ROYAL NAVAL DOCKYARD’S OFFERINGS ARE LIKE NONE OTHER ON BERMUDA, AND EXPLORING THEM IS A WORLD-CLASS ADVENTURE. 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, Georgianstyle 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, pedestrianfriendly 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 its 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. 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) A Modern Draw Development of Royal Naval Dockyard has been guided by the West End Development Corporation (WEDCO), with a variety of exciting events and useful amenities for adults and families in mind. WEDCO’s goal, says Joanna Cranfield, business development manager, is to continue developing in Royal Naval Dockyard “a world-class 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 with so many great options available. Various entertainment and activities are available day and night, 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) Year-Round Events From festive holiday gatherings in December to regularly scheduled concerts and themed festivals during the summer, 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 West End Development Corporation’s website, thewestend.bm, is the spot to check for current happenings. 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. Also, stop by the Dockyard Visitor Information Centre, which 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 is also available. (296-9400) Big Developments Royal Naval Dockyard continues to make history in many ways, including being selected as the home of the 2017 America’s Cup. The decision to have Royal Naval Dockyard host the prestigious America’s Cup has ushered in many changes, and presently development is under way on the South Basin. What once was water is being transformed into solid ground, which will be used as the spectator area and vendor village for the 2017 event. Catch a glimpse of this incredible development in progress whilst taking a ride on the Sea Express ferry or a tour boat as you head out to explore the island. You can also view the work that is being done from land as you venture just outside the main gates of Royal Naval Dockyard. And don’t miss the excitement in 2017 when all the action takes place. For more information on the America’s Cup, visit their website acbda.bm. 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 the 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, weekdays are by reservation only. Prices are $15 for adults and $12 for children 12 years of age and under. (400-7888; firstname.lastname@example.org, fungolf.bm; Twitter/Facebook: Bermuda Fun Golf; Instagram: bermudafungolf) Coconut Rockets has brought to Bermuda the world’s hottest, newest and most exciting watersport: “Flyboarding.” They actually teach adventurers like yourself to fly. Finally, those childhood dreams of being Superman, Superwoman or other superhero can be realised, and it is 100 percent safe and 500 percent exciting, as a water-propelled jet pack is strapped to your feet, enabling you to hover, dive, flip or spiral — although as a rookie, you will more than likely be hovering. But you will fly! Come and experience the most exciting watersport that Bermuda has to offer. You will not be disappointed. Coconut Rockets is located at Calico Jack’s Floating Bar, across from the Watersports Centre. (236-1300, 504-7197; coconutrockets.com) Dolphin Quest is a place where you can swim with beautiful dolphins in their oceanwater safe haven within the old stone fortress, now home to the National Museum of Bermuda, one of the world’s most extraordinary naval history museums. Feel the thrill of a lifetime as you touch, swim with and even kiss a dolphin. Enjoy a wide range of encounters for adults, children, families and groups. Dolphin Quest is open daily all year round from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Reserve your encounter online or by phone. Be inspired and make a difference. Your Dolphin Quest participation supports marine mammal education, conservation and scientific study. (234-4464, dolphinquest.com) Fantasea Diving & Watersports provides fun above and below the water. No certification is necessary for their Discover Scuba Lesson & Dive programme. They offer PADI certification courses and a two-tank wreck and reef dive. Take a short ride to a secluded island and enjoy a shallow-water snorkel. Try their power scooters and snorkel combo for a motorpropelled adventure. Go beyond snorkelling with tankless SNUBA for a dive experience with the simplicity of snorkelling. If you’d rather stay on the surface, experience their guided Eco-adventure Kayaking/Paddleboarding tour. Seasonal whale watching tours are offered from February through May. The ideal way to experience Bermuda is to rent your very own pontoon boat for a half- or whole- day adventure. End your day on the Gosling’s Taste of Bermuda Rum Cruise by taking in the sunset and enjoying a Dark ’n Stormy. Fantasea Diving & Watersports have two convenient locations in Royal Naval Dockyard at the Dockyard Watersports Centre and the Snorkel Park Beach Watersports Centre. Whatever your desire, they will make your Fantasea come true. (236-DIVE , 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 one of their two booking offices at Island Outfitters and at the Dockyard Watersports Centre, both conveniently located across from the ferry stop, which is in walking distance of the bus, and Dockyard cruise ship terminals. (236-1300, islandtourcentre.com) Jessie James Cruises offers a two-stop snorkel and glass-bottom adventure. Weather pending, they will stop at two out of three amazing locations: shipwreck snorkel, beach and island snorkel, and a coral reef snorkel. They carry top-of-the-line snorkelling equipment and buoyancy/ snorkelling vests (wetsuits in cooler months). This is a great time for beginners and experienced snorkellers ages 8 and up. They have a toilet on board, and private charters are welcomed on request. Let them show you a part of Bermuda that will remain in your memory and leave you wanting to come back again. (747-2204, 234-2193; kirksadventures.com) Get ready to have the time of your life with K.S. WaterSports (Adventure Tours & Rentals), 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 Bermuda’s 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-dos 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? Then rent one of their brand new 13-foot 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-foot 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, private boat charters and more. 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. (747-2204, 234-2193; kirksadventures.com) Royal Naval Dockyard’s Snorkel Park Beach (SPB) may be the most fun beach in Bermuda because all the exciting watersports and activities you want are in one fantastic beachfront location. Rent a Jet Ski for a guided island tour. Kayak or snorkel over stunning coral reefs, just feet from the sheltered beach. Relax and enjoy spectacular views, sunsets, great food and refreshing drinks at Hammerheads Bar & Grill. Tropical fun awaits the whole family at their Sunset Bonfires on the Beach. A hidden oasis inside Royal Naval Dockyard, enjoy the picturesque property and majestic Bermudian sunsets at SPB. There is something for every family member to enjoy; build a sandcastle, get in on a game of volleyball or have a family competition of Bocce Ball. Or, for the more laid back... chill out to the soft island music, walk the beach, relax oceanside and wiggle your toes in the sand or sea as the waves lap around you. Try to catch the green flash on the horizon, just before the sun goes down. Enjoy a Bermuda Rum Swizzle and roasted s’mores. Later, stick around for the open-air top 40’s Nightclub (entry included; 18+, ID required) and you can party under the stars all night long. Book online or with your concierge. (234-6989 main, 234-3100 watersports; snorkelparkbeach.com) Spirit of Bermuda, the island’s only sail training vessel, spends two weeks on sail training voyages with local students, then a week of maintenance, then two more weeks of sail training, and so on throughout the school year. On weekends throughout the year, and during maintenance weeks, Spirit is available for charters and is perfect for birthdays, family reunions, corporate events and other special occasions. Learn about Bermuda’s maritime history, their sail training programme and the island. Spirit has a capacity for 50 passengers/ guests, and food and beverage can be arranged by the charterer or can be provided by special arrangement. They offer two- or three-hour daytime or sunset sailing cruises around the Great Sound. Cruises can start from either Dockyard or Hamilton, and rates start at $3,400 for the two-hour cruise, which includes the ship and crew. Spirit was voted “Best Charter Boat” in this year’s Best of Bermuda Awards. Create your own unique experience and find out for yourself how enjoyable a day or evening on the water can be! (737-5667, bermudasloop.org) Vista View, Bermuda Ltd. Is a futuristic simulated theatre and entertainment experience located through the gates of Snorkel Park Beach in Royal Naval Dockyard. Vista View features Knobby’s Aerial Tour, which is a breathtaking virtual voyage of the island. Along with Knobby’s Aerial Tour, Vista View also offers state-of-theart games and thrilling rides to experience. Vista View is an amusement complex that is fun for all ages, families, locals, and tourists alike. Their aim is to create a one-of-a-kind experience that celebrates Bermuda’s history and culture with a little zest! (335-0570, vistaviewbermuda.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, bermudacraftmarket.com) 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. The Bermuda Rum Cake Company is a recipient of TripAdvisor’s Excellent Awards. (234-4216, bermudarumcakes.com) Crown & Anchor is a classic Bermudian clothing label, inspired by the island’s unique nautical history and British ties. Offering quality nautically inspired clothes, favoured by both locals and visitors for lasting style and comfort, the collection draws from Bermuda’s distinctive island heritage yet features timeless classic British influences. Crown & Anchor is named after a still-popular dice game brought to Bermuda in the 18th century by sailors in the royal naval merchant fleets. The collections are designed locally and embrace Bermuda’s motto Quo Fata Ferunt, roughly translated, “where fate carries us.” The award-winning flagship Crown & Anchor store sits in what was once a sea Captain’s residence within the historic Royal Naval Dockyard and offers a truly unique local shopping experience. Whilst deeply rooted in Bermuda’s history, Crown & Anchor clothing is for wherever modern life, or fate, takes us. (296-9552) 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 worldfamous 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) 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 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and till 7 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. Dockyard Glassworks Glass Gallery & Working Studio are recipients of TripAdvisor’s Excellent Awards. Dockyard Pharmacy specialises in serving visitors to Bermuda and is located in the heart of Dockyard, adjacent to popular attractions. Cruise ship and ferry passengers find Dockyard Pharmacy a convenient option when looking to fill a wide selection of European and American prescriptions and purchase over-the-counter medications, vitamins and health and beauty aids. Dockyard Pharmacy also stocks a vast array of local and foreign magazines, postcards, greeting cards, souvenirs, beach gear, sun-care products, snacks and beverages. Dockyard Pharmacy is open Monday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (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 oneof- a-kind keepsakes to always remember your vacation experience in Bermuda. (232-1884, jrdesignsbda.com) Also located at The Bermuda Craft Market 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 After a day of shopping or watersports, enjoy some of Bermuda’s best restaurants and bars located right here. You’ll enjoy delicious food and deluxe libations and top off a wonderful day with friends and family. Anchor Restaurant, Bar and Lounge showcases a selection of multi-cuisine and a fusion of local traditional cuisine, all at affordable prices. They are open seven days a week and serve breakfast, lunch and dinner with the added convenience of take out. There is also entertainment on the weekends. The restaurant is located just inside the Royal Navy Dockyard gates. (email@example.com) 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 Bermuda’s breezy Great Sound; an award-winning, top-rated chef at the helm; plenty of fresh fish, top-grade meats, homemade pastas, a great wine list, draft beer and desserts to die for. How can you go wrong? (234-5151, bonefishrestaurant.bm) Located at the corner of Clocktower Mall is Café Amici, an Italian family-style restaurant. 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. (234-5009) Calico Jack’s Floating Bar has been appropriately named after Calico Jack, one of the only pirates having set foot in Bermuda. This 75-foot pirate-themed floating bar has an island vibe and is known for being the exclusive party headquarters on the water. Offering some of the cheapest drinks in Bermuda. You can relax on board and listen to great music and sip on some of their signature cocktails. You can take in the fantastic views of the marina, watch the boats sail by or interact with the locals. For the adventurous guests you can “walk the plank” and use their giant inflatable slide. If you’d prefer to just swim in Bermuda’s crystal blue waters, grab a noodle and float around for a while. Calico Jack’s is permanently docked just through the gates at Heritage Wharf in Royal Naval Dockyard, so you can go aboard for a quick Rum Swizzle or hang out the whole afternoon or evening and party. Calico Jack’s is open seven days a week from 12 p.m. to 1 a.m. and beyond in peak season (closing hours vary when cruise ships are not in port). Calico Jack’s is available for private buyouts alongside the dock or as a private charter. (504-5225, calicojacksbda.com) The Dockyard Pastry Shop offers dailymade pastries, Danish or cookies, together with freshly brewed speciality coffees and teas. Light lunches, such as paninis, club sandwiches, salads and quiches are on the menu. One can enjoy a traditional serving of an English-style afternoon tea, as well as a nice glass of wine or a cocktail. (232-2253) Step back in time and drink up the historic atmosphere in the British-style pub, Frog and Onion. At this unique pub in Royal Naval Dockyard, you can enjoy great comfort food and tasty gastropub-style dishes. Join the Frog and Onion for one of the fine brews from its on-premises microbrewery, Dockyard Brewing Company, featuring five different types of beers and ales. (234-2900, firstname.lastname@example.org) Glaze Bakery-Café is Bermuda’s No. 1 bakery and famous for its unique and flavourful products. This neighbourhood corner bakery is the only bakery in Bermuda to make everything fresh daily from scratch. Decadent pastries, delectable doughnuts, hot coffees, cold smoothies and delicious sandwiches and deli foods, Glaze Bakery-Café has something for everyone. For wellness, comfort food or indulgence, Glaze Bakery- Café products are now available at Dockyard Pharmacy. (292-4422, glaze.bm) No visit to Royal Naval Dockyard is complete without a visit to the Nannini Häagen-Dazs Ice Cream Parlour in Clocktower Mall, open seven days a week and featuring only Häagen-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 Häagen-Dazs Ice Cream Parlour. (234-2474) 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’s Nightclub. (234-3100)
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