Thursday, October 28 - NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK
So good they named it twice, New York, is a cultural powerhouse like no others. Liberally scattered with familiar landmarks, world-leading museums, and with an atmosphere and infectious energy found nowhere else, any visit tot his one-of-a-kind cinematic city is a frantic, fascinating feast for the senses. Where New York leads, others follow and this city is a proud trailblazer. On the cusp of trends, but with plenty of traditions, New York is a world to itself, and endless opportunities and experiences await between its audacious skyscrapers. Whether it's cycling through the leafy oasis of Central Park, rising to the iconic cityscape views atop the Empire State Building, or walking to Brooklyn's hipster appeal across the Brooklyn Bridge's chained expanses, New York City feels at once familiar and fantastical. Leading museums and galleries like the MET, the Guggenheim, and Museum of Modern Art add cultural intrigue matched by few others, while the flashing lights of Broadway mark the pinnacle of careers and provide world-class entertainment,ent. Also scarred by tragedy, New York City responded to its darkest day with thoughtful memorials of loss, and by boldly reaching higher - the glassy new One World Trade Center building is the northern hemisphere's tallest skyscraper. Drop-in on Wall Street's excesses, before sailing out from the financial district's reaching towers to the waves below Lady Liberty's gaze. At night the city lights up with shows, and roof-top restaurants serve up innovative dishes above the glowing, buzzing streets below.
Friday, October 29 - AT SEA
Saturday, October 30 - HAMILTON, BERMUDA (OVERNIGHT)
Sunday, October 31 - HAMILTON, BERMUDA
A charming stack of pastel-coloured building clamour over the waterfront of Bermuda's pretty capital, Hamilton. Light paints bateh the islands's buildings in bright floral colours, and whether you want to swing your shoulders on lush green fairways, or your hips during lively street parties - Hamilton has a rhythm for everyone. The decorative hues of Front Street's buildings ooze colonial charm, and a stroll along the seafront promenade is the perfect way to acquaint yourself. There's more gorgeous colour at the island's legendary beaches, where pink sands slip into turquoise waves. Dive offshore into teeming reefs, take glass-botootm boats, or stroll on the poser as dazzling sunset displays unfurl. Take in the palatial mansions of Billionaire's Row, or whack goofballs into the crisp blue sky, as the sea washes beside you. While Bermuda is best known for its silky soft sands, there's one beach where you won't want to go barefoot. Sea Glass Beach is covered by sea-rounded glass pieces, which chime and tinkle as the waves rolls in over them. Historic forts like Fort Hamiton offer perfectly manicured swathes of lawn, palm trees and lashings of military pomp - along with sweeping views of the sparkling sea and harbour. See stern-faced sea turltes, tropical fish and seals splashing around tin the waters - as well as vibrant flamingos and cheeky lemurs - at Bermuda's aquarium and zoo. Or the Bermuda Underewater Exploration Institute offers a deep dive into the area's history - exploring everything from mankind's environmental impact, to the Bermuda Traingle's legendary, ship-swallowing mythology.
Monday, November 1 - AT SEA
Tuesday, November 2 - AT SEA
Wednesday, November 3 - SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO
Sitting on the north coast of this lush, tropical island, San Juan is the second settlement founded by European settlers in the Caribbean, and the oldest city under US jurisdiction. The stocky walls and watchtowers here have stood the test of time, repelling notable invaders - such as Sir Francis Drake - and the pirates who historically looted these islands. With massive fortresses, airy plazas, and sheer Caribbean beauty, San Juan is a beach -blessed star of these turquoise waters. With more than 500 years of European history, Old San Juan gleams in Puerto Rico's sunshine, with sugar-almond painted facades and ankle-testing cobbled lanes. Decorative balconies and varnished wooden doors add everyday artistry to streets, dripping with history. Soak up the culture at rum-fuelled parties and salsa dances on this Spanish-culture infused island, or recline into afternoon relaxation sessions on sensational slivers of gleaming sand. Kick back on the beach, or satisfy a lust for adventure by exploring sprawling mangrove forests. The magic of sea kayaking after dark here is an experience you won't forget. Break the waves with your oar, and watch as the waters illuminate with neno color, as bioluminescence creates a mystical, peaceful spectacle. Pocked limestone cliffs and karst landscapes add rugged contrast to the serenity of the beaches, and you can walk into folds of the earth in sea-carved caves, or across cliffs to hidden views of the Caribbean's expanse. Enjoy a taste of the island's cuisine by sampling Mofongo - a local concoction of green plantains and chicken. Why not indulge and wash it down with an iced mojito, made from crushed mint and locally distilled rum?
Thursday, November 4 - JOST VAN DYKE, BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS
Glowing turquoise waters, lazily blowing palm trees, and pristine white sand beaches - it's all waiting for you in Jost Van Dyke's picturesque Caribbean splendour. Slip off your shoes, you won't be needing them too much in these parts, as you wander soft, heavenly sands, and paddle out into impossibly clear waters. The island escape of choice for dallying yachts, which visit to soak up the off-the-beaten-path good life. Join them around the pristine beaches of this tiny celebrity magnet of an island. If this is your first experience of the Caribbean's splendour, you may be a little sceptical about the reality of those famed, shockingly bright colours that you see in photographs. If so, Jost Van Dyke will be love at first sight. Splash into water that glows with a bright teal hue and is blotched with occasional swells of deeper royal blue. Snorkellers will adore the explosions of colourful fish beneath the waves. White Bay is a slice of island perfection, with a neat hill of trees framing a sandy sweep of shaded beach bars. There's nothing for it but to indulge on a bed of soft pearly-white sand, and soak in the staggering beauty of it all. The wander up to Majohhny Hill is the most exertion needed to explore this four-square-mile island, and it's worth it to see the heavenly beaches emerging from tranquil waters below. Even the natural sea formations here encourage you to unwind, with waves gurgling and frothing over the rocks to create Bubbly Pool, a natural jacuzzi. Jost Van Dyke has a reputation as the off-the-radar island getaway fo choice for celebrities like Keith Richards. A lot of that comes down to the calypso charm of its rustic beach bars - especially the legendary Foxy's Bar, which is run by island legend Foxy Callwood. Rum-drenched cocktails and icy buckets of beach beers await - sure to get you into the island's party spirit in no time.
Friday, November 5 - GUSTAVIA, SAINT BARTHELEMY
Cherry red roofs, yacht-sprinkled bays and a sophisticated French flavour all add to the gorgeous Caribbean allure of Gustavia. The island's capital rolls around a horseshoe-shaped harbour, where gleaming yachts hover and fancy boutiques, bars and restaurants fizz with life and clinking cutlery. Head up to red and white Gustavia Lighthouse to look down over the revered waters, which attract many a celebrity guest and diving enthusiast to these shores. Christopher Columbus was the first European to discover this volcanic island in 1493, giving it the name St Barthelemy in honour of his younger brother. The island has a unique history as a Swedish colony, following a deal with the French King Louis XVI to exchange the island with Sweden for better trading rights. It was returned to French control in 1878 and is now a French Overseas Collectivity. Learn more of the Swedish legacy at Fort Karl - which sits on a 29-metre-high hill above Shell Beach. The fort now lies in ruins, but you'll meet wandering iguanas, and the views down of sweeping sea and emerald coastline are some of the island's finest. Down below, a delightful spread of tiny pebbles and shell fragments are scattered like confetti and lapped by crystal-clear water. A little exploration uncovers countless other glorious beaches and natural wonders. Colombier Beach is a little out of the way but cradles silky-smooth sands and typically turquoise waters. If you have the chance, find somewhere to settle and sip fruity rum cocktails as the sunset flares across the waves.
Saturday, November 6 - ST. JOHN'S, ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA
Lush and lively, Antigua is a bedazzling Caribbean destination, gorged with sunshine and crisp white sand beaches. Historic forts, sparkling coastline, and dense rainforest all contribute to Antigua's land of thrilling natural beauty. With its bright blue to turquoise sea gradients - the beaches are vibrant and plentiful and the island has no shortage to choose from, with a rumoured 365 options. Experience the beauty on horseback, as your ride pounds across the sands, and the wind whips through your hair. Choose to loll in a catamaran offshore, or lie back on a bed of the softest sand to soak it all in. Beach shacks cook up fresh seafood and spicy goat meat curries if you're feeling hungry. St John's glows in the sunshine, with flamingo pink and baby blue paints boldly coating vivid Georgian buildings. Lively markets offer an authentic slice of Antiguan life, while museums celebrate the island's revered cricketers like Viv Richards and the story of independence. The whacks and whoops of makeshift cricket games hint at the island's British history, and you can see more of this heritage at Falmouth Harbour - which was the centre of the British presence in the Caribbean. The area is still filled with sailers and dallying yachts, as well as the only working Georgian dockyard in the world. Built in 1725, the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Nelson's Dockyard was led by the admiral Horatio Nelson himself and is a fascinating time warp. Hike up the viewpoints here, which reward with glorious views of the forest-clad inlets, craggy cliffs and pointed hills. The stone towers of sugar mills dot the island, and hint at the tragic history of slavery, amid the island's sugar trade past.
Sunday, November 7 - LES SAINTES, GUADELOUPE
It's easy to imagine how these gravely Caribbean islands earned their name - which translates as Islands of the Saints. Labelled as such by Christopher Columbus when he reached them in 1493, the islands have lost none of their heavenly beauty and appeal since. Promising crystalline tropical beaches and undisturbed shallow seas, Les Saintes is a blessed archipelago and a moreish vision of unspoiled Caribbean glory. Forest-coated island cones rise from the turquoise waters, and you can lounge on deserted beaches, or snorkel among teeming reefs that flourish with life below the warm waters. Jump into a kayak to get out on the sea, gliding above the incredible fish life blossoming just below the waves. Somewhat off the beaten track, the islands form a necklace of nine in total, but only two are occupied. Head out across the boobing waves to revel in their beauty from the deck of a catamaran, or choose your spot on a banana-bend of soft sand like Pain De Sucre Beach. Relax in this impossibly gorgeous setting, surrounded by lush vegetation and a spectacular cliff that closely resembles Rio de Janiero's famous Sugarloaf Mountain - and lends this beach its name. The vast Fort Napoleon was constructed by the French to repel British attacks and is now home to a popular cactus park and gardens -which blooms with a colourful variety of flowers. Look out for the huge iguanas leisurely soaking up the sunshine.
Monday, November 8 - FORT-DE-FRANCE, MARTINIQUE
The largest of the Windward Islands, Martinique is 4,261 mi (6,817 km) from Paris, but its spirit and language are decidedly French, with more than a soupcon of West Indian spice. Tangible, edible evidence of the fact is the island's cuisine, a superb blend of French and creole. Martinique is lushly landscaped with tropical flowers. Trees bend under the weight of fruits such as mangoes, papayas, lemons, limes, and bright-red West Indian cherries. Acres of banana plantations, pineapple fields, and waving sugarcane stretch to the horizon. The towering mountains and verdant rain forest in the north lure hikers, while underwater sights and sunken treasures attract snorkelers and scuba divers. Martinique is also wonderful if your idea of exercise is turning over every 10 minutes to get an even tan and your taste in adventure runs to duty-free shopping. A popular cruise-ship excursion goes to St-Pierre, which was buried by ash when Mont Pelee erupted in 1902.
Tuesday, November 9 - BEQUIA ISLAND, SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
An almost mythical utopia of virgin beaches, rustic rum shacks and bays so scenic you feel like you're intruding - Bequia Island is an island mirage of Caribbean perfection. This is the real, unspoiled experience - and with just 6,000 locals living here, you quickly start to recognise the same smiling faces, welcoming you with outstretched arms. Offering glorious - often deserted - beaches of pure golden sand, and hillside sweeps of forest and almond trees, Bequia Island is an extraordinary feast for the senses. Unlike some of the flashier Caribbean islands, Bequia - apart of the Grenadines - is a rustic, unassuming and off-the-beaten-path choice. The staggeringly picturesque natural harbour, Admiralty Bay, greets you on arrival and is peppered with day-tripping yachts bobbing on the gentle waves. The island's tiny capital, Port Elizabeth, sits behind, with its bustling fruit and vegetable market, turtle sanctuary, and stalls selling hand-crafted model ships. This tiny, pretty island is ridged along the centre, and you can earn your beachside bliss with a gentle hike to the top of Mount Peggy, looking out over views of Grenada and St Vincent. At just seven miles long, you can discover the whole island in a few hours - but that would be to miss the point somewhat. Bequia Island coaxes you in to slow the pace and soothe your soul on blissful beaches, where you can revel in the uncomplicated joys of sitting, reading and swimming in heavenly shallow waters. The royally approved Princess Margaret Beach is one of the finest - an arching band of soft sand and cobalt-blue waters. As evening sets in, you may find you're beckoned to share with communal barbecues of the day's fresh catch with the locals or to indulge in rum-heavy cocktails at beachside bars, lashed together from sea-blanched wooden limbs.
Wednesday, November 10 - ST GEORGE'S, GRENADA
With beautiful seascapes, lush vegetation and intense natural ingredients, the Isle of Spice has the perfect recipe for a flavourful visit. A true sensory experience, St George's is famous as the world's second-largest exporter of the spice, nutmeg. Just as much of a treat for the eyes as it is for the palate, its jungled mounds, idyllic white-sand beaches, and turquoise Caribbean seas are a glorious sight to behold. Thrilling waterfalls pour through the rainforest, while banana and cocoa groves spread wildly across the island. Grenada's capital rolls down to an attractive waterfront decorated with pretty floral buildings, Georgian architecture and picturesque terracotta roofs. Breathe in deep at the spice market, where the freshest ingredients fill stalls. Heaps of fresh nutmeg, vanilla pods, cinnamon and cocoa beans all add the colourful mosaic. Dip into the waters of Bamboo Waterfall, or venture to Grand Etang, to explore the rich and fertile interior of this scenic island, where mischievous mona monkeys explore treetops and a collapsed volcano holds the waters of a glorious caldera lake. If all of that exploring sounds like hard work - don't worry, the island is skirted by some of the Caribbean's dreamiest visions of seaside luxury - from famous natural beauties like Grand Anse Beach to secret stretches hidden amongst the palm trees. Soak in the vivid colours, best enjoyed with an iced cocktail and a taste of the locally distilled, spiced rum punch.
Thursday, November 11 - BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS
Bridgetown, the captivating capital of Barbados, combines faded colonial history, captivating tradition, and vivid white beaches plucked directly from your richest imagination of Caribbean perfection. Recently listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, thanks to its beautifully preserved colonial architecture, Bridgetown's mask of modernity covers a core of complex history and fascinating culture. Sherbet colored buildings line up to overlook the waterfront of the Constitution River at the 'The Careenage' - where gleaming ships bob on the blue water, and peaceful strolls along a wooden boardwalk await. Stop for a sobering moment at the commemorative plaque honouring the people traded at this spot, when Bridgetown was the British Empire's most important harbour, and first stop on the Transatlantic Slave Trade crossing. Just five minutes' stroll from here is Carlisle Bay - a postcard-perfect place where you'll find crystal-clear, turquoise seawater glowing in the Caribbean sun, and a mile of soft white powder sand. A treasure trove for divers, the shipwrecks scattered below the shallow water's waves are now inhabited by turtles and swirling, rainbow-coloured tropical fish. Head to the backstreets, where street food vendors serve up spicy chicken soup, barbecued pigtails and thirst-quenching coconut water. There are bargains aplenty to be had on Broad Street, where duty-free malls and souvenir stalls cram together, vying for your attention. Roebuck Street is the spot where one of the Caribbean's favourite drinks, rum, was discovered - having been created here from the by-products of the island's booming sugarcane trade. Nowadays, it's lined with bars splashing every variety of the deliciously spicy dark libation imaginable into glasses. For a touch more culture, visit one of the oldest synagogues in The Americas - Nidhe Israel Synagogue, which was built in 1654. The adjoining museum tells the story of Barbados' Jewish immigrants, who were instrumental in the island's development.