Activities & Things to do
Kings Wharf & Sandys Bermuda
The Kings Wharf area and Sandys parish offer a host of sporting and recreational activities. The many cruise ships that keep visiting the island, dock at Kings Wharf. Due to large tourist concentration, the dockyard area has become a tourist hotspot and is always bustling with activities. Here are some of the best activities, operators and outfitters in the area along with their offerings (in no particular order).
Island Tours and Boating & Sailing Tours
You can go for half day or full day island tours on private minibuses or vans that operate on per person rates or on charter. Alternatively you can take a taxi tour. Ample taxis (4 and 7 seaters) are available at the dockyard taxi stand. Taxis operate on hourly rate which is fixed by the government. You should look for a taxi with a blue flag or its insignia on the bonnet, then you know that the driver is also a certified tour guide and there is no extra charge on such taxis. For minibus tours visit Island Tours on Minibus, for taxi tours go through Bermuda tours using taxi.
There are plenty of water tours that operate from the dockyard which mainly take you to the western water areas like western blue cut, great sound etc. The sightseeing tours with glass-bottom views to see underwater marine life and corals are operated motorized boats. However you can also take sailing tours on yachts and catamarans that offer Sunset and Cocktail tours etc. Check out Boating & Sailing Tours for details.
Island Tour Center has a booth at the dockyard and they take both online and on-the-spot booking for various land and water based tours. They are essentially a booking company and work through the actual operators.
Dockyard Train Trolley
: This is not really a train. Although it has small passenger coaches and an engine that makes it look like a mini train, it has wheels and moves on the road, and not on track. It has a capacity of 40 passengers and takes you around the main attractions of the dockyard and outside to the parish area. A running audio commentary is given explaining the places and their background. It's free and you can hop on off.
: These are two-wheeled self balancing machines which you can take and go around the dockyard and visit many attractions. You just need to stand on the machine having a scooter like steering. It can move forward or backward at a maximum speed of 15 miles an hour and is self balancing. Since you ride it yourself, you have a lot more flexibility.
: This is a beach complex within the dockyard area. There is a nice family beach, restaurant & bar etc in the complex. Water here is shallow and calm. It's a popular place for snorkeling with many underwater features & marine life, and also for several other watersport activities including Jetski safari etc.
Snorkel Cruise by Restless Native: The attractive Pink Catamaran operates from the Heritage Wharf area of the dockyard (just next to Kings Wharf), takes you to the outer reef area for offshore snorkeling, provides knowledge about the marine life in Bermuda and offers great fresh cookies on board.
Snorkel Boat Tour by Snorkel Bermuda: Another great snorkel cruise on a small 30-foot boat that lets you snorkel over two very famous shipwrecks of Bermuda. The tour lasts for 2 hours and operates from the dockyard area.
Jet Ski Safari
: This is a 90-minute thrilling tour on Jet Skis or Water-Scooters & operates from the Snorkel Beach Park located within the dockyard complex. The guided tour takes a group through the beautiful waters of the Ely's harbor. You get to see the Somerset Bridge which is the world's smallest draw bridge, the MHS Vixen shipwreck, the Sea Garden which is a water area with spectacular views of reefs and marine life, coast line, tiny islands and lot more. On top of it, you also get some free time to play around with the Jet Ski.
: This is a recently introduced watersport where jet water pressure from a personal water craft can propel you out of the water and you will fly through the air. Great excitement and thrill.
Blue Water Divers & Watersports
: This is the longest operating dive center in Bermuda with PADI five star facilities and guides. They offer boat dives including 1-tank and 2-tank dives that cover Bermuda's some of the best reefs and wrecks. If you want, you can go for both the dives with a soup lunch in between at the marina. They can also make a customized dive package for you with multiple dives. The dives cover some of the great shipwrecks of Bermuda including, Hermes, Mary Celeste, North Carolina and more. They also offer snorkeling tours. Their main dive center is located next to the Somerset Bridge at Robinson's Marina. It's only about 10 minutes by bus from the dockyard.
Somerset Bridge Watersports
: This is a family owned business operating for over 20 years. It's also located at the Somerset Bridge in Sandys at the Robinson's Marina and is quite convenient to the dockyard cruise ship passengers. This center offers Boston Whalers (small motorized boats), Jet Skis and Kayaks along with experienced guides to explore the waters in the western part of the island.
Other than the beautiful waters of the Ely's Harbor (where the Somerset Bridge is located), you can go around to explore the Royal Naval Dockyard, the shipwreck HMS Vixen which is partially submerged and has now become home to a school of fish, the coast line with its many secluded coves and caverns, and lot more.
Bermuda Waterski Center
This is owned and operated by Kent Richardson who himself is an expert in water ski and an instructor. The specially designed Ski Nautique is used for the water ski rides. He provides lessons to individuals or to a group of maximum five at a time, and takes them to either the Great Sound water area or off the western end. Slalom, trick skiing, knee boarding, barefoot, tubing are offered to both novice and experts. The center also offers snorkeling and sightseeing tours. The Center is located at the Robinson's Marina next to the Somerset Bridge in Sandys Parish. They are open daily between May to September. Phone: 441/234-3354 or 335-1012; Email: [email protected]
They operate from the dockyard area in the west end of Bermuda, and offer parasailing and Jet Ski tours. For parasailing, a group of up to 12 persons are taken by boat to the Great Sound water area and launched from the boat one by one. It's a harness type parasail and two persons can fly together. You land back on the boat without getting wet unless of courses you like to take a dip while landing. In Jet Ski, they offer several water tours combined with swimming and snorkeling covering the west end and east end water areas. Check out the link for details.
Skyrider Bermuda Ltd.
Offers parasailing from the Dockyard area. They fly you over the north shore and Great Sound water area. You will be launched and retrieved from the deck of Skyrider that has a maximum capacity of 10 persons. The parasail type is sit down chair and two persons usually fly together. They operate between May to October. Phone: 441/234-3019.
operates a sports center from the 9-Beaches Resorts at the Daniel's Head. Earlier this was operated by an outfitter Surf Shack
offering Kiteboarding lessons. Since they closed down, Fantasea has taken over and offers a range of sporting activities including kiteboarding, windsurfing, kayaking, motorized boat rentals, sailboats, kayaks, rafts, pedal boats and floating lounges. They also offer snorkeling gears. Phone: 441/239-2999.
: If you are in the island on the first Sunday in August, do not miss out on this hilarious event in Bermuda. Held in Mangrove bay, families and friends come from all over the island and float on their self made vessels. These are crafted from anything they could get hold of like even picnic tables on floats. With such non-seaworthy vessels, the idea is not to win, but to lose. This has become a very popular event in the island, both to locals and tourists.
Sandys Boat Club
: Located at the sheltered Mangrove Bay, the club was formed in 1937 and has been organizing boating, sailing and social events since many years. There are over 250 members.
Mini Golf Course
: There is an 18 hole mini golf course named 'Fun Golf' in the dockyard area with wonderful view of the water. A round of golf here could be a great fun for both experienced and average golfers. The course here offers reasonably good challenges making it exciting for all. It is touted as the best mini golf course in the world. The cruise ship passengers wanting to play a round of fun & exciting golf now have a fun option in the dockyard itself. The course is open on day and night time. It also has a cocktail bar.
But if you are looking for serious golfing, there are several excellent golf courses that can be easily reached from Kings Wharf cruise port - Port Royal Golf Course is a PGA Grand Slam Venue and located in Southampton, Riddell's Bay Golf Course is in Warwick and so is Belmont Hill Golf Course. These are all located at the western parishes and close to the dockyard. Visitors can book Tee time at all these courses. Visit Bermuda Golf Courses
for full information.
Several fishing charters operate from the dockyard taking the anglers to deep sea. Group fishing tours are also available at the dockyard offering per person rates and leaving for reef fishing or in-shore fishing. Visit Fishing in Bermuda
for complete information about how to go about fishing in Bermuda and the best operators.
Moresby Playing Field
This is a fenced playing area. You can see locals playing cricket and other games. Once this area used to be a limestone quarry that served as the main source of supply of limestone rocks required to build the Royal Naval Dockyard. The Clocktower Building which used to be a storehouse once was also built with the stones extracted from this quarry.
Sandys 360 Sports, Aquatic & Enrichment Center
: This $10-million facility offers a wide range of recreational, fitness, health and aquatic programs to the west end community in Bermuda. Built as an extension to the Sandys Middle School campus, the facilities are offered to both students and adults. Offerings include 25-meter 6-lane swimming pool with instructors, basket ball court, a fully equipped gym, fitness center and aerobics hall, lockers and showers etc. The center also offers after school programs, athletic development programs & facilities, community services and educational programs. There are membership fees for pool, gym, classes etc. One can also take up combination memberships. One can also use the gym, pool by paying daily charges. Visitors are also welcome.
Events & Festivals
Daily Summer Events at Dockyard
: Royal Naval Dockyard in collaboration with Bermuda Tourism Authority organizes a series of events including cultural, food, musical and other recurring activities that continue for several months during the summer when the cruise season starts. Several of such events and festivals are free of charge.
Horse carriage rides are available at Kings Wharf. You will need to walk a short distance from the ship pier to the carriage. Marquis Ranch offers such carriage rides - they have a 30 minute ride to take you around the historic buildings and fort areas of the dockyard and also one hour ride to additionally cover the neighborhood island areas including parks, bays and residential areas.
It has a branch at the dockyard and rents scooters and bicycles. So if you can ride a scooter, you can go about Sandys parish and enjoy yourself.
Bermuda Railway Trail
: If you love to walk or cycle, the section of the railway trail that passes through Sandys can be a real treat. The flat stretch offers wonderful views of the Great Sound water area, farm lands, residential neighborhood and even some great attractions like beaches and historical forts (if you are willing to take small diversions though).
There are several entry points on this section of the trail. George's Bay Road entry close to the earlier US Naval Air Station is the first entry to the trail at the eastern end of the parish. The railway trail here goes all the way up to the beautiful Mangrove bay. Visit the link above and check out the first two sections of the trail to get all the details. Although not allowed, sometimes the locals use the trail even on motorbikes and zip through. So be a bit watchful.
Island Beach Parties
take place at the Snorkel Park Beach on some days of the week in the evenings. It gives a great option for a high-energy nighttime entertainment in Bermuda for everyone including families. Along with beachside dinner, you can enjoy dancing and singing contests, congo lines, limbo dancing, DJs, bands like steel pans and lot more.
Update 2014: Island Beach Parties at Snorkel Park are no longer held.
3) Check out Sandy's
for many other great attractions in the parish.
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