Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas set up home in Bermuda. Mark Twain famously declared his affection for the island. And big-wigs from the States have been weekending on the island for years. It’s really no surprise, though. In Bermuda you get striking pink-sand beaches, a coral reef that provides a kaleidoscopic underwater scene, and pretty towns that have skipped time since the British ruled 400 years ago. The island’s big with sporty types, as well, thanks to golf courses and sailing clubs.
• You can spend a day in the King’s Wharf port itself. It’s home to Bermuda’s Maritime Museum, a snorkel park, and historical buildings that have been restored and repurposed as things like shops, pubs and a cinema.
• Twin, 100-foot-high turrets mean the Clocktower Mall is hard to miss. It’s a lovely flagstone building from the 1850s, which now houses one of the island’s biggest shopping centres. Here, you’ll come across perfumeries, boutique clothing outlets, and artisans peddling handicrafts.
• There are coral reefs and shipwrecks dotted along Bermuda’s shorelines, where hoards of marine life thrive. Glass-bottomed boat tours offer a way to see beneath the surface without getting wet.
SHORE EXCURSIONS► View all EXCURSIONS
Bermuda Island Drive►
You’ll get to see Bermuda’s bigger picture on this island drive. From the port, you’ll head east to St George’s. Originally called New London, this pastel-coloured town was the island’s original capital and it’s now protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After a quick orientation of the town, you’ll U-turn west. The road you’ll take will shadow the coast, so you’ll catch glimpses of Bermuda’s world famous pink beaches and the coral reef that ghosts the shoreline. Your driver will put the handbrake on again when you get to Gibbs Hill Lighthouse, so you can get off the coach and take in the 360-degree views of the island. From here, you’ll move on to the Royal Naval Dockyard. This 200-year-old dock was once Britain’s largest naval base outside the UK. Today, though, you won’t just find boats here. There’s a craft market, glassworks and rum cake company within its historical walls.
Famous Homes & Hideaways Cruise►
This trip tells tales about Bermuda. As you sail around the island’s coast, your captain will point out the homes of celebrities from the past and present. You’ll see the pink-walled holiday home that belongs to Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones, the villa that was owned by William Denslow, who illustrated the Wizard of Oz, and the property that was once lived in by Eugene O’Neal, whose daughter was married to Charlie Chaplin. The sea is also a great vantage point for seeing some of Bermuda’s landmarks. You won’t be able to miss Gibbs Hill Lighthouse. The top of this building rises 108 metres above sea level.
Scenic South Shore Highlights►
This trip gives Bermuda’s south coast its close up. You’ll begin with a drive to Gibbs Hill Lighthouse. This tower was built in 1844, but it’s still going strong today and airplanes can see its light from 100 miles away. From the viewing platform at the top you get 360-degree views of the island. From here, you’ll journey along South Shore Road, which runs past some of Bermuda’s famous pink-sand beaches. Your route will also take you across Somerset Bridge, which is one of the smallest drawbridges in the world. The next chance to stretch your legs will come at the Heydon Trust Chapel. As the smallest church in Bermuda, this whitewashed building is postage-stamp-small, and it’s swamped by the 43 acres of tropical gardens that surround it. The final stop of the day will be the Royal Naval Dockyard, which was once Britian’s largest naval base outside the UK. These days, though, a craft market, museum and rum cake company have dropped anchor here, too, making it a great place to shop and sightsee.