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Cruising Article – 2011-05-26

Explore the tropical wonders of St. Thomas

Caribbean cruise destinations

Few American destinations evoke ideas of tropical paradise, but those who visit St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands as part of a Caribbean cruise are sure to have an unforgettable experience in this balmy destination.

Although St. Thomas is loaded with fun things to do, you won't want to miss exploring its gorgeous natural scenery. The island features everything from lush tropical gardens to vibrant undersea ecosystems, allowing you explore a diverse array of landscapes. At St. Peter Great House and Botanical Garden, you can explore a thriving tropical estate filled with colorful plants. A short distance away is Magens Bay, a turquoise body of water situated next to a palm arboretum. Thanks to its sparkling white sand, this attraction has been rated as one of the most beautiful beaches on the planet.

If you want to go snorkeling or diving, there is no better place in the Caribbean than St. Thomas. Here, you can get up close and personal with countless marine creatures, giving you a glimpse into a mind-bogglingly unique world beneath the waves. In particular, the 4.5-acre underwater observatory at Coral World is a top attraction, as it allows you to pet sharks and feed stingrays by hand.

St. Thomas is good for much more than just its natural landscape. At Blackbeard's Castle and the Amber Museum, you can learn about popular lore or the history of one of the world's most beautiful gems. Meanwhile, you can load up on premium goods at one of the island's hundreds of duty-free shops, malls and boutiques. If you've had your fill of adventure on St. Thomas, you can also go on a shore excursion to its neighbor, St. John. Here, you can see everything from stunning beaches to historic sugar plantations.