Bermudas Iconic Pink Sand Beaches
You may have heard that there are pink sand beaches in the world, but not realized they were so easy to get to. Thats right, Bermuda located just roughly 180 miles from the U.S. mainland has those uniquely hued beaches and you definitely dont want to miss seeing a pink sand beach when you have a cruise port of call in Bermuda.
The pink sand beaches of Bermuda are caused by tiny red organisms that live within the coral reef located in the seawater around the island of Bermuda. When those organisms die, they get washed up onto shore and mix with the sand, giving the sandy shoreline its beautiful shade of pink.
In particular, Horseshoe Bay Beach in Hamilton is a popular pink sand beach to visit and is a must-see Bermuda sight for many travelers.
Sunbathe At Horseshoe Bay Beach
Location: Horseshoe Bay
Although there are numerous gorgeous beaches in Bermuda, Horseshoe Bay Beach is arguably the most famous of them all. Located on the islands south coast, Horseshoe Bay Beach is so scenic its one of the ! And backed by lush vegetation, featuring white-pinkish sand, rocky shores and azure waters, its undeniably photogenic.
Bermudas Ports Of Call
A warm Bermuda welcome awaits you at one of these ports of call:
- King’s Wharf and Heritage Wharf, both located in the Royal Naval Dockyard on Ireland Island North at the western tip of the island.
- Hamilton Harbour, located in the islands capital, the City of Hamilton.
- St. George’s Port in St. George’s Harbour
Step right off the ship to explore historic towns, sample Bermudian cuisine, shop markets and boutiques, visit a huge variety of attractions, discover hidden natural wonders or head straight for our world-famous pink-sand beaches. The island is only 21-square miles, so anything you want to see and do should be within reach.
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Visit St Georges Town
Located on the east end of Bermuda, the town of St. Georges is the oldest British settlement in the new world. This UNESCO world heritage site was founded in 1612 and was Bermudas capital city until 1815. Stroll through the cobblestone streets of St. Georges to Kings Square, explore the oldest fort, Bermuda Heritage Museum, St. Peters Church, and roofless ruins of the neo-Gothic Unfinished Church.
To get to St. Georges town, from Royal Naval Dockyard you can take the Orange line ferry that will take you directly to St Georges market wharf, only a few minutes walking distance from Kings Square.
You can also take Bus Routes 1, 3, 10, 11 from Hamilton central bus station to St. Georges, and the ride takes approximately 1 hour.
A taxi ride will take approximately 45 minutes and cost between $70 to $90 dollars.
Booking An Excursion On A Cruise
If youre traveling to Bermuda via cruise ship, the excursions offered through the cruise will typically indicate a minimum age and/or height/weight required. This is a good place to start to get a sense of whats available when searching for things to do in Bermuda while on a cruise with kids.
You can also book excursions through companies like Viator directly. Keep in mind they will not be coordinated through the cruise ship. This could cause issues if there are delays or cancellations.
If you have kids that are a little older, Bermuda is also known for its snorkeling. Its a great alternative to a glass bottom cruise if you want to get right in the water. While we were on the Glass Bottom Boat Cruise with our son, our family members did a snorkeling excursion on a catamaran. It also picked them up right from the Royal Naval Dockyard.
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Into History At The Bermuda National Museum
If you are a history buff, you’ll appreciate Bermuda’s rich history that spans many wars. Visitors to the Royal Naval Dockyard who are intrigued with the area’s past often head over to the Bermuda National Museum. Here, more than 30,000 objects can be found in a variety of collections that range from ship models and maritime artifacts to photographs, oral testimonies, boats, archeological items, and more.
Bike The Bermuda Railway Trail
The Bermuda Railway Trail, used in the 1930s and 1940s by the Bermuda Railway, takes you through some of the most beautiful scenery in Bermuda. In 1964, Bermudas government transformed the track into 18 miles of scenic trails for walkers and cyclists, and its now a National Park.
The trail runs from Somerset, not far from the Dockyard, through Hamilton, then along the North Shore all the way to St. Georges on the eastern end of Bermuda.
Bikes are available to rent at the Dockyard at Oleander Cycles. Note that the entrance to the trail is a few miles away, just by the Somerset bus station. Alternatively, you can book a guided bike tour that departs from the Dockyard. Check pricing on a guided bike tour here, including bike rental and all necessary equipment.
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Sample Some Of Bermudas Local Food And Drink
Photo by Flickr/djLicious
When in Bermuda, eat like a Bermudan, and chase each bite down like a local. Swizzle rum is served by the pitcher.
While you can get a Swizzle rum just about anywhere, locals gave away the secret that the Swizzle at Swizzle Inn and Pub has that special something. It goes does down real easy like a fruity sweet tea.
Dark and Stormy is a ginger beer and rum cocktail that might be more like sweet and bubbly. Marcus Restaurant at the Fairmont Princess has their own take called the Darker n Stormier.
Bermudan Fish Sandwiches
On an island with a melting pot of cultures, youll find scones for tea, fish fry for lunch, gigantic BBQ Bermuda lobsters spilling over dinner plates, and Portuguese malasadas at any time of the day.
But if youre searching a no-frills local joint for the most epic of fish sandwiches, then Art Mels Spicy Dicy in Hamilton is the place to head. Expect a tower of lightly-battered fried fish slathered in tangy coleslaw sandwiched between soft raisin bread.
Featured above is Swizzle Inns special take on the fish sandwich which they call Baileys Bay Fish Sandwich. It was delectable!
Bermuda Fish Chowder
Photo by Flickr/kansasphoto
Perhaps no other dish bears the heart and soul of Bermuda more than a steamy bowl of fish chowder. Its packed with complex flavor but light on the palette.
Snorkel At Tobacco Bay Beach
Tobacco Bay Beach with its clear, shallow water is one of the best spots in Bermuda to snorkel. The bay received its unusual name in 1609 by survivors of the shipwrecked Sea Venture, after wild tobacco was found growing there.
Tobacco Bays limestone rock formations make it a haven for fish and other marine life. Snorkelers can spot blue parrotfish, grouper, sergeant majors, angelfish, and more! Snorkel equipment can be rented on the beach, but we prefer to bring our own.
Stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, and floats are also available to rent, along with loungers and umbrellas. Bathroom and shower facilities are on site, and free WiFi is available.
Tobacco Bay Beach has a beachside restaurant and bar, offering burgers, hot dogs and wings along with cocktails, beer, and soda.
During high season, nighttime events including the Bonfire and Bohemia beach party, are often held after sunset.
Tobacco Bay Beach, 9 Coots Pond Rd.,St. Georges, Bermuda. Open every day 10 AM to 5 PM.
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Glass Bottom Boat Cruise In Bermuda
If youre visiting Bermuda with a toddler or baby, boat tours are a great way to experience the island and bring them along with you. A glass bottom boat cruise was recommended by a friend and was the perfect way to see the island, learn about the history of Bermuda and view the marine life up close. It was 1.5 hours, which was the perfect amount of time to keep our sons attention. And I was surprised to walk away with way more knowledge about coral than I ever planned to gain.
The boat departed steps away from the cruise ship, so we could just walk over there with a stroller. Keep in mind that smaller tour boats will make you leave your stroller on the dock, since theres limited space on board.
Suggested Things To Do When It Rains In Bermuda
Bermuda is a subtropical cruise destination, but that doesnt mean it never rains. Rainfall, however, is limited to certain months and never lasts very long. You can find the best time to cruise to Bermuda in this blog post.
In the unfortunate event the weather doesnt cooperate during your cruise to Bermuda, there areluckilyseveral things to do in Bermuda when it rains.
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Sample The Energy Of Hamilton
Located smack bang in the middle of Main Island, pretty Hamilton is the beating epicentre of Bermudas cultural and economic life.
Its also imbued with some of the most enchanting colonial relics of any city in the Caribbean and North Atlantic just check out those Gothic towers and buttresses of The Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity, rising like some medieval English church in the midst of the town.
Meanwhile, the Bermuda National Gallery beckons with its touring collections and exhibitions of local artists, while Montys and the Robin Hood Pub belie the towns British roots with their hearty Ales and Anglo cuisine.
Getting Around Kings Wharf Bermuda
Public transportation in Bermuda is widely available and stops at or near most destinations of note. It is a good idea to buy a transportation pass at the Visitors Center located right at the dock, which costs $19.00 and is good for 1 day on both buses and ferries, across all transportation zones. Multi day passes are also available in Hamilton, but no longer available at the Dockyard . See here for more information. Remember that most locals commute into Hamilton to work, so the buses and ferries are quite busy during morning and afternoon rush hours.
The central bus terminal is located on Washington Street in Hamilton, near City Hall and is the hub for the 11 bus routes across Bermuda. Schedules are available at at the terminal wherever you purchase tokens or a transportation pass. Take the times on the schedule as a guideline, not a rule. If you need to be back to the port at a certain time, dont cut it too close. Hamilton is about an hour bus ride from either St Georges at one end to the Dockyard at the other.
If you want to catch a bus, look for the blue and pink poles along the side of the road. Pink poles are for buses heading to Hamilton. Blue poles are for buses heading away from Hamilton.
If you are looking to just go to the beach, there are designated Beach Express buses within walking distance of the pier. They dont work on a set schedule but wait until the bus is full before leaving.
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Snorkel With Tropical Fish In Daniel’s Head Park
Humberto Ramirez / Getty
Daniel’s Head Park accounts for 17 acres along the West End coast and features two public beaches that are heavenly for snorkelers. Underwater explorers can expect to find sergeant majors and angelfish venturing amongst the reefs in the calm, shallow water. There’s also a floating water park operated by X20 adventures teeming with water slides to entertain adults and children alike. In short, there’s something for everyone at Daniel’s Head, and it is well worth a day trip.
Bermuda Cruise Port Highlights
King’s Wharf:King’s Wharf is the big dog in Bermuda, as this is where the big ships that call regularly dock. Upon your arrival, you’ll find yourself inside the bustling Royal Naval Dockyard, Bermuda’s most visited tourist site. King’s Wharf is rich in naval history, and the Bermuda Maritime Museum houses recovered treasures from the island’s shipwrecks. Visitors can trek up nearly 200 steps to the top of a historic lighthouse, where they can enjoy a charming repast in the lighthouse’s tea room. Shop duty-free inside the Clocktower Mall or pick up a scrumptious rum cake at the Bermuda Rum Cake Company, hop a ferry to anywhere, or stroll through the Arts Centre to view the works of Bermuda’s premier artists. If you want to escape the crowds, take a bus, taxi or scooter ride just 10 minutes away from the pier, and you’ll find private spots for exploring and kicking back at the beach.
Whatever you do in Hamilton, make sure you head back to Front Street around 6 p.m. Wednesday nights if your ship is overnighting . That’s when the party begins sans traffic. So bring your dancing shoes and a big appetite for the tasty tidbits offered from the food stands lined up shoulder to shoulder.
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Climb Gibbs Hill Lighthouse
Gibbs Hill Lighthouse, built in 1844 by the Royal Engineers, is one of the first lighthouses in the world to be constructed of cast iron. The taller of two lighthouses on Bermuda, Gibbs Hills light shines out at 354 feet above sea level. Its visible to planes from over 100 miles away!
The lighthouse is open to the public, and you can climb its 185 steps to the top in eight flights. As its the tallest structure in Bermuda, the views from the top of Gibbs Hill Lighthouse cant be beat.
The Dining Room, located in the former living quarters of the lighthouse attendant, is open daily for lunch and dinner. They offer breakfast on weekends.
Gibbs Hill Lighthouse, Lighthouse Road, St Annes Rd, Cross Bay, Bermuda. Open Monday Saturday 9.30 AM 4.30 PM, Sundays and Holidays 10 AM 4.30 PM. Closed to visitors each February. Admission: $2.50. +1 238-8069
Venture Into The Bermuda Triangle
If just reading about all the walking and adventure in the previous options made you tired, then you might want to delve deeper into the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle with a relaxing glass bottom boat tour.
Bermuda Triangle tours are available in both the day and evening and are led by knowledgeable guides who will provide some history of the island and this mysterious area as well as the marine life.
These 1.5-hour journeys afford beautiful views of the island and an up-close experience with the marine life and coral formations all while staying comfortable and dry. These tours can be booked through your cruise line or through local vendors.
If you prefer to get more up close and personal with the sea life and coral formations, Bermuda Triangle snorkeling tours are also available.
In addition to the natural wonders around you, you will have the opportunity to snorkel within various shipwrecks in the area like the Vixen, Montana, or Constellation to name a few. Learn a bit of history about these shipwrecks then set out to explore them. Dont worry, the staff promises you wont get lost!
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Crystal And Fantasy Caves
As far as tourist attractions go, Crystal and Fantasy Caves in Bermuda are at the top for good reason. Here, you can access the island’s stunning caves, where you can walk on floating pontoons overlooking crystal-clear, azure waters of the subterranean pools, all lit up with a state-of-the art lighting system to bring out their natural beauty.
Admire incredible rock formations of the soaring stalagmites rising from deep within the lake and limestone icicles dripping from the ceiling like frozen waterfalls as you make your way through the caves. Informative guides share details about the history and geology of the caves, which are thought to be formed during the Pleistocene Ice Age 1.6 million years ago.
If you are looking to tie the knot at a unique destination, look no further than these incredible caves for their wedding event site. Take pictures against the beautiful backdrop of turquoise waters and dramatic stalactites. Candle lights and florals add an air of romantic decor, and a sitting area gives visitors a place to toast after the ceremony.
Address: 8 Crystal Caves Road, Hamilton Parish
Bermudas Local Culture Hamilton
2. Hamilton Harbour Nights
If you are in Bermuda on a Wednesday, do check out Hamiltons Harbour Nights Festival. It is a nice street fair with local vendors of handicrafts and street food.
You will also get to see a parade of local Gombey Dancers in traditional costumes. This is truly one of my all-time favorite Bermuda attractions and I know you wont find this anywhere else!
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Bermuda Port Highlights & Things To Do On A Cruise
You should always take into consideration the scheduled time in the port of your ship when planning your day ashore. If it is your first time in Bermuda, consider taking an organized shore excursion to get the most of your day.
For insider shore excursion tips, grab my FREE Shore Excursions Guide by signing up below!
Celebrate At Harbour Nights
As many Bermuda cruises include an overnight or two, midweek visitors to the island are in for a treat the Harbour Nights festival in Hamilton takes place each Wednesday night during the summer.
Harbour Nights is the largest and longest-running street festival in Bermuda. Every Wednesday during high season, Front Street in Hamilton is closed to all vehicle traffic after sunset. Shops and restaurants remain open late, while music and lights brighten the street. Local artists and vendors decked out in colorful clothes set up to sell various arts and crafts as well as food.
A highlight of the event is the Gombey dancers, whose tradition is a mix of British, West African and indigenous cultures, performing in their brightly-colored costumes.
Harbour Nights, Front Street, Hamilton, Bermuda. Every Wednesday from late May until early September, 7 PM to 10 PM.