Good Morning, Good Morning. I have seen a ton of requests and inquiries online recently about ferry schedules. These days we have a ton of on the on-the-water public transit options straight out of Cruz Bay. So, I thought there’s no time like the present to gather them up and put them out there for you!
Between St. Thomas and St. John there are three different ferry options offered by three different companies. Varlack Ventures and Transportation Services operate the boats that traverse the Pilsbury Sound between Cruz Bay and Red Hook. Varlack Ventures also operates the downtown ferry that travels between Cruz Bay and Charlotte Amalie. Inter Island Boat Services runs the ferry between Cruz Bay and Crown Bay and the Cruz Bay to Jost Van Dyke route. Since the STJ/STT routes are of the most necessity, we will start with those first!
The following schedule is for ferry service between Cruz Bay and Red Hook, seven days a week-
Departing Cruz Bay on the hour, every hour, from 6AM until 11PM.
Departing Red Hook on the hour, every hour, with the following additional departure times: 5:30AM (M-F only), 6:30AM, 7:30AM, 8:30AM and 11:30PM.
These trips depart from the ferry terminal in Red Hook, St. Thomas and the main ferry terminal (right next to High Tide) in Cruz Bay. Tickets may be purchased in advance from Varlack Ventures or Transportation Services but it isn’t absolutely necessary. However, during super busy times of the year, I do absolutely recommend it so that you can skip the line at the terminal. If you don’t pre-purchase your tickets and are only visiting for a week, get a round trip ticket for you and your bags upon arrival to skip the wait in Cruz Bay on your way back home. Ferry tickets are good for ten days from the point of in-person purchase.
Next up is the Downtown or Charlotte Amalie Ferry which departs from the same terminal in Cruz Bay. The St. Thomas terminal for this particular boat ride is right in the heart of the St. Thomas Historic District on the waterfront across the street from a plethora of amazing shops and eateries, making it easy to kill some time exploring if you have a bit of a wait for your boat.
The schedule is quite a bit lighter for this particular ferry (three daily departures from each terminal) but I recommend it over the Red Hook trip simply because it is a longer boat ride (about 45 minutes) along the South Shore of St. Thomas and shorter taxi traverse across the island.
The downtown ferry departs the Edward Wilmoth Blyden IV Marine Terminal seven days a week at 10AM, 3PM and 5:30PM with departures from Cruz Bay at 8:45AM, 11:15AM and 3:45PM.
I DO recommend purchasing tickets (costs above) in advance for this trip via the Varlack Ventures website as the boat is smaller and seating more limited. However, if you are cutting it close on timing with via an arriving flight, call them to find out about cancellations and refunds before booking…Just in case.
If you want an even shorter jaunt via taxi, then go for the Inter Island Boat Services Crown Bay/Cruz Bay Ferry. This is my absolute go to when I am traveling if it works for my flight times. I most frequently use the 11AM departure from Cruz Bay and then return via whichever Red Hook ferry I can hop on as I can never seem to time up with the return trips from Crown Bay. The taxi ride is about four minutes long and the cost for it is $8 for a solo rider or $6 per person for a group of two or more traveling together. Compare that to a now $23 ride to Red Hook for one person or $17 per person with a group of two or more and this particular ferry ends up being just about equally cost effective as well!
The times are, as stated, a bit limited but if you can swing it this is the way to go! The boats arrive to/depart from the Crown Bay Marina on St. Thomas and Tickle’s Dockside Pub makes for a great little spot on the water to kill some time if you have it. The departures from Crown Bay to Cruz Bay are seven days a week at 3:30PM and 5:30PM with additional Saturday and Sunday departures at 9:15AM and 2:45PM.
The Cruz Bay terminal for Inter Island Boat services is NOT at the main ferry dock near High Tide. Instead, it is in the parking lot with the large white tent in it and behind the black gate across the street from the Lumberyard. Departure times are seven days a week at 11AM and 4:15PM with additional departures on Saturdays and Sundays at 8:30AM and 1:15PM.
I always purchase these tickets in advance when departing Cruz Bay as the boats do fill up. You can do so on the Inter Islands Boat Services website for $20 per person one way plus $5 per bag.
While we are on the subject of this particular ferry company…Let’s talk Jost Van Dyke! Inter Island Boat Services began running STJ/JVD trips once again in March of 2022. They operate between Cruz Bay, Red Hook and Great Harbor on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays departing from Red Hook at 7:30AM and Cruz Bay at 8:30AM.
The direct ferry service goes straight into Great Harbor where guests will be cleared at customs and then allowed to head over to Foxy’s, Corsairs or Tipsy Shark on foot or hop in a taxi to White Bay for an additional fee. The ferry departs Great Harbor to head back to the USVI at 3:30PM but guests should arrive back at the dock by 2:45 to check in. The cost for an adult is $120 plus $30 for customs, so $150 round-trip all-in. A passport is required for these trips for guests of all ages and the trip MUST be booked in advance via Inter Islands Boat Services website. Masks are sometimes required in the customs offices (depending on the day LOL) so make sure you have one with you just in case!
Well, that was a lot of boat talk! And if you know me, you know I love talking boats but that’s about enough of that even for me today 🙂 Have a great Monday everyone!