So we’ve got some good news to share with you today and some not so good news. Let’s start with the not so good news…
The extremely popular dinghy shuttle between Cruz Bay and Honeymoon beach is no longer operating. As you may recall, VI Ecotours has been shuttling guests between Cruz Bay beach and Honeymoon beach, which is located on Caneel Bay’s property, for quite some time now. Well the dinghy made its last run last week due to some island politics.
The good news is that you can once again visit Honeymoon beach (as well as Soloman) from the main entrance at Caneel Bay. But there are some caveats.
For starters, you cannot walk on Caneel’s property, even from the main gate. This is due to liability issues. (There is a big cleanup effort happening over there. More good news.) Instead, you must do one of two things: 1. You can take a taxi to Caneel’s main entrance. 2. You can park along the side of the road across from Caneel’s main entrance.
Once you get to Caneel’s main entrance, VI Ecotours will shuttle you via a golf cart to Honeymoon beach for $10 roundtrip. This is the only way to get to Honeymoon and Soloman from Caneel’s main entrance. Again, you are not allowed to walk in via the main entrance. The golf cart shuttle runs continuously through the day. You do not need a reservation.
You can still hike to Honeymoon and Soloman beaches via the Lind Point Trail. You can opt to hike in via the trail and then golf cart out to the main road to catch a taxi. The cost of the one-way ride is $5.
VI Ecotours also operates a small bar/food hut on the beach called Bikinis on the Beach, which is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. They also rent chairs, etc. Honeymoon has become a full service beach and also a popular cruise ship excursion stop. You can check the number of cruise ships in port on any given day by clicking this link.
“News” you can use today, folks!
27 thoughts on “Dinghy Shuttle to Honeymoon Ends; New Shuttle From Main Entrance Begins”
Thank you Jenn for always providing us with useful information. You are the best!
The taxi association is very powerful in the islands. If we don’t use them they will cry and find a way to make us. The most corrupt organization in the islands.
JMass10, you could always hike.
Sad. Honeymoon used to be the beach to go to for quiet and solitude. I understand the liability issues, but too bad that Caneel couldn’t route a trail from the parking lot, around the buildings and facilities and to the ‘road’ / path leading to Honeymoon. 🙁
Any rerouting of the road to access Honeymoon Beach, in particular, a road directly from the North Shore a few hundred feet to the beach, would take years of environmental impact studies by the Virgin Islands National Park staff before that could be considered or permitted. It is not a choice that Caneel Bay Resort has a right to make.
There already is a road from the Caneel entrance to the beach. Caneel management just won’t let people use it.
I hate that. It was so fun riding the dinghy over and seeing turtles along the way and meeting the driver. She was very friendly and knowledgeable!
Can you park on the road without getting a ticket.?
You can park on the side of the road. Be sure all your wheels are off the road or risk a ticket.
This is bound to hurt VI ECO tours business. Honeymoon will probably be a lot quieter as a result of this. I would think parking would be limited across from Caneel so paying a taxi to take you to entrance and back and then paying for a roundtrip golf cart fee to Honeymoon from entrance will make this cost prohibitive for a lot of people. I usually hike in from the NP lot down the Lindt point trail but a lot of people will not want to do this. Wonder what happened? Can you still get dropped off by a private dinghy?
Thank you Elizabeth for your concern.
Virgin Islands Ecotours is very happy with this new development.
This is the best for the local economy as it will provide more taxis with opportunity for increased business brining guests to Caneel. The price is exactly the same as the round trip boat shuttle: $20 for the taxi and golf cart = $20 for the round trip boat shuttle from the ferry terminal to Honeymoon Beach.
Prior to the hurricane, the resort charged parking, which was waived if you spent any money on the resort renting chairs or buying food or drinks. At that time the golf cart was $10 round trip and the parking was $20.
So now, it’s 50% less than it used to be.
That’s great news for everyone.
The Bikinis on the Beach Bar & Grill sells pulled pork sandwiches, burgers, tuna and turkey wraps, hotdogs and wild salmon burgers.
Ask for Kenny Chesney’s Blue Chair Bay rum as a topper in your painkiller served in a reusable Souvenier silicone cup (to reduce garbage).
The boat with the pink engine will still be available to hire with a captain for those wanting to explore the North Shore Beaches and have lunch at Honeymoon Beach. You can book those options and snorkel tours with sea turtles from Virgin Islands Ecotours web site.
Thanks Sybille for clarification of cost. I apologize for posting misinformation and I sincerely hope the new arrangement will be great for all. I know many people enjoyed the dinghy ride over and back but I’m sure people will adjust. Everyone loves Honeymoon!
I wrote to Jen about this very issue, the city council/legislature of St.John is poor on creating revenue for its tourists, and don’t suggest they do walk around the town infrastructure pre-Irma and post, can you really tell the difference the town is making progress, sad but no. This isn’t about access to the beach, this is about the tourist experience of being on St.John, something locals would not readily understand which is understood because they live there they are ised to it, but you should understand tourist dollars. All the comments on the FB post are proof, tourist love the experience of being whisked over to a tropical beach, giving the island feel, this venue should have been in place years ago, it is a larger issue than people think on island. If Eco tours doesn’t want to provide this service, that is their right and understandable, but if the city is shutting it down, that is the bad rub for all that visit there and live there, very unfortunate event.
St. John has no city council or legislature. Things are run differently here than in the states.
Sounds like the taxi lobby has caused a major tourism plus to be shut down. We planned to spend extra days on St. John precisely because of the dinghy shuttle.
Updated version – I wrote to Jen about this very issue, the city council/legislature of St.John is poor managing or creating revenue to draw its tourists. Case in point, if you walked around the town infrastructure pre-Irma and post, can you really tell the difference whether or not the town is making progress, no. This isn’t about access to the beach, this is about the tourist experience of being on St.John, something locals would not readily understand which is understood, but you should understand tourist dollars. All the comments on this post are proof, tourist love the experience of being whisked over to a tropical beach, giving the island feel, this venue should have been in place years ago. If Eco tours doesn’t want to provide this service, that is their right and understandable, but if the city is shutting it down, that is the bad rub for all that visit there and live there. Come to terms city council, this isn’t a raise your family start a new life kind of town, it is a tourist town, and those living there can reap the rewards but the locals/venue owners need to be far more active than you are. 3 months to build a dinghy dock and still not complete, really, in the states those beach bars would have changed owners by now with the lag time they are pulling in not getting those establishments up and running, hopefully those bars have been hit with liens/penalties for abandonment. Get it together St. John council members!
What is the difference it the same 20 they are spending for the dinghy it was 20 round trip the same way taxi round trip 10 shuttle round trip 10
No difference, except caneel and taxis get the revenue now
St. John is not like the states. We have no city council. There is no CITY government on St. John. Things take longer to do here. That’s just the way it is. It is easy to criticize something that you have no understanding of. Please just enjoy your vacation and stop telling St John residents how things should be just like in the states.
Thank you Jay. I totally agree with you.
I guess I’m selfish. This is good news, and canceling the golf cart shuttle would be even better. Let only those willing to hike in and out enjoy these beaches. As an introvert who cherishes the solitude of hiking in and out, (and catching sight of donkeys or mongoose on the way), and the less crowded beaches once I arrive, these two beaches are my favorites for those very reasons. Now if only the “boat people” from St. Thomas would find another place to snorkel, I’d really be in heaven.
Couldn’t agree with you more Pam!!
I agree.. nothing should’ve been set up on Honeymoon. It was fine on it’s own, by hiking or boat on a mooring.. I say the same thing about the new bar on Maho. Always adding something where it’s not needed.
I agree Pam. So sorry to hear that cruise ships have discovered Honeymoon as well.
I wouldnt go there now just as we stopped going to Trunk Bay after cruisers actually stood and stared us down waiting for us to leave a shaded spot.. Too much yahoo and party hearty happening. .
Rent a Paddleboard from us and paddle to Salomon, Honeymoon and Caneel. For someone who has paddled before it is a relatively easy paddle, less than a mile and takes about 15 minutes (unless the wind is blowing with over 20-25 knots then you might want to wait for calmer weather) http://www.sup-stjohn.com/paddleboard/salomon-bay/
This is not a better experience no matter how you spin it. To echo some of the replies, I’m hopeful that this reduces the number of people on Honeymoon.
I find it funny all the people that complain and whine about beaches being too busy and wanting to stifle local businesses so they can sit without being bothered by anyone having fun. What do you guys want? , a deserted island? I just don’t get it. Im sure it was nice and quiet in the 1960’s but this is 2019 of course progress and change will happen. St. John is still one of the most relaxing peaceful places on earth.