And it is well edited and not too long to watch. Thanks very much to @phikweg on instagram.
And it is well edited and not too long to watch. Thanks very much to @phikweg on instagram.
And it is well edited and not too long to watch. Thanks very much to @phikweg on instagram.
Thanks for David and his crew of Rogue Trader for making this video. Sailing season and sailing week is over for the year – that does bring the Wet or stupidly named Hurricane Season in but that means some great Antigua Holiday Deals.
This video reminded me of my competent crew course that I once did in Gibraltar. Join in the conversation with their video click ‘vimeo’ in the video – we commented.
When visiting Antigua, it can be helpful to know the kinds of day trips and excursions on offer, so that you can maximise your enjoyment during your stay.
Here at Best Antigua, we have put together a general overview of the tours currently available, so that you can simply choose those that fit your budget, stamina and adventure rating. Please remember that you should always plan to take your sunscreen, a hat where possible and water, as even the most laid back of excursions should have these basic precautions in place *sensible in the sun*
Miramar have on offer a number of cruises, sure to cover pretty much everyone’s requirements. You can go for the classic ‘Sunset Cruise’ or the more comprehensive ‘Half Day Cruise’, or for those busy ladies there is a ‘Ladies that Lunch’ cruise, tailored specifically to fit with the school run. Alternatively, for something super romantic, you could try the ‘Just the Two of You’ cruise. This cruise will allow you some romance time with fishing, snorkelling and the chance to enjoy a few drinks too.
Cruise and Chill
This company offers tours that would suit those looking for either a chilled (as the name suggests) few hours sailing on the ‘Day Charter’ or the chance to make some time for romance on the ‘Sunset Cruise’. The Day Charter allows time for snorkelling around Cade’s Reef, swimming in a beautifully secluded bay and lunch watching the Dolphins and turtles play at sea. The Sunset Cruise also gives you time for swimming and snorkelling, but with canapés and drinks as you watch the sun sink into the horizon.
I have it on good authority that the Captain is known as a great storyteller, meaning whichever option at sea you choose, you can be sure to come away relaxed, enlightened and sea swept.
Adventure Caribbean Yacht Charter
For those looking for something a little more bespoke, the Jabberwocky Charter is worth a look.
There are many options of hire available, from one day to a week, with the yacht being exclusively yours for the duration of the trip chosen. There is also the option to have a go at sailing, as well as getting the chance to snorkel, swim and enjoy the sun while sailing around the Antiguan coastline.
This tour is particularly popular with those celebrating a special occasion, due to the fact you have the yacht to yourselves.
This company offer two options; ‘Day Sailing’ and ‘Sail ‘n’ Dive’.
The Day Sailing trip allows you a day on the boat with 2 hours sailing to a stunning beach with swimming and lunch. You can also try your hand at sailing by taking the wheel yourself.
On the Sail ‘n’ Dive trip, you have use of the yacht with a PADI certified dive instructor and 2 x 45 minute dives.
Sunshine Island Beach Tours
This tour is great for those wanting an educational look at Antigua, with all the classic sights visited including English Harbour, Nelson’s Dockyard, Shirley Heights, Betty’s Hope and Devil’s Bridge.
Footsteps Rainforest Hiking Tour
Those looking for a more active tour might like to consider this hiking trip. You get the chance to hike right in the heart of the Antiguan rainforest, see the conservation areas and head up to Signal Hill for stunning views.
There are a great many options available here, from the the ‘Circumnavigation Tour’ where you can sail and snorkel over a 60 mile trip, to the ‘Cades Reef Tour’ where you cruise the Leeward coast and snorkel the 2 mile reef.
The other options are the ‘Bird Island and Kayak Eco Tour’ where you kayak through the North Sound Marine Park Mangroves and visit Bird Island. Or there is the ‘Triple Destination Tour’ which stops at Green Island, English Harbour and Shirley Heights. This option also allows you the chance to taxi to Shirley Heights for the renowned ‘Sunset Party’ with steel band after dark.
For all those active visitors, a trek tour should be right up your street. With tours ranging from ‘Easy’ to ‘Mountain Slayer’, you are guaranteed to find something that whets your appetite for adventure and activity, whilst meeting your fitness levels.
This tour takes in many beautiful locations on the island from Jolly Harbour to the North Sound, with lunch at Bird Island.
There is also the opportunity to observe pelicans fishing in the wild, do some snorkelling and take a gentle stroll to the top of Bird Island and spot tropical fish and starfish at the Starfish Garden.
Springhill Riding Club
This experience is a must for any horse enthusiast, regardless of ability or previous experience. There are 1 or 2 hour riding sessions available and you can even add on the opportunity to swim with the horses after the ride.
The club also offers private lessons in dressage and show jumping.
This trip gives you a boat ride to the bay, where the scenery is serene and breathtaking. You will also be able to have a photo taken with the stingrays, feed them and swim with them, before having lunch.
Tropical Adventures Island Safari 4×4 Discovery Tour
This is a 4×4 tour visiting many of the key places of interest in Antigua. You will see Devil’s Bridge, Long Bay Beach and Betty’s Hope. You also get the opportunity to sample local fruits and lunch is provided.
If you like your excursions charged with adrenaline, then this is the one for you!
With it’s location being the Antigua Rainforest, you will fly through the trees and across rope bridges, zipping along at one point 330 feet above ground. Not for the faint hearted, but definitely for those seeking a thrill amidst natures beauty.
Hiking Tours Christian Valley Trails
This hiking tour offers 3 options depending on your fitness levels and the type of hike/duration you are interested in, however none are too difficult for most people.
Sport Fishing Tour
For all those fishermen and women out there, this half day trip is well worth doing (Editor did it and LOVED it – cameo above!).
You get to sea fish aboard the ‘Obsession’ in experienced company, with all the equipment to hand to give you a great chance to land that ‘Big One’! With the Caribbean Sea and sun with you throughout and drinks aplenty, this is a good tour to take where you also need no fishing experience.
If you are interested in general fishing in Antigua then checkout Antigua.fish !
It was already Thursday day 5 of our Antigua Holiday…our week was moving along.
You really shouldn’t miss St Johns and a fishing tour had fallen into my hands through the luck of happenstance so the morning happened to be free. It was time to journey in and visit the easy capital. There are not many capitals in this world that offer free parking and a relaxed atmosphere yet keep their vibrancy. I have seen many in the caribbean and I can’t think of better sized ones. Not too small not too large. Let me be picky for a moment they could use some more buildings that are as beautiful as St John’s Cathedral.
It really is a pleasant sight on a hot day and really worth the ‘hike’ it feels like as St Johns don’t do sidewalks ! Taking your stroller or pram you will be supremely frustrated as indeed if you are in a wheelchair. But do as the locals do in that case and ride on the road the traffic is as slow as need be. There was a demonstration in town of note where the locals donned blue Tees with a slogan I cannot recall but Dalston saw myself and Sanchia there. He lives nearby where I parked up and he said he saw us by the police station. I wanted to get Sanchia’s reaction to a sight that always impresses me against this compact city that of a cruise ship in dock, or two ..or four as can be accommodated. We walked around the various landmarks and soaked up the friendly vibe as we fanned away from the developed quay areas into the real St Johns.
There are no, no go areas its a safe city and country by choice of the locals it looks like.
You might like to wander for a couple of hours and rest a bit, but more was not for me – we had to get going anyway as I had a big deal to look forwards to perhaps – I was not sure. I was to go on a fishing trip ! A sea fishing trip.
Sea Fishing in Antigua…trolling to be precise… I saved that as a separate blog post as it was so big and the most fun thing to blog about I just had to.
I thoroughly recommend you book that tour through tony to get the best rates and grouping people together – its your best chance to get on a proper sea fishing boat with others sharing the cost – it’s mighty hard to do otherwise. Contact us to help arrange your sea fishing experience->
So I got back that evening to find Sanchia had been bothered to a large degree by a beach vendor that simply didn’t take no for an answer and it was the only single negative aspect of the trip. He clearly wanted to do more than sell tours and this guy needs taking off the list or a good smacking. I myself confronted him I think the day after and it wasn’t pretty but he was told in no uncertain terms to stay away from us. I think San had a nice afternoon and evening otherwise and she has enough character to not let that ruin her day. She took this photo.
We had a booking for the Warri Pier that evening and this should be on the list for the best restaurants in Antigua because of the location over the sea by about 50m. First however the resort put on some young dancers wearing colourful costumes. When the water is a little clearer (El Nino was making Antigua less than normal) you can see the snook chasing smaller fish below it transfixes me. I was on a cloud clearly from my fishing tour earlier and wanted to see the fish below but it was too cloudy.
The meal was very nice indeed and service was excellent. It was such a nice experience to dine in the almost open air and above the water.
I was feeling the effects of my fishing trip and all those banks beers I consumed and my body was calling me to sleep. I would try a power nap on the beach Sanchia was way more energetic dancing on the beach from what it looked like from my beach lounger ! I drifted off for a wee while knowing that this could make me even more sleepy but its so desirable…
10 minutes later I went to the bar an dropped a tequila shot inside of me (Fenton saw me from the band stand and smiled) I was not going to let Sanchia down – we were going down Dickenson Bay beach at night to see what was what..
Putters bar was the only place going that had a few patrons Ana’s on the beach which used to be peppers and lime. We congregated near the air hockey and pool table at the very top end and just an annoyingly short time after I considered to put money into the air hockey the guy came and said not to as it would not work. This I had very immediately ascertained myself. He made up for it by saying that the pool table was simply free to use. It was a bit on the worn side but good enough to whoop San’s ass 2 or 3-0. That was that for a very full day one in which I caught my biggest fish ever !
If you pardon the pun I may be in your boat; liking the idea of sea fishing but being denied by the cost (unless you can build your own group).
Tony from Tony’s Watersports in Dickenson Bay was for once a welcome beach vendor !
He had said to me that I could do regular big fish sea fishing (trolling) for 150 USD ! I said it sounded too cheap as previously you get figures starting from 450USD and upwards on other days and other islands never had a sea fishing trip been within reach. The once exception was a boat from key west where you dangled a bait with 30 others from a bigger static boat – not at all like this !
This the sea-fishing for Sailfish, Marlin, Mahi Mahi, King Fish, Tuna, Wahoo etc
I had to admit there then on the beach I was really keen but the boat was due to leave in the morning and that was hard for me getting up in Antigua – I know what your thinking but I like to sniff the evening air I am a sufferer of FMO The fear of missing out… Perhaps more problematic was the poor wifi connection and the fact that SMS which I had or mobile phone was getting dropped by people in favour of whats app to keep information flowing. So at one point I didn’t get to give Tony a message (we didn’t have each others number and I dropped the flyer !). We got back at midnight to a message he had tried to get me at the hotel. So I went to bed thinking that was that and was slightly miffed annoyed by my hotels lack of connection. In the morning Tony came back and the tour seemed to have shifted to the afternoon and was I interested. So I accepted and I was going fishing ! I still didn’t imagine it was going to be the real deal at 150 USD however there were some others so it could be great.
http://antigua.fish a new website all about fish and fishing in Antigua. Antigua.fish moved to Best Antigua Fishing.
Tony will drive fisherman down (to do the tour inclusive in the price) to the catamaran dock in Falmouth a hidden away gem in that area worth a detour in a rental car. It was at that point after the colourful drive down with vendor Tony and other fishermen Tim and Steve that we got to step out next to the boat Obsession.
One of the issues with Antigua is the cost of getting your own transport to the tour as often its not included and is expensive addition when if you book through someone like Tony he can take you as part of the deal . If you need a cheaper alternative to the fixed price taxi fares there are a couple of Best Antigua recommended taxi guides on this website. To get in touch with Tony use the contact form at the end of the adventure.
The catamaran dock in Falmouth
Back at the dock in the bay where you can sit we were introduced to the crew and Captain Derek. He has a lot of experience and accreditation. Behind was the Obsession and my worries immediately vaporised. Obsession is a lovely boat as you can see and well kitted out. On the tour soft drinks and beer are the options available so take snacks with you. I paid Tony in full in cash and there is the facility to pay by card at the dock. You can take a bathroom break here before boarding. 10 minutes later we were busy filming the lovely boats in Falmouth.
As the fishing boat powered out to the south side fishing spots that give the chance of catching, the boat has the electronics to help find the fish too. We were not given direction on how to set up the rods as its not the kind of thing that would happen at this level but the young Chris was helpful in answering any questions I had. Derek was driving up on the top of the boat. We had a total of five rods two out rigged rods two from the rear and a rod high in the middle spinning direct out back.
This setup is easy to keep the lines from tangling. I chatted to Steve and agreed that it felt like we were landing and playing the fish more than we were fishing but we were novices and I am sure that you can have more input if you are experienced. I also felt that a big take and Marlin on the end would get us hooked on this different kind of fishing and all that would be forgotten. So whose rod is whose? In fact it seemed to be survival of the fittest in this regard on the boat and James and Isabel seemed to be fit taking most of the rods !
About an hour in nothing had yet happened but I was happy getting to grips with the mental working out the rigs and the chatting to the others. I still have a passion for fishing of any description this was clear so this tour was a little bit about self discovery too.
We were a few miles out it seemed and Antigua was a single deep muddy grey silhouette. The water didn’t at any point offer me any clues that it was going to be an epic day at sea. What I mean by that is that on a few occasions you get a lot of surface action birds fish jumping etc – it suggests a lot is going on underwater and a day on the surface like that has led to many great dives. This afternoon a flying fish far off was all that I saw no turtles etc. Pass me another Banks…
It was my first time on a boat and for 5 hours (length of fishing tour) so I was getting a mild nausea. We got into rougher seas, but really it was not rough. Make sure to drink water in between those beers or anyway to stay hydrated and keep covered in sunscreen or shirt.
The Obsession was a great boat the diesel fumes couldn’t be smelt and it was comfortable and could have taken more people without feeling crowded. We were trolling along and then this happened
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLchg493HsE where James got us off the mark with a Barracuda which made us feel better and that at least we wouldn’t return fish less.
This was Tim in action next
The one that got away ! Sorry Tim that could have easily been the best and most beautiful fish of the day.
Well I needed to get on a rod of my own and I needed to try get the next one I decided. So its not just getting on as many rods as you can it’s well being lucky and I may have got lucky here ?
I did seem to have a knack of spotting the takes despite the Banks consumption and I had decided the next was mine if Steve didn’t make a claim as he had also not made a move for a rod. This time it was a bit different as the bait had been checked and brought in. The rod almost had not settled down it was as if the fish hit it on the way out. In the event I saw it and called and the crew guy (not Chris) I am sorry I forgot your name (please get in touch to edit) got and handed it over – such was my excitement. When you get a ‘take’ you hear the tackle sound like the reel or the bang of the line disengaging with the outrigger it’s exciting as bedroom sport. Sorry to make such a reference however it needs underlining how exciting it is this is what makes a fisherman fish along with the other key ingredient which I believe is that of being in nature.
I wanted to not loose it after Tim’s and it doesn’t mean you haven’t kept the line slack or didn’t set the hook well as these fish have bony heads – but you need to try and keep a tight line. I got into the playing chair and knew I had a decent fish on. What a great moment and life experience I was having. My left bicep even with the help of the rod but rest was burning but I had no intention of resting it.
I remember thinking I had lost the fish at one point but the fish was coming toward the boat JAWS style. Derek told me it was still on from his vantage point. There was another take that James jumped on and I think it was just before ‘my’ rod went off he landed a small rainbow runner.
The boat has to aid in tiring the fish I guess I might have played the fish for 5 minutes when Derek hoped down to try and ‘land’ it. It was a great feeling to almost have it on the boat but I was enjoying the arm agony and the feeling of a big fish on the end. I didn’t think it was a really big fish but I knew it was more than the smaller fish we had caught so far. I kept reeling in and pumping the fish closer – Crew kept telling me to relax and I was trying ! I was not relaxed when winding the reel as the slack line is the better chance for the fish to shake free.
Captain Derek landed the Wahoo aboard. I immediately felt the slack line and rested. I was so very happy the exact opposite of the Wahoo I should imagine. That Wahoo will kill no other fish either as a human I am guilty of engineering myself within his food-chain.
Ice was put onto the wahoo that was placed directly in the fish cooler. I seemed to be more interested in wanting to get my picture taken of it time to reflect on that later.
I was feeling slightly for Tim, Steve and Isabella hoped they would jump on the next take it was theirs ? Another Barracuda this time for Isabella hopefully made her vacation as well, at least the tour. A funny moment was that she didn’t of course want to hold the fish. No more fish were taken though of course for me I was happy and wanted other fish for us all in truth. We wound back to the harbour with a missed take in all that remained.
A funny thing happened I think I filled up with beer ! I couldn’t wait to tell and show Sanchia my girlfriend about it all. It has also been a great trip and a good test of my super zoom compact camera, most all of the video and shots of this trip were taken with it. It has a stunning set of features and a zoom that brought boats in close from afar. There is always something to see in Antigua and even now I got some last video.
Derek prepared the fish on a steel table after I got my photo opportunity. Derek’s pets were already waiting as we docked; tarpon always a delight for me the biggest I have ever seen cruise the docks at Key West but they are a good looking dinosaur age fish.
Derek gave us all some steaks to take back and cook Tim and Steve were self catering so they could cook theirs but the resorts are being unclear to the fishing tour companies on if they accept meat from customers for liability reasons and I was adamant that I didn’t want my resort to waste any steaks (IF THEY DID NOT) I took away so I never ate any of my Wahoo.
Here is Steve and Tim’s video
If you want to book this trip contact Derek’s or Tony’s team here. If you are in the north maybe try Tony to see if he will drive you down.
[EDIT] We no longer have a cricket tour ! If you manage tours and have a cricket tour we would be happy to show that here. Just get in touch.
The following has been left in the blog for now.
You can book this cricket tour in advance online to save hassle or you might decide to do it in person on the island through your hotel or resort tour desk.
This is a 3.5 hour tour that takes you to 3 centres of cricket (Stanford Cricket Ground the ARG (Antigua Recreational Ground) and the Sir Viv Richards stadium pictured below) the chance to meet some former Antigua cricket legends like Keith Fredericks and one of the following Curtly Ambrose, Richie Richardson, Andy Roberts or even Sir Viv Richards himself and a 30 – 45 minute session listening to your questions and telling you about their finest.
The ARG is now mostly used for events like Antigua Carnival.