The anchorages on St John:
Caneel Bay is located on the northwestern side of St John island in the Caribbean – one of the three main islands in the United States Virgin Islands. The peninsula spans an area of 170 acres and includes 7 incredible beaches.
A small bay with 20 mooring balls that is well protected from the winds. You can dinghy to Cruz Bay or walk around and explore the beaches. Tends to get very full so it is best to arrive early in the day if you want a spot for overnight. The bottom is mostly sand and anchoring is forbidden. The area can be very busy and during the day the roll from the ferries can be uncomfortable.
You will not find any marinas on the island of St John but there are plenty of public moorings and anchorages around its magnificent coastline. Since Caneel Bay Resort closed, there are fewer amenities available for visitors. However, it is only a 10min drive or 40-minute walk to the main town of Cruz Bay with plenty of options for shopping and dining.
If the name sounds familiar, it is because of Caneel Bay Resort, the island’s premiere hotel and former sugar plantation. It was once owned by LS Rockefeller who bought St John in 1954 and donated most of the land to the National Park Service. The resort enjoys tax-free and rent-free status under a unique agreement and follows environmentally friendly practices. After Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017, it suffered extensive damages and has yet to reopen. The current plans seek to rebuild a sustainable resort that will provide jobs to the local population and highlight the natural beauty of the area but it is uncertain whether the resort will be rebuilt.
Things to Do
There is no better way to explore this area of Caneel Bay than from the water. Yacht charters will be instantly drawn to this location for its peaceful setting, lush vegetation and tranquil waters.
Dinner at Zozo’s
The stunning Zozo’s Restaurant is the ultimate spot to enjoy a glorious meal with the best sunset view. It is only part of the resort still operating serving a four-course meal on the terrace. Reservations are booked months in advance.
Kayak & Snorkelling
The area is very popular for kayak and snorkelling tours where you get to explore the treasures of Caneel Bay and Henley Cay in the heart of the Virgin Islands National Park. It is ideal for beginner or more experienced snorkellers with plenty to see including coral, sea life, Caribbean fish and of course, turtles!