Shore excursions in Kings Wharf (Bermuda)

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Useful information for excursions in Kings Wharf (Bermuda)

In the following we have compiled information about the cruise port, the most beautiful sights and many useful tips for shore excursions in and around Bermuda.

The most beautiful sights in Bermuda

In the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, between hundreds of kilometers with no land in sight, the coral islands of Bermuda suddenly rise up out of the ocean. Due to their location off the American coast, the Caribbean flair and the influence of British culture, they offer a unique exotic combination that is well worth visiting.

Bermuda is British overseas territory in the Atlantic Ocean and so the special Caribbean-like atmosphere is complemented by beautiful colonial architecture and British charm. There is even a currency of its own: the Bermuda Dollar. In total, Bermuda counts more than 360 islands to its territory, but only about 20 of them are inhabited. The three largest islands: Grand Bermuda, Somerset Island and St. George’s Island are connected by bridges and can be easily explored via the North Road, Middle Road and South Road. About 64,000 inhabitants live on the Bermuda Islands, but only about 1,000 of them live in the capital Hamilton.

Although the first association with this archipelago may be Bermuda shorts, this is by no means all that the destination has to offer. The most popular activities on the islands take place underwater. Thanks to the coral reefs that surround the archipelago and have driven many a sailor to despair, the Bermuda Islands are now a snorkeling and diving paradise. But beside the enchanting coral landscape, Bermuda’s pink sandy beaches impress with their excellent photo scenery and seem almost unreal.

The capital: Hamilton

Those who travel to Bermuda should also visit its capital Hamilton. Apart from Hamilton Harbour, where numerous large yachts and smaller cruise ships can dock, the city has the typical colonial architecture, which can be seen in the form of colourful houses with particularly pretty architecture. Thus, the Front Street is very worthwhile seeing. This is where life takes place. The promenade along the coast represents the heart of the capital and lines blue buildings with pink and yellow ones. In Hamilton there are numerous restaurants, pubs and shops. Southeast of the city there is also a fortress, the Fort Hamilton, which is worth visiting. From there you have a wonderful view of the city and the bay with the islands opposite.

St. George’s

If you are curious what British influence looked like in the 17th century, you should visit the city of St. Georges. The former capital of Bermuda is located on Saint George’s Island and is the oldest English settlement in America that was continuously inhabited. Founded in 1612, it could not be more historic and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000. A visit to the city of St. George’s is like a journey back in time. The structure and architecture have hardly changed since colonial times, so that cobblestone streets, small alleys and stone cottages are part of the usual cityscape. Immerse yourself in a piece of Great Britain, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean at temperatures similar to those of the Caribbean – an extraordinary experience.

Pink beaches

It is known that the beaches in general are a real highlight of the Bermuda Islands. The pinkish sand with the turquoise water at its side creates a real picture of paradise, which not only looks good on photos but will be remembered for a lifetime. One of the most famous beaches in Bermuda is also one of the ten most beautiful beaches in the world – Horseshoe Bay in Southampton. Surrounded by rocks it enchants its visitors especially with the exotic pink colour of the sand. Over thousands of years, the white grains of sand have mixed with shells, foraminifers and powdered coral, creating the pink colour that gives the beaches a magical touch. Whether sunbathing, swimming, snorkelling or water sports activities such as wakeboarding – a large number of possibilities make a visit to Horeshoe Bay special.

Also the elbow-shaped beach Elbow Beach on the south coast with its icing sugar fine sand and its long spacious bay offers a lot of space for sunbathing and swimming.

Bermuda underwater world

Thanks to the high density of coral reefs, Bermuda is known for its breathtaking underwater world. The ideal place for snorkeling is, among others, Church Bay, which enchants its snorkeling enthusiasts with its colorful, natural reefs and colorful fish. Church Bay is also located in Southampton and offers the advantage that the spectacular underwater landscapes can be found very close to the shore. But the small bay, whose bright blue water is unmistakable, also invites you to relax and sunbathe.

The Bermuda Islands are also notorious for the sinking of numerous ships. This offers snorkelers and especially divers unique opportunities to explore the very special underwater world here in the Bermuda Triangle – over 300 wrecks lie on the seabed!

Crystal Caves

In the interior of the island an almost magical highlight is waiting to be explored. The Crystal Caves are stalactite caves that rise up to 36 meters underground. Here the crystal clear water has collected in the limestone pools and now forms shimmering pools. The breathtaking underwater cave world impresses with extraordinary rock formations that rise from the ceiling or glitter on the wall. The special lighting of the rocks also influences the spectacular overall picture.

Gibbs Hill Lighthouse

On the highest elevation of the Bermuda Islands, the 41 m high cast-iron tower of the Gibbs Hill Leut Tower was built in 1844 and put into operation on 1 May 1846. This proud landmark of the British colony rises 108 meters above sea level. Today, at the foot of the tower, in the former living quarters of the lighthouse keeper, there is a cafeteria called “The Lighthouse Tearoom”. Those who want to buy a little souvenir will find something in the arranged souvenir shop. Those who are motivated can climb the 185 steps of the lighthouse to a small viewing platform and will be rewarded afterwards with a great view.

Map of the cruise port in Bermuda

Bermuda has a total of four berths for cruise ships.

King’s Wharf, Royal Naval Dockyard

Heritage Wharf, Royal Naval Dockyard

Pier 6 Dock on Front Street, Hamilton

Penno’s Wharf, St. Georges

The most important and biggest berth, which is actually used by all big cruise companies, is located in the very north of Somerset Island in the Royal Naval Dockyards. There are two berths right next to each other: King’s Wharf and Heritage Wharf. If both berths there are occupied, it is also possible that a third ship has to lie in the roads. The anchorage shortly before the Royal Naval Dockyard is called Grassy Bay.

The area around the Royal Naval Dockyard has now been transformed into a modern tourist complex with all kinds of leisure facilities. From the National Museum of Bermuda, to an artificially created beach section, an arts & crafts center, a shopping mall as well as numerous restaurants and bars, the visitor is offered a lot.

In the capital Hamilton itself there is a berth right in the city center near Front Street. However, only yachts and small cruise ships can moor at Pier 6 Dock on Front Street.

Tendering takes place in the town of St. George’s in north-east Bermuda on Penno’s Wharf. Penno’s Wharf is also only served by smaller cruise ships, such as ships of Oceana Cruises or Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

Things to know for land excursions in Bermuda

Cruise companies and routes

A popular starting and end point of the cruises that head for Bermuda is the world metropolis New York. This gives your North America cruise a perfect balance between exciting world cities and Caribbean-like island worlds. Not only German cruise companies such as AIDA Cruises offer this exciting combination (until the end of 2020), international cruise companies also connect the popular destinations. Other highlights on Bermuda routes include Boston, Miami or Washington as well as the Bahamas.

MSC, Holland America Line, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line are among the international cruisecompanies that regularly call at the Bermuda Islands as part of Caribbean cruises.

AIDA Cruises occasionally sails to Bermuda between September and November, mooring at both King’s Wharf and Heritage Wharf. With Carnival Cruises you can travel to Bermuda during the summer months from May to October. The company’s ships dock almost exclusively at King’s Wharf. The ships of Norwegian Cruise Lines also regularly call at the Bermuda Islands and from April to November they are always on site at both large berths.

Entry and visa

No visa is required if you enter Bermuda by cruise ship. However, you should carry a passport valid until the end of your stay.

In the other ports of your cruise, the regulations may differ, so it is generally recommended that at the time of your cruise your passport is valid for at least six months beyond the end of your stay.

To be on the safe side, it is advisable to find out about all valid entry regulations directly from your cruise line and from the Foreign Office in good time before your cruise.

National currency

Although Bermuda belongs to Great Britain and is geographically closest to the USA, it has its own currency: the Bermuda Dollar. This is pegged to the US dollar, and one Bermuda dollar equals one US dollar. It is also divided into 100 cents, but the Bermuda currency has a two-dollar bill and a one-dollar coin. The US Dollar is an equal means of payment in Bermuda and can be used everywhere without problems. Besides BMD and USD, you can also pay with your credit card in restaurants and shops.

It is advisable to exchange the remaining Bermuda Dollars back before departure, as they can neither be accepted nor exchanged outside Bermuda.

Taxi and public transport

As in Great Britain, Bermuda is driven on the left-hand side. Although only one car per household is allowed, there is a lot of traffic especially around the capital Hamilton.

Many large cruise companies dock at the Royal Naval Dockyard, which is located on Somerset Island. There is a tourist information office there, which provides free maps, brochures, bus schedules and travel information to tourists and also sells tickets for buses and ferries. The Royal Naval Dockyard is well connected to the rest of the island by bus, ferry and taxi services.

There is a ferry pier only 3-4 minutes walk from the moorings. The blue route connects Somerset Island with the capital Hamilton and the orange route with the historic city of St. George’s via scenic water routes.

Two regular bus lines run between the yard and Hamilton. Bus line no. 7 runs along the famous beaches of the south coast and offers a magnificent view of the coast and the pink beaches. Bus line no. 8 is a great way to discover the general landscape of the island.
There are also several taxis waiting in front of the cruise ship docks to take you from A to B. Many taxis have a taximeter that will take you to any place on the island or even offer whole island tours at fixed hourly rates.

Scooter rental is also very popular in Bermuda. You can rent scooters or mopeds directly in the shipyard area. No rental cars are allowed in Bermuda, but minicars have recently been introduced which can be rented by everyone, including cruise ship passengers, for a day or longer (online booking required).
When cruise liners are in port, a mini-train on wheels usually runs through the shipyard, starting near the cruise terminals and passing the major sites of the Royal Naval Dockyard. The service is free within the shipyard complex and you can board and disembark at various points.

Travel time

The Bermuda Islands have warm temperatures all year round and can therefore be visited all year round. However, hurricanes can occur in September and October, although Bermuda is less affected than the Caribbean. The summer months are the best time to travel, especially for beach holidaymakers and divers, as the water has pleasant temperatures. However, a higher humidity must be expected in the months from May to October. From February to April the water temperature is somewhat lower and averages around 19 degrees.

High season for cruise ships is usually from April to November.

Website port operator and tourism organisation

Video: Impressions of Bermuda

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