A park that is half under the sea?
Whether you arrive by plane, ferry or cruise ship, access to the island of St. John is through the island of St. Thomas. Charlotte Amalie is the main portal and is a large seaport and the largest city in the Virgin Islands. Just to the East of St. Thomas is the tropical paradise of St. John and the main portion of the Virgin Islands National Park. The park does include Hassel Island found in the harbor of Charlotte Amalie with historical military fortifications. The St. John portion of the park consists of over 10,000 acres, 55% of which are under water. The water itself is remarkable in its many shades of blue. The coral reefs here are teeming with marine life from many species of tropical fish to sea turtles. Several small islands are here and the most visited is found in Trunk Bay. Facilities include boat anchoring areas and moorings in the bays and on the reefs.
What to visit?
All visitors should start at the Virgin Islands Visitor Center in Cruz Bay near the ferry dock. Colorful coral reefs are just offshore here in the Park. The coral reefs are also home to many shipwrecks available for snorkeling or dive visits. The park maintains mooring bouys at dive sites. Ranger led hiking trips are also available. The island contains the remains of sugar plantations and sugar mills privately built during the period of Danish rule.
How to get around?Tours are available from the main park Visitor Center. Ranger led trips are available. Private sail and motor boat tours can be arranged through the Park Visitor Center. You are also welcome to visit in your own boat.
Where to stay?
Camping: The only camping in the park is at Cinnamon Bay with 126 sites as well as cabins: Check with https://cinnamonbayresort.com to verify that the area is open following storm recovery. Re-opening is set for the 2020-2021 season. Camping
Where to Eat?
This is a bring your own food type of Park. Cruz Bay offers a variety of restaurants and three markets. Dolphin Market is the largest. Water and a snack bar are available at Trunk Bay and at the Visitor Center.
How to get to the Park?
Access: Visitors arrive by plane or cruise ship through St. Thomas. Private boats can clear directly into St. Johns at the Cruz Bay U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office. There are two ferries that connect to St. Johns. Jeeps are available for rental at The St. Thomas airport and a ferry can transport you via Red Hook to Cruz Bay.