2022 1st Qtr Travel and Cruise Magazine

Page 23

a must see and is among the most celebrated of the more than 40 pristine white beaches on the island. LONG HISTORY, RICH CULTURE For the history buff, centuries of culture abound in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Diverse influences of Danish, French, Spanish and African culture are woven throughout the islands and the experiences that await visitors. From the Millennial Monument at the easternmost point of Point Udall in St. Croix to the historical reenactments and cultural demonstrations at the Annaberg Plantations in St. John, there are years and years of history to peel back. In St. Thomas, one of the Western Hemisphere’s oldest synagogues in St. Thomas adds yet another layer of intrigue to enhance the treasure trove of cultural discovery in the U.S. Virgin Islands. In celebration of the islands’ rich cultural identity, each island holds annual colorful festivals that celebrate decades – and even centuries – of traditions, including the arts, music, dance and cuisine. Must see events include St. Croix Christmas Festival, St. John Festival, St. Thomas Carnival, and many more. A FOOD LOVER’S PARADISE The U.S. Virgin Islands is known for its gastronomic excellence from Caribbean fusion, seafood and more. One of the most popular national dishes fish and fungi, a tradition begun under the Dutch. Other

local favorites include the pate, a flakey crust filled with saltfish, chicken or beef, and Caribbean dishes like Callaloo stew and conch fritters. Of course, there are local treats, with Johnny cakes – a fried dough breakfast treat – found across the islands. Look for the iced fruit treat called fracos, especially those sold by Rudy’s Fracos from the owner’s truck on St. Thomas since 1979. As a port of call, the U.S. Virgin Islands also celebrates sustainable cuisine, with the Caribbean’s largest agriculture festival in St. Croix, and farm to fork restaurants highlighting local produce and dishes. A MINDFUL CHOICE With plenty of things to do for cruise guests, the islands also provide a more mindful way of traveling. A green choice in every way, the U.S. Virgin Islands are the cruising destination that leaves visitors feeling good. Two thirds of St. John’s alone is a national park, highlighting a mandate to keep the islands pristine. Beyond that, the islands also require visitors to wear only mineral sunscreen, to help protect the reefs and ecosystems that keep the destination so attractive. The U.S. Virgin Islands provide what cruise travelers want and what they need, all while keeping the local community a part of it. The destination will leave travelers feeling refreshed, renewed, and ready to start planning their next trip back.

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