The Antigua ferry connects the main island to its sister, Barbuda. It takes about 90 minutes to get from terminal to terminal on a pleasant comfortable journey. Barbuda may be off the beaten path, but it's home to a wide array of interesting things to see and do, including beautiful beaches and wildlife watching opportunities.
If you're wondering how to get to Barbuda from Antigua, you have a few options. The most popular way is to hop aboard the Barbuda Express, a high-speed ferry. You also could charter a boat or join one of the regularly scheduled sightseeing tours. Short flights are available from the Antigua airport, which is connected to airports around the world—some as close as the Caribbean and others as far away as London, New York, or Toronto.
However you answer the question of how to get to Barbuda, you'll find an welcoming island that feels both secluded and welcoming. The island is known for abundance of pink- and white-sand beaches and amazing diving. The lagoons on the northern shore are home to amazing black birds with red throats and giant wingspans; the Frigate Bird Sanctuary here is the best place to watch these creatures outside of the Galapagos Islands. On the trip over to the island, it's quite common to spot these birds.
The Barbuda Express can be the answer to how to get to Barbuda for people who like to plan ahead and for those who want to make an impromptu trip to the tiny island. This ferry in Antigua and Barbuda has been in operation since 2004, continuing to provide service five days a week. No ferries run on Wednesday or Sunday. Plenty of hotels are available if you need (or want) to wait for the next day when the ferry runs again.
On the Barbuda Express, round-trip fares are available for same-day service; one-way fares are required for travel on different days. Discounts are provided for children between the ages of 2 and 12, with even greater savings for the youngest children. Tickets can be purchased at the wharf in St. John's or at a store in Codrington Village, the main town on Barbuda. Reservations are not required, but can be helpful, especially if you want to make sure seats are available.
You should plan to arrive an hour before the scheduled time. It then takes about 90 minutes to travel between the terminal in St John's, the capital city, to Barbuda. The Antigua ferry can set sail no matter what the weather; although storms and clouds are rare occurrences in this place that averages more than 300 days of sunshine every year. This ultra-modern mode of transportation was designed for passenger comfort, so choppy seas are never a worry.
The Antigua ferry offers a day-trip package, including transportation and activities. The day begins with a short cruise from St. John's to Codrington and a boat trip to the Frigate Bird Sanctuary. After returning to town, you'll take a driving tour to see the caves and the archaeological remnants of British rule. At lunch time, you'll enjoy a memorable dining experience—an outdoor lobster lunch. The afternoon is free to enjoy some of the things to do on Barbuda, including snorkeling and swimming. A taxi will take you back to the ferry for the trip back to Antigua.
While travel by ferry is one of the most common ways to arrive on Barbuda, it's not the only way. Both bare-boat and crewed charters are available to travel between the the sister islands. After stepping aboard sailing charters, you'll have the chance to experience a memorable way to travel. With the continuing trade winds and plentiful harbors, the conditions are nearly ideal for boating.