Bermuda cruises are More exotic than the Bahamas and take passengers to an elite destination, known for its duty-free shopping, colorful architecture, and friendly people. Combining the essence of a tropical paradise with charming British hospitality, Bermuda offers cruisers a wide variety of relaxing activities and cultural insights for every visitor.
When to Take a Bermuda Cruise
Bermuda cruises are only available during the summer months, from late April through October. Located in the western Atlantic, roughly parallel to the Carolinas, Bermuda is still susceptible to hurricane influences between June 1 and November 30, but the country is less often affected by the treacherous storms than more southerly destinations. The nation's temperate climate and relative isolation make it a pleasant getaway for laid-back passengers, and Bermuda's government strictly regulates the influx of cruise ships to control the number of tourists and avoid overcrowding. An additional ship is permitted to dock on weekends, making them slightly more crowded than weekdays.
Bermuda cruises are typically five- or seven-night voyages, given the island's distance from the United States. Because Bermuda is frequently the only destination on these voyages, ships may spend several days docked at the same port of call, allowing guests to thoroughly explore and enjoy the region's quaint character. Longer itineraries may also visit the eastern Caribbean or Bahamas, and many transatlantic voyages will stop in Bermuda as well.
Because of the strict regulations regarding cruise traffic to Bermuda, fewer lines offer Bermuda cruises. Several mainstream lines, including Royal Caribbean, Holland America Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, and Norwegian Cruise Line do offer regular Bermuda itineraries. Luxury lines also visit Bermuda, including Radisson Seven Seas Cruises, Cunard Cruises, and Seabourn Cruise Line.
Embarkation Ports for Bermuda Cruises
The main embarkation ports for Bermuda cruises are in the northeastern United States because they are more convenient to the voyage than more southerly ports, where Caribbean itineraries are standard. Embarkation ports for Bermuda cruises include:
- New York, NY: Convenient both for the northeastern U.S. as well as passengers with connecting flights, New York is one of the hubs for Bermuda cruises.
- Boston, MA: Slightly less congested than New York, Boston also offers a variety of seasonal Bermuda cruises.
- Baltimore, MD: Slightly further south, Baltimore is convenient for passengers connecting through Washington DC before their cruise.
- Philadelphia, PA: Another northeastern port with less frenetic activity than any other choices, Philadelphia is home to a limited number of cruise ships with regular Bermuda voyages.
- International Ports: Because Bermuda is often included on transatlantic voyages, a number of international ports may be the starting point for itineraries calling on Bermuda.
Departure ports naturally change as cruise lines adjust ships' itineraries and home ports, and to insure that Bermuda cruises are offered from a preferred departure port, prospective passengers should contact a travel agent for the most current itinerary information.
Ports of Call for Bermuda Cruises
There are three principle ports of call in Bermuda. Because of the island's distance from other destinations, most Bermuda cruises only call on this one nation, though they may visit more than one of the available ports.
- Hamilton: Centrally located on the tiny island nation, Hamilton is Bermuda's capital city. Cruise ships dock right in the midst of the shopping district, and passengers can also participate in guided tours that highlight the city's rich cultural history. Typical shore excursions such as snorkeling and golf are always available, and other attractions include the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute with its interactive marine exhibits and the region's many popular pink sand beaches, including Horseshoe Bay, Elbow Beach, and Astwood Cove.
- St. George's: As with Hamilton, cruise ships dock in the center of this quaint city on the country's northern tip. Shore excursions are similar, and additional attractions include St. Peter's Church, a nearly 300-year-old church believed to be the oldest in the Western Hemisphere, and the Old State House, the oldest building in Bermuda and once home to the country's Parliament. Halfway between Hamilton and St. George's is the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo, offering a spectacular array of aquariums and interactive displays.
- King's Wharf: This western port at the Royal Naval Dockyard is equipped to handle the largest megaships, and most ships offer an impressive array of nautical shore excursions including helmet diving, glass-bottom boats, snorkeling, and deep sea fishing. King's Wharf was originally constructed by slave labor and today is home to the island's largest museum - the Bermuda Maritime Museum.
Because of Bermuda's small size (only twenty square miles), even if a cruise ship calls only at one port it is possible for passengers to arrange taxi rides to visit other areas. When doing so, however, it is important to note that taxi fares are metered and with winding roads, the total fare can be significant.
With luxurious pink sand beaches, calm tropical weather, dozens of historical sites, and incredible shopping opportunities, Bermuda offers a unique blend of luxury cruising with resort amenities on shore, perfect for an isolated getaway without sacrificing the excitement and enjoyment of a cruise vacation.