Name: Bermuda Marine and Port Services
Address: 4 Crow Lane, Pembroke HM 19, Bermuda
Phone: +1 441-295-6575
Bermuda is not part of the Caribbean, but actually a cluster of 150 small islands connected by short bridges in the western Atlantic Ocean, located 600 nautical miles off the coast of North Carolina.
There are actually three cruise ship ports in Bermuda, and on an island that is a mile wide at most, it is easy to get from one port to the other.
The ports are the Royal Naval Dockyard (King’s Wharf) in the west, Hamilton in the center, and St. George’s in the east. Most cruise lines move between two or even three of these ports during their stay in Bermuda. To get from one to the other you have the choice of taxi, bus, or ferry. The Dockyard is the port of choice for the larger ships.
Bermuda’s biggest attraction to cruise ships and their passengers is that all its three ports are within easy walking distance for shopping; nowhere locally is more than one hour away; and public buses are some of the most frequent in the world. But, unlike most of the less-costly competing ports, it has no tax-free port facilities.
Bermuda’s international airport is located at the eastern end of the island. Use a taxi to get from the airport to the cruise ship or hotel.
No rental cars are allowed from the airport or from anywhere else in Bermuda. Bermuda is one of the few places in the world that bans them. Visitors get to their destinations by taxi or pre-arranged mini-bus. Public buses are not equipped to carry passengers who have luggage.
There are no shuttle buses, no courtesy hotel limos and no buses for arriving or departing passengers equipped to take luggage. For most arriving and departing visitors with luggage, the only practical way is by taxi or minibus service for passengers going to hotels, guest houses and cottage colonies.
There’s just not enough room on the island for a lot of cars. Residents are limited to one per household. However, scooters proliferate. If you rent a scooter be mindful that traffic, like in England, is left-hand drive and there are many roundabouts which can be confusing. The local hospital earns a lot of money repairing the limbs of tourists who rent the two-wheelers.
Bermuda offers a wide variety of accommodations ranging from large full service resort hotels with spas, swimming pools and beaches to bed-and-breakfasts, tiny guest houses and the uniquely Bermudian cottage colonies that offer private cottages and all the services of a resort hotel.
The Fairmont Southampton overlooks lush acres of land, pink sandy beaches and bountiful gardens. It’s the largest resort on the island and has all that you’d expect a five-star resort to have including a rainbow of umbrellas at the Beach Club and an executive golf course.
Elbow Beach resort is part of Mandarin Oriental’s portfolio of luxury establishments and is named after the stretch of private, pristine pink sand shore on which it resides. Set amongst 50 acres of landscaped gardens, it’s a combination of resort hotel and cottage colony with 235 luxurious hotel rooms and suites, as well as a choice of seven stylish restaurants.
Extending along 1,800 feet of glorious oceanfront with two luxurious and private pink sand beaches, The Pink Beach Club offers an atmosphere of elegant and old world Bermudian hospitality at its super-quiet waterfront location.
Also worth considering are The Reefs, The Pompano Beach Club, Cambridge Beaches cottage colony and Grape Bay Cottages.
Bermuda has been called a tiny chunk of England that floated away in search of better weather. For the past couple of centuries, it has been the playground for British and European royalty. Famous people and wealthy honeymooners from America’s Eastern seaboard have flocked to its shores, as have socialites, money barons and celebrities from around the world.
Now, thanks to easy access by cruise ships, Bermuda has become a must-visit island, a place for soft adventure, romantic interludes and just plain fun.
The archipelago of islands is linked together by causeways and bridges. Eight of the largest islands form a crescent that includes the 21 square miles of inhabited land that is generally called Bermuda.
This self-governing British territory is one of the wealthiest countries in the world and it is a highly successful offshore financial center. One of Britain’s oldest self-governing territories, it’s a celebration of contrasts with ancient forts and modern amenities side by side. And while new developments accent a setting above ground, historic ship wrecks lie below awaiting exploration by curious divers.
With an average temperature of 70F (21C), it’s a pleasant place that combines tiny stone churches, pubs, cricket and tea time with hibiscus flowers, pink sandy beaches and island rhythms. Country cottages are painted lilac, lime, cobalt and yellow and the water’s edge is never more than a mile away.
Bermuda is circled by protective coral reefs and miles of soft pink sandy beaches. It is a delight for swimmers, snorkelers and sunbathers. The island’s elongated shape ensures you are never far from the shore whether you seek the rolling surf, a tranquil bay or inshore reefs to snorkle around.
However, Bermuda is more than pretty beaches and storybook cottages. Within the islands are a series of spectacular man-made and natural sites.
The town of St. George, situated on Bermuda’s east end, was founded in 1612. The charming town’s revitalization project will restore cobblestone streets, monuments and structures, as well as add a new Heritage Visitor Centre, waterfront promenade and boardwalk. In November 2000, the Town of St. George was named a World Heritage Site.
The capital city Hamilton, in north mid-island, replaced the town of St. George as the capital in 1815. Known for its shopping, international business and culture, Hamilton is home to the island’s governmental system and parliament.
Front Street, lined with rows of distinctive, pastel-colored buildings, houses the main ferry terminal, department stores, banks, restaurants and is where parades and other local happenings occur. During high season, from April through October, cruise ships dock in Hamilton Harbor, right along the street.
The Supreme Court and House of Assembly meet in the lovely, Italianate Sessions House, one of the government Buildings in Hamilton where you can observe the government in action. You can also visit the Cabinet Building on Front Street, the offices of the Premier and Senate, the Hamilton City Hall & Arts Center which houses two art galleries and a theater.
At Spittal Pond, Bermuda’s largest nature reserve offers herons, terns, ducks, a loving pair of bright flamingoes, and many migratory and resident water fowl that populate the pond and the untouched surroundings.
At the other end of the island is the Royal Naval Dockyard, which was part of Britain’s design to fortify Bermuda as the “Gibraltar of the West.” Its construction began in 1809 and today the meticulously restored Dockyard is an entertainment and shopping complex, with restaurants, a crafts market, arts center, Bermuda Maritime Museum, historic Commissioner’s House, cinema, and Clocktower shopping mall.
The Bermuda Maritime Museum at the Royal Naval Dockyard has treasure from a 16th Century Spanish wreck, relics from the Sea Venture and other interesting exhibits.
There was even a close link between Bermuda and the Confederacy during the American Civil War, one so close that the town of St. George’s was once described as “a nest of secessionists”. The Globe Hotel, once the offices of Confederate agents, is now the Confederate Museum featuring memorabilia, period furnishings, maps and informative displays.
Eating out in Bermuda is a seafood feast of Bermuda lobster, mussel pie, conch stew, fish chowder laced with sherry peppers and rum and shark. Other seafood includes rockfish, red snapper and yellowtail. Local drinks and cocktails have Caribbean rum as a base, and have colorful names such as the Dark and Stormy and the famous Rum Swizzle.
Keep in mind that Bermuda goes “formal” after 6 p.m. so if your husband is wearing Bermuda shorts, he’ll likely be required to have knee-length stockings as well. Jackets are often required for men in upscale restaurants after 6 p.m.
The Bermuda ferries are a unique and wonderful way to get from place to place during the day and evening hours. The have low-emission diesel engines, low noise, low wake, sewage holding tanks, wheelchair access, comfortable cushioned seats and a concession stand for coffee, tea, soft drinks and food.
Things to do:
Shopping in Bermuda can be expensive because everything has to be imported and ships that come in filled with goods and return with no Bermuda-based items. Imported merchandise such as French perfumes, English bone china, Swiss watches, Danish silver, American costume jewelry, German cameras, Scottish tweeds, and various alcoholic beverages and liqueurs are the best buys. Bermuda-made articles include handicrafts, pottery, cedar ware, fashions, records and paintings by local artists.
Ever want to swim with dolphins? In Bermuda you can at Dolphin Quest, where you join trainers in the private lagoon and then touch, play with, and learn about dolphins. Located at the Bermuda Maritime Museum in Dockyard, swimming with these amazing creatures is an experience you’ll find nowhere else. A portion of the proceeds from Dolphin Quest supports vital marine conservation, education and research.
For more information, go to www.gotobermuda.com.
– By Ray Chatelin