Cruz Bay Transportation Options

By sea you will find entry into Cruz Bay, and by land you will make your way around

Photo Credit: © Sharon Johnson

Cruz Bay holds the title of the largest, most populous town on St. John, as well as the main port of entry, the largest commercial center, and the hot spot four tourism on the whole of the island. It is, in fact, a rare occasion when a visitor arrives on St. John and doesn't first make their way through Cruz Bay.

Getting There

There is really only one way to get on the island of St. John, and that is by sailing there. Most people take a ferry from St. Thomas once they've flown into the airport near Charlotte Amalie, others make a stop here as a part of their cruise of the Eastern Caribbean, and those with sailing experience often choose to make the journey aboard their own private watercraft.

Getting Around

When it comes to getting around Cruz Bay, your best bet is to rent a car or hail a cab. If you'd like to leave the city and make a trip to Coral Bay or Salt Pond for a few hours, the public bus system will get you there, but there is no guarantee they'll get you anywhere on time.

Air Travel

Because there is no airport in Cruz Bay, or on the island of St. John, you'll have to fly to nearby St. Thomas. The Cyril E King Airport is where you'll land, and from there you'll continue your travels to Cruz Bay either by taking one of several ferries, or by chartering a private yacht to get you there.  Learn all about what it takes to fly into the US Virgin Islands before you can make your final journey to Cruz Bay by clicking here

After arriving on St. Thomas, you will either have to charter an airplane or boat, or take a ferry over to Cruz Bay. Ferries can reach Cruz Bay from both Charlotte Amalie and Red Hook, so you should have no issues finding one if you land on St. Thomas.


As the central town on St. John, it is no surprise that the sailing industry is centered in Cruz Bay.  Here, you'll not only find the island's port of entry, but the most popular anchorage points, and the most reputable charter agencies.  Whether you sail in internationally or you'll eventually hire a charter to do some sailing after you arrive, read this.  


The facilities in Cruz Bay are not actually capable of handing the docking of a cruise ship, yet many cruise itineraries include St. John as a part of their Eastern Caribbean tours. In these cases, smaller cruise ships will dock just off shore, while larger cruise ships will dock on St. Thomas, then transport passengers to Cruz Bay aboard a smaller vessel. On cruise ship days, passengers descend upon Cruz Bay and spend their time shopping, dining, and hanging out on the local beaches.

If you are a cruiser from St. Thomas, just make sure you head back in time to get back on your ship before it leaves.

Rental Cars

...enjoy more personalized service...


Like all other forms of transportation on the island, Cruz Bay is the center of the rental car industry on St. John. All of the businesses in Cruz Bay are locally owned, which means you'll enjoy more personalized service as well as sales and discounts that don't have to be approved higher up on the corporate ladder. Your opinion about them matters, since word of mouth is what gets them business, so you can always expect to get the best customer service around. The price of a rental car inCruz Bay will cost you somewhere between $70 and $150(USD) a day on average, though prices tend to dip during the summer season when tourism is at a low point. For more information about renting a car in Cruz Bay, including contact information for agencies and even tips on driving around town, click here.


Cruz Bay is always teeming with taxi drivers waiting to pick up passengers who come in by ferry, cruise shuttle, or who have sailed themselves to the island. These taxis, which are actually vans and modified trucks, will pick up as many people as they can headed in the same direction before taking off, and if there is more room, they may stop and pick up more along the way. This is because rates in Cruz Bay are set in advance, based upon the location you're headed and the number of passengers in the vehicle. It isn't a total price that is split; instead, each passenger pays the fee, which can add up very quickly if you're traveling in a large group. It helps to be prepared. On our Taxis in Cruz Bay page, we offer a list of the most current rates available for the town. Click here to take a look.


Buses are not the most reliable form of transportation in Cruz Bay, but they are available for when tourists are in need.  Typically, the bus is put to use by local service workers, but anyone is welcome to ride for $1(USD) each trip.  While there is a set schedule, riders are often left waiting for up to 20 minutes for the bus to arrive.  Find out more, including the typical schedule, but clicking here


With few other options, and a ferry dock with easy access, ferry transport is probably the most common way for tourists to reach Cruz Bay and St. John in general. The Cruz Bay Ferry Dock is located right in the middle of downtown and is within walking distance of many restaurants, attractions, and shopping. Additionally, service from the ferry dock can let you explore all you want to see, from the shopping on St. Thomas to the British of Islands of Tortola and Virgin Gorda. To see these routes, and learn more about your ferry options, click here.

The way you choose to get to Cruz Bay as well as how you'll get around when you arrive is entirely up to you. Whether your final decisions comes down to a matter of pricing, scheduling, or simply your comfort level with a particular transportation service, the sense of ease you'll feel while exploring Cruz Bay makes all of your planning and research worth it.


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