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Exploring St.Thomas

  • St. Thomas is the busiest cruise ship port and duty-free shopping haven in all of the Caribbean. On some days, up to 8 cruise ships may be docked at Havensight Cruise Terminal (which is, incidentally, just a few steps from the Havensight Mall, if you don't want to have to go too far!). Certainly, while enjoying the U.S. Virgin Islands, you will have no trouble with the language or currency, as well as making phone calls home.

    St. Thomas was originally colonized by Denmark in the late 1600s, and they operated sugar plantations and a thriving slave market out of the thriving seaport. When slavery was abolished in the mid 1800s the economy crashed, and not long afterwards, Denmark happily handed the islands over to the U.S. for $25 million in 1917. In 1956, Laurence Rockefeller donated 5,000 acres on St. John to create the Virgin Islands National Park, a spectacular natural preserve.

    Your cruise ship will dock just outside of Charlotte Amalie, the capital of the U.S.Virgin Islands. From here you can catch a ferry to St. John if you would like to spend the day there. Be aware that you really won't have time to enjoy both islands much on a cruise stop without missing the boat! There is plenty of shopping near the pier, or you can take a taxi to downtown Charlotte Amalie, or to the other destinations on the island. The nearest beach is Morningstar Beach, but just a bit further away is the famous Maagens Bay and Coki Beach, where you will also find the Coral World Marine Park. Strolling around Charlotte Amalie is a treat - there are many brick staircases connecting the steep streets, fabulous duty-free shopping, and lovely architecture and streets with Danish names. If you decide to take a ferry to St. John, you can't miss with a visit to either Trunks Bay - with its underwater marked snorkeling trail - or the beautiful Cinnamon Bay. The port town of Cruz Bay on St. John also has a number of shops and restaurants, as well as the visitor's center of the Virgin Islands National Park