October 31, 2011 – U. S. VIRGIN ISLANDS – The holiday season is a time to connect with loved ones and, with an array of new activities and attractions available on St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas, there’s no shortage of opportunities for family fun. Visitors will enjoy the expanded selection of leisure activities available – from brand-new openings to revamped attractions with enhanced customer experiences.
New and improved attractions on St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas include:
Discovery Undersea Reef Tours
St. John’s newest attraction is a 125 passenger glass bottom boat. Departing from Cruz Bay, St. John or Redhook, St. Thomas, Discovery Undersea Reef Tours allows passengers to explore the underwater world in air-conditioned comfort from its bottom level through 20 picture windows. The middle and upper level house a bar, seating and captain’s deck where visitors can enjoy picturesque views of St. Thomas and St. John. Available for groups, weddings and special events. For more information go to www.globalmarinellc.weebly.com.
New “Accessible Trails” in the Virgin Islands National Park, St. John The accessible trails at Francis Bay and Cinnamon Bay are now completed. These trails allow visitors in wheelchairs, families with young children and strollers and other people who are less “sure of foot” to enjoy the natural beauty and exotic fauna of the VI National Park. The Cinnamon Bay Trail opposite the entrance to the park is now wheelchair-accessible with a 610 foot ramp that winds thru the Cinnamon Bay Factory Ruins. The wide path combines concrete walkways with raised wood boardwalks. It also uses toe rails and grooved handrails to ensure that visitors are safe and comfortable.
SNUBA of St. Croix
Open 7 days a week, SNUBA is now available on St. Croix for both beach and boat dives. Departing from the Christiansted boardwalk, guests can opt for a two-and-a-half-hour boat trip including Snuba at the East End Marine Park or enjoy a leisurely drive to the famed Cane Bay Beach for Snuba along the northshore. For more information, go to www.snubastcroix.com. For more information, call (340) 226 3468.
Paddle Boarding/ Stand up Paddle
Paddle boarding has arrived on St. Croix with two outfits offering paddle boarding lessons and guided eco-tours. For more information, contact Teres Veho at 340-227-0682 and Kite St. Croix email@example.com.
Fort Frederick Beach Amenities
Frederiksted’s popular pier-side beach will soon offer new amenities for visitors to enjoy. A water trampoline and inflatable rock climbing wall will be installed just offshore for public use and the VI Department of Parks & Recreation will manage a new food-vendors plaza where visitors can enjoy tasty island treats, sample local cuisine and cool off with frozen drinks and shaved ice flavored with local fruit.
Diageo Welcome Center
Work is well underway on the $5 million visitor center being built as part of Diageo’s Captain Morgan Rum Distillery on St. Croix. The visitor center promises to be a spectacular tourist attraction that immerses every visitor into a legendary experience that captures the Captain’s personality and brings his story, the story of rum and the USVI together. The experience will include history and artifacts of the industry, a movie theater, a bar reception area, a small store and a place for visitors to take tours of the plant. The project is scheduled to open in the Spring of 2012.
This December, travelers will get to experience winter in the tropics at the Magic Ice Gallery. St. Thomas’ newest attraction opens on December 15, and will offer guests the chance to explore exhibits showcasing the rich history of the Caribbean in varied and intricate sculptures and installations created from snow and ice. For more information, go to www.magicice.no.
Tree Limin’ Extreme Zip-Line
Scheduled to open in the spring 2012, the US Virgin Islands’ first zip line operation promises a zip-line adventure like no other. Located close to the highest point of St. Thomas, the adventure will include six zip lines and two sky walks with dramatic views of Magens Bay and down island. The zip-line adventure also includes admission to the St. Peter Mountain Greathouse, its home base. For more information call (340) 998-7942.
Treasure Seeker Pirate Ship
Pirates have landed in downtown Charlotte Amalie aboard a converted car ferry turned 65-foot pirate ship! Scheduled to begin operating in mid-October, The Treasure Seeker will operate two-hour pirate themed tours around Hassel Island and Water Island for up to 149 guests. This family owned and operated vessel promises to be family-friendly providing activities from face painting, tattoos, water gun battles and limbo dancing. A bar and gift shop are also found onboard. For more information, call 727-902-9646.
Visitors can now experience the thrill of flightseeing in the Virgin Islands. From the window seat of a Piper Aztec or Cessna 172 aircraft, passengers can enjoy a bird’s eye view of St. Thomas and St. John including vistas of Charlotte Amalie harbor, St. Thomas’ mountainous north side, and St, John’s famed northshore beaches. The 25-minute flight includes narration and a descriptive route guide identifying scenic highlights. For more information contact VI Ecotours at (340)779-2155.
The recently re-opened Butterfly Garden will soon double in size with the addition of outdoor gardens featuring local plant varieties to attract local butterfly species. For more information call (340) 775-1555.
Coral World’s Sea Trek Underwater Trail
Coral World’s award winning Sea Trek operation, recently named worldwide Sea Trek operator of the year, has just gotten even better! Coral World recently installed a new underwater railing system along the Sea Trek trail to improve the comfort of its guests while emphasizing the natural environment. For more information, go to www.coralworldvi.com.
“We know travelers are always in search of unique vacation experiences, so we continue to work with existing and new activity operators to grow the destination’s leisure offerings in a sustainable way,” said Tourism Commissioner Beverly Nicholson-Doty. “We look forward to sharing these new attractions with visitors from around the world.”
For more information about the United States Virgin Islands, go to VisitUSVI.com, follow us on Twitter (@USVITourism) and become a fan on Facebook (www.facebook.com/VisitUSVI). When traveling to the U.S. Virgin Islands, U.S. citizens enjoy all the conveniences of domestic travel—including on-line check-in—making travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands easier than ever. As a United States Territory, travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands does not require a passport from U.S. citizens arriving from Puerto Rico or the U.S. mainland. Entry requirements for non-U.S. citizens are the same as for entering the United States from any foreign destination. Upon departure, a passport is required for all but U.S. citizens.
Member of the Caribbean Tourism Organization