St John US Virgin Islands is one of three main islands in what’s known as the US Virgin Islands. It is most often accessed via the Cyril E. King Airport (STT) on neighboring St Thomas, with guests then finishing the journey via ferry boat service from three different terminals into Cruz Bay Ferry Terminal on St John. You will find it easy to reach St John once you understand the air travel, ferry, auto rental process, and travel requirements. 

Known for its pristine landscapes, St John is an excellent destination for people who value nature and want to experience the beauty of the Caribbean. St John is the smallest of the three main US Virgin Islands but is considered the crown jewel for its natural scenery. Dominated by US Virgin Islands National Park and stunning coastal views, it is a haven for travelers who don’t want the usual tropical island tourist experience. 


Getting Around St John Us Virgin Islands

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USVI Ferry to St John from St Thomas & Other Islands

How do you get to St John USVI? There are no airports on St John. However, St Thomas, which is only four miles away, has ferry services to St. John from three different terminals:

  • Red Hook on the eastern edge of St Thomas – 15-20 minute Ferry Ride to St John
  • Crown Bay near the Cyril E. King Airport (STT) – 35-40 minute Ferry Ride to St John
  • Charlotte-Amalie in the south-central part of the island – 40-45 minute Ferry Ride to St John [1]

Ferry Service St John Usvi

All three ferry services from St Thomas land at Cruz Bay – the main port of St John, the largest commercial center on the island, and grants easy access to accommodations that include nearby St John luxury villa rentals

A car ferry from St Thomas to St John USVI does exist! These ferries can carry both cars and pedestrians as passengers. There is also a VITRAN bus terminal and official taxi service awaiting yo

u at Cruz Bay so you can travel to St John without a car and rent one once you disembark. 

The trip to St John from Thomas is reasonably quick. From Red Hook, it takes about 15 to 20 minutes. The Crown Bay and Charlotte-Amarie routes take 35-45 minutes, on average, but the cab ride in St. Thomas is much shorter than the 45-minute cab ride from STT to the Red Hook ferry dock. 

Cruz Bay is also a docking point for international ferry services. For example, you can get a boat from Tortola, Jost Van Dyke, and Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands. If you arrive via ferry from the BVI, you will need to pass through customs and immigration. 

A Ferry from Puerto Rico to St. John USVI also exists, traveling from Fajardo, Puerto Rico into St Thomas (about 2 two hour trip) and then onward to St John. 

St John USVI Airport? Fly Into St Thomas First

Because St John is such a mountainous island, there is not a St John USVI airport. The easiest way to get to St John by air is to fly to St Thomas USVI airport. That airport is a central hub for the USVI and is called Cyril E. King Airport (STT), which is only a few miles outside the main downtown, Charlotte-Amalie. The airport is served by major carriers like JetBlue, Spirit, American, Delta, and United. There are also regional flights from Puerto Rico and St Croix USVI Airport – the most remote of the US Virgin Islands.

Beef Island and Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands also have airports served by regional flights. However, STT is the only one in the region with service from major international hubs, so it is the busiest in the Eastern Caribbean and the obvious choice for people flying into the Virgin Islands. 

Options for Car Rental St John USVI

Opting for a St John car rental is the best way to see the island of St John and move around freely. 

Though it is technically prohibited to rent a car on St Thomas and take it to St John, some agencies will allow you to do so. You need to check with each specific car rental agency before arriving to make s

ure it is allowed. On the other hand, you can easily take a taxi from the airport to the ferry port, take the ferry, and rent a car when you get to St John. Car rental in St John USVI can be made via several agencies within walking distance of the terminal at Cruz Bay. 

Two things to consider with rental cars in St John USVI: 

  • vehicles are driven on the left side of the road (as they do in the UK) 
  • the steering wheel is on the left (as it is in the US) instead of the right. 

You can search for car rental agencies on the official USVI tourism website [3].

If you plan to drive on the islands, you must bring a valid driver’s license.

Jeep Rental St John Usvi

St John Jeep Rental

Jeep rentals in St John USVI are very popular. These vehicles allow you to handle most road conditions you might come across, and they also provide the opportunity for an open-air driving experience. 

Some rental agencies specialize in Jeep Wranglers, vehicles with convertible roofs and removable windows. Others offer these vehicles alongside regular SUVs, sedans, and compact cars. 

Buses and St John USVI Taxi Service 

Taxis are available throughout St John, with rates set by the Virgin Island Taxi Division [4]. You will find them at the port and around most hotels. Unfortunately, there is no Uber of Lyft in the USVI.  The VITRAN bus system has several routes on the island [5]. The bus can get you to most major attractions on the island, but you need to plan your trip around their schedule. 

St John Travel Restrictions

There are travel restrictions that you need to be aware of when going to St John. 

Certain customs restrictions apply to everyone, including US citizens. These include:

  • No more than 1 liter of hard liquor or wine,
  • No more than $800 worth of gifts,
  • No more than 200 cigarettes or 3 lbs of tobacco. 

Because of environmental protection, some items are also prohibited.

  • No fresh fruits or vegetables,
  • No seeds or plants,
  • No prohibited foods, including booked meats and certain canned foods. 

You also need to be aware of rules unique to the USVI. For example, sunscreens that contain oxybenzone, octinoxate, and octocrylene are banned on the islands for conservation purposes [6].  To be safe, leave your sunscreen at home and purchase reef-friendly sunscreen on the island. 

Customs and Immigration for Travelers from the US and Other Countries

Customs And Immigration St John UsviThe US Virgin Islands are an American territory, so travelers from the mainland US or other territories, such as Puerto Rico, do not need to show a passport when going through immigration. However, a passport does remain one of the best options for identification when traveling by air, so US citizens can still carry it if they need an official ID. If you opt to leave your passport at home, make sure to bring a REAL ID, with a raised seal. 

That said, all visitors to the USVI, including American citizens, must pass through customs when departing. International travelers must meet the same visa requirements as those traveling to the mainland US. Travelers from Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries can stay for up to 90 days without a visa [7]

Travelers who do not come from VWP countries must apply for a visa and gain approval before traveling to the USVI. All international travelers outside the VWP may need to produce an onward ticket upon arrival, proving they will be leaving the country within mandated timelines. 

St John Travel Requirements

All travelers must abide by customs requirements and cannot bring banned items into the territory. All travelers need valid identification, but US citizens do not need a passport since the USVI is part of the United States of America. Other countries must meet visa requirements unless their home country is part of the VWP.

St John Virgin Islands Covid Restrictions

Currently, US citizens traveling from the mainland do not have to provide a negative COVID test or proof of vaccination [8]. The rule does not apply to international travelers. 

FAQs about Getting to St John US Virgin Islands

Can You Fly Into St John USVI? 

There is no airport on St John. Nearly all visitors will fly into Cyril E. King Airport (STT) on St. Thomas and then take a taxi to the ferry terminal or rent a car and drive there. They will then take the ferry to St. John.

What Do You Need To Rent a Car On St John?

​​You can rent a car on St John with a valid driver’s license. Some rental agencies require that you be at least 21 years of age, while others may have an age limit of up to 25. Unlike the mainland, people in St. John drive on the left side of the road.

Do You Need To Rent a Car On St John?

A car will give you the most freedom to travel around the island. However, there are also bus, taxi, and water taxi services for those who do not want to drive. 

More Helpful Resources for Your Stay on St John