St. Thomas and St. John of the U.S. Virgin Islands make up one of the exciting ports of call on a Disney Cruise Line Caribbean Cruise vacation. Once largely occupied by Dutch-owned sugar cane plantations and pirates of the Caribbean, they are today some of the most popular tropical tourist destinations in the world.
Things to See and Do
Visitors of all ages can enjoy a wide range of recreation suited for relaxation and invigoration across the U.S. Virgin Islands. From golfing to snorkeling, shopping and sunbathing, interest in the U.S. Virgin Islands as havens for vacationers has transformed them over the years into world-class retreats.
Bask on a white-sand beach, immerse yourself in the warm waters of crystal seas or explore the tropical terrain by bike. Peruse over 450 shops for excellent luxury-item bargains, enjoy over 40 breathtaking beaches, or play golf on lush fairways. A short ride to St. John opens up an incredible underwater world prime for snorkeling and other forms of nautical recreation.
Local Culture and Flavor
A destination that boasts so many sites for sport, relaxation and leisure has a culture that is still influenced in ways by its agricultural and native past.
At certain times of the year, you may encounter outdoor performances by dance troupes who keep the traditions of the native Arawak Indians alive. You may also stumble upon arts and crafts fairs where local handicrafts are sold, from pottery to baskets and jewelry.
Past and Present
A place so celebrated today for its pristine tranquility and peaceful way of life was—for 150 years—a notorious pirate post before the islands were conquered by the Dutch West India Company. Thereafter, the islands became primarily sugar cane plantations, the local inhabitants enslaved as laborers.
This grim period of the islands' history took a turn when the settlement was declared a free port by Denmark's King Frederick V. Gradually, different ethnic enclaves settled and formed across the islands, including a notable community of Jewish immigrants. For safe harbors, rich resources and strategic location in a time of war, the United States purchased the islands of St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix from Denmark for $25 million in 1917.
The islands have seen a steady rise in tourism since, and today, there's an entire world of leisure and adventure to explore on St. Thomas and St. John.
Fun Facts & Tips
English is widely spoken in the various Caribbean ports of call visited by Disney Cruise Line.
The U.S. Dollar is widely accepted in the various Caribbean ports of call visited by Disney Cruise Line.