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Recently I had a chance to take a seven-night Eastern Caribbean cruise and St. Thomas was one of the stops along the way.
Though St. Thomas can be amazing, thanks to almost every Kenny Chesney song, my heart was set on visiting St. John. But where in St. John was I going to go? I put it out on Facebook and Twitter and asked listeners what they thought. Hands down Trunk Bay in St. John was the winner. The only issue was the cruise line’s shore excursion to St. John was $80 and having friends that lived down, I know there was a cheaper way to get there– and there was.
When I searched “getting to Trunk Bay from cruise ship,” it didn’t return a lot of searches. So I did my own research.
So this is how I did it.
Getting to Trunk Bay:
- When you dock at Charlotte Amalie you’ll disembark the ship and head to the outside of the cruise terminal where the taxi cabs are lined up. There we’ll be white vans to load passengers up to the Red Hook ferry terminal. The ride to Red Hook is approximately $10 per person and takes 20-minutes.
- When you arrive at Red Hook you’ll buy a ferry ticket for $7 each way (go ahead and buy a roundtrip ticket). The ferry leaves every hour on the hour from Red Hook, St. Thomas to Cruz Bay, St. John. The actual ferry ride is 15-minutes. Ferry schedule here.
- Once we arrived at Cruz Bay, St. John we boarded an open-air safari taxi that took us to the entrance of Trunk Bay park. The taxi from Cruz Bay to Trunk Bay was $6 per person and took about 15-minutes.
- Admission to Trunk Bay was $4 per adults and kids are free.
Once on the beach you can rent an umbrella, sprawl out on a beach towel or hit the snorkeling trails. They also have a snack bar, lockers, showers, bathrooms and changing areas all on property and everything is very clean.
You can get all the get more info on the National Park website here.
For the return trip just follow these directions in reverse. Don’t worry about their being any shortage of taxis because as the driver told me, there are more cabs than people.
- Carry cash on you. The website says that the ferry terminal will take credit cards but they had a cash only sign when we were there.
- Give yourself plenty of time to get back to the ship and arrive to the ferry terminal early. The ferry is how the kids get back and forth to school so it could get crowded.
- There is a ferry from Charlotte Amalie → Cruz Bay but it takes 45 minutes and only runs three times per day.
- If there are a lot of ships in port, give yourself extra time. We were lucky and there was only one cruise ship in port. You can find out how many ships are going to be there by heading to CruiseCal.com. If you’re departure is at 7, I would leave St. John on the 4p ferry.
- Do it Yourself , $46 per person
- Cruise Line Cost, $74.99 per person
If you are comfortable with going out on your own, I would highly suggest heading over to Trunk Bay. If you like to play it safe and think you might get confused, you’d be better off doing the cruise line shore excursion.
Trunk Bay was one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever been to in my life!