Ferries play a key role in transportation among the U.S. Virgin Islands. Passenger ferries are the main means of traveling between St. Thomas and St. John, and the only way to get to Water Island.
For travel to more distant St. Croix from St. Thomas, you have the choice of a ferry or flight -- including a memorable seaplane journey from Charlotte Amalie harbor to Christiansted harbor. There’s also seaplane service to St. John from Charlotte Amalie.
If the ferry or seaplane schedules don’t work for you, remember that there are also water taxis out of Red Hook that can take you between the islands; contact Dohm's or Dolphin Shuttle for more information.
Red Hook Ferries
Red Hook, St. Thomas-Cruz Bay, St. John: Departs Red Hook daily at 6:30 a.m., 7:30 a.m., and then hourly from 8 a.m. to midnight. Departs Cruz Bay, St. John daily on the hour from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. The crossing takes about 15 minutes; tickets are $6 each way for adults, $1 for children ages 2-11. Add $2.50 per piece of luggage or boxes.
Three car barges also operate out of Red Hook: it will cost you about $50 roundtrip plus a few dollars in port fees to bring your car across to St. John. If you’re just going to stroll around Cruz Bay it’s probably not worth it, but if you want to explore the island, the ferry fare may work out cheaper than hiring a cab. The barge companies are Love City (340-779-4000), Boyson’s (340-776-6294), and Global Marine (340-779-1739).
Finally, there also is daily ferry service from Red Hook to the British Virgin Islands -- Jost Van Dyke, Virgin Gorda, and Anegada -- via Inter-Island Boat Services. If you want to visit Tortola, you can get there via Native Son ferry from Charlotte Amalie, Red Hook, or St. John. Remember to bring your passport when traveling between the U.S. Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands!
Charlotte Amalie Ferries
Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas-Cruz Bay, St. John: Departs Charlotte Amalie daily at 10 a.m., 1 p.m., and 5:30 p.m. Departs Cruz Bay, St. John daily at 8:45 a.m., 11:15 a.m., and 3:45 p.m. Crossing takes about 45 minutes; tickets are $12 each way for adults, $3.50 for children ages 2-11. Add $2.50 per piece of luggage or boxes.
Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas-Gallows Bay, St. Croix: Crossing costs $50 when the VI Sea Trans ferry is operating, which isn’t always. The fast ferry to St. Croix is no longer running, and even the regular ferry may shut down in the winter. Call first to confirm.
Marriott Frenchman's Reef-Charlotte Amalie: Shopping ferry runs between the Marriott Frenchman's Reef and Frenchman's Cove resorts and downtown Charlotte Amalie every half hour, Mon.-Sat., from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Round trip costs $14 per adult, $8 for children (under age 2 free). Trip takes 12 minutes.
Water Island Ferry
Crown Bay, St. Thomas-Water Island: Monday-Saturdays, departs St. Thomas every 45 minutes beginning at 6:30 a.m., with the last ferry leaving at 6 p.m. Departs Mon-Sat from Water Island every 45 minutes starting at 6:45 a.m.
On Sundays and holidays, departs from St. Thomas at 8 a.m., 10:30 a.m., noon, 3 p.m. and 5 p.m., with returns from Water Islands 15 minutes later. Special night ferries also may run on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays; check ahead for details by calling (340) 690-4159. Crossing takes 10 minutes. Fares are $5 for adults ($10 roundtrip), $3 for children ($5 roundtrip), plus $1 per piece of luggage or boxes.
Seaborne Airlines offers seaplane flights between St. Thomas and St. Croix, as well as regular flight to the British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. The seaplane crossing between St. Thomas and St. Croix takes about 25 minutes. Check the airline’s website for fares and schedules.