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Bermuda Ferry Services
Bermuda ferry service (known as Sea Express) is operated by Bermuda Government's Department of Marine & Ports Services. This is a public ferry service that operates a number of ferries over several routes. The ferries are mostly air-conditioned high speed catamarans. The boats are modern and comfortable, with a capacity of 200 or more passengers. The main hub of ferry service is the Hamilton ferry terminal located in Hamilton City and accessible from Front Street. This is from where all the ferry routes originate, connect to various places in the island and return.
Although you may not be able to reach out to every corner of the island by ferry, it is a formidable part of Bermuda's Public Transport System. In many cases a ferry service would be much more convenient and faster than the bus or even taxis. So if you are planning to get around the island using public transports, you should first figure out if your destination is reachable by ferry. If so then try to avail the ferry service if the timings are suitable.
Bermuda Ferry Routes
A route does not necessarily connect just two points, and may go through several legs of journey connecting several points before returning to Hamilton. But all ferry routes do start from Hamilton ferry terminal (which is the main ferry dock in the island) and return there.
For the tourists, the best way to understand the Bermuda public ferry routes is by first knowing the location of the main three places in the island. Hamilton Ferry Terminal, which is the central hub and origin of all ferry routes is located centrally. The Kings wharf (or the Royal Naval Dockyard) is located at the western tip of the island and St. George's Town is located at the eastern end of the island (not shown in the map below).
Between the Dockyard and Hamilton City, there is a direct ferry (Blue Route) and it can be a lot faster than the bus or any other transport in Bermuda. The direct ferry between Hamilton and the dockyard takes only about 20 minutes compared to about an hour by bus. However sometimes the same Blue Route may also service couple of other places like Cavello Bay and Watford bridge (as you can see in the picture).
Bermuda Ferry Routes
But there is no direct ferry between Hamilton City and St. George's Town. So if you are planning to take a ferry from Hamilton City for St. George, you will first need to go to the west end (Dockyard) and then to St. George at the eastern end. Same route is followed for the reverse journey as well. The entire one way journey will take over an hour including the wait time at the dockyard. The bus from Hamilton to St George on the other hand also takes about an hour. However from the dockyard, the Orange ferry route gives a direct access to St. George.
As you can see in the map above, there are four ferry lines or routes that connect various points in Bermuda. They are identified by their respective colors (Blue, Pink, Green and Orange). Find out all about Bermuda ferry routes below. All the ferry routes start from Hamilton City, go to various ferry docks and come back.
High-speed catamarans operate on the longer routes (i.e. Blue, Orange & Green routes). The catamarans can carry scooters, motor cycles, bicycles etc (only in designated routes) at an additional cost of $4. But if you have a transport pass, you can take your scooter for free.
BLUE ROUTE: Hamilton to Royal Naval Dockyard and back. This direct ferry between Dockyard and Hamilton takes about 20 minutes one way. Scooters and motor bikes can embark in Hamilton and Dockyard only. The service is reduced on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays.
ORANGE ROUTE: The route goes from Hamilton to Dockyard at the west (about 20 minutes) and then from Dockyard to east-end St. George (35 minutes) along the northern shoreline. So if you are going all the way from Hamilton to St. George (or getting back), you will need to disembark at Dockyard. This means paying separately for each leg of the journey unless you have a day pass. This ferry line operates during the summer season only (i.e. usually second week of April to first week of November). The service is only from Monday to Friday (no service on the weekends). It offers a great scenic cruise along the north-shore with magnificent views. Motor bikes and scooters are not allowed on this route. Update April 2013: The Orange route has been modified and the ferry plies only between the Dockyard and St. George. You can't access this route directly from Hamilton City.
GREEN ROUTE: This is essentially a commuters route. The usual route starts from Hamilton to Rockaway Ferry Stop at Southampton (30 minutes) and back. However in some runs the ferry goes to Watford bridge and Cavello Bay and returns. Scooters and motor bikes can embark at Hamilton and Rockaway. No service on Saturday & Sunday.
PINK ROUTE: This is a short ferry service from Hamilton City to several small docks in Warwick and Paget parishes. The points covered in the route are Lower Ferry, Hodson's Ferry, Salt Kettle, Darrell's Wharf and Belmont Ferry Stop. Scooters and motorbikes not allowed on this route. The service is reduced on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays.
Bermuda Ferry Schedules
Bermuda Government publishes a Summer Schedule and a Winter Schedule for the ferry services. The Summer Schedule is usually for the period between Mid April to first week of November. The Winter Schedule is for the remaining period of November second week to Mid April. The time periods of the two schedules, ferry routes and ferry timings go through minor changes almost every year.
During the summer schedule, the ferry service is much more frequent than the winter schedule. Just to give you an idea, during summer time the Blue Route ferry makes about 25 round trips on a week day between Hamilton and Dockyard compared to only about 8 round trips during winter time. Also the service span on a day is longer during summer time, which for example means you will be able to return late from Hamilton back to the Dockyard by a ferry during summer. The ferry service gets reduced on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays. The Orange Route between Dockyard and St George does not operate in winter and also on any Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays.
2014/2015 Bermuda Winter Ferry Schedule (Effective October 27, 2014)
Ferry Fares & Modes of Payments
You can use tokens, tickets or Transport Pass, or pay cash (by exact change) in ferries. The pass is convenient and gives you unlimited hop on & off access to both buses and ferries as long as it's valid, which could be a day or several days depending on what you buy. You can buy the passes or tokens at any of the ferry or bus terminals, Visitors Information Centers and other designated places. Tickets are available only in post offices and the main ferry and bus terminals in Hamilton. Check out Bermuda Passes, Tickets, Tokens and Fares to know about all the mode of payments, fares, what may be the best option for you, places where you can get them, and other useful information.
Handicap (Wheelchair) Access in Ferries
While most ferries are wheelchair accessible (lower deck only), unfortunately not all ferry points or docks have proper ramps for wheelchairs. Only three ferry terminals are currently wheelchair accessible, and they are Hamilton, Dockyard (Kings Wharf area) and Rockaway in Southampton.
Hamilton Ferry Terminal
Located at the western end of Front Street next to Bank of Bermuda building.
Monday - Friday: 6:30am - 7:30pm; Saturday: 8:30am - 6pm
Sunday & Holidays: 9:30am - 2:30pm
Contact 441/295-4506 for further information on Bermuda ferry services.
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