The Bermuda Maritime Museum and Dolphin Quest are both located inside the walls of Bermuda's largest fortress. A step back into a time when Britannia ruled the waves, it offers a wide array of displays and collections of artifacts housed in the old soldiers, sailors, officer’s quarters and warehouses that surround the parade grounds. The Bermuda Maritime Museum is separated from the Royal Naval Dockyard by a moat and massive stone ramparts. You enter the complex by way of a drawbridge to find rooms filled with artifacts salvaged from some of the more than 350 ships wrecked on the island's reefs.
More buildings house collections devoted to whaling, shipbuilding, and yacht racing. There are displays even more on the forts upper-works, including the one-time home of Dockyard commissioner. Beyond the old house, some of the great naval guns that once guarded the seaward approaches to the island still point outward across the ocean, quite now, but ever on watch.
Also housed within the fortress you’ll find Dolphin Quest where you get down and wet with these amazing finny creatures from the deep. Yep, you can get right in there with them; it’s fun, and educational too. Dolphin Quest (441/234-4464. www.dolphinquest.org) offers a whole range of interactive programs that allow adults and children ages five or older to get up close and personal, swim, pet and play with several Atlantic bottlenose dolphins in what once was the Keep Pond. For the kids, there are specially designed programs conducted from a submersible bench; great fun to join in or watch. Entry to the Dolphin Quest area is free with museum admission. Participation in the actual programs, however, ranges $155 to $299; advance booking is recommended.
Entry to the Bermuda Maritime Museum is $10, and the facility is open daily from 9:30am to 4pm.
For visitors arriving by air, Bermuda is served by most US airlines and by international airlines from Canada and Europe. Bermuda is also a major destination for the cruise ship industry.