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5 Reasons Why You Should Visit This Beautiful Island Destination This Winter

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This winter, few places can compete with the U.S. Virgin Islands. From tropical beaches, stunning hikes through historical landmarks, and rich culture, you’ll find endless excitement and adventure on these pristine islands.

The U.S. Virgin Islands are made up of the islands of St. Thomas, St. Croix, and St. John, as well as around 50 smaller islets.

The islands are world famous for their postcard-worthy beaches, pristine white sand, and preserved reefs, especially surrounding the U.S. Virgin Islands National Park and Buck Island.

U.S. Virgin Islands Beaches

Magazines such as Condé Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure listed the U.S. Virgin Islands as one of their top destinations in 2023.

It’s no surprise given the great safety rating and number of famous beaches on the islands, such as Trunk Bay.

Here are 5 more reasons you should book your flight or cruise to the U.S. Virgin Islands this year:

More Cruise Ships to Choose From This Year

If you want to set sail on a cruise ship to the U.S. Virgin Islands this year, you’re in luck. 37 cruise lines including Virgin Voyages and Explora Journeys have ramped up their trips to the Caribbean, as opposed to 33 before the pandemic.

U.S. Virgin Islands Cruise Ships

Since 2020, Carnival Cruise Line has scrapped six of its smaller capacity Fantasy-class vessels and introduced two Excel-class ships in the Caribbean, each carrying around 6,500 passengers.

The Carnival Celebration is the newest ship to take passengers to the U.S.  Virgin Islands, and more trips are expected to be added in early 2024.

According to the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association, cruise lines are projected to bring over 7% more passengers to the region this year as opposed to 2019.

This means you’ll have even more options to choose from when booking your dream cruise to the U.S. Virgin Islands.

U.S. Citizens Travel Passport AND VISA Free

Unlike popular tropical destinations like Mexico and Jamaica, U.S.  citizens don’t need to bring their passports when flying to the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Since the territory is part of the United States, you can fly with any form of U.S. ID such as a driver license. 

passport on a table

This also means the U.S. Virgin Islands are a VISA-free destination as well.

However, if you’re planning on traveling to other Caribbean destinations like the nearby British Virgin Islands, you’ll need to bring your passport.

The Islands Have Some Of The Best Accommodation In The Caribbean

U.S. Virgin Islands Hotel

This year, the former Pink Hotel, a 1960s cultural icon and home to actors, writers, and artists, reopened. Now, the revamped hotel is called the Pink Palm Hotel, and it's the first new hotel built on the island in over two decades. 

If all-inclusives and deluxe hotels are more your style, then you’re in luck.

The U.S. Virgin Islands are home to hugely popular all-inclusive resorts such as the adults-only Divi Carina Bay Beach Resort & Casino on St. Croix and Bolongo Bay Beach Resort on St. Thomas. 

If You Love Nature And History, This Is Your Destination

Few places in North America have as many beautiful beaches, preserved reefs, and stunning wildlife as the U.S. Virgin Islands.

This group of islands may be small but tucked within their inlets, bays, and shorelines are protected plants and animals that will make any nature lover happy. 

aerial view of islands

By far the most famous destination within the islands for nature and history lovers is the U.S. Virgin Islands National Park.

Here, you can hike the expansive trail system and see ancient indigenous petroglyphs carved into rocks. 

Surrounding the national park are some of the best-preserved coral reef habitats in the Caribbean. If you love snorkeling or diving, you’ll be amazed at the amount of colorful life in this healthy coral habitat. 

Cultural Gems Around Every Corner

The U.S. Virgin Islands are full of cultural highlights and historical places. If you want to understand the Caribbean's long and complex story, few places are better. 

Historic Building U.S. Virgin Islands

Start with a visit to museums such as the Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts or the Pirates Treasure Museum on St. Croix. Museums such as Fort Christian on St. Thomas or Fort Frederick will take you to the days when European navies were battling it out for control of the region. 

The islands are also full of sacred indigenous areas, such as the petroglyphs on Reef Bay Trail. The same trail leads you through relics of the dark days of slavery and the sugar industry, such as the Reef Bay Sugar Mill Ruins. 

In the island’s communities, you’ll get to experience tons of events and festivals this winter, such as the Crucian Christmas Festival and the exciting St. Croix Festival carnival.

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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.


Pippa

Thursday 30th of November 2023

I live in the USVI. Please don't come here. No one wants you. It has become crime ridden and overrun with garbage and overpriced villas/hotels. Do the research.

KJM323

Friday 1st of December 2023

@Pippa, why wouldn’t one want to come there? You seem like such a lovely, pleasant, and friendly person!

Frank Costanza

Friday 1st of December 2023

@Pippa, Nobody tells Frank Costanza what to do!

Grace

Monday 27th of November 2023

St Croix is a lovely, quiet place with lots of beaches to explore. Never crowded.

When a ship comes into port in Fredericksted, the town comes alive with music and local vendors. It’s really lovely.

In quieter times, a walk along the Fredericksted strand or getting a meal on the Christiansted boardwalk is just the thing.

We feel as if St Croix is our island in the sun.

Gil

Saturday 2nd of December 2023

Gotta agree. Large cruise ships make for overtourism, and are a blight upon the land. 🥊🤢🤮@Pippa,

Pippa

Thursday 30th of November 2023

@Grace, You must have property on the island. Stop selling your slums to people. Though admittedly you are nowhere near as bad as St John.