Checking in at the U.S. Virgin Islands

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Dining at Caneel Bay Resort, St. John.

We’ve all come to associate the U.S. Virgin Islands with white sand beaches and crystal clear waters, and it’s a well-deserved reputation. But the territory continues to impress with its constant new and improved activities and attractions. Spanning St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas, there is plenty to keep the first-time visitor in a state of delight. And if your clients have already been—well, it’s time to go again.

St. Croix Now available in St. Croix, guests can enjoy SNUBA, the meeting point of scuba and snorkeling, with SNUBA of St. Croix. SNUBA allows guests to dive deeper than snorkeling allows without the heavy weight of air tanks and equipment. Instead, participants breathe through a 20-ft. hose which is connected to a floating air tank at the surface. Open daily, SNUBA of St. Croix offers two tour options, from a 2.5-hour boat trip including SNUBA at the East End Marine Park ($99 pp), or a drive to the north shore for SNUBA along Cane Bay Beach ($75 pp). For more information, visit snubastcroix.com.

Another new option in the area is paddle boarding and stand-up paddle. Kite St. Croix now offers stand-up paddle boarding in addition to the kiteboarding services it’s already known for. With both lessons and eco-tours available, guests can discover a new sport and a new island at the same time. Rates start at $60 per day for equipment rental or $100 pp for a 2-hour lesson. For more information, visit kitestcroix.com.

For a comfortably indulgent experience, visitors to St. Croix might enjoy staying at the Tamarind Reef Resort. Guests can anchor at the on-property marina and treat themselves to standard luxury amenities such as the landscaped outdoor pool, calming spa, and opportunities for both casual and fine dining. And with it’s One Sweet Deal winter promotion, guests can receive a sixth night free when booking six nights or more, receiving in addition a coupon book, bottle of Cruzan Rum, Tamarind t-shirt and more. Standard rates start at $200 dbl. For more information, call (800) 619-0014 or visit tamarindreefresort.com.

St. John Francis Bay and Cinnamon Bay are now more adventure-friendly for everyone with the implementation of wider and more accessible trails throughout the parks. The redone pathways wind through the exotic flora of the parks, and are now equipped with ramps, hand rails and toe rails to provide comfort and security for strollers, wheelchairs, and those who are less “sure of foot.” Cinnamon Bay is also an excellent destination for camping, with accommodations including cottages, tents and bare sites, and with restaurants and beach shops on hand in case anything was forgotten at home. For more information, visit cinnamonbay.com.

With departures from both St. John and St. Thomas, the 125-passenger Discovery Undersea Reef Tours‘ glass-bottom boat allows guests crystal-clear sights of the tropical reefs and fish that surround the U.S. Virgin Islands. The boat’s submerged bottom level has 20 picture windows to allow guests an up-close view without getting wet, whereas the middle deck offers a bar and seating, and up top on the Captain’s Deck guests will enjoy picturesque views of both St. John and St. Thomas. Rates start at $30 pp for children and $45 pp for adults. For more information, visit globalmarinellc.com.

Nestled within the flora of U.S. Virgin Islands National Park, Caneel Bay Resort offers guests a true island retreat experience. From their personal airport pick-up, to welcome gifts including a bottle of island rum, and through the services extended to them during their stay, guests will feel at home. Caneel Bay offers complimentary use of Sunfish sailboats, kayaks and snorkeling gear; access to rum-tasting demonstrations, movie nights, and Managing Director’s cocktail receptions; and of course standard features including breakfast and afternoon tea as well as in-room wireless Internet and access. Standard rates start at $435 dbl. For more information, call (888) 767-3966 or visit caneelbay.com.

St. Thomas Visitors to St. Thomas can now enjoy a bird’s eye view over the mountainous northern coast of St. Thomas and the beaches of St. John during a flightseeing adventure with Virgin Island Ecotours. Two options are available, the 45-minute adventure soaring over St. John and the British Virgin Islands ($185 pp), and the 4-hour adventure traveling over the same areas as well as enjoying the beaches of Anegada, so be sure to have guests bring their passports ($295 pp quad). Flights include narration and a descriptive route guide to help guests identify scenic highlights. For more information, call (877) 845-2925 or visit viecotours.com.