Probably the most
common misconception about Bermuda is that it’s a Caribbean island. It isn’t. Located
in the North Atlantic, the nearest land mass is North Carolina, some 570
miles distant. Actually
comprised of 150 tiny islands of volcanic origin, collectively Bermuda
encompasses only 21 square miles of land. The locals tend to regard the connected islands as one and refer
to the largest, Bermuda Island, simply as “the island.”
Discovered by the
Spanish in the 1500’s, Bermuda flourished as a colony of Great Britain
after the arrival of English settlers in the early 1600’s and those
ties continue to the present. An
internally self-governing British dependency with a parliamentary
government, the official head of state is the British monarch.
This tiny tranquil island country is a
study in contrasts. The
inevitable first question everyone asks is about the beaches, "Is
the sand really pink?" Yes, it is—and the water is crystal
clear. Bermuda's palette is pastel... pink, coral, green, and
every shade of blue. The beaches, architecture, and water
surrounding Bermuda display a rainbow of soft color accented by white
roofs and colorful flora. Those
white roofs gleam and are spectacularly clean for good reason. Fresh water is scare on Bermuda and rainwater is channeled into
cisterns for later use.
Like no other island destination,
Bermuda lulls her visitors with so much charm and reserve. British
formality is the rule, with subtle African influences simmering just
below the surface—most evident in the popularity of Gombey music and
dance. Stubbornly conservative, afternoon tea is the order of the
day and traditional British values predominate. Politeness and
neatness in dress are highly appreciated by native Bermudans.
King Edward’s armed forces were the
first residents to modify their uniform trousers to acclimatize them for
Bermuda’s balmy weather—thus, the birth of “Bermuda” shorts. Hamilton businessmen can be seen scooting about on mopeds in full
business attire of jacket and tie with Bermuda shorts and knee-high
socks. They are de
rigueur ashore but frowned upon in cruise ship dining rooms.
Bermudans make it look so easy to zip
about on a scooter and, because cars are not available for rent, many
tourists get their first taste of freewheeling in Bermuda. Avoiding "Road Rash" is paramount to seeing the sights on a
moped. Pick up a copy of
the local rules of the road from the Bermuda Road Safety Council when
you rent one, fasten your helmet, and drive on the LEFT.
While Bermuda has dozens of resorts,
small hotels, and cottages, a land vacation can be pricey when you
consider that the average hotel charges about $10 per person for
breakfast. The best way to enjoy a Bermuda holiday is by ship.
Cruises depart weekly from Boston and New York City, and less frequently
from other ports such as Philadelphia and Baltimore. After
spending a day and a half at sea, your ship will berth either in
Hamilton, St. George, or King's Wharf (the Royal Naval Dockyard).
The most desirable itineraries are those that include the former two
city ports because the Dockyard's location is isolated, although new
facilities offer a few shopping diversions and pubs. After
spending a couple nights in either Hamilton or St. George, your ship
will move to the other port for the remainder of your Bermuda stay.
Ships at the Dockyard generally don't reposition. The Gulf
Stream’s warming effect insures a frost free, mild climate. Cruising "season" coincides with Bermuda's "high
season"—April through October. A word of caution, this is
also Atlantic "Hurricane Season" and your itinerary could be
severely impacted if one blows your way. Sailing time to and from
the US can range from mirror calm to rough and rocky, although the
latter is uncommon.
you ready to explore Bermuda?
Want even more? A wonderful source for
Bermuda info is Bermuda4U
Even more details about Bermuda at