How To Get Here…

Maho Bay overlook
Maho Bay overlook

Hello everyone, I hope you all had a great holiday weekend! As you all likely know by now, I would love nothing more than to have each and every one of you come and visit us here on St. John. Getting here can be tricky, so today we’re going to give you a quick rundown on how to get here.

First, let’s talk about logistics. If you want to visit St. John, first you must know that we are in the US Virgin Islands. Some people confuse us with St. John’s, Antigua. They have a “s” and we do not. You would be shocked if you knew how common it is for a guest to book a hotel here on St. John and then an excursion over in St. John’s, Antigua, or vice versa. I’ve actually had island tour guests call me in a panic because they couldn’t find the Red Hook ferry … well that’s because they were in Antigua, not the Virgin Islands. Oops!

Ok, so now that we have that squared away, you may be wondering about airports. In order to visit St. John, you must fly into St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands. The airport code is STT. Most of the major airlines now fly into St. Thomas including Delta, American, United, JetBlue and Spirit. We also have smaller airlines including Cape Air and Silver (which recently merged with Seaborne.).

Once you land, you need to get to the ferry. The ferry then takes you to St. John. We currently have two ferry options – one is located in Red Hook, and the other is located in Crown Bay. The Red Hook ferry leaves out of Red Hook on the hour, every hour. If you opt to take this ferry, you simply need to tell your taxi driver to take you to Red Hook. The ride is about 30-45 minutes from the airport. The ferry takes about 15 minutes. If you get into a regular taxi, just know that they can cram up to about 12-15 passengers in one taxi. It’s tight. And hot. You can opt for a private taxi where it’s just your group, but that can be a bit more expensive. You do not need to make a reservation for the ferry or regular taxi.

The second ferry operates out of Crown Bay. It operates seven days a week, but it’s schedule is more limited. It leaves Crown Bay daily at 3:30 p.m. and also at 5:30 p.m. It leaves Cruz Bay daily at 11 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. I’ve heard great things about this ferry. The one negative I consistently hear is that the taxi drivers at the airport are telling guests that the Crown Bay ferry does not exist. That is not true. It does exist. It’s only a five minute ride from the airport, which equates to a lesser taxi fare than if you chose to go to Red Hook, so perhaps that’s their motivation. Who knows. What we do know is that you do need to make a reservation for this ferry. The number is 340-776-6597.

The car barge is a third option, although we think it’s best if you rent your vehicle here on St. John and leave the car barge for those who need to use it for work, the rebuild, medical reasons, etc.

Ok, now let’s talk about when you go back to the airport. It takes roughly one hour to get from Cruz Bay to the airport regardless of which ferry you take. And once you arrive at the airport on St. Thomas, you will have to go through US Customs before going through security. You do not have to fill out a form anymore, but you will have to answer a few simple questions about where you’re been, where you’re going and whether or not you are taking anything home with you. Because you have to go through Customs and security, you may want to allow yourselves some extra time.

You should arrive at the airport at least two hours before your flight, although American Airlines wants you there three hours in advance. Customs lines can get long, as can security, so give yourself enough time.

Oh, and once you are on island, I would love to show you around! I offer full and half day land tours, which are great for people new to the island, as well as returning guests. I also offer land and sea tours along with Flyaway Charters, which really is the best of both worlds. You can see St. John by land and then by sea, all in the same day! We can even get you out to the Lime Out, St. John’s new floating taco bar! For more information, please visit www.newsofstjohn.com/islandtour. You can also email me at [email protected].

I hope some of these details help you in planning your next trip, so start looking to book your next vacation! Have a great day everyone!

10 thoughts on “How To Get Here…”

  1. I’ve been there a few times. What would be very helpful is to give a general idea of how much to expect to spend including flights and charters to say for instance to the BVI’s. Around island Taxi and to and from Airport. Shuttle from STT to St. John. I’m looking into possibly renting a home with 6-10 bedrooms IN 2020 OR 2021. I need to estimate cost projectios for each person. Airfare will be a big chunk. Thanks AND I look forward to your reply 🙂

  2. We have been down several times and with a family of four I strongly recommend renting the jeep at St. Thomas and car ferrying over to St. J. You load the jeep at the airport and don’t unload again until you reach your villa. This is a no brainer vs. loading everything in a taxi at airport, riding in van and unloading at Red Hook, loading again on the ferry, unloading in St. J, then lugging everything off the dock and loading again in jeep.

    • Trey, At first I thought your idea made sense, a lot less loading and unloading.
      However, St. John needs your business–rent your car on St John, the island I know you love and support. A lot of things are transported on the car ferry, including workers, food, building supplies, water, and on return trips-trash, garbage, etc.
      Take another look at the convenience factor vs. doing the right thing for the community.

      • There is really plenty of business to go around for both St Thomas and St John!
        We are the Virgin Islands…..no us against them. Do what works best for you as to renting a car at the airport or taxing and ferrying across island. I promise groceries and workers and all will make it to STJ.

    • Also, the car ferries have a tendency to be out of commission without notice. You may be stuck competing with all the other services. Makes for longer wait times. I wouldn’t take the chance. Rent on STJ.

    • Add the cost savings the taxis charge + ferry fee + fees per bag…big savings to rent on St. Thomas when considering the size of your party.

  3. We do both depending on arrival times and number in our group. The potential for an extended multiple stop, island traversing taxi ride is real and can be hard to endure after a long trip. The drivers will downplay the number of stops, saying it’s a quick shot over to the ferry. Then they make that dreaded northerly turn up and over to the north side and you wish you were in your own car headed directly to the barge ferry.

    You can keep your rental business local going with one of the reputable independents just outside the airport property. They have a courtesy pickup/drop off service, sometimes bringing your actual Jeep so you only load luggage once. One of them is family owned and operated, albeit by St. Thomians, who seem to appreciate the business as well.

  4. There is another option for transport from St Thomas to St John…..private water taxi.
    We have traveled to St John on several occasions with our last trip being last week with a total of 7 people. We always use Chris’ Taxi Service for private shuttle from airport to Red Hook & back. They are waiting for you as soon as you exit the airport. They load all your luggage and then you make the nonstop ride to Red Hook in air conditioned comfort. Much better than public taxi which could make multiple stops along the way. The cost one way for 7 was $126 plus tip (no extra charge per bag). We then reserved St Thomas Water Taxi for ride from Red Hook to Cruz Bay on St John. These guys are great! The public ferry is $8.50 per person plus $4 per bag plus tip for handlers to load bags & then another tip to unload bags on other end. Total cost for ferry with tips would have been around $130 one-way for our group. ST Thomas water taxi took our group for $200 one-way plus tip (no extra charge per bag). After the long plane ride & then the 30 min taxi to Red Hook it is worth every extra penny to have the private water taxi waiting for us at Red Hook as opposed to waiting for the public ferry which runs hourly. We were in Cruz Bay & picking up our rental cars before we would have even boarded the ferry! Although there is plenty of taxi service available on St John, we would recommend renting a car there. Rental costs are generally $600 & $750 depending on what you rent. Remember a 6 passenger SUV may not hold 6 people & all your luggage upon arrival or coolers, beach chairs, etc when you head to the beach. Would highly recommend a rental villa with a pool & hot tub. Can’t tell you how beautiful it is to relax in the pool or hot tub after a day of exploring the beautiful island. Coral Bay side of the island is about a 40 min drive along winding roads from the ferry dock & shopping & restaurants of Cruz Bay. It is beautiful & very quiet in Coral Bay with great snorkeling but has limited shopping & restaurants (especially after damage from hurricanes a couple of years ago). We consider Coral Bay a day trip destination. If you want a selection of shops & restaurants within a short drive, Cruz Bay side of the island (where ferry lands) is for you.
    When it is time to depart, if we have a afternoon flight, we have Chris’ Taxi pick us up at Red Hook & drop us off in town for last minute shopping & lunch. They keep our luggage (for a small fee) & then pick us up in plenty of time to get us to the airport. They even get us a porter to handle all our luggage at the airport.

  5. We are exploring water taxi options since our flight gets into stt at 9 am on a Saturday.

    Are there any water taxi options not out of red hook that people would recommend? Would love to avoid the longer taxi ride if possible. I think timing wise public ferry won’t be an option and Westin ferry now goes out of red hook too.

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

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