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An Antigua and Barbuda sailing cruise will allow you to savor the taste of the Caribbean, in a particularly remote and unknown area for mass tourism, but at the same time not far from other famous tropical destinations. Antigua, an independent state together with Barbuda since 1981, after having been a British colony for a long time, looks like a tiny pearl (a little larger than the Island of Elba) emerging from a turquoise sea. It was discovered by Columbus, and baptized the Ancient by the Spaniards. It later became a British colony and is linked to the presence of Admiral Nelson who for 3 years was based here as a senior officer in the English navy. Even today, the old restored shipyards of English Harbor bear his name. Antigua, unlike other islands of the Lesser Antilles, has no volcanic origin and the maximum elevation is 400m. The coasts are very jagged, creating numerous inlets and shelters, bays and bays, where you can easily anchor. In addition, tourism linked to sailing and motor yachts has increased investment and the construction of several modern marinas located in various areas of the island. Our Antigua charter operators are located in Jolly Harbor, a beautifully landscaped marina 11km from the center of the capital St. John. The marina is modern, in a settlement full of shops, restaurants, hotels and luxury resorts: a canal was built to reach it through the shallow waters that delimit the wide arc of the beautiful white sand beaches: Jolly Beach, Fryes beach and Valley Church. Also for golf lovers, a beautiful 18-hole course is right next to the inlet.
But what are the most beautiful destinations of an Antigua sailing cruise? In a counter-clockwise journey, we will subsequently encounter Falmouth Bay and the contiguous English Harbor. The first is large and well protected, with numerous anchor points and a few yacht clubs. The second is instead the historical base of the English navy, so protected that boats find refuge even during cyclones. The numerous small bays make it an unmissable destination to enjoy a swim or snorkel in a crystal clear sea. Green Island is one of the symbols of Antigua: not just the easternmost point, but an islet surrounded by the reef. By anchoring in the appropriate points you will enjoy a wonderful scenery and you can explore the kaleidoscopic colored seabed.
The whole north coast is indented, with many islets not far from the coast, surrounded by the reef, making careful navigation necessary. We finally arrive at the north-west tip: the small bay of S.John hides the tiny capital (22,000 inhab.). A stop is a must, to visit this mix of tradition and modernity: the colorful houses, the markets, the craft shops, the spacious cathedral. The town also has several museums, the most typical of which is the Marine Art Museum which contains fossils, volcanic stones and a collection of 10,000 shells! Broken down, we reach Deep Bay, another unmissable destination. The small bay, bordered by a very fine beach, is characterized by the wreck of the cargo Andes, sunk here in 1905. The ship, en route from Trinidad to Peru, was refused mooring in S. John due to the dangerousness of the cargo ( was full of tar) and when suspicious fumes appeared, anchored in the bay. Once the doors were opened, the arrival of air quickly fueled the fire, which caused the cargo to sink into the shallows. One of the three trees now emerges from the water and the wreck is covered in coral and sponges, making it a fantastic diving destination.
But the boat rental in Antigua also gives you the opportunity to visit the surrounding islands: Guadeloupe to the south, St. Kitt and Nevis to the west and especially Barbuda to the north, just to mention the closest ones. The latter is about 25 miles away and together with Antigua forms the official name of the independent state. Unfortunately, Hurricane Irma almost completely destroyed the settlements of the small island in 2017, forcing the 1600 inhabitants to settle in Antigua. Today a wonderful oasis of peace and deserted beaches crowned by the reef. You can moor at Cocoa Point or Spanish Point, swim to the nearby shore, enjoy the dream landscape and meet wild donkeys. Antigua sailing holiday, this and much more! Contact us or choose the ideal boat on our website