Cruising in Antigua and Barbuda


The Siboney were the first to inhabit the islands of Antigua and Barbuda in 2400 B.C., but Arawak and Carib Indians populated the islands when Columbus landed on his second voyage in 1493. Early settlements by the Spanish and French were succeeded by the English who formed a colony in 1667. Slavery, established to run the sugar plantations on Antigua, was abolished in 1834. The islands became an independent state within the British Commonwealth of Nations in 1981.


Location: Caribbean, islands between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, east-southeast of Puerto Rico
Geographic coordinates: 17 03 N, 61 48 W
Map references: Central America and the Caribbean
Area: total: 442.6 sq km (Antigua 280 sq km; Barbuda 161 sq km)
Land: 442.6 sq km
Water: 0 sq km ; note: includes Redonda, 1.6 sq km
Land boundaries: 0 km


153 km

Maritime claims

Territorial sea: 12 nm
Contiguous zone: 24 nm
Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin


tropical maritime; little seasonal temperature variation


mostly low-lying limestone and coral islands, with some higher volcanic areas

Elevation extremes

lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Boggy Peak 402 m


Tourism continues to dominate the economy, accounting for more than half of GDP. Weak tourist arrival numbers since early 2000 have slowed the economy, however, and pressed the government into a tight fiscal corner. The dual-island nation's agricultural production is focused on the domestic market and constrained by a limited water supply and a labor shortage stemming from the lure of higher wages in tourism and construction. Manufacturing comprises enclave-type assembly for export with major products being bedding, handicrafts, and electronic components. Prospects for economic growth in the medium term will continue to depend on income growth in the industrialized world, especially in the US, which accounts for slightly more than one-third of tourist arrivals.


Airports: 3 (2005)
Airports - with paved runways: total: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2005)
Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2005)
Roadways: total: 1,165 km
paved: 384 km
unpaved: 781 km (2002)

Merchant marine

Total: 981 ships (1000 GRT or over) 7,040,579 GRT/9,274,996 DWT
By type: bulk carrier 38, cargo 614, chemical tanker 7, container 283, liquefied gas 9, petroleum tanker 2, refrigerated cargo 8, roll on/roll off 19, vehicle carrier 1
Foreign-owned: 953 (Bangladesh 4, Belgium 3, Colombia 2, Denmark 11, Estonia 12, Germany 853, Iceland 7, Isle of Man 1, Latvia 5, Lebanon 1, Lithuania 1, Netherlands 10, Norway 10, Russia 6, Slovenia 6, Switzerland 4, Turkey 5, UK 5, US 7) (2005)

Sailing Specifics: Ports and terminals

Saint John's 

Other Sailing Destinations in the Region

Anguilla - Antigua and Barbuda - Aruba - Bahamas - Barbados - British Virgin Islands - Cayman Islands - Cuba - Dominica - Dominican Republic - Grenada - Guadeloupe - Haiti - Jamaica - St. Kitts and Nevis - St. Lucia - Martinique - Montserrat - Netherlands Antilles - Puerto Rico - Trinidad and Tobago - Turks and Caicos - St. Vincent and the Grenadines - Virgin Islands (USA)

Further Reading

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