Virgin Islands Transportation: Getting Around the Islands

Virgin Islands transportation falls into two basic categories: travel between islands and getting around the individual island you're on.

Virgin Islands Transportation: Travelling Between Islands

When you're traveling between St. Thomas and St. John, chances are you'll take one of the public ferries that run on a regular schedule between Charlotte Amalie and St. John or between Red Hook and St. John.

The only exceptions would be if you're staying at one of the resorts on St. John that provide their own private ferry service to and from St. Thomas, or if you need private water taxi service for some reason (for example, if you have to go across in the middle of the night when the ferries aren't running).

To travel between St. Croix and St. Thomas, you can either take the ferry (which only runs in the high-season), or fly on a "puddle-jumper" via one of the small local airlines.

There's no direct service between St. Croix and St. John, except by private water-taxi; all other Virgin Islands transportation between St. Croix and St. John goes through St. Thomas.

Virgin Islands Transportation: Getting Around the Island You're On

Getting around each island means basically one of two things: taking taxis or renting your own vehicle.

For most situations, I strongly recommend renting your own car to get around. Taxis are expensive, and if you take them around a lot, the costs will add up quickly.

There are a couple of exceptions to this rule; circumstances where using taxis makes sense.

The first is if you're just taking a short trip (a day-trip from St. Thomas to St. John, for example, or a short exploration from a cruise-ship stop at St. Thomas).

The second is taking a taxi for a guided tour; as a rule, the taxi drivers are extremely knowledgeable about the islands, so if you want to learn about an island quickly, or see several sights without doing any exploring on your own, hiring a taxi for a tour is an excellent way to see some sights and learn a lot about the islands.

There is one other situation where not renting a car of your own might make sense, and that's if you're going to one of the big resorts and plan to spend all of your time right there at the resort without leaving at all.

For any other circumstance, however, I highly recommend renting a car; they can be rented for a reasonable cost, and the advantages of being able to get around the island at will are huge.

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