Hot Spots to Island Hop

This girl is walking through the boulders at the Baths in Virgin Gorda in the sunlight and through the aqua water
Weaving and wandering your way through the boulders at the Baths in Virgin Gorda is super fun!

Ocean Runner makes island hopping a recreational activity accessible to all. We are right in the middle of one of the most spectacular archipelagos in the world, and we want to you to see all there is to see! One of the first things your captain will ask is,”What is on your ‘wish list’ for the day?” From there, he or she will be able to plan your perfect island hopping experience aboard one of our fast powerboats.

More than the splendid villas, delicious food and speciality drinks, Ocean Runner knows that our geography makes us a top vacation destination. For perspective, the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) and British Virgin Islands (BVI) combined cover around 192 square miles and include close to a 100 islands! Each island has its own unique draw, whether it is a pristine beach, fringing reef, sea-level cave, or a famous beach bar. So, after booking your boat trip, it is good to get a sense of our geography. That way, you’ll have an idea of what is possible on a one, two or three-day boat trip.

In brief, the U.S. Virgin Islands were formed around 40 million years ago when two of the Earth’s tectonic plates collided. The Caribbean plate was forced under the Atlantic plate, and the friction caused immense heat. Magma poured out deep beneath the sea. Over time, the magma, along with volcanic rocks, spewed out, and eventually cooled off above sea level. These rocks make the islands you see peaking out of the super blue Caribbean Sea today!

The distance between all of the islands varies greatly, despite their small size. Your Ocean Runner captain knows the distances between the islands and will be able to advise you on the time it will take to get to each hot spot, depending on the current wind and weather conditions. For example, the uninhabited and pristine island of Mingo (USVI) is less than two miles from St. John. The Baths on Virgin Gorda (BVI), however, are located about 35 miles from St. John. If visiting Jost Van Dyke in the BVI’s (about 7 miles from northern shores of St. John) is at the top of your ‘wish list’, then a stop at Mingo Cay would be perfect! If a day at The Baths is the top of your wish list, then we might suggest lunch at Norman Island (BVI), which is along your route between St. John and the Baths.

Imagine this, if sea level were to drop about 30 meters, you would be able to walk from Puerto Rico to St. Thomas! This is because St. Thomas, St. John, and the British Virgin islands, are on a shallow bank of land to the east of Puerto Rico. To the east and to the west of the Virgin Islands, there are deep trenches and underwater canyons. In fact, did you know that the second deepest trench in the world is just off the coast of Puerto Rico? This is why we have great fishing several miles out from St. John where the sea floor drops down to the Atlantic Ocean basin.

St. John has white sandy beaches lined with palm trees and rimmed with green hills, this photo shows Caneel Bay and Hawksnest Bay
St. John has the top-rated beaches in the world, and there is no better way to find your private beach spot than by boat!

Now, when you are flying into St. Thomas and looking down at the beautiful Caribbean blue waters speckled with islands, you know how it all came to be! Always remember when you start your planning, you came to St. John for a reason. It is one of the top-ranked vacation spots in the world! So, don’t miss out on what you came to enjoy and book your boat trip with Ocean Runner today! St. John (20 square miles) is almost the same size as Manhattan (25 square miles). Instead of skyscrapers and Broadway, we have dozens of secluded coves, pristine beaches and coral reefs to explore! So, you could follow the mantra that ‘less is more’ when it comes to traveling and let us take you to our favorite local spots around St. John and the Virgin Islands National Park!

We can’t wait to make your dream vacation day on the water come true! Check out our interactive map on the homepage and on the Virgin Islands National Park website for more ideas. You can also visit our Q & A page to get answers to the most common questions our guests ask us, or read reviews from our guests on Trip Advisor. See you soon!

 

  • “Lobsters, Snorkeling and Cliff Jumping..oh my!” "We spent a glorious day with Captain Morgan! This was our first trip to the area and he managed to cram in a ton of activities and sights while still allowing us to just relax and take a slow, chill vacation day. There were 4 of us--two adults and our young adult children. He picked us up from St. Thomas and took the time to figure out what we wanted--rather than just taking us to a standard cookie cutter list of places. Over the course of the day we snorkeled and swam on quiet beaches, ate freshly cooked lobster at Sidney's, explored the area and capped off the afternoon with a leap off of a 40 foot cliff into the deep blue sea. Pure perfection. Morgan was friendly and fun. Would recommend to anyone looking for a relaxing day on the water!"    
    David C
  • "Our family of four spent the day with Jeremy as our Captain. He let us pick our day along with some of his suggestions. We ended up snorkeling at the Norman Island Caves and The Indians. Had a fabulous lunch at Pirates Bight , drinks and jumps at Willy T and finally spent some time at Jost Van Dyke and the beach . Jeremy was professional, friendly and we always felt safe. Would definitely recommend Ocean Runner for anyone looking for a day on the water." Visited July 2015
    Debbie S
  • "What an experience. Took a trip to the British VI's to see the Bath's, Caves at Norman Island and Jost Van Dyke. Hired Ocean Runner to take us there for a full day trip. Captain Tom Larson took care of us like we were his own family. He was so knowledgeable when it came to the history of the islands surrounding St. John and the BVI's. Highly recommend Captain Larson and Ocean Runner for your excursions out of St. John."
    John S
  • "The boat we rented from Ocean Runner was well-maintained, the staff were courteous and obviously experienced, and the advice and service excellent!  We would strongly recommend OR to anyone seeking a powerboat rental while visiting St John."
    Dana - Nashville
  • "We have used Ocean Runner quite a few times during our family vacations and always have had a wonderful day. Last year we had a larger group and had to use another company. The difference was obvious from the get-go. Of course we enjoyed the day - it's impossible not to - but the overall experience was not up to what we have enjoyed with Ocean Runner."
    Janet - Massachusetts