|by Fran Golden||Beaches, Cruises, Islands, Bermuda, Real Deals||2|
Bermuda is an oasis of pink sands and crystal clear turquoise seas with a reputation for being expensive. The reality is it doesn't have to be.
Air service from discount carriers—including JetBlue and AirTran—special island-wide promotions, an increasing number of guesthouses and bargain-priced cruises are bringing Britain's oldest colony within reach of many travelers, especially this fall.
Weather-wise, the North Atlantic island nation stays nice and warm in the fall. You can do summer activities including a bevvy of free Sizzling Summer events ranging from walking tours and military re-enactments to rum and beer tastings and street festivals through October.
The main island is just 20 square miles and public ferries and buses make it easy and cheap to get around — an unlimited three-day pass, for instance, is $28.
Hit the beach, hike or bike the rail trail, and observe the Bermuda fashion oddity of men in colorful shorts and long socks. Here are some deals to get you started.
An island-wide "Endless Summer" promotion through October, includes a $400 companion airfare credit when you book a hotel package for two for four nights or more — available through airlines, tour operators and participating hotels. JetBlue is offering four-night air/hotel packages from New York, from $665 per person, based on double occupancy.
One of the cheapest ways to visit Bermuda is on a cruise ship, with the lowest fares in September and October. A weeklong cruise on the Norwegian Dawn from Boston is priced from $399 per person. You get three full days on-island, with your ship serving as a floating resort — docked in a historic naval facility that's been turned into a tourist area in the island's West End. The rest of the cruise is spent at sea. The Norwegian Gem cruises from New York on a similar itinerary, with fares from $449.
Stay in a Guesthouse
Sure there are plenty of glitzy hotels and resorts in Bermuda, but there are also affordable guesthouses. The Bermuda Hotel Association has a link to several on its website. Among them, the 12-room Oxford House in the capital city of Hamilton, with rates in September and October from $123 per night, breakfast included.
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