A WORLD-CLASS DESTINATION FOR VISITORS, ROYAL NAVAL DOCKYARD IN THE WEST END WILL AMAZE YOU WITH ALL ITS OFFERINGS. What once operated as the largest British naval base outside of the United Kingdom, Royal Naval Dockyard — simply called Dockyard by locals — is a living historic and cultural landmark that’s now one of Bermuda’s top entertainment destinations. Much of the fort’s limestone, Georgian-style architecture has been preserved and is a sight to see in its own right. But what was once a military bastion has been successfully converted into a modern entertainment hot spot — very nearly a village of its own — in recent decades. And a visit here to Bermuda’s West End promises history, culture, adventure and family fun in a compact, pedestrian-friendly locale. But before we get into the modern attractions that draw tourists and locals to Dockyard today, it’s worth stepping back in time for a brief history of the place. Dive into History After losing the American War of Independence in 1783, and with no American ports at their disposal, Britain sought a port in the mid-Atlantic, between Halifax and the West Indies, from which it could face off America and France and also easily access its interests in the Caribbean. Bermuda’s central geographic position, as you might guess, made it a prime choice. In 1809, slaves laid the first local stones that would become Royal Naval Dockyard’s foundation, and convicts from Britain followed as the next wave of labourers after emancipation. From the War of 1812 until just after World War II, Royal Naval Dockyard and the base played an integral role in strategic defence for Britain. It wasn’t until 1951 that the Royal Navy officially pulled out from Bermuda. And in the first years after the Bermuda government purchased Dockyard in 1953, the area saw little use and began to fall into disrepair. But soon enough, plans were set into motion to preserve Dockyard as a public gathering ground and park. Explore 500 years of history at the National Museum of Bermuda, housed within the island’s largest fort. The 15-acre property includes British military buildings of the Keep citadel and the award-winning Commissioner’s House. Inside its limestone walls, learn about Bermuda’s links with the West Indies and the Azores; trans-Atlantic slavery; and the island’s defence through two World Wars. Don’t miss artist Graham Foster’s 1,000-square-foot Hall of History mural. On the lower grounds, visit Shipwreck Island, an exhibit showcasing Spanish gold and other artefacts. Kids will love the Museum Playground, complete with a slide and 70-foot moray eel. Open April through November from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (last admission at 4 p.m.); December through March from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (last admission at 3 p.m.) Free for children under 16. (234-1418, 234-1333; nmb.bm) One of the most entertaining ways to learn about Dockyard’s fascinating history is the free Historical Re-enactment and Walking Tour. Offered every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 9:30 a.m. from May 5 through October 3, you can experience this amazing look into the past. A Modern Draw Development of Royal Naval Dockyard has been guided by the West End Development Corporation (WEDCO), with a variety of events and amenities for adults and families in mind. WEDCO’s goal, says Joanna Cranfield, business development manager, is to continue developing in Dockyard “a worldclass destination built proudly on the past but looking firmly to the future.” Testament to WEDCO’s success: The challenge for most visitors is choosing what to do first. Various entertainment is available during the summer months in the evenings, and numerous free evening events are planned each year, the details of which are available on the WEDCO website or Facebook page. (234-1709, thewestend.bm) The Dockyard Visitor Information Centre is conveniently located in the gazebo adjacent to the cruise ship pier and bus and ferry stops. The Visitor Centre offers up-to-date information on Bermuda events, attractions, tours and transport. You can also pick up your public transportation passes for the buses and ferries. Wi-Fi and phone cards are also available for purchase. (296-9400) Year-Round Events From festive holiday gatherings in December to regularly scheduled concerts and themed festivals during the summer months, there’s always something happening at Dockyard. And the events draw out locals as much as they do visitors, offering a great chance to mingle with Bermudians. The WEDCO website is the spot to check for updates on current happenings. But whether you plan to visit during one of the big annual to-dos or just pop by on a whim, you can count on a world of activities and experiences to fill up your day. Time to Play Dockyard is full of exciting tours and activities on land and sea. And with some of the best winds on the island and a great beach just steps away from the stores, you’ll want to dive in right away. Situated on an acre of oceanfront property, Bermuda Fun Golf features 18 challenging holes designed after famous holes in U.S., Scotland and Bermuda. Special features include the Sunset Terrace, affording incredible views of Bermuda’s magnificent sunsets, and Caddyshack, their fully licenced bar, great for a casual beverage, party or corporate function. Catering is available for all of your special events. When the sun sets, enjoy their “Glow in the Dark” night golf. Fun Golf is the perfect venue for the seasoned golfer and the family alike. Come join them and “putt a round!” Summer and winter hours are seven days a week, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; however, during the winter months, week days are by reservation only. Prices are $15 for adults and $12 for children 12 years of age and under. (400-7888; email@example.com, fungolf.bm; Twitter/Facebook: Bermuda Fun Golf; Instagram: bermudafungolf) It’s hard being on an island like Bermuda without getting in the water. In Dockyard, there are plenty of opportunities to get wet and have fun. Dolphin Quest, located at the National Museum of Bermuda, is a place where you can let loose, laugh and have loads of fun swimming with dolphins. Experience the thrill of a lifetime as you touch, swim with and even kiss a dolphin. Programmes are available for adults, children, families and groups. Dolphin Quest is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Reserve your encounter by phone or online. (234-4464, dolphinquest.com) Fantasea Diving & Watersports is the only PADI diving centre in historic Royal Naval Dockyard. It is located at the Dockyard Watersports Centre, the ideal jumping-off point for unbeatable diving, snorkelling and watersport opportunities. Their 40-foot custom dive boat and professional staff will transport you to some of Bermuda’s most renowned shipwreck and reef sites quickly and comfortably. Visit their beachside training centre for SNUBA or SCUBA lessons; learn about Bermuda’s unique ecosystem and history on a guided kayak, hike or bike tour; or unwind on one of their legendary sunset rum cruises. Their brand new self-drive pontoon boats are the perfect way to explore the nearby secluded islands and beaches, and their fully crewed 40-foot and 60-foot power catamarans are ideal for private group excursions. No matter what your interests, they have the resources to make your Bermuda vacation truly memorable. (236-DIVE , 236-1300; fantasea.bm) Island Tour Centre is Bermuda’s No. 1 provider of recreational sightseeing tours, activities and charters. With over 25 years of local tour experience, countless options, easy online reservations and conveniently located booking offices, they are the first stop for your best Bermuda vacation experience ever. Choose from unbeatable diving and snorkelling opportunities, award-winning eco- and adventure tours, leisurely sightseeing excursions, heart-racing thrill rides, and boat cruises to suit every taste imaginable. If you prefer to explore on your own, their knowledgeable staff can assist you with equipment rentals and private charter options. From luxury yachts to party bus pub crawls, they have it all. Visit their website, call or drop by their booking offices, conveniently located at 6 Dockyard Terrace (across from the ferry stop), which is in walking distance of the bus, ferry and Dockyard cruise ship terminals. (236-1300, islandtourcentre.com) Get ready to have the time of your life with K. S. WaterSports (Thrill Adventures, Rentals & Tours), Bermuda’s No. 1 watersports company for fun and adventure. They offer Jet Ski tours, parasailing, boat rentals, private boat charters and WildCat high-speed boat tours out of Royal Naval Dockyard. Experience the thrill of a lifetime on one of their amazing Jet Ski Adventures, which are rated one of the best fun activities to do in Bermuda. Splash and dash throughout Bermuda’s aqua blue waters as their friendly, fun and knowledgeable guides show you some of the best places to see on the water, plus point out many historic landmarks too. Some of their Jet Ski Adventures even stop off at a shipwreck to feed fish, at a pink sandy beach area for a short swim or near hidden coves to spot sea turtles. Lowest Jet Ski rates in Bermuda with several exciting Jet Ski Adventures to choose from. Two-hour, three-hour and half-day private Jet Ski tours are available. Instructions provided to all participants to ensure a safe and memorable experience. All ages welcome. Must be 16 years or older (by law) to drive a Jet Ski. Fancy something a little more daring and exciting? Then experience the high-flying thrill, panoramic views and pure excitement of parasailing. Soar over crystal-clear waters aboard the Thrill Seeker. This powerful winch boat allows you to take off and land without getting wet, unless, of course, you request a dip. The professional crew assures you of a safe and memorable experience. Looking for the ultimate thrill ride or sightseeing adventure? Then step aboard the WildCat, Bermuda’s spectacular tour boat sensation and rated one of the best sightseeing adventure tours and must-do’s in Bermuda. The WildCat is a high-speed powered catamaran that takes passengers on an exhilarating and exciting sightseeing adventure around the entire island of Bermuda. See more of the island in less time whilst enjoying the speed, comfort and safety of the WildCat; not to mention, it’s one fun, wild ride. Tours are narrated from start to finish. No trip to Bermuda would be complete without a thrilling WildCat ride. Want to plan your very own adventure? Rent one of their brand new 13- or 16-foot Boston Whaler boats or their larger 23-foot pontoon boats. Whether half day or full day, beginner or experienced driver, their instructors will have you up and ready to captain your own boat in no time, so you can head out on the water and explore Bermuda at your own leisure. A detailed map with routes and points of interest to see is provided with every boat rental. Or you can privately charter one of their 23- to 55-foot premium charter boats which are perfectly priced for smaller groups, families and friends who want to relax and explore Bermuda’s waters in style and comfort. Swim, snorkel, tour the island, picnic, relax and more. Your dedicated Captain will customise your experience to suit all your needs. Located at the Dockyard Watersports Centre, across from the Bone Fish Bar & Grill (441-238- 4155, or book online at kswatersports.com). Don’t forget to visit their other locations in Hamilton and St. George’s, which offer Jet Ski tours, boat rentals, kayaks, paddleboards, Hobie Cats and private boat charters. Kirk’s Coral Reef Adventures offers a wide range of different boat tours and private charters. Some of their tours include Snorkelling, Glass Bottom, Fishing, Sail & Snorkelling, Bermuda Triangle Night, and Banana Boat Tubing. With eight different boats to choose from, your options are endless. Their smaller boats are perfect for intimate settings, and their larger boats come equipped with a full bar, stereo system, lights and an upper- and lower-deck dance floor for a great party atmosphere. Their boats are perfect for celebrating special events like birthdays, weddings, themed parties and even whale watching. Give them a call and let them know what you want and they will work with you to create the perfect experience ever. (747-2204, 234- 2193; kirksadventures.com) Dockyard’s Snorkel Park Beach may be the most fun beach in Bermuda because all the exciting watersports and activities you want are in one fantastic beachfront location. Bermuda’s all-in-one entertainment destination and beach complex. Rent a Jet Ski for a guided island tour. Kayak or snorkel over stunning coral reefs, just feet from the sheltered beach. Snorkel Park Beach is located just steps away from the National Museum of Bermuda. Relax and enjoy spectacular views, sunsets, great food and refreshing drinks at Hammerheads Bar & Grill or Club Aqua. Join them for evening drinks and dinner and a sunset bonfire on the beach. Picture a relaxing evening on the beach with a DJ playing island sounds in the background, a frosty cool rum drink in your hand, a beautiful oceanic view, and a roaring fire by your toes. Come and roast marshmallows, take a romantic walk by the shore, lap your toes in the waves, dance the night away to the rhythmic sounds or just sit and wait to catch a glimpse of the green flash on the horizon. Relax, unwind and enjoy the island life. (234-6989 main, 234-3100 watersports; snorkelparkbeach.com) Pieces of Bermuda As you make your way through Maritime Lane, you’ll see an array of artisans and artists hard at work and opening their doors for you. Pop in to any of the galleries to view how they create beautiful masterpieces that you can take home. The Bermuda Craft Market has the largest collection of Bermuda-made crafts and products on the island. As you wander around the historic building, you will see craftsmen at work. Please stop and chat with them. All items are available for purchase and include Bermuda banana dolls, sterling and 14-karat gold-filled jewellery, pottery, candles, handmade soaps, sea glass pendants, cedar bowls, jams and jellies, and lots more. (234-3208, craftmarket.bm) But the delights of Dockyard don’t end with artistic creations. The Bermuda Rum Cake Company is the only micro bakery on the island, and it’s dedicated to the incredible island indulgence, Bermuda Rum Cake, which is made with the island’s rum — Gosling’s Black Seal — at 80 proof. Six samples to taste daily are Traditional Rum, Rum and Ginger, Rum Swizzle, Banana Rum, Coconut Rum and Rich Dark Chocolate Rum. They also offer special seasonal cakes. Truly delicious. This is the only rum cake made in Bermuda other than every Bermudian’s Aunty and Grandma’s. (234-4216, bermudarumcakes.com) Right next to The Bermuda Rum Cake Company, the glistening of marvellous creations will likely catch your eye. That’s the Dockyard Glassworks Glass Gallery & Working Studio, where artists will tempt your senses. Come see hot molten glass, like light on the move, as creations happen. Relax in the comfy theatre as you experience the expertise and drama. Lampwork artists prepare small sculptural collectible creatures, many native to the island. Shop in the colourful Glass Gallery, open daily 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and till 9 p.m. when ships are docked (234-4216, dockglass. Com). The Bermuda Rum Cake Company and Dockyard Glassworks Gallery both offer overseas shipping via FedEx, or they have next-day delivery to your accommodation. Duty-free always. As you round your way through the stores and back to the pier, you’ll also have the chance to restock on anything you may need or have forgotten for your day’s activities. Located at the entrance to Dockyard, The Dockshop at Pier 41 Marina offers berthing for both local and visiting yachts, as well as a variety of marine services. Visit the Dockshop by land or sea for all your cravings. Pick up a bottle of world-famous Gosling’s Rum or chill out waterside in their huge hammock with a Cuban cigar. They carry a variety of snacks, hot food, drinks, beer, liquor, fuel, marine items, fishing gear, ice, international calling cards and much more. (238-4141, pier41.bm) Dockyard Pharmacy opened its doors in 2009 as a division of Phoenix Drug Stores. The pharmacy stocks a wide selection of European and American prescription and over-thecounter medicines, as well as vitamins. It carries an assortment of local and international newspapers and magazines, European and American health and beauty supplies, snacks and beverages, postcards, greeting cards, souvenirs, beach gear and sun-care products. Open Monday to Sunday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., the pharmacy is located adjacent to popular tourist attractions in Royal Naval Dockyard. (279-5410, phoenixstores.bm) At The Bermuda Craft Market in Dockyard you will find Jennifer Rodrigues Designs’ beautiful hand-fabricated jewellery. Jennifer has a deep love and admiration for the natural beauty that the earth and ocean have to offer. Her natural gemstones, hand-forged into gorgeous pendants, and her Bermuda Pink Sand Collection will take your breath away. In sterling silver and 14-karat gold-filled, they are one-of-a-kind keepsakes to always remember your vacation experience in Bermuda. (232-1884, jrdesignsbda.com) Also located at The Bermuda Craft Market in Dockyard is Morrell Designs. As an artist, Lynn Morrell tries to re-create textures and shapes that capture her attention using sterling silver and semiprecious gems. The result is a wide range of hand-crafted Bermuda charms, earrings and pendants that celebrate her island home. She also loves to use individually sourced gemstones in interesting ways as well as colourful, semiprecious beads and freshwater pearls. Lynn’s jewellery is simple, elegant and very easy to wear. (236-7138, morrelldesigns.com) Tasty Delights A day of shopping or watersports at Dockyard will certainly work up an appetite. Fortunately, some of Bermudaâs best restaurants and bars are located right here, where youâll enjoy delicious food and deluxe libations and top off a wonderful day with friends and family. BermyBerry is located in the gazebo next to the Dockyard Visitor Centre. BermyBerry frozen yoghurt uses only fresh milk, fresh yoghurt and fresh fruit puree blended daily to make the perfect frozen BermyBerry yoghurt treat. Add your choice of toppings, from fresh fruit, a variety of nuts, wholesome granola and other sinful confections, to create your own unique mouthwatering BermyBerry experience. Live Light Bermuda! (292-3411) Bone Fish Bar & Grill boasts an exquisite view of Bermudaâs breezy Great Sound; an awardwinning, top-rated chef at the helm; plenty of fresh fish and top-grade meats. How can you go wrong? Bone Fish offers locals and tourists alike a reasonably priced menu with seafood, homemade pastas, a great wine list, draft beer and desserts to die for. Open seven days a week. Come to enjoy daily entertainment or have a magical cocktail beneath the sky at Boner Bar. All are welcome at the most happening place to eat in Dockyard. (234-5151, bonefish.bm) Cafe Amici, located at the corner of the Clocktower Mall, is an Italian family-style restaurant in the heart of historic Dockyard. It is a place for friends and family to gather and enjoy the spirit of Italian culture and cuisine, enjoying laughter, exceptional food and each other. Executive Chef and owner Livio Ferigo has created a menu with many of his favourite childhood dishes that he enjoyed whilst growing up in Italy. CafÃ© Amici offers a friendly intimate atmosphere, with casual attire and simple, uncomplicated and affordable Italian cuisine, as well as its Bermuda codfish and potato breakfast every Sunday from 9 a. m. to noon. Business or pleasure, visit for a flavourful and relaxing meal. It is open seven days a week, serving breakfast 9 to 11 a.m., lunch till 5:30 p. m. and dinner 6 to 10 p.m. CafÃ© Amici, where friends and family come together. Buon appetito. (234-5009) Hammerheads Bar & Grill at Snorkel Park Beach is the place to relax and unwind island-style. Enjoy delicious Bermudian and American food, classic snacks and the most refreshing frozen cocktails and Swizzles at the huge terrace bar whilst you take in spectacular beach and ocean views. Island favourites are served daily, and sunset dining features live entertainment on select weeknights. When the sun goes down, the nightlife heats up at the open-air, top-40 Club Aqua. (234-3100) No visit to Royal Naval Dockyard is complete without a visit to the Nannini HÃ¤agen-Dazs Ice Cream Parlour in the Clocktower Mall, open seven days a week and featuring only HÃ¤agen- Dazs ice cream, sorbets and frozen yoghurt. Treat yourself to one of the 16 flavours in a cone, sundae or milk shake. It can even be packed for you to take home. Nannini also offers a variety of indulgences from Italy. So give yourself a treat and visit the Nannini HÃ¤agen-Dazs Ice Cream Parlour. (234-2474)
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