Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute (BUEI)
The mission of Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute (BUEI) is to enhance the understanding of the ocean around Bermuda to the public. And this includes its diverse marine life, corals, the sunken historic shipwrecks, collected treasures & articles, etc.
BUEI Entrance Hall
BUEI also explains the mysteries related to the Atlantic. And all this is done through a series of eye-popping artifacts and exhibits. And many of such exhibits are interactive.
BUEI is located in Hamilton City. Since its opening in 1997, it has been attracting large number of visitors... it has become a great attraction particularly for families & kids.
There is a life-size replica of a 500-pound, 27-foot long squid that hangs in the entrance hall. The building where all exhibits are placed is known as Ocean Discovery Center. The exhibits are showcased in two different floors.
Lower Floor: Ocean Discovery Center
There is a Treasure Room here that showcases many items collected by Teddy Tucker, a legendary scuba diver of Bermuda who collected numerous underwater treasures from shipwrecks. Teddy was once the honorary chairman of BUEI.
Among the many collections in Treasure Room are the replica of Pectoral Cross made of gold and emerald collected by Teddy Tucker in 1955 from the wreck of San Pedro, and ampoules of opium from the shipwreck Constellation that sank in 1943.
Just outside the exit and mounted on the wall is a replica of the jaws of the largest Great White Shark ever caught. Other displays include glassware from the wrecks of Lord Amberst (1778) and L'Herminie (1838).
The Shipwreck Gallery shows a film footage of Teddy Tucker exploring several shipwrecks. A wall panel further explains some of those famous wrecks including The Constellation (sunk in 1943) and San Pedro (sunk in 1595).
The Deep & Bioluminescence Section showcases the underwater creatures that create their own lights or glows for protection and attraction.
Here you will also hear the sounds made by the dolphins and whales. A large mural depicts the underwater food chain of deep sea creatures including that of Blue Whales.
There is also a Shark Cage. A group of six can get into the cage at a time and experience a simulated shark cage dive which includes a shark attack and getting hit by a shark.
Another section The Deep explains the sea floor terrain and many deep sea creatures. You can even interact with virtual Jelly fish.
Upper Floor: Ocean Discovery Center
Blue Echo Dive
Here you can take a simulated 7-minute trip to the ocean floor (at a depth of 12,000ft) by a modern Nautilus-X2 submarine.
You will encounter many mysterious underwater creatures of the sea as you take this virtual dive. This is very popular with the visitors particularly with the children.
Living with the Ocean is another excellent interactive exhibit. With the help of sophisticated technology, you can explore how human beings interact with the ocean and its wide range of marine life all throughout the world including in Bermuda.
Living with the Ocean, BUEI
There are seven large screens that simulate a section of the ocean and you can navigate to any part of the ocean anywhere in the world and see coral reefs and marine creatures in life-like views.
The exhibit also showcases oceanic environmental problems: plastic pollution, global warming, over fishing etc. In addition, there are interactive displays about Bermuda whales, sharks and reefs.
In 2018, BUEI introduced the exhibit Bermuda Triangle: Unlock the Secrets
which reveals some of the mysteries behind the infamous Bermuda Triangle
. You can see a 3D hologram of how a hurricane is formed on the ocean and how it finally subsides.
Another huge glass cylinder in this section demonstrates how a large amount of methane gas, if released from the ocean floor, can sink ships and aircraft.
You should also visit the Shell Collection room. It's a mind-blowing display of 1,200 shells collected by a person named Jack Lightbourn. This is only 1/4th of his total collection.
In another section known as Bermuda Revealed, you get to see a replica of bathysphere, the famous metal ball less than 5 feet in diameter in which William Beebe and Otis Barton descended to a depth of half a mile off the coast of Bermuda in the 1934.
Bathysphere at the far end
The dive broke the previous record depth for a human dive of 525 feet and stood for 15 years. You can climb and get into the bathysphere and experience the feel.
Other rare collections at BUEI includes a diving bell - an example of early diving gears.
Also on display is an Exo-suit, similar to an astronaut’s suit, but made of titanium. It allows divers wearing it to reach depths of 600 feet. It can be used for rescuing the crew of sunken submarines.
BUEI holds various events round the year including short films, film festivals, lecture sessions, education programs, etc. You can check out the BUEI Events Page
and scan through the event calendar and see all the scheduled events for a month.
The annual event known as Harborside Market is held usually in November from 10am to 4pm. About 40 vendors participate in this event. There are movie shows for kids, popup spa, photos with Santa, raffle draw etc.
Local vendors set up stalls across three floors of the building and display a range of art & craft and various gift items. It's a great event for families and kids.
BUEI also organizes whale-watching
boat trips during the season (March - April).
From May through November, and 2 to 3 nights after full moon, BUEI also organizes guided boat tour for watching Glow worms and their mating dance
over the water surface.
If you are in a group, you can book a private tram
through BUEI and take a tour of Hamilton. The tour is known as Bermuda Triangle Tram Tour.
There is an onsite restaurant Harbourfront that overlooks the Hamilton harbor. The restaurant serves excellent Seafood, Italian and Sushi items. Other than inside seating, there is also an outdoor deck right at the edge of the water.
The BUEI has a gift shop known as Oceans Gift Shop. You can see a lot of items here produced by the local vendors including paintings, art & craft, cups & plates, post cards, and more.
Admission Fee is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors, $8 for children between 6-17 years. $3 for children 3 - 5 years. Children under 2 are free. Advance booking not required.
There is no admission fee to visit only the gift shop or the Harbourfront Restaurant.
Monday to Friday between 10am - 5pm;
Saturday to Sunday between 10am - 4pm;
Last admission is 1 hour before closure.
Location and Contacts
Visit the Tourist Map
to view the location and other attractions around.
Address: 40 Crow Lane, off Eastern Broadway, Hamilton City, Pembroke.
BUEI located on Eastern Broadway (the eastern continuation of Front Street). It's a 10 minute walk from the center of Hamilton City and about 20 minute walk from Hamilton Ferry Terminal. Take the sidewalk along the waterside of Front Street.
Bus routes: #1, 2, 7, 8.
By Raj Bhattacharya
Raj, a seasoned travel writer and Bermuda destination expert, has extensive global travel experience. This website reflects his profound insights, garnered over nearly two decades of dedicated findings and research on the island. Raj has assisted countless Bermuda-bound visitors by providing direct, personalized responses to their queries and imparting his wealth of knowledge through this platform. This site serves as an indispensable guide for those seeking informed and reliable insights into Bermuda's treasures.
1) Check out Bermuda Museums
for great museums and historical buildings in Bermuda.
3) Check out Hamilton City
for many other great attractions in Hamilton.
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