Island Routes revs up for the duration of pandemic slowdown: Vacation Weekly

Fun times I have had in the Caribbean in the previous have appear to head routinely during this past year of mask-putting on, disinfecting and elbow-bumping.

A several decades again, in Antigua with one particular of my daughters, we had just one of those enjoyable instances on a six-hour boat journey about the island with a chatty captain, his deckhand and an itinerary that integrated snorkeling at Sting Ray City, a swim off Eco-friendly Island, an Antiguan picnic lunch on a shell-packed seaside, a cruise close to Nelson’s Dockyard and far more snorkeling at the Pillars of Hercules, topped with a quick ride up the coastline and a powerful rum punch as the captain dropped anchor back again at our our resort.

Ryan Terrier

Ryan Terrier

The excursion, known as Xtreme Circumnavigation Journey, lived up to its title and is a single of a lot of choices of Island Routes Caribbean Adventures, a privately held, relatives-owned spot administration organization that is part of the Sandals and Shorelines family members of resorts but is operated as a independent entity.

Island Routes, which specializes in premier excursions alongside with personal and custom made tour ordeals, has appear a very long way way because its launch in July 2009 with 80 land and h2o tours in Jamaica.

Today, the firm’s offerings (pre-Covid) span 12 Caribbean places with far more than 500 excursions provided. In 2019, far more than 600,000 excursions were booked.

“Despite the fact that we commenced off excellent in early 2020, the pandemic affected Island Routes’ operations, and at this time, 173 excursions are operational in Antigua, Jamaica, St. Lucia and Turks and Caicos,” said Ryan Terrier, vice president of functions, “but that quantity can improve or decrease day-to-day as the condition evolves.”

Despite the temporary cutbacks, Island Routes has been occupied this previous calendar year, launching a revamped web page that consists of a new consumer practical experience as perfectly as an improved travel agent portal.

A fire eater entertains guests during an Island Routes Bespoke Collection (customized) experience.

A fireplace eater entertains friends during an Island Routes Bespoke Collection (custom made) encounter.

A new slogan was launched, “Wonder This Way,” and the Private & Bespoke Collections, which have been in the pipeline pre-Covid, manufactured their debut, in accordance to Terrier.

“Our Private tours are prepackaged, completely ready-produced, secluded tour encounters that attendees can do alongside one another as a household or team of friends, though our Bespoke choices are totally personalized and designed to purchase from our guests’ requests,” Terrier explained.

“They convey to us what they want to do, and we will tailor-make weeklong itineraries or immersive daytrips. We have even partnered with island designers to curate tablescapes and culinary eating encounters,” he mentioned.

A initial for Jamaica

Island Routes’ most recent addition to its choices, a single that is creating waves in Jamaica, was the launch in February of its Powerboat Adventures for working day excursions, which it states is a initial for Jamaica. The powerboat excursions join the company’s existing immersive ordeals that consist of catamaran cruises, the Travel Your Personal Mini Routes’ adventures through Jamaica’s backcountry and river rafting on the Martha Brae with a Purple Stripe beer in hand.

The organization additional a few powerboats, named Macaroni, Astonia and Soul Bandit, to its fleet of owned and operated vessels, which include six catamarans and three deep-sea sport fishing vessels.

“This quick addition to our fleet of vessels gives adventurers the inside monitor to Jamaica as well as the chance to see the spot at lightning velocity, slowing down only to choose in a single-of-a-kind stops together the way,” Terrier mentioned.

The 43-foot-long powerboats, which depart from Montego Bay, Ocho Rios and Negril, will seat 10 to 16 friends in ordinary moments, but Island Routes is limiting potential to 50%  now and subsequent CDC tips and federal government polices pertaining to mask-wearing and social distancing in alignment with Covid protocols and Island Routes’ 6 tiers of security and sanitization.

The beach in Ocho Rios is the setting for a customized dinner offered by Island Routes Caribbean Adventures.

The seaside in Ocho Rios is the placing for a custom made dinner available by Island Routes Caribbean Adventures.

Highlights on the powerboat excursions include Dunn’s River Falls, stops at 50 % Moon beach in Negril for an island-style picnic lunch, snorkeling in Negril’s cliffside sea caves and observing the cliff dives at sunset at Rick’s Cafe.

“There is almost nothing improved than the wind blowing in your hair as you velocity throughout the Caribbean Sea,” Terrier stated.
“I have a experience that this tour will develop into 1 of the most sought-after and thrilling adventures for guests traveling to Jamaica,” he said.

The Powerboat working day tour ranges between $190 and $250 for each man or woman in the Private & Bespoke Collections, the encounter is priced from $1,900 for a two-hour, customized non-public tour, with added several hours priced at $500 each and every, based mostly on what attendees pick out to do.

Terrier mentioned that the just lately overhauled internet site makes it a lot easier for travel advisors to guide any of the excursions supplied via the agent portal to start out earning 10% commission for every single booking, like the Private & Bespoke Collections of offerings.

An Island Routes Mini Routes adventure tour explores the back country of Jamaica.

An Island Routes Mini Routes experience tour explores the back again region of Jamaica.