Antigua and Barbuda: Cruises
Life is a beach
Antigua is a sailor’s paradise. Throughout the year the Antigua Yacht Club organises annual events such as Round the Island Race in January, the 10 days international Antigua Sailing Week in April, the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta in April, the Jolly Harbour Yacht Club organises a major regatta in October. During the year inter island races and club championship events are an important part of Antigua’s sporting and social year. Boat owners flock to Antigua to take part in these prestigious international events and for visitors race weeks offer plenty of entertainment besides the spectacle of offshore racing. Antigua is keen to combine sightseeing with ECO cruises so that visitors can explore the reefs surrounding Antigua, the mangroves and the tropical rainforests in the North Sound National Park and the offshore islands such as Great Bird Island, Long Island and Prickly Pear Island and Green Island.
There are ECO Tours by sail and by kayak and cruising around the island and beach hopping with snorkelling, beach BBQ, and drinks included in the itinerary. Popular cruises and tours are arranged by Adventure Antigua who offer ECO Tours including nature walks and snorkelling, full day for USD 90, the Xtreme Circumnavigation by power boat, full day for USD 153. Paddles, explore the mangroves and shallows of the sparsely populated east coast bays and caves by kayak, half day for USD 55. Eli Fuller, an Antiguan and former Olympian, has been organising adventure trips, ECO tours and cruises for many years. No holiday in Antigua is complete without joining one of Eli’s tours. His Adventure Eco Tour by power catamaran is themed on Antigua’s history and ecology. A full day to the unspoiled North Sound National Park which is protected by numerous small islands, reefs and mangroves. Explore the hidden islands and snorkel the clear waters and stop on a beautiful beach for lunch and drinks.
Cost is USD 80 all inclusive, no children under 5. For groups who wish to plan their own cruises there are several yacht charters for single or multiday sailings. Costs include crew, equipment and meals. Jabberwocky Private Yacht Charter organises a full day cruise in a luxury 50 foot sailing yacht with a gourmet chef on board. Sailing, snorkelling, swimming and beach combing are combined with total relaxation on board and fine dining. Cost is USD 130 each with 4 persons sharing or USD 80 each for 8 persons sharing. Tropical Adventures offer cruises on their Tiami catamaran to Cades Reef, and Great Bird Island or self charter.
The Jolly Roger Cruise in an old wooden schooner for day or night cruises with live entertainment and dancing and is great fun. Kokomo Cat Cruises offer 3 full day cruises in their Wadadli catamaran, Island Circumnavigation for USD 110, Great Bird Island for USD 95, Cades Reef for USD 95 and private charters arranged. Costs include food and drinks. Their yacht Sentio organises half day sailing cruises including gourmet lunch and wine, champagne sunset cruises from the Curtain Bluff Resort and from Nelson’s Dockyard. On board weddings and private functions are a speciality. Other popular companies operating cruises and bespoke charters include, Miramar Sailing Ltd., based at Jolly Harbour. Antigua Safaris who specialise in coastal exploration and dolphin sightings.