The Bermuda Classic started out in 1988 as the Bermuda Easter World Rugby Classic. It attracts retired professionals and passionate fans from all over the world.
Classic Week, as the locals call it, has a really unique and inclusive atmosphere. There are parties and music events, and the players and fans mingle together in the island’s bars and hotels.
So you’re just as likely to chat with an ex-pro over a beer, as you are to see them out on the pitch. But don’t think that the players are past their best and only out there for a few days in the sunshine. The vast majority of players are recently retired and are out there playing because they miss the game. This year’s competition will see the likes of Gregor Townsend, Malcolm O’Kelly and Josh Lewsey line up for the Lions, while a host of famous former players from Argentina, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand are expected once their squads are announced in the next few weeks.
The structure of the Bermuda Classic Tournament
There’s a lovely relaxed feel to the structure of the Bermuda World Rugby Classic. It takes place over five days. Well, six if you take Tuesday’s golf tournament into account. Sunday sees the first batch of first round matches start at around 2.30pm. The first round is then finished off on Monday evening. Everyone takes a day off to recover with a golf tournament on the Tuesday. The semi finals take place on Wednesday and Thursday nights. Then on Friday everyone has a day off to lounge about on the beach, drink a few beers and soak up the sun. The final takes place on Saturday, and once all the rugby’s done it’s time for the last big party of Bermuda Classic week.
When you’re not watching rugby
The organisers of the event seem to understand that watching rugby in the sun can be a really exhausting way to spend your time, so there’s always plenty of free time during the week to recover from your exertions. So that gives you the choice: lounge around on the beach (or in the hotel bar!) or head out and explore the island. If you chose the more adventurous option, here are our top three picks for things to do when you’re not watching the rugby.
1 Get a round in at Tucker’s Point
The finest golf course on the Island and one of the most stunning 18 holes you’ll ever play in your life. Not cheap, but well worth shelling out for.
2 Snorkelling among the shipwrecks
Bermuda is surrounded by crystal clear waters, coral reefs and shipwrecks, so it has some of the best diving and snorkelling in the world. Even if you’ve never strapped on a mask in your life, you’ve got to give snorkelling a go in Bermuda.
3 Gibb’s Hill Lighthouse
From the top of this lovely old cast iron lighthouse you’ll be able to enjoy some of the best views on the island. And with 185 stairs to climb, it’s a good way to get a little exercise too.
Our tour details
Prices from £3,230pp (departing 5 November 2016)
• Return flights with British Airways in economy (upgrades available)
• 8 nights accommodation at the 4* Grotto Bay Beach
Beach Resort (or similar, based on twin share)
• Return transfers in Bermuda (shared)
• Access to VIP Members Tent for 5 days including daily