Because Bermuda is relatively small and easy to get around, and because ships typically spend several days at its ports, you can access the following sights and excursions no matter where you’re docked. Depending on traffic, St. George’s and Hamilton are about a 20- to 30-minute taxi ride apart, as are Hamilton and King’s Wharf (Hamilton is roughly in the middle). It takes about an hour to drive from one end of Bermuda to the other. Taxis are metered and relatively inexpensive, starting at $4.80 and going up $1.68 for each additional mile, with a variety of surcharges. Roads around the island are well maintained, but narrow and winding. The bus (go to the “Transport” section of www. gov. bm) and ferry (www. seaexpress. bm) systems are also user-friendly. Many folks go the scooter or moped route; rentals are available for $50 to $55 per day at all three ports.
In Flatts Village, about halfway between Hamilton and St. George’s, is the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo (& 441/293-2727; www. bamz. org). There are interactive displays, huge aquariums, and seal feedings throughout the day. It’s open daily from 9am to 5pm (last admission at 4pm); admission is $10 for adults and $5 for seniors and children 6 to 12.
The throngs head to the beaches, and for good reason. Many are powdery soft and some even pinkish (from crushed shells, corals, and other sea life); they’re easily
accessible by taxi or motor scooter from Hamilton and St. George’s, and most are free. Horseshoe Bay, in Southampton Parish, is our top pick. Though you won’t have it to yourself because it’s so popular with other tourists, the horseshoe-shaped beach has scenic rocky cliffs at its edges and a vast soft plane of sand in the middle. It’s perfect for little kids, as the sand is so silky smooth that it won’t irritate delicate little faces. Horseshoe Bay is free and has a snack bar, restrooms, and showers. Lifeguards are on duty here between May and October.
Other beach options include Warwick Long Bay (Warwick Parish); Tobacco Bay Beach (St. George’s Parish), where the water is very calm and the beach is tiny; and Elbow Beach (in Paget Parish).
The more adventurous can hop on a scooter and beach-hop among the many unnamed slivers of silky sand tucked into the jagged coastline. If you’re itching to see more than Hamilton, and beaches aren’t your bag, another great option is hopping on a local ferry (there are terminals in Hamilton and King’s Wharf adjacent to the cruise docks). For just a few bucks, you can either ride just for the view of Bermuda’s colorful harbors and coastline, or travel between King’s Wharf and Hamilton.
It’s a treat to climb the 185 steps of the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse (Lighthouse Rd., Southampton; halfway btw. King’s Wharf and Hamilton), the oldest cast-iron lighthouse in the world. At the top, you’ll be rewarded with a panoramic view of Bermuda and its coast. In the base, there’s a tearoom serving snacks. It’s open daily 9am to 5pm.
The Bermuda Railway Trail has about 29km (18 miles) of trails divided into easy – to-explore sections. It was created along the course of the old Bermuda Railway, which stretched a total of 34km (21 miles) and served the island from 1931 to 1948, until the automobile was introduced. Armed with a copy of the Bermuda Railway Trail Map and Guide, available at the various visitor centers in and right outside the cruise terminals, you can set out on your own expedition via foot or bicycle (most of the moped/scooter rental agencies have bicycles as well). Most of the trail winds along a car-free route, and there is a section of trail in St. George’s and near Hamilton.