The first shore excursion was western-style horseback riding for two hours in the rain forest on the northwestern part of St. Croix, which was just a short ride from Frederiksted. The participants enjoyed seeing the flora and fauna of the Cruzan rain forest and thought the views were excellent.
I joined the group going to the Buck Island Reef National Monument for a half-day of snorkeling. This marine preserve has an excellent snorkeling trail through a spectacular coral reef grotto.
We first rode in a van for about 30 minutes from Frederiksted across St. Croix to the capital at Christiansted. There we boarded a large power boat and rode for another 30 minutes or so to Buck Island. The ride took us along the northern coast of St. Croix and was very scenic. However, the boat was crowded and not nearly as memorable as the sailboat catamaran the Teroro II we sailed on to Buck Island a few years ago. We snorkeled for about an hour and then went ashore on Buck Island and walked along the beach. It was the first of many picture-perfect beaches we would see on this SeaDream I cruise.