“Antigua by Sea & Land” (6 hours)
On a previous time in Antigua, we had enjoyed a lobster/catamaran experience. This time we wanted to see more of the island. This ship’s tour was a good combination. For the first half of our day, our group of about 30 was divided into two comfortable air-conditioned vans. We lucked out and had a really entertaining guide, actually the most personable of our entire cruise. “Jo”, is a DJ when he’s not leading tours and made our travel time fun. (He also shared his experience in New York City where he was working as a bicycle messenger on 9-11.) The vistas from Shirley’s Heights were gorgeous. We didn’t see the multimedia presentation but instead spent time outside on the overlook with a guide who covered the history. The views from above of English and Falmouth Harbours set the stage for our visit to Nelson’s Dockyard. Short tour there by a park service guide and free rum punch. My husband found a unique t-shirt in the sail shop. It’s on the right – worth a peek to see them still sewing sails. Warning: The rum punch is ridiculously strong! Some folks got one rum punch and one plain punch and mixed them. Just wish we had a little more time to fully explore the historic area.
From that point, it was a very short distance to the beach. Only a few glimpses of the “lush rain forest” as we drove quickly through. When we reached the beach, we said good-bye to “Jo” and were transferred by a rubber dinghy to the catamaran. I hadn’t put my swimsuit on yet and wasn’t prepared to get as wet as we did. (Not complaining, just a “heads up.”) We waded about knee deep into the waves and then sat on the edge of the dinghy and swung our legs over. At the catamaran, it was a bit awkward to climb from the dinghy onto the steps at the back of the boat but lots of help from the crew. (It could be difficult if you are at all mobility impaired.) Then we set sail back to St. John’s, enjoyed a Bajan chicken lunch with salad and other local fixings. Stopped at a reef for those who wanted to snorkel. My husband jumped in, but I thought the water was a little too choppy so just relaxed and enjoyed the rum punch and music. I was impressed they had the dinghy in the water keeping an eye on the snorkelers. Finished with a slow, gentle sail back to St. John’s. (Rain storm over the mountains in the distance made for great photos.) Plenty of room on the cat for everyone either in the shade or up front on the nets. A wonderful day!
Read OBX Cruisers's full Viking Star cruise review
Viking Ocean Cruises