Antigua - always a Top Yacht client favourite. Sea breezes that you can set your watch by. Stunning beaches and anchorages but most of all it's the people. Take it easy or play hard - Antigua has it all!
Just a 20 minute drive from the airport, Jolly Harbour Marina Village is located on the west coast of Antigua. A 5 minute motor has you out in the azure seas of the Caribbean - look out for the turtles! Ashore you will find plenty of history, great food and there is always a party somewhere! Further afield visit the paradise of Barbuda, or head south to cosmopolitan Guadeloupe. One-way sailing to either St Martin or Dominica is possible subject to availability at US$995.
One word - great! The main sailing season runs from the end of October through to late June. July to September is the official hurricane season when more rain can be expected and squally showers - however still nice and warm. The famous 'Christmas Winds' arrive around November and last for a couple of months. Temperatures are fairly constant around mid 80's fahrenheit. Tradewinds are predictably north-east during the main season, around 15-20 knots. Seas are flatter on the leeward side of the island, exciting sailing can be had on the windward side! Tidal range is quite minimal.
Opened around 20 years ago, Jolly is your departure point for exploring Antigua and beyond. It is a large community complex based around the marina - private villas, martime businesses, a large supermarket, some cracking bars (try Castaways on the beach!) and souvenir shops.
Antigua is served by V.C. Bird International Airport (ANU) which is located on the north eastern side of the island. Jolly Harbour is about 25-30 minutes away by taxi - plenty outside the terminal. From the UK there are regular, almost daily flights from Gatwick with British Airways and Virgin Atlantic. These usually leave mid-morning taking about 8 hours. With the time difference on arrival you can be on your yacht the same afternoon! Return to London is overnight. Antigua also has many flights directly from the US mainland.
Charters from Jolly Harbour can start and finish any day subject to availability.
As with all bareboat charters, prior experience of sailing a similar sized yacht is pre-requisite. A sailing resume will be asked for which can be completed before departure. Currently there are no official requirement for sailing qualifications, but as rules are always changing please check with us before you go. Antigua is really for the more experienced skipper - there are reefs, and don't forget that the bouyage system is American - so around the 'wrong way' for us on the other side of 'the pond'.
Is the East Caribbean Dollar EC$, with the US$ being widely accepted. We suggest using credit/debit card where available and keeping some cash aside for the smaller establishments and eateries. Jolly Harbour, St Johns and English Harbour all have ATM's.
Your charter fee will include any applicable taxes to the yacht. Most visitors do not require a visa but complete a landing card for immigration (usually handed out by cabin crew on your flight). Always check with your consulate before travelling. As most food is imported, costs are a little higher in supermarkets, although local produce such as vegetables, breads etc can be very cheap. If you are ashore, do try and visit the local establishments rather than the chains. An ice-cold Carib with a goat curry is a must- that is if you haven't caught your own Mahe Mahe off the back of your yacht and put it on the transom barbeque!