Transportation Options for Water Island

It doesn't take much to get around Water Island

Photo Credit: © Sharon Johnson

Water Island is a tiny island in the US Virgin Islands that relies almost entirely on St. Thomas for all of its needs, from groceries to mail service. The hillside is filled with private residences and luxurious rental properties where tourists can get away from busier resort areas and simply enjoy the peace and quiet that this island is known for.  Planning your transportation here can be tricky, but it is definitely something you should have all figured out before you arrive. 

Air Travel

While there is no airport on Water Island, there is a major international airport just northwest of the island on St. Thomas.  Cyril E King Airport (CEKA) serves as a major gateway for the US Virgin Islands, welcoming numerous flights from the United States on a daily basis.  Delta Airlines, Jet Blue, and the other major US based airlines are all known to fly here, so it will be best to begin your search for a flight with them.  If you are traveling from Canada or Europe, on the other hand, you should plan to connect somewhere in the United States or elsewhere in the Caribbean because flights from these countries are rare.   

Sailing and Boating

The US Virgin Islands are an incredibly popular destination among pleasure sailors, and many sail from the east coast of the United States on a regular basis.  The option also exists to fly to activities then charter a boat to get you to Water Island.  

If you're sailing from outside of the the USVI, your first stop will need to be at an official port of entry.  Charlotte Amalie is home to the one nearest Water Island. There, you'll present documentation of nationality for each person aboard, the ship's identification documents, and clearance from your last port of call.  If everything is in order, you'll be cleared to carry on to Water Island.  A cruising permit is not necessary among these islands, but if you'll be visiting for more than six months you'll need to register with the Department of Planning and Natural Resources.


Water Island is more popular as a day trip for those staying on St. Thomas than it is as a destination for the full length of a vacation.  Cruise ship passengers often use their time ashore as a chance to make it over to the pristine beaches and to check out the fort ruins.  The ferry that travels between St. Thomas and Water Island is just a short walk from the Crown Bay Cruise Dock where cruise ships dock.

Getting Around

At just 491.5 acres, Water Island has no need for public transportation.  There are no rental cars, taxis, or buses available on the island, so your own two feet will have to be sufficient enough to get you from place to place.  


A ferry service operates between Water Island and St. Thomas out of the Crown Bay Marina.  A boat leaves no less than once an hour from wither island between the hours of 6:30 a.m. and 6:15 p.m. Monday through Saturday,  with a shortened schedule on Sundays and Holidays.  If you wish to take a ferry after 6:00 p.m., reservations must be made in advance.  The cost is $5 each way for adults, $3 for children and $1(USD) per piece of luggage, and the trip takes about 10 minutes. 

Whether you're looking for the most peaceful setting in the US Virgin Islands to plan a getaway, or you just want to explore the island for a few hours during your stay on St. Thomas, it is important to be aware of the transportation options that exist.  They may be limited, but they'll get you where you need to go.


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