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English Harbour
English Harbour
English Harbour
English Harbour
English Harbour

English Harbour

English Harbour Town, Antigua and Barbuda
Lat: 17° 0' 27.0''
Lon: -61° 46' 31.08''
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AYC Marina & Resort-








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Partly cloudy throughout the day.


Lat17° 0' 27.0''

Lon-61° 46' 31.08''

ESE at 16 knots

English Harbour is located on the south shore of the island of Antigua about four miles southeast of St. Phillips, and just next door to Falmouth Harbor. English Harbour is home to two of the best marinas in the Caribbean, and there are a multitude of facilities ashore servicing just about every need a traveling cruiser might need including bakeries, liquor stores, food markets, produce stands and fresh fish markets.


The island was discovered in 1493 by Christopher Columbus, and he decided to name the island Antigua, which has stuck every since. The island was originally inhabited by the Arawak Indians, who date back from before Christ. It is believe they arrived on the islands by small boats, paddling their way from South America.

English settlers arrived on Antigua in 1632 and immediately set up farming for sugar, tobacco and spices. The French temporarily occupied Antigua for several months in 1666, but it was soon given back to the British. The country (Antigua and Barbuda) gained its independence from the British in 1981, and today, both islands support a thriving tourist economy.

Navigating the Water:

English Harbour is deep, wide and easy-to-enter, and the only obstacle that you will need to clear on approach is a reef that extends northwest from Charlotte Point, which is to starboard on entry. English Harbour is approached from the south, and a set of range lights are in place to help guide you in.

Arriving from the east or west, position yourself to intercept latitude/longitude N16 59.767 W61 45.930 about a half-mile southwest of Charlotte Point. Once you have sighted the range lights, follow a course of 022 degrees true for about a half-mile until you are between Berkley and Charlotte points.

Clear of Berkley Point, you will now make a turn to the northwest, taking a course of 320 degrees true for about .2 mile. This will put you right between Nelsons Dockyard (you can clear customs here if just arriving on Antigua) and Antigua Slipway, two marinas in English Harbour. Stern-to dockage (also known as Mediterranean mooring) is accommodated at both facilities, sitting in side-by-side across-the-harbor “competition” with one another, although Antigua Slipway specialize more in hard repairs and Nelsons is a bit more fancy to accommodate the visiting cruisers.

Antigua Slipway is to starboard on entry, just past Freeman Point at the second twist in the harbor. This facility specializes in all matter of marine repairs, but especially fiberglas, paint and other hull restoration. Also onsite is a large chandlery with all sorts of hard to find parts that the owner ships in from the United States each year. You can also arrange to tie up for the night here, but it is advisable to phone ahead for availability and reservations.

Nelsons Dockyard is located just across the harbor from Antigua Slipway and is where you will need to clear through customs on your arrival. There are 30-plus stern too slips here, and ashore there are amenities such as water, cable TV, Internet and restrooms/showers.

You can’t help but notice that anchorage is everywhere in English Harbour upon your arrival, and you are free to drop your hook in average depths of 13 to 24 feet in just about every corner. The only warning about anchoring in English Harbour is that sometimes there are old chains that foul the bottom and snag visiting cruiser’s anchors every year. Be sure to use a trip line. There is an obvious entry channel all the way up the Harbour and boats are required to keep clear of the channel at all time.

Local Notices to Mariners:

See our “Local Notices to Mariners” blog for updates on the latest conditions and advisories for this area.


V.C. Bird International Airport, located on the northeast corner of Antigua, is the point of entry for visitors arriving by air to Antigua and Barbuda. There are both direct flights and connections from North America via San Juan and St. Martin and several weekly flights from Europe. Scheduled and charter service is available to many of the neighboring islands. The airport is served my such major carriers as Air Canada, American Airlines, BWIA, Continental, Delta and US Airways.

Getting around Antigua is relatively simple. If you have a bike, or a good set of walking legs, many of the towns are easily explored by foot or pedal, but there are also busses that run on “semi-regular” schedules around the island. Figuring out the schedule and routes can be frustrating. Taxi cabs are available throughout the island, and many are also qualified as tour guides for sightseeing trips. Rates for the trips can be obtained from the local hotels.

Lastly, you can rent a car. There are almost two dozen agencies on the island and rates range from $40- $50 U.S. dollars a day. You will also need to get a temporary license (valid for three months), which costs an additional $20.

Helpful Links:

Antigua and Barbuda Department of Tourism

Antigua and Barbuda Calendar of Events

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