St. Croix is a great port of call
A Caribbean cruise that includes St. Croix will most likely tie up for the day in Fredericksted. This charming island village is clustered amongst several other islands making it an ideal port of call for large cruise ships.
If you are wondering what major cruise companies and ships include St. Croix in their itineraries check out Holland America’s ‘Maasdam’, Royal Caribbean’s ‘Adventure of the Seas’, Azamara’s ‘Journey’ and Celebrity’s ‘Millennium’.
Many Caribbean cruises have stopovers in places such as St. Thomas and St. John. If you have ever been to either of these popular islands you may have been surprised to find that they were busier than you might have expected. St. Croix is much different, in that there is much more room to move around in. The island of St. Croix covers an area of approximately 84 square miles, making it twice the size of St. Thomas.
St. Croix has two urban centres, both filled with attractions for visitors to enjoy. Large cruise ships dock on the west coast, in the quaint town of Fredericksted, while the smaller vessels, which is to say those that carry less than 200 passengers, dock in Christiansted, which is the larger of the two towns.
The north side of the island is the Dutch side. This is where the historic town of Christiansted is located. The town is promoted as a historical destination in the US, as it is dotted with old houses and plantations dating from the 18th and 19th centuries. This is also the location of a spectacular area known as Buck Island Reef National Park. Here, visitors can take in a day of phenomenal snorkelling and diving.
St. Croix remains an unspoilt island filled with lush rainforest, botanical gardens and colonial forts. It is a wonderful experience to enjoy a horseback ride through the rainforest or to spend a day relaxing amongst the tropical fauna in St. George Botanical Gardens.
For a little history, make your way to Fort Federik or Fort Christiansvaern, where to will experience two of the best-preserved colonial forts in the US Virgin Islands. If you are a Christopher Columbus fan you will already know that the local Salt River Bay National Historical Park is where he first docked. This is also a great place for diving and snorkelling opportunities. You should not miss the chance to see the Estate Whim Plantation or any of the many monuments that make Christianstead such a memorable destination.
Getting around the island is easy and inexpensive as taxis are to be found everywhere and can be hailed from the roadside. If you are hoping to see more of the island, car hire is available in Christiansted or ‘taxi buses’ can be negotiated for private rides.
Popular shore excursions that are frequently offered by cruise companies include a rainforest ride on horseback, a tour of the Cruzan Rum Distillery, a guided kayak trip, a tour of Buck Island National Park and scuba or snorkelling.