Royal Holiday Cruises offers its more than 100,000 members trips to some of the world’s most beautiful places in South America, Alaska and Western Canada, and the Caribbean. When you board a Royal Holiday Cruises ship to St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, you will land on a rocky, 32-square-mile island formed from volcanic rock and containing beautiful white sandy beaches. And if you love water sports, St. Thomas is filled with ideal locations for swimming, sailing, diving, kayaking, and snorkeling. Royal Holiday Cruises visitors can also enjoy an excellent golf course, an exciting after-dark social scene, and the Skyride 700, a tram ride to a spectacular viewing station at Paradise Point, 700 feet above sea level. From here, gaze at breathtaking views of the ships docked at harbor, the capital city of Charlotte Amalie, and other areas of the island.
In addition to natural beauty and outdoor adventures, St. Thomas offers Royal Holiday Cruises travelers the opportunity to enjoy first-rate shopping at any of the numerous duty-free shops clustered near the port of Havensight, in Charlotte Amalie, and beyond. Merchants offer carefully curated designer items, often at excellent bargains, from around the world. Some of the best buys include clothing, perfumes, watches and jewelry, fine liquor, artwork, and decorative crystal pieces.
Food is another highlight of any Royal Holiday Cruises trip to the Virgin Islands. While St. Thomas offers plenty of American-style outlets to please those looking for a taste of home, you’ll want to sample some of the local cuisine as well. Cruzan Rum, distilled on neighboring St. Croix, is a signature beverage, and each of the islands is known for local flavors of rum. Sea moss, a drink made by boiling seaweed and adding spices and milk, is another favorite, as are coconut water, passionfruit juice, and pumpkin juice.
When you sail with Royal Holiday Cruises to the Caribbean, you will learn that the region’s cuisines draw from a rich mixture of indigenous, African, and European cultures, and that St. Thomas is no exception. Try callaloo soup, made from the dasheen plant with the addition of meat or seafood, okra, and herbs. Dishes often feature curry, a local favorite. Saltfish is another favorite that is frequently served with plantains, cassava, yams, or lentils.
On St. Thomas, Royal Holiday Cruises travelers can explore Blackbeard’s Castle, originally constructed as a watchtower in the 17th century, and now the point of origin for several historical walking tours of the island. The castle houses a large collection of life-size copper sculptures of pirates. After your tour, relax to the sound of waterfalls in the botanical gardens in the Kongens Quarter. Get a fantastic view of the island from the top of Charlotte Amalie’s famed 99 steps (in reality, 103 steps). One of the city’s frigangs (Danish for “step-streets”), the 99 steps are lined with flowers and make a colorful subject for photographs. Your Royal Holiday Cruises trip to St. Thomas can also lead you to the birthplace and childhood home of French Impressionist master Camille Pissarro, and to the historic Fort Christian, completed in 1680 and now the oldest structure in the Virgin Islands.