THE CRUISING LIFE – CRUISES 5 & 6 – ST THOMAS

Our first port call on this trip was St Thomas. You may recall from earlier posts that we had been here before but that doesn’t mean that there weren’t things to do and see.

Saint Thomas is one of the Virgin Islands in the Caribbean Sea which, together with Saint John, Water Island, Hassel Island, and Saint Croix, form a county and constituent district of the United States Virgin Islands, an unincorporated territory of the United States.

Like all of the U.S. Virgin Islands, St. Thomas has plenty of opportunities to lounge on the beach, splash in the sea, or amp it up with watersports. It also boasts a bountiful duty-free shopping scene – just be prepared to brave the cruise ship crowds. Charlotte Amalie swells with Danish colonial architecture and pirate legend. Shiver ye timbers at Blackbeard’s Castle, then work up an appetite by climbing the historic 99 Steps, constructed from the ballast bricks of 18th century Danish ships.

The island was originally settled around 1500 BC by the Ciboney people. They were later replaced by the Arawaks and then the Caribs. Christopher Columbus sighted the island in 1493 on his second voyage to the New World.

The United States Virgin Islands is the only place under United States jurisdiction where the rule of the road is to drive on the left. This was inherited from what was the then-current Danish practice at the time of the American acquisition in 1917. However, because the islands are a U.S. territory, most cars are imported from the mainland United States and therefore the steering column is located on the left side of the vehicle.

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