Here is a typical example of why we have decided to streamline our website in an effort to cut down on confusing emails back and forth. This was posted as a private message on our facebook page: “Hello,
I am very interested in booking a tour with you but I’m having trouble finding your email address on your webpage. My question is where does the tour start? Does it start in St. John’s? Thank you for your help!”
My answer kind of explains why we don’t have a contact us or feature our email address all over our website: “to avoid a chain of emails back and forth we generally try to urge people to fill in a booking form. With the info we receive from that form, we are better able to answer their questions. For example, your question isn’t easy to answer unless I know which day you plan on coming on the tour. Whether you are on a ship or in a hotel while here. Also I need to know how many people in your party in case you are coming via taxi. In that case it may be cheaper to pick you up from your hotel. Which tour of our three do you want to go on? Once I have these things which would come to me via the booking form I would be able to reply with where we would pick you up and what time. Anyway, to answer you question, it depends on a bunch of variables. Hope this helps. Send me your info via http://www.adventureantigua.com/book-now/ . Thanks much!
In order to get the online discount of 10% off offered on this site, you must pay a deposit via credit card (visa or mastercard) and you must pay the balance on the tour using either cash or travelers checks. The discount only remains valid if you pay cash or travelers checks for the balance.
As mentioned in the FAQ above this one, where we collect you depends on info that we will get once you fill out the booking form. We do collect from many hotels on their beach and some from the beach next around the corner. Cruise ship passengers almost always get collected from the wooden boardwalk directly in front of their ship in St. Johns, but we will explain more clearly once we get your booking request.
Antigua is lucky enough to have three different types of rays gracing out waters. We have the extremely rare Manta Rays which I have only seen a few times, Spotted Eagle Rays which are fairly common and you may see and the very common Southern Stingrays. After the terrible news about Steve Erwin’s tragic death, I though I had better do some PR for the rays. Firstly, in world recorded history, there have been 18 deaths attributed to the 150 species of rays world wide. You can see Steve’s death in OZ was a total freak accident and a horrible tragedy. The one that killed “croc hunter”, Steve Erwin, is called a Bull Ray and is found in South Africa , New Zealand and Australia . It is the largest of all rays getting up to 700 lbs. Our rays here in Antigua are extremely gentle and cuddly feeding on crabs and shell life. They don’t have muscle control over their barbs and can not use them to attack anything. Please don’t worry about them on your trip to the Caribbean . If you need more info please email us.
We do now have three tours and each is very different from the other. Many people have now done each of them and there hasn’t yet been a winner between. Some people like the Eco Tour better, some prefer the Xtreme Tour and some just love the sailing. The thing to remember is that Eco is more educational covering less ground on a larger slower power boat, and the Xtreme Tour is made up of two tours, covers more ground going right around the island on a faster and smaller boat. The Classic Yach takes tiny groups very very slowly sailing on a traditionally built wooden boat. Read the descriptions to get a better idea, and do all three if you can. We’ll give you more of a discount!
Actually we call it “the” eco-tour, because it is the only day trip available in Antigua which explores the delicate balance between man and nature, revealing secret wonders and explaining the complex relationships of a tropical paradise. We speak about the history and the ecology of the area where we grew up spending all of our after-school time exploring. Snorkeling is a big part of the tour and we actually can check out the underwater world up to three times while on the excursion.
Most certainly not. We take non swimmers out on our tours every single week and swimming proficiency has never been a prerequisite on our excursions. In fact, we have taken many people snorkeling who have never been swimming before. Of course you don’t have to go snorkeling, but some non swimmers want to go so bad that after a snorkeling lesson they just put on floatation vests provided and get pulled around the reef by one of the snorlelling guides. My tours are set up to be enjoyed by people of all abilities.
Xtreme, because we are on a 675hp purpose built machine doing speeds up to 40mph at times. We also come into Xtremely close contact with the rays at the Stingray City marine park. As far as excursions go, going on a sailing catamaran and making one stop for the day is at one end of the eXtreme. Taking a day making 5 stops with the Xtreme Circumnav is at the other end.
On the Eco Tour we use a 52 foot power cat which was built in the USA for excursions like ours. It is US Coast Guard certified to carry up to 49 passengers, but we have decided to keep our tour intimate and now carry a maximum of about 25 passengers. We cruise up to the North Sound of Antigua doing about 20 knots getting to the many secret spots quickly to allow for more time there. There is one ladder at the front of the boat to get to the beach and two at the back to get into and out of the water. There is almost 65 % cover and we have plastic screens that can be lowered if it rains. Also onboard is a cabin, a shower and a “head” (toilet).
On the Xtreme Circumnav, we use a 45 foot powerboat that was build for us from scratch. We designed this boat with big ladders, plenty of shade, a cabin and “head”, and plenty of eco friendly power to get us around the island fast enough to make more stops than on any other tour. We carry a max of 22 people.
The Classic Yacht can take up to ten people and we have taken 16 family members one time on a private charter, but on a regularly scheduled tour we take a max of 6 people making it very exclusive. Eli skippers this one.
Yes! In fact we have been taking cruise passengers for ten years on our Eco Tour (AND HAVE NEVER BEEN LATE COMING BACK TO THE DOCK). I put that in because almost every single cruise ship passenger worries about us getting back in time. Once you send in your booking request and have filled out all the little boxes we will reply to you with all of the details that you will need. We normally get back to the cruise dock just before the afternoon “Cruise Tours” booked by the ship.
We have taken many children under 10 and as young as 4 who really enjoyed the tour, and have taken grandparents in their eighties as well. These tours are designed to be as active as you the guest wants to be.
All drinks, snorkeling gear and a huge buffet lunch is included, and all you have to bring is towels, sunscreen, swimwear, cameras, hats (if you want) and SHOES YOU DONT MIND GETTING WET. Those plastic waterproof cameras are great too. Another great thing to bring is a pair of polarized sunglasses. They help you spot turtles and rays! On the Xtreme Tour all the park fees are included too.
We won’t take you out if the weather is bad, and will refund the deposit you pay to us if we cancel for any reason. We will do our best to reschedule you if this rare event happens. We have seen many boats take people out in bad weather with some getting in big trouble over the years for this same reason. We pay plenty of attention to the marine forecasts and don’t make decisions based on $$$$. If we cancel your tour please trust us…..it will be for a good reason. A good weather site for Antigua is www.weathewrcarib.com Don’t use animated forecasts. They don’t work for Antigua . Antigua receives very little rain (no rivers, springs, streams) and is usually sunny.
My neighbor, Harriette, prepares all of our food the morning before departure. She is great!!! Anyway, we serve a massive pasta salad made with lots of garlic, parmesan cheese, and olive oil, the best BBQ chicken on Antigua, a huge mixed salad, plantain (a type of banana you have to cook), and later banana cake for dessert.
Our tour is different for many of reasons. We don’t serve alcohol until we are on our way back, we don’t have music on board and I don’t make you do “limbo” or any other silly games. There are many great party cruises in Antigua. This is not one of them.
We get this question by email often. Tipping is something that we do not encourage at all…unlike on other tours I have seen. If you really enjoy our tour and service and would like to tip the crew then it will be greatly appreciated, but it is not required.
On Eco we give you the opportunity to snorkel three times on the tour. The first is off the beach, and this is where we give our in depth snorkeling lessons for people who haven’t done it before or for people who need a refresher course. We then give you the choice of snorkeling again after lunch at Hell’s Gate Island , and one last time off Welch Rock before the trip home. On Xtreme, there are up to 4 occasions for snorkeling if you really want to snorkel for most of the day, but there are 2 dedicated snorkeling stops on this tour. On the Classic Yacht tour there are two snorkeling sites.
We see different animals throughout the year. In the winter months from the end of Jan until April we see the massive humpback whales occasionally as they pass through the islands on their way North. Nine out of ten trips we will see either Hawksbill or Green turtles from the boat as they come up for air in the North Sound. Several species of lizard daily, the rarest snake in the world (totally harmless) shows itself occasionally, hermit crabs, many species of fish, birds, both migratory and indigenous, star fish, crabs, lobster, rays. occasional dolphins and there is always the crew!.
We get all levels of fitness on the tour and have rarely had a problem. The tour is an active one and like all boating tours you have to get off the boat by ladder to get to the beach or to go snorkeling. “How difficult are the Ladders”… has recently been a big question. We have had people come on and off the boat down the ladder with arms in casts, and we have had people who have arrived in crutches up and down as well. All kinds of sizes and shapes have been up and down them. If one goes slowly, then the ladders are very simple. We always have crew helping as well. There is some hiking and caving and whenever there is a challenging part we always have other options like snorkeling or swimming. The pic here is of the front ladder, but we have two at the back which we use for snorkeling. The tour is not for everyone, but most people will love it if they read up on what we do before booking.
The Xtreme Circumnav is a little different than eco when it comes to fitness. There are always exceptions but to be very general I would say that you must tell us if you have back problems or if you are pregnant. We will then make sure you sit in the back of the boat. Apart from that I would say that it’s the same as Eco above.
It’s amazing how many people ask this question, and the simple answer is yes Antigua and Barbuda does have sharks like most of the world’s oceans. If you want a better explanation about sharks and other perceived dangers you may find on your holiday then you should read this blog post. You are more likely to see whales, dolphins and turtles than a single shark, and if you see one it will be gone in a flash. In 12 years of doing tours we have seen two or three.