St. Thomas, Usvi

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Explore St. Thomas, Usvi

Seafarers from around the globe have flocked to the sheltered harbors of St. Thomas since pirates sailed the seas. Today, St. Thomas cruises dock in one of the busiest and most developed ports in the West Indies—Charlotte Amalie, the island’s historic capital. Join the market bustle by day and swing to scratch bands at night with Carnival® cruises to St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.

  • Shop till you drop on the historic harbor front in Charlotte Amalie.
  • Play on the creamy white sands of Magens Bay Beach.
  • Get up close to sea horses and tropical fish at Coral World.
  • Charter a sailboat to explore secret coves and turquoise bays.
  • Toast your cruise to St. Thomas at a beach bar in Frenchtown.

Things To Do

Local Attractions

With a population of more than 50,000 and a bustling cruise-ship port, tiny St. Thomas isn’t exactly an undiscovered tropical retreat. But it’s a beauty, with bougainvillea-clad cliffs over turquoise bays and Charlotte Amalie, the quaint 18th-century capital. Shop in duty-free style in waterfront warehouses or tap your toes to a reggae beat in Frenchtown on cruises to St. Thomas.

  • Snorkel amid schools of colorful tropical fish off Coki and Sapphire beaches.
  • Ride an aerial tram up to Paradise Point above Charlotte Amalie.
  • Shop for duty-free discounts in historic pirate warehouses.
  • Explore the charming 18th-century harborfront in Charlotte Amalie on a walking tour.
  • Stroll through lush tropical gardens to waterfalls at the St. Peter Greathouse Estate.

Fun Facts

  • Camille Pissarro, the famous French painter, was born in a building on Main Street, Charlotte Amalie. Today, the house is the Camille Pissarro Building, filled with colorful prints by the prolific artist.
  • Charlotte Amalie’s synagogue is the oldest in the U.S.
  • The U.S. purchased this former Danish colony and its sister islands St. John and St. Croix for $25 million in gold in 1917.

Within Walking Distance

The old warehouses that once held pirates’ loot still stand along the waterfront in the Danish town of Charlotte Amalie—only these days it’s not pirate booty inside, but shops, shops, and more shops. Stray farther inland and you’ll find pockets of 19th-century houses and the charming brick-and-stone St. Thomas Synagogue, built in 1833 by Sephardic Jews on steep, sloping Crystal Gade.

Around the Port Area

Dating from 1672, rose-hued Fort Christian rises from the harbor to dominate the center of town. Many a condemned pirate was hanged in its courtyard. Directly across from Fort Christian is the Legislature Building, built in the late 1800s. Take the St. Thomas Skyride to Paradise Point Tramway to the top for a dramatic view of bustling Charlotte Amalie Harbor on your Carnival cruise to St. Thomas.

Beyond the Port Area

Orchid jungle

The St. Peter Greathouse Estate and Gardens, at Rte. 40 near Hull Bay, adorns 11 acres of the volcanic peaks of the island’s northern rim. It’s a tropical paradise, filled with colorful West Indian plants and trees, a rainforest, an orchid jungle, and waterfalls. From a panoramic deck, you can see up to 20 of the U.S. Virgin Islands. Nearby, on Rte. 40, is the scenic lookout from Drake’s Seat, with spectacular views of Magens Bay below. A mobility and wheelchair access excursion with Accessible St. Thomas Island Tour makes it easy for anyone to tour the island.

Beaches In St. Thomas

St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, has a number of good beaches, all of which are easily reached by taxi. Arrange for your driver to return and pick you up at a designated time. Located 3 miles north of Charlotte Amalie, Magens Bay is often hailed as one of the world’s most beautiful beaches, and Downtown Shopping & Magen’s Bay Getaway combines beach, views, and shopping in one excursion. In the northeast, there are many popular spots for snorkeling amid dense schools of fish and Two Island Power Cat Snorkeling Adventure and St. John Champagne Catamaran Sailaway takes you to them. You can wear your most daring swimwear at trendy Morningstar, in Frenchtown.

Caribbean Beaches

Stick around this neighborhood till dusk, when the island’s former French enclave celebrates to the beat of fungi, local music played on homemade instruments by scratch bands. Bluebeard’s Beach Club, a little to the east, has a secluded setting. Still farther east, the Bolongo Bay is a serene spread of sand where you can feed hibiscus blossoms to iguanas. With powdery white sand and coconut palms, little Secret Harbor, at the far eastern end, is a veritable postcard of Caribbean charm.

Shopping in St. Thomas

Caribbean Shopping

Shopping is the number-one activity in Charlotte Amalie, and the main streets (called gades here in honor of their Danish heritage) are a veritable shopping mall. Dig hard enough and you’ll sometimes find well-known brand names at savings of up to 40% off prices in the U.S. Shop for duty-free luxury goods like jewelry, watches, cameras, china, and leather. The local Cruzan Rum is so cheap you’ll think it’s mismarked. Many cruise passengers shop at the Havensight Mall, where Carnival cruises to St. Thomas dock, but the major shopping is along the harbor of Charlotte Amalie.

Travel Tips


  • English is the official language of the U.S. Virgin Islands and the U.S. dollar is the official currency.
  • St. Thomas has warm year-round weather, with steady trade winds. Temperatures rarely drop below 77 degrees in the winter or rise above 90 degrees in summer. 
  • Most St. Thomas cruise ships anchor at West Indian Dock/Havensight Mall, a few miles from Charlotte Amalie.