Bermuda’s winds and favourable currents make it an ideal place to get your heart racing a little in the open ocean. Many tour operators and beach concessions make Jet Skis available to visitors, as well as waterskiing, wakeboarding, paddleboarding and flyboarding. But no one says you need to stay strictly on the water — you can also parasail your way above the waves to see the Atlantic Ocean from a bird’s-eye view.
At The Royal Naval Dockyard, you may take part in the unique activity of swimming with dolphins in a protected, safe environment. Located within an ocean-water safe haven at the National Museum of Bermuda, Dolphin Quest brings you together with these gentle creatures with several programmes that allow you to touch, swim with and even kiss the dolphins.
What’s a holiday on a pristine Atlantic island without some deep-sea fishing? You know Bermuda has one of the most impressive reef systems in the world — so of course it also has some of the best fishing around. Most of the action happens in two favoured spots about 12 miles from shore, in the area known as the Challenger and Argus banks. These deep formations, which are peaks from inactive volcanoes, have created an environment ideal for baitfish, which in turn attract large game fish. Many fishing records have been set here, and you’re likely to score some yellowfin tuna, amberjack and dolphin. With some luck and lots of skill, you may even bring in a marlin! Fishing is good all year but is best from May to November when the water is warmest.Half-day fishing charters typically include bait, light tackle and a couple hours of line time. Sanctuary Marine also offers a full day for the ultimate fishing experience, and when you have had your fill, stop to snorkel or swim in a sheltered cove on the way home. Many leave from The Royal Naval Dockyard, Hamilton or the Town of St. George. Bermuda hosts many angling tournaments throughout the year, including the Bermuda Triple Crown in July. This series is composed of three distinct fishing events and is the highlight of the season for anglers. For more information, visit bermudatriplecrown.com.
Scuba diving offers a unique opportunity to view the island’s underwater bounty and the creatures that inhabit its surrounding waters. And with more than 500 years of maritime mishaps on the surrounding reefs, Bermuda holds more than 400 shipwrecks in its waters. Most popular sites are at a depth of 30 to 50 feet and can be easily reached by boat or with an operator such as Fantasea Diving & Watersports. The best months to dive are May to October, since the temperature will be warmest at that time. In the winter, you may need cold-water wet suits.
One thing you can do just about anywhere in Bermuda is snorkel. All you need is a mask, fins and snorkel, and you’re ready to go, since almost any beach is bound to have something to see. All of Bermuda sits on the edge of an ancient volcano, whose peaks and ridges have evolved into magnificent coral reefs. Some of the best places to snorkel include Church Bay in Southampton Parish, and Black Bay Beach, Snorkel Park Beach and Somerset Long Bay in Sandys Parish. In the East End, you can snorkel from a protected, tranquil beach at Tobacco Bay in St. George’s.
At the western tip of The Royal Naval Dockyard, Snorkel Park Beach makes snorkelling accessible to all ages and abilities with a beach, amenities, snorkel gear, paddleboats, kayaks and fun floats. Just offshore is a natural coral reef and sunken sailboat.
To reach the outer reefs, take one of the tour boats departing from The Royal Naval Dockyard, Hamilton or St. George’s. Several tour operators combine snorkelling with glass-bottom boat tours, catamaran cruises or some deserted-beach time.
Jessie James Cruises offers visitors a two-stop snorkel and glass-bottom boat adventure, including either shipwreck snorkel, beach and island snorkel, or a coral reef snorkel. Please help maintain the health of Bermuda’s reefs. As tempting as it looks, do not touch the coral, for the oils of human skin will infect and kill it. Also, do not use sunscreen before snorkelling, as the chemicals will damage the coral.
On the Water
You don’t need to be an expert seaman to explore the safe waters close to shore. Most hotel properties and even some beach concessions can rent you a kayak. Or call Fantasea Diving & Watersports to experience their eco-adventure kayak tour.
You can also rent a Boston Whaler and similar smaller vessels that require minimum experience to operate safely. Or try taking in the sights from a sailboat. The Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club (RHADC) offers personal two-hour or half-day sailing lessons.One of the newest and most exciting adventures to come to Bermuda is flyboarding with Coconut Rockets. Fly through the air like a superhero as you’re propelled forwards by water jets. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience you won’t want to miss!
Check out K.S. WaterSports (Adventure Tours & Rentals) in The Royal Naval Dockyard, Hamilton and in the Town of St. George for Jet Ski Adventures or take their ultimate thrill ride aboard the WildCat, a high-speed powered catamaran that takes passengers on an exhilarating sightseeing adventure around the entire island. Sea Venture Watersports at the Fairmont Southampton and Snorkel Park Beach both offer fun and scenic Jet Ski tours.
If you’d rather skip the workout and prefer to simply enjoy the cool breeze and scenery, you can hire professionals to do all the work for you.
For a fabulous day out on the waters, check out Kirk’s Coral Reef Adventures. Their wide array of tours include fishing, snorkelling, sightseeing and even a Night Glass-Bottom Boat tour.
Bermuda’s private mega-yacht, the MV Venetian, can be chartered; and tours can be catered to your every whim.
An award-winning sailing catamaran, Rising Son II, is a custom-built 60-foot Simonis with all the amenities on board you could ever need for comfort and entertainment on the water.
For the snorkelling beginner, Jessie James Cruises offers tours and private charters upon request. Let them show you a part of Bermuda that will remain in your memory and leave you wanting to come back again.
Watersports for Spectators
Once the weather warms up, it’s time to get on the water. Boat races begin in the spring and continue throughout the summer. The fitted dinghy, designed in Bermuda, is a special sailboat that has been raced here since the 1880s. The first race in the series is on Bermuda Day, May 24, and then at various dates throughout the summer. Comet sailboat races are held all summer as well, and the Edward Cross Race between the eastern and western end, held every year on the June Heroes’ Day holiday, shouldn’t be missed.
In 2017, the main event for spectators is the much-anticipated America’s Cup competition. Experience exciting races and fun events on land.
Need help booking a tour or want further information or advice? Contact Island Tour Centre in Hamilton or The Royal Naval Dockyard at 236-1300, or contact a Visitor Information Centre: Dockyard, 296-9400; Hamilton, 295-1480; and St. George’s, 297-0556. And Bermuda Explorer specialises in customised tours and authentic Bermuda experiences (534-1797).