Antigua's Greatest Hits: Nelson's Dockyard Tour and Scenic Drive by Private Vehicle
St. John's, Antigua and Barbuda
- Nelson's Dockyard guided walking tour: Antigua's largest national park is home to shops, restaurants, hotels, forts, and the oldest Georgian-era naval yard in the world.
- Shirley Heights: This restored military lookout and gun battery gave forces a clear picture of both English and Falmouth Harbours.
- Blockhouse Ruins: 500 feet above the Caribbean, this cliff's-edge fortress provides unimpeded lookout views of Indian Creek and the ocean.
- Scenic drive: See Antigua’s tropical countryside, everyday picturesque village life and calm, rolling hills en route to St. John’s.
- Totally Private: Hey we love group tours. But we know sometimes you want to explore with just your friends and family. Customized to fit your whole crew up to 6 people.
About this St. John's Tour
By 1781, Britain had lost all of her West Indian colonies, so English Harbour and its dockyard were of critical strategic advantage. It protected ships from stormy weather, it was large enough for large ship repairs, it helped protect British sugar interests, and it enabled Great Britain to monitor French naval activity.
To introduce order and protect the remaining British interests, the crown sent Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson. At only 26 years of age, he took control of the garrison, putting an end to other countries' under-the-table trading, including America's.
Abandoned in 1889, it was renamed Nelson's Dockyard during its 1950s restoration. As the world's largest Georgian-era shipyard, it is still very much in use, and is at the same time, the largest National Park on the island.
Today, visitors enjoy exploring the Dockyard Museum in the former Admiral's home, the shops, the restaurants, as well as the surrounding forts and lookouts above – Shirley Heights, and the Blockhouse Ruins.
Turning a blind eye
Early in his military career, Horatio Nelson (namesake of Nelson's Dockyard) lost sight in one eye. In a later battle, his overly cautious superior signaled to retreat. Defiant, Nelson lifted the telescope to his blind eye, said "I really do not see the signal." He pressed on, won the battle, and was appointed fleet Commander-in-Chief. Thus the idiom, "turning a blind eye" was born.
Staying in a hotel or on a cruise? Please proceed to the Exotica Antigua Boutique, Redcliffe Quay, St John's to meet your guide. This is a 3 minute walk from the cruise ship terminal.
This is a private tour and each vehicle holds a maximum of 6 travelers. All 3 stops have concrete paths. Nelson's Dockyard has a walk of approximately 200 to 300 yards whilst the other 2 stops have walks on flat concrete paths of about 50 yards each. Walking during free time is at the discretion of the travelers.
Participants must be able to walk roughly 0.5 mile over flat surfaces with a few steps.
Private, Bus Tour, Cultural, Scenic
Private vehicle holding up to 6 persons.
English, French, German, Italian, Spanish
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated moderate. Full participation may require extended periods of walking over even and uneven surfaces, steep terrain and/or water activity in a slight current. There may be steps, inclines, cobblestone surfaces, and extended periods of standing. Participants with physical limitations should take this into account.
Suitable for all ages.
Must be at least 3 feet tall to participate in this activity.
Suitable for travelers weighing up to 400 lbs.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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