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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 operating 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 at the Front Street harbor in Hamilton City. This is from where all the ferry routes originate, connect various places in the island and return.
Ferry Service is a formidable part of Bermuda's Public Transport System. Although you may not be able to reach out to every corner of the island by ferry, in many cases a ferry service would be much more convenient and faster than the Bus Service. So if you are planning to get around the island using public transports, you should use a combination of Bus and Ferry Services.
While you can use tokens or pay cash in ferries, a great option is to buy a Transport Pass. The pass is a convenient and economical option, and gives you unlimited access (hop on & off) to both buses and ferries as long as it's valid, which could be a day or several days depending on what you buy.
Ferry fares and how to pay
You can buy your bus/ferry passes or tokens at any of the ferry terminals and other designated places. Check out Bermuda Transport Passes, Tickets & Tokens to know about each method you can use to ride ferries, places where you can get them, fares and other information.
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.
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 parish (30 minutes) and back. However sometimes the ferry goes to Watford bridge and Cavello Bay and returns to Hamilton. 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 from Hamilton City are Lower Ferry, Hodson's Ferry, Salt Kettle, Darrell's Wharf and Belmont Ferry Stop. Scooters and motor bikes are not allowed in this route. The service is reduced on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays.
There are high-speed catamarans that service the longer routes (i.e. Blue, Orange & Green routes). The catamarans can carry scooters, motor cycles, bicycles etc (but not in all routes) at an additional cost of $4. But if you have a transort pass, you can take your scooters free.
NOTE: There is actually a direct ferry between St George and Hamilton which leaves St George in the morning and comes back in the evening. This is normally used by the workers and office goers who come to Hamilton City for work and go back in the evening.
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.
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 schedules however go through minor changes 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 service will operate for about 25 rounds on a week day between Hamilton and Dockyard compared to only about 8 times during winter time. Also the day's coverage 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.
Also note that on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays, the ferry service gets reduced.
The link below will take you to the SeaExpress Ferry Services page maintained by Department of Marine & Ports Services. In that page you will find a link to the Ferry Schedule giving you timings of ferries for various routes: Bermuda Ferry Schedule.
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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