We'll be stopping at Antigua next summer on the Adventure of the Seas. I have never been to this port and was wondering what shore excursion would be interesting for us to do.
We are in our late 30's, have two sons ages 10 & 12 and we all enjoy snorkeling and trying new things. Is it easy to rent a private boat to take us around the island? I've heard there are a lot of peddlers and beggars and would like to avoid the crowded beaches if possible.
We caught a cab right off the pier and went to Long Bay. It is a beautiful beach, with good snorkeling right off the beach. There is a small bar/restaraunt, a shop to rent equipment, anf a few other booths. The sand was the softest I have ever felt!
One of the best excursions I have taken on Antigua is the tour to English Harbor on the south coast of the island about a 45 min. drive from the cruise ship dock. The harbor is historic in that it was a repair boat yard for English sailing ships that may have suffered hurrican damage prior to their sailing back to England. During the early years of Horatio Nelson's career (the famed British Admiral), he served as the commander of the boat yard. Today, the boat yard is called Nelson's boat Yard in honor of this daring sailor. Many of the historic building are still used. There is a hotel and sailing stores for many ocean sailors that come to English Harbor in their yachts from around the world. Other shops are here also.
My tour stopped here for only a few minutes-not enough for me to explore whe whole boat yard. If I was to do it again I would hire a taxi for the day or rent a car. Above the harbor is a look-out bluff called Shirley Heights with some ruines and a gorgeous view of the whole harbor and the boat yard. If you look southeast from the heights you can see The homes of Eric Clappen, the British musican and singer. You can see all you need to in a couple of hours and still have time to go to a beach and get back to the ship in time.
I would hire a taxi, myself, especially since this is a British island and they drive on the left side of the road there. The roads are also quite narrow in the rural courtryside.I highly recommend a visit to English Harbor and Nelson's Boat Yard.
Thanks so much Laurie & Frank! It sounds to me like this is a port we can tackle on our own in a taxi. We both hate to be one of the crowd on a ship's tour bus if the port is relatively safe and easy to get around in. I would love to see English Harbor and especially the areas that H. Nelson has frequented. I absolutely love English history and he was a very interesting character.
When I think of Antigua, I think of England and ships. (What a better combination?) I will definitely follow your ideas and head over to English Harbor. Are taxi vans easily obtainable at the cruise ship pier? It IS a pier, isn't it? Or is it a tender port?
Yes, there is a pier right downtown and you will dock as long as no other ships are there. Also plenty of taxi's waiting for you. Don't forget to haggle for the price and settle on the price before you get in.
Since we'll be cruising in July, I think there will be very few ships around. I'll hope for the pier "parking space". Good advice about agreeing upon the price for the taxi trip before getting in. Thanks so much!