Thrill-seekers can indulge in hundreds of shipwrecks and mingle with 650 species of marine life, then celebrate the day with a civilized spot of afternoon tea.
Bermuda has long been known as a romantic haven. Its warm Gulf Stream waters, pink sand beaches, perfectly manicured landscapes, excellent shopping, first-rate cuisine and friendly Bermudians make visitors feel right at home. Accommodation possibilities are endless and include Bermuda's unique cottage colonies, intimate B&Bs and a variety of resort hotels to suit any budget. Take all of those qualities, add in several hundred known and easy-to-explore shipwrecks, and this romantic island becomes one of the most desirable dive-adventure destinations in the world.
Located in the Atlantic, 650 miles due east of Cape Hatteras, N.C., visitors can jet nonstop to Bermuda in less than two hours from several U.S. gateway cities. Less time spent travelling means more time to dive and enjoy the countless charms of this British Crown Colony. Comprised of about 180 islands, with the seven largest connected by quaint bridges and a causeway, Bermuda's location in the Gulf Stream produces a balmy subtropical climate that cools down slightly during the winter months. The best time for divers to go, with the most inviting combination of warm water and good visibility, is Spring and Fall. But if you don't mind cooler waters, the visibility during the winter months is superlative, and exceeds 100 feet on average.
A visit to any of the Island's marine-related exhibits is a wonderful way to enhance your underwater adventures. Points of interest include museums, historic forts, and an aquarium & zoo. Our museums are home to treasure salvaged from Spanish galleons, as well relics from the Sea Venture ? the ship that brought Bermuda her first settlers when the vessel ran into the reef during a 1609 hurricane. Relax on pink sand beaches, enjoy a round of golf or take a stroll through the City of Hamilton. When sampling Bermuda's culinary delights, don't forget to have a sip (or two!) of our famous local beverages such as the Bermuda Rum Swizzle or a Dark 'n Stormy. Whatever your apres-dive pleasure, Bermuda is sure to please. For more information on Bermuda visit www.bermudatourism.com or call 1-800-BERMUDA.
The warm air and moderate rainfall create lush greenery, freshly coiffed at all times. Bermuda's rocky limestone hills are dotted with picturesque homes made of local stone, painted in bright pastel hues. The buildings are topped off with whitewashed, layered slate roofs, designed to direct falling rainwater into cisterns. Cast your gaze in any direction to view postcard vistas, including the turquoise-hued sea that stretches to the horizon.
The serenity you feel when you look at the sea is quickly replaced by intrigue as you imagine what lies beneath. Bermuda was a navigational point used by mariners crossing the Atlantic to and from the New World. Since the Island's encircling reef system extends outward up to 8 miles, many vessels were caught by surprise when they encountered the shallow reef in seemingly open waters. As a result, there are literally hundreds of documented wrecks sprawled on the sea floor surrounding Bermuda.
Since the 16th Century, several hundred vessels have met their unfortunate fate on Bermuda's jagged fringing reefs. Diving in Bermuda is like stepping into a time machine and opening a window to a past life on the high seas complete with pirate tales, naval battles and fierce storms. By diving in this underwater museum without walls, you will travel an incredible timeline that carries you from the era of Spanish treasure galleons to 18th Century British warships to Civil War blockade runners, all the way to the dawn of luxury trans-Atlantic passenger liners. Bermuda's wreck collection spans more than five centuries with vessels originating from 15 different countries.
Exploring these relics can be fascinating, exhilarating and even eerie as you gaze up toward the surface. See the sun's rays penetrating through the wide variety of soft and hard corals that hang from the ribs, bulkheads and engines of the wrecks, much like cobwebs enveloping a haunted house. Since the wrecks lie in relatively shallow water (45-50 feet on average), Bermuda is one of the most accessible wreck diving locations in the world. Best of all, there's no special advanced certification required to enjoy Bermuda underwater, although this is a perfect place to obtain your PADI Wreck Specialty certification.
While the historic shipwrecks are truly the highlight of any Bermuda dive experience, the Island also boasts a diverse reef system complete with tunnels, swim-throughs, coral gardens and more than 650 species of colourful marine life. Bermuda's marine environment and shipwrecks are protected by a number of laws and ordinances, preserving the future of this underwater dive mecca.