Bermuda is a group of 150 volcanic islands in the North Atlantic 500 miles from North Carolina. The whole land area extends to only 20 square miles and Bermuda Island is the biggest.
Discovered by the Spanish in 1503, the island prospered with the arrival of English settlers in the early 1600’s and those cultural links exist to this day. Bermuda is still a British dependency and the British monarch is the official head of state. However, the island is self governing and has its own parliament.
Bermuda is world famous for its ability to attract tourists, and it’s not surprising when you consider the beauty of the islands. The water is crystal clear, the sand is soft pink, the plants are light green and the sky is every shade of pastel blue.
Due to its history, the culture of Bermuda is a mixture of British formality and Caribbean. For example, while the politeness and conservatism of afternoon tea is still popular, the freedom and excitement of Gombey music and dance captures the essence of island life on Bermuda.
And while the old British values of politeness and neatness are appreciated by many of the native Bermudans, due to the climate of the area, the informality of Bermuda shorts are an acceptable part of business attire. Rather ironically these Bermudan shorts are frowned upon by most cruise lines in certain parts of the ship, such as the dining room.
Thanks to the Gulfstream, Bermuda has a great climate that allows all year round cruising. However, the peak season is from April to October. Unfortunately, this coincides with the hurricane season so your cruise could be interrupted if a storm moves into the area.
When your ship arrives in Bermuda, it will either dock in one of the two former city ports (Hamilton or St George) or the Royal Naval Dockyard at King’s Wharf. Hamiltion or St George are better locations because the Naval Dockyard is rather isolated, although a number of shopping and eating places are beginning to appear.
If you cruise itinerary allows you to spend some time in Bermuda, bear in mind that cars are not available to rent. So if you want to get around the main island you’ll have to do your sightseeing from a rented scooter. This is a great way to experience the freedom of the island, but you must get a copy of the local rules from the Bermuda Road Safety Council. Oh yes, and remember to drive on the left.