Purveyor of Dreams
Welcome to Island Holidays, a personally run, specialist tour operator which I've been operating since establishing it in 1987. We offer relaxed special-interest holidays for small guided groups and also, using our superb network of contacts worldwide, offer independent birding, wildlife and natural history holidays.
For many years we have offered a high number of tours. Now we have decided to specialise in certain areas - notably the South Atlantic Islands with southern Africa and the Polar Regions - the Arctic and Antarctica. But there are so many wonderful places which we still want to offer now and again and these are found in our 'Featured Favourites' section.More about Island Holidays…
NewsSt Helena Airport Delay The opening of the new St Helena Airport has been delayed from February to May 2016. First Landing at St Helena's New Airport Calibration flight from Angola touches down. Final Voyages of the Royal Mail Ship A new airport opening on St Helena will see the end of an era with the Royal Mail Ship being withdrawn from service in 2016. View all Island Holidays news…
Latest tour updates
- Ascension & Falklands 2017dates, itinerary & prices now available
- Scilly Isles 2016 date & prices now available
- New Spitsbergen Cruise Cleaning Shores & Polar Bear Special
- South Atlantic Odyssey 2017 dates & cabin prices now available
- Bulgaria 2016 Black Sea coast birding & wine-tasting
- Greenland Cruises 2016 all the latest date & itinerary changes
The beautiful island of Sri Lanka has long been known for its rich heritage, its colonial history and its amazing birds and wildlife. Our very special birding holiday also incorporates a few of the island's cultural delights. Superb scenery and warm, friendly people enhance the experience of this beautiful island in the Indian Ocean. Over 400 species of birds, 26 of which are endemic to Sri Lanka, vie for attention with some of the land-based mammals such as elephants and leopards.
At last this amazing, remote island in the South Atlantic Ocean is to become more accessible. An airport is opening in February 2016 and the wonderful Royal Mail Ship St Helena will be withdrawn from July of that year. The whole experience will be completely different.
One thing which won't change is the fascination of this incredible island. Historically it was a vibrant port on the trade routes with more than 1,000 ships calling every year. It was strategically important and had a large British garrison. Later it became famous when Napoleon was sent there in exile for the last five years of his life. He was not the only one to have the island imposed upon him – later there were two Boer prisoner of war camps.
It's not just the history. Scenically St Helena is spectacular and it boasts many endemic plants and one endemic bird – the Wirebird which is listed as endangered. Off shore a resident school of around 400 Pan-tropical Spotted Dolphins delight visitors, as do the occasional Whale Sharks and, of course, the seabirds. The people are wonderfully welcoming and, all in all, it's terrific that more people will now be able to enjoy this extraordinary destination with weekly flights from South Africa and the occasional charter from the UK.
Island Holidays currently offers an escorted and guided tour (maximum of 12 clients) on RMS 237 and RMS 240.
Please note that between now and April 2016 there is only very limited accommodation available on the ship for independent travellers. Let us know your preferred dates and we'll discuss options with you.
The Falkland Islands
January 2013 saw the 25th anniversary of the date when five intrepid travellers set out for the Falkland Islands in the company of Bobby Tulloch. It was Island Holidays' first ever tour, the business having been set up in August 1987. And what a success it was. Everyone was amazed by what they found, most especially by the fact that birds and animals seemed to have no fear of man and the more curious would come to inspect us.
Much has changed in the islands from those early days but the warm hospitality and the attitude of the wildlife to people remains unspoilt, as does the landscape and atmosphere.
The islands are much in the news lately - the people are more British than the British and proud of it. That's the message they're trying to get across to certain South American countries who think it should be otherwise!
There's a tiny dot in the Atlantic Ocean, just 7 degrees south of the Equator which represents an island of far more significance than its size implies. Over the centuries Ascension Island has been strategically important and, during the Cold War years, it became a hub of secrecy and intrigue. Probably it still is, it's just that we don't know about it! But that's not the reason we go there. Ascension is a fabulous island with fascinating history and natural history. Nesting Green Turtles, wonderful seabirds and extraordinary scenery combine to offer the visitor a unique experience.
Located where the Arctic meets the Atlantic, Greenland is the world's largest island is also the world's largest National Park. Here Musk oxen are still hunted by wolves and seals by man. The scenery has to be seen to be believed with big pointy mountains reflected in narrow fjords, icebergs of unbelievable colours and the countless greens, greys and oranges of mosses, liverworts and lichens with patches of bright flowers.
Throughout the summer our trips change their emphasis from whale-watching further south to watching for the Aurora Borealis in the far north. As well as scenery and wildlife, there's a fascinating culture and heritage to explore.
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It's never too early to start planning for what is undoubtedly the trip of a lifetime. Antarctica is a place of incredible icescapes and rich wildlife. If you're a penguin enthusiast this is the place to go! The regular programme takes in the Falklands, South Georgia, Weddell Sea and the Antarctic Peninsula. We also offer a fantastic Antarctic Odyssey which starts in at the southern tip of South America and ends in New Zealand taking in such iconic places as the Antarctic Peninsula, the Ross Sea and the World Heritage Site of Macquarie Island.
Upcoming holidays in 2016