St. John is just a short ferry ride from St. Thomas
, but it's like entering another world--one that is quieter, slower, and more rural. This is because about 2/3 of St. John is protected as a national park. In addition, although the small island is about the size of Manhattan, but only has about 4,000 residents. One of the nicest resorts in the Virgin Islands, Caneel Bay Resort, is on St. John.
Although large cruise ships dock in nearby St. Thomas, many often include shore excursions to St. John. These excursions start with a boat ride across the sound to St. John, and are followed by a safari truck ride around the island. Other common shore excursions to St. John are more active, and include snorkeling, sailing, hiking, or biking. Trunk Bay, one of the prettiest bays in the Caribbean, even has a marked underwater snorkeling trail.
Sailing ships like the Arabella or smaller cruise ships like the Azamara Journey anchor in Caneel or Cruz Bay of St. John, and guests can go ashore in the dinghy.