See the best of Antigua's nature, culture, and architecture, guided by a professional. With pick up and drop off at your Antigua St. John's cruise ship pier terminal, you'll have nothing to do but enjoy this lovely island.
The same excursion is being offered as private - please see St. John's Antigua Private Highlights Sightseeing Excursion with Beach Break S2985
You'll begin your day just a few steps away from your St. John's Antigua cruise ship pier where your guide will be waiting for you. You'll be shown to air-conditioned transportation and then you'll take a 30-minute, picturesque, drive to Antigua's historic district. Going back to the time of Horatio Nelson, the area was recently restored with all the details just as they once were hundreds of years ago.
When you arrive at the harbor take a moment for the view, it's incredible. Then you're off for a brief walk, 5 minutes, to experience Shirley's Heights military complex. On the southernmost tip of the island, this area has an incredible view over the English Harbor. Be sure to bring your camera or phone. You won't want to miss these shots. Your guide will tell you about the Signal Station where flags were once used as the major means of communication. You'll spend about 10 minutes at the military complex itself, and have the chance to hike up to where the land is 490 ft. above sea level. Quite the view. The entrance fee into the park is not included.
Then, just about another 5 minutes from there is Shirley's Guard House. This military complex was quite complete and included a guardhouse, magazine, kitchen, officers' quarters, parade grounds, a 40-bed hospital, a canteen, and a cemetery. An obelisk in the cemetery commemorates the officers and men of the 54th Regiment who died in service in the West Indies between 1840 and 1851. After about ten minutes we'll move on to Nelson's Dockyard.
At Nelson's Dockyard, which has also been fully restored, you'll see picturesque 18th and 19th-century buildings that now house shops, hotels, and other businesses. Just outside the dockyard, you'll notice historic forts dotting the area. You can visit whichever you choose since all are accessible by trails allowing visitors to enjoy the park. You'll have about 40 minutes to wander about, shop for souvenirs, or walk the trails to the forts.
Once the time at the dockyard comes to an end, you'll board the transportation for a drive-through of the famous Liberty Village. For about 15 minutes you will learn about the history and how this village came into its name. For just a little information before you go, a female estate owner was forced to sell off a part of her property in small lots. She then sold those lots to the ex-slaves during the time of emancipation. The former slaves began to build their own homes and many started gardens. Although some of the freed people continued to work on plantations, they also earned income as mechanics at the dockyard. But, just a generation later, they began to separate from the plantations and start their own businesses such as small shops, or tailoring. A sign was put up in 1842 that named their village Liberta, which means liberty. You can also stop at the village's St. Barnabas church for about 10 minutes for a photo op, or just to sightsee.
Next, you're in for a real treat. You'll be driven through Antigua's most beautiful area about 30-minutes away. See the low central plains and travel upward into the ancient volcanic hills, which is also where you'll see the Parish of St. Mary in the island's southwest quarter. It can be a bit of a rough ride in places, but it's worth it as the road passes through the rainforest and rises to the top at Fig Tree Hill before heading back down to the coastline again. As you travel you will pass by banana, mango, and coconut groves, as well as a number of old sugar mills and small, local churches.
Once on the coastline, it will be time to stop for an optional one-hour beach break at Valley Church Beach, located on the West coast of Antigua just south of Jolly Harbor. There you will find facilities, enjoy free wifi, and have the chance to relax on the powdery sand for an hour. If you want, you can purchase food and drinks, at your cost. There will be water sports available as well. Valley Church offers banana boats and jet skis in addition to massages, shaded areas, and all fantastic views. Take a stroll, take a dip, have some lunch, whatever interests you. If the optional beach stop is added, the excursion will be approximately 5 hours.
You can decide to skip the beach stop and be taken directly to your St. Johns Cruise Ship Pier. Sit back and relax knowing you've seen the best this island has to offer on this Antigua Sightseeing Cruise Shore Excursion!
See the best of Antigua's nature, culture, and architecture, guided by a professional Antigua Sightseeing Excursion guide. With pick up and drop off at your St. John's Antigua cruise ship pier, you'll have nothing to do but enjoy this lovely island!