Traditionally British but with a unique island style of its own, Bermuda is a vacation destination all year round. Although it is often lumped together with Caribbean islands, Bermuda is in a league of its own, a group of six main islands and 120 smaller islands situated in the Western Atlantic, about 600 nautical miles off the coast of North Carolina. Its proximity to the U.S has long made it a desirable destination for those seeking pristine beaches, fine accommodations from world-class resorts to intimate cottages, friendly locals and time to relax and enjoy the environment.
Not that you really need an excuse to visit Bermuda this fall but the 10th Annual Bermuda Music Festival (www.bermudajazz.com) will be held from October 5 to 8, 2005. It promises to be an extra special event with a who's who of artists scheduled to perform: Patti Labelle, Al Green, Joss Stone, Angie Stone and the Manhattans to name a few. Visit the website for the schedule and to purchase tickets.
Cruise Deals.com (tel. 800/668-6414; www.cruisedeals.com) is featuring a Bermuda Blowout Sale. Embark on a seven-night cruise to Bermuda in October for only $400 per person on Celebrity Cruises' Zenith and Horizon in an interior room. That's only $57 per person per day for this upscale cruise line. Spend two days at sea, two days in St George and three days in Hamilton Bermuda for these nine-day/seven-night cruises. Horizon sails from Philadelphia on October 1, 8 and 22, 2005. Zenith sails from Bayonne, New Jersey on October 1 and 15, 2005. Space is extremely limited, so you'll need to act quickly. Taxes are additional.
Cruises Only (tel. 800/278-4737; www.cruisesonly.com) is offering five and seven-night cruises to Bermuda with savings up to 82 percent off original brochure prices. Their five-night cruise aboard Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas is priced from $449 per person based on dual occupancy in an interior cabin. This price is valid for departures from Bayonne (NJ) on October 2, 16 and 30, 2005. The November 13, 2005 departure is $599. The cruise has two days at sea and two days at King's Wharf in sunny Bermuda. Their seven-night cruise departing from Philadelphia aboard Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Crown is priced from $549 per person and only $50 more for an ocean view cabin. This itinerary gives you two days each in King's Wharf, St George and Hamilton, Bermuda. This price is for the October 2 and 9, 2005 departures (only ocean view cabins are still available for the October 9 cruise). If you are planning ahead for next spring, get a great deal on the seven-night Bermuda cruise from Boston aboard the newly refurbished Norwegian Majesty, priced from $769 in an interior cabin or $869 in an ocean view cabin. Spend two days at sea and four days in St George, departing on May 7, 2006. Cruises Only is also offering the seven-day $400 Celebrity line cruises to Bermuda aboard the Zenith and Horizon with extremely limited availability.
Cheap Caribbean.com (tel. 800/915-2322; www.cheapcaribbean.com) has a large selection of Bermuda package deals for travel throughout the fall. The following specials are only available for purchase until October 3, 2005, so be quick to take advantage of the savings. One package is for round-trip airfare plus four nights in a superior room at the Grape Bay Beach Hotel (pay for three-nights and get the fourth free). Priced from $679 per person based on dual occupancy, this price is valid for travel from now until December 21, 2005. Additional adults from $399 and children from $369. Airport transfers, taxes and service charges are additional. Stay at the Harmony Club (an adult's only hotel) during the same period starting from $639 per person based on dual occupancy and $499 for each additional adult.
These prices are from New York, Washington DC, Pittsburgh or Boston. For all packages add $99 from Miami, Los Angeles, Memphis, Cincinnati and Dallas and $199 from Seattle, Portland, San Francisco or Phoenix
Liberty Travel (tel. 800/930-8888; www.libertytravel.com) has a special Bermuda getaway staying at the Fairmount Hamilton Princess. Experience the historic elegance of Bermuda's only luxury urban resort, located on picturesque Hamilton Harbor, just steps away from the shopping and entertainment district. Complimentary ferry service is available to the Fairmont Southampton, where guests enjoy exchange privileges. The $835 package includes round-trip midweek airfare to Bermuda from Boston, New York or Newark, airport transfers, four-nights accommodation (at the price of three-nights), hotel taxes and service charges. Add $30 from Atlanta, Philadelphia or Washington DC, $120 from Miami or $200 from Chicago.
Discount Vacations (tel. 800/650-3612; www.discountvacations.com) has a Bermuda deal staying at the Wyndham Bermuda Resort and Spa Southampton Beach. This newly renovated, oceanfront resort is set on 25 acres with three private pink-sand beaches and a world-class European health spa. A four-night package with airfare is regularly priced at $1,119 per person but book by September 30 and travel on a Thursday between now and October 31, 2005 and receive a 30 percent discount -- pay only $779 per person (other departure days are available for additional cost). The package includes round-trip airfare (from New York, Boston, Washington DC, Philadelphia or Charlotte) on Delta or US Airways, 4 nights at Wyndham Southampton Beach Resort, airport transfers, hotel tax and service charges. Add $20 from Providence, $70 from Baltimore, $90 from Atlanta, $120 from St Louis or Cincinnati, $140 from Chicago and $220 from Los Angeles. Other departure cities are available.
9 Beaches (tel. 866/841-9009; www.9Beaches.com), Bermuda's newest resort spread over nine beaches, is offering a "Half Price Deal" promotion from now until January 2, 2006. Guests staying in Coco Coral or Sea Forever Cabanas receive 50 percent off the regular cabana rate. Discounted rates for the Coco Coral cabanas (with partial ocean views), start at $120 per night for two from now through October 10 and go down to a super low $85 between October 11, 2005 and January 2, 2006. Rates for the Sea Forever cabanas start at $140 per night for two from now though October 10 and go as low as $115 between October 11, 2005 and January 2, 2006. The Sea Forever cabanas are set back slightly from the water's edge and offer direct access to the beach, plus unobstructed ocean views from the veranda. This offer must be booked before October 10, 2005.
For more great value, guests can pay $150 per person per day and upgrade to an all-inclusive package, which includes all meals, all drinks and cocktails, a trip on the resort's 47-foot motorized catamaran, plus all non-motorized sports and water equipment. 9 Beaches is also offering a "Fifth Night Free" promotion, applicable only to Top Banana and Aqua Vista cabanas, valid for travel from now through January 2, 2006.
One of the highlights of staying in the 9 Beaches cabanas is that they stand on stilts and some are located over water so transparent floor panels reveal tropical fish swimming beneath you. Complimentary cell phones allow guests to call for room service or whatever they desire at any time and there is Wi-Fi service throughout the property.
The most reasonable flights we could find to Hamilton, Bermuda, especially from Newark or Philadelphia, were low as $89 one-way midweek during the fall season (until December 16, 2005) on USA 3000 Airlines (tel. 877/872-3000; www.usa3000.com). In general airfares, from the New York area, Boston or Miami during the fall season range from approximately $350 to $580 on American Airlines (www.aa.com), Delta (www.delta.com), US Airways (www.usairways.com) or Continental (www.continental.com).
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