ST JOHN'S

The Nelson’s Dockyard
A magnificent beach
Starfish and sea turtles

Find Caribbean & Antilles Cruises

St. John’s

British style Caribbean colors

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 harbor, along the southern coast of the island, instead of the capital of Saint John, means gaining access to the historical center 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 Harbor, prefer the excellent lobster and red snapper. The entire island serves as an example of what it means to spend your vacation 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 Harbor. It has been a party spot where Caribbean cruise goers and locals cheerfully mix for over 30 years.

Discover our excursions

11 results found

  • 4X4 ISLAND SAFARI & BEACH

    ACTIVE & ADVENTURE

    ATG35

    Once you’ve stepped off the ship and boarded a specially customised photo safari jeep, you can simply sit back and begin to enjoy Antigua and its delightfully verdant landscape. This off-road exploration will first take you south of St. John’s en route to the village of Bendals and the ecologically important Body Pond watershed area. Look out for amazing tropical flora and agricultural plantations as you travel through the off-road reaches of the scenic valley. From the village of Swetes, the tour then continues on through lush rainforest, with mango trees and pineapple plants all around, to the southern coast and Old Road Village for refreshments. This was the first western settlement on the island, established in 1632 by the British naval explorer Captain Thomas Warner. Have your camera ready to take some stunning photos of the gorgeous coastline and Caribbean Sea before you head off again along the island’s southern coast en route to a heavenly beach and a refreshing dip in the azure-blue waters. Your return journey will take you to see more of Antigua’s picturesque villages and stunning landscape – with further opportunities to take fabulous photos along the way. The tour ends with your return to the port and your ship. Please note: the tour is considered to be unsuitable for pregnant women and guests suffering from pre-existing neck/back conditions. This is not a self-drive tour; a driver will be provided.
    • Drink included

    • Possibility of swimming

    • Limited seats

    • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Moderate

    • Duration
      3:30 h

    • Adults$75.00Price per person

    • Children$52.00Price per person

  • ANTIGUA CANOPY TOUR

    ACTIVE & ADVENTURE

    ATG29

    Discover Antigua’s lush rainforest from a bird’s-eye perspective as you navigate through the treetops on this wonderful “canopy” tour. A 40-minute drive by air-conditioned taxi will take to the rainforest region, after which highly qualified and experienced guides will ensure your aerial walk is not just highly exciting, but also extremely safe. After your briefing, the excitement starts at the Old Pump House with a walk over a suspension bridge from the side of the building, which spans the gorge to the far bank. Having crossed the bridge, you will then traverse no less than 12 (!) zip-lines as you zigzag your way through the forest and over the spectacular gorge. Look forward to amazing aerial views of rainforest flora and fauna and the chattering of numerous bird species. Guests will be offered a complimentary drink of water during the course. The tour ends with your return to the ship. Please note: this tour is not suitable for pregnant women, guests with a pre-existing heart condition, a history of seizures, back, knee or shoulder problems or other pre-existing health problems. The tour not recommended for guests who suffer from vertigo or acrophobia (fear of heights). Max. weight per guest is 235 lbs; min. height is 4’. Guests are required to wear sturdy footwear (no strappy sandals), shorts or long trousers (no skirts) and bring a change of t-shirt. Cameras or camcorders are not allowed for both safety and insurance reasons. Children must be at least 7 years of age to take part.
    • Shooting videos and/or taking pictures is not allowed or subject to fee

    • Active excursions recommended only for guests in good physical health

      Difficulty Level
      Strenuous

    • Duration
      3:30 h

    • Adults$109.00Price per person

    • Children$79.00Price per person

  • JOURNEY ON CATAMARAN WITH SNORKELLING

    ACTIVE & ADVENTURE

    ATG26

    Enjoy blue skies, the hot Caribbean sun and the feeling of the breeze blowing through your hair as you sail along Antigua’s picture-perfect coastline as you cruise to the protected northwest coast of the island on board a modern catamaran. Once there and after snorkelling gear has been provided, you will have a chance to explore the fascinating underwater world of the Caribbean Sea. Next up is a beautiful beach, where you can swim, soak up the sun and/or take part in a beginner’s snorkelling class. Your creature comforts will also be looked after on the tour, during which thirst-quenching drinks and delicious food will be served, all accompanied by the beguiling rhythms of calypso. This exhilarating sailing experience is a great way to spend a little time off the big ship, yet still continue life on the ocean wave. Please note: snorkelling equipment, snacks and beverages will be provided on the tour. Participants should be in good physical condition. This tour is not recommended for pregnant women.
    • Snack included

    • Possibility of swimming

    • Active excursions recommended only for guests in good physical health

      Difficulty Level
      Strenuous

    • Duration
      3 h

    • Adults$89.00Price per person

    • Children$62.00Price per person

  • KAYAK & SNORKEL TOUR

    ACTIVE & ADVENTURE

    ATG30

    This low-impact activity tour gives you an opportunity to spend half a day off the ship and explore Antigua from a waterside perspective. A fast motorboat will first take you from the kayak base to a secluded lagoon to board your kayak. Instructions and a safety briefing will follow, after which your guided 1-hour kayak tour begins, during which you will see otherworldly mangroves, scenic coastal inlets and tiny islands. Having re-boarded the motorboat, you will then be taken around the beautiful North Sound Marine Park, with a snorkelling stop scheduled at a sheltered off-shore reef. The tour also includes a gentle nature hike on Bird Island, an uninhabited isle that offers visitors two sandy beaches, panoramic views and a whole host of wildlife, including many tropical bird species, to observe. A boat will be on hand to take keen snorkelers out to a nearby reef, where guides will provide and fit your gear and show you where fish can be seen. If snorkelling is not for you, you can simply relax on the pristine beach, explore the island or go for a swim in the shallow beachside waters before returning to the kayak clubhouse. Please note: children must be at least 6 years of age to take part. Snorkel gear, fins, snorkel belts, life jackets and refreshments are provided during the tour. We recommend to wear footwear that can get wet, that are flat and non-slip. Participants should be in good physical condition. The max. weight allowed per two-person kayak is 400 lbs./181 kg. This tour is not recommended for guests with limited mobility, heart/neck/hip/back/respiratory problems or for guests who have had recent surgery. Women who are pregnant are prohibited from participating in this tour.
    • Snack included

    • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Moderate

    • Duration
      4:30 h

    • Adults$75.00Price per person

    • Children$55.00Price per person

  • MAIN SIGHTS OF ANTIGUA

    CULTURE AND HISTORY

    ATG23

    This history-themed tour to the heart of Antigua’s impressive National Park begins with a drive through tropical countryside, rolling hills and quaint villages en route to your first stop: Nelson’s Dockyard, the world’s oldest working dockyard from the Georgian era. A guided tour of the dockyard, now a major Caribbean yachting centre, then follows. Blessed with a wonderful ambience and beautifully restored buildings, this 18th-century dockyard looks back on an eventful history that your tour guide will provide details of. Next up is a stop at the Blockhouse remains, which offer a commanding view of the Atlantic Ocean and the surrounding coastline. You will then continue on to the ruins at Shirley Heights, a great photo opportunity at a vantage point overlooking Nelson’s Dockyard, the English Harbour and surrounds. More scenic vistas and landscapes await you on your return drive.
    • Drink included

    • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      3 h

    • Adults$75.00Price per person

    • Children$55.00Price per person

  • SWIMMING WITH STINGRAYS AND SNORKEL EXPERIENCE

    NATURAL WONDERS

    ATG25

    Also known as the “puppies of the sea”, the southern stingray is a friendly soul that likes to play. This tour gives you a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with these delightful marine creatures at Antigua’s so-called Stingray City, situated in Seatons Village. After boarding a boat and being taken to a nearby coral reef, you will be able to snorkel, swim and feed the rays in the calm and crystal-clear waters of the beautiful Caribbean Sea. Views of the pristine coral reef and gorgeous surroundings serve to add another level of enjoyment to the tour, during which you will also have a chance to find out how these amazing animals live from your experienced guide. This extremely safe, entertaining and educational tour is very family-friendly and a must-do while on the island. Please note: children must be at least 5 years old to take part.
    • Drink included

    • Possibility of swimming

    • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Moderate

    • Duration
      3:30 h

    • Adults$89.00Price per person

    • Children$62.00Price per person

  • PANORAMIC ANTIGUA & BEACH

    SCENIC ROUTE

    ATG24

    Spend a few hours off the ship discovering Antigua on this relaxing tour. Board your coach and look forward to the island’s gently undulating tropical countryside and picturesque villages as you head for English Harbour, paying a first visit to the ruins at Shirley Heights. This lookout point overlooks the National Park and commands gorgeous views of Nelson’s Dockyard and English Harbour. You will then make your way to the Dow’s Hill Historical Centre for a fascinating multimedia presentation of Antigua’s rich history, heritage and culture. The tour then continues with a drive down the lush Fig Tree Drive, which takes you right through Antigua's tropical forest. More amazing countryside awaits you as you approach the final stop on your tour: an enticing white-sand beach, where you can enjoy a refreshing swim in the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea before returning to the ship. Please note: beach chairs and parasols are available for hire at the beach.
    • Drink included

    • Possibility of swimming

    • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Moderate

    • Duration
      4:30 h

    • Adults$75.00Price per person

    • Children$55.00Price per person

  • ANTIGUA BEACH TOUR

    SEA & SUN

    ATG32

    Leave the ship and board an air-conditioned taxi for a short drive to one of Antigua’s picturesque beaches, celebrated for its long stretch of soft, white sand bordered by coconut palms and seagrape trees. A complimentary Caribbean cocktail – either juice-based or rum punch – will be served on your arrival, after which you will be shown the beach facilities. Then you will have time to relax in a free lounge chair and sip your cocktail in a specially designated area of the beach. Enjoy more than 3 hours of pure relaxation, giving you time to soak up the sun, go for a walk along the beach and take a refreshing dip in the azure blue of the Caribbean Sea. Your tour comes to a close with your return your ship. Please note: parasols can be hired for a nominal charge. The beach also provides toilets, freshwater showers as well as a beach bar and restaurant. You are recommended to take swimwear, a towel, high-factor sunscreen and a camera.
    • Drink included

    • Possibility of swimming

    • Wheelchair and disabled-friendly tour – Wheelchair guests must be accompanied by their own helper to get on/off the coach. Wheelchairs must be foldable as the coach is not provided with ramps or lifts. Once onboard, please contact Excursions Desk staff promptly so they can help make arrangements.

    • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      4 h

    • Adults$52.00Price per person

    • Children$35.00Price per person

  • BEACH EXTRAVAGANZA

    SEA & SUN

    ATG33

    The Caribbean islands are well known for their spectacular beaches, and none more so than Antigua. This beachy tour gives you a chance to make the most of your time on the island and begins with a 10-minute drive in an air-conditioned taxi to the gorgeous Runaway Bay beach. Accompanied by your tour guide – who will point out all the relevant amenities as well as provide information and assistance – you can then enjoy all that this lovely spot has to offer. Just the sight of the half-mile sweep of soft, white sand fringed with coconut palms and seagrape trees is enough to take your breath away and the warm Caribbean Sea makes for a perfect time in the water. On arrival, a welcoming cocktail (fruit juice or rum punch) will be served that you can then enjoy in utter peace and quiet while comfortably seated in your reserved lounger. Your tour also includes a delicious lunch, after which there will be more time for you to enjoy at the beach. Please note: a lounge chair is provided free of charge at the beach. Parasols can be hired for a nominal charge. The beach area features toilet facilities, freshwater showers as well as a beach bar and a restaurant.
    • Lunch or dinner included

    • Possibility of swimming

    • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      5 h

    • Adults$62.00Price per person

    • Children$49.00Price per person

  • BEACH-HOPPING SAFARI

    SEA & SUN

    ATG37

    This half-day tour of unadulterated beach-based fun begins when you leave the ship to board an open-sided, safari-style bus for a colourful ride through Antigua’s beguiling interior. The southbound route will see you cross mountains and ride through tropical rainforest, with a number of photo breaks included on the way, to reach the first of your three beach destinations. Situated on Antigua’s Caribbean seaboard, Turner’s Beach is a little slice of heaven with soft sand, turquoise water, free use of beach chairs and a serving of rum punch. Enjoy your time here any way you like before the safari bus takes you on to the nearby Darkwood Beach, one of Antigua’s most popular stretches of shoreline. You’ll have a little time to swim, stroll or simply sit and ponder before you make your way to the third and final coastal gem: the lovely Valley Church Beach. Sip a cool complimentary refreshment as you relax on your free sun lounger and savour the spellbinding surroundings. The scenic route back up to St. John’s will then bring your outing to a close. Please note: guests are recommended to wear swimwear under comfortable clothing, high-factor sunscreen and to bring a towel, a camera and a hat. Toilet facilities are available at most beach stops. The order of the tour and the beaches visited are subject to change.
    • Drink included

    • Possibility of swimming

    • Limited seats

    • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      4 h

    • Adults$72.00Price per person

    • Children$52.00Price per person

  • CATAMARAN CRUISE & LOBSTER LUNCH

    SOMETHING SPECIAL

    ATG36

    Join us on the beautiful Mystic II for a luxurious catamaran experience that will take you through the gentle coastal waters of the Caribbean Sea with the fresh breeze in your hair – simply divine. Antigua’s coastline is dotted with pretty boutique resorts and a multitude of spectacular white sandy beaches, one of which will be your first stop. Stretch out on the powdery sand, go for a dip in the balmy waters or take advantage of the sun and work on your tan. The crew will remain on hand to serve you juices or soda to quench your thirst. Part two of the tour will then see you sail on towards the island’s western coast to reach the second of two beach visits, while on board a delicious lobster lunch buffet will be prepared for your enjoyment. When it comes to relaxation, you can do no better than find yourself aboard a luxury craft eating lobster for lunch with a glass of something bubbly in your hand. As the Mystic II then makes her way back along the coast, you can enjoy further fabulous views, an open bar and the sweet sound of Caribbean rhythms playing in your ear. Your return to the port and your ship then brings your Caribbean jaunt to a perfect close. Please note: guests are recommended to wear swimwear under their clothes as well as to bring a towel and high-factor sunscreen. The tour is considered to be unsuitable for guests using a wheelchair.
    • Lunch or dinner included

    • Possibility of swimming

    • Limited seats

    • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      6 h

    • Adults$109.00Price per person

    • Children$75.00Price per person

The excursions in the program above are intended to provide MSC Guests with an idea of the different tours that can be arranged in each port of call; this program is merely a guide and confirmation of each excursion and its description and prices will be made during your cruise.
Shore excursions programs and itineraries may vary depending on local conditions and/or any unforeseen events in relation to the timing on the day of the tour.

 

Some excursions are very popular and therefore availability cannot always be guaranteed, it is advisable to book in advance to avoid disappointment. The guides are guaranteed in English. Only for South America cruises, the guides are guaranteed in Brazilian Portuguese. Narration in other languages depends on the availability of guides. Please note that the final language of the tour will be confirmed on board during the cruise.

Antigua and Barbuda

The spirit of the Caribbean
The spirit of the Caribbean

If you like English style Caribbean islands, you cannot miss a vacation in Antigua and Barbuda. From Saint John’s, the capital of Antigua, it is worth visiting Runaway Beach, between the sea and the salt lake, home to the large pelicans that live on the island. Dickinson Bay stretches out a little to the north and is one of the best equipped in Antigua.

An excursion into the hinterland, which is like a journey in time, takes you to the village of Pares from which you can then reach Betty’s Hope, the oldest sugar cane plantation in the country and then proceed to Long Bay where the bay’s waters are protected by the coral reef. In Antigua, the sea has even dug out the amazing Devil’s Bridge.

In Barbuda, about 20 marine miles north of Antigua, you can admire the largest nesting colony of marine birds in the area and behind it the long, 11 Miles Beach. The old history of the Lesser Antilles also gives us a trace of the pre-Colombian populations like the Arawak, the native population of these archipelagos; some artefacts can be admired at the Old Court House in Saint John, while Amerindian petroglyphs are visible in the Indian Cave in Barbuda.

 
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