While the debate doesn’t quite rise to the level of a Yankees/Redsox rivalry, people that travel often to or live in the Virgin Islands typically have strong feelings one way or another about St. Thomas and St. John.
I hear it time and time again from people staying on one or the other islands,
“Why would I need to go over to St. John, St. Thomas has everything”
“The only time I spend on St. Thomas is to get picked up and dropped off at the airport”.
People have strong preferences between the two, and yet it really shouldn’t be a “one or the other” proposition. Fact is, if you are staying on either island, it doesn’t mean that you can’t sneak over to the other one.
The way I see it, if you traveled all the way down to the Virgin Islands, why not get:2 Islands for the price of 1.
In a nutshell:
St. Thomas offers world-class, duty-free shopping as well as some incredible tours and attractions.
On St. John you’ll find hiking trails and quiet, secluded beaches.
St. Thomas has exciting nightlife opportunities while St. John has an abundance of pristine nature, ideal for getting away from the hustle and bustle of civilization.
Each island has wonderfully unique offerings and experiences.
But why not get the best of both islands?
Traveling between the two islands is a breeze. A 20-minute ferry ride leaves from Red Hook, St. Thomas and docks at Cruz Bay, St. John at a cost of just $12 round trip. Another ferry leaves from Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas and arrives in Cruz Bay 40 minutes later at a fare of $24 round trip.
There is also a car barge that leaves from Red Hook and drops passengers off near Cruz Bay at $50 round trip with all passengers riding free. Schedules for all ferries are below.
Once you are on the other island, travel is easy.
The ferry docks in both St. Thomas and St. John you’ll find no shortage of taxis, also referred to as “safaris.” They charge a flat rate fee per person which varies depending on your destination.
Since both islands have only a couple of main roads, navigation is fairly straightforward. GPS and mobile apps are reliable and there is no shortage of free maps available in shops and restaurants.
Basic planning is all that’s required.
2 Sample Excursions
❶ If you’ll be staying in St. John and want to do the Tree Limin’ Extreme Zipline Tour on St. Thomas:
1. Call the Zipline to make the reservation. (340-777-9477)
2. Take the ferry from Cruz Bay to St. Thomas. If you are scheduled for 12pm at the Zipline,
3. Have a blast on the 2+ hour zipline adventure.
4. After the Zipline, you can take a taxi back to Red Hook for a ferry back to St. John (or explore St. Thomas’ shopping, restaurants and/or history before heading back).
❷ Island Time, a boat in St. John, has the best charter boat to the Baths of Virgin Gorda and the Caves of Norman Island.
1. Call Island Time to make reservations. (340-776-6234)
2. Take the 6:30 a.m. ferry from Red Hook to Cruz Bay. You will arrive around 6:50 a.m. Take a short taxi ride to the Westin Hotel. Check in for
3. Check in at the boat dock for an incredible day of exploration. You’ll arrive back at the dock at approximately 4:30 p.m. Ferries back to St. Thomas run until 11 p.m.
When planning your vacation to St. Thomas or St. John, don’t limit yourself to only activities and attractions on the island where you are staying. The ease of transportation between the islands means you can enjoy everything the two islands offer.
|Red Hook, St. Thomas to Cruz Bay, St. John||Cruz Bay, St. John to Red Hook, St. Thomas|
|6:30 am, 7:30 am then hourly from 8:00 am to midnight||Hourly from 6:00 am to 11:00 pm|
|Downtown, St. Thomas to Cruz Bay, St. John||Cruz Bay, St. John to Downtown, St. Thomas|
Car barge service is available between Redhook, St. Thomas and Cruz Bay, St. John. During the time frames described below, the barges pick up about every 30-35 minutes.
Monday – Friday
Barges run from Red Hook starting at 6:30 am and the last one is at 7 pm.
From Cruz Bay they run from 5:30 am and the last one is at 7 pm.
Weekends and Holidays
Red Hook they start at 7:30 am and the last one is at 7 pm.
From Cruz Bay they start at 6 am and the last one is at 7 pm.
Only after truly experiencing both islands can you have a favorite. Until then, let the debate will rage on! Don’t forget to enter your email and dates of travel on the home page www.virginislandsaver.com for events and activities during your visit!