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Why you should take a cruise to Bermuda

02 Dec 2021

A green oasis alone in the Atlantic Ocean, Bermuda has been welcoming visitors for over 400 years. Its beautiful beaches, great outdoor activities, diverse food, and friendly people, make it a wonderful place to visit.  

With a variety of sailings from the northeast, it is a great option for cruisers. Most itineraries provide an overnight stay in Bermuda, leaving much more time to explore and get to know what makes the island so special.

An easy destination to wander around, it is a mix of English tradition with local culture. Its rich history, natural beauty, and geography make it unique among other islands.

Here are some great reasons why you should take a cruise to Bermuda.

East coast departures with overnight stays  

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Unlike most Caribbean sailings, the majority of cruises to Bermuda leave from ports in the northeast such as Maryland and Cape Liberty (New Jersey). This can be a great option for people who normally have to fly or drive a long way to catch a cruise.

Royal Caribbean’s current sailings range from 5-8 days, with most having an overnight and two days in port. This is a major plus that is not seen often on Caribbean itineraries.

Extra time in port allows guests to see more of the island, do lots of activities or spend an evening in port. Bermuda has a number of events throughout the year with many evening activities. Harbour Nights, a popular festival that runs from April to September takes place in Bermuda’s capital, Hamilton.  It features live performances, local foods, artisans, and crafts. A good opportunity to try the famous Rum Swizzle cocktail or legendary fish chowder.

Current itineraries

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Royal Caribbean is offering a number of well priced sailings to Bermuda, running from April to October in 2022, a great time to travel. For example: 

  • A 5-night cruise leaving from Baltimore on the Enchantment of the Seas, with two days in port.
  • A 5-night cruise leaving from Cape Liberty New Jersey on the Adventure of the Seas with two days in Bermuda.
  •  An interesting 8-day cruise leaving from Port Canaveral visiting Coco Cay, Nassau, and Bermuda.

Explore with ease

Bermuda is a safe, English-speaking Island that accepts US dollars at par. This makes it easy to venture out on your own. The efficient bus and ferry system is a great cost-effective means of transportation that provides a scenic way to wander around the island. The ferry in particular provides panoramic water views. Both a bus and ferry terminal are located in the port area just a couple of minutes walk from the dock, convenient for cruisers.

Only 21 miles long, it is easy to traverse the full length of the island during a short stay. Cruisers can easily travel from the port at the Royal Naval Dockyard, all the way to the east end, home to St. George’s, Bermuda’s oldest settlement and a UNESCO site.

Bermudians are known for their welcoming nature and are helpful in assisting tourists. Bus drivers are great with guests, guiding them where to get off for attractions.  Cruisers can also rent scooters or 2 person electric vehicles for full freedom to explore and go a little more off the beat and path.

Unique geography and climate

Although often mistaken for being a Caribbean Island, Bermuda is not. It is technically an archipelago, 650 miles east of North Carolina. Despite its location far out in the North Atlantic, it possesses picturesque pink beaches with clear blue water and an abundance of coral reefs and marine life.

The island is warmed by the North Atlantic current giving it a sub-tropical climate. Spring to fall has an average high of 81 F which is perfect weather for touring around. August can feel warmer when humidity builds, a great time to enjoy the beaches.

Encircled by reefs, Bermuda is home to 300 + shipwrecks, making it a diver’s paradise. Tales of the Bermuda Triangle and all the myths and lore surrounding the numerous missing ships and planes are also of interest to many. The Ocean Discovery Centre at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute has a permanent exhibit that delves into the mystery, separating fact from fiction.

Cost effective

Bermuda is one of the most expensive places in the world to buy a home or car. It is on par with Geneva and New York City in terms of cost of living. Consequently, hotels and fine dining can be expensive. Traveling by cruise is a great way to get a taste of Bermuda without spending thousands on flights and hotels. 

As a tourist, many of the best amenities like the beaches are free. Great walking trails, historic venues, and many other activities are all easily accessible and affordable. The island’s well used bus and ferries serve major attractions. Information on routes and tokens are at the Visitor Centre in Dockyard, the island’s cruise ship port.  

There are many casual, local eateries, pubs, and festivals that provide an opportunity to try true Bermudian cuisine. Hamilton has many takeouts with meals at reasonable prices. In particular, the island’s grocery stores feature food to go, popular with its residents.

Endless activities

Royal Caribbean announces new Empress of the Seas sailings from Big Apple and Montreal in 2020 | Royal Caribbean Blog

There really is something for everyone’s tastes and preferences when visiting Bermuda ((insert link to previous article on what to do in Bermuda) Whether it be outside activities, exploring the local culture, or cuisine, the options are endless.

Its sandy beaches are a draw for many, and the island has plenty. Horseshoe Bay is its most famous beach with its withered volcanic rock framing its iconic ocean views. It is an easy way to spend an afternoon.

Diving among its shipwrecks, snorkeling along the reefs, fishing, sailing to name a few, are all popular water activities. Bermuda also has world-class golf courses, underground crystal caves, colonial age forts, museums, shopping, dining, which can easily occupy port days.

What to do in Bermuda on a cruise

16 Oct 2021

Famous for its pink beaches, Bermuda is an island located in the North Atlantic, 650 miles east of North Carolina. It enjoys beautiful weather, with an average temperature in the 70-80s during cruise season.

Bermuda is only 21 miles in length and getting around is easy. Local pink buses and SeaExpress ferries serve the island well.  Many people rent scooters while there but keep in mind that residents drive on the left.  Also available are electric vehicles called a “Twizy” which are earmarked for tourists.

For those visiting on a cruise ship, there are numerous activities including beaches, water activities, sailing, and fishing, as well as world class golfing, food and culture.

For those who want to explore what makes Bermuda unique, here are a few suggestions.

What to do

Horseshoe Bay

Royal Caribbean will finally offer cruises to Bermuda from Florida | Royal Caribbean Blog

Horseshoe Bay, Bermuda’s most iconic beach, is located on the picturesque South Shore. With soft white sand and aqua blue waters, it is a great place to swim and play in the waves.

On the eastern side of the beach lies little bays and tidal pools to explore.  On the other end, there is a protected cove, with calm waters. Perfect for families with young swimmers, where they can see lots of local marine life.

All the required amenities are on site including food, washrooms, chairs, and umbrella rentals. The beach is easy to get to by bus and taxi.

Diving and Snorkeling

Thanks to the extensive reef system that encircles the island, there is excellent diving and snorkeling in Bermuda. Many ships have been stranded on the reefs making it the Shipwreck Capital of the Atlantic.  Dive sites like the Mary Celeste, a former civil era ship, is one of the most popular.  Many shipwrecks are in 30-80 feet of depth making them easily accessible to divers.

For snorkeling from a beach, Church Bay along the South Shore features dramatic cliffs leading down to a small bay with plenty of marine life. This is a more secluded spot, so ensure to bring everything needed. Tobacco Bay, on the eastern end of the island, is more sheltered and offers the opportunity to see parrotfish among many local species.

The Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute (BUEI), located in Hamilton, hosts a number of relics from shipwrecks. They also house one of the world’s largest shell collections and exhibits on the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle.


A great way to travel to Hamilton (the capital of Bermuda) is to take the ferry from the port area. It provides a scenic water view with saltwater breezes.  

Once there, stroll along Front Street, enjoying water views and the colorful colonial style buildings.  There are plenty of great places to visit. Pop into the local shops such as Brown & Co. department store to pick up some local Bermuda perfume and soap.  Browse through jewelry and watch stores, and shop for a true pair of Bermuda shorts.   Visit the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity and its stunning architecture. Delve into local art at the Bermuda National Gallery (free admission) and Bermuda Historical Society Museum to get a taste of the past.

Bermuda has had a long love affair with rum. Bacardi has its headquarters in Hamilton, along with some great local brands such as Gosling’s (making rum since 1806.) For a true Bermudian experience, sample a Dark’n Stormy or a Rum Swizzle while sitting on a patio under the warm sun. Not to miss, is Bermuda's famous seafood chowder which is not surprisingly topped with black rum, and a dash of sherry sauce.

St George’s

It all started in St. George’s. The Sea Venture on its way to Jamestown was marooned on the shores of Bermuda. In 1612, the English established their first settlement at St. George’s.  

Starting from King’s Square, the historic and charming town is best explored on foot. Walk the narrow lanes, visit the museums, St. Peter’s Church, or sample some local food while listening to the Town Crier.  It is worthwhile to visit the nearby Fort St. Catherine, an impressive military defense built in 1614.

Heading back toward Hamilton, a must-see is the Crystal Caves. This magical underground cave system developed over millions of years and was termed by Mark Twain as the most beautiful cave in the world. The guides are amazing in explaining the science behind the crystals along with many humorous anecdotes.  

Dockyard / Port Area

Royal Caribbean will finally offer cruises to Bermuda from Florida | Royal Caribbean Blog

There is plenty to do within walking distance of the ship. Passengers can tour the former colonial era naval base known as Dockyard. The sandy colored, limestone buildings have been beautifully restored and now contain a number of shops and restaurants.

To relax, try some tasty local fare at the Frog and Onion Pub, shop at the Clocktower Mall, and pick up a local rum cake. Check out the Bermuda Arts Centre and handmaid glasswork. Outdoor activities include a small beach at Snorkel Bay and swimming with Dolphins.

Dockyard is also home to Bermuda’s National Museum, which details the country’s 500 year old rich history. One of the best parts of the museum is the former Commissioner’s House located at the top of the hill. The patio vistas are some of the most majestic in Bermuda.

Vision of the Seas cruises from Bermuda now available to book

29 Mar 2021

Royal Caribbean's second cruise ship to sail from North America this summer is now available to book.

Vision of the Seas reservations are open for booking by guests on its website, as well as by calling or booking through a travel agent.

The new bookings are available to book immediately, beginning with the June 26 sailing. Sailings between June and August 2021 are open for booking.

Guests of any nationality or residency may book these sailings, but all guests 18 years or older must be fully vaccinated by the time of sailing.

The requirements to book a Vision of the Seas cruise from Bermuda are:

  • For guests 18 years of age and older, proof of being fully vaccinated for COVID-19
  • Proof of a negative SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR test result for entry into the country where you are sailing from (age requirements vary by jurisdiction)
  • Completed Royal Caribbean Health Questionnaire, available in the app 24 hours before sailing
  • Typical travel documents, including passport or any visas as required by the departure country

Prices for Vision of the Seas sailings begin at $514 per person.

The sailings will visit Perfect Day at CocoCay in The Bahamas before returning to Bermuda to offer an overnight stay in Bermuda.

Just like Adventure of the Seas from The Bahamas, Vision of the Seas will sail from Bermuda as a means to get around the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) ban on cruise ships.

Other ships scheduled to sail this summer include Jewel of the Seas from Cyprus, Odyssey of the Seas from Israel, and Quantum of the Seas from Singapore.

In December 2021, Grandeur of the Seas will begin cruises from Barbados.

Meanwhile, pressure continues to mount in the United States to get the CDC to lift its ban of cruise ships, or at least open a pathway for cruises to restart sailing.

A series of statements from local and state officials have come out lately in support of getting cruise ships sailing again, given the massive double standard in policy they are facing.

The cruise industry is also asking travel professionals and cruise fans to step up and tell their leaders to pressure the CDC as well.

Royal Caribbean announces Vision of the Seas will sail from Bermuda

23 Mar 2021

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 (CDC).

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 Bermuda’s website.

Guests under the age of 18 will need to provide a negative RT-PCR test result.

The itinerary will be:

  • Bermuda
  • Sea day
  • Sea day
  • Perfect Day at CocoCay
  • Sea Day
  • Bermuda
  • Bermuda

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.

As a result of this redeployment, previously scheduled Vision of the Seas sailings departing from San Juan, Puerto Rico are cancelled.

Those guests currently confirmed on impacted sailings departing June 6 — August 29, 2021 can choose from one of the following compensation options:

  • A refund of all funds paid
  • An elevated 125% Future Cruise Credit to sail with Royal Caribbean at a later date

All impacted guests and associated travel agencies will soon receive an email notification to present a more detailed version of these compensation options.

In the meantime, cruises lines continue to wrestle with the CDC for progress at a glacial pace that will hopefully allow cruise ships to begin offering test sailings.

Right now, Royal Caribbean is waiting for technical instructions from the CDC on what ships need to do in order to be ready for the simulated voyages need to prove cruises can restart safely.

Royal Caribbean Group Chairman and CEO Richard Fain said earlier this week that he still doesn't know when cruises will restart in the US.

"As most of you know, the order called for several phases and for the CDC to issue detailed technical rules for each phase. The first of such technical rules was scheduled to be released in December, and many of you was asked when we expect to receive them. In fact, I would answer that the pace of science has simply overcome that process."

"We don't know what the CDC is contemplating to address this very different set of circumstances. But just as they and other public health officials are doing elsewhere, we expect they will all adjust to the changes that have been and are taking place today."

"The Conditional Sail Order was a very positive step at the time, but that time has passed. We look forward to a constructive dialogue with health officials in the United States and elsewhere for the path forward under these new circumstances."

Royal Caribbean will finally offer cruises to Bermuda from Florida

19 Nov 2020

If you have ever wanted to visit Bermuda on a cruise without going out of the Northeast, 2022 might be the year for you.

Royal Caribbean released its 2022 Caribbean cruises earlier this week, and included with the array of choices is a new itinerary that offers an overnight stay in Bermuda from Port Canaveral.

Mariner of the Seas will introduce sailings from Florida to Bermuda, which is something that has not been offered in any recent memory.

These 8-night cruises will include two days in Kings Wharf, before heading to Nassau for a late night stay and then a full day at Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Here is a list of the Bermuda cruises available on Mariner of the Seas:

  • May 15, 2022
  • May 28, 2022
  • June 5, 2022
  • August 21, 2022
  • September 3, 11, 2022
  • October 8, 16, 2022

Traditionally, Bermuda cruises are only offered from ports in the Northeast, such as New York or Baltimore.

These new cruises are available to book immediately, and part of Royal Caribbean's summer 2022 deployments that were just announced. The cruise line will announce its remaining Caribbean summer 2022 deployment early next year.

More summer 2022 cruises

In addition to the Bermuda sailings, Royal Caribbean highlighted a number of new cruises available to book across six ships in total.

Symphony and Harmony of the Seas will sail Eastern and Western Caribbean 7-night itineraries from Miami and Port Canaveral, respectively.

New for 2022, Symphony will double the number of Eastern Caribbean sailings and tout evening stays in Puerto Rico on select cruises throughout the summer. Harmony will visit island gems such as St. Thomas, St. Kitts & Nevis, and Falmouth, Jamaica, as well as Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Oasis of the Seas will return to Cape Liberty, New Jersey to offer 7-night cruise vacations to Florida and The Bahamas. She also has a cruise to Canada mixed in.

Explorer of the Seas will sail from Miami to offer alternating 8- and 6-night itineraries to the Western and South Caribbean.

Liberty will continue to homeport in Galveston, Texas and offer 7-night Western Caribbean itineraries to the beautiful beaches of Belize City, Belize and Cozumel, Mexico.

Anthem of the Seas Live Blog - Day 3 - Bermuda

07 Jul 2019

Our first port of call brings us to Bermuda, and Anthem of the Seas arrived into port fairly early in the morning. I certainly was not awake for it.

We got up around 7:30am and got everyone ready for a day at the beach, then headed down to Cafe @ Two70 for a quick breakfast. 

Cafe @ Two70 is not only quick, there are barely any lines there and the view you get with your meal is fantastic.

We walked off the gangway at about 9am and met up with our group, which was headed to Horseshoe Bay beach.  In fact, everyone who booked with our travel partner, MEI Travel, was provided with complimentary transportation to and from the beach.

The bus ride to the beach is about 30 minutes, and one added benefit of not taking the public bus is we were not dropped off at the top of the big hill that leads to the beach.

Once dropped off, it is a short walk to the beach. There is no admission fee for the beach, but chairs, umbrellas and other amenities cost extra. Two chairs and an umbrella will run you about $45.

Horseshoe Bay is beautiful, with stunning blue water, extra fine sand and just a few waves to make things interesting.

In addition to the main beach, there is a smaller cove to the right that is protected from the surf and ideal for young children.

There is also rock formations that everyone seems to climb, despite warnings against it.

If you walk all the way down the beach, you will find caves and other rock formations that are quite far from the crowds.

We had perfect weather for a picture perfect beach day. 

At 1pm we loaded back into the bus and took a ride back to the ship. I thought I would go into the Naval Dock Yard shops, but with only an hour and a half before all aboard, I thought it best to take a shower and relax onboard.

Relaxation time was short lived, as it was time to head up to the pool deck to enjoy sail away. The view was fantastic, and we hugged the coast of Bermuda, which provided some wonderful views.

For dinner, we were back in the main dining room. On day one we noticed a table next to us had some great Mediterranean selections and today the head waiter provided us with our own assortment of hummus, olives, babaganoush and more.

We rounded out our evening with the pub singer. The singer has a great stage presence, along with great vocals.

Tomorrow is a sea day.

Royal Caribbean announces 2020-2021 Northeast, Bermuda & Caribbean sailings

12 Dec 2018

Royal Caribbean announced today its 2020-2021 Bermuda, Northeast and 7-night Caribbean sailings.

As we reported earlier, Oasis of the Seas will become the first ship in her class, and the world's largest, to sail from the Northeast.  Oasis will arrive in May 2020 and  transport travelers to the clear blue waters of The Bahamas all summer with 7-night itineraries, as well as a select number of short cruises north to New England and Canada.

Adventure of the Seas will return to Cape Liberty, sailing a variety of 5- and 9-night summer and fall itineraries to Bermuda, New England and Canada, The Bahamas and the Caribbean.

Vision of the Seas will offer three 10- to 11-night open-jaw itineraries between Bayonne and Quebec City with an overnight in Quebec’s capital.

Symphony of the Seas and Harmony of the Seas will return to PortMiami and Port Canaveral, Fla., respectively, offering 7-night itineraries to the Eastern and Western Caribbean. Both ships will feature visits to Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Brilliance of the Seas will sail 7- to 10-night cruises to Canada starting in September 2020, while Grandeur of the Seas continues to offer 9-night itineraries to Canada and New England for fall foliage from her year-round homeport in Baltimore, Md. Grandeur will embark on a combination of 5- and 9-night itineraries to Bermuda and The Bahamas in the summer months, and transition to 9-night Southeast Coast & Bahamas and 12-night Southern Caribbean cruises for the winter. Northeast, Canada and Bermuda itineraries will be available to book as of Dec. 13, 2018.

In 2020, San Juan, Puerto Rico will welcome what will be the newly modernized Freedom of the Seas. Freedom will return for the third consecutive year to sail 7-night itineraries year-round throughout the Southern Caribbean, traveling to destinations like Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Basseterre, St. Kitts & Nevis; St. Johns, Antigua; Castries, St. Lucia and Bridgetown, Barbados.

Liberty of the Seas  will continue to sail from Galveston to the Western Caribbean ahead of her own highly anticipated amplification in early 2021. 

Royal Caribbean Crown & Anchor Society members can begin booking sailings on December 12, 2018, with the general public available to begin booking on December 13, 2018.



7-night Caribbean

Bermuda will widen North Channel to accommodate Royal Caribbean's Quantum class ships

21 Oct 2015

Bermuda's Ministry of Public Works indicated it will begin dredging the North Channel by the end of the month that will remove approximately 0.1 million cubic metres of rock and/or reef.

The Royal Gazette reports the widening of the channel and dredging is so that the island can handle the scheduled visits by Royal Caribbean's Quantum class ships.

Royal Caribbean's Quantum class ships are wider, deeper and longer than the older vessels and they require deeper and wider approach channels with smoother turns.

The work to dredge the channel will be a "24 hour, seven day a week operation and will take approximately one month to complete", according to the Cabinet Office.

The dredging is being done in Late October to avoid main coral and fish spawning season.  In addition, 598 corals have been relocated to adjacent reefs and are being monitored.

Liberty of the Seas makes inaugural visit to Bermuda

11 May 2015

Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas made her first visit to the island of Bermuda over the weekend and was welcomed with a special ceremony.

Photo by Bernews

It's customary to welcome new vessels that visit a port for the first time and for Liberty of the Seas, a short ceremony was held on May 9th onboard the ship.  

During the ceremony, a traditional maritime plaque was exchanged.

Bermuda's Minister of Tourism Development and Transport, Shawn Crockwell, spoke about the occasion, “This ship is simply stunning and definitely lives up to its reputation – designed with pure pleasure in mind. She features an abundance of phenomenal onboard experiences; there is something here for everyone.”

“She is beautiful and we are delighted that you chose Bermuda as a destination this summer, giving your guests an opportunity to experience our beauty, our charm and the warmth and friendliness of our people,” added Minister Crockwell.​

Quantum of the Seas too big for Bermuda

18 Dec 2013

Simulation tests have proven that Royal Caribbean's newest cruise ship that is currently under construction, Quantum of the Seas, is too big to be able to dock in Bermuda.  

The Bermuda Sun reports the tests revealed the existing North and South Channels were not big enough to safely accommodate the vessel, especially in high winds.  If Bermuda wants to be able to host Quantum of the Seas, then dredging will need to begin soon.

A Government spokesman told the Bermuda Sun: "The principle dimensions of the vessel, in particular, its predicted draft at 8.5M, was an early indication and evidence that modifications to either channel would be required to ensure safe transit of the vessel.

"The recently completed simulation exercise provided real-time information on the vessel’s performance, maneuvering and handling characteristics under various wind and speed conditions.

"The simulation exercise also provided critical data on channel depth and width requirement in specific areas.

"Technical officers from the Ministry of Public Works in consultation with the Department of Marine & Ports will analyze the simulation report and trial run data, and then provide recommendations that will be considered by Cabinet."

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