The island of St. Thomas has been inhabited since approximately 1500 BC, when pre-Columbian indigenous peoples called the Ciboney first settled here. Nowadays, if you’re going on a Caribbean cruise, chances are that it will make a stop at St. Thomas. Between phenomenal duty-free shopping and a slew of sumptuously gorgeous beaches, St. Thomas is a natural choice for anyone who wants to see what all the fuss is about in this part of the world. If your cruise ship will be docking there, consider yourself lucky and get busy exploring this intriguing place.
Sightseeing & Things To Do
With its colorful local history and mesmerizing beaches, St. Thomas is a cruise goer’s dream come true. When you add in its ample duty-free shopping, there is truly nothing not to like about this charming Caribbean locale. Whether you’re looking for the quintessential Caribbean experience – or if you just want to luxuriate in a place that is unlike any other – St. Thomas is a prime spot to do so. Whatever you do, don’t sit this one out; make sure to get off the ship and get better acquainted with this idyllic place.
St. Thomas offers a bounty of exceptional things for visitors to do. Try to include at least one of these attractions in your visit:
Considered by many to be one of the most scenic beaches in the entire Caribbean, Magens Bay is a prime destination for anyone who wants to soak up some sun while in St. Thomas. An on-site cafeteria and bar also sweeten the deal.
Get a healthy dose of history and culture by swinging by Fort Christian. This Danish fort was built during the mid-1600s and is one of the most popular historical attractions in St. Thomas. Don’t forget to check out the excellent panoramic views of the bay from the top.
If you’re traveling with children, a stop by Coral World is imperative. This ocean park brings the majesty of the sea to you in vibrant, living color. Several kinds of marine life are on display here, and the Undersea Observatory is something that you won’t soon forget. Coral World is an especially great option for those who either can’t scuba dive, or who simply don’t have the time.
Thanks to the topnotch duty free shopping on St. Thomas, there is an overabundance of places to spend money while here. If you don’t want to venture too far from the ship, you could try out Yacht Haven Grande for some centralized and unique shopping experiences. Havensight’s downtown area boasts several excellent shops and stands, too, where you should have no problem whatsoever tracking down just the right thing – whatever it may be.
Best Souvenir To Bring Back To the Cruise Ship
Colorful gemstones are excellent items to bring back to the ship as souvenirs. Since St. Thomas is such a shopping mecca, it is easy to find truly stunning gems to use as souvenirs amid the many shops and kiosks.
Eating – Sample the Local Cuisine
French influences are quite strong in St. Thomas, and one of the best dishes to try while here is fresh bouillabaisse. Bouillabaisse is a fish stew that uses several key spices and special ingredients to attain a truly spectacular taste. You can find this signature dish at restaurants and other dining establishments throughout St. Thomas. Depending on where you go, you could spend a lot – or very little – on it. Although it can be eaten as an appetizer, it makes a wonderful meal in and of itself.
When, Where, and How
When To Go
The weather in St. Thomas is generally quite good. Most people end up visiting the island during the winter months, in order to escape cold northern temperatures. If you want to avoid massive throngs of people, then, summertime is the optimal time to be in St. Thomas. Whether it’s spring, summer, winter or fall, though, St. Thomas is a wonderful place to be year round.
Where You’re Docked
Cruise ships dock in St. Thomas at either the dock in Havensight, or the port facility at Crown Bay. Rarely, a ship may have to be anchored in the harbor and passengers will need to be tendered into Charlotte Amalie.
Which Cruise Ships Go Here?
The vast majority of the major cruise lines have itineraries that feature stops at St. Thomas. A few examples of the main cruise lines that stop in St. Thomas are P & O Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Princess Cruise Line and Celebrity Cruises. However, there are plenty of other options available in terms of dates, ships, days in port and at sea when it comes to St. Thomas.