Tag Archives: snorkelling

Viking Sea Cruise – Day Three – St Croix

Waking Up In St Croix

There’s nothing better than having a balcony when you cruise, and on Viking Sea every room has one. Not only did I get a great view of the coastline, but I also got a partial view of the Bridge.

It was warm and sunny outside with temperatures forecast for the high 80’s. I had booked a snorkelling excursion and was excited to try it for the first time.

Waking up to a beautiful view of St Croix

As my body was still on UK time, I felt really hungry as soon as I woke up. I needed to eat something quickly, so I ordered breakfast in my room and enjoyed a delicious feast before getting dressed.

Simple, Beautiful St Croix

I wanted to have a look at Frederiksted before leaving for the Buck Island trip. Thank goodness I did. St Croix is unlike any other Caribbean Islands visited by cruise ships.

There is no big terminal building, you simply walk along the pier into the quaint town of Frederiksted.

The Viking Sea docked in St Croix

As you reach the Customs and Immigration building, there is a small welcome party where you can taste the local rum while the DJ plays Caribbean music.

A warm welcome in St Croix

And if that doesn’t get you in the Caribbean mood, this lady will.

A vibrant welcome to St Croix

Frederiksted Historic District

There is a lovely area just at the end of the pier with benches facing the sea. The red building is Fort Frederik which was built in the 1750’s to guard the island from pirates. It now houses a museum and art gallery which can be visited for a small entrance fee. A clocktower overlooks Emancipation Park where in 1848, Danish Governor Peter Von Scholten emancipated the slaves.

I thought this was a really pretty place and not busy at all. There are a few tents set up with local sellers offering a range of local products but no big tax-free jewellery stores or designer shops, which I find is a refreshing change. It might be different when one of the larger cruise ships visits. If you have any experience of this please let me know in the comments below.

Driving To Christiansted

We were the second trip of the day for our driver Stephen.

Religion is a very important part of Island culture and it wasn’t long before I had a sign from God.

Thankfully it was just the shadow of a window sticker on my leg. Or was it?

The drive to Christiansted, the largest town on the island, took around 20 minutes. En route I was surprised to see an oil production plant on the island, recently sold and renamed Limetree Bay Terminals LLC. More in keeping with the area was the Captain Morgan Rum Distillery, which has a visitor centre if you fancy a look around.

Arriving in Christiansted we gathered on grass area to meet our Caribbean Sea Adventures Crew. I took the opportunity to snap a few photos of the colourful buildings around us.

Our Buck Island Adventure

The sun-kissed crew from Caribbean Sea Adventures, gathered our group together.

We headed to our boat.

Once onboard the boat, it became apparent that I was the only person on board that had never snorkelled before. Many people had brought their own equipment.

Buck Island is a protected National Monument. Two-thirds of the island are surrounded by a coral barrier reef. This provides the perfect ecosystem for a variety of marine plants and animals including endangered species.

I didn’t go too far from the boat for my first snorkel but what I saw and experienced was something I will never forget. It is hard to put into words the peace and tranquillity I experienced even just putting my face into the water, but it moved me to tears when I emerged from the water.

Here is a 3-minute video that I have put together to give you an idea of what it was like. Have you tried snorkelling? If so I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. If you like the video please visit my YouTube channel and give it a thumbs up and subscribe to help me get famous :-). I hope you like the song as much as I do.

Back On Board

Back onboard the Viking Sea, you are handed a much needed chilled flannel to refresh yourself, and a warm smiley welcomes from the crew who greet you by name.

After our wonderful day trip, I was thirsty and needed to cool off a bit. I ordered myself a Margarita on the rocks, no salt, at the Aquavit Terrace Bar, and headed to the infinity pool.

I watched the beautiful sunset as we sailed away from St Croix.

Then it was time for dinner in Manfredi’s Italian Restaurant.

Manfredi’s starter – Calamari

Followed by melt in the mouth Surf n’ Turf

The meal in Manfredi’s was delicious but I was so exhausted after another action-packed day, I could barely stay awake to eat it. So as soon as I finished dinner I headed back to my room and flopped into the incredibly soft, comfy, cosy bed.

Goodnight.

Have you read my Viking Sea Cruise – Day Two – Puerto Rico?

If so, why not read Viking Sea Cruise – Day Four

Thinking of booking your own Viking Cruise? Click My Viking Cruise to visit their website.

Exploring Paradise – The Seychelles

The Seychelles

With a location of 4 – 10 degrees south of the equator, The Seychelles, unlike the other Indian Ocean islands, are outside the cyclone belt.  The average daily temperature reaches around 95 degrees.  The hottest and most humid times are March, April, October and November. With calm waters, these are the ideal months for divers and snorkelers to visit. Between May and September the islands experience briskier cooler winds.  These make it a perfect time for visitors keen on watersports and sailing.   There is increased rainfall during December to March although temperatures remain around 85 – 90 degrees.

Located outside the cyclone belt makes The Seychelles a perfect choice for your holiday.

There is so much to see and do in The Seychelles that you will not want to leave. 95 of the 115 granite and coral islands in The Seychelles archipelago, are uninhabited but you can have the holiday of your dreams on those that are. The main islands are Mahé, Praslin and La Digue.

Mahé

The Banyan Tree at Mahe Island.

The largest island is Mahé. This is where the international airport is situated and 90% of the population of The Seychelles reside. Whether you are looking for a luxury villa with your own private deck and infinity pool, a family friendly hotel with kids clubs and activities, or a stay with a local family and immerse yourself in the local culture, you will find it all in Mahé.

Praslin

General Gordon thought he had found the original Garden of Eden when he visitied Praslin, the second largest Seychelles island. The worlds largest nut Coco de Mer can be found growing at the Unesco world heritage site of Vallee de Mai. Anse Lazio Beach is often on the list for World’s Most Beautiful Beaches and is perfect for snorkeling and diving. Praslin Features the only 18 hole championship golf course in the Seychelles

Thought to be the original Garden of Eden

Praslin acts as a perfect base for those people looking for an island hopping experience.

La Digue

La Digue is the fourth largest island where you can find stunning granite rock formations together with picturesque beaches. This is what makes it the most photographed island in The Seychelles.

Giant Tortoises and rare species of terrapins can be found on the island as well as a real treat for bird spotters, who will get the chance to see the Black Paradise Flycatcher .

Seychelles Lifestyle

The culinary offerings in the Seychelles are a Creole fusion of Asian, African and French dishes. The main ingredients are based on fresh seafood and tropical fruit. For a local beverage you can chose from SeyBrew the local beer and the liqueur Coco d’amour.

Time Zone Summer GMT + 3

No special visa for UK Passport holders

The Seychelles became independent in 1976 and they celebrate Independence Day each year on 29 June.

Dominant languages are Creole, English and French with the main religion being Roman Catholic.