Which Cruise Lines Sail To Bermuda
When most of us picture warm-weather cruises, we envision the Caribbean. But theres another pseudo-Caribbean destination that often gets overlooked due to its location in the North Atlantic, and that is Bermuda.
Located roughly 640 miles off the coast of Cape Hatteras in North Carolina, the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda offers much for cruise travellers to enjoy. Its capital, Hamilton, features Caribbean styling interspersed with European and North American influences that combine to create a city and an atmosphere that is entirely unique to Bermuda.
Unlike Caribbean cruises that typically call on several ports of call during the span of a single week, cruises to Bermuda typically stay docked in either Hamilton or nearby Kings Wharf for multiple nights before returning across the Atlantic to their home ports. It is impossible to be bored in Bermuda, with multiple UNESCO World Heritage Sites to explore and miles of the countrys famous pink sandy beaches to relax on. Bermuda is also a prime destination for snorkel and scuba trips, and multi-overnight stays are the perfect way to experience as much of Bermuda as you can.
Cruises to Bermuda, however, arent as abundant as they are in its more southerly Caribbean counterpart. Heres a look at who is sailing regularly to the island in 2016. Its not to say that these are the only lines that visit Bermuda , but these are the lines that sail to Bermuda regularly.
You Could Experience Rough Seas
Personally, I love a little pitch and roll when Im on a cruise ship. Its part of the charm of sea travel. But if youre the kind of person who is going to be laid low by even a small sway, a Bermuda cruise may not be for you.
Unlike St. Thomas, St. Martin and most of the other sunny isles that cruise ships visit from Eastern ports, Bermuda isnt in the relatively calm Caribbean. Its way out in the North Atlantic, and thats a body of water that isnt always tranquil.
On the way to Bermuda a few weeks ago, we got sideswiped by one of those big North Atlantic storms that conjured winds of 55 knots and waves as high as 12 feet. Those are the sort of numbers that will cause even the biggest, most stable ships to move around a bit. While I was basically fine, there were plenty of passengers looking a little green.
The heavy winds also prompted the ships captain to order the closing and draining of its deck-top pools, where the water was sloshing around, and the closing of deck-top waterslides and other deck-top play zones, all of which are normally top draws on a sea day.
Not every ship on a Bermuda cruise experiences such a storm, for sure. And even when they do, its generally a transitory thing. Sailing back from Bermuda just a couple days later, we experienced much calmer seas and mostly sunny skies, providing for a lovely sea day. But a day or two of iffy weather on your Bermuda sailing is definitely a possibility.
Best Time Of Year To Take A Bermuda Cruise: Ship Selection
While not as populous with cruise ships as the Caribbean or Bahamas, you will still have a decent ship selection for a Bermuda cruise. Many major cruise lines have at least one ship sailing to Bermuda for at least part of the season. Many cruise ships even spend one or two overnight stays giving cruisers more time to explore.
While Florida is often referred to as the cruise capital of the world, you will probably have to head elsewhere for a cruise to Bermuda. Cruises to Bermuda are usually pretty popular with cruisers from the Northeast United States as many are within driving distance to a cruise port.
For instance, Norwegian Cruise Line offers round-trip Bermuda sailings from Boston, MA and New York, NY.
In 2021 and 2022, Carnival Cruise Line will sail to Bermuda from Baltimore, MD New York, NY and Norfolk, VA. Additionally, Celebrity Cruises sails from Cape Liberty, NJ, while Disney Cruise Line sails from New York, NY. Royal Caribbean also offers sailings from Cape Liberty, NJ and Baltimore, MD. For the first time in 2022, Royal Caribbean will be offering Bermuda cruises from Port Canaveral, FL.
While Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, and Celebrity Cruises have the largest presence in Bermuda, other more luxury brands like Oceania, Regent Seven Seas, and Silversea, as well as select sailings from Princess Cruises and Windstar Cruises also call in Bermuda.
Further, select smaller ships might have occasional visits to the smaller ports of Hamilton or St. George.
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Why Most Cruise Ships Are Registered In Bahamas/panama And Not In Usa
The Bahamas is the No 1 registry of cruise ships worldwide and the world’s 3rd largest ship registry after Panama and Liberia. Why cruise lines do not enjoy the idea of having their ships registered in the United States and prefer to operate ships registered in other countries?
The biggest of the largest in the cruise travel industry along with major shipping companies prefer The Bahamas as flag-state/flag of convenience over USA simply because for a “Bahamian” ship US labor laws do not apply.
On any marine vessels registered in the Bahamas there are no codes about the number of hours a seafarer may work or his/her days off, no minimum wages, staff can be punished by the captain in case of complaining about issues . In other words, while on the ship, the captain has the absolute authority. This is the classic maritime law. Similar “benefits” offer Panama and Liberia as flag states.
Royal Caribbean Expands Comeback Plans With New Sailings Out Of Bermuda
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The worlds largest cruise line on Tuesday said it would begin seven-night sailings to the Bahamas out of Bermudas Royal Naval Dockyard as soon as June 26.
The unusual routing, which the line will offer through August, will be Royal Caribbeans first foray into out-of-Bermuda cruises in its 52-year history. The trips will take place on one of Royal Caribbeans smallest vessels, the 2,514-passenger Vision of the Seas.
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Like new voyages out of the Bahamas starting on June 12 that Royal Caribbean announced a few days ago, the Bermuda sailings will not originate in or involve any stops at U.S. ports. This means they will not require the approval of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . They only require the approval of officials in Bermuda and the Bahamas, which the line now has.
The CDC has blocked cruise ships that carry more than 250 people from sailing in U.S. waters since March of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The agency has not yet announced when cruise lines will be able to restart operations in U.S. waters.
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Royal Caribbean To Sail Cruises From Bermuda This Summer
Royal Caribbean International will offer a series of seven-night cruises from Bermuda starting June 26 through August 2021. Bookings open March 29.
Its the companys second such program to operate tropical cruises accessible to U.S. travelers completely outside U.S. waters. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shut down cruising in March 2020 and still has given little indication when the industry can start up again in the U.S. The company also plans to sail from Nassau, The Bahamas, starting June 12.
The 78,340-gross-ton, 2,050-guest Vision of the Seas will operate the voyages from Bermuda, a first-time homeport. The cruises include an overnight at the Royal Naval Dockyard in the West End, a full day at Perfect Day at CocoCay, the lines private Bahamian island, and four sea days.
The cruises are open to guests who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and those under the age of 18 with negative test results. The company indicated the vaccine requirement could change: This current health and safety measure, like others, may evolve as they are evaluated on an ongoing basis. Crew also will be vaccinated.
Royal Caribbean health and safety measures follow expert guidance from the Healthy Sail Panel, head of public health and chief medical officer, and local government and health authorities.
Central America Alaska Pacific & Europe
The first ship to resume operations outside the United States will be Norwegian Jewel sailing from Panama City. Departing on March 29, her first cruise will be a 12-day cruise to San Diego, California. The ship will be calling in Puntarenas, Costa Rica San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua Acajutla, El Salvador Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala and Huatulco, Puerto Vallarta, and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
On March 30, Norwegian Jewel will return to operations from Civitavecchia near Rome, in Italy. She will be offering guests cruises to the Greek Isles. Norwegian Star will also be operating in the area, sailing from Barcelona, Spain, starting April 3.
By April 9, 2022, the moment that many guests have been waiting for will finally happen. Pride of America, the only large US-flag registered cruise ship, Pride of America, will start her sailings on April 9, 2022, from Honolulu, Hawaii. The ship will visit Kahului, Maui Hilo, Hawaii Kona, Hawaii and Nwiliwili, Kaua`i on 7-day cruises.
The two ships that will signal the completion of the Great Cruise Comeback for the Norwegian Cruise Line fleet are when Norwegian Sun and Norwegian Spirit return. Norwegian Sun will return on May 5, sailing from Seattle she will be marking the start of an entire season in Alaska.
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Cruise Lines To Bermuda
Cruises to Bermuda from Boston, NYC, Baltimore and NJ are widely available on the most popular cruise line such as Celebrity Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Holland America and Royal Caribbean. Vacationers can typically choose from 5 to 7-day cruises to Bermuda.
For New York & New Jersey residents, a wealth of Bermuda cruise options are available. Both Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises to Bermuda are available between the months of May and October sailing from NJ. Not to be outdone, Norwegian Cruises to Bermuda are offered round-trip from New York City.
Travel a bit north and residents of Massachussets can enjoy a 7-day Bermuda cruise vacation leaving from Boston with Holland America Cruise Line.
Royal Caribbean Announces Vision Of The Seas Will Sail From Bermuda
Royal Caribbean announced its second cruise ship to restart North American cruises will be Vision of the Seas from Bermuda.
Similar to the cruise line’s announcement last week that Adventure of the Seas would restart cruises from The Bahamas, Vision of the Seas will sail from outside the United States so that it can offer cruises sooner and without approval from the U.S. Center for Disease Control .
Building on the cruise line’s slow and calculated return to service, Vision of the Seas will begin sailing from Bermuda and offer cruises that visit Perfect Day at CocoCay.
Just like Adventure of the Seas, sailings on Vision of the Seas will require all adults above the age of 18 to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19.
The cruise line also said current health and safety measure, like others, may evolve as they are evaluated on an ongoing basis.
In addition, travelers must meet the travel requirements of Bermuda. This currently includes receiving a negative PCR test result before traveling, testing upon arrival into the country and filling out appropriate entry forms. The most up-to-date policies can be found on Bermudas website.
Guests under the age of 18 will need to provide a negative RT-PCR test result.
The itinerary will be:
Vision will begin sailings from Bermuda as soon as June 26, 2021. Vision will be offering a summer season between June through August 2021.
The new sailings open for booking on March 29.
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The Best Bermuda Cruises
When you take a cruise to Bermuda, you’re going to enjoy pink sands, biking on scenic mountain lanes, shopping for bargains and enjoying the island nightlife. The cruise will feature exceptional dining, comfortable living, exciting entertainment, relaxing luxuries and an unforgettable experience. You can mix a family vacation with a nightlife excursion, all while enjoying a great cruise to get there.
A Shift Away From The Us
Royal Caribbean has made it clear that its not betting on the U.S. cruise industry opening up any time soon. The focus is well and truly on introducing new homeport options out of other countries such as Israel, the Bahamas and now, Bermuda. Even sister line Celebrity Cruises will homeport out of St. Maarten.
As we get closer to Summer, the CDC is making the situation even more confusing, especially with the latest answers from the CDC Director in a recent senate hearing.
This might not be the end of new alternative homeports for Royal Caribbean. There have already been rumblings of Cozumel becoming a homeport, and there are plenty more Caribbean islands that would no doubt be happy to have more cruise ships to help their economy.
Cruising really is coming back, but not in the usual way. Domestic low-key sailings are the way to go at the moment. The UK has already announced its plan forallowing cruises to sail from May 17 but around the UK only.
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Your Travel Dates Are Limited
While you can fly to Bermuda for a hotel stay on any day of the year, cruise ships typically only sail there between April and November, and they dont go every day during those months. There often are just one or two short cruises to Bermuda from all East Coast ports combined in any given week.
There also only are a few lines that offer the trips. For this coming summer and fall, your choices are limited to Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line and Disney Cruise Line.
Royal Caribbean is by far the biggest seller of short cruises to Bermuda, with regular five-night sailings this year from the New York-area on the 4,180-passenger Anthem of the Seas and from Baltimore on the 1,992-passenger Grandeur of the Seas. This year, the line also is offering a single five-night sailing from Boston on the 2,146-passenger Serenade of the Seas.
Carnivals short cruises to Bermuda this year, all on Sunrise, are four nights in length and mostly take place out of New York, with a single four-night sailing out of Charleston, South Carolina.
Norwegian and Disney each have three short cruises to Bermuda on the schedule between now and the end of the 2019 season, all out of New York.
For those already looking ahead to 2020, the big news is that Norwegian is planning far more short Bermuda cruises. On the flipside, Disney is planning to skip the destination entirely next year.
Explore Cruises To Bermuda
Bermuda possesses all of the stunning attributes of a tropical paradise, with a unique mix of travel experiences. Youll experience island vibes, British charm, a temperate climate, palm trees, impossibly blue waterand its an easy island getaway for anyone who lives on the East Coast. In fact, one of the most popular departure ports for a Bermuda cruise is Cape Liberty in New Jersey, just across the river from New York City.
From relaxing on a pink sand beach to diving over one of the many shipwrecks to hiking through a jungle, there is something for everyone. You can descend into the incredible Crystal Caves, viewing the natural stalactites and stalagmites. Bermuda’s museums and art galleries add touches of urban sophistication. Its well-preserved forts surround you with its history. And, its natural island beauty makes it ideal for water sports, hiking, golfing, or just lazing on a picture-perfect beach. Our 7- and 10-night Bermuda cruise itineraries offer two overnights in Royal Naval Dockyard, so you have enough time to do it all.
Plus, starting in 2020, all of our Bermuda sailings will visit stunning Newport, Rhode Island, famous for its historic mansions of the Gilded Age and dramatic seaside cliffs. And, on our 10-night sailings, youll also enjoy an overnight stay in Charleston, South Carolina, a city thats equal parts southern charm and cosmopolitan excitement.
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The Best Months To Cruise To Bermuda
Although often considered a southern destination, Bermuda is an island located in the North Atlantic, famous for its pink beaches and crystal clear water. Thanks to the Gulf Stream, it has a subtropical climate, and enjoys beautiful weather, with an average temperature in the 70-80s during cruise season.
Becoming increasingly popular, cruises to Bermuda, typically sail April through October, differing from the typical high season for the Caribbean. A great option to consider for those wanting to try something different.
Bermuda has lots to offer to cruise ship passengers. There are numerous activities including beaches, diving, snorkeling sailing, and fishing, as well as world class golfing, and vibrant culture and cuisine.
Here is what you should know about the best months to cruise to Bermuda.
Norwegian Cruise Line To Be Fully Operational In Three Months
Despite Norwegian Cruise Line cancellations in recent weeks, the cruise line is set to be fully operational in three months.
Norwegian Cruise Line is working towards the end of its Great Cruise Comeback. Norwegian Jade sailed from Athens in July 2021 and since then, the company has been steadily adding ships step by step.
It hasnt all been plain sailing for the Miami-based cruise line. Only recently, the company halted sailings on several ships out of fears for the spread of the Omicron variant. However, in the coming three months, the company plans to start operations on eight vessels, bringing the fleet back in record time.
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