Scuba Diving In Bermuda
Bermuda has remained a magnet for scuba divers. Some of the dive shops here offer PADI 5-star facilities including dive instructions. Diving in Bermuda offers all the classic ingredients that you want for a special dive - the reefs, shipwrecks, underwater caves, a variety of colorful corals and marine life, and finally clear and warm water.
If you have never dived before but want to give it a try, don't miss out on the beginners diving experience in Bermuda. There are dive centers in Bermuda who provide extensive guidance for first timers. Most of the Bermuda diving shops offer a Discover Scuba course, which allows first-time scuba divers to take a brief lesson and follow an instructor to a shallow wreck or reef dive. It requires no certification or previous experience - only adequate fitness.
Blue Hole Brain Corals and Sea Fan
Photo: Heidi Hess
Novices can learn the basics and then dive up to 25 feet deep on the same day. And there are many shallow water reefs and shipwrecks in Bermuda that you can experience as you dive for the first time. Several resorts in Bermuda have in-house diving shops and offer three-hour scuba diving courses and teach the basics in a pool, on the beach, or off a dive boat, that finally leads to a fascinating shallow water reef or a wreck dive.
Although you can easily dive year-round, the best months for diving in Bermuda are May through October. The sea is the most tranquil at this time, and the water temperature is moderate. It averages 83°F (28°C) during this time and dips to about 62°F (17°C) between November to April.
During the wintertime, you need to bring your own scuba diving gear as diving shops in Bermuda are mostly closed. You will also need appropriate wetsuits in winter. Note that the Atlantic waters around Bermuda are exceptionally salty, so additional weights may be required. But the Atlantic waters are generally quite clear, so visibility is high under the ocean surface. Visibility during summer time, May to October, is generally up to 25 meters (about 80 feet). In the other months the visibility is far higher and can be up to 61 meters (about 200 feet).
Reef Dive Sites in Bermuda
There are some 200 square miles of coral reefs in the waters surrounding the island. Some of the easiest and best day trips for reef dives include exploring the south-shore reefs. These reefs are the most dramatic ones in Bermuda. The ocean-side drop-off can be up to 60 feet in some places. The corals are so honeycombed with caves, ledges, and holes that opportunities for any discovery is simply quite vast.
Most of Bermuda's reefs are still in excellent health. You are bound to get the exotic experience to swim with schools of Multicolor Fish
or even the occasional barracudas. As part of conservation drive, removal of corals is illegal in Bermuda.
Out of all the reef sites, arguably the most popular is The Cathedral
which is located off the eastern coast. It has a number of caves and tunnels, and you can often sight schools of fish passing through them. It's an experience of a lifetime as you dive and swim through the holes and tunnels that are illuminated with sunlight.
Reef Tunnel next to Montana
Photo: Heidi Hess
If you want to know where all the major coral reefs are located, what can you expect to see if you take a dive for these magnificent reefs, and how Bermuda’s coral reefs have been formed, then check out Bermuda's Amazing Coral Reefs
Note that reef corals get badly damaged (bleached) as they come in contact with UV sunscreen lotions that we use to protect our skin from sun burns. This has been observed through a study by European Commission. Divers should therefore take care not to use sunscreen lotions while diving.
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Wreck Dive Sites in Bermuda
There are more than 300 shipwreck sites in the waters surrounding Bermuda many of which are well preserved. Some 20 of them are believed to have been wrecked off the island itself and are lying on the ocean bed quite close to Bermuda island.
Most of the well-preserved shipwrecks are to the north and east, and dive depths range between 25 feet and 80 feet. Several wrecks in the west are in relatively shallow water, 30 feet or less, and are ideal for novice divers. Each wreck has a very interesting story and we heard them all from the veteran divers including Teddy Tucker (passed away in 2014) and Graham Maddock.
Check out Bermuda's Shipwreck Sites
to know about the popular and well known wrecks in Bermuda's water and what to expect at the sites.
Montana Shipwreck (Boiler)
Photo: Heidi Hess
Top Shipwreck Dive Sites in Bermuda
Most Popular Sites
Somewhat Popular Sites
Less popular Sites
Col. William G. Ball
Bermuda's Department of Tourism (now Bermuda Tourism Authority) and the island's dive shops have instituted a free Shipwreck Certification Program for divers. The program is an innovative approach to provide more than just a memory to scuba divers. Since its launch in September 1996, many of Bermuda's 35 most popular and historic shipwrecks have been profiled in this program.
On completion of a wreck dive listed in the program, a diver receives a special certificate, beautifully crafted on decorative parchment-type paper. The diver's name, date of the dive and name of the dive operation, with the captain's or dive master's signature, is included on the document. Each certificate has the name of the ship, a silhouette of it prior to its sinking and a short description.
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Top Dive Operators in Bermuda
The Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) is the world's largest recreational diving membership and diver training organization founded in 1966. PADI members like the dive shops, resorts, instructors, and dive masters provide lessons to the recreational divers. Some of the top Bermuda dive shops are PADI certified members.
There are several dive centers in Bermuda. Several 5 star resorts have in-house dive centers. The following diving shops in Bermuda are the ones that stand out from the rest in terms of their maturity in diving activities, facilities, packages and overall friendliness. Note that most operators offer Discover Scuba dive for beginners, as well as 1-tank and 2-tank reef and wreck dives for experienced and certified divers. While the Discovery Scuba dives last for about 2.5 to 3 hours, the duration of 1-tank and 2-tank dives are for about 4 hours (half day). Visit the dive center links for detailed info.
For cruise ship passengers docked at Kings or Heritage Wharf, this is a very convenient dive operator. They are located within Royal Naval Dockyard itself and have a 5 star PADI dive center with PADI certified instructors (at North Arm, Dockyard Watersports Center). They operate daily 2-tank dives for both reef and wrecks (as well as 1-tank dives) and also offer Discover Scuba lessons during May to November. From the cruise pier, you can easily walk across to their dive center.
2-Tank Dive (Bermuda SCUBA Adventure)
In the certified 2-tank dive (Bermuda SCUBA Adventure) the boat first takes you to a site where there are two underwater shipwrecks at 30-50ft depth close to each other, the second dive takes place at a short ride away to explore underwater coral reefs and marine life. Although they usually visit a wreck and a reef site, all dive sites are weather dependent and chosen by the Captain on the day according to conditions, and experience of divers. Proof of certification is required and must have been diving within the past 2 years. 25% discount is given if you bring your own equipment.
PADI Discover Scuba Diving
This is ideal for beginners who want to learn scuba diving under the instructions and supervision of PADI certified instructor. This course is also good as refresher course for those who haven't dived in the past 2 years, as well as for experienced divers wanting to do shore dive. Minimum age 10, Max weight 250lbs. Participants must be able to swim. All divers are subject to satisfactorily completing a medical questionnaire. The dive tour departs from Snorkel Park Beach
The activity starts off with scuba diving lessons given by a PADI certified instructor which is followed by a practice session (skill review) so that you are able to revise and practically apply the lessons learned. This is then followed by a guided shallow water shore dive (within 35-ft). Gear equipment are provided. Once the dive is over you can relax at the Snorkel Park Beach which has all amenities including beach rentals, restaurant and bat, changing rooms, lockers etc.
Hours and Contacts:
Summer: 8:00am-6:00pm, Monday to Sunday
Winter: 9:00am-4:00pm, Monday to Friday
They operate out of Royal Naval Dockyard. Check in 15 minutes prior to departure at Island Tour Center located at dockyard. Phone: 441 236-DIVE(3483), Email: [email protected]
X Temporarily Closed
This diving shop has PADI 5-Star IDC facilities and operates out of Fairmont Southampton hotel in Southampton Parish. This is Bermuda’s one of the few land-based operations to offer scuba diving for both North and South shore wrecks and reef sites.
This operation was earlier known as Triangle Diving which was taken over by Dive Bermuda in 2016. It operates from the picturesque waterside of Grotto Bay Beach Resort located at the eastern side of the island. It has a full-service PADI facility with custom dive boat, offering access to Bermuda’s large base of wrecks and vibrant reefs at the eastern waters. They are minutes away from St. George.
A diving shop having PADI 5-Star IDC facility and Bermuda’s longest running dive operation. It gives you great access to Bermuda’s exciting wrecks and pristine reefs. It offers year-round scuba diving, two custom dive boats and operates from three locations. It also offers guided shore dives and dive packages.
Tucker’s Point Dive and Water Sports Center
X No longer in operation
They are located at the eastern side of the island in Castle Harbor area and in the property of the hotel Rosewood Bermuda
. This is one of the relatively new PADI centers in Bermuda. They offer daily 1 and 2 tank reef and wreck dives from their custom built boat (30-ft 380hp boat which can reach virtually any reef or wreck site). The on-board facilities include EPIRB, GPS, VHF, life rafts, flares, oxygen, life jackets, marine head, provision for hot water shower and enough shades. You can even have your own chartered dive program or customize a dive.
Diving Gear Rentals in Bermuda
Other than the diving centers, there are several other places in Bermuda where you get Scuba diving equipment and gear rentals. Visit Diving equipment and gear rentals
for a list of all places renting scuba gears.
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.
Visitors' Reviews and Comments
John Butterworth (June 2021)
I was lucky enough to be a guest worker in 1997 working as a MSDT diving Instructor at Scuba Look, I worked on the Xing Da
with the other diving instructors and Dive operators making it safe to carry out guided tours after she was sailed out and sunk in her resting place.
I started diving at 22yrs old in Oldham England with BSAC, became a BSAC Club instructor and a PADI OWSI instructor, then gained my MSDT, I have dived all over the world and remember my time in Bermuda as my most favourable place in the world to dive.
With all the wreck diving and reef diving, my most favorite place to dive in 30ft of water was North Rock reef
dive with all the corals and fish diversity. I'm now 61yrs old and will be looking to return soon to dive a place that is so beautiful and will always be engraved in my memories.
John Debes (July 2019)
We will be taking a cruise in august and docking at the Royal Dockyard. My two sons just received their certification a few weeks ago. I would like to treat them to a couple of dives on the 22nd of August. Can you recommend something for beginners. Thanks.
Raj (bermuda-attractions.com) July 2019
A convenient and a relatively economical option for you would be the Fantasea Diving and Watersports that operates out of Royal Naval Dockyard (from Dockyard Watersports Center). They offer 1-tank and 2-tank guided dives for certified divers. The 2-tank dive covers two sites... the boat takes you to a wreck site in 30-50 ft water followed by a reef site. However arguably the best dive operator in the island is Dive Bermuda. Their main operating location is on a south shore beach (part of Fairmont Southampton Hotel property) in Southampton parish. You need to take a bus or taxi to get there. They too offer guided 1-tank and 2-tank dives. Both operators also offer Discover Scuba Dives (1-tank) that are essentially meant for non-certified beginners.
Jonathon Bealer (December 2018)
Hi there, My family will be visiting Bermuda in a few weeks and while we are there we would love to do some diving. I am a BSAC Advanced Diver, my wife and daughter (15 yrs) are SSI Open Water and my son (12 yrs) is SSI Junior Open Water certified. We have all dived recently here in the US the kids getting their certs in September. Is there some diving that might work for us that would fit with my sons depth limit of 45ft ? We were thinking about the 2-tank dive you have on your website but note that the first dive can be up to 80.Hopefully we can work something out and look forward to seeing you soon! Cheers,
Raj (bermuda-attractions.com) December 2018
Hi, the west end waters in Bermuda have shallow wreck and reef dive sites that are mostly within 45ft depth. Suggest you contact a dive operator like 'Dive Bermuda', 'Bluewater Divers' or Fantasea (all of them operate dives at the western end)... they can work out an appropriate 2-tank dive package for your family.
Sarah (April 2011)
Hello! My boyfriend and I are going on a cruise in July to spend three days in Bermuda. We would like to find a Half day trip for scuba diving to see all Of the sea life and ship wreaks. We are going to be located at King Wharf island and wanted to know what scuba diving locations and companies are the best ones. We also wanted to know if we can get our discovery scuba training before we leave or if we should wait until we arrive at Bermuda.
Also I have ear problems and cant go past most like 20 fit under or the pressure in my ears become to painful, do you know any scuba diving excursions that would be only 20 feet? Or lower? Sorry for the long message I look forward hearing from you !!
Raj (bermuda-attractions.com) April 2011
Hi Sarah, Since your cruise ship will be docking at the Kings Wharf, a convenient dive operator would be the Blue Water Divers. They are the longest PADI operation in the island. They have a dive center at Somerset Bridge (at Robinson's Marina) which is about 10 minutes by bus from the dockyard. Bus #7 and 8 have stops right at the dockyard and you can take either of them to reach the dive center.
The afternoon 1-tank dive that starts at 1:30pm usually takes the divers to shallow wrecks and reefs. There are plenty of shallow wrecks at the western end of Bermuda. By the way, just to let you know that Kings Wharf is not an island. It's a berth or a pier where the cruise ship docks and located at the Royal Naval Dockyard. The dockyard is located at the western end of the island in a parish known as Sandys.
I suggest that you call up Blue Water Divers
or write to them to get details about dives and courses offered by them currently. Hope this helps. Have a great time in Bermuda.
Mary Posey (March 2011)
I may be coming on a cruise with some friends and would like to do a dive. The ship docks in Kings Wharf at 10am and leaves the following day at 2pm. Any chance of getting a 2-tank dive in the period of time? Thanks for your reply.
Raj (bermuda-attractions.com) March 2011
Hi, You may just be able to make it on the day when your cruise ship docks at the Kings Wharf. The second day will be risky. But you will probably need to rush out of the cruise ship as soon as it docks and head for Hamilton City immediately. Take a direct ferry from the dockyard, that's the fastest (takes about 25 minutes).
There is a dive center Dive Bermuda
with PADI 5 star facilities that has an operation from the Fairmont Hamilton Princess Hotel located at Pitt's Bay road in Hamilton City. They offer a 2-tank dive daily during the summer season leaving at noon time. I would recommend that you call them up in advance and find out their current schedule as well as booking formalities.
Also, check out Blue Water Divers
who has a dive center at Somerset Bridge and the afternoon dive starts at 1:30pm.