Day 1 – Antigua Antigua is the largest of the Leeward Islands, named after the 12th-century Santa Maria La Antigua church in Valladolid, Spain, by Christopher Columbus. An internationally renowned yachting destination attracting sailors from every corner of the globe, Antigua is revered for its splendid coves, turquoise waters, idyllic climate and natural beauty. English Harbor, recently added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List, is home to Nelson’s Dockyard with its lovely old 18th-century buildings and warehouses, as well as a museum chronicling the history of the British Royal Navy and Admiral Horatio Nelson.
The island famously boasts a beach for every day of the year, and an intriguing history brimming with pirates and privateers. Although cruise ships make daily calls to Antigua, our private luxury yachts dock in an off-the-beaten-track part of the island, giving guests a priceless glimpse of the “real” Caribbean. Should you be lucky enough to sail here on a Sunday night, don’t miss the chance to enjoy a famous Shirley Heights sunset party – it’s been an institution in Antigua for over 30 years.
Day Two – Green Island Sail from English Harbor or Falmouth Harbor to Green Island, a nearby uninhabited island that’ll make you feel as if the rest of the world has evaporated right before your eyes. Blissfully secluded, Green Island boasts gorgeous beaches and is an ideal watersports’ playground. Nearby Nonsuch Bay, located at the eastern end of Antigua, is another ideal location for snorkeling. A shoreside trip to Harmony Hall is a must on Antigua sailing vacations – an old sugar mill estate that now operates as a restaurant, guesthouse and gallery.
Day Three & Four -Barbuda Today you sail to Barbuda to cast your eyes on miles of unspoiled pink sand beaches and shipwreck-lined shores. Barbuda is one of the very few islands in the Caribbean that has always remained undeveloped and is a wonderful place to stake a claim on your own anchorage and let the world fade away.
The Frigate Bird Sanctuary, normally home to 170 different species and thousands of frigate birds which migrate between the Caribbean and the Galapagos islands every year.
Day Five - Dickinson Bay or Great Bird Island Ready to be more sociable? Then sail back to Antigua and explore the western coast’s haven of Dickinson Bay, where you’ll find several luxury resorts as well as a lovely calm anchorage. Events are often held onshore on weekends, such as art exhibitions and live music gigs. Dickinson bay makes for a wonderful ‘last night’ stop on Antigua sailing vacations. If you wish to prolong your solitude a little longer, however, sail to Great bird Island instead. The island greets a few passing tourists yet you’ll often have the place all to yourself after the sun sets. You’ll come across an array of endangered and endemic exotic birds as well as long stretches of glistening sandy beaches. The perfect antidote to the dreaded end of sailing vacation blues.
A revered snorkeling spot, Great Bird Island is as enriched with wildlife below the water’s edge as it is on land. Snorkel the reef, kayak along the mangroves and relish the outstanding Antigua nature just a little longer.
Day Six – Deep Bay The iconic Caribbean postcard beach, Deep Bay is a feast for the eyes with its blinding white sandy shores framed by swaying palm trees. An array of funky beach bars and restaurants will tempt you with their exotic cocktails and freshly grilled seafood yet tearing yourself away from the refreshing crystalline waters may be a challenge.
A snorkeler and diver’s dream spot, Deep Bay is home to The Andes, a century-old shipwreck which was bound for Chile at the time of its fiery demise. The wreck is now home to a bevy of colorful fish and is easily accessible. On-shore walks are also rewarding, with historic sites and a thriving town center brimming with art galleries, boutiques and trendy cafés.
Day Seven – Carlisle Bay If you thought Deep Bay was heavenly, wait till you sail to Carlisle Bay! Unique and alluring, Carlisle Bay overlooks the rainforest-covered southern end of Antigua, still with characteristic white sandy beaches and emerald waters. Guests love this spot because it offers an impressive choice of activities yet is still peaceful enough to do nothing except soak up the sun’s rays or have a leisurely swim if they so wish.
The renowned Carlisle Bay Resort, a luxury establishment home to two of Antigua’s best restaurants, is set amidst unspoilt wilderness and is a refuge for a myriad of wildlife species. Kayaking the mangroves is a relaxing way to explore the deepest nooks of this glorious bay.
Day Eight – Falmouth Harbor, Antigua Today, it’s time to farewell the Captain and crew who have undoubtedly made your Antigua sailing vacation all the more memorable, and head for home. Rest assured that Antigua, and her stunning treasures, will eagerly await
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