Royal Naval Dockyard Cruise Port Guide

Cruises to Royal Naval Dockyard, Bermuda, are the perfect opportunity to discover this beautiful island destination in depth. Fringed by pale pink beaches and clear, turquoise seas, Bermuda has many faces. Fascinating naval history, golf on velvet-green gold courses, pretty villages where stone houses are festooned in tropical blooms, hiking trails, art galleries, and coral reefs are just a few, and they’re all within easy reach of the historic dockyard where your ship will be moored.

Explore ancient forts and sleepy rural towns. Join a snorkel tour and drift over dazzling reefs and mysterious wrecks. Learn about the island’s history in several excellent museums. Admire the view from Gibbs Lighthouse, one of the oldest cast-iron lighthouses in the world. Head out at sunset on a romantic catamaran cruise, sipping the island’s famous rum as the sun sinks into the fiery horizon. As you’ll dock overnight on your Bermuda cruise, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the lively pubs and restaurants of Royal Naval Dockyard, too.

Cruises to Royal Naval Dockyard, Bermuda

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Top Sights & Attractions on Cruises to Royal Naval Dockyard

Horseshoe Bay Beach

Bermuda is famous for its exquisite pink sandy beaches, which get their color from the crushed shells of tiny sea creatures that mix with the quartz sand. Horseshoe Bay Beach is one of the most beautiful, and the most photographed places to visit. Soft pink sands are fringed by rocky outcrops, and aquamarine water invites you in for a dip. Beach umbrellas, snorkel gear, and boogie boards are available to rent.

The Constellation & Montana Wrecks

Bermuda’s coral reefs were historically treacherous to ships and have claimed more than 300 wrecks. Two of these, the Constellation and the Montana, are easy to see on a snorkel tour as they lie close together in shallow, clear water. As well as the wrecks, you’ll see brilliant corals and schools of brightly colored reef fish. Your snorkel boat captain will tell you about the myths and legends of the Bermuda Triangle, too.

National Museum of Bermuda

Delve into four centuries of history at the fascinating National Museum of Bermuda. It’s located in the Keep, the largest fort of Royal Naval Dockyard, and features more than 80,000 unique objects. You’ll see old photographs, antique maps, historic documents, artifacts rescued from various shipwrecks, boats, cannons, and other treasures. There are exhibits explaining Bermuda’s connection with the West Indies, the slave trade, and the role the island played during both World Wars.

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Things to Do in Royal Naval Dockyard, Bermuda

Marvel at the Crystal & Fantasy Caves

Discover Bermuda beneath the ground in these dazzling limestone caves, dripping with sparkling, sugar-white stalactites that are reflected in a shimmering subterranean lake. The water is so clear that stalagmites 50 feet deep appear to hover just below the surface. The caves, more than a million years old, were discovered by two teenagers in 1907 and are one of the island’s most popular attractions today.

Wander Around St. George’s

Visit historic St. George’s, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that’s a 45-minute ferry ride from Royal Naval Dockyard. Wander through narrow cobblestone lanes and admire colorful old homes and landmarks. These include the 17th-century St. Peter's Church, the ruins of the Gothic Unfinished Church, and St. George’s Historical Society Museum. Visit the Bermuda Perfumery for a tour and a chance to buy fragrances made from the essences of tropical flowers.

Cycle the Railway Trail

Walk, jog, or cycle the historic Railway Trail, which winds through lush landscapes for 18 miles. The original railway operated from 1931 to 1948, but was transformed into a trail in 1964 and is now protected as a national park. No motorized vehicles are allowed, which makes cycling this beautiful route a joy. The trail is fringed with tropical trees and fragrant flowers. Allow time for plenty of stops to gaze at breathtaking views of the azure sea and pretty coves.

Top Food & Drink in Royal Naval Dockyard

Bermuda has an eclectic cuisine for such a small island. Often, the tastiest dishes are from food trucks and tiny, family-run establishments. Look out for fried fish sandwiches, served on raisin bread with coleslaw, tartar sauce, and Bermudian hot pepper sauce. Boiled cod with a tomato and onion sauce is a classic Bermudian breakfast, while fish chowder is spiced with rum and a dash of hot pepper sauce. Hoppin’ John is a hearty dish of rice, black-eyed peas, bacon, and onions. Fresh banana and gingerbread, boozy rum cakes, and cinnamon buns are all sweet treats to try.

Cocktail lovers should try the island’s two national cocktails. Dark ‘n’ Stormy is a heady mix of dark Gosling’s rum and ginger beer, while a Rum Swizzle contains rum, fruit juice, and grenadine, served over ice. If you prefer non-alcoholic drinks, island-made ginger beer is refreshing on a hot day.

Culture & History of Royal Naval Dockyard

Bermuda is believed to have been discovered by Spanish captain Juan de Bermudez in 1505. Bermudez claimed the island in the name of Spain, but the Spanish never inhabited the island.

In 1609, a fleet of nine ships sailed from England to Jamestown, Virginia, under the order of the Virginia Company. One ship, the Sea Venture, under the command of Admiral George Somers, was wrecked on Bermuda’s reefs. The admiral ordered two new ships to be built out of the wreckage and the crew continued their journey to Jamestown. In 1612, the Virginia Company sent a ship to settle the island of Bermuda and these 60 English settlers established the town of St. George’s. Many Africans were enslaved on the island until slavery was abolished throughout the British Empire in 1833.

Bermuda was an important naval base thanks to its position between North America and Britain, although the British Navy left in the 1950s. The island today is a British Overseas Territory with a lively, colorful culture that blends influences from colonial Britain with African heritage.

Royal Naval Dockyard Cruise Port Facilities & Location

The Royal Naval Dockyard is located at the west end of Bermuda. This historic port is packed with entertainment and facilities. Straight off the ship, you’ll find taxis, scooter and bicycle rental, a free shuttle “train”, ferry docks, visitor information, bars, souvenir and duty-free shops, and restaurants. There are several attractions within walking distance, including the Maritime Museum, a glass-blowing studio and gallery, mini golf, and a beach for snorkeling. Many of the cafés offer free Wi-Fi to customers.

Transportation in Royal Naval Dockyard

There are multiple ways to get around Royal Naval Dockyard and beyond. Under your own steam, you could rent a scooter or bicycle. Otherwise, there are minibusses offering shared rides, taxis, local buses, and ferries to Hamilton, the capital, and St. George’s, which are all clearly signposted. If you just want to stay within the Dockyard area, there’s a free tourist “train” connecting the main sights.

Shopping Near Royal Naval Dockyard

During your time in Bermuda, you can shop for local souvenirs like rum, rum cake, spicy pepper sauces, ceramics, linen, locally made fragrance, cedarwood items, and glassware. Royal Naval Dockyard has an impressive selection of shops where you can find all of these. Try the Crown & Anchor and Island Outfitters if you want to take home a pair of famous Bermuda shorts. You can buy hand-blown glass at Bermuda Glassworks, and rum-laced cake at Bermuda Rum Cakes. The Bermuda Arts Centre is also part of the Dockyard and features the work of local artists.

You’ll find more local crafts in the Bermuda Craft Market in the historic Cooperage, the same building as the lively Frog & Onion Pub. The Dockyard Pharmacy goes beyond being a regular pharmacy and also sells flip flops, beach gear, and food. The Clocktower Mall, meanwhile, has more than 20 shops selling clothing, souvenirs, and crafts.

Local Currency & Tipping Customs

Bermuda’s currency is the Bermuda Dollar, which has the same value as the U.S. Dollar. Visitors may use USD to purchase just about anything around the island as it is widely accepted, though change may be given in Bermuda Dollars. Credit cards are accepted in most places.

Tipping is welcome in Bermuda and is customary for a job well done. In restaurants, a tip of 15% to 17% is often already included in the bill, in which case it’s up to you whether you want to add more. Tip taxi drivers up to 15% on top of the fare, and good tour guides 10% of the cost of the tour.

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