|Its all about ships
CRUISING TO THE CARIBBEAN
St. Thomas is one of the most popular cruise destinations in the
Caribbean. It is known primarily for its duty-free shopping and for
its beaches. 1.5 million cruise ship passengers visit St. Thomas
This island along with St. John, St. Croix and 65 smaller islands
makes up the United States Virgin Islands, which is an organized
unincorporated territory of the United States. Residents are United
States citizens and the U.S. dollar is the currency.
Tourism is the largest component of the island’s economy.
Accordingly, the island is well-developed for tourism.
Charlotte Amalie is the capital and urban center. It sprawls around
a fine natural harbor on the south side of the island. In addition to
cruise ships, the bay is usually populated by numerous sail boats and
St. Thomas is volcanic in origin. Vegetation-covered hills rise up
abruptly a short distance from the sea.
Although the island was under Danish rule for centuries, everyone
St. Thomas enjoys summer-like weather all year round with
temperatures ranging from 73 to 89 degrees Fahrenheit. The island
does not receive much rain but brief tropical showers are not
uncommon, particularly in May and August through November. It is
in the hurricane belt. Such storms are most likely in August and
September although the season officially is from June through
Above: The Legislature Building built in the 1870s is the
home of the Senate of the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Below: Government House, built in the 1860s, is the
administrative headquarters for the USVI.
Downtown Charlotte Amalie is
commercially-oriented but it also
contains places of architectural or
cultural significance. Alleys run
past picturesque colonial
warehouses that have been
converted into shops, residences
and cafés. When cruise ships are
in port, this is a very busy area.
Cruise destination guide - - St. Thomas - - home page
Iguanas (left) are a common
sight in St. Thomas even in
Charlotte Amalie. Outside of
town, the island is covered with
Charlotte Amalie has several historic religious sites
including the Dutch Reformed Protestant Church (1844)
(above) and the Frederick Lutheran Church built in 1820
(right). Indeed, the St. Thomas Synagogue (Beracha
Veshalom Vegmiluth Hasidim) built in 1833 is the oldest
synagogue in continuous use under the American flag.
Emancipation Park memorializes the abolition of slavery
on the island in 1848 (right).