Bermuda is a choice destination for both sun worshipers and history buffs, boasting some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and the oldest settlement in the Western Hemisphere. Throw in shopping, museums, a renowned aquarium and zoo, and unique natural attractions, and you'll quickly see why a cruise to Bermuda offers truly something for everyone.
St. George Island in Bermuda is home to the oldest continually inhabited English settlement in the Western Hemisphere. In 1609, the English ship Sea Venture, bound for the Jamestown Colony in America, wrecked offshore of St. George Island. A permanent settlement was established in 1612. Today it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site complete with historic churches, forts, and museums.
Visiting the settlement today is like stepping back in time. Stroll along narrow, cobblestone streets with early-English names like “Shinbone Alley,” and “Needle & Thread Alley.” The first things a 17th-century settlement needed were a church and a fort, and St. George Island has both historic structures.
St. Peter’s Church is more than 400 years old. Established in 1612, it is the oldest Anglican Church in the Americas. Visitors to the church today will see the altar made of hand-carved red cedar, candlelit chandeliers, an 18th-century throne salvaged from a shipwreck, and communion silver believed to be more than 900 years old, gifted to the church by King William III in 1697. The church’s graveyard has headstones dating back 300 years.
Fort St. Catherine was constructed in 1614, as protection against invaders and pirates. It towers above the pink sand beach where settlers from the Sea Venture came ashore in 1609. Today, the fort has been fully restored. Visitors will enjoy fantastic views from the looming ramparts and are free to explore the towers, period artillery, and tunnels and chambers drilled into the terra firma.
A favorite spot on St. George Island for photographs and weddings is the Unfinished Church. Construction on the church was started in 1874, but when a tornado tore the roof off the church in 1925, plans were put on hold. The church was never completed.
But Bermuda is much more than St. George. It wouldn’t be an island without some amazing beaches and if you see just one beach, make it Horseshoe Bay. The pink sand and warm waters rank this beach consistently as one of the most beautiful in the world. Calm waters and lifeguards on hand make this a great spot for children.
The Royal Navy Dockyard was once home to the British Royal Navy but has been repurposed today to include restaurants, shops, and artist studios. It’s the island spot for shopping. It’s also home to the National Museum of Bermuda, featuring exhibits on the island’s rich history, including shipwrecks, battles, and more.
In 1907, two boys playing cricket discovered a small hole in the field spouting warm air. The find was investigated only to discover the Crystal Caves, a 30 million-year-old geological feature of white and pink stalactites looming over clear blue water. Visitors to the cave are treated to a colorful display of underground caverns.
It wouldn’t be an island without sea life, and one of the world’s oldest and most regarded aquariums is the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo. A 140,000-gallon tank holds more than 200 species of fish and one of the largest living coral collections in the world.
Adjacent to the aquarium are the museum and zoo. The Natural History Museum features exhibits on Bermuda's ecology and geology. The Zoo boasts more than 300 birds, reptiles, and mammals, including species from the islands of the Galapagos and Madagascar.
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