How to Visit Trunk Bay on a St. Thomas cruise ship stop, Trunk Bay, St John, USVI, Virgin Islands National Park

How to Visit Trunk Bay from St. Thomas on a Cruise Ship Stop

Updated March 2024, How to Visit Trunk Bay from St. Thomas on a Cruise Ship Stop originally written in February 2016)

Yes, you can!

Even on a far-too-short 10-hour cruise ship stop in St Thomas, it is totally possible to see the infamous Trunk Bay on the island next door, St John.

I didn’t know this was possible, and of course, I didn’t bother to do the research that I said I was going to do prior to the trip. So what did I do? I messaged my friend Kacy Treks On who used to live on St Thomas, and asked her what to do while I was in St Thomas.

She wrote me back in no time flat and said to take a cab across St Thomas, catch a ferry to St John and grab another taxi to Trunk Bay Beach. From Kacy, I learned how to visit Trunk Bay from St Thomas on a cruise-ship stop.

I’ve just returned back home from a far too short trip that took me to Puerto Rico and its lovely neighbor Culebra, and onto a 7-day Southern Caribbean cruise that made stops in St Thomas, Barbados, St Lucia, St Kitts & Nevis, and St Maarten.

So this is fresh information on how to get to Trunk Bay from St Thomas. And this is much more budget-friendly (still pricey, but hey, it’s cheaper) than the shore excursions for sale by the cruise lines.

Trunk Bay is consistently ranked as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. I can’t find a way to disagree with it. Hell, I could barely tear myself away from this beach to get back on the ship. Starts googling ‘dental hygienist jobs in St. John’.

Start shopping Caribbean cruises!

Doing it yourself not your thing? Not to worry! Start shopping Trunk Bay Shore Excursions here (and for less than what the cruises charge!)

Need Travel Insurance and Evacuation Services for the USVI?

Start shopping for travel insurance plans over at IATI Insurance. Readers of the Adventures of Nicole get a 5% discount off your plan.

The Adventures of Nicole partners with Global Rescue to offer the world’s leading medical evacuation and security advisory services. To travel with peace of mind, shop evacuation coverage at Global Rescue.

How to get to Trunk Bay Map
Click map above to view on Google Maps

How To Get To Trunk Bay From St Thomas On A Cruise Ship Stop

How to Visit Trunk Bay on a St. Thomas cruise ship stop,Charlotte Amelie Harbor, St Thomas, USVI
Coming into Charlotte Amelie Harbor

Step 1: Taxi From Charlotte Amelie To Red Hook Ferry Terminal: $15 Per Person

Your first step in how to get to Trunk Bay from St Thomas! Your cruise ship will dock at Charlotte Amalie harbor.

After you disembark the ship, head out of the cruise ship terminal and walk past all the shops. Just past the shops, you will find the taxis. Grab one and tell them you’d like to go to Red Hook Ferry Terminal. Expect the drive to take about 20 minutes, give or take.

We had a great driver who even gave us a tour on the way out there.

Step 2: Ferry From Red Hook Bay To Cruz Bay: $16.30 Roundtrip

Yeah, you can buy a one-way ticket for $8.15, but you may as well save yourself having to purchase a ticket a second time to get back and just buy a roundtrip ticket. Ferries leave on the hour and take about 15-20 minutes to cross the channel. Check out the ferry schedule on the VI Now website.

Looking for more Caribbean to explore without a passport? Check out Puerto Rico and its neighboring island of Culebra

How to Visit Trunk Bay on a St. Thomas cruise ship stop, Red Hook Bay, St Thomas, USVI, Red Hook Bay ferry, Virgin Islands ferry
Red Hook Bay

Step 3: Taxi From Cruz Bay To Trunk Bay: $6

This taxi is sort of like an open safari truck you’d take over in Africa really. Just walk off the ferry dock and likely someone will be asking you if you need a taxi before you make it to the end. They leave when they are full from the ferry terminal.

Our driver even made a short stop at the Trunk Bay Overlook for photos. Expect about 20 minutes to get there.

Insider tip: Don’t get back on the taxi at the lookout point and tell your driver you’ll walk (ours found us actually walking back up the hill to the lookout after we were dropped off at the entrance, he kindly told us to get back on the taxi and he’d drop us off back the viewpoint). That way you can get photos without the taxi-load of people in them. The beach entrance is a short walk downhill along the road.

About 30 seconds outside the parking lot the driver that drove us to the park saw us and told us to hop in and he’d drop us off up there. He wouldn’t even accept a dime from us. We spent about a half-hour up there taking pictures of Trunk Bay before we made the short walk back down to the beach.

How to Visit Trunk Bay on a St. Thomas cruise ship stop, Trunk Bay, St John, USVI, Virgin Islands National Park
How to Visit Trunk Bay on a St. Thomas cruise ship stop, Trunk Bay, St John, USVI, Virgin Islands National Park

Step 4: You’ve Arrived! Admission to US Virgin Islands National Park: $5 for adults, kids free

Wait in line, pay your $5 and you’re in. You do get a printed receipt as a ticket. You can leave and re-enter the park with it. We bought our admission tickets and left immediately to walk back up to the overlook to get a few more photos.

We spent as much time as we could here, swimming in the crystal clear turquoise waters and digging our toes into that pearly white, soft sand.

Step 5: Taxi Back To Cruz Bay: $6

We did not have to wait for the taxi to fill up to bring us back to Cruz Bay, just hop in one and go.

Want more tropical paradise ideas? Check out Santo Domingo & Boca Chica and Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic

Step 6: Ferry Back To Red Hook From Cruz Bay

Sit on the same side of the boat as you did on the way over so that you get a nice view from the other side of the ferry.

How to Visit Trunk Bay on a St. Thomas cruise ship stop, Cruz Bay, St John, USVI, Cruz Bay ferry, Virgin Islands ferry
Leaving Cruz Bay on the ferry

Step 7: Taxi Back to Charlotte Amalie Harbor: $15 Per Person

And ta-da! You’re back at the cruise ship, probably with enough time to make a quick lap around the little tourist shops there at the harbor.

For A Grand Total of $51.30 Per Person Visit Trunk Bay On Your St Thomas Cruise Ship Stop!

  • $30 for taxis per person
  • $16.30 per person for the ferry roundtrip
  • $5 for park admission

The cruise ship shore excursions that included Trunk Bay on the itinerary ran between $70 and $100 per person.

Not a do-it-yourselfer? Book your excursion to Trunk Bay from St Thomas here!


  • Give yourself ample time to get back to your ship before it leaves. The latest ferry I’d catch would be the one leaving 3 hours prior to your departure time. My cruise left at 5 pm, so we made sure to be on the ferry leaving by 2 pm. If you aren’t on a shore excursion that is offered by your cruise line and you do not make it back to the boat by your departure time, it will leave without you!
  • Look up how many other ships will be in port the day you dock in St Thomas This will give you an idea of what kind of crowds you’ll be facing. The day we docked there were only 2 ships scheduled to arrive There can be up to 7 ships per day in the high season.
  • Bring cash, as it’s the easiest. There are ATMs available on land if you need one. I didn’t pay attention to whether or not the ferry or national park took cards, but I do know for a fact they take cash.
How to Visit Trunk Bay on a St. Thomas cruise ship stop, Trunk Bay, St John, USVI, Virgin Islands National Park

Not On A Cruise?
Where To Stay On St John


Cinnamon Bay Resort Camp
Cinnamon Bay Resort |

Galleon House Bed & Breakfast Inn | |


St John Inn |


Estate Lindholm | |

Day Tripping To St John?
Where To Stay On St Thomas


Emerald Beach Resort | |


Sapphire Village | |

Have any questions about visiting Trunk Bay from St Thomas?

Ask in the comments section below!

If you like it, pin it!!

Trunk Bay, USVI, St, john, Virgin Islands, Virgin Islands National Park

17 thoughts on “How To Visit Trunk Bay From St Thomas”

  1. Is the price for taxi per PERSON or per car- we are a family of 4 so the taxi at about $10 (which I’m sure has gone up now) is that per person or for the taxi that can fit up to 4?

    1. We are in St Thomas on 8/1/23 and this was not our cab experience. Every cab from the cruise terminal to red hook was $17 per person each way. So instead of $20 for 6 of us we paid $196 for the round trip. The ferry is now $16.30 round trip. Better to just do excursion from ship and not have the stress of making it back to the ship.

    1. I believe you could rent beach chairs from the snorkel shop when I went, but I did not enquire about pricing. I did read $6 per chair on an older forum post, but I would expect prices have probably risen because the forum post was from a few years ago. I did read a press release from August this year that said the rental shop is being renovated this year and that it should be fully operating again in November.

  2. I’m so glad to have stumbled across this article at the last moment! My husband and I are leaving for the cruise in two weeks that includes a stop at St. Thomas and knew we wanted to go to Trunk Bay but without having to go on the tours sold on-ship. Thanks for laying out the directions so clearly, we will definitely be using this.

    1. Glad to hear you guys will be getting some use out of this post. Trunk Bay is just gorgeous and well worth the trip over from St Thomas.

    1. Hey Tiffany,
      This is a do it yourself guide to getting to Trunk Bay, so you would have to bring or rent your own snorkel equipment. If you book an excursion through the cruise or one online it typically includes snorkeling gear.

  3. I just wanted to say a big thank you for this article. It was a huge help when my family and I recently visited Trunk Bay. Thanks again!

  4. This was PERFECT! Almost booked with cruise ship but it only was on trunk bay for an hour and half!! We will definetly do this thanks to your post. I am a little concerned as there will be 10 of us. Wish I could pre arrange shuttle or something. Thanks again!

    1. Hi Chrissy! I hope it all worked out for you 🙂 even wth a group of 10 it’s doable as there’s so many people doing to trip over to Trunk Bay on cruise stops.

  5. Love this post! I’m taking a cruise in Jan. that is going to St. Thomas, St. Lucia, Antigua, Barbados and St. Kitts and I’ve been researching things to do/sites without having to do the cruise ship excursions every day. Thanks for the tips!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top