Bermuda is one of Britain’s five Overseas Territories in the Caribbean and its low levels of direct taxation make it popular amongst British expats. Technically, though, it’s not in the Caribbean at all but the Atlantic. However, its climate, geography and culture are as Caribbean as can be, leading most people to group them together.
Aside from its reputation as an island haven for the rich and famous, it is also known for its exceptional natural beauty. It is famous worldwide for its pink sand beaches and exceptionally clear waters, making it easy for tourists to come face to face with marine turtles, terrapins and tropical fish on some of the world’s best snorkelling tours. The architecture on most of the island is a mixture of 19th-Century cottages in every colour and modern shops and museums.
Despite having the largest population of any of Britain’s Caribbean possessions, it is actually a pretty small island chain – 8 islands connected by bridges and causeways. As such, you can travel the whole length of the island in about 15 minutes, making it possible for you to see literally everything on the island even if you are only stopping there for a few days.
Due to its previously ambivalent stance towards megaships, Bermuda remains an up-and-coming destination for cruise tourists. Only recently has it begun opening its ports to these larger vessels for fear of overcrowding, and they remain slightly less trafficked than the Bahamas or other similar islands. For most tourists, however, this will be a good thing – this beautiful Caribbean island chain has yet to be spoilt by excessive tourism and is now readily accessible by means of a cruise.
This fierce protectiveness of their island is what makes Bermuda the beauty that it is:
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- Billboards, advertising hoardings and neon signs are banned
There are strict regulations on driving:
- Including a nation-wide speed limit of 20 miles per hour and a ban on car rentals.
Moreover, the nation has what some would see as fairly puritanical rules on showing flesh
- You’re not allowed to show more than a certain amount of flesh when you’re more than 25 feet away from the sea and any shorts you wear off the beach must end no more than two inches above the knee. Hence the need for the world famous Bermuda shorts.
[styledbox type=”general shaded” ]Still, whether despite or because of all that, Bermuda remains an exceptionally popular tourist destination with over 500,000 visitors per year with – amazingly – around 50% of them returning within a year![/styledbox]
Top 5 Most Popular Things to Do
1. Enjoy the Bright Blue Sea at Horseshoe Bay Beach
Bermuda’s most popular beach is Horseshoe Bay and for good reason. It has an excellent mix of natural beauty and modern facilities. This beach is also ideal for families with young children as it has a lifeguard patrol throughout high season making sure that you and your family are bathing in safety. Famous for its pink sand.
2. Snorkel Coral Reefs in Some of the Clearest Waters in the World
The lack of rain in Bermuda is what makes the water so clear – without rain there’s no chance for sediment and organic matter to run down from the land into the sea. As such, the islands are the perfect environment for snorkellers who want to check out the beautiful coral reefs. Scoot along on an aqua scooter to zip through these waters and see all manner of exotic underwater life.
3. Golf at a PGA Course
Port Royal Golf course was designed with the help of the PGA to be a challenging course and has since played host to the PGA Grand Slam of Golf (2009). Exceptionally well-maintained with carefully manicured lawns, the course also maintains high standards when it comes to its dress code – make sure to come with a shirt that has a collar.
4. Dive the Famous Bermuda Triangle
Numerous diving companies offer boat trips out for diving ship wrecks and coral reefs in the Bermuda Triangle and, as with the snorkelling, the waters are amongst the clearest in the world. The diving schools in the area are also world-renowned for their level of skill and expertise.
5. Meet Seals, Turtles, Fish, Monkeys and Tropical Birds at the Bermuda Aquarium and Zoo
Wildlife can be unpredictable and even if you’ve already gone snorkelling and diving you may not have been able to see all you wanted to. Thankfully, the Bermuda Aquarium, Natural History Museum and Zoo exists to enable everyone to see a full range of Bermuda’s flora and fauna without even having to get wet! The aquarium is also home to the world’s first living coral reef exhibit, for all those who might not be able to see a coral reef by snorkelling.
Which ports do they dock at?
For large cruise ships, the most common port of call is King’s Wharf which right on the far edge of Bermuda, on Ireland Island. It is, however, just a short ferry ride to the capital of Hamilton. While you’re there, however, you may want to try out the new Snorkel Park, visit the Bermuda Maritime Museum or play with the dolphins at Dolphin Quest. The other common ports for cruise liners are Hamilton and St George’s but these are both too small for the mega-ships and as a result it is becoming less common for a cruise to dock there.