Most of the time, cruise ships are at sea during the night and in port during the day. After the beautiful St. Maarten sunset, we disembarked from the Philipsburg cruise terminal dock and made for St. Thomas. We pulled into the Charlotte Amalie deepwater port early Thursday morning. I stood on our balcony in the early morning and photographed the pleasure craft and small commercial fishing boats moored along the harbor in the twilight.
The High hills of the island background were bathed in the early morning sunlight on residences and commercial establishments, as these 3 colorful ships lay moored in the foreground.
In 1917 St. Thomas was purchased (along with Saint John and Saint Croix) by the United States for $25. U.S. citizenship was granted to the residents in 1927. The U.S. Virgin Islands Organic Act of 1954 gave the three islands U.S. territorial status. Soon aftward a local senate was formed. The Islands attained full home rule in 1970. Following World War II, tourism increased and became a major economic component of the islands.
As we pulled into the dock, the boat harbor holding many pleasure craft, could be seen immediately opposite the ship dock.
The cruise ship dock and port area in St. Thomas houses many tourist shops with colorful island apparel, as well as the Supreme Court of the U.S. Virgin Islands.
We took a taxi to Downtown Charlotte Amalie, which was as busy and bustling a commercial center as I have seen anywhere. The jewelry, t-shirt and trinket shops were waiting for us.
“Backstreet” things seemed a little more sedate. There are lots of buildings with the colorful, Caribbean pastel paint.
The cruise ship docks are a big part of the St. Thomas waterfront, as well as its economy.