Where to Go Diving in Bermuda: The Best Locations for All Skill Levels

Surrounded by hundreds of shipwrecks and the Atlantic’s northernmost coral reefs, Bermuda is teeming with underwater adventure. Find which sites are just right for your most unforgettable dive yet.

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Dive Bermuda at Grotto Bay – Wreck Pen

Descend into the depths of Bermuda’s reef-strewn ocean to witness hauntingly beautiful shipwrecks and incredible sea life up close. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced diver, or perhaps looking for a more shallow family-friendly site, you’ll find legendary dive sites for a thrilling undersea adventure. Plus, you’ll uncover stellar spots for snorkelling, too.

Beginner Dive Sites

Taunton: A favourite wreck site, the Taunton was a 228-foot Danish cargo steamer built in 1902 that wrecked on Bermuda's northeastern reef in November 1920. She was sailing from Norfolk, Virginia to St. George's carrying a cargo of coal destined for the island. She now sits in 20 feet (6 meters) of water, broken up over the reef, but her engine and boilers still stand upright, reaching for the surface. The Taunton is very photogenic and makes a great site for both divers and snorkellers. 

B29 Bomber: Not all the wrecks surrounding Bermuda are ships. The Airplane was a modified Boeing B-50 bomber known as a Hayes KB-501 aerial tanker. Flying from the Azores, the plane was headed home to England Air Force Base in Louisiana on October 20, 1963. After takeoff, the left auxiliary jet engine exploded and ignited the left wing. Six of the seven crew members jumped out before the plane exploded and dropped into the ocean in two big pieces. The aircraft’s commander, John (Curley) Moore, was still in his seat when divers finally reached the wreck. 

Resting at a depth of 21 to 25 feet (6 to 7 meters), the wreck is nestled within a thriving coral reef. Many fish (especially algae-eating sergeant-majors) are attracted to the site because of the aluminum and nutrient-rich waters surrounding the craft. This makes The Airplane an exciting shallow dive site for all ages and experience levels.

Dive Bermuda at Fairmont Southampton – Wreck Diving

Mary Celestia: A Confederate Civil War-era blockade runner, the famous Mary Celestia sunk in 1864 carrying much-needed supplies to the American South. Despite being piloted by a Bermudian who had said “I know every rock here as well as I know my own house,” she struck the reef and sank within 8 minutes. The only casualty was the ship's cook, who had returned to his cabin for personal belongings. 

The wreck sits at about 55 feet (17 meters) in a sand patch surrounded by reef. The Mary Celestia is the only paddle wreck that has one of its paddles still intact – it’s a highlight of the dive. 

In 2011 after a strong storm had removed a large quantity of sand from the bow section of the wreck, a team of marine archaeologists uncovered several sealed bottles of French wine and bottles of perfume. A bottle of the wine was opened and tasted at the Charleston Wine & Food Festival. Food & Wine magazine's Ray Isle learned to dive in order to dive on and write an article about the Mary Celestia. He also conducted an interview with William Shatner on the subject. In addition, local perfumery Lili Bermuda has recreated the perfume found aboard, which blends sparkling citrus, rosewood, and warm amber tones to channel the timeless elegance of the original fragrance. 

Two Tugs: The oldest of the two wrecks, the King was sunk in 1984 as Bermuda’s first artificial reef after having served as a treasure hunter and dive boat. Now battered by storms, it’s not possible to enter the wreck but you can peer inside through the holes in her hull. 

The Forceful is an ex tugboat from Royal Naval Dockyard, purposefully sunk near the King in a sand patch and since pushed up against the reef by storms. There is a clear route through the engine room for divers to explore, as well as swimming under her large propeller. At the stern in large letters is the word ‘Bermuda’ which makes an excellent photo op. 

The wrecks sit in 65 feet (20 meters) of water and are separated by an ‘S’ shaped sand patch, with lots of reef to explore around both wrecks. 

South West Breaker: This location was made famous in the opening scene of the film “The Deep”. The impressive volume and diversity of marine life rivals that found in large aquariums, and you’ll be talking about your experience for years to come. 

Swim through the breaker to see glassy eye sweepers, large snappers, and groupers. At a certain point during the year, you may sense the sun disappearing behind  a cloud that is actually a large gathering of barracuda above you, blocking the sunlight. At a depth of 35 feet (12 meters), this relaxed dive is ideal  for beginners and experienced divers alike. 

Kate: A great site for both divers and snorkellers, the Kate was a 200-foot English steamer built in 1874 that now sits in 20 to 45 feet (7 to 13 meters) of water. She was on her way from Galveston, Texas to La Havre, France with a cargo of cotton when on November 30, 1878 she struck a reef to the northwest of Bermuda. As she was being towed into port she had to be grounded to stop her sinking. During a gale on December 10, the Kate was broken up and pushed into deeper water where she sits today. 

Sea Venture: Ex-government ferry Sea Venture was deliberately scuttled on October 9, 2007 by the Bermuda Intact Wreck Initiative. The wreck now lies upright in 50 to 55 feet (15 to 17 meters) of water near Eastern Blue Cut, with the top of the vessel rising to around 15 feet (5 meters).

Underwater view of the seaventure sunken ship.

Advanced Dive Sites 

Hermes: Scuttled in 1984 as an artificial reef for divers, the 165-foot Hermes was built in 1943 as a buoy tender for the US Navy until she broke down on the way to the Cape Verde Islands. Abandoned in Bermuda, she was sold to the Bermuda Dive Association for $1. The Hermes sits upright in 70 to 75 feet (21 to 23 meters) of water, her hatches removed before sinking for diver safety. Explore the forward cargo hold, crew compartments, and engine room of this photogenic wreck. Surrounded by pristine reef, the Hermes is home to  schools of barracuda, yellowtail, and grey snapper as well as large black grouper. 

Virginia Merchant: Technically this could be considered a wreck site, but the ship was sunk in 1661 and has long been taken by the ocean and her shifting sands. After hurricanes, some pieces of the wooden hull can sometimes be seen, but the main structure of the vessel has been lost. Instead, enjoy a sublime dive in the beautiful maze-like reef. With many tunnel-like swim-throughs, this site is beloved by experienced divers. The bottom of the reef is at a depth of 55 feet (17 meters) and well worth exploring if you’re comfortable with enclosed spaces. Don’t miss this dive if you’re a pro diver with an adventurous side. 

A group of divers are swimming.

Tarpon Hole: This is a newer dive site with the buoy placed in 2013, and it reaches a depth of 55 feet (17 meters). Located close to the breakers at Elbow Beach, this area has many arches to swim under where jacks and large snappers have been seen frequently. The many little channels lead through and over the reef, allowing for an exhilarating exploratory dive.

Pelinaion: Built in 1907, this 385-foot Greek tramp steamer was on her way from West Africa to Baltimore, Maryland. She was carrying a cargo of iron ore when she struck a reef just off St. David's head on December 22, 1939. Her captain was apparently unaware that St. David's Lighthouse was out due to the war. The Pelinaion now sits in 65 feet (20 meters) of water broken up around the reef she struck. Her engine sits within 10 feet of the surface and her bow in only 20 feet of water. Divers can swim under the hull and see numerous port holes, the propeller, and the anchor as well as the pristine reef surrounding the wreck. 

Lionfish Reef: Located close to the breakers off Cooper’s Island, Lionfish Reef has many arches to swim under. Look for lionfish and large snappers as you navigate the reef, and in the cooler months, try to spy tarpon. The many little channels lead through and over the reef, allowing for an interesting exploratory dive. With numerous swim-throughs, this site is ideal for more seasoned divers and those looking to hunt lionfish. The swim-throughs are scattered throughout the reef’s breaker system, allowing divers to explore the innermost sections of this centuries-old volcanic formation. 

Divers with less experience will also enjoy the soft corals and diving in-between the breakers. Some parts of the site look like a spectacular undersea garden.

Cathedral Reef: Starting at 26 feet and going down to about 55 feet, this is a lovely reef site with intriguing overhangs, canyons, and swim-throughs. One beautiful swim-through leads you into a vast room–the namesake “Cathedral.” A hole in the side of the space allows a beam of light to shine through, creating a dramatic effect. 

Although you can swim over the reef to access Cathedral, the easiest way is by going through the swim-through, known as Devil’s Throat. It is a little break in the wall of the reef allowing divers to pass through. Divers can follow the channels of sand with reef on either side to explore the area. The range in depth makes this  a great dive for novice and experienced divers as well as snokellers. The 45-minute journey time is well worth it.  

Niobe Corinthian: The infamous Niobe Corinthian has seen many controversies and ill fates since it was brought into Bermuda. This 175-foot ship with strong beams was originally built by Shell Oil to serve the oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. However, after a change in ownership, the ship was converted into a floating casino. Eventually, the Government of Bermuda took possession of the shipand, in 2016, decided to sink it and make it a wreck diving site. Several different organizations, including The Department of Marine and Ports, Bermuda Intact Wreck Initiative, and Department of Environmental Services were involved to inspect, clean, and make the ship safe for divers.   

On April 4, 2017, the ship was towed about 9 miles off the northern shore of St. George's and about 1.5 miles to the west of North Rock Navigational Beacon, where it was scuttled. It now sits straight up at the seabed about 70 feet below the surface. 

A man is snorkelling in Bermuda waters.

Family Dive Sites  

North Carolina: The North Carolina was an iron-hulled English barque (a three-masted square rigger), built in 1876. The ship was sailing from Baltimore to Liverpool in winter 1879 with a cargo of cotton, bark, and fuel and detoured to Bermuda with a damaged rudder.After repairs, the North Carolina left St. George’s Harbour and ran aground on a western reef.. In a later attempt to refloat the ship, the anchor broke free and crashed through the hull, sending the vessel straight to the seabed. 

Today she sits upright on a sandy seabed in 25 to 45 feet of water, with her bow and stern sections fairly intact.
Caraquet:  Built in 1894 in Belfast, Northern Ireland, this British Mail passenger steamer was en route to Halifax in 1923 when she sank after hitting rough seas. The ship foundered on Bermuda’s northern barrier reef northwest of Fort St. Catherine.

Broken up by ocean swells, the wreckage is spread out over a wide area covering almost two acres in up to 45 feet of water. The most distinctive portions of the wreck include her engine, four prominent boilers, two large deck winches, and her massive anchor lying on one side with a fluke pointing straight up. Look out for yellow grunts in the spring that turn a shade of blue when they spawn. The wreck site is celebrated for its extensive wreckage in shallow clear water, and it is considered a very good shipwreck dive.

North Rock: Located about 8 miles offshore to the north, North Rock is a navigational beacon sitting atop an old ship boiler that warns sailors of the rim of the reef. Previously the reef was visible above water but as sea levels have risen, the reef has disappeared just below the surface. North Rock is one of the northernmost coral reefs in Bermuda and covers a 1,000 meter radius from the beacon.  

The reef is still in pristine condition and a great place for snorkelling and diving, with the tops of the reef just feet from the surface. The depth here is between 25 and 30 feet. The reef has three different buoys to attach onto, so you can always be assured of a different dive each time. As you descend onto the sand patches, the colours of the reef come alive, with large sea fans and other flora enticing you to explore. The small overhangs and swim-throughs are ideal for divers of all skill levels. The reef is intermittently broken up, allowing for a maze-like effect. The site takes about 50 minutes to reach. 

Constellation, Montana: The twin wrecks of the Constellation and Montana went down nearly a century apart but landed almost on top of each other. The Montana was another Confederate Civil War-era blockade runner that went down in 1863 while on route from London to Wilmington, North Carolina. Sitting in 30 feet (9 meters) of water, her bow is relatively intact with her engine standing upright almost touching the surface, and her two paddle wheels are easily recognizable from the wreckage. 

The Constellation was an American four masted schooner sailing from Baltimore to Venezuela carrying a large cargo of war supplies. Her cargo included bags of cement, sheets of slate, lead crucifixes, 700 cases of Scotch and drug ampules, as well as large amounts of bottles and glassware. The Constellation went down in 1942 while making for Bermuda for repairs after her water pumps broke. Awaiting a local pilot boat, she was driven onto the reef and sank within 50 feet of the Montana. These two wrecks are the inspiration for Peter Benchley's best selling novel and movie The Deep.

Two people are snorkeling in clear water around a shipwreck.

Snorkelling Sites 

North Rock: The North Rock site described above is also great for snorkelling.

Blue Hole: On the end of Eastern Blue Cut, the Blue Hole marks the spot where Bermuda’s shallow waters meet the North Atlantic. It is a classic multi-level dive site with a maximum depth of 55 feet and reaching the surface at its shallowest parts. It is not unusual to find lobsters at the Blue Hole, especially during stormier days. During rougher weather, the lobsters leave the more exposed shallow reef and seek protection in the overhangs at the deeper, sandy parts of the reef. You can see massive sea fans all around, and if you look closely in the sand, you might be lucky enough to find a Leopard flatworm. 

Find out more about snorkelling spots in Bermuda.

After your diving and snorkelling adventures, discover more ways to have fun on the water in this island paradise.

Article Credit: Dive Bermuda is the island’s premiere dive center with 35+ years of experience. They offer a fully stocked dive center and diving excursions on their 42’ dive boat, plus PADI specialty courses and more. The safety-focused, service-oriented dive center was also recognized in 2023 as a Travelers’ Choice “Best of the Best” company by Tripadvisor. Dive Bermuda serves the entire island with two convenient locations: Somerset on the west end and Grotto Bay on the east end.



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