"Bermuda ~ The Somers Isles" Top 5 Page for this destination Bermuda by starship
Bermuda Travel Guide: 736 reviews and 2,308 photos
After my first visit to Bermuda I quickly found that it now easily ranks as one of my favorite places to visit. Thanks to some excellent cruise fares leaving from the East Coast, we have now been able to visit this gorgeous island twice, and I believe if it were possible, I would visit Bermuda every year --- I like it just that much!
Having visited in April and October, we found that both months offered superb weather. The ocean temperature may be cool, but the sunshine is abundant and air temperatures tropical. One should be aware, however, that prime hurricane season in the Atlantic and along the Eastern Seaboard of the USA runs from June to November. In October, 2011, we slipped in after the devastating effects of Hurricane Irene, and before any more tropical storms could develop into new hurricanes.
I will unabashedly extol the virtues of cruising here. As Bermuda is known for being expensive, we have found that traveling there by ship is an especially cost effective rather than having to pay separately for airfare, hotel, plus all meals and any additional expenses.
We have sailed from the ports of Baltimore and New York and each time we had about two days at sea to relax before arriving at King's Wharf. For each sailing, the cool weather in the mid-Atlantic region quickly gave way to the warm, sub-tropical climate of Bermuda in only a day's time. Blue skies, fresh air, warm daily temps and friendly Bermudians greeted us and the weather remained favorable during our forays to Hamilton, the Royal Naval Dockyard , and the town of St. George's, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The only time we had less than desirable weather was one late afternoon after leaving St. George's to hike the low cliffs above the south side beaches and Horseshoe Bay. Clouds had gathered and we were caught in a very short rain shower, but that mattered little when in the midst of such of beauty!!
Follow me to the National Museum of Bermuda, the first stop on our most recent visit.
We decided to make our goals for trips to Bermuda geared toward a combination of relaxation and sightseeing rather than our usual method of traveling which could be summed up as "see it all now, sleep when you're dead." I think we have achieved our goal here to a spectacular degree, thanks in large part to the nature of Bermuda itself.
Visitors shouldn't be fooled into thinking there is little to do in Bermuda other than enjoying the ocean and pink sand beaches. Aside from the enormous appeal of Bermuda's natural beauty and stunning beaches which it's known for, there are points of history, museums, churches, forts, shopping, and great pubs aplenty. Just getting to these points of interest via ferries, buses, and other forms of transportation add to the enjoyment because it is not our normal mode of transportation.
However, if the ocean IS your magnet, the waters surrounding Bermuda offer great opportunities for viewing marine life, swimming, diving, snorkeling, sailing, fishing, etc.
NOTE: I have built a separate page on the City of "Hamilton." For a more detailed look into Hamilton itself, please visit: Hamilton, Bermuda.
Current Changes in Cruise Lines Arriving in Bermuda
The status of cruises to Bermuda 2014 seem to have been in flux leaving many USA mid-Atlantic travelers wondering why certain lines have not been making port in Bermuda. Both Holland America and Carnival cruise lines apparently have no cruises which port in Bermuda for at least the current year. The cruise lines that Bermuda does seem to be accommodating in 2014 are Norwegian Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean who have a calendar full of cruises to Bermuda.
After speaking with one Bermudian ship captain, he explained that vying for the tourist dollar is being hampered by the lack of arriving cruise ships. He also explained to us that former government officials had made a deal with the 2 above mentioned cruise lines while virtually abandoning others. This situation invariably affects the Bermuda economy which relies heavily on tourism. Bermuda has experienced an economic downturn like much of the rest of the world over the last few years. Coupled with this problem, the existence of available docks which can accommodate today's much larger ships is presently not at full capacity; however, recent modifications on at least one pier will most likely solve this problem.
During our visit to Bermuda, I learned of some interesting historical connections ---
Sir George Somers was Admiral of the Britain's Virginia Company's Third Supply Relief Fleet when he set sail from Plymouth, England, in June of 1609, bound for Jamestown, Virginia. His ship was engulfed in a fierce storm crossing the Atlantic and drawn off course. Somers intentionally ran his ship upon the reefs surrounding the island of Bermuda, then known as "Virgineola," saving the ship from floundering at sea, and thereby saving all 150 souls and one dog on board. He and the ship's other survivors became some of the first permanent settlers on Bermuda.
Admiral Somers was later able to complete his original mission on a ship built in Bermuda of Bermudian Cypress in May of 1610, along with Lord Delaware, Sir Thomas Gates, and Captain Christopher Newport, bringing food and supplies to the colony of approximately 60 Virginia settlers who were clinging to life at that point. Had it not been for Somers and the others, the settlers of the fledgling Virginia colony would likely not have survived, though even these provisions were not enough to save them had not Lord de la Ware's supply ships not come.
Being not only the first to explore and map the island, as well as subsequently being credited with its colonization, the country now known as Bermuda, was known in the 17th century as the "Somers Isles." Today the name of "Somers" is still attached to ships, gardens, buildings, stores and much more.
Which brings me to the point of the interesting connections to me: I grew up within 40 minutes of Jamestown, Virginia, where those earliest settlers struggled to survive; the city of Newport News, and Christopher Newport University (no doubt derived from the name of Captain Christopher Newport) are even closer to my hometown; and the name "Somers" is connected to me personally.
- Pros:Sublime beaches, relaxed atmosphere, friendly people, plenty to see & do!
- Cons:Can be expensive!
- In a nutshell:Would be happy if visiting Bermuda could be an annual event!
Following our visit to the Bermuda Aquarium and Zoo in Flatts Village, we too the bus to St. George's where I hoped to... more travel advice
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