V.C. Bird International
No Online Provisioning
No formal license
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Find everything you need to prepare for a charter in Antigua. From important base information to required documents for international travel, you can use this information as your guide before and during your charter. Don’t forget to pack a copy to take with you.
Before you go
Antigua, West Indies
Base opening hours
Mon-Sun: 8:30am – 5:00pm
Season: This destination is open from early November through the end of June.
Please note: base is unable to accept cash or personal cheques, and cannot give cash back on credit or debit (Switch/Delta) cards.
UTC/GMT -4 hours
Tourist information centre
Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority
Third Floor, ACB Financial Centre
St John’s, Antigua
Tel. 1.268.562.7600 | Fax 1.268.562.7602
What to bring
Customs + immigration
Entry, exit, and visa requirements depend on the locations you are departing from and travelling to. You are responsible for having the correct documents so make sure to check with the embassy of the countries you plan to visit before you travel. Visit gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice for the latest information.
No sailing licences are required for cruising in this region. We strongly advise that you take any sailing certification on holiday with you as this is useful should you be contacted by Customs or Port Police.
The skipper will be required to fill in a sailing cv prior to arrival at the base to confirm that they have the necessary skills to sail in this region.
Luggage + packing list
Please pack using soft-sided bags, as these are easier to store on your yacht. The base has no facilities for holding luggage. Pack lightly and review our suggested packing list below for required and necessary items to bring.
- Pack essential prescription medicine and change of clothing in a carry-on bag*
- Passport and other travel documentation
- Tickets and paper confirmations for pre-planned activities
- Light-coloured, light-weight clothing
- Formal wear for upscale dining establishments
- Swim wear and cover up
- Hats and sunglasses
- Sandals and flip-flops
- Athletic shoes and hiking boots
- Travel-sized toiletries and hygiene products
- Bug spray and OTC pain relievers/creams such as motion sickness relief
- 12V DC to 110V AC power inverter (for boats without generators**)
- 12V to USB power adapter for charging mobile devices
*We would highly recommend packing prescription medicine and essential clothing (swimsuit, t-shirt and shorts) in your hand luggage as occasionally your luggage may arrive at the base after you do.
**All boats include a 12V DC outlet (a “car” outlet). Boats with generators have 110V outlets in the Caribbean and 220V in the Mediterranean and Exotic locations.
Local currency – Eastern Caribbean dollar (ECD)
The United States dollar (USD) is sometimes accepted as well but we highly recommend carrying the local currency with you as not all restaurants and stores accept USD, debit, and/or credit cards.
10 to 15% tip is standard at restaurants, taxis, etc. $1 per bag is standard for bellhops.
A security deposit must be paid at the base by Visa or Master Card and is refundable at the end of your charter subject to there being no loss or damage. To significantly decrease your security deposit, purchase our Yacht Damage Waiver insurance ahead of time.
What’s on board
Coolers are available at the base on a first come first served basis at no additional charge. Only one per boat.
Check with your service provider for information about mobile coverage in this region.
We offer a free mobile phone to rent with a security deposit of $200 USD.
Music + iPods
While most of our newer boats have Bluetooth capability, we cannot guarantee all boats are outfitted with this equipment. For your convenience, we highly recommend you bring an AUX line so you can listen to music from your mobile devices.
The use of flying drones may be restricted in some areas. For current drone regulations in this destination, please visit https://uavcoach.com/drone-laws-in-antigua-and-barbuda/
All yachts in this destination are equipped with 110V two-pin plugs. Don’t forget to bring a USB adapter to charge your phone as not all yachts are equipped with usb outlets.
For more information on what’s included on your yacht, please view the full list here.
How to get there
V.C. Bird International Airport (ANU)
Upon your arrival at the airport, please mention your intended destination is Sunsail and The Moorings.
To ensure seamless travel to and from your destination or find out more about our tailor-made flight-inclusive or exclusive packages call us now on 020 3733 7454*.
We are unable to provide transfers at Antigua, however there are taxis available outside the airport. Please inform the driver that you are going to the Sunsail base in English Harbour.
It is approximately $50 USD per taxi for up to four people (one way) and a 30 to 45-minute drive.
Boarding time & checking out
You will not be able to leave the dock until then next day.
If you arrive after our office closes, a letter will be left on the office door and a sign with your name will be placed on your designated boat.
Check out time
A debriefing and final walkthrough will be done upon return so please allow enough time to complete this before the charter end time.
About the marina
Customs + immigration office
Supermarket, post office + bank
Cable tv + internet
Laundry (for a fee)
Restrooms + showers
Waste + oil disposal
Our intermediate sailing destinations, Level 2 sailing areas offer a greater challenge for sailors more comfortable on the open water. Enjoy strong winds and longer spells of open water sailing, suitable for more experienced skippers.
Experience levels are based on sailing conditions and the length of passages within your chosen sailing area. View here for more information.
Martinique/Guadeloupe: Selected yachts in Antigua cannot go into Martinique/ Guadeloupe at any time.
Sailing area restrictions
North Sound to Nonsuch Bay on the NE Coast, restricted due to reefs. Barbuda- Spanish Point and North Coast due to reef and depth.
It is strictly forbidden to sail alone, we require two persons minimum on board.
You must be moored at least one hour before sunset. Night Sailing is not allowed without permission from the base manager. The decision to allow night sailing is based on your skill level and can be requested in advance.
You will need to fill out the sailing cv for the base to review but we cannot guarantee approval.
Charts + pilot books
All the charts and pilot books you will need for the sailing area are issued at your chart briefing.
Sailing permits + taxes
There are no taxes or clearance requirements for sailing between Antigua and Barbuda.
Moorings fees + taxes
Mooring Balls: approx. 15-20 USD per night and are available in Falmouth Harbour and Jolly Harbour.
Dockage Fees: approx. .50 to 1 USD per foot, per night.
Health & Safety
Standard Swim Safe
Swimming is often a fun and important part of a vacation. However local rules, flag systems, currents and where swimming may be permitted, can be different and vary from country to country. Snorkel vests, Life Jackets and Diver Down flags are all available on board.
- Talk to children about water safety at the start of a vacation, making them aware of the potential dangers.
- Accidents can happen at any time on vacation, but often they happen on the first and last day, so keep watch and do not get distracted when your children are playing by, or in the water.
- Children in or near water should always be supervised by an adult and never left unattended.
- Get in the water with them, it is easier to keep an eye on them as well as good fun. Floatation devices are highly recommended for children but are not a substitute for supervision.
Be aware of your surroundings
- Check warning flags and signage on the beach and only swim where it is permitted.
- Beware of dangerous currents, these can be very powerful. Not all beaches have lifeguards and/or warning flags.
- Beware of underwater hazards, such as reefs, rocks, sudden changes in depth and marine life.
- Never swim where a sign says not to e.g. in zoned areas for jet boats or jet skis.
- Never swim at night or after drinking alcohol.
Look out for others
- Never swim alone, ‘buddy up’ with others in your party and use the snorkel vests provided.
- Know how and where to get help. If you see someone in difficulty; raise the alarm, preferably the emergency services. Ensure you know the correct number for the country you are in.
Do not overestimate your ability
- Consider swimming lessons before you go if you think it would be useful to learn proper swimming technique.
- Even if you regularly swim in a pool, remember that open water swimming can be very different.
All yachts are equipped with adult life jackets, harnesses, snorkel vests & diver down flags. You can see all this equipment demonstrated in our online safety briefing, and we strongly recommend that you make use this equipment during your vacation. This safety equipment will be displayed in the saloon of your boat on boarding – If you have any questions feel free to ask our base staff during your briefing.
We have a very limited supply of children’s life jackets on base so highly recommend that if you are travelling with children, you bring their own. This ensures that children have correctly fitting jackets that are comfortable for them.
Children should not be allowed in the dinghy without a life jacket or buoyancy aid and should wear a buoyancy aid or harness whilst on deck.
Children under the age of 16 should not operate an outboard engine and should be supervised at all times when in the dinghy.
Antigua is generally risk-free of contagious disease. Current travel, health, and safety information can be obtained by visiting gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
Sunsail offers comprehensive travel insurance for your complete peace of mind. If you have your own travel insurance, please make sure that it covers all of the destinations and activities of your Sunsail holiday. Visit here for more details.
*Please note country entry/exit and vaccination/immunisation requirements can and do change. Sunsail is not accountable for these requirement changes and we advise visiting the destination’s authority website to receive the latest updates.
This destination does not offer online provisioning. Please see alternative provisioning options below.
Covent Garden, Dockyard Drive – 5-minute walk from the base
C.E. Baley Supermarket – approx. a 10-minute drive from the base
Restaurants generally close at 11pm. There are many restaurants in English and Falmouth Harbours, near the base at Nelson’s Dockyard.
Sweet T’s Ice Cream Parlour
Melini’s (Italian/Pizza), Al Porto (Italian/Vegetarian/Vegan options), Miracles of the Caribbean (Seafood)
Great Bird Island, St. John’s
deserted beaches, no restaurants
Coconut Grove Restaurant and Bar, Warri Pier Restaurant, Ana’s on the Beach
deserted beaches, no restaurants
Trappas, Antigua Yacht Club Marina Restaurant, Abracadabra Restaurant
Around the base
Admiral’s Inn (located at the marina)
Antigua Yacht Club and Marina Resort (close to the marina)
The Verandah Resort and Spa (Antigua)
Galley Bay Resort and Spa (St. Johns)
Trade Winds Hotel (St. Johns)
Anchorage Inn (St. Johns)
Located in Nelson’s Dockyard, ATMs available 24/7 in St. John’s
Located at the marina
There are several souvenir shops close to the base.
Things to do
Stingray City – Here you will be able to pet and feed Southern Stingrays in their natural environment. You will learn all about these amazing animals from your experienced guide. You can snorkel on coral reefs with colourful fish life. These calm, clear, shallow waters make it easy and fun for everybody.
Devils Bridge – Is a remarkable example of sea-water erosion. Geological, Devil’s Bridge is a natural arch carved by the sea from soft and hard limestone ledges of the Antigua formation, a geological division of the flat north-eastern point of Antigua. A bridge was created when a soft part of the limestone eroded away by action of Atlantic breakers over countless centuries.
Shirley Heights – The view from Shirley Heights Lookout is without question the most famous view on the beautiful island of Antigua. Located within the national parks, overlooking English and Falmouth Harbours, this panoramic view, on clear days takes in Guadeloupe to the south and Montserrat with its still active volcano to south west. Shirley Heights Lookout has been home to the ‘biggest and best’ party on the island every Sunday for the last 25 years.”
Donkey sanctuary operated by the Antigua & Barbuda Humane Society, Bethesda Village, St. Pauls. Get up close and personal with rescued donkeys Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Antigua Zipline Canopy Adventure from St John’s – a 2.5 hour adventure through rainforests along 10 ziplines
18-hole course on Jolly Harbour
Water toys & sports
For your convenience, you can add water toys to your charter prior to arrival at the base. They will be waiting on your boat upon arrival. You are able to rent these at the base but please keep in mind that we have limited availability. For more information, please view our water sports options here.
A tank and weight belt for one person costs approximately USD 10 per day. A full set of diving equipment costs approx. USD 20-30 per person per day.
Sunsail provides snorkelling for all charters for your pleasure. Children’s sizes are very limited; you may wish to pack your own snorkelling gear.
Fishing gear rentals are not available locally. You can bring your own gear and are free to trawl off the stern.
There are several sport fishing charters that you can book locally. Overdraft & H2O is located next to the base on the main marina deck. To contact, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 268.725.6169 or 268.463.3112.
For more information on what’s included on your yacht, please view the full list here.
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