A lot of people have the misconception that if you go on a boat cruise, even a private, chartered cruise, you’ll wind up spending most of your time on the boat just relaxing, soaking up the sun, and enjoying the food. But that’s not the kind of chartered cruise I’m talking about.
The island of St. John is a tiny patch of tropical green set against the sparkling blue tapestry of the Caribbean, and one of the very best ways to explore it and fully appreciate all that it has to offer is to rent a high quality charter boat and approach the island from several different angles.
Your journey will probably begin in Cruz Bay, because that’s where most of the ferries drop people and supplies off, and it’s a great place to begin your adventure! It’s a quaint little town filled with a variety of unique little shops, wharf-side bars, and fantastic restaurants. For a small place, there are a surprising number of hidden gems to discover here.
When you’re ready to begin your charter cruise adventure, you’ll likely start by motoring up to some of the most gorgeous beaches the world has to offer. Anchor offshore and swim up to Trunk Bay for a few hours before wandering off at your own pace to discover Cinnamon, Little Cinnamon and Maho Bays later in the day, then spend your evening lounging on Hawksnest Beach before heading home for the day.
But it’s not all about combing the island’s various beaches, there is much more to do for those seeking more of an adventure! On the far east side of the island is a bay called Coral Bay. It’s remote, lush and beautiful, and decidedly off the beaten path. Having lunch at Skinny Legs and enjoy being away from it all in this remote, unique restaurant. Also remember that fully two thirds of the island of St. John has been designated as a national park and is protected. For this reason, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better snorkeling experience anywhere. Watermelon Cay, on the way up to Coral Bay, for instance, offers you pristine reefs teeming with undersea life. Expect to see stingrays, lobsters, sea turtles, and a staggering variety of brilliantly colored tropical fish. You won’t want to leave!
As your charter Captain continues to take you around the island, you’ll keep uncovering hidden treasures at every turn, and when you tour the south side of the island you’ll want to make sure to stop in and spend time exploring both Lameshur and Salt Pond Bays. Check that your camera’s batteries are fully charged, because you’ll want to take hundreds of pictures while on your chartered cruise to capture as much of the island’s hidden beauty as you possibly can.
It’s hard to settle on a single “best” feature of the Island of St. John, or of a day spent cruising around it and exploring. Many would likely choose the snorkeling, which really is world class, but another thing that will simply leave you breathless is the land itself. It is pristine. Acres and acres of untouched, lush, green tropical paradise. When viewed from your gently rocking boat moored just off shore, you feel as though you are peering straight into Eden itself. It is simply unforgettable.