One of the world’s most popular cruise destinations is in a surprising location: Bermuda, located more than 600 miles off the mid-Atlantic Coast of the U.S.
Bermuda is such a wonderful place to visit that nearly 50 percent of visitors choose to make a return trip to this British territory.Bermuda also ranks as the fourth most popular destination in Cruise Holidays’ 2012 Cruise Trends survey, surpassed only by the Caribbean, Europe and Alaska.
Bermuda is an archipelago of about 120 islands, with the eight largest connected by bridges and causeways. Combined, the eight are just 22 miles long and barely 2 miles across at the widest. The islands retain their natural beauty and charm in part through bans on billboards, neon signs and other trappings of commercialization. Much of Bermuda’s open space is devoted to golf: it has more courses per square mile than anywhere else in the world.
Cruise ships call on one or more of three ports in Bermuda: Hamilton, St. George’s Town and King’s Wharf. Hamilton is the capital, and you’ll step off the ship right onto Front Street. It’s easy to tour the picturesque town on foot, or rent a horse and carriage.
St. George’s Town is a World Heritage Site, and the well-preserved buildings around King’s Square make it seem that you’ve stepped back into the 1600s. King’s Wharf has a long history as a strategic naval base, and you can view treasures brought up from numerous shipwrecks at the Bermuda Maritime Museum.
Bermuda’s beaches are well worth visiting. Some have long stretches of Bermuda’s famous pink sand; others lie on the edge of tiny, secluded coves. Any Bermuda beach is delightful, but those recommended for snorkeling include Church Bay Beach on the south shore and Tobacco Bay Beach near St. George’s Town. At Elbow Beach or Horseshoe Bay beach on the south shore, you can rent equipment for water sports.
Part of what makes Bermuda so appealing is that local leaders are careful not to overwhelm the island by allowing too many cruise ships to call on any given day. Still, Bermuda is welcoming more ships than in the past, which gives you a wider choice of itineraries. Ships depart from several East Coast ports, including Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Norfolk, Charleston and Fort Lauderdale. Talk with your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert to plan a cruise to warm, sunny, pastel-washed Bermuda