After much research and planning, this exclusive tour was prepared for us by the Historical Society of the Museum of Antigua & Barbuda, dedicated to the preservation of the town's historic fabric, therefore assuring you of seeing many historic buildings, architectural designs and places of interest you wouldn't otherwise be aware of with the fantastic Whisper Radio Guide and spend time with the Curator!
St. John's city has been praised for its original grid layout, which can be seen on the original map drawing in the Museum, dated MDCCLXXXVIII (1788). Although some original structures have suffered the ravages of hurricanes, earthquakes and fire, enough exist today to give you a true sense of history and flavor of this beautiful and proud city.
Gently sloping to the sea, the city gives a strong sense of old world charm and elegance which lingers in the architecture: Georgian, Romantic, Victorian, Vernacular and International, all bearing special features such as verandahs, hurricane shutters, lattice work, fretwork and Demerara windows to name a few.
Be greeted at the pier by your professional Tour Guide for the start of this interesting tour and listen to your Guide through the Whisper Radio System for ease and clarity, so you miss nothing even for those with hearing aids as we have special adaptors! With your provided bottle of water, you will take a short stroll, past Historical Redcliffe Quay and 19th C buildings, bringing you to vibrant Market Street, leading you to your first stop, the Fish Market. A fascinating, picturesque seafront with tiny, colorful fishing boats tied up, and the huge, luxurious cruise ships as a dramatic backdrop.
The tour continues, encompassing all the historical buildings, the renowned Methodist Church building, The Cenotaph, the Cathedral grounds (the main building is under renovation), other churches, historic streets, monuments, private residences and shops still boasting any one of the West Indian Vernacular styles of architecture. You will truly be captivated by the colorful wooden buildings and amazed that so many of today’s stores, restaurants and outlets in St. John’s, are carefully refurbished to retain their original features, and have so much absorbing history.
Your final stop is at the Museum of Antigua & Barbuda (C.1750), where you can browse the circuitous ground floor route, with its many exhibits, samples and displays, some interactive, from the very beginning of life on Antigua to the present day. Here you will meet the Curator who will escort you and show and discuss artefacts with you. This is the only tour available to encompass the true history and wonders of this thankfully still very local, quaint and unspoiled city. The tour will end very near to the pier, other tours, duty free shopping, taxis, and your ship.