Exploring the Royal Naval Dockyard Bermuda

There is so much to do in Bermuda, even right outside the ship. In fact, you could spend hours exploring the Royal Naval Dockyard Bermuda. Given all the choices, we put together this guide to

Royal Naval Dockyard Bermuda

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.

Royal-Naval-Dockyard-Map-2016-1(source)

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.

Royal Naval Dockyard Bermuda

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.

Royal Naval Dockyard Bermuda

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.

Anthem of the Seas Review Bermuda

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.

Royal Naval Dockyard Bermuda

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.

Royal Naval Dockyard Bermuda

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.

Royal Naval Dockyard Bermuda

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.

Best Things to Do in Bermuda

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.

Best Things to Do in Bermuda

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.

Royal Naval Dockyard Bermuda

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.

Royal Naval Dockyard Bermuda

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.

Anthem of the Seas Review Bermuda

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.

Royal Naval Dockyard Bermuda
 

Comments

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.

Royal Naval Dockyard Bermuda

Royal Naval Dockyard Bermuda

Royal Naval Dockyard Bermuda
Don Bucolo, or “DB”, loves everything about cruising- the ocean, the food, and the atmosphere. While he may be obsessed with doing extensive amounts of research on ships and all elements of a cruise, Don enjoys sharing his new found knowledge with fellow cruisers. When he is not sailing the high seas, he does whatever his wife tells him to do-it only took 10 years to realize this.
Don
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8 comments on Exploring the Royal Naval Dockyard Bermuda

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  1. I wish RoyalCaribbean Cruises originating from Florida Port’s, sailed there!

      We hear you Tim. Lucky for us New Englanders that Bermuda cruise originate from up here, making it easy for us to get on a cruise heading to this wonderful island. It is a great excuse to try a cruise from a different departure point than FL. Appreciate the comment.

    The ferry to St. George does not operate every day. It is not available on Sundays or holidays. You should edit your article so that people are not misinformed.

      Thanks Ashley for reading and the comment. Most cruise ships visit Bermuda during the week, so we updated the post to correctly reflect that every weekday there are ferries running to St. George. Appreciate it.

    There are actually ferries to Hamilton on Sunday, but the last ferry from Hamilton leaves earlier than on the other days.

    Some of the restaurants and stores offer free wifi with a purchase. One store in particular in the Clocktower Shopping Mall offers free unlimited wifi with a $5 purchase, but you can’t wander off too far from the store or you will lose signal. Fortunately, there was a bench right outside the store for us to sit at. Also, if there is more than one in your party that requires wifi, the store won’t give the wifi code to two people even if the purchase is over $10, so it’s better to break up your purchases depending on how many people need the free wifi.

    We purchased a few rumcakes from the Bermuda Rumcake Company and we were able to get a free small blown glass piece with a coupon. We picked a beautiful dolphin.

      Thanks “mom” for additional info. It is greatly appreciated. I am sure many cruisers will utilize these tips. We know next we are in Bermuda we will be looking for some WiFi and rum-cakes! Happy sailing and thanks for reading.

    Sea glass beach. You can walk or take a cab. Cab recommended since there aren’t sidewalks for the whole walk (just under 2 miles). You don’t need more than 30-45 minutes but it is super cool and the cab isn’t too pricey. You can see if the driver can come back for you or flag one down from the main road. It’s really cool!

      Hi Meg, thanks for the suggestion. We will have to add Sea Glass Beach to our list of places to visit in Bermuda. It is such a beautiful island with a lot to see and do. Appreciate the comment. Happy cruising.