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Discovering the Virgin Islands
A cruise to the U.S. Virgin Islands means entering the small constellation of St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John.
If you travel with an MSC cruise ship, you will disembark at Charlotte Amalie, the capital with streets and places still bearing Danish names.
While you enjoy your holiday in the
Antilles, you should take a pleasant stroll through the city and discover its gems.
Government Hill, head to Lille Tarne Gade, which means the street of the little tower in Danish: with its 99 steps, it is probably the most important stepped street of those built by the Danish from bricks used by European ships as ballast.
At the top of the climb (actually, there are 103 steps!), you will find to have only reached the base of
Blackbeard’s Castle, today a restaurant and an inn. Among the pirates to have lived here, it seems there was the terrible Edward Teach, a.k.a. Blackbeard, who inspected the bays of the island from the castle’s observation tower, which is over 300 years old. The view that opens from this spot explains the choice of the location.
Another historical observation point is
Drake's Seat, from which all of the Virgin Islands, both the US and the British, can be seen. From here, Sir Francis Drake would observe the progress of his fleet. At its feet lies Magens Bay, which was named one of the most beautiful bays in the world by National Geographic. In the bay, which sits at the back of the long bay, the water is almost always calm, the beaches are fully outfitted and refreshment bars are abundant. Here, or in other locales on the island, you can try the famous Banana Daiquiri, made exclusively using Cruzan Rum of the Virgin Islands.
At Charlotte Amalie, there is also the
Camille Pissarro Gallery, dedicated to the father of impressionism. The French painter was, in fact, born and raised in this city, and his childhood home has been transformed into a gallery.