Culture & Traditions
Bermuda likes to be different, a characteristic that’s portrayed in various ways, especially when it comes to maintaining traditions. There remains a huge respect for the English monarchy and British customs prevail like afternoon tea and eccentric dress codes – the longstanding rigout of tailored pink shorts, knee-high socks and blazer would certainly be an acquired taste back in Blighty!
The defining feature of Bermuda’s beaches is the gorgeous pink hue of the sands, an unusual characteristic created from crushed shells of microscopic ocean organisms. Even better, the sands are beautifully soft and pristine. The best-known beach is Horseshoe Bay, but it can get crowded in popular seasons. More exclusive are the four private scoops at Cambridge Beaches Resort & Spa – Long Bay, Turtle Cove, Pagem Beach and Morning Beach. Rosewood Tucker’s Point is also worth a mention, where private Beach Club facilities ensure everything’s on tap for a blissful day on coral-pink sands. Remember to keep watch for migrating Humpback Whales.
If golf is at the top of your luxury holiday agenda, Bermuda should be the number one contender, offering more velvet-green courses per square kilometre than anywhere else in the world! Cambridge Beaches Resort & Spa is affiliated with every single course – six eighteen-hole and two nine-hole courses at the last count. Championship Port Royal is the closest, while a special arrangement with Mid Ocean Club means guests can play its exclusive fairways on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Rosewood Tucker’s Point is also fantastic, flawlessly remodelled in 2002 and offering hotel guests GPS-guided carts.
Diving and Watersports
Watersports abound in Bermuda, from jet-skiing, parasailing and high-speed catamarans, to paddleboats and kayaks. Snorkelling is a favourite pastime and you can wade from the beach into crystal-clear seas rippled with sunlight, where shoals of fish flicker beneath the surface. Most popular of all is diving – Bermuda is classed amongst the world’s top diving destinations, naturally blessed with fabulous coral reefs and tropical fish. There are various sites accommodating all abilities, both in the shallows and on oceanside walls that plunge into colder, deeper water. Topping this, over 450 shipwrecks dating back over five centuries, skulk on the ocean floor – extraordinary sites to explore and highlight in your logbook.
Unravel Bermuda’s intriguing past and discover a trail of colonial buildings and museums exhibiting the heritage of slavery and maritime wars. Top picks include the Royal Naval Dockyard, a huge, 19th Century fortress built to protect British settlers, featuring a complex of museums, restaurants and shops. Not to mention the town of St. George, a UNESCO-recognised site and the oldest inhabited English community in the New World. Other points of interest include the Historical Society Museum, the Old State House, Perot Post Office, Government House, the Unfinished Gothic Church, St. David’s Lighthouse, as well as bijou residences such as Carter House and The Old Rectory.
If you fancy a spree, Bermuda offers plenty of choice. A line-up of trendy shops in the pretty village of Somerset, for example, a stroll from Cambridge Beaches. Another good spot is the Bermuda Arts Centre, opened by the late Princess Margaret in 1984, where you’ll find locally-made keepsakes like pink-sand jewellery, island perfumes and colourful art. Or there’s the Clock Tower Mall in the Dockyard, filled with chic clothing shops and eateries. For a stylish mix of high-end shops and independent boutiques selling designer labels and vintage finds, head to Hamilton’s Front Street. Follow this with a visit to Washington Mall, one of the biggest in town.
Bermuda’s family-friendly attractions range from watersports and mini golf, to forts, caves and train rides. The Royal Naval Dockyard is a brilliant place to start, a premier entertainment complex with a Victorian twist. Other favourites at the Dockyard include the Snorkel Park and the National Museum of Bermuda, featuring exhibits of nautical dramas. For a three-in-one treat, visit the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo, mixing more naval history with tanks of native fish, or head underground to the stunning stalactites, stalagmites and saltwater pools of The Crystal and Fantasy Caves.
Our Travel Consultants can advise on, arrange and pre-book many things to enhance your holiday. This includes everything from spa reservations and dinner reservations, to a range of special experiences available in our featured resorts that you may not know about.
Whilst the rest of the world dresses more and more casually, Bermuda still retains an air of formality and many restaurants, particularly after 6pm, request that gentlemen wear a jacket – ladies can usually get away with stylish, but more casual attire. During the day, cover-ups are de rigueur. If you’re in any doubt about dress codes, please ask our Concierge Department to find out for you.
The English ritual of Afternoon Tea is a delightful tradition that Bermuda upholds. Dutifully served between 3pm and 5pm each day, tables are immaculately dressed in crisp linens, and finger sandwiches and scones are served on fine bone china. In respect of the changing times and attitudes, this is one of the rare occasions that the usual dress and social codes are overlooked, allowing guests to partake in this tradition around the pool in swimwear.
For 300 years, rum has been the favoured tipple of Bermudians (or ‘Onions’ as they affectionately call themselves). Bacardi has its headquarters here; Dark and Stormy (black rum and ginger beer) is often referred to as the national drink, whilst the Rum Swizzle (rum, citrus juice and soda) is a popular cocktail.
British Airways direct from London Gatwick.
From London Gatwick to Bermuda: 7 hours, 50 minutes.
Travelling With Children or Without an Adult
Children travelling without both parents should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country (for example, South Africa) or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. Please contact the relevant Embassy for the county you are travelling to for further information.
Visa and Advance Passenger Information
All passengers must ensure they have a valid, acceptable passport, any required visa and any other documentation for both the final destination and any stop-off points en route. Please make sure that Advance Passenger Information is submitted in advance to travel for all destinations. Failure to hold correct documentation or submitting incorrect details with Advance Passenger Information or Visa applications may result in refusal of carriage or entry into a country. Please check with the relevant Embassy regarding visa requirements well in advance of your travel date. Charges may apply for some visas.
Passengers not travelling on a British Passport are advised to contact their relevant Foreign & Commonwealth office for individual Visa requirements.
For up-to-date resort information, visit www.fco.gov.uk
Health facilities, hygiene and disease risks vary worldwide and you should take health advice about your specific needs from your general practitioner or a specialist clinic as early as possible before travel. Those planning to become pregnant should discuss their travel plans with their healthcare provider to assess their risk of infection with Zika. For information about Zika, other mosquito-borne diseases (such as Dengue fever and Chikungunya), Lyme Disease (caused by tick bites), and to receive advice on mosquito bite avoidance measures, please visit http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/insect-tick-bite-avoidance/
In addition, we highly recommend that you seek specialist advice from your doctor and, where recommended, obtain vaccinations or tablets for protection against, for example: Malaria, Hepatitis A, Polio and Typhoid. In some cases, treatments for Malaria should begin well in advance of travel. Travellers may also be required to show Yellow Fever Certificates on arrival in certain destinations ie, some African countries. Please note that you are strongly advised against scuba-diving for 24 hours before travelling by air. We would also like to draw your attention to the risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and recommend that you consult with your doctor before travelling.
Visit the FCO website and select your destination country for the very latest travel advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
Additional sources of information include: www.hpa.org.uk, http://nathnac.net,
www.fco.gov.uk, www.hpa.org.uk and www.nathnac.org, your General Practitioner or a specialised clinic.