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Kings Wharf, Bermuda

Kings Wharf is a popular cruise destination in Bermuda. 
Bermuda is a self-governing British overseas territory in the Atlantic Ocean north of the Caribbean, off the coast of North America east of North Carolina. It is one of the last remnants of the British colonial empire in North America. Although it is not located in the Caribbean, it shares a lot of cultural similarities with much of the English-speaking Caribbean and so is treated as such here.

Topography

Bermuda consists of about 138 islands and islets, with all the major islands aligned on a hook-shaped, but roughly east-west, axis and connected together by road bridges. Despite this complexity, Bermudans usually refer to Bermuda as "the island." In terms of terrain, the islands are comprised of low hills separated by fertile depressions and interspersed with a complex set of waterways.

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Kings Wharf, Bermuda

Destination:

Kings Wharf is a popular cruise destination in Bermuda. 
Bermuda is a self-governing British overseas territory in the Atlantic Ocean north of the Caribbean, off the coast of North America east of North Carolina. It is one of the last remnants of the British colonial empire in North America. Although it is not located in the Caribbean, it shares a lot of cultural similarities with much of the English-speaking Caribbean and so is treated as such here.

Topography

Bermuda consists of about 138 islands and islets, with all the major islands aligned on a hook-shaped, but roughly east-west, axis and connected together by road bridges. Despite this complexity, Bermudans usually refer to Bermuda as "the island." In terms of terrain, the islands are comprised of low hills separated by fertile depressions and interspersed with a complex set of waterways.

The inhabited island chain is actually the southern sector of a circular pseudo-atoll, the remainder of the coral ring being submerged or inter-tidal reefs (Bermuda was formed volcanically but is not a true atoll). As a result, the northern shores of the inhabited islands are relatively sheltered, whilst the southern shores are exposed to the ocean swell. Consequently, most of the best beaches are on the southern shore.

Climate

The best time to visit Bermuda is spring to autumn. Although the island is an associate member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), it is not actually in the Caribbean Sea and has a different climate. It is much farther north, but the warm waters of the Gulf Stream help give it a quasi-tropical atmosphere.

The islands have ample rainfall but no rivers or freshwater lakes. As a result, drinking water is collected on the roofs of all buildings (by law) and in special catchment areas, and stored in tanks under the ground for each home or property. Bermuda has a mild, humid subtropical maritime climate though gales and strong winds are common in winter. The hurricane season is from June to November.


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Kings Wharf, Bermuda: Port Information


Usually, all big cruise ships dock at this port.
It will take you only about 20 minutes by taxi or ferry to get to downtown Hamilton.
You can also use a bus to get there. However, it will take much longer.

The port has two terminals - King’s Wharf and Heritage Wharf. Both terminals have visitor information centers.

Get around Kings Wharf, Bermuda


Public transport

The islands benefit from a good bus service, which connects all parts of the islands to Hamilton. The bus is the cheapest way to get around, and it can be a good idea to use it, but it has some negative sides. The timetable is not always respected and, especially outside of Hamilton, Bermudians will often wait 15 or even 30 minutes at the bus stop (don't blame them, if they say the bus will come in a moment: time is relative in such a beautiful place)! Bus drivers are well educated, however the first time you catch a bus, you will be scared by the fact that buses will regularly hit the leaves of palms and other plants as they travel very very close to the side of the street, and by the speed reached in some streets, despite the official low-speed limit. Bus frequency is very good in some areas, but this is only until about 6 PM; afterwards it is impossible to reach many parts of the islands by bus. The buses are air-conditioned and used equally by locals and visitors. If you plan to use the bus, it will be much more convenient if you buy a multiple-day travel pass in a post office in St.George or Hamilton. When catching a bus look out for the pink and blue painted poles which denote bus stops; pink indicates buses heading into Hamilton; blue heading out from Hamilton. Buses will not accept passengers with a lot of luggage, thus they are not a recommended means of transportation from or to the airport. More information available from:

  • Department of Public Transportation, ☎ +1 441 292-3851. Operators of the bus service.

There are also passenger ferries which ply the waters of Hamilton Harbour and the Great Sound and are a great way of getting to Somerset and the Dockyard. There is also a ferry service between the Dockyard and St. George. Transportation passes valid on both buses and ferries are available for unlimited use for periods of 1 to 31 days. Ask the bus driver for a transfer if you must connect to another line. If embarking from a cruise ship at the Dockyard the ferry is the most cost-effective way to get to Hamilton. If you wish to visit St. George by ferry, do this on a day your cruise ship does not embark from Bermuda.

  • Sea Express, ☎ +1 441 295-4506. (operators of the ferry service).

Taxis

Taxis are another easy way of getting around the islands. They are available at taxi stands on Front St. in Hamilton, at the major hotels or by phone. All taxis are fitted with a meter.

With many services in Bermuda, but especially with taxis (though not with buses and ferries, which are very punctual), there is a concept of "Bermuda Time." You may find that when you call for a taxi to pick you up, they may not be as prompt as you would like. This may mean waiting an extra ten minutes, but remember that Bermuda is not at all fast-paced like many cities, it is much more laid back and relaxed here. So relax; you are on Bermuda time. Enjoy the views while you wait.

  • Bermuda Taxi Radio Cabs, Phone: +1 441 295-4141
  • Bermuda Taxi Association, Phone: +1 441 296-2121

Moped and cycle hire

Until the arrival of the US military during the second world war, cars were entirely banned from the islands. Even now hire cars are banned, and only residents are permitted to own cars. Motorized bicycles or mopeds are available for hire and heavily used by locals and tourists as well. If you wish to use mopeds, rentals are very common, regulated and priced competitively, but beware: "Road Rash" is a very common affliction affecting many tourists. The rule of the road is to drive on the left side of the road - like many Commonwealth countries.

  • Elbow Beach Cycles, Phone: +1 441 296-2300 - scooter rental, cycle rental, moped hire.
  • Oleander Cycles, ☎ +1 441 236-2453. Cycle rental.
  • Wheels Cycles (Astwood) Ltd., ☎ +1 441 292-2245. Cycle rental.

What to see in Kings Wharf, Bermuda


There is a surprisingly large number of excellent sightseeing places in this 21-square mile tiny island.

Main Sightseeing Attractions :

  • Town of St. George. A scenic UNESCO World Heritage Site and the oldest, continually inhabited British settlement in the New World. It boasts small winding streets with typical British Colonial architecture with fountains, gardens and squares, cobbled streets and plazas.
  • Bermuda Maritime Museum, ☎ +1 441 234-1418. Pender Rd., Royal Naval Dockyard. Take 1/2 a day to go to the Royal Naval Dockyard. After the loss of its naval bases during the American Revolutionary War, the British Royal Navy relocated the headquarters of its Atlantic Fleet here from 1812 to 1957. The old limestone storage buildings, keep and a fortress have been wisely redeveloped by the Bermuda Government into a tourist attraction and shopping center.
  • Bermuda Aquarium, Museum, and Zoo, 40 North Shore Rd, ☎ +1 441 293-2727. Flatts Village. Daily 9 AM-5 PM (last admission 4 PM). Centerpieced by a 140,000-gallon replica coral reef, this one of Bermuda's main attractions. Over three hundred birds, reptiles and mammals and 200 species of fish.
  • Crystal and Fantasy Caves, ☎ +1 441 293-0640. Wilkinson Avenue, Bailey's Bay. Daily 9:30 AM-4:30 PM (last admission 4:00). Two quite different caves to see.
  • Spittal Pond (note: This was heavily damaged by Hurricane Fabian in 2003 and the process of fixing the trails and trees is still ongoing.)
  • Devil's Hole Aquarium, Harrington Sound Road, Hamilton, +1 441 293-2727. Small but fun. "Fish" for reef fish and turtles with bait, but no hooks. Daily 9:30 AM–4:30 PM. 
  • Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute, 40 Crow Ln, East Broadway, Pembroke (just outside of Hamilton), ☎ +1 441 297-7219.
  • Bermuda National Trust Museum known as the Globe Hotel.
  • Gibbs Hill Lighthouse, St Anne's Road, Southampton. One of the oldest cast-iron structures in the world. First lit on May 1, 1846. You can climb its 180 steps to the observation deck surrounding the lamp, which offers spectacular views of the island and the waters around. There is a Tea Room at its base offering drinks and light fare.

What to do in Kings Wharf, Bermuda


Swim

Go to one of Bermuda's lovely pink sandy beaches:

  • Horseshoe Bay Beach, Southampton Parish. Beautiful pink sand beach bordered by rocky areas suitable for snorkeling. Probably the most photographed (and most popular) Bermudian beach. Be aware that it may be crowded with cruise ship tourists, whose number one stop is often this beach. The surf can get rough at times here. There are bathroom facilities, beach rentals, and food concessions. Lifeguards in summer. Be sure to look for the impressive sea caves and tunnels.
  • Elbow Beach, Tribe Road #4, Paget Parish. Another beautiful pink sand beach between Coral Beach, Elbow Beach and Coco Reef hotels.
  • Tobacco Bay, St. George Parish. A boulder-sheltered, shallow, warm-water beach which can become quite crowded with cruise ship passengers. Can be reached on foot from St. George square or shuttles are readily available. Another walk will take you to nearby Fort St. Catherine. Restrooms, food concession, beach rentals.
  • Achilles Bay / St. Catherine's Bay, Northeastern St. George Parish. Can be reached on foot from St. George square or shuttles are readily available. Adjacent to Fort St. Catherine. Restrooms, food concession nearby, beach rentals.
  • Clearwater Beach / Turtle Beach / Turtle Bay / Long Bay / Well Bay / Soldier Bay, in St. David's near the eastern end of the airport runway. Located on former US Air Base lands used for NASA tracking station at Cooper's Island. Restrooms, food concession, and bar. Children's playground. Lifeguards during the summer months.
  • John Smith's Bay Beach, Hamilton Parish. Nice pink sand beach. Summer lifeguards. Usually a mobile food concession.
  • Shelly Bay, North Shore Road, Hamilton Parish. Lots of shallow water and a large playground make this great choice for families with small kids. Not far from Flatts Village and the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo. Restrooms, beach rentals, food concession.
  • Chaplin Bay / Stonehole Bay / Warwick Long Bay, South Road, Warwick Parish. Warwick Long Bay is a very large beach. It's less popular than the other large beaches due to its relatively steep sand slope, and strong undercurrent. Chaplin and Stonehole bays, along with the accompanying Jonson's Cove, are pristine, picture postcard settings. They are made up of small and medium-sized sandy inlets.
  • Snorkel Park, ☎ +1 441 234-6989. Royal Naval Dockyard. A limestone tunnel through the keep's wall puts you on the beachfront for snorkeling or water sports. This is often a popular stop for passengers coming off the cruise ships and reluctant to leave the Dockyard area.

Golf

Bermuda has many golf courses and driving ranges spread out along its length.

  • St. George Golf Course, St. George Parish, north of the Town of St. George.
  • Tuckers Point Golf Course / Mid Ocean Golf Course, St. George Parish, near Tucker's Town.
  • Ocean View Golf Course, Devonshire Parish on the northern shore.
  • Horizons Golf Course, Paget Parish south-west. (9 holes)
  • Belmont Hills Golf Course, Warwick Parish east.
  • Riddell's Bay Golf and Country Club, Warwick Parish west.
  • Fairmount Southampton Princess Golf Course, Southampton Parish east.
  • Port Royal Golf Course, Southampton Parish west.
  • Bermuda Golf Academy and Driving Range, Southampton Parish west.

Explore

Bermuda Railway Trail

The bed of the former Bermuda Railway which was dismantled in 1948 after 17 years of service. Many sections still exist as a public walking trail stretching from St. George Town in the east end, through Pembroke Parish near the City of Hamilton and on toward Somerset Village in the west end. Many station houses, trestle footings, and railway ties can be found. It offers spectacular views of the island and waters along its length.

Bermuda Forts

Bermuda has many examples of large fortifications and smaller batteries spread throughout the island which were built between 1612 after first settlement and manned until 1957. For its small size, the island had approximately 100 fortifications built. Many have been restored, primarily the larger ones, and are open to the public with dioramas and displays. Many have their original cannons in place. Some lie on outlying islands and islets and can only be accessed via boat, or have been incorporated into private properties and resorts. Some of those which can be accessed are:

  • Fort St. Catherine, St. George Parish north (has displays and dioramas and replica Crown Jewels)
  • Gates Fort, St. George Parish east (guarding Town Cut channel entrance)
  • Alexandra Battery, St. George Parish east
  • Fort George, St. George Parish (overlooking the Town of St. George)
  • St. David's Battery, St. George Parish east
  • Martello Tower / Ferry Island Fort, St. George Parish west (at Ferry Reach)
  • King's Castle / Devonshire Redoubt / Landward Fort, St. George Parish south (on Castle Island, accessed via boat)
  • Fort Hamilton, Pembroke Parish (overlooking the City of Hamilton)
  • Whale Bay Battery, Southampton Parish west.
  • Fort Scaur, Sandys Parish (overlooking the waters of the Great Sound)
  • The Keep at the Dockyard, Sandys Parish (within the Maritime Museum)

What to eat and drink in Kings Wharf, Bermuda


Eat

Two relatively unique Bermudian dishes are salted codfish, boiled with potatoes, the traditional Sunday breakfast, and Hoppin' John, a simple dish of boiled rice and black-eyed peas. Shark hash was made, fish cakes were traditional on Fridays, hotcross buns at Easter, and cassava or farine pies at Christmas. With the high-end tourist market, great effort has been expended by hotel and restaurant chefs in developing an ostensibly 'traditional Bermudian cuisine', although this has usually meant adapting other cuisines, from West Indian to Californian, in line with the expectations of visiting clientele. Most pubs serve a typical British Pub fare, although the number of these establishments has diminished as premises are lost to development, or establishments are redeveloped to target the tourist market (note the loss of the Ram's Head, the White Heron, the Rum Runner, and the Cock and Feather (redeveloped into the Pickled Onion, with a nouveau menu)). On the other hand, over the same period Bermuda gained its first and only Irish pub, Flannagan's. While lobster and other seafoods are often featured on the menu, virtually everything is imported from the US or Canada. Although this shows in the price of even casual dining and groceries, it should be noted that locally produced foodstuffs are typically less varied, poorer quality, produced in smaller quantities, and more expensive. Most bananas, for instance, will have a 'Chiquita' sticker and are larger than those grown locally (which do have the advantage of ripening on the plant).

Restaurants and Dining Options

Restaurants can be found all over the island, with the largest concentration in the city of Hamilton and St George town. Also, there are several at some of the hotels which are outstanding, although pricey. At Elbow Beach Hotel, Cafe lido is excellent, and Southampton Fairmont Waterlot Inn, although sometimes crowded and noisy, has excellent dining.

Remember that with most restaurants, the closer you are to the cruise ship docks, the more expensive the menu will be. Most cruise ship passengers have a short time in which to experience Bermuda, and if they don't eat on the ship, most will be reluctant to leave the town to eat. The restaurants in proximity to the cruise ship docks in, say, St. George's can be as much as three times as expensive as a comparable one in, say, Somerset Village.

  • Traveler's Price Card (TPC), 8 Crows Nest Hill. 24. Although shopping may seem relatively expensive in Bermuda there are some ways to save money. Traveler's Price Card (Tpc) offers exclusive deals at over 60 locations. It can be purchased online or at the Hamilton VIC, Dockyard VIC, Juice & Beans and at numerous hotels. 

Local dishes

Local specialties include:

  • Cassava pie. Farine is an alternate base. Traditionally eaten at Christmas, but becoming more commonly found in local markets year round.
  • Bay grape jelly. Bay grapes were introduced as a windbreak. Although, like Surinam cherries and loquats, they are found throughout Bermuda, and produce edible fruit, none of these plants are cultivated for agriculture in Bermuda, and their fruits are normally eaten from the tree, primarily by school children.
  • Bermuda Bananas which are smaller and sweeter than others are often eaten on Sunday mornings with codfish and potatoes.
  • Fish is eaten widely in the form of local tuna, wahoo, and rockfish. Local fish is a common feature on restaurant menus across the island.
  • Fish Chowder seasoned with sherry pepper sauce and dark rum is a favorite across the island.

Drink

Bermuda has two popular drinks:

  • Rum Swizzle which is a rum cocktail made of Demerera Rum (amber rum) and Jamaican Rum (dark rum) along with an assortment of citrus juices. Sometimes brandy is added to the mixture as well. Note, it is quite strong. According to local lore, it was named after the Swizzle Inn (although swizzle 1 is a term that originated in England, possibly in the 18th Century) where it was said to be developed.
  • Dark n' Stormy is a highball of Gosling's Black Seal, a dark blend of local rums, mixed with Barritt's Bermuda Stone Ginger Beer.

Both drinks are comparatively very sweet.

Shopping in Kings Wharf, Bermuda


Bermuda's currency is the Bermudian dollar (International currency code BMD) symbolized as $ (sometimes also B$), which is divided into 100 cents. It comes in all the same denominations as US currency, except for a more widely used dollar coin and a two dollar bill. The currency is directly tied to US currency, so one US dollar always equals one Bermudian dollar and US dollars are accepted everywhere in Bermuda at par. Bermudian dollars are not, however, accepted in the United States.

Costs

Bermuda can be expensive. Because of Bermuda's steep import tax, all goods sold in stores that come from off the island carry a significant markup. When buying groceries or other (non-souvenir) items of that nature, be aware that the best prices are usually away from the more "touristy" areas. Go to where the locals go.

Shopping

A nice assortment of stores exists in Hamilton, especially on Front Street, which faces the harbor and is one of the main shopping streets. The area can be explored easily by foot. In recent years, two of the largest and oldest department stores on Front Street have closed. However, A.S. Coopers, first established in 1897, remains.

Shopping can also be found in the easily walked town of St George as well as in Dockyard, which has a small shopping mall. Smaller stores can be found throughout the island offering a variety of goods.

Safety in Kings Wharf, Bermuda


Violent crime is becoming increasingly problematic in Bermuda but is still very rare compared to other destinations in the Caribbean. Most crime is petty like robbery. Using common sense and similar precautions that one would take at home is usually sufficient enough to deter most thieves.

Mopeds are very frequent targets for theft; make sure that you properly lock up any rented moped when leaving them unattended. Also, rented mopeds have a tendency to get into accidents due to the sometimes narrow roads as well as driving on the left-hand side, which may take getting used to. Using common sense and keeping calm in the traffic, which can appear quite close helps.

Homosexuality is seen as taboo in public in Bermuda even if it is allowed by law in private. The local gay community exists on a more low-key scale than elsewhere, and there are no gay specific venues.

Note that Bermuda has no right to concealed weapons except for government officers.

Stay healthy

Bermuda can get very hot during the day, so a bottle of water is very handy for those venturing more than a short distance from their hotels.

Health care in Bermuda is incredibly expensive and is roughly at American standards. There is one hospital on the island, the King Edward VII Memorial, with emergency services, including a decompression chamber. Air Ambulance service is available to additional medical services on the East Coast of the US. There is no government-funded National Health Service.
 

Language spoken in Kings Wharf, Bermuda


The official and main spoken language is English, although many Bermudians have a strong accent. Bermuda has a unique accent not really similar to any other Caribbean country. Most people claim it resembles the Southern US in some cases. Portuguese is the second most widely spoken language.

LOCAL TIME

9:28 am
November 17, 2019
Atlantic/Bermuda

CURRENT WEATHER

23.8 °C / 74.84 °F
heavy intensity rain
Mon

24.31 °C/76 °F
moderate rain
Tue

23.73 °C/75 °F
light rain
Wed

21.37 °C/70 °F
light rain
Thu

19.49 °C/67 °F
light rain

LOCAL CURRENCY

BMD

1 USD = 0 BMD
1 EUR = 0 BMD
1 GBP = 0 BMD
1 AUD = 0 BMD
1 CAD = 0 BMD

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