Discover these Top Five North American Island Escapes with Collette
Very few travellers think of North America as an island escape destination, but Collette has announced its top five picks to surprise and enchant travellers and show them that when it comes to the perfect guided holiday, there is an ocean of possibilities.
Ideal for the first and second time visitor, these islands include some destinations made famous by films and television shows, as well as being popular holiday spots for American Presidents.
Collette is a family-owned business established in the USA with 100 years of experience in crafting holidays around the world, and in particular, in North America. A regional specialist, the company’s tours include visits to lesser known parts of the US which feature pristine, wildlife-abundant islands which are not well-known outside of North America.
1. Islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket
From exploring exquisite coastline to marvelling at mansions, Collette’s Islands of New England tour has something for every traveller. Guests on this 7-day itinerary will have the chance to walk in the footsteps of America’s Presidents, artists, writers and celebrities with a ferry ride to famous Martha’s Vineyard. On this beautiful island, a local guide will show guests the highlights of the Vineyard, including quaint gingerbread-styled cottages and the old whaling port. Cruising back to Cape Cod, travellers will indulge in a traditional New England seafood and lobster feast.
In Cape Cod Bay, guests can choose between a whale watching cruise or a scenic adventure through the iconic sand dunes of the Cape. Next on the itinerary is a panoramic ferry ride to the idyllic island of Nantucket, where picturesque beaches and lighthouses await.
Other highlights of this tour include the chance to explore Providence, “America’s Renaissance City”, with its prestigious Brown University and vibrant cultural scene, a trip down Ocean Drive to mansion-lined Bellevue Avenue, and leisure time in Boston to wander the Freedom Trail.
2. Bay of Islands
Nature lovers will be in their element with Collette’s 12-day Newfoundland and Labrador Discovery tour. Exploring Canada’s Bay of Islands, Collette will offer guests on this tour the chance to visit the stunning Butterfly House where they can admire thousands of diverse and vibrantly-hued butterflies, and take a scenic cruise of Witless Bay Ecological Reserve. Here, travellers will be joined by a local specialist who will give a talk on the spectacular marine life in the region, featuring wildlife encounters with majestic humpback and minke whales, as well as some adorable puffins.
After meandering the quaint fishing and coastal villages of Clarenville, travellers will explore Tableland Mountains in Gros Morne National Park and uncover hidden fjords, stark peaks and highland tundras.
This tour also offers travellers ferry rides across the Straits of Belle Isle and around the pristine waters of Newfoundland and Labrador, with visits to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Red Bay and a stop at the Bay of Islands on the way to idyllic Lark Harbour.
Culinary highlights of the tour include a traditional Newfoundland gathering known as a “Jiggs dinner” in Twillingate, a Newfoundland “Screech-In” ceremony that includes a shot of rum, followed by a dinner overlooking the Gulf of St. Lawrence and later in the tour, a visit to an economuseum to learn how to make jams, sauces and vinegars out of the local partridgeberry and bakeapple.
3. Cape Breton Island, Prince Edward Island, Oak Island
Collette’s 11-day Maritime Coastal Wonders tour begins in Halifax, the capital of Nova Scotia province coined ‘Canada’s Maritimes’, celebrated for its rugged and pristine beauty and fun-loving Acadian and Gaelic culture. In Peggy Cove, travellers will visit historic lighthouses overlooking the vast Atlantic Ocean, before embarking on a charming tour of the Halifax waterfront featuring the Public Gardens, Spring Garden Road and the Victorian-Era fortress, the Halifax Citadel.
Travellers on this tour will trek the craggy Cabot Trail and take a ferry ride to the ‘Land Cradled on the Waves’ and the filming location for Netflix’s Anne with an E; Prince Edward Island. Here, guests can reignite their own sense of adventure and imagination, journeying along the sea-sprayed shoreline and visiting the Anne of Green Gables Museum. After a day of exploring, guests will arrive at the Hopewell Rocks and savour a traditional Maritimes’ lobster feast.
Maritime history aficionados will be in paradise as they head down the striking Lighthouse Route, board a fishing boat at the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic and learn to shuck scallops. Taking in views of stunning Cape Breton Island and Oak Island, guests on this tour will uncover the magic and wonder of this spectacular seafaring destination.
Maritimes Coastal Wonders featuring the Cabot Trail
4. Mackinac Island
After three nights getting familiar with ‘the Windy City’ of Chicago, travellers board a ferry to Mackinac Island; a place where the neighs and clip-clops of horses replace the roar of engines and the accommodation is two nights nestled in the glorious Victorian-era Grand Hotel. A National Historic Landmark, Mackinac Island is a wooded paradise accented with limestone formations, all set against the picture-perfect Lake Huron.
Travellers will experience a horse-drawn carriage ride for a tour of the island that includes stops at the Surrey Hills Carriage Museum and Arch Rock. There is ample time for guests to stroll around the island at their leisure and enjoy the brilliant views, visit the downtown shops and buy some delicious fudge – a specialty of Mackinac Island. Later, a menu of tasty delicacies awaits with a dinner at the elegant Salle à Manger dining room, featuring exquisite chamber music played by the Grand Hotel’s orchestra.
Mackinac Island is a must-see for history-buffs and those interested in anthropology. Archaeologists have carried out excavations at sites on the island since the 1960s. These digs have revealed traditional fish hooks, pottery and other artefacts which tell the story of the island’s earliest Native American inhabitants, the Anishinaabe, who consider it to be home to the Gitche Manitou – the “Great Spirit”. The Island was a significant spiritual gathering place for the local tribes where their offerings were made to the Gitche Manitou, and it became the burial place of tribal chiefs.
5. Jekyll Island and St. Simons Island
Collette’s 7-day Southern Charm itinerary offers travellers a window into the past, with the chance to soak up some Southern hospitality in Georgia and South Carolina.
The tour begins in Charleston, known as the ‘Holy City’ – a place which has survived the Civil War, major fires and natural disasters including an earthquake and hurricanes, and still exudes old-world elegance. A guide will escort guests along Charleston’s cobblestone streets, lined with stately, historic homes and restored buildings – some built before the Revolution.
Next up is a trip to the exclusive Jekyll Island Club Hotel, grandly situated in the midst of the fabled Golden Isles – former winter retreat of prominent Gilded Age families like the Rockefellers and the Vanderbilts. St. Simons Island offers travellers views of its strikingly tall lighthouse, a visit to the Museum of Coastal History and leisure time to wander the unspoiled Georgian coastline of marshlands, winding rivers and beaches to historic Savannah.
Other key highlights include a visit to one of America’s oldest working plantations, Boone Hall Plantation, or the Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum and a cooking demonstration featuring regional specialties in Savannah.
For details of the full tours or to book a trip:
- Contact your local travel agent
- Call Collette on 1300 792 195 or visit www.gocollette.com
Touring for today’s traveller…
With classic tours, small groups, river cruises and ‘spotlight’ city stays, there are over 150 tours which go to more than 55 countries offering customers exceptional choice, value and superior 4 star+ quality.
Collette is a third-generation, family-owned worldwide tour operator. With headquarters in Rhode Island, Collette’s Sydney office (opened in 2014) adds to the company’s global presence which includes offices in Vancouver, Toronto and London.
Renowned for connecting guests with cultural experiences which go far beyond those of an ordinary holiday, Collette prides itself on providing real value to its guests and agent partners.
Expert tour managers, an industry-leading travel protection plan and inclusive touring are just part of the top-quality Collette experience.
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