Prevue March/April 2016 - (Page 74)

Bermuda Authentic Caribbean adventures with a dash of European flair [ON LOCATION] JESSIE FETTERLING C oral reefs, sea turtles and stingrays whisked below me as I jet skied with H20 Sports across Bermuda's crystal blue waters at about 45 mph. The water surrounding the island was so clear that I could almost see the bottom of the ocean floor. Water activities abound in Bermuda-the America's Cup sailing competition will be held here in 2017-and yet don't even begin to explain the magic of the island. The roughly 20-square-mile island has a population of about 64,237, but hosted nearly 400,000 visitors in 2015, according to the Bermuda Tourism Authority (BTA). Located a mere 2-hour flight from the East Coast, attendees are transported to a European world where the locals all know each other. This is especially apparent when the taxi drivers honk every time they see someone they know-typically every couple minutes. Bustling down the narrow streets, groups will spot colorful houses, which are traditionally painted every four years in whatever color the owner wants. Bright blue, green, yellow or pink tend to be the most popular. And like most islands in this part of the world, Bermuda has a national cocktail-a rum swizzle, made with lemon juice, pineapple juice and, of course, rum. "When group planners choose Bermuda, they get all the modern conveniences they require, but the added benefit is the experiences they can enjoy beyond their hotel room or meeting place," says Glenn Jones, director of public and stakeholder relations for BTA. "Bermuda is basically one giant resort-every part of the island is warm and welcoming for visitors." 66 | prevue magazine AUTHENTIC BERMUDA Bermudans are so welcoming that at the Young Presidents' Organization regional conference in October, local business professionals hosted about 160 attendees for dinner in their private homes. "It was a massive logistical operation with guests fanning out to dozens of the island's neighborhoods, but in the end, it was a truly unique and authentic Bermuda experience that I'm not sure can be replicated as effectively anyplace else," says Jones. With mild temperatures all year round-an average of 80 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer and about 60 in the winter- Bermuda specializes in outdoor activities for groups. Attendees can take a guided bike tour with Island Tour Centre along the Bermuda Railway Trail, the same path that trains once traveled from 1931 to 1948. Approximately 18 miles of the original 22 are accessible, and guides will point out famous attractions such as Fort Scaur and Somerset Bridge, the world's smallest drawbridge, along the way. The company also leads segway tours of the island's historic Royal Naval Dockyard, which served as a strategic base for the British Royal Navy from the early 1800s until it was officially closed in 1995. Of course, getting out on the water gives groups an entirely different perspective of Bermuda. Island Tour Centre offers a kayaking tour through Ely's harbor where attendees will be able to see egrets, herons, crustaceans and several fish swimming amidst the coral. Boarding a catamaran and sailing around the island with Ana Luna Adventures is another option. The tour company offers

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Prevue March/April 2016

Planner’s Pick: Seattle
Fresh Meets: Caribbean Cool
Bureau Buzz: Kansas City
Good Business: Raising the Green Bar
Sea Shores: Celebrity Cruises
A look at inspiring incentive experiences.
MEETING TAKEAWAYS On-site corporate gift experiences gain momentum
GAMING DESTINATIONS Gaming resort incentives are becoming as exciting as their settings
CALIFORNIA DREAMING Delivering creative group experiences
3 US CITIES REIMAGINE MEDICAL MEETINGS Immersive wellness programs make their way into the mix
On Location: SBM Monte Carlo
WELLNESS, SOUTHERN STYLE Southern backdrops rejuvenate groups
SECRETS AKUMAL [ON LOCATION] Luxury & immersive experiences make for a successful 2016 Leadership Summit
On Location: Australia
On Location: Bermuda
Checkout: Azamara Club Cruises
On Location: Puerto Rico
Club Med

Prevue March/April 2016