"Bermuda ~ The Somers Isles" Bermuda by starship
Bermuda Travel Guide: 734 reviews and 2,263 photos
Second Visit~ Our lastest visit to the splendid island of Bermuda in April, 2013, came as a result of a "too good to be true" cruise deal which lead us to having the better part of 3 days spent exploring and enjoying. As Bermuda is known for being expensive, we found that traveling there by ship is especially cost effective rather than having to pay separately for airfare, hotel, plus all meals and any additional expenses. This trip fulfilled my wish to return to a place that certainly has become a favorite destination of mine -- I would love cruising to Bermuda to become an annual tradition.
Follow me to the National Museum of Bermuda, the first stop on our most recent visit.
First Visit ~ Although October can often be prime hurricane season in the Atlantic and along the Eastern Seaboard of the USA, our first visit to Bermunda in October, 2011, turned out to be a great time to visit Bermuda by ship as well. That year we slipped in after the devastating effects of Hurricane Irene, and before any more tropical storms could develop into new hurricanes. October, 2011. with two days at sea to relax before arriving at King's Wharf, 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 southside beaches and Horseshoe Bay. Clouds had gathered and we were caught in a short rain shower, but that mattered little when in the midst of such of beauty!!
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 and sightseeing --- which could be summed up as "see it all now, sleep when you're dead." I think we have achieved our goals 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 of the ease of it all.
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.
Changes in Cruise Lines Arriving in Bermuda
The status of cruises to Bermuda for 2013 and 2014 have been in flux leaving many mid-Atlantic east coast travelers wondering why certain lines have not been making port in Bermuda. That being said, the lines that Bermuda does seem to be accommodating 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 cruiselines 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.
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!
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