Are you ready to find out about all the things to do in Bermuda while the cruise ship is making a port of call? Vibrant, colorful sets of interconnected islands make up this cruise destination. A cruise to Bermuda proves that sun, sand and amazing adventures are available even in the North Atlantic.
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Natural beauty and charm aren’t the only things that make Bermuda interesting; its treacherous shallow reefs are just as good. These reefs ran many ships aground over the last 400 years.
It’s now one of the greatest joys of visiting the island as many come to see the over 300 sunken vessels that dot the waters of Bermuda. What these shipwrecks do is create the perfect dive sites and also give Bermuda a lot of its history and character. Cruise passengers can also enjoy Hamilton, the capital of Bermuda offering all kinds of things to do.
With all this happening it’s easy to see why this speck in the Atlantic is a must visit and when you do… Here are 20 things to do in Bermuda you should not miss out on:
1. Explore the Royal Naval Dockyard
Bermuda is shaped like a hook and on the hook’s western tip is the Royal Naval Dock Yard. This is where your cruise ship, docks at. Built-in 1795 for the maintenance of British Royal Navy Ships, the dockyard now serves as the main cruise port of Bermuda.
Designed in Pre-colonial European architecture, the dockyard is beautiful and retains most of the 18th-century buildings in perfect shape. The fine old stone buildings today serve as tourist attractions hosting eateries and shops.
The dockyard has so many attractions you could spend the whole day exploring it.
Among the things to see and do at the dockyard include visiting the national museum, getting a taste of Bermuda, shopping, experiencing an encounter with dolphins, or taking a tour of the legend ship. Also found in the dockyard are the glassworks and clay workshops.
2. Visit the National Museum of Bermuda
Located in the Royal Naval Dockyard is the National Museum of Bermuda. It is hosted in one of the oldest buildings in the dockyard called the keep. The museum tells the maritime past of Bermuda. Displaying the royal’s navy’s history with artifacts from seagoing vessels, cannons, and artwork.
3. Dolphin Quest
Another interesting place to visit in the cruise port area is the Dolphin Quest center. Have an encounter with the friendly dolphins as you play, pet and learn about marine conservation in their walled lagoon. It’s also a great place for kids, and children from age 3 and above can enjoy an up-close experience with the mammals. As an adult, you can have a better deep-water experience with the dolphins out at sea with an excursion package.
Visit Bermuda crafts market hosted at the Cooperage building which was built in 1831. Here you can peruse Bermudian wares from over 60 artisans. Pick authentic souvenirs made from cedar work, quilted garments, carvings, ceramics, and candles.
For more practical souvenirs visit the iconic clock tower mall built in 1856. The mall is easy to locate with the twin clock towers easily seen overhead. This beautiful, cobblestoned, historic edifice, houses boutique jewelry stores, department stores and eateries built into the royal navy warehouse.
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Other Places of interest include the dockyard glassworks. Visit these workshops and see master glass blowers at work. Watch carefully as they create beautiful pieces of glass artwork. Learn the art and get to chat with one of the glassmakers about the glass they make. Buy a piece or two to spruce up your home decor. Also, visit Bermuda rum cake factory to learn how Bermudian rum cake is made. You will even sample and carry some home.
Tortuga Caribbean Rum Cake is hugely popular, get yours here.
Paint your pottery at the Jon Faulkner clay works studio that displays international handmade ceramics. It has a live pottery workshop where you can learn to make your own pottery and even customize it on site.
5. Visit The Bermuda Perfumery
Located in the Historical town of St. George’s is the Bermuda Perfumery famous for the Lili Bermuda brand of perfumes. The perfumery is found in the old, brightly colored Stewart Hall building. Here you can find Isabelle Ramsay hard at work creating enchanting fragrances that capture the romantic essence of Bermuda. Visit the perfumery and learn how perfume is made from scratch. You can even try customizing one for yourself and buy one or two bottles of the famous perfumes.
However, please note, that this is an appointment only activity so book an appointment to the perfumery and get a chance to design your own signature scent.
6. Explore the Forts of Bermuda
The forts of Bermuda are packed with history, beauty, great vistas, and lush greenery. One such fort is Fort Scaur, found along the way to and from the Royal Naval Dockyard. Visit this enchanting fort and get some panoramic views of the harbor.
Take loads of photos along with learning some interesting history and admire the cannons and moat in the fort. You can escape into the peace and tranquility of the adjacent park that stretches from Elly’s harbor to the great sound. It’s a very romantic location to take your partner for a nice walk.
Make sure you have good walking shoes when on these type excursions.
Another fort of interest is Fort St. Catherine located on the other end of the island. It’s Bermuda’s largest fort and is a sight to behold. It’s located in the historic town of St George’s. Visit the fort and enjoy stunning views of the ocean. Watch history come alive in the exhibit at the fort, explore tunnels or relax at St. Catherine’s beach.
7. Explore the Unfinished Church
One of the greatest attractions and a common landmark in Bermuda is the Unfished Church. Built in the 18th century and a very beautiful gothic design. This church was left incomplete and remains in that state to date.
Mother nature has now occupied some of the church’s spaces with grass growing within the roofless edifice. Leaving it looking like an abandoned, enchanted house from a fairy tale. To access it you can take a 35-minute ferry ride to St Georges, then start a 15-minute uphill walk to the church. You can also take a ferry to Hamilton city and catch a bus to the site which will take about an hour.
8. Gib’s Hill Lighthouse
One of the best ways to see all of Bermuda in a single glance is at Gibs Hill Lighthouse. Visit the iconic landmark which is the oldest cast-iron lighthouse and one of the only two that still exist in the world. Climb 185 steps to the top of the lighthouse and enjoy amazing views of the little sound and the south shore.
Enjoy the advantageous views of the island stretching to the Royal Naval Dockyard and Hamilton city. Also, try the fresh pizza, seafood and Italian cuisine served at the restaurant in the bottom section of the lighthouse.
Bermuda’s state of the art ocean- view golf courses have hosted some of the world’s elite, including royalties, presidents, and celebrities. Join the club by golfing in either one of these well-manicured, 18 hole golf courses on the island. You are promised a challenging and thrilling adventure.
To start with, exhibit your prowess at the Fun Golf Course at the Royal Naval Dockyard. This nine-hole miniature golf course has nine iconic holes representing the most challenging golf holes from all over the world. This is a guaranteed fun activity for all golf lovers.
10. Rent a Moped and Explore the Island
Don’t expect to rent a car in Bermuda; there are no car rentals on the island whatsoever. The country is small and prefers to maintain an eco-friendly atmosphere. Instead, you can rent a moped which is the popular mode of transportation for tourists on the island. The moped is easy to use and can carry two people. Take a guided tour of the island and enjoy secret gems going from one part of the island to another.
11. Beach Life
If you came for the sun and the sand then you are in for a treat. Enjoy Bermuda’s alluring pink sandy beaches and hidden rocky coves. Bermuda’s dramatic coastline is lined with beautiful stretches of stunning beaches. The most popular beach being Horseshoe Bay which is found nearest to the cruise ship dock. You can find more details about the bay right here.
This long crescent stretch of soft, pink sand is a sight to behold. The only downside is the fact that it gets overcrowded. So, if you are looking for more laid-back, quiet beaches, then south shore is the direction you should be headed. There you will discover quiet, serene and beautiful beaches such as Chaplin Bay, Jobson’s Cove, Astwood Cove, Elbow Beach, and Church Bay.
Don’t forget all your beach accessories for your time in port.
Elbow beach found in Hamilton city is another great beach. The mile-long, crescent-shaped stretch of pink sands is one of the best beaches in Bermuda. It’s only a 10-minute drive from Bermuda. It’s protected offshore coral reefs make it an ideal beach for swimming. There are plenty of amenities on this beach, including restaurants, bathrooms, water equipment rentals and more.
And lastly but not least you can visit Tobacco bay beach on the Eastern shores of the island, in St. Georges. This is a nice stretch of beach that combines both a pre-colonial atmosphere together with modern day beach amenities. Visit this beach and explore the amazing rock formations, swim, snorkel or just sunbathe.
Sunscreen can be expensive on a cruise, get from Amazon first.
12. Cliff Jumping
Cliff jumping is another epic thing to do in Bermuda. Due to the nature of the islands rugged coastlines, many rock formations form cliffs that drop into the sea. There are many popular cliff jumping spots starting at Horseshoe Bay’s crown and launching pad. One of the most popular jumping spots is found at Admiralty park in the Northshore of Hamilton and is known as Canon.
Diving from bridges is also common at the Watford and Flatts bridges in Hamilton. However, cliff diving is extremely dangerous, and divers are advised to take precautions and always swim in the spot first to check that the necessary conditions are available. Never dive in low tides. Check with the Bermuda tourism center for more information.
13. Explore Crystal and Fantasy Caves
Away from it all, you can explore the underground world at Bermuda’s largest cave systems. Starting the adventure in a beautiful lush tropical garden lined with swaying palms. You can choose to go to either the Crystal or Fantasy Caves. Here you will see stunning stalagmite and limestone icicle formations soaring in the ceilings of the cave.
These stunning attractions were formed by dripping limestone over a long period. Walk on the floating bridge that gives you a peek into the water beneath the caves. Which are crystal clear and show even more rock formations. It’s an amazing experience for all family members that you shouldn’t miss. The entrance fee is $22 for adults and $10 for kids.
14. Snorkel and Dive in Shipwrecks
Bermuda is known as the shipwreck capital of the world. The island might be small, but its waters are vast and host over 300 shipwrecks. Snorkeling and diving are the major activities that draw tourists to the island.
Check these cool full face snorkel mask sets for your cruise vacation.
In Bermuda, you can snorkel right off the beach, and some dive sites are also accessible a few yards from the shore. Snorkeling is best done in the south shore near the cruise dock. Where there are popular snorkel spots such as church bay, snorkel point and more.
While shipwreck diving is best in the northeastern shores. With some wrecks visible from the water surface or just sunken a few feet below. Bermuda has many shallow water coral reefs that have served to protect the island from violent storms over the centuries but also caused the peril of many mighty ships.
These corals make Bermuda’s waters very interesting. In diving sites such as the cathedral, it feels like diving in an aquarium; there is plenty of marine life to see and explore. Besides that, you and your family can visit the Bermuda aquarium and museum, and get a glimpse into the marine life of the island.
15. Explore Bermuda by Boat
Sailing is Bermuda’s number one activity after all the island was formed by sailors of the olden ages. The island was originally inhabited by shipwreck survivors only. There is a side of Bermuda that can only be explored by boat.
Charter a boat and go on a site-seeing tour of the island, or sail to uninhabited islands in the country. All in all, boat trips are completely relaxational and lots of fun and the best way to enjoy Bermuda.
For most water-related shore excursions water shoes are a must. Find them here.
16. Nature Trails
Explore Bermuda by foot or by bike through the Bermuda railway trail. An 18mile-long abandoned railway track that was turned into a nature trail, a couple of decades ago. It runs from one end of the island to the other.
This blissful trail will take you through beautiful, peaceful and tranquil island landscape where you will have a chance to explore Bermuda’s beauty up-close. The trail is divided into nine sections some are in steeper landscapes while others pass along bridges and crossways.
17. Tour of St. Georges
To the east end of Bermuda is the famous town of St. George’s. Experience 400 years of British colonial history at its best. The beautiful parish of St George’s still preserves the British colonial architecture with the picturesque cottages, cobblestoned alleys, and streets. It’s the oldest British colonial town in use in the new world. It’s also a world heritage center as dubbed by UNESCO. Some popular attractions to enjoy in this town include Fort Catherine, the perfumery, tobacco bay, crystal caves, and Tom Moore’s jungle.
Perfect travel water bottles for your time port can be found here.
18. A Day in Hamilton Town
Explore the central part of Bermuda at the city of Hamilton. Here you will enjoy the vibrant cosmopolitan life of Bermuda. The city is designed in bright pastel colors and boasts of exquisite tastes in architecture leading to some of the classiest real estates. Enjoy the blend of sophistication and rich culture displayed in the town. Top things to see in Hamilton include the city hall, the gallery, historic museum, ancient churches, botanical gardens, and elbow beach.
19. Adventures into Nature
Spittal Pond is one of the most popular nature reserves in Bermuda. This 64-acre lush piece of land hosts multiple habitats marking it an important wetland of the world. On one extreme it’s a bird watchers paradise, and on the other end, it’s a whale watchers paradise. This reserve has both a sprawling park teemed with native Bermudan wildlife, a wide array of avian life and to its end, it’s lined with the dramatic coastline we have all come to love.
You’ll always need bug spray when spending time in port during a cruise.
The coastline features perfect spots for whale watching, and the spectacular limestone rock formations form some interesting rare natural phenomenon like the checkerboard pavement. The pond itself is a tranquil space perfect for picnics. Follow the nature trails created in the reserve and explore Bermuda’s natural beauty all in one place.
Other interesting nature escapes includes Cooper’s Island Nature Reserve only recently availed to the public after years of being a US Military and Nasa property. It’s beautiful here and teeming with avian and Bermuda wildlife.
Other places of importance include Walsingham nature reserve and blue hole park otherwise known as Tom Moore’s Jungle. This 12-acre park in the Hamilton Parish boasts of the beautiful crystal caves, the iconic blue hole, subterranean grottos and mangrove ponds that are a nature lover’s haven of beauty, peace, and tranquility.
Try the culinary taste of Bermuda, which boasts of a wide array of dishes inspired by England, US, the Caribbean and South American culinary practices. All this due to its advantageous position in the Atlantic Ocean.
The main ingredient in Bermuda’s dishes is seafood. Enjoy their famous fish chowder which is like gumbo on steroids and the salted codfish and scrumptious fish sandwiches available throughout the island. There are several local favorite places to dine in such as Bulli. Social, Wahoo Bistro, Bouchee, Mad hatters and Jamaican Grill.
All you have to do is choose the weather you visit the island in. May to October is the island’s beach season, but also the costliest season to visit the island. March and April are the best times to explore the island but not for water activities. While November to February is the winter season best for golfing and whale watching and also a time of incredible discounts.
Make sure you’ve got all the travel wear needed for your call in Bermuda.
Final Thoughts on Things to Do in Bermuda
Other than these twenty things, there is plenty more to see and do in Bermuda. You can visit Nonesuch island and see the rare Bermuda Cahow bird that was once believed to be extinct. There are also popular water sports such as paddle boarding, kayaking, jet skiing and more.
All major cruise lines such as Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises and Holland America Line make regular trips to the island. You can rest assured to find an offering for this destination with your preferred cruise line.
There you have it, all you need to know about how to enjoy your trip to Bermuda. Happy Cruising!!