Because the U.S. military controlled these islands for many years, Vieques and Culebra are the rare undeveloped Caribbean islands. Both are now largely designated as National Wildlife Refuges. Lesser known, but not less desirable-- these islands ranked #2 and #3 on T+L's 2017 list of the best islands in the Caribbean! We'll also visit St. John (#5), two thirds of which is a National Park, and start in St. Thomas, with plenty of direct flights from the U.S. All part of the U.S.-- no passport needed!
Tahiti has long seemed a far-away tease, of exquisite pearls, vanilla- and tiare-scented breezes, and powdery white sand beaches. Except, well, it's really not that far away: The islands of French Polynesia are an eight-hour nonstop from the U.S. west coast, making them more convenient than Europe, and a recent spate of new routes and airline updates have made Tahiti more accessible—and affordable—than ever. Both United and low-cost carrier French Bee recently launched new routes from San Francisco, while Air France and Air Tahiti Nui upgraded their planes flying between Los Angeles and Tahiti.
September 11 to 18, and 18 to 25, 2021 $1,430
Sardinia and Corsica: Italy and France; beaches and mountains; food and wine. Yes, Sardinia is part of Italy, but it has a history and culture all its own, unlike anywhere else. And Corsica, now part of France, has a Tuscan heritage. Normally, I put a lot of work into finding the special sites in popular destinations that others might overlook. Here I didn't have to-- there are so many spectacular islands, beaches and port towns, that we can't miss! Plus it's all so close that this will be some of the shortest sailing we've done-- less than 20 miles per day of beach-hopping adventure!