Tuesday, July 8, 2008

NCL Dawn Bermuda - Underwater Exploration Institute

It's day 3 in Bermuda and time for the Norwegian Dawn to make a short journey from King's Wharf to Hamilton, Bermuda. The ship tenders in Hamilton, so it was necessary to obtain tender tickets before going ashore.

We decided not to rush and had some breakfast. When we finished our breakfast, we headed to the lounge to pickup our tender tickets. Timing couldn't have been better - we were able to obtain our tender ticket and head to the gangway to disembark.

Our tender boat was actually one of the ferries, so it was able to accomodate a large number of passengers waiting to go ashore. Once ashore we began walking down Front Street, the main street of Hamilton. We weren't exactly sure where the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute (BUEI) was located, so we asked a women walking along the street. We were only three or four blocks away from the BUEI. If you don't want to walk, you can also get to the BUEI by bus.

We spent two hours there visiting the various exhibits such as Bermuda Revealed, Underwater Bermuda, Shell Collection, Science at Sea, The Dive, The Deep, Bioluminescence, Shark Cage, Treasure Room, and the Shipwreck Gallery. Once again our timing was excellent. By the time we walked to The Dive exhibit, the ride was about to begin. If you've been to a theme park and gone on a motion ride, this is very similar. We were actually the only people on the ride.

There is a wealth of information throughout the various exhibits. One could easily spend several hours going through the institute, especially if that was their are of interest.
Even if marine biology and underwater exploration isn't your favorite subject, I think you will enjoy the Lightbourn Shell Collection. The collection is housed in several display cases. Jack Lightbourn started with Bermuda shells and expanded it to the entire world. It is by far the most amazing collection of shells we've ever seen.
For more photos, see our BUEI Photo Album and Shell Collection Album.
When we left the BUEI, it started to sprinkle a little, but it wasn't enough to keep us from going to our next stop, Fort Hamilton. My next post will describe our visit there.

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