The Royal Naval Dockyard Bermuda is a popular seasonal cruise port. Being the largest pier on the island, most newer cruise ships dock at this port when traveling to Bermuda. Given the high tourism traffic, the Royal Naval Dockyard Bermuda offers a wide variety of activities, dining, and shopping that are all within walking distance from the cruise ships.
Of course, Bermuda also offers plenty of things to do if you want to travel beyond the port, but with so much to do in the Dockyard, you might decide to just stay local. In this post, we explore the area with a walk around the Royal Naval Dockyard Bermuda.
Exploring the Royal Naval Dockyard Bermuda
When you sail into Kings Wharf or Heritage Wharf, you will immediately notice several different buildings surrounding the port area. All of them are easily accessible by foot, and walking around the Dockyard during the day or night is perfectly safe. So get out there and explore.
When you disembark from your ship, you will walk through the Visitor’s Center. The friendly Bermudians will be happy to assist in planning your day, whether you want to purchase passes for transportation, gather some information on local attractions and tours, or ask directions. We purchased tokens for the ferry to St. George here during our 5 night Anthem of the Seas Bermuda cruise.
As you make your way down the pier, islanders will be there to help you with your transportation needs. Unlike some stops in the Caribbean, they are cordial and not pushy. There are several modes of transportation around the island, and estimated prices for taxis, mini-buses, public buses, and ferries are clearly marked. If you continue walking straight through the crowds, you come across the ferry entrances off to the left. Here, regular ferry trips to Hamilton and St. George depart every weekday. You can buy day passes, which include ferry admission and public bus fare, or just purchase ferry tokens.
Beyond the transportation area, set your eyes on the original Royal Naval Dockyard Building. This 200 year old fort was deteriorating until the government revitalized it in the 1980’s, making it one of the most visited areas of the island.
If you head right, you can make a circle around the Victualling Yard on the aptly named Maritime Lane. In this direction, you will first find the Keep Fortress which houses the National Bermuda Museum and Dolphin Quest. Dolphin Quest is one of the more popular excursions, offering several different programs for travelers of all ages and swimming abilities.
For history buffs, the National Museum of Bermuda is open daily from 9am to 5:00pm and costs $15 a person for adults. Here, you can explore 500 years of island history with several exhibits and interactive displays.
As we continue this trek around the Royal Naval Dockyard, you will come upon the family friendly Fun Golf. This is like mini-golf for those back in the states, just on steroids. You can test your putting skills day or night on this 18 hole course as it is open from 10am to 10pm with holes designed after famous golf courses across the world. Admission is $15.
If you’d rather just relax, the Snorkel Park Beach is adjacent to the Fun Golf. It is a moderate size beach and is the closest beach to the cruise ships. Admission is $5, and chairs and other equipment are also available to rent. We visited the beach at night, where there is dancing, a DJ, and plenty of rum swizzles as part of the Aqua Club (cover charge $10 after 10pm). Even though it was dark, the beach looked clean and offers a protected cove for swimming and snorkeling.
As you round the corner heading back towards the center, you will pass the Bermuda Rum Cake Company and Dockyard Glassworks. They were going through renovations during our trip to Bermuda, so we were not able to watch any baking or glass blowing demonstrations. Luckily, they had set up shop at the Clocktower Shopping Mall, so the Princess was still able to purchase a few goods.
While we have just made a circle around the perimeter, we have not forgotten about the central portion. Here, there are several merchants selling duty free liquor, t-shirts and other keepsakes at stores like Island Outfitters, as well as fine clothing at the Crown and Anchor store.
If you are looking for something homemade, the Bermuda Craft Market should be on your list. Admittedly, it was smaller than other craft markets, but at least we were able to get a Bermuda ornament for our vacation Christmas tree that was made on the island, not in China.
If you want to grab a bit to eat, there are a few restaurants here, including the cruiser favorite Frog and Onion Pub. We did not have the chance to dine at any of the island restaurants, but the food did smell appetizing.
If you do not feel like walking all the way around this loop, you can use the cut through at the courtyard area. It can be a quiet reprieve from the crowds and makes for some great photo opportunities.
If you are in the mood for more shopping and exploration, head down Camber Road. The Bermuda Clayworks will be on your right. Here, you can purchase handmade pottery and other ceramic items.
For us, we headed for the Clocktower Shopping Mall. You can’t miss this impressive building with two towers, one showing the current time and the other showing the time of high tide. The building used to be a solider’s warehouse when the Royal Naval Dockyard Bermuda was a functioning military operation. Now, it houses many shops and boutiques, complete with both an ice cream and fudge store.
Even with ships docked overnight, much of the area closes up early. But, it might still be worth a walk around the Royal Naval Dockyard Bermuda to grab some picturesque photos of your ship and the surrounding boats in the wharf.
Have you visited the Royal Naval Dockyard Bermuda? What are your favorite things to do when docked here? Drop us an anchor below to let us know what you like to do in Bermuda on a cruise.