Bermuda Taxi Tours
If you are in a small group of 4 to 7 persons or even just two of you, taxis in Bermuda can provide great options for private tours in the island. While there are quite a few guided minibus tours available in Bermuda, taxi tours can give you options in terms of choosing the specific attractions that you want to visit as well as time flexibility. On top of it, if you consider a per person rate, this could be a cheaper option compared to the organized private tours by vans or mini buses. Usually the private van or mini-bus tours have fixed routes and coverage, and operate on fixed timings unless you charter the whole minibus for your private group. Taxis that way give you a lot more flexibility.
While you can take any taxi for a tour, ideally you should look for ones that have blue flags fluttering or a blue flag insignia on their bonnets. Then you know that the taxi driver is also a government certified tour guide of Bermuda. Such taxis are known as Blue Flag Taxis and the drivers are Blue Flag Certified Tour Guides. Their tour rates are the same as any other taxis which is fixed by the government. These taxi drivers usually have a wealth of knowledge about the island. They have successfully gone through the test and certification process of Government of Bermuda.
Some of these drivers-cum-tour-guides have special areas of knowledge like history, art & architecture, flora & fauna, military/maritime history, etc. During the tour, the taxi driver will narrate lots of untold stories of the island, its history and many other local lore that you will love to hear.
Taxis in Bermuda come in two sizes - the smaller ones can carry up to 4 passengers and the larger ones up to 7 passengers. Taxi tours operate by hourly rate.
Some taxis in Bermuda are wheelchair accessible and are suitable for persons having physical challenges or disability. Taxi drivers in Bermuda are not allowed to charge any extra for the persons with disability. Some of such taxis may be suitable for electrical wheelchairs and some for manual, but usually not for both.
Taxis will wait when you take time to visit an attraction or plan to take your lunch. However this waiting time will count as part of the total time for which you book the taxi. While having lunch or snacks during your tour, you can invite the driver to join you, although it's not necessary. But if you invite him, then a general courtesy would be to pay for his bills.
Rates/Fares for Bermuda Taxi Tours
The taxi tours take place on an hourly rate. You will need to book the taxi minimum for 3 hours. Typically island tours by taxis last for about 4 hours.
Update May 2014: The taxi tour rates have been revised effective May 1, 2014. This is the first revision since December 2007. Up to 4 passengers, the rate is now $50 per hour (instead of earlier $40 per hour). For 5 to 7 passengers, the rate is $70 per hour (instead of earlier $55 per hour). Note that if a larger taxi agrees to carry 4 or less passengers for sightseeing tour, they should charge the lower rate (i.e. $50 per hour). This rate is fixed by the Government. The Blue Flag taxis should also charge the same.
Unlike the case when you take metered taxis, the rates for taxi tours do not change even on Sundays or public holidays, or at night. The above rates are excluding gratuity or tips. A 15% tips is appropriate. You can also book a taxi for half-day or full day. But remember that the taxi drivers in Bermuda are all self employed. So they usually work based on their own convenience.
Bermuda Taxi Tour Operators
While you can get taxis (including Blue Flag Taxis) at the taxi stands like in Dockyard, but it is advisable to book one in advance in case you want to ensure the tour. Blue Flag Taxi drivers are usually busier than the others.
Here are some of the popular taxi tour operators in Bermuda who have been serving the tourists since several years in the island and have made good names for themselves.
He is the owner and operator of Reliable Taxi Services. He has had his taxi license since 1993 and has been driving part time up until 2001, and full time ever since. He specializes in island tours of Bermuda, and also offers services for corporate, weddings, parties and street pick-ups. Lewis is a Bermuda Government certified Blue Flag Tour Guide. He is my personal favorite, but that's no reason that you too should like him.
Email: email@example.com or Call: 441/704-2109
Millard Lightbourne of Mills Taxi Service
Millard, known as Mills, has over 50 years of experience in the tourism industry. He worked in the 5-Star Elbow Beach Hotel in Paget for 55 years before retiring as the Assistant Chief Engineer. However he has also been a certified Tourist Guide and a driver since many years. Very well behaved, polite and having awesome knowledge of the island and its flora & fauna, Mills is one of the great drivers in the island for taxi tours.
Phone: (441) 238 5690; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A very knowledgeable and reputed taxi driver in Bermuda and based in Hamilton city.
Address: The Glebe Road, Hamilton, Pembroke Parish. Phone: 441/297-0749
Access Bermuda (For physically handicapped)
Keith Simmons of Access Bermuda organizes tours and airport pickups for people with disability or special needs. He has a custom built van with side entrance and an attachable ramp to make it easily wheelchair accessible. This purpose built vehicle also has auxiliary services for ventilators and recharging of electric wheelchairs.
He operates several sightseeing tours including a 3 hour east end tours of the island, 3 hour scenic west end tour, and 5 hour full island tour with certified blue flag tour guides. All tours start and end at the Visitors Center near Hamilton Ferry Terminal. On request, he can also organize glass bottom boat tours for the physically challenged.
Address: 1 Loyal Hill, Devonshire. Phone: (441)295-9106; Email: email@example.com
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By Raj Bhattacharya
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