St. Thomas – US Virgin Islands--Welcome Aboard
The Virgin Islands have lured more foreign nations over the centuries than any other territory in history. Settlements date back to 1500BC and there is evidence that people lived here even 1000 years earlier than that. The capital, Charlotte Amalie, today is a haven for shoppers but once was a pirate sanctuary. During WWI the United States feared that the perfect port area of St. Thomas might become a dangerous base for German forces. So, the United States bought the Virgin Islands for $25 million in gold! St. Thomas eventually became a tourist mecca and more than 1.7 million cruise ship guests visited here in 2008 alone to enjoy the duty free shopping, pristine beaches and friendly locals.
St. Thomas is just 40 miles east of Puerto Rico. The island is slightly smaller than Tortola with only 32 square miles of beautiful tropical paradise, but it has almost three times the population! We have been here many times, it seems like every cruise ship stops at St. Thomas at one point or another on their itinerary. We have been in port when there are 6 or 7 ships docked in the harbor and it can get very crowded in the downtown shopping area, with taxis and tourists. Today, the Caribbean Princess is one of only two ships docked…so a lucky day for us!
You can get married or have your vows renewed right on the beach if that has been one of your romantic fantasies, as you can at so many of the islands here in the Caribbean, thru one of the beautiful hotels on the islands. The beautiful beaches seem endless with crystal clear water teeming with tropical fish and there are colorful flowers and lush greenery all over the island. St.Thomas is a wonderland - whether you are a beach bum or a shopaholic or a camera addict, there is something for every kind of vacationer here.
Dave Berry shares his Photography Tips at Computer School for Seniors (www.cs4seniors.com).