggy Dollar’s live web cam.
Virgin Gorda is the third largest British Virgin Island. Virgin Gorda offers quiet coves, yacht clubs, luxury resorts and villas. Most day trippers come to Virgin Gorda to visit the Baths. By taking the ferry this allows you more time to enjoy the beach and explore the rocks, as the tours only visit for an hour then move on. Check out the ferry schedule as it only goes over on certain days of the week.
Now you can see why we return to St Thomas. There is so much to do. There are plenty of different islands to visit for the day, if you are looking for something different to do. Who knows, after you visit one of these islands on a day trip, you might decide to go there for your next vacation.