Looking for some quintessential Caribbean islands on your cruise that have beaches bordered by exotic foliage, crystal clear water in vibrant shades of aquamarine, and fun port towns with excellent duty free shopping? We will take you there, and that place is the Virgin Islands.
The Virgin Islands of the Caribbean are collections of islands that are divided into two main regions: the U.S. Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands. As the name suggests, each area is a territory of the U.S. and Great Britain respectively and are located close to each other in the Eastern Caribbean. Virgin Island cruise ports of call are popular days on Caribbean sailings due to the beauty of the islands and their water activities.
The main islands of the U.S. Virgin Islands are St. Thomas, St. Croix, and St. John. The main islands of the British Virgin Islands are Tortola, Virgin Gorda, and Jost Van Dyke. We visit a few of these beautiful locations on select Eastern and Southern Caribbean cruise itineraries.
When planning a cruise to the Virgin Islands, you’ll likely want to plan much of your time around experiencing the exotically beautiful coastline of the islands. Along the shoreline you’ll encounter water in breathtaking shades of turquoise gently sifting the adjacent sandy beaches, which are some of the most beautiful in the world.
Snorkeling is an excellent way to explore the underwater world of the Virgin Islands during your cruise there. Snorkel off the shore or board a boat to head to prime snorkeling spots where you can jump in and explore the coral and marine life before boarding the boat again for some Caribbean lunch fare.
Explore the history and culture of the Virgin Islands with an island tour that whisks you around your port of call for the day. A knowledgeable guide will point out the architecture, historic sites, and prominent landmarks of the island and will also stop at a local beach.
Escape the hustle and bustle of the port towns on a fun and relaxing catamaran sailboat over the serene waters of the Caribbean. Depending which sailboat adventure you’re on, you might visit a nearby smaller island, sail to a secluded beach, or enjoy a glass of Champagne during the sunset.
Your cruise to the Virgin Islands will visit ports of call at islands that have harbors large enough to accommodate cruise ships. In the U.S. Virgin Islands that port is Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas. The port of call in the British Virgin Islands is Road Town, Tortola. Many of the smaller islands can be visited on excursions from these main ports.
Utilize your time in the Caribbean with Virgin Island cruise excursions that whisk you away to some of the most beautiful beaches and attractions the islands have to offer.
The half-moon shaped coastline of Magens Bay in St. Thomas is consistently named one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. With lush, green foliage directly behind the sandy beach, and vibrantly blue water in front, it’s no wonder this is a top shore excursion during a Virgin Islands cruise.
Located near St. Croix, Buck Island Reef National Monument is an island paradise that includes the entire 176-acre island of Buck Island as well as the surrounding water that extends for over 18,000 acres. Take a snorkeling shore excursion there and explore the underwater museum.
Virgin Gorda, B.V.I. is beloved for its natural beauty and perhaps nowhere encapsulates this as well as the baths in British Virgin Islands National Park. This series of baths are formed by rock formations next to the coast that you hike between for swims and views during Virgin Gorda excursions.
No matter what time of year you’re exploring these islands you’re likely to have warm weather and some sunshine.
To increase the percentage of experiencing sunshine and lower your chances of getting rained on, visit during the winter months of December to February or early spring. There still may be scattered showers occasionally so it’s always wise to stick a rain poncho in your daypack when traveling around the Caribbean.
You’ll have multiple ship options to choose from when selecting a cruise to the Virgin Islands. The Virgin Islands are easily accessible from popular Caribbean cruise embarkation ports and are common ports of call, meaning different ships sailing a variety of itineraries will go to one (or more) of these islands.