Untouched beaches. Duty-free shopping. Sailing and snorkeling. Kayaking and zip-lining. There are so many amazing things to do when you visit Antigua. Located in the Caribbean, Antigua is a beautiful island filled with stunning beaches and plenty of opportunity for outdoor water sports. If you are looking for a tropical vacation that delivers, then a cruise from Antigua may be just the answer. From golfing and scuba diving to hiking, helicopter tours, and horseback riding, there is always something exciting to do in Antigua.
Currently, only Ponant and Star Clippers offer cruises from Antigua, but many cruise lines offer cruises that include Antigua as a port of call (or destination port). Ponant’s ships L’Austral and Le Soleal feature 10- to 13-night South America and Central America itineraries. Star Clipper’s traditional sailing ship Royal Clipper offers 7-night Caribbean itineraries that stop in popular islands including Guadeloupe, Dominica, Grenada, St Lucia, and Barbados. The most ideal time to sail from Antigua is during the spring (March to June). It tends to get very hot during the summer months and very rainy during the winter, so it’s best to avoid those months if you want to enjoy comfortable weather during your cruise.
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The following cruise destinations can be visited on a cruise that includes Antigua. Select a destination to view the upcoming cruises that are available:
The following cruise lines offer cruises sailing to Antigua. Select a cruise line to view the upcoming cruises that visit Antigua:
These cruise lines fit (quality and, usually, price-wise) somewhere in between Premium and Luxury cruise lines.
A country club casual atmosphere can be expected on these lines, as can be elegant accommodations and gourmet cuisine. These cruise lines are a great option for adults looking for a upscale, yet laid back, vacation.
Unique itineraries are often available on these cruise lines, as their small-to-mid-sized ships can visit ports of call that large ones can't get to.
The pricing on Azamara Club Cruises includes select beverages and pre-paid gratuities, while the pricing of Viking Ocean Cruises includes shore excursions and select beverages.
Value is a key feature of these popular cruise lines, as they offer lots of activities, entertainment and dining options, along with a variety of stateroom types. Some of the cruise lines in this category have ships with unique innovations like water slides, rock-climbing walls, ice-skating rinks, surfing simulators, bowling alleys, and boardwalks.
Their ships are usually anywhere from mid-sized to very large "mega" ships, accommodating thousands of guests. These ships give the feel of being in a large resort.
Mainstream cruise lines are a great option for just about everyone (including multi-generation families, and first-time cruisers), and typically have great youth programs.
During the cruise, entertainment may include Broadway productions, Vegas-style shows, comedians, and music. Some of these lines have select formal nights during the cruise. Specialty restaurants are becoming more and more common (some which have a cover charge for this type enhanced dining experience). Buffets are usually available throughout the day, besides room service, and the main dining room(s).
These cruise lines enhance what mainstream cruise lines typically offer, by providing their guests with higher quality service and cuisine, along with more spacious public spaces and accommodations.
Depending on the cruise line, the ships in this class range in size from small to very large.
These cruise lines appeal to a more discerning traveler, and are typically more expensive than mainstream cruise lines, but more affordable than the luxury lines.
When the finest cruise vacation is your top priority, this is the place to start.
On a luxury cruise line, guests experience highly personalized service, a more intimate (and usually formal) onboard experience, gourmet cuisine, well-appointed accommodations, and fantastic amenities. Many of these brands have smaller ships, allowing them to reach ports of call that the larger ships can't, which results in unique itineraries.
All of these brands feature a version of all-inclusive pricing, and some of them have ships with all-suite accommodations. Although these cruise lines are usually more expensive than the rest, they also provide their guests with so much more, resulting in a fantastic value when considering all that's included.
Becoming more and more popular, a river cruise is an immerse and destination-focused vacation experience, on a small and luxurious vessel.
River cruises sail through the inland waterways of some of the world's most interesting vacation destinations (i.e. Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and North America), and provide their guests with a greater opportunity to spend time visiting more unique ports of call than a traditional cruise typically would.
Because the destination is the star of a river cruise, (typically guided) shore excursions are included at no additional charge by many River cruise lines. There are usually many interesting lectures given during the cruise, by experts on the history and culture of the region being visited.
Among the famous rivers that one may take a river cruise on are the Rhine, Mississippi, Seine, Danube, Mekong, Nile, Yangtze, Amazon and Douro.
These cruise lines offer a truly unique vacation experience, with a wide range of possible amenities and itineraries. Some are expedition cruise lines, others have sailing yachts or are coastal ships.
On these types of cruise lines, there's usually a focus on a specific destination or theme. Itineraries are usually very destination intensive, aided by the fact that they're able to reach many ports of call that larger ships can't.
Expedition cruise lines are a great fit for adventure-seeking travelers, featuring exciting destinations like the Galapagos Islands, Antarctica, and the Norwegian coast. During the cruise, there will usually be plenty of interesting lectures given by experts on the destination being visited. Often, shore excursions are included in the cost of the cruise. In fact, some of these cruise lines have all-inclusive pricing. There's a definite focus on the ship's surrounding scenery, as well as opportunities to view wildlife in their natural habitat. Small, but comfortable, ships are commonplace here, with anywhere from basic to very luxurious public spaces, cuisine, and accommodations (depending on the cruise line and ship).
Sailing Yachts, sail-assisted motor ships, offer a really unique vacation experience. Accommodations and cuisine on these intimate vessels can be anywhere from good to fantastic, depending on the cruise line. Destinations offered by these cruise lines may include the Caribbean, Europe, Panama Canal, Tahiti, and Costa Rica.
These are just a few of the more popular tourist attractions in Antigua, along with a brief description:
♦ Public Market Complex
Located right near the cruise port, the Public Market Complex is a huge bazaar where you can purchase local goods and souvenirs. Among the vendors are a fresh fish market, local produce stands (selling items such as black pineapple), handicrafts, and handmade jewelry that is made right on the spot. It is a great place to purchase some truly remarkable local goods.
♦ Nelson’s Dockyard
If you are interested in history, then you certainly don’t want to miss checking out Nelson’s Dockyard. This historic dockyard originally served as a repair site for the British Royal Navy before becoming a popular tourist attraction. You can learn all about the dockyard’s historical significance at the Dockyard Museum (located in the original naval officers’ barracks), where you can view artifacts and exhibits about what life was like when the site was an active shipyard. There is also the opportunity to visit the nearby Shirley Heights lookout, where you can take in some of the best sites on the island.
♦ Beautiful Beaches
If you are taking a cruise from Antigua, chances are that you will want to stop by one of its many beautiful beaches. Whether you’re looking to try out an outdoor activity or simply spend the day lounging, there is going to be a beach you can enjoy. If you’re looking to simply beach bum, you might consider visiting Valley Church Beach (famous for its white sand and clear water). Sports enthusiasts might prefer Jabberwock Beach, where the conditions for activities like wind surfing and surfing are always good. Pigeon Point Beach is a great beach to mingle with local residents and if you are looking for a resort-like atmosphere, definitely stop by Dickenson Bay (with plenty of restaurants, hotels, shops, etc.).
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