Costa Cruises Returns to St. Thomas
PHOTO: The beautiful island of St. Thomas (Photo by Brian Major)
Over the last 15 years, many ships suspended trips to the U.S. Virgin Islands because of challenging American customs regulations. That started to come to a halt just a few weeks ago when Costa Cruises docked in St. Thomas after this lengthy absence.
In a statement, Joseph B. Boschulte, president and chief executive officer of the West Indian Co. Ltd., said that this “signals the resumption of a valuable relationship between Costa Cruises and St. Thomas as the line begins its gradual reentry into the market.”
Guests who want to travel to the Virgin Islands onboard the Costa Cruises’ Deliziosa ship, which accommodates 2800-plus passengers, will have a large selection of activities to choose from, including swimming, tennis, volleyball and soccer, a 4D cinema, casino, dance club and a shopping center. Guests who want to relax in the Samsara Spa can enjoy the sauna, Turkish bath, gym and thalassotherapy pool (a form of therapy using seawater).
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However, once guests dock in St. Thomas, it’s time to get off the boat and enjoy what this Virgin Island, nicknamed “Rock City” because of its many hills, has to offer.
Must-sees include Fort Christian, a one-story Gothic revival structure with a three-tiered tower and a National Historical Landmark that is open to the public each weekday. It includes exhibits, a natural history section, a Danish-period furniture collection and an art gallery. Another National Landmark Property is Blackbeard’s Castle, also known as Skytsborg Historical Park, which sits on five acres in St. Thomas. Here you can learn about the pirate legacy and visit three manor houses that include pirate sculptures.
St. Thomas offers many opportunities to take great photos of its crystal clear water and beautiful beaches, not only in the water and on the beach, but above the water too. Mountain Top provides the most breathtaking photo opps, but cruisers can also buy duty-free souvenirs and local wares at this shopping mecca. The Skyride to Paradise Point will carry passengers 700 feet above the town of Charlotte Amalie where they can capture photos above the St. Thomas Harbor.
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Coral World brings everyone closer to marine life with exotic aquariums, outdoor marine pools and nature trails. Visitors can get up-close-and-personal with a shark, feed stingrays, and have encounters with turtles and sea lions.
Finally, when visitors get hungry during their time in St. Thomas, there are a variety of cuisines to choose from local kallaloo, a leaf vegetable-based dish, to authentic Italian dishes, fresh local fish, fungi and burgers.
More by Lisa Iannucci
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