Formerly known as St. Christopher, many regard this island as the jewel of the Caribbean. Discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1493, during Columbus's second voyage to the new world. He named it Saint Joerges, however, due to inaccuracies in maps at the time, naming islands was extremely difficult. The island became Saint Christobel, (Columbus's patron saint) and later changed to Saint Christopher.
In 1623, Englishman Thomas Warner landed on the island and claimed it for England. Establishing a colony there a year later it became the first British Territory in the West Indies. In 1625, a French ship, badly in need of repair after encountering the Spanish Armada, appeared in the harbor. After taking pity on them Warner allowed them to land in St. Kitts. This made St. Kitts the first French Colony in the Caribbean.
Being one of the Leeward Islands it is situated about 1300 miles southeast of Miami Florida. With a population of about 35, 000, the tiny island is only about 18 miles long and 5 miles wide.
As with many other Caribbean Islands, St. Kitts has a long history of being occupied by several different Indian tribes and European countries. Sugar cane and tobacco were the principle sources of income in the past, in the present day, however, tourism is the current staple.
St. Kitts is the home of Brimstone Hill Fortress, the largest fortress ever built in the Eastern Caribbean. St. Kitts is also the site of Warner Park Cricket Stadium where the 2007 World Cup matches were held. This distinction makes it the smallest nation to ever host a World Cup Event.
In 1967 St. Kitts along with it's sister Island Nevis, became an associated state of Great Britain and became fully independent while gaining full nation status in 1983.
St. Kitts has much to offer the visitor, with it's intriguing coves, hiking paths, dramatic vistas, palm lined beaches, there is little time left to visit Brimstone Hill Fortress, Romney Manor, Mt. Liamuiga, and the many other attractions.
If traveling to the island via cruise ship, book your tours early, the island railway, which was built to haul sugar cane from the fields to the processing plant, "is "a must do. " It's function in today's world is to transport visitors around the various scenic spots on the island, it does sell out early, so put this on your list of things to do and book on line before you leave home.
Whatever you decide to experience while there will make your stay an enjoyable experience and will leave you wanting to come back for more.
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Do I need a passport to go on a cruise to the Caribbean Islands?
Also what country owns the Caribbean Islands?
You do NOT necessarily need one. If you are leaving from a US port you do not need one to cruise to the Caribbean islands. On entering the ship they will issue you with a ship pass which you are going to use to leave the ship, re-enter the ship, return through the ports and for purchases on the ship. You can also use your pass to shop duty free in the different islands. This same pass is like a credit card on the ship since your credit card will be linked to is so that is what you will use on the ship for entry into the restaurants as well as for entering your cabin.
Nevertheless, it is advisable to have a copy of your passport to take with you on the islands.
The British Virgin Islands (Tortola included) are owned by the British, US Virgin Islands are of the US, Martinique and Guadeloupe are owned by the French and Puerto Rico is a territory of the US. Places like Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados among others are all independent islands.
As of June 1, if you do not have a passport for cruise travel yoiu can still use a pass card or other form of ID.
Read this carefully so that you can see you could use an approved document. You will NOT be able to use oral declaration. Also check the link below.
LAND AND SEA TRAVEL
The following summarizes information available on the Department of Homeland Security’s website.
All U.S. citizens must show proof of identity and proof of U.S. citizenship when entering the United States from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the countries of the Caribbean by land or sea.
Acceptable documents include: U.S. Passport Book, U.S. Passport Card, or other document approved by the Department of Homeland Security.
U.S. citizens who do not have a single document verifying identity and citizenship must present both an identification and citizenship document; for example, a driver’s license and a copy of a birth certificate or naturalization certificate.
On June 1, 2009, the U.S. government will implement the full requirements of the land and sea phase of WHTI. The proposed rules require most U.S. citizens entering the United States at sea or land ports of entry to have a passport, passport card, or other travel document approved by the Department of Homeland Security.
Here's a Video about caribbean islands:
Caribbean Island Hopping on No Reservations