The irregular coastline of Antigua offers numerous bays, several excellent harbors and many lovely beaches: in fact, the locals say the island has 365 beaches, one for each day of the year. Having been a British colony for many years, the island also has historic shipyards – once overseen by Horatio, Lord Nelson – that are interesting to explore. The island and its scenic harbors are attractive to modern-day sailors, too: the annual yachting and sailing season begins in December and culminates in a grand regatta each May.
Most cruise ships that call on Antigua dock at Heritage Quay or Nevis Pier in St. John’s, the island’s capital. Some smaller cruise ships drop anchor in Falmouth Harbor on the south side of the island and run tenders in to the dock. Wherever you step ashore on Antigua, there will be duty-free shopping, boutiques filled with local crafts, and restaurants close by. If you dock at Heritage Quay, several of Antigua’s cultural treasures, including the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, are within easy walking distance.
Antigua was a mainstay of the sugar industry during colonial days, and tours of the old plantations are available. You can also ride an all-terrain vehicle through former sugar estates, a fine way to see the natural beauty of the island’s interior.
Still, for many visitors, the lure of Antigua’s beaches is too strong to resist. It’s wonderful to simply float in the turquoise water or relax in the sand, but lots of activities are available, too, including snorkeling, surfing, kite surfing and other water sports.
To expand your choice of beach excursions, Antigua’s quiet sister island, Barbuda, has miles of gorgeous, white-and-pink sand beaches. Thanks to several ships that were wrecked on the island’s reefs, there are some very good spots for scuba diving, too. There’s also a sanctuary for frigatebirds in the lagoon next to the town of Codington. Barbuda can be reached by round-trip catamaran service from Antigua.
To select a cruise that will take you to Antigua and Barbuda, talk with Anita, your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert.
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