One day, the pandemic will be behind us. You will cruise to Bermuda on the way to someplace else. You will sail to Bermuda and the ship will be your hotel for several nights. Maybe you will fly to Bermuda. One way or another, you will get there.
Visiting a port can feel like being a steel ball in a pinball machine. You are shot out, bounce off a few bumpers, get wacked by a paddle and return to where you started. This leads to: “People pay money for this?” and “All these islands are the same.” (They are not.)
Bermuda has a lot going for it. There are about 64,000 people total. It’s not that big. It’s a British Overseas Territory. It feels British.
Here are a dozen things you might consider for your next visit:
- Take the ferry to Hamilton. This is a no brainer. If your ship ties up at the Royal Navy Dockyard, it’s the fastest way to get to Hamilton. The water is that brilliant bluish green. The sun is out. You see these great waterfront homes.
- Take the city bus. No ferry for you. As part of the slow cooking revolution, you aren’t in a hurry. You’ve got all day, or several days. You board a local bus heading towards Hamilton. What will it take? An hour? It’s picturesque.
- Rent a moped. It’s a cross between a bicycle and a motorcycle. It seems to be the official way people get around Bermuda. Ideal for getting to the beaches on your own.
- Visit a pink sand beach. It’s more like the fictional island of Saint Marie in Death in Paradise than Coney Island or Brighton Beach in New York. Far fewer people. Pink sand. Clear water.
- Find a pub for lunch. Hamilton has plenty. Bermuda is a British outpost. Expect good beer and British pub food.
- Eat fresh fish. Mahi Mahi, tuna, snapper and wahoo are caught in local waters. How often do you get the opportunity to have fish that’s really fresh?
- Explore Hamilton. It’s the capital city. Its official population is 854. (2016 figures) If you are a New Yorker and think in “blocks” it’s about five blocks wide and four blocks deep. It’s a low-rise city. The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity is the tallest building allowed by law.
- Try Goslings Rum. Bermuda’s signature liquor. Ireland has Guinness, Bermuda has Goslings rum. It’s a dark rum, often associated with the drink Dark and Stormy. Their store has been on Front Street since 1824, almost 100 years.
- Botanical Garden. You knew, with this spectacular climate, they would have a way to showcase their plants, trees and shrubs. If you are into gardens, it’s worth a visit.
- Sea Turtles. Bermuda is famous for them. They are very large. One is about 75 years old.
- Real estate prices. Read the listings in a real estate agent’s window. Paradise has a price. It’s incredibly expensive, with significant restrictions on foreign purchases.
- Shop like locals. My wife and I try to visit supermarkets wherever we travel. You learn a lot about everyday life. Wine and liquor stores too. Hamilton has a branch of Marks & Spencer, the British department store chain. It’s quite small.
When the pandemic is behind us, find a way to build a visit to Bermuda into your cruise plans.