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Kings Wharf is where most cruise ships dock in Bermuda. This is the original pier or the berth in Royal Naval Dockyard. Most cruise lines show the destination as Kings Wharf in their cruise schedules for Bermuda, and therefore many visitors tend to think that Kings Wharf is the cruise port. Actually it is only a berth in the port and the port itself is known as Royal Naval Dockyard, or simply as Dockyard.
 
King's Wharf is small and simple, but don't let that fool you. It is a beautiful port destination, and if you look closely, you can find all of the amenities that you would on any other island in the Caribbean. King's Wharf combines glorious beach weather and interesting historical locations, making it the perfect getaway from the everyday grind.
 
Bermuda is the ideal location to escape the stress and strain of everyday city life. This pleasant little island is one of the premier honeymoon spots in the entire world. The citizens are friendly, and you will not be victimized by constant hounding on the beach. You will be respected and treated politely, and the environment is stress-free and lacks the ever-present vendors that exist on virtually all other islands in the Caribbean. Bermuda is the best location for sunning and swimming, as the sun is bright and the waters clear and tranquil. If you are a big wave surfer, the waters outside King's Wharf are not for you. However, if your interest lies in snorkeling, swimming, sunbathing, and relaxing, you have come to the right place. Bermuda also has some of the best golf in the world, and every professional golfer that has played a round on Bermuda has left satisfied.
 
Docking & Local Transportation
Cruise ships dock at the Royal Naval Dockyard in King's Wharf. The dockyard is located at the western tip of Bermuda in Sandy's Parish at Ireland Island (North). A second berth known as Heritage Wharf was added to the dockyard in May 2009 right next to Kings Wharf. So two large cruise ships can now dock at the port at the same time. Usually your cruise ship would dock at one of these two berths.
 
Taxis are easy to find anywhere in Bermuda. You can find a row of taxis outside any major hotel, in addition to their availability right at the port. Call either Bermuda Taxi Radio Cabs Ltd. (441/295-4141) or B.I.U. Taxis (441/292-4476). There are no rental cars available in Bermuda, but the buses are particularly efficient in getting around anywhere on the island. Contact the Public Transportation Board (PTB) (441/292-3851) for more information.
 
Beach Shuttle Service
WEDCO (West End Development Corporation) in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism Development & Transport has introduced a minibus shuttle service between Dockyard and the South Shore beaches. The round trip fare is $16 per person. Currently beaches covered are Horseshoe Bay Beach and Church Bay Beach. The service starts at 8am from dockyard and makes several round trips during the day. The last minibus from dockyard is at 3pm, while the last one returning from Horseshoe Bay Beach is at 6pm. This shuttle service provides about 1,000 additional seats per day to reach Horseshoe Bay other than the public buses. The beach shuttles at the dockyard operate when the cruise ships are in port. The shuttle ticket booking office is located at the dockyard and is open from 8am to 2pm. They will let you known the timings of the shuttles.
 
Mopeds and scooters are widely available for rent, as are bicycles, although they are not nearly as popular. Wheel Cycles Group Ltd. (441/292-2245) rents out all of the above.
 
Due to large influx of tourists arriving by regularly scheduled cruises, the dockyard has developed into a modern tourist complex with many top tourist attractions including National Museum of Bermuda, beaches, art & craft center, restaurants & pubs, shopping mall with boutique shops and a place from where a host of activities take place including local tours (both land and boat tours), water sports, rides, golfing & fishing tours, festivals etc.
 
Places to visit in and around Kings Wharf & Dockyard
Spread across some 24-acres of land area, the Royal Naval Dockyard complex today offers many attractions other than being home to a marina, a working boatyard, many restaurants and shops.
 
Some of the key attractions & places to visit here includes the National Museum of Bermuda which showcases exhibits and artifacts of Bermuda's Maritime History, culture and heritage over the past four centuries, many historical buildings like the Victualling Yard, Casemates etc that relate to the time of Royal Navy in Bermuda, Art Center where beautiful artworks and paintings are created, Glassworks where artists make beautiful glass articles using glass blowing technique, Clay Works where artists make lovely pottery items, Craft Center for handcrafted items, Dolphin Center for dolphin interactions, beaches and more.
 
Within easy distance and accessible by bus are lovely attractions like Fort Scaur - a historic British fort, 
One great advantage for the cruise ship passengers is the host of activities available in and around the dockyard area itself. Because of large number of tourists visiting by cruise ships (over 350,000 per year), many operators and outfitters have opened shops in the dockyard area itself. Some of such activities include boat tours, snorkeling cruises to outer reefs & shipwrecks, water sports like jet ski, kayaking, windsurfing, boating & sailing etc, beach activities, cycling, fishing tours, and even a fun 18-hole mini golf course in the dockyard. Check out Things to do at Kings Wharf to know about all the recreational activities that operate out of the dockyard and the surrounding area.
 
The Bermuda Maritime Museum, located in the center of lovely King's Wharf, is a great location to learn all about Bermuda's maritime history. Features include the famous Tucker treasure that dates back to the 16th century, as well as interactive children's museums and fabulous exhibits. The Bermuda Maritime Museum (441/234-1418) is a great place to learn and to have some fun out of the sun.
 
The Gilbert Nature Reserve is located on Somerset Road in nearby Sandy's Parish. This fabulous destination features over five acres of totally unspoiled forest and woodland. The Gilberts owned the land in the early 18th century, and in 1973 the Bermuda National Trust acquired the region, declaring it an area that was to remain preserved. Walk around as you please, just be sure not to disrupt the natural habitat for the animals. This scenic location is perfect for an afternoon hike or a peaceful walk. The Gilbert Nature Reserve (441/236-6483) is open to the public every day from sunrise to sunset.
 
Gibbs Hill Lighthouse - the oldest cast iron lighthouse in the world, Heydon Trust - a lovely parkland with a tiny chapel, Somerset Bridge - the smallest drawbridge in the world etc. Check out Kings Wharf Attractions for full information.
 
Reserving Tee time in Bermuda Golf Courses
Bermuda features some of the best golf courses in all the world. Professionals, lifelong golfers, and many tourists go to Bermuda strictly for the golf. Port Royal Golf Course is located in Southhampton Parish (441/234-0974). It is simply breathtaking, with its elevated greens and fantastic waters right over the nearby cliffs. If you have any interest in golf at all, this course is a must.
 
Port Royal Golf Course (Southampton Parish, 18 holes, 6842 yards, par 71) This golf course is known for its spectacular ocean views, lush greenery and ocean side cliffs. This is a venue of the PGA Grand Slam Golf. The course includes on-site dining options and a pro shop.
 
You need to keep one thing in mind... unlike in many other countries you can not just walk into a golf course in Bermuda, pay and play golf. Except for few Bermuda golf clubs, most of the others are private clubs. Port Royal, Ocean View and St. George's clubs are the ones that are Bermuda Government owned. At the private Bermuda golf clubs, in general you need to be introduced by an existing member.
 
Few of the private clubs do entertain non-members, but you need to book well in advance directly with them. However, many of the hotels have corporate memberships and can introduce limited number of their guests. And therefore, during winter time it becomes that much easier for you to get tee times. Cruise ships also make arrangements for golfing as part of their excursion packages.
 
The site supports most of the premier golf courses in Bermuda. There is a one time registration required with your credit card no. However no charge is levied at the time of registration. In case a particular golf course is not covered in their list, they will provide contact information and guide you with the reservation process. A second website www.premiergolf.bm also offers purchase of tee time in Bermuda for most of the prime golf courses. You can directly book the tee time with your credit card.
 
And for the Government owned Bermuda Golf courses, you can alternatively call the central reservation system. Here is the number to call: 441/234 4653.
 
Is Golfing in Bermuda Expensive?
Well it certainly used to be so once. In fact, it's still more expensive compared to USA or parts of Europe. Few years back, I had paid up some $250 to play a round of golf. But the pricing have been revised with economic challenges coming in. These days you can play a round of golf (18-hole) in Ocean View Golf Club at $89 with a cart and at Fairmont Southampton for $59 (additional $17 for a cart). Port Royal Golf Club charges $180 including a cart.
 
Beaches Closest to King's Wharf:
Church Bay: Off the beaten path, and superb for snorkeling. Rent what you need elsewhere. No changing rooms or restrooms. Southampton.
Mangrove Bay: Once a smuggler's cove, there are two beaches, but only one is public. The calm waters are perfect for kids and non-swimmers. A favored spot for landscape artists. No changing rooms or restrooms. Near Somerset Village.
Somerset Long Bay: Quiet, low-key, shallow and dotted with plenty of coral bluffs. Restrooms. Sandys.
Shelly Bay: Shallow and shaded (a rarity). Great place for kids. Umbrella rentals, changing room, snacks. Hamilton.
Elbow Beach: Swimming and body surfing are the draws here, but the crowds, not so much. Restrooms, snacks. Paget.
Horseshoe Bay Beach: What can we say? Clear water, pink sand and a really hot social spot. Watch the kids -- the undertow can be strong. Umbrella rentals, changing room, snacks. Southampton.
Other great island beaches:
Tobacco Bay: Great snorkeling. You can see families of squid and even octopus. Gear rentals, umbrella rentals, changing room, snacks. (St. George's)
Achilles Bay: Small beach that's great for snorkeling. Not as crowded as Tobacco Bay. Gear rentals, changing room, snacks. (St. George's)
Clearwater Beach and Park: A 36-acre great-for-kids site that includes nature trails. Reid Clearwater Cafe is a good bet for snacks and light meals. Gear rentals for snorkeling, as well as chairs, lounges, towels and rafts. Changing rooms, showers and restrooms. (Cooper's Island, off St. David's Island)
Warwick Long Bay Beach etc can be reached easily by public bus (#7), taxis or scooter. Beach shuttle minibuses are also available at dockyard for Horseshoe Bay Beach which makes several round trips during the day. Here are the Beaches near Kings Wharf
 
Island Tours and Boating & Sailing Tours
You can go for half day or full day island tours on private minibuses or vans that operate on per person rates or on charter. Alternatively you can take a taxi tour. Ample taxis (4 and 7 seaters) are available at the dockyard taxi stand. Taxis operate on hourly rate which is fixed by the government. You should look for a taxi with a blue flag or its insignia on the bonnet, then you know that the driver is also a certified tour guide and there is no extra charge on such taxis. For minibus tours visit Island Tours on Minibus, for taxi tours go through Bermuda tours using taxi.
 
There are plenty of water tours that operate from the dockyard which mainly take you to the western water areas like western blue cut, great sound etc. The sightseeing tours with glass-bottom views to see underwater marine life and corals are operated motorized boats. However you can also take sailing tours on yachts and catamarans that offer Sunset and Cocktail tours etc. Check out Boating & Sailing Tours for details.
 
Island Tour Center has a booth at the dockyard and they take both online and on-the-spot booking for various land and water based tours. They are essentially a booking company and wok through the actual operators. 

Bermuda Arts Centre: Formerly opened by the late Princess Margaret in the early 80s, you'll find works by a gaggle of local artists. In-residence artists include a cedar sculptor, a wood carver and a jewelry designer. Of course, most everything is for sale. (open daily, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Freeport Road)
 
National Museum of Bermuda: Filled to the brim with recovered treasures from the island's shipwrecks. Also check out the Commissioner's House. Built in the early 1800s, you'll enjoy this brilliantly restored home that offers great views from the verandas. Exhibits include antique maps and coins as well as an excellent one on slavery. (open daily, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Royal Naval Dockyard)
 
Old Cooperage: A former barrel-making factory built in 1831, it is home to the Bermuda Craft Market. You can stroll through numerous stands displaying the works of local craftspeople, including wood carvings and miniatures. (open daily, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Royal Naval Dockyard)
 
Dockyard Glassworks: Visit here to see beautiful gift items made from glass while you wait, in their 2,000-degree furnace. (open daily, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Royal Naval Dockyard)
 
Fort Scaur: Built in the 1870s to protect the Royal Naval Dockyard because the British feared an attack from the U.S. Commanding views of Ely's Harbour and Great Sound if you stand on the ramparts. It's a nice place to stroll. (closes at 4:30 p.m., but the grounds stay open until sunset; Scaur Road, Sandys)
 
Gibbs Hill Lighthouse: This is the oldest cast-iron lighthouse in the world. Although there's a 185-step climb to the top, the panoramic view of Bermuda and its shoreline from the balcony makes the exertion worthwhile. (open daily, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Lighthouse Road, Southampton)
 
Heydon Trust: Named for the unpopular 17th-century Governor Jeremy Heydon. A staunch Puritan, he was charged with treason at the age of 80. Acquitted a few years later, he established the trust, and all the land remains intact today on 40-odd acres of magnificent, undeveloped countryside offering splendid water views. In addition to being a bird sanctuary, the grounds include fruit groves, gardens and a tiny 1620 chapel, which is overseen by three nuns who sing Gregorian chants in Latin at services (open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 7:30 a.m. & 3 p.m.; Wednesday and Saturday, 3 p.m.; Somerset Road, Sandys)
 
Dockyard Train Trolley: This is not really a train. Although it has small passenger coaches and an engine that makes it look like a mini train, it has wheels and moves on the road, and not on track. It has a capacity of 40 passengers and takes you around the main attractions of the dockyard and outside to the parish area. A running audio commentary is given explaining the places and their background. It's free and you can hop on off.
 
Segway Tours: These are two-wheeled self balancing machines which you can take and go around the dockyard and visit many attractions. You just need to stand on the machine having a scooter like steering. It can move forward or backward at a maximum speed of 15 miles an hour and is self balancing. Since you ride it yourself, you have a lot more flexibility.
 
Heydon Trust: Named for the unpopular 17th-century Governor Jeremy Heydon. A staunch Puritan, he was charged with treason at the age of 80. Acquitted a few years later, he established the trust, and all the land remains intact today on 40-odd acres of magnificent, undeveloped countryside offering splendid water views. In addition to being a bird sanctuary, the grounds include fruit groves, gardens and a tiny 1620 chapel, which is overseen by three nuns who sing Gregorian chants in Latin at services (open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 7:30 a.m. & 3 p.m.; Wednesday and Saturday, 3 p.m.; Somerset Road, Sandys)
 
Sea Gardens: Take the Bottom Peeper -- a glass-bottom boat that allows you to see shipwrecks as well as plenty of coral reefs, brain coral and parrot fish. Ask about making it four hours to include snorkeling (the gear's onboard). (open daily; departs from Point Pleasant in Hamilton)
 
Somerset Bridge: A 17th-century bridge to Somerset Island -- it's the world's narrowest drawbridge with barely a 19-inch mast clearance. The bridge will also give you a bird's eye view of Cathedral Rocks, aptly named for the natural rock formation that evokes images of a medieval cathedral.
Dolphin Quest: A 30-minute swim with Atlantic bottlenose dolphins. Ages 8 and up. (open Monday & Thursday to Friday: 10:15 a.m., 1 p.m., 2:45 p.m.; Tuesday: 10:45 a.m., 1 p.m.; Wednesday: 1 p.m., 4:15 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday: 10:15 a.m., 1 p.m., 2:45 p.m., 4:15 p.m.; Royal Naval Dockyard)
 
Gladys Morrell Nature Reserve: Perfect for nomadic strolls above Mangrove Bay, this small gem of a nature reserve serves up nice views, lovely foliage and nesting areas for endangered Bermuda bluebirds. First-rate setting for a romantic picnic. (open daily, dawn to dusk; East Shore Road, Somerset Island)
 
Skyrider Parasailing: It's easy to take off for a chair parasail ride built for two from the rear of a Para-Nautique powerboat. So easy, it's even safe enough for kids. (open Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; 441-234-3019; Watersports Centre, Royal Naval Dockyards)
 
Somerset Village: A postcard-pretty village that might look familiar. It was featured in the 1962 film, "A Touch of Mink," with Cary Grant and Doris Day. Enjoy the short walk to Mangrove Bay from here. There are a few Front Street outposts here.
 
Spithead House: Built by Hezekiah Frith, who's best remembered for his hidden bounty from two stolen ships and the kidnapping of a French woman he hid from his wife. Local lore says they haunt the house. The house was once the home of Eugene O'Neill (his daughter Oona was born in it) and Sir Noel Coward and Charlie Chaplin (after marrying Oona). (not open to visitors, but fun to pass by; Harbor Road, Warwick)
 
 
Water Sports
 
Snorkel Park: This is a beach complex within the dockyard area. The best attraction is the Seascooter Safari. For all ages and swimming abilities, it's an electric scooter ride on the water. There is a nice family beach, restaurant & bar etc in the complex. Water here is shallow and calm. It's a popular place for snorkeling with many underwater features & marine life, and also for several other watersport activities including Jetski safari etc. You can also rent gear and snorkel the well marked trails. (Royal Naval Dockyard)  
Snorkel Cruise by Restless Native: The attractive Pink Catamaran operates from the Heritage Wharf area of the dockyard (just next to Kings Wharf), takes you to the outer reef area for offshore snorkeling, provides knowledge about the marine life in Bermuda and offers great fresh cookies on board.
 
Snorkel Boat Tour by Snorkel Bermuda: Another great snorkel cruise on a small 30-foot boat that lets you snorkel over two very famous shipwrecks of Bermuda. The tour lasts for 2 hours and operates from the dockyard area.
 
Jet Ski Safari: This is a 90-minute thrilling tour on Jet Skis or Water-Scooters & operates from the Snorkel Beach Park located within the dockyard complex. The guided tour takes a group through the beautiful waters of the Ely's harbor. You get to see the Somerset Bridge which is the world's smallest draw bridge, the MHS Vixen shipwreck, the Sea Garden which is a water area with spectacular views of reefs and marine life, coast line, tiny islands and lot more. On top of it, you also get some free time to play around with the Jet Ski. 
 
Flyboarding: This is a recently introduced watersport where jet water pressure from a personal water craft can propel you out of the water and you will fly through the air. Great excitement and thrill.
 
Blue Water Divers & Watersports: This is the longest operating dive center in Bermuda with PADI five star facilities and guides. They offer boat dives including 1-tank and 2-tank dives that cover Bermuda's some of the best reefs and wrecks. If you want, you can go for both the dives with a soup lunch in between at the marina. They can also make a customized dive package for you with multiple dives. The dives cover some of the great shipwrecks of Bermuda including, Hermes, Mary Celeste, North Carolina and more. They also offer snorkeling tours. Their main dive center is located next to the Somerset Bridge at Robinson's Marina. It's only about 10 minutes by bus from the dockyard.
 
Somerset Bridge Watersports: This is a family owned business operating for over 20 years. It's also located at the Somerset Bridge in Sandys at the Robinson's Marina and is quite convenient to the dockyard cruise ship passengers. This center offers Boston Whalers (small motorized boats), Jet Skis and Kayaks along with experienced guides to explore the waters in the western part of the island.
 
Other than the beautiful waters of the Ely's Harbor (where the Somerset Bridge is located), you can go around to explore the Royal Naval Dockyard, the shipwreck HMS Vixen which is partially submerged and has now become home to a school of fish, the coast line with its many secluded coves and caverns, and lot more.
 
Bermuda Waterski Center

This is owned and operated by Kent Richardson who himself is an expert in water ski and an instructor. The specially designed Ski Nautique is used for the water ski rides. He provides lessons to individuals or to a group of maximum five at a time, and takes them to either the Great Sound water area or off the western end. Slalom, trick skiing, knee boarding, barefoot, tubing are offered to both novice and experts. The center also offers snorkeling and sightseeing tours. The Center is located at the Robinson's Marina next to the Somerset Bridge in Sandys Parish. They are open daily between May to September. Phone: 441/234-3354 or 335-1012; Email: krsuper@northrock.bm
 
KS Watersports Bermuda
They operate from the dockyard area in the west end of Bermuda, and offer parasailing and Jet Ski tours. For parasailing, a group of up to 12 persons are taken by boat to the Great Sound water area and launched from the boat one by one. It's a harness type parasail and two persons can fly together. You land back on the boat without getting wet unless of courses you like to take a dip while landing. In Jet Ski, they offer several water tours combined with swimming and snorkeling covering the west end and east end water areas. Check out the link for details.
 
Skyrider Bermuda Ltd.
Offers parasailing from the Dockyard area. They fly you over the north shore and Great Sound water area. You will be launched and retrieved from the deck of Skyrider that has a maximum capacity of 10 persons. The parasail type is sit down chair and two persons usually fly together. They operate between May to October. Phone: 441/234-3019.
 
Fantasea Bermuda operates a sports center from the 9-Beaches Resorts at the Daniel's Head. Earlier this was operated by an outfitter Surf Shack offering Kiteboarding lessons. Since they closed down, Fantasea has taken over and offers a range of sporting activities including kiteboarding, windsurfing, kayaking, motorized boat rentals, sailboats, kayaks, rafts, pedal boats and floating lounges. They also offer snorkeling gears. Phone: 441/239-2999.
 
Non-Mariners Race: If you are in the island on the first Sunday in August, do not miss out on this hilarious event in Bermuda. Held in Mangrove bay, families and friends come from all over the island and float on their self made vessels. These are crafted from anything they could get hold of like even picnic tables on floats. With such non-seaworthy vessels, the idea is not to win, but to lose. This has become a very popular event in the island, both to locals and tourists.
 
Sandys Boat Club: Located at the sheltered Mangrove Bay, the club was formed in 1937 and has been organizing boating, sailing and social events since many years. There are over 250 members. 
 
Dining & Nightlife
Conveniently located at the end of the cruise dock at King's Wharf, Pirate's Landing (441/234-5151) serves decent sandwiches and burgers at outdoor tables with an excellent ocean view. For a more upscale feel, visit Beethoven's (441/234-5009), a chic place with an ambience that is in touch with Bermuda's past as well as continental influences. King's Wharf is not the place in Bermuda to hunt down nightlife. Live music at the Frog & Onion (441/234-2900) is about the best the area has to offer.
Frog & Onion: Bangers and mash and plenty of Guinness. (open Monday to Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m.; Royal Naval Dockyard)
Freeport Gardens: Copious amounts of locally caught fish. Try the excellent fish and chips. (open daily, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Royal Naval Dockyard)
Henry VIII: The roast duck will have you purring. Their pub rocks after 9 p.m. with live entertainment. (open daily, noon to 2:30 p.m.; South Shore Road, Southampton)
Somerset Country Squire Tavern: One of the best in Bermuda for seafood. Curried mussel pie is the winner here. (open daily, 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Mangrove Bay)
 
For dinner Waterlot Inn: More than three centuries old. The gravlox dressed up with a pineapple-ginger salsa kills. Jackets required. (open daily, 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Fairmont Southampton Princess, Southampton)
Cafe Amici: At this charming venue, located in the Clocktower Mall, you'll find delicious Italian fare, prepared with fresh ingredients.
 
Shopping
If you are a hardcore shopper you might want to check out the Bermuda shopping section or Hamilton city which is Bermudas capital and offers the largest amount of shops.
 
In the Clocktower Shopping Mall you will find British goods, such as, porcelain, fine china and crystal, silverware and fine tableware, imports from Great Britain and Ireland, such as, Shetland and cashmere sweaters, Harris Tweed jackets and Scottish woolen goods. The Craft Market features Bermuda cedar-work, candle making, jewelry-making, pottery, straw bags, banana dolls and many other crafts. An extensive array of artistic goods is on sale at the Bermuda Arts Center.





 
 
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