Bermuda Is Open For Travel Heres What You Need To Know
For the first time ever, a major cruise line is going to homeport in Bermuda and its going to be a major factor in the islands post-COVID recovery. The island has done an incredible job limiting infections over the past year compared to some other popular cruising islands and the local government is keen on following all health and safety protocols to ensure visitors are safe when they embark from the island.
Porthole Cruise Magazine Founder and Editor-in-Chief Bill Panoff caught up with Glenn Jones of the Bermuda Tourism Authority to talk about the local COVID-19 protocols for visitors, the overall recovery process and why Bermuda makes for an excellent embarkation point for cruise lines.
Bahamas Vs Bermuda Cruises: Which Itinerary Will I Like More
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Ah, the bliss of island cruising! Who cares if you choose the Bahamas or Bermuda as your next cruise destination all islands offer warm weather, gorgeous beaches and outdoor activities year-round. Right?
Wrong. Sure, the Bahamas and Bermuda are both island nations located in the Atlantic Ocean, and you can hit the beach on your cruise to either place. But thats where the similarities end. Bermuda and the Bahamas each possess a unique island vibe and culture, and itineraries to each destination vary in departure ports and cruise styles.
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Which itinerary is best for you? Compare Bahamas versus Bermuda cruises to make the right choice for your next vacation at sea.
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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An Abundance Of Water
Bermuda is a water-lovers paradise. If you enjoy snorkeling or diving, you will be enthralled with the excursions to some great diving sites. Whether you like to explore sunken ship-wrecks or prefer more calm waters of the coves, Bermuda has it all. There are several catamaran and boat tours to choose from.
If youre not feeling like swimming or snorkeling, you can still enjoy seeing Bermuda from the water and I highly recommend it. Take a glass bottom boat tour or a sunset catamaran cruise and take in the beautiful Bermuda view. Pastel colored houses peek out from the lush landscape and its a sight to see!
If youre adventurous, theres so much to do in Bermuda! Jet-ski, kayak, rent or sail your very own boat! Feeling like something different? Try fly-boarding! Im not the most adventurous one, but I love to watch, and this looks like a ton of fun!
Want something to do right near the ship in Dockyard? You can head over to Snorkel Park Beach and swim with dolphins, or simply opt to play in the water and sand. Tip This man-made beach is a nice option for the last day in port.
What Is The Bermuda Triangle
Also known as the Devils Triangle or Hurricane Alley, this area of the Atlantic Ocean has been credited for causing a mass disappearances and a number of wrecks over the years. While people love to throw around conspiracy theories about each of these Bermuda Triangle stories, there may be perfectly logical explanations for all of them.
Still, the superstition continues around this relatively small slice of ocean, so much so that some people refuse to travel around it. Despite the spooky stories, youd be surprised at how many times people have sailed or flown over the area and not noticed anything out of the ordinary.
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Have People Gone Missing In The Bermuda Triangle
Conspiracy theorists have proposed many different, though mostly superstitious and inconceivable, reasons as to why disappearances and disasters occur in the Bermuda Triangle. Some have theorized that the area is a hotbed of alien activity, positing that these extra terrestrial beings are abducting humans for study, according to the New York Post. Alien theorists have considered this spot to be a sort of maritime Area 51. Others have suggested that its the real-life locations of the lost continent of Atlantis, therefore making it a portal to another dimension, according to History.com.
The superstitions and stories still prevail, mostly because this area is perceived to have more disappearances or tragic accidents than other parts of the world. However, this is actually untrue. According to the Huffington Post, the World Wildlife Fund found the most dangerous waters on the planet, but the Bermuda Triangle isnt one of them. In fact, its not even mentioned in the report.
According to Live Science, a third of all of all registered and privately owned ships in the U.S. are registered in the area considered to be part of the Bermuda Triangle, and about 82 percent of incidents in 2016 were due to people having little experience at sea. Inexperienced people using road maps or their smartphones to navigate, rather than specialized equipment, may also be contributing to the so-called mystery.
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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Reasons To Cruise To Bermuda Now
Bermuda is one of my very favorite cruise destinations, and I am not alone in this opinion. Over the last several years, more cruise lines have been focusing on this beautiful destination by giving cruisers more ship choices and itinerary options.
Bermuda cruises are most popular during the summer, however you can cruise to Bermuda from April until about the end of October.
You might be wondering, why arent there cruises to Bermuda in the winter months? Well, Bermuda is actually located in the North Atlantic, and not in the Caribbean as some people may think. Although Bermuda is surely beautiful at any time of year, due to temperatures becoming cooler and rough sea conditions, the winter months are simply not optimal cruise weather.
Therefore, Bermuda is a perfect summer break destination. Even in the summer, although the weather is hot, it is nowhere near as hot and humid as a summer cruise in the Caribbean. Shoulder seasons will be more comfortable and less hot, as well as less crowded.
Helpful Tips Before You Go
- Research the shore excursions and book them in advance, pre-cruise. The popular shore excursions sell out fast.
- Bermuda, Newport, and Charleston all take U.S. dollars, and most places take credit cards.
- Remember your sunscreen, bathing suit, sunglasses, and bug repellant.
- Have your documents protected and photocopied.
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Bermuda Is One Of The Safest Cruise Port Destinations
Bermuda feels safe, youll often hear this said about Bermuda. Of course, as a visitor, youll always want to take normal safety precautions as you travel. However, Bermuda is an island where you can feel very comfortable taking the public bus and ferries, just as the locals do. The public transit system is safe and efficient, and youll often be greeted with a friendly Goodday as you board.
Cruisers can feel comfortable walking around near the ship right in Dockyard, where you will find many shops and casual restaurants and pubs. There is even a beach party at Snorkel Park Beach, a 5 minute walk from the port, where many cruisers go out in groups and enjoy.
Disabled Facilities On Cruiseships
See Bermuda Disability concerns. Disabled cruise ship passengersvisiting American ports are pleasantly surprised by ADA laws applicable there.But cruise lines sailing to Bermuda from American portsshould know that Bermuda does NOT have facilities similar to those relevant to the Americans With Disabilities Act.
Physically challenged or blind orhearing impaired or mobility-restricted passengers should check in advance orask their caregivers do so, what facilities are available for them on the cruiseships of the cruise lines they favor or, when not available, on competing cruiseships. These can vary considerably. Matters of particular importance mayinclude:
- Disabled cabins on board with adequate door width for wheelchair access. Is the furniture lowered? Do their bathrooms have grab rails? Are the toilet seats raised? Are there shower stools?
- Wheelchair or scooter rental on board .
- Wheelchair height and weight restrictions
- Or can you take your own wheelchair or scooter and if so can the latter also be used in Bermuda?
- Guide dogs allowed on board? Be aware they need special permission before they can disembark. See Guide Dogs for the Blind and Disabled, below.
- Hoists available on board? If so, where? If not, you may have to take one, if allowed.
- Mobility aids available
- Braille available for the blind
- Facilities for deaf or hard-of-hearing
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Top Tourist Attractions In Bermuda: Beaches Diving Shopping & More
Bermuda’s sensational pink-sand beaches, crystal-clear turquoise water, coral reefs and shipwrecks, world-class shopping, and unspoiled natural beauty mean you’ll find plenty to do once your cruise arrives.
Norwegian Gem docks in King’s Wharf on Bermuda’s western tip, in the attractive Royal Navy Dockyard cruise port. Stroll around Clocktower Mall and explore the many shops loaded with fine British goods as well as inexpensive souvenirs. Pop into the Bermuda Maritime Museum to get a great overview of the island’s historic past.
Coral reefs surround Bermuda, and produce its famed pink-sand beaches. Some of the best for you to enjoy include:
- Horseshoe Bay – great for families who appreciate the lifeguards on duty all summer. You’ll find changing facilities and water sports equipment rental here as well
- Elbow Beach – almost a mile of pale pink sand and safe swimming thanks to protective offshore coral reefs
- Church Bay – gorgeous deep pink sand. The sheltered location harbors abundant marine life. You can rent snorkel gear on site and dive in this ideal bay
Where Can I Find The Best Cruise Deals To Bermuda
Priceline usually offers some great last minute deals and discounts on Bermuda cruises.
How long does it take to get to Bermuda by cruise ship?
You’ll typically spend two nights and one full day going from Boston to Bermuda, and three nights and two full days on your way back to Boston. On a 7-day cruise, that means you’ll have almost 3 full days in Bermuda. On a 5-day cruise, your time in Bermuda drops to 1 day. And the 4-day cruises? They’re basically turn-around cruises, where your time will be spent on ship out at sea – but since the ship is basically like a floating resport, you’ll have a lot of fun.
Is flying to Bermuda from Boston faster than going on a cruise ship?
Yes, much faster. You’re in the air for just over 2 hours on a non-stop flight from Boston. If you want to maximize your time in Bermuda, flying is the way to go. Use GoLastMinute to check prices. All you need to do is enter Hamilton, Bermuda and your dates to find best prices on all airlines.
Where is the cruise ship port in Boston for cruises leaving Boston?
All cruises departing and arriving in Boston use the Flynn CruisePort Terminal on the South Boston Waterfront.
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Bahamas Vs Bermuda Cruise Itineraries
You can sail on a cruise ship to the Bahamas year-round from a number of port cities in the U.S. including Baltimore New York City Fort Lauderdale Miami Palm Beach, Florida Port Canaveral, Florida Galveston, Texas and New Orleans. Thats because its beach season all year long in the Bahamas except when a passing hurricane brings the rain in summer and fall.
Itineraries can be as short as two nights or as long as a week. Both short and weeklong Bahamas cruises sail exclusively to Bahamian ports, but some seven-night sailings mix it up with ports of call in the Caribbean or Florida.
Bermuda, on the other hand, is not hot year-round, so cruises typically sail from April through November. Some cruise lines offer the occasional winter Bermuda cruise, or tack a visit onto an off-season transatlantic sailing. Youll still have fun in the shoulder season, but it might not be swimming weather.
The standard Bermuda cruise is a week, though you can find four- and five-night options. Bermuda cruises depart exclusively from Northeastern ports, including Boston, New York and Baltimore. In most cases, the ship will sail to one of the Bermuda ports and dock there for one to three days before heading back home.
When The Saints Come Marching
Head to St. George’s, where you can spend the afternoon exploring St. Peter’s Church, the oldest Anglican church in the Western hemisphere. Or set your course just outside the city center and see the Unfinished Church, where the walls and columns of a partly completed chapel stand eerily atop a lush green hill.
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Royal Caribbean To Homeport In Bermuda
When asked about Royal Caribbean Internationals plan to homeport their ship Vision of the Seas in Bermuda this summer, explained how this will be something very different from what usually happens with cruises and Bermuda.
Its going to help us tremendously. First, I should confess, this is the world upside down. This is not what we do. Cruises from the U.S. come to Bermuda, almost 200 calls per year, but there hasnt been a cruise call in 13 months. The cruise industry is looking for innovative ways to get restarted and that same message I told you before about how close we are to the U.S., it means were one of the closest places people can fly to to get on a cruise. So weve been working with Royal Caribbean in that regard, he said.
Jones also explained that the cruise line has worked with the island to outline the necessary health and safety protocols for cruisers.
Royal Caribbean has worked very closely with the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Health to make sure they find the right configuration of protocols for this. We have a lot of experience by now of what it means for air travel during this pandemic, but we dont really have that same research for cruise. Our Ministry of Health is pretty convinced weve mitigated the risk as much as we can by ensuring that everyone is immunized, that they go through our border process, but were not going to really know how well this works until shoves off in late June, he said.
Cruise Ship Health And Travel Insuranceto Visit Bermuda
Bermuda hospital and emergencytreatment costs are higher than in the USA. Always prudently take out travelinsurance, spare money and have adequate hospital and medical health insurance to cope with possible unexpectedproblems in a foreign country, such as Bermuda. In emergencies, contact the KingEdward VII Memorial Hospital – note its rate of charges for visitors – in PagetParish. If you are hospitalized in Bermuda, you or your insurance will always be responsible. Unlike Canada, United Kingdom andIreland, Bermuda has no National Health Service and no freeclinics or free medical or surgical or prescription for visitors. Bermudadoes not give free hospital and surgical benefits to visitors from USA who claimthey have no health insurance. If you ignore warnings not tohire a scooter or moped unless you are thoroughly used to driving them on theleft hand side of the road and don’t have healthcare/major medical insurance, you will have topay and dearly. Affordable local accommodation in Bermuda forspouses or friends or families who come to visit you in hospital, is difficultor impossible to find, especially in thecruise ship or tourist high season from April to November.
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