Ferry to St John; Minivan okay on StJ?

Old Jun 14th, 2001, 08:55 PM
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Ferry to St John; Minivan okay on StJ?

We're going to St John next week, and have two questions that we hope people can help with... One, a question about the car ferry (the "barge", as I've heard it referred to) from StT to StJ. Where does it leave from? (I'm guessing Red Hook, and am guessing that it's not the regular passenger ferry). Does it run roughly on time? Where can one find a schedule?
Two: Would a minivan suffice on StJ, or would an SUV/Jeep be necessary? We don't think we're going to make it to the very remotest beaches, but can one get around without 4-wheel drive?
Basically, we're tempted by the idea of renting a minivan on St Thomas, and not having to do the taxi/ferry/taxi load/unload between airport and villa (there are two kids aged 1.5 and 2.5 years in the party).
All advice eagerly welcomed. And would be happy to answer questions after we return on the 26th.
Old Jun 15th, 2001, 08:43 AM
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I do not know aboutcar ferry but we have taken several trips and have always taken a cab to Red Hook then the regular ferry over to Cruz bay where you can rent a car. The ferry runs every hour. You do not need to have a 4 wheel drive on St. John roads are fine (drive on the left) to all the beachs and I would reccommend that you visiy as many different beachs as possible as they are all some what different , and if you are snorkeling or diving then you absoulutly should do so. Any other info send me an e-mail. By the way just returned from a week in Cozumel and all agreed they prefered St John.
Old Jun 15th, 2001, 09:33 AM
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I would recommend against the car ferry idea: expensive, not many crossings, overall hassle (especially if your point was to reduce hassle). It does leave from Red Hook. It is so easy to hop in a taxi/van to either ferry. We usually try to take the Downtown Ferry which is a 10 min taxi ride and 40 min boat ride, vs. a 20-30 taxi to a 20 min boat ride for Red Hook. The car rental places are right near the ferry dock on St. John. They have bigger vehicles (maybe even mini vans). I really don't think you need 4WD either - unless the place you are staying is on a steep, dirt road (which it might...). Most of the main roads are well paved. We have used "Hospitality", "St. John's", "Penn's", and "Courtesy" car rental agencies in the past - all with good vehicles. Check out the www.stjohnusvi.com website for phone numbers. Have Fun!!
Old Jun 15th, 2001, 11:10 AM
Ray Snow
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Hi Sunjay,

We always rent a car on St. Thomas and then another car on St. John when we stay there. But you may decide that you want to use the car ferry to St. John. Only a few rental companies on St. Thomas allow their vehicles to be taken to St. John. I know that Budget and Discount both do, but you should check with your rental comapny to be sure. Information and schedules for both the car ferries and the passenger ferries can be found at http://www.st-thomas.com/week/ferries.html.

Old Jun 17th, 2001, 08:55 PM
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Thanks, all of you! We decided to rent a minivan - glad to hear that we can make it to most of the beaches in that. Most of the places I called on StJ seem to be out of the large 4-wheel drives, so it's heartening that you all think we don't need it. (Our villa is on Gift Hill, and the road to it is reported to be minivan-able). We think we're going to bite the bullet and try the car ferry (thanks for the link to the schedule, Ray). We're renting from Dependable. Glad to hear that StJ scores over Cozumel - now if only they had cheap air fares to the USVI...
Thanks for all your help, folks.
Old Jun 18th, 2001, 06:54 AM
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An important note is that if you buy the round trip ticket from one service, you will have to return on that same service. Sometimes they do honor each others tickets and sometimes they do not - just depends on how crowded the ferry is or who is working! It is easy to do but do back into line since you will be backing onto the barge!
Old Jun 20th, 2001, 05:48 PM
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Hi Sanjay!

Good heavens, you sure don't need 4WD in St. Thomas! We had a very anemic little rental car, and we buzzed right up over the highest peak - we were taking the most direct route from our hotel to Magen's Bay on the other side!!

The roads are all well paved and maintained. They get a little windy, and you have to remember to drive on the left side.

All in all, their roads are much better than our hilly dirt roads here in upstate New York!

Have fun!

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