St Johns Shore Excursions
Redcliffe Quay, sited just next to the cruise dock, is an historic area, with many old dockside warehouses now converted into welcoming shops. In Georgian times this was the main trading place in Antigua for slaves, rum, coffee and sugar. (The name, Redcliffe, comes from a district of Bristol, UK, whose port was a major participant in the triangular trade). When you need some refreshment, visit on of the many characterful bars and cafes set back from the quay under the cool shade of palm trees.
St. John's Cathedral
St. John’s Cathedral provides a fascinating insight into the island’s history. The first church on the site was constructed from wood in the mid 17th century. This was then replaced with one made from brick, which was later destroyed in the huge earthquake of 1843. A new cathedral was constructed with a unique ‘double skin’ to protect in from earthquakes and hurricanes. Note the bronze statues on the south gate – these were stolen from a French ship by the British Royal navy. The cathedral is a short walk from the dock.
Antigua's tag line is '365 beaches to choose from' , so you wonder what locals do on a leap day! Dickinson Beach is one of the busiest beaches on the island. It's a lovely long swathe of fine white sand, dotted at intervals with beach bars and restaurants. There are lots of watersports on offer including jet skis, parasailing and hobie boats. About a 5 minute cab journey north from St John's cruise port.
Deep Bay Beach
Another classic Caribbean beach with soft white sand and blue calm water just a five minute cab ride from the port is Deep Bay beach. The beach has a more relaxed vibe than Dickinson's, but all the essential facilities are on hand. Strong swimmers will enjoy criss-crossing the bay, and snorkelers can investigate the rock outcrops at either end of the beach.
English Harbor dates back to the mid 18th century, when the British Royal Navy had anything up to 15 warships stationed here. Today, some of the original buildings remain in their original state, whilst others have been restored. Aside from historic interest, Nelson's Dockyard Village has a wealth of bars and restaurants to choose from, where you can mingle with the throngs of yachtsmen (and women) ashore from one of the amazing yachts moored at the extensive marina. English Harbor is about a 40 minute cab ride from St. John's. Or if you fancy mingling with the locals, take the bus from St Johns West Bus Station.
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