Meet your yacht at Nelsons Dockyard in English Harbor,
the one-time British naval station for Her Majestys ships. Now beautifully
reconstructed to house hotels, restaurants and yachting facilities, this is the major
Caribbean yachting center and home to many gold-plated charter yachts of sail and power.
This is the home of the Antigua Race Week, and the Classic Yacht Regatta, two of the
Caribbeans premier regattas. Enjoy cocktails overlooking the historic waterfront,
visit one of the casinos or one of many nightspots for an evening of dining and dancing. A
hike to Shirley Heights offers spectacular views and the opportunity to visit the ruins of
the Fort that once protected the harbor. Their look-out bar and barbecue on Sunday
evenings starts with a steel band playing to sunset, then a raggae band takes over for a
night of dancing. Alternately, sail to Carlisle Bay and anchor in its quiet, palm
fringed waters for a truly away-from-it-all first night.
Along the south and west coasts of Antigua, clear waters and good sailing breeze combined
with the beautiful beaches and lush interior scenery, make this one of the finest sailing
passages in the islands. Jolly Harbour offers a large new marina, many fine shops, banks,
markets and restaurants as well as a new 18 hole Golf Club, squash and basketball
facilities. Nightly entertainment often includes cabaret or reggae bands, and you can
arrange dive trips, water skiing or para-sailing. Galley Bay has a long wild looking beach
backed by a tangle of palms and Seagrapes. Galley Bay Hotel peeks through the palms
offering a pleasant open air restaurant to the sounds of birds singing. Just around the
corner is Five Islands Harbor, a magnificent bay with nothing except birds, beaches and
Snorkeling or diving the wreck of the Andes in Deep Bay is
splendid. This three masted iron barque sits upright on the bottom, encrusted with sponges
and coral, sheltering large schools of fish. Experienced divers will want to dive on Cades
Reef, a national park. Deep Bay is a charming anchorage with a long sandy beach, home of
Fort Barrington and the Royal Antiguan Hotel where you might choose to dance or gamble the
St. Johns is the capital of Antigua and offers superb shopping
including many fine jewelry and perfume stores, bountiful boutiques and quality garments
as well as locally made pottery. Picturesque old buildings line the streets and several
fine restaurants and markets are within walking distance. Historic Fort James offers fine
views, and paying a visit to the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda offers a glimpse of life in
these islands from pre-Colombian times to independence.
Barbuda lies 30 miles North of Antigua across open water
and since it is a low lying island, is only visible from within 10 miles. A night tucked
inside the sheltering reef at Spanish Point, where the only thing to windward is 4,000
miles of Atlantic Ocean, is an unforgettable experience.
Barbuda is an island dedicated to the heart and nature and is
considered by many as Heaven on earth. The shorelines are dotted with living coral,
offering exciting exploring and unparalleled snorkeling. Teeming with every kind of fish,
you have a good chance of spotting decorative eagle rays, often swimming in pairs, or
gently moving sting rays and turtles. Barbuda is home to a natural bird sanctuary with an
unusually large Frigate bird colony and endless pale pink beaches with nary a soul on
them, the largest beach is unbroken for over 11 miles! Ashore there are wild donkeys,
horses and deer.
After a reach back down the East coast of Antigua arrive at Green
Island, unspoiled by buildings with abundant bird life, including red-billed
tropicbirds, white crowned pigeons, ospreys, night herons and pelicans. Nonsuch Bay
is a reef protected expanse of water covering several square miles. This is a wonderful
gunk-holing area, offering a wealth of good overnight anchorages in settings that vary
from protected mangrove creeks to open vistas where only the reef lies between you and the
Atlantic Ocean rolling unbroken from Africa.
Mamora Bay is a well protected lagoon at the site of the
prestigious St. James Club. It may be the only place in the Caribbean where you can tie to
the dock and get room service on board. The club provides a whole gamut of activities from
croquet to horse back riding and in the winter months is host to some of the worlds
finest motor yachts.
The end of your cruise brings you back to English Harbor,
but a journey you
wont forget in a hurry. Every anchorage in Antigua and Barbuda is characterized by
beautiful clean waters and beaches. This island jewel, set in the heart of the Caribbean,
certainly fulfills the image of a perfect tropical paradise.