How to Visit Trunk Bay from St. Thomas on a Cruise Ship Stop
Updated October 2023, 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’.
Doing it yourself not your thing? Not to worry! Start shopping Trunk Bay Shore Excursions here (and for less than what the cruises charge!)
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How To Get To Trunk Bay From St Thomas On A Cruise Ship Stop
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Not On A Cruise?
Where To Stay On St John
Cinnamon Bay Resort Camp
| Cinnamon Bay Resort |
St John Inn
| Hotels.com |
Day Tripping To St John?
Where To Stay On St Thomas
Have any questions about visiting Trunk Bay from St Thomas?
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