On land, Bermuda is scenic and full of history, style and things to do. But there's nothing like hopping aboard a boat to explore the surrounding waters. You can roar into the Great Sound (which was the stage for the 35th America's Cup, presented by Louis Vuitton), explore tiny, unpopulated islands or make your way out into the vastness of the Atlantic Ocean. Here's a quick guide to getting out on deck and into the blue.
Whether you want to charter a sailboat (crew included) or play captain of an easy-to-drive pontoon boat for the day, Bermuda offers many options to explore the water via a private vessel. Among the crafts you can hire: yachts, catamarans, fishing boats and ski boats. Vendors offering charters include Fantasea Diving & Watersports (ask about their for-hire party boats) and the Bermuda Reef Explorer, which has a glass-bottom boat ideal for snorkelling trips.
Sunset cruises, diving and snorkelling trips, and group sailboat excursions also provide a chance to earn your sea legs at a more economical rate than a private charter. Jessie James Cruises pilots its glass-bottomed catamarans over shipwreck sites, coral reefs and more – snorkelling stops included. The luxe, vintage Über Vida yacht heads out on Friday evening for cocktail trips and, later at night, hosts an on-the-water Ibiza-style dance party. And on Winsome's Famous Homes & Hideaways Cruise, you'll take a double-decker boat past some of the island's prettiest, poshest colonial homes while a guide gives you the inside scoop on Bermuda's rich, famous and historic population. Trips set sail from the Island Tour Centre several times a week in summer and fall.
Learn to Sail
Bermuda is also an ideal place to learn to sail or to improve your tacking and jibing mastery. Local sailing companies offer programs designed for all skill levels. Sailing courses and lessons can often be customized based on the needs of particular groups, such as families, children’s groups or corporate groups. Private lessons are also available. The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, a Hamilton Harbour organization, founded in 1844, runs a sailing academy with a variety of lessons and packages. The Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club also offers year-round sailing lessons to junior and adult sailors. Its clinics include learn-to-sail programs as well as advanced training.