­čĄ┐ The 5 Best St. Thomas Snorkeling Tours [2023 Reviews]

Lounging on a pristine, white sand beach with the breeze blowing through your hair, a margarita in-hand, and some faint sounds of a ukelele in the background is definitely an appealing scene to many.

St. Thomas is known for being one of the top destinations for exactly that, but did you know it’s also one of the most popular snorkeling destinations in the world?

Thanks to its crystal-clear water, impressive barrier coral reefs, and varied sea life, this colorful place is ideal if you’re looking to explore under the surface, too!

While you could certainly go out on your own, we highly recommend taking one of these top St. Thomas snorkeling tours with professional guides who’ll show you all those hidden gems most don’t get to see. Let’s jump right in! Be sure to see our St. Thomas sunset cruises as well.

Best Snorkel Tours in St. Thomas

Snorkel St. John Tour from Sapphire and MargaritavilleTurtle Cove Catamaran Snorkel & Sail Adventure at Little Buck Island St. ThomasSt John & Surrounding Cays Full-Day Sail and Snorkel Experiences Semi-Private

Best Full Day Snorkel Tour

Best Budget Snorkel Tour

Best Semi-Private Tour

editors choice
Departure:6080 Smith Bay Rd, Frydendal, St ThomasMarriott Frenchman's Cove Dock, 7338 Estate Bakkeroe Charlotte Amalie6720 Smith Bay Rd, Smith Bay, St Thomas
Start:9:00 AM1:00 PM9:00 AM
Duration:6 hours3 hours7 hours
Includes:Beverages, Breakfast, Lunch, Unlimited drinks (open bar), Snacks, Bottled water, All snorkeling gear Snacks, Unlimited Drinks (alcoholic beverages after in-water activities), Local guide, All snorkeling equipment (mask, snorkel, snorkel vest, fins) Lunch, Alcoholic Beverages, Snacks, Bottled water, Soda, All Snorkeling equipment

Tour Information & Booking

Tour Information & Booking

Tour Information & Booking


Quick Answer: The 5 Best Rated St. Thomas Snorkeling Tours For 2023

  1. Snorkel St. John Tour from Sapphire and Margaritaville
  2. Turtle Cove Catamaran Snorkel & Sail Adventure at Little Buck Island St. Thomas
  3. St John & Surrounding Cays Full-Day Sail and Snorkel Experiences Semi-Private
  4. Snorkel & Swim with Turtles. Semi Private Tour to Buck Island & Honeymoon Beach
  5. Snorkel Cat Adventure

St. Thomas Snorkeling Tour Reviews

1. Snorkel St. John Tour from Sapphire and Margaritaville

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 6 hours
  • Departure: 6080 Smith Bay Rd, Frydendal, St Thomas
  • Departure Time: 9:00 am
  • Includes: Beverages, Breakfast, Lunch, Unlimited drinks (open bar), Snacks, Bottled water

Let’s start things off on the right fin with the Snorkel St. John Tour from Sapphire and Margaritaville. St. John is like the quieter, smaller brother of St. Thomas and is covered in thick tropical forests and seemingly endless beaches.

If you really want to access that “rugged” or “authentic” Virgin Islands experience that feels like a blast from the past, then this is a fantastic option for you.

This 6-hour tour kicks off in the morning so you get to take advantage of the entire day, with a delicious breakfast seved to you onboard. After fueling up on delicious food and coffee aboard the large powerboat, you’ll get some time to simply hang out on board with the captain and crew.

These guys are all so funny, friendly, and very knowledgeable about the area’s wildlife, the best snorkeling spots, and are full of great tips – they literally taught some guests how to snorkel and even swim!

Based on weather conditions and specific interests of the guests on board, the captain will decide which will be the best bays to visit that day. However, the stops will 100% be between Maho Bay, Honeymoon Bay, Waterlemon Cay, Cinnamon Bay, and Leinster Bay.

If it’s your first time snorkeling, we can’t think of a better way to learn! Not only that, but everyone will be able to tour through an uninhabited Caribbean island, which is an unreal experience in itself!

The crew will offer you a picnic lunch as well for you to enjoy while soaking in the natural beauty all around you. Back on board, you have an unlimited open bar, all kinds of snacks, and of course, all necessary equipment to make sure you have a great time.

More Information & Tour Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


2. Turtle Cove Catamaran Snorkel & Sail Adventure at Little Buck Island St. Thomas

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Departure: Marriott Frenchman’s Cove Dock, 7338 Estate Bakkeroe Charlotte Amalie
  • Departure Time: 1:00 pm
  • Includes: Snacks, Unlimited Drinks (alcoholic beverages after in-water activities), Local guide, Use of snorkeling equipment (mask, snorkel, snorkel vest, fins)

Next up, we bring you the Turtle Cove Catamaran Snorkel & Sail Adventure at Little Buck Island St. Thomas Tour! If you want to swim with some amazing sea turtles, these are some of the best places in the world for it!

Little Buck Island boasts idyllic blue waters, along with some of the most important beaches for nesting sea turtles! This 3-hour sailing excursion will give you a different perspective of the Virgin Islands, showing you some hidden gems that some locals don’t even know about!

It may be relatively brief, but it’s packed full of adventure, exploration, knowledge, and a whole lot of fun! Due to the start time being at 1 pm, it’s easy to fit into your schedule if you have plans in the morning.

Hop onboard a 54-foot catamaran with plenty of space to stretch out, relax, and of course, enjoy the expansive views of rich flora and fauna. Meet the friendly captain and crew who are there to make sure your time is a blast, while answering any questions you may have about your environment.

You’ll depart from Frenchman’s Cove and head to the calm, warm waters of Little Buck Island National Wildlife Refuge. Once here, you’ll be fitted with top-notch snorkeling gear and get into the water to paddle around with the vibrant marine life.

If you have never snorkeled before, these guys are incredibly helpful and will be there for you the entire time. You can also hang out onboard, with tons of tasty snacks, festive music and an unlimited open bar that everyone seems to enjoy!

More Information & Tour Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


3. St John & Surrounding Cays Full-Day Sail and Snorkel Experiences Semi-Private

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 7 hours
  • Departure: 6720 Smith Bay Rd, Smith Bay, St Thomas
  • Departure Time: 9:00 am
  • Includes: Lunch, Alcoholic Beverages, Snacks, Bottled water, Use of Snorkeling equipment, Soda/Pop

You know, it’s hard not to have a good time when in the US Virgin Islands, but if you really want to elevate your experience we recommend a private or semi-private tour.

With our next tour, only a maximum group size of six passengers is allowed in order to create an intimate experience in a perfectly picturesque location. If that sounds up your alley, check out the St. John & Surrounding Cays Full-Day Sail and Snorkel Experiences Semi-Private Tour!

Meet your captain and crew in the morning, where you’ll board a spacious boat and head out to some of the USVI’s most beautiful locations for swimming and snorkeling with marine life.

The itinerary worked out great – as we started so early, we were able to essentially avoid the big cruise ship traffic and ended up being one of the few boats out on the water! As you head out to St. John National Park, you’ll get to enjoy the landscapes along with an open bar and snacks!

The exact stop you make in the morning will depend on the weather conditions, though you can tell that the captain and crew know the area very well and make smart decisions. After the first snorkeling stop, you’ll have a break to have a delicious, fresh-grilled lunch.

While the menu isn’t always the same, lunch usually involves some form of grilled chicken, freshly-prepped pasta salad, and fresh fruit.

After filling up, you’ll then head out to another gorgeous stop for more some swimming, snorkeling, or soaking up the rays on the beaches. The staff was great at constantly keeping us entertained, from nice conversation, to anecdotes and interesting history lessons on the area.

The coral and turtles were were able to see were absolutely remarkable, and sipping on Rusty’s specialty “Pain Killer” drink just sealed the deal for us.

More Information & Tour Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


4. Snorkel & Swim with Turtles. Semi Private Tour to Buck Island & Honeymoon Beach

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Departure: Yacht Haven Grande, St Thomas
  • Departure Time: 9:00 am, 2:00 pm
  • Includes: Use of Snorkeling equipment, Soda/Pop, Bottled water, Alcoholic Beverages
If the previous tour sounds like a ton of fun, but you don’t want to be out on the water all day long, we have just the tour for you. The Snorkel & Swim with Turtles Semi-Private Tour to Buck Island & Honeymoon Beach is exactly what you’re looking for!

It includes a max of just 12 participants and lasts 4 hours so you get to explore the surrounding islands and their clear waters without it taking up your entire day.

The vessel does depend on availability, but you can count on your boat either being an MV Sea Wolf, 45′ power Naval Cat complete with custom seating, a 2019 36′ Twin Vee power Ocean Cat, or their 31′ Wellcraft powerboat.

All of them are very well-maintained, smooth, spacious, and are perfect for navigating around the islands with ease. No need to worry about crowds like you would with so many other tours – the captain and crew give everyone all the attention they need!

First arrive to Turtle Cove/Buck Island, where you’ll don your included snorkeling equipment and head into the warm waters to explore the fascinating coral reefs teeming with neon-colored fish like parrotfish, squirrelfish, parrotfish, and more (we even saw manta rays, turtles, and squid!).

If you need assistance or have never snorkeled before, the crew is really great at teaching and making sure everyone stays safe. After snorkeling around, head back on board for a cold beer, soft drinks, bottled water, and/or some snacks.

After, head over to the Honeymoon Beach/Water Island which is actually sitting in the prestigious #1 best beach on TripAdvisor! Here, you’ll lounge on white sand beaches overlooking crystal-clear waters or go to the world-famous Dinghy’s Beach Bar known for their legendary Pain Killer cocktails!

This is a tour we’d highly recommend to anyone – from the beautiful boat, to the knowledgeable crew, to the beautiful scenery – it’s hard to beat.

More Information & Tour Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


5. Snorkel Cat Adventure

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 5 hours
  • Departure: 6080 Smith Bay Rd, Frydendal, St Thomas
  • Departure Time: 10:30 am
  • Includes: Alcoholic Beverages, Lunch, Soda/Pop, Breakfast, Snacks, Use of Snorkeling equipment
While the “Snorkel Cat Adventure” didn’t include any felines like we would’ve hoped to have seen, it’s still some of the most fun you can have around the USVIs.

If you’re looking for the perfect balance of leisure time and excitement, this 5-hour tour is an excellent option. Just like with the other tours we’ve covered today, this option features professional and friendly captain and crew, amazing views, and delicious food!

Not to brag, but you’ll feel like a million bucks riding on what is easily the nicest catamaran on the water with the crew working tirelessly to bring you a great time. From the moment we boarded, everyone really went above and beyond to ensure a seamless experience with attention to detail and a fun attitude.

While you’re sailing to your first location, you’ll be served a tasty breakfast (veggie and vegan options available as well) with plenty of juice and coffee to keep you amped up!

Once you arrive to your first snorkel spot, you’ll don all of the included snorkeling equipment and head into the water! The crew is great at offering instruction and making sure everyone is comfortable while in the water.

They’ll also point out various wildlife and offer educational commentary about the different types of fish and coral you come across. Back on board as you head to the second snorkeling location, you’ll be served a hearty lunch as well as unlimited soft drinks and an open bar!

We loved being able to spend some time in the famous Margaritaville, which is a great opportunity if you’re not actually staying there. This way, you get a taste to see if you like it (you’ll love it), and can go back for more if you want without the commitment!

More Information & Tour Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


What Will I See on a St. Thomas Snorkeling Tour?

st thomas snorkeling guide

The first thing you will see are colorful coral reefs that provide a home for an wide variety of marine life. The reefs are a full of colors and textures, with soft, waving sea fans and delicate, branching coral. If you look close, you will see small schools of colorful tropical fish darting in and out of crevices.

There is much more than the coral reefs that will amaze you. The clear waters have excellent visibility so you’ll be able to see all types of marine life. There is a good chance you will spot a majestic sea turtle gracefully gliding by.

Dolphins playing and jumping in the distance a common sight. Keep a sharp eye out for stingrays and eagle rays. Their huge wings flapping gracefully as they glide over the sandy seabed in search of food.

If you have good eyesight, there are tiny seahorses with their intricate patterns and delicate movements that are seen by some lucky snorkelers. You might also see spiny lobsters and octopuses hiding in the crevices and caves. They are very shy, so don’t make any sudden movements and they may come out.

The highlight of the day would be seeing one of the most majestic creatures in the ocean, the giant humpback whale. These incredible creatures migrate to the waters around St. Thomas every year in the winter. If you happen to see one you will never forget it!

Tips For Your St Thomas Snorkeling Tour

  1. Use quality equipment – Your tour operator will provide you with snorkel gear but you must make sure it fits properly. Especially the mask. A leaky mask will be extremely annoying! Make sure the fins are not too loose or tight. Bad fitting fins will blister your feet.
  2. Practice in shallow water – Before heading out to deep water be sure to spend some time getting comfortable. Practice breathing through your snorkel, diving down and clearing your snorkel and mask.
  3. Be aware of your surroundings – Keep an eye on the tour guide and other snorkelers in your group. Especially keep an eye out for boats or other watercraft. Stay away from areas with strong currents or waves, your guide should steer you away from them to keep you safe.
  4. Don’t touch corral or marine life – We know it’s tempting to reach out and touch the colorful fish and coral but remember that this will harm the delicate coral. Don’t disturb marine life and always give them plenty of room!
  5. Stay hydrated, protect yourself from the sun – Snorkeling can be a physically demanding activity so drink plenty of water. The sun in St Thomas can be intense, wear water-resistant sunscreen.
  6. Know your limits – When you start to feel tired, it’s time to head back to the boat. Don’t push yourself! It’s supposed to be a relaxing adventure. If you are having any problems, be sure to tell your snorkel guide!
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The Snorkel St. John Tour from Sapphire and Margaritaville is our Editors Choice for the best St Thomas snorkeling tour

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