St Johns (Antigua) Cruise
A beach for each day of the year
The island of Antigua, a colony of the British crown for over 300 years, has retained the taste for tropical life introduced by her majesty’s subjects.
Arriving to Antigua on an MSC cruise ship and disembarking in the English harbour, along the southern coast of the island, instead of the capital of Saint John, means gaining access to the historical centre of the island.
Here, you will find Nelson’s Dockyard, an old restored dockyard and Royal Navy district. Between April and the beginning of May, it is the site of some of the most important sailing regattas in the world, such as the Antigua Sailing Week. Regular patrons of the Terrace, a refined restaurant in the Inn at English Harbour, prefer the excellent lobster and red snapper. The entire island serves as an example of what it means to spend your holiday in the Antilles.
Its coast is a parade of beaches: 365, like the days in a year (as the island’s inhabitants say); beaches that are famous, secret, or even set in volcanic craters. Some are more appealing to those who love being around people, such as Dickenson Bay and Runaway Beach. Those who love more isolated destinations, on the other hand, should head for the Five Island peninsula, where they will be able to enjoy the beaches of Deep Bay and the long and immaculate Lignumvitae Bay.
Scuba divers prefer Cades Bay, on the southwestern coast, but go as far as the Cades Reef, a 4 kilometre-long barrier reef. Enormous starfish appear just beyond the foreshore, on the private island of Long Island situated in front of the western coast of the island and hosting the luxurious Jumby Bay Hotel. On the same island, in Pasture Bay, sea turtles come every year to lay eggs in the months of April and May. To enjoy the sunset (or the island’s most famous parties), the destination of choice is Shirley Heights, from where you can enjoy a beautiful view of the English Harbour. It has been a party spot where Caribbean cruise goers and locals cheerfully mix for over 30 years.