St John's, Antigua cruises

St. John’s, the capital city of Antigua, is laden with hotspots of natural beauty and historical intrigue. The island itself is bordered by 95 miles of glorious coastline and 365 soft, sugar-white sandy beaches, and is a true jewel in the Caribbean.

Enjoy the overflow of local charm and hospitality, and wander streets getting lost on purpose as each corner brings another scene you’ll want to photograph.

St. John’s port guide

Nestled alongside the turquoise waters of northeast Antigua, the capital of St. John’s is a picturesque setting to begin your Antiguan experience.

A popular and bustling port town, St. John’s is dappled with lush greenery and is home to more white sandy beaches than you could imagine. You could spend an afternoon strolling the historical streets of the town and gaze up at all the ancient architecture and imposing 18th century fortifications. Or perhaps you’d rather grab a refreshing cocktail as you relax on a sun lounger, looking out onto the rich blue hues of the Caribbean Sea? Find plenty of wonderful ways to spend your time here.

Perhaps venture across the island to explore the historical remnants of British colonialism, lose yourself snorkeling in the underwater coral wonderlands along the coast, or simply take in the beautiful flora and fauna that thrive on this natural Caribbean masterpiece.

Top landmarks and sights in St. John’s

St. John’s Cathedral

Step back in time and pay a visit to St. John’s Cathedral. Just a short walk from the port, this 16th century wonder has been destroyed by earthquakes twice, in the 17th and 18th centuries. Today, the cathedral boasts two momentous baroque towers, which are visible from your ship as you approach the bay.

Museum of Antigua and Barbuda

You can immerse yourself in the fascinating history of the nation at the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda, in St. John’s, which houses an impressive collection of artefacts and writings. Many of these pre-date the British colonial period, back to the indigenous Arawak people. Once used as a courthouse, the museum is the oldest building still in use on the island.

Devil’s Bridge

About half an hour’s drive east of St. John’s is the village of Willikies, close to which you’ll find Devil’s Bridge. Those interested in geology, or who enjoy witnessing the drama of natural landscapes, can visit this limestone rock formation which is the result of millions of years of evolving reef formations. Over time, the crashing Atlantic waves have steadily sculpted a natural bridge, and numerous geysers and blowholes surround the archway.

Things to do in St. John’s

Relax on beautiful beaches

Antigua, and specifically St. John’s, is a beach lover’s paradise. Enjoy some prime people-watching from a plethora of restaurants, bars, cafes, and food trucks at Dickenson Bay. Explore the UNESCO-listed, 18th century nautical complex of Nelson’s Dockyard at Pigeon Point Beach. Or perhaps just take time out and relax, taking in the postcard-worthy ocean view at Half Moon Bay.

If you’re an avid snorkeler, you may wish to pay a visit to the teal shallows of the reef at Long Bay Beach. Here you’ll see an array of marine life, such as sea sponges, blue-headed wrasse, and parrotfish.

Fort James

Less than a 10 minute drive from St. Johns, you can tour the waterfront ruins of Fort James, an 18th century British fort, built to repel French invaders. Or, if you’re looking to stretch your legs, you may choose to hike to Fort Barrington. While the hiking path itself is steep, the panoramic views from the top of the fort are worth the effort.

Cunard Shore Experiences

From St John’s you can visit many of Antigua’s most alluring sights and attractions on a Shore Experience with Cunard.

Discover the colorful underwater world of Paradise Reef and the warm golden sands of an Antiguan beach on a leisurely catamaran cruise, with our Paradise Reef Snorkel and Beach Shore Experience. Or, to see as much of the island of possible, why not join our Best of Antigua and Lobster Lunch tour? On this you’ll see many of Antigua’s highlights, enjoy a delicious lobster lunch, and have time to relax on the beach.

Eating and drinking in St. John’s

Antiguan cuisine pulls its influence from a diverse range of culinary tastes, including Jamaican, British, Spanish, and West African.

You could sample the island’s national dish of Fungie, often referred to as Antiguan polenta. This is a simple yet tasty dish of cornmeal cooked with okra water and seasoned with onions or peppers. You’ll often find Fungie as a side dish complimenting saltfish or rich beef stew. Fresh seafood is readily available all over, and you can sample island delicacies such as fresh conch, lobster, or even sea moss.

Don’t miss out on the delicious variations of rum-based cocktails, with the island playing host to two rum distilleries.

Shopping in St. John’s

For a taste of traditional Antiguan fare, you could visit the Public Market at St. John’s. The bustling stalls are packed with local produce including ripe fruits like mangoes and pineapples, and freshly made snacks.

When it comes to souvenirs, head to the commercial district of Heritage Quay. Here you’ll find a range of duty-free shops to browse, and everything from island rum and jewellery to art and hand-crafted pottery.

Getting around, St. John’s transport

One of the most convenient ways to get around the island is via taxi. You’ll find taxis available across St. John’s, including outside the cruise port. Some taxi drivers even offer a full-day service, picking you up and dropping you off at multiple destinations around the town. Should this be something you’d like to do, be sure to agree on a fixed fare before you leave.

A shuttle bus is available from Wednesday to Sunday and calls at many of the main tourist attractions.

St. John’s port facilities

The port at St. John’s is large and busy, with up to four cruise ships docked every day. There are two quays within the port – Redcliffe Quay and Heritage Quay. Both are well equipped and have a range of shops, ATMs, tourist help points, and plenty of bars and eateries close by.

St. John’s Quick Tips


Antigua uses the Eastern Caribbean dollar, however, you’ll find that the majority of retailers also accept US dollars. While many places will accept card payments, it can be useful to carry some cash for smaller purchases, such as at markets or food stands. You can buy cash on your Cunard Queen, or ATMs are available throughout downtown St. John’s.


Some restaurants will automatically include a 10% service charge on your bill, but if not, it’s generally considered polite to tip 10-15% for good service. The same applies to taxi drivers.


St. John's in Antigua has a tropical climate with warm temperatures throughout the year. Summer temperatures in St. John's can soar to around 41°C, while the winter months bring milder conditions with lows of around 14°C. You’ll find minimal rainfall year-round.