Friday, May 2, 2008

Cruising Bermuda

Continuing our quest for a new cruise destination beyond the Caribbean, we next turn our attention to Bermuda. While often thought of as part of the Caribbean, Bermuda is actually located 650 miles east of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, 774 miles from New York City and 3,000 miles from London. The 21-mile-long island is two miles at its maximum width. Bermuda has a year-round mild semitropical climate, with temperatures ranging from 68 to 84 degrees and relative humidity from 71 to 84 percent.

As the climate is ideal year-round for sports, active travelers can enjoy some of the best wreck diving in the world, scuba diving, over 80 tennis courts and top-rated golf courses. Bermuda also has yacht-racing, museums, a top-rated aquarium, cricket and of course, its famous pink sand beaches. Wherever you are in Bermuda, you are never more than a mile from a beach.

Bermuda's many forts help to trace its interesting maritime history. All British built, they give visitors an idea how important Bermuda was to the British government for centuries, as well as to its allies, the United States and France, during World War I and II. Most of these forts have been restored and offer magnificent views.

Because of these many attributes, Bermuda has also become a popular cruise destination, with major lines visiting here from April to October, when temperatures are in the 70s and 80s. The three main ports-of-call are Hamilton, St. George and King's Wharf in the West End. Cruises to Bermuda typically originate in New York or Boston and some are part of Transatlantic crossings.

Surrounded by turquoise water, Bermuda beaches are famous for their pink sand. This unique colored sand is from finely pulverized remains of calcium carbonate shells, plus skeletons of invertebrates, including clams, corals and forams. This rare mixture offers another amazing feature: the sand does not get hot, even in the summer!

Bermuda boasts over 150 restaurants, with something to please every palate and for every price range. Hamilton is noted for its selection of international cuisine, including Caribbean, Indian, Italian, Greek, Chinese, English, French and Mexican.

Shoppers can find everything from sophisticated department stores to exclusive boutiques, as well as antique stores and art galleries in Bermuda, with a wide selection of both goods and prices. Bargains are available in Hamilton and St. George's as well as other parts of the Island. The Royal Naval Dockyard in the West End offers extensive shopping facilities.

Bermuda has established itself as one of the world's top dive destinations by offering ideal conditions. Aquatic adventurers can immerse themselves in summer water temperatures averaging 83 F, considered to be the clearest water in the Western Atlantic and the world's most northernmost coral reefs. The ocean floor is covered with hundreds of wrecks dating from the 15th to the 20th century, earning it the title "Wreck Capital of the Atlantic."

Bermuda is a unique island offering visitors beautiful beaches, dive sites, fine dining, history and much more in a relaxed, genteel atmosphere with a distinct British flavor. There is something for everyone in Bermuda. It is a great alternative to a Caribbean Cruise Vacation.

In future articles, we'll take a closer look at a seven day cruise to Bermuda. I hope by now you are starting to realize that there are fabulous destinations to cruise to beyond the Caribbean.

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