Visiting Bermuda by Cruise Ship

Cruise Ships

Visiting Bermuda by Cruise ship is becoming much more popular these days. You get the best of both worlds: plenty of activities and dining options aboard ship (it's virtually an all-inclusive Bermuda vacation), and even more things to do in Bermuda once you arrive. Cruise ships dock either at the Royal Naval Dockyard or at St. George’s. Either way, getting around is easy. The ferries run convenient services between the RND and Hamilton, and also serve Paget, Warwick and Somerset counties. Best of all, service is frequent, fun and inexpensive. You’ll find ferry schedules at the end of this page.

If you are on a cruise ship, you leave all the major decisions to your travel agent and the cruise line. All your wants and needs while on vacation can be found on-board ship, and most of what you’ll consume (meals, snacks, soft drinks at the table) is included in the package price. The only extras are souvenirs, day trips at ports of call, and your flight (if necessary) to get you to your port of departure. Most often the best airfares can be found through the cruise lines themselves. They book block space on aircraft departing from all major airline hubs such as New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, and Charlotte. Connector flights however – those providing transport between your hometown and the airline’s hub – will run the airfare up appreciably. Accommodations on-board range from cramped, windowless cubicles deep in the bowels of the ship, to large, luxury suites on an upper deck, complete with balcony, lots of space to spread out, and all modern conveniences – even butler service.

Our advice is to book a mid-priced outside stateroom.You’ll have a little more room than incheaper staterooms,a view of the ocean and port of call as you arrive and leave, and the rate is not that much more.

Ship pursers can arrange a variety of day trips and fun things to do – activities such as scuba diving, snorkeling and windsurfing, to name a few. You can also rent motor scooters to explore the island. My advice is to book through your travel agent whatever you think you’ll need or want to do in advance, before you leave. If you wait until you’re on board, it’s first-come, first-served, and you may not get what you want. If you do decide to leave it that late, book as soon as you can. It’s possible to book some of these activities independently, outside of the cruise line, at one of the Tourist Information Centres in Hamilton or at the Royal Naval Dockyard. Since the cruise lines make a profit on offered extras, you’ll pay less if you book your activities and rentals direct. Your travel agent may be able to help. If not, use the phone numbers listed in this book.

Cruising to Bermuda is not an inexpensive vacation. Most cruises last for six or seven nights, with at least three nights spent on Bermuda. Sometimes a cruise special can be found for as little as $850 per person, not including airfare to the port of departure. Without a special, and at peak travel times, you may well find yourself paying at least double that. Of all the cruise lines serving Bermuda, Celebrity – now a part of the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line – usually offers the
least expensive options. At the high end, upward of $4,000 per person, cruising is still regarded as a very special experience. Luxury and formality are the main features of such lines as Cunard and Crystal. Whatever the price range or cruise line you choose, however, you can expect to be well looked after – all food and snacks are provided, along with soft drinks at the table. Most cruise lines now charge for soft drinks at the pool and for ice cream. Beer, wine and liquor are an additional cost (that will often bring on sticker-shock).

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