Snorkeling Boat Tours in Bermuda

 
 
A snorkel tour can let you experience amazing corals and marine life at some of the many fascinating reef and wreck sites in Bermuda. Bermuda's crystal clear water gives such high visibility that even snorkelers can clearly view several awesome shipwrecks that are lying submerged under the water. Some of such famous shipwrecks include the Constellation and Montana. 
 
 
 
Deeper at the ocean and at the reef and wreck sites, you can also view marvelous and colorful coral formations as well as fish and marine life which are not usually visible from beach snorkeling. And therefore many operators in the island specialize in snorkeling cruises. Some specialize on wreck sites, some on reef sites and some on a mix of both, some cover island beaches and some even combine a bit of sightseeing with snorkeling. 
 
A Snorkel Cruise in Bermuda 
 
Photo: Restless Native 
 
However depending on the weather conditions, captains do change the course and the sites. If the ocean is rough or swelling, they take you to inlets in a calm water area. Some use small boats with capacity of 10-15 so that they can personalize the trips making it more friendly, and also able to reach fast at the snorkel site. The captains chat with the guests, share their knowledge of the ocean and island, and even help take photographs during the tour. However there are also operators who use large boats taking large groups of up to 150. 
 
Most of these snorkel boat tours and cruises operate on a per person rate. However you can also charter them for your own private group, if you want. You should know swimming and be comfortable swimming in deep water if you plan to take one of these snorkel tours. 
 
Rates by Viator 
 

Top Snorkel Cruises & Operators

 
Here are some of the best and popular snorkel boat tour operators in Bermuda (go through the links for details on the snorkel tours). 
 
This is a 2-hour snorkel cruise offered by Captain Sonny Sullivan on his small 30-foot motorized boat. You get to snorkel over two of the most famous shipwrecks at the western end of Bermuda. The tour operates from Royal Naval Dockyard (where the large cruise ships dock). 
 
If you are looking for a catamaran sailing to experience a great offshore snorkeling, then this 3-hour snorkel trip operated by Captain Keith Ward can be a nice option. He takes you to the outer reefs in north western water area where beautiful corals and marine life are in abundance. While they operate regular day trips, the sail boat can also be charted for a small group of up to 12. Complimentary refreshments are offered on board. The boat leaves from Mangrove Bay dock at Somerset, Sandys. 
 
 
 
This 2-hour tour in a small boat is meant for sheer snorkeling enjoyment. You will pass by lovely coastline on the way. You get to snorkel in two different sites from secluded island beaches, shipwrecks and sea garden (an underwater area with colorful corals & lots of fish). The boat has a capacity of 16 and leaves from Hamilton (near the ferry terminal) and offers pick up and drop for the cruise passengers at the dockyard. There are several other snorkeling tours offered by this operator such as Bermuda Shipwreck Snorkel where two famous shipwrecks sites (Constellation and Montana) are covered. Another cruise trip is Catamaran sightseeing and reef snorkeling combo. 
 
Reef Explorer is one of the largest boats in Bermuda that offers snorkel, glass bottom view and night time tours with a capacity of 150 passengers. The 3-hour snorkel tour includes glass bottom view of marine life and an 18th century shipwreck, then passing by the natural habitat of Atlantic green turtles and followed by a swim & snorkel in waist deep water in a cove. 
 
They have a nice catamaran sailing boat with bimini shaded cockpit. It has 4 cabins with bathrooms. Captain Nathan is in charge. The boat departs from the pier of Grotto Bay Beach Resort located at the eastern side of the island in Hamilton Parish. They offer a daily 3-hour sailing, swimming and snorkeling trip during the summer. However the trip takes place subject to reaching a minimum head count of 6 persons. This is one of the very few swimming & snorkeling cruises available to explore the eastern water areas. The boat goes all the way to Turtle Bay across Castle Harbor passing by several scattered islands and offers wonderful views. 
 
With instructions on Bermuda's marine life and guided snorkeling trip, plus fresh cookies on board, it's hard to resist this excellent outfitter. This 3.5 hours sailing & snorkel trip on a pink catamaran departs from the dockyard (Kings Wharf dock area). 
 
The tour 'Sundeck Sightseeing & Snorkel Experience'  departs from Dockyard on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Check in at Island Tour Center Office (Dockyard) 15 minutes prior to departure.  The tour includes Sightseeing and Snorkeling. Boat anchors near a shallow, rocky, small beach area.  Guests may swim, snorkel, lay on beach, kayak or paddleboard. 
 
 
 
North Rock Snorkel Adventure 
This tour is conducted by Bermuda Aquarium Museum & Zoo and offered through Island Tour Center. You can snorkel at the famous North Rock - one of the northern most rim reef of Bermuda and see some of the most amazing corals and marine life. The tour departs from Aquarium Dock by parking lot.  Check in 15 minutes prior to departure. Saturdays only, June-Sept. Tour duration is 3.5 hours.  Members $50, Non-Members $60. Phone: (441) 236-1300; Email: [email protected] 
 
Bermuda Sea Life Snorkel Tour 
This is a chartered snorkeling offered in small groups of up to 8 persons in a 24ft catamaran which leaves from the Royal Naval Dockyard (cruise port area). The tour takes you to shallow reef areas or enclosed bay area which are full of fish, corals, marine life... you may even see turtles. The tour guide is Dr. Thaddeus Murdoch who has over 25 years of experience in marine research. He will also explain you the ecology of sea life, provide some educational materials, help identify the fish & marine creatures you encounter during your snorkeling.... so it becomes an informative tour and you can really enjoy Bermuda's sea life. 
 
All snorkel gears are provided. The boat has a diving platform and a ladder and enough space to relax. Along with snorkeling you can optionally combine activities like Snorkeling, Kayaking, Stand-up Paddle Boarding, Photography, Birding, Picnics etc. 
 
They specialize in private full-day tours (5 & 1/2 hours). Full day charter cost is $800 (up to 8 adults). Tours can start from Dockyard, Hamilton, St. George etc depending on your convenience. Children over the age of 12 are accepted though must be accompanied by an adult. Private tour options include a shipwreck history excursion, kayaking among mangroves, seasonal bird watching, coastal ocean clean-ups and much more. 
 
Email: [email protected]; Phone: (441) 505-8424 
 
 
Raj is an avid traveler and a full-time travel blogger. He has traveled to numerous countries across the world and loves to keep travelling. His mission here is to help viewers like you visiting Bermuda or seeking insights into related matters with the most comprehensive content compared to any other online resources. Since years now he has been helping countless viewers by posting quality articles on this website, answering questions and sharing experiences. Launched in 2008, this website is Bermuda's leading source of online information since many years. 
 
 
 
 

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Visitors' Reviews & Comments

 
 
Rosemary Daly (June 2016) 
I have read a lot of your information and it is terrific, it has really helped us in planning our trip. But I don't see a lot for 2016... we are going to Bermuda this July. My husband and I do a lot of snorkeling and we don't want to be on a boat with 30 people... we don't care about rum swizzles and just want to see a lot of marine life. Can you suggest one of the best boats for doing that? 
 
Raj (bermuda-attractions.com, June 2016) 
You can consider Sonny's Snorkel Bermuda (wreck snorkeling) or Captain Kirks Coral Reef Adventures (sea garden/reef and wreck snorkeling). Both are small boats. 
 
Danielle (May 2016) 
Hi, Do you know if Sonny's snorkeling tour that goes to the shipwrecks, also includes the sea garden? I know the Jesse James tour specifically mentions it, but the timing of Sonny's tours would be better for us. Thanks. 
 
Raj (bermuda-attractions.com, May 2016) 
Hi, Sonny's tour is essentially a shipwreck tour, but you can also see lots of corals and fish. But it does not specifically cover the Sea Garden. 
 
Joanne (April 2012) 
Thank you for this informative web site. My husband and I are cruising to Bermuda in May.  I have read great reviews on Jessie James and Snorkel Bermuda. Which one would you suggest?  I like Jessie James because of the glass bottom boat. However, they only offer afternoon tours and we want to spend time at Harbour Nights. Snorkel Bermuda offers more times tours however the tour isn't as long. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Regards, 
 
Raj (bermuda-attractions.com, April 2012) 
Hi, Both the snorkel cruises are good. Sonny Sullivan, the captain of Snorkel Bermuda was the first employee of Jessie James where he honed his skills as a snorkel tour operator. He later switched to other operators and then finally owned a boat himself to operate his own snorkel boat tour. 
 
Again Jessie James in no longer with Jimmy who was the original captain of the boat and operated the tour along with his wife. The husband-wife combination was fantastic. Jimmy retired and sold off the boat to Chloe Mckey who continues to operate the same trips. The tour continues to be good though. 
 
In Jessie James you will get three-in-one snorkeling experience covering three different places that includes beach area, two shipwrecks and sea garden with fish & corals. Their snorkel time is nearly 120 minutes compared to little over 60 minutes of Snorkel Bermuda. (Update Jan 2013: Jessie James has cut short the snorkeling hours and also number of sites. They now cover 2 sites instead of three). 
 
Snorkel Bermuda is essentially about shipwreck snorkeling and they take you to the same water area as Jessie James (Western Blue Cut in the western end) but focus mostly on wreck snorkeling. However, they operate three tours (9am, 12noon and 3pm). Jessie James offers morning and afternoon tours during June-August, but only afternoon tours in the other months. 
 
Note that you can go for the Harbor Night in Hamilton after completing the afternoon tour of Jessie James. Harbor Night starts at 7pm and only on Wednesdays, and continues until late evening. 
 
Bev DeMilia (June 2011) 
Our cruise docks in Bermuda 7/3/11 - 7/5/11. We have a party of 11 people (adults & teens) and some not the best swimmers. Some people would like to try snorkeling while others may want to lounge on a beach nearby. What would you recommend for a tour or a charter. If chartering, which beach would you suggest we ask them to take us to. Do you have any comments on AJ's Wings, Shekynah, the Sun Splash, etc.? I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you. 
 
Raj (bermuda-attractions.com, June 2011) 
Hi, If you are planning to be lounging on a beach while others try out snorkeling, there is no need to take a boat tour. You can go to one of the best snorkeling beaches and enjoy both. Snorkel Park is one of them which is located within the dockyard complex itself and only a few minutes walk from your cruise ship pier. You can also reach the other beaches quite easily from the dockyard. I have discussed all the best beaches for snorkeling here: Snorkeling in Bermuda 
 
If you are looking for a private boat tour that offers both offshore snorkeling as well a beach to enjoy, I must say it's difficult to get best of both the worlds at the same time. All the three options that you have mentioned are good. You should plan to get your own food because they offer limited menu on board, but allow you to bring your own. You can take my reference with the captain of Shekynah, Caleb Zuill. 
 
Another good option is the boat PISCES from Jessie James Cruises. You can charter this 31-foot boat which has a toilet and seating arrangements. You can design a part of your private tour as per their regular snorkeling trip. They cover three snorkeling areas one after the other, with the first one at an island (kings Point) which has a small beach. Some of you can lounge there while others can proceed towards shipwreck sites nearby for a great snorkeling experience. They pick you up from the Dockyard and drop you there if you charter their boat. Check out the details here: Jessie James 
 
If you like to combine a long sail along with snorkeling, I would insist with the operator to finally take the group to the Clearwater Beach at St. David's Island. Since this means an end-to-end ride from the west to the eastern end of Bermuda and back, all may not easily agree. But sometimes they do take you there if you insist and pay a few extra dollars, and it's worth the trip. The boat ride and the beach are both wonderful. Find out about the beach here: Clearwater Beach. Have a great time in Bermuda! 
 
Scott Lippy (July 2010) 
Last July, my wife and I scheduled a snorkeling trip with Jessie James. Unfortunately the weather had been windy and unsafe for sites on the outer reefs. However, Capt. Jimmy knew of some in-shore areas that were loaded with fish and made the trip enjoyable. A rainstorm quickly appeared and cut short our final dive, but we still had fun. We got soaked from the rain on the way back to the dock and the only negative we had was our extra clothing got soaked, too. I would suggest to anyone to put things in a "dry" bag if you wish to take any towels or extra clothing. The fact that the boat is smaller than some made the trip more enjoyable as you get to know the other folks more that way. We will seek out Jessie James tours again. 
 
Scott Lippy (June 2010) 
My wife and I booked the Fantasea snorkel tour while on our Bermuda vacation. The first thing is the directions for where to meet the tour were not specific enough and we ended up at their downtown Hamilton office when we should have been at the Royal Naval Dockyards. 
 
However, the pleasant staff easily changed our reservations for a tour the next day without any hassles. The next day found us in the midst of the throng of cruise ship folks all trying to get to their excursions. While we did see signs for other Fantasea tours, none were the same as ours. Even asking those Fantasea folks where ours was to meet met with confusing stares and miss-information. 
 
Eventually, someone came and asked the few of us waiting if we had an “Ultimate” tour with Fantasea. The word Ultimate never appeared on our paperwork, but luckily we discovered that was our tour. The boat was full, about 50 passengers, and there was little space for our gear. The crew on the boat was friendly and knowledgeable about Bermuda.  
 
We motored over to see the wreck of the Vixen, which was interesting, but took a long time out of our short 3 hr. cruise. We finally got to snorkel but only had about 1 hr left for the dive and only one dive site at that (not much of a snorkel tour). On the way back they did have all the swizzles you wanted, which was a nice touch.   
 
However, the crew which seemed to be very safety conscious during the rest of the trip didn’t seem to care if youngsters decided to make the canvas mesh between the hulls a personal trampoline while others were on it. 
 
Comparing to other operators it was obvious that the tour caters to the cruise boat set and is more corporate in their attitudes than other operators. 
 
Clark Howell (July 2009) 
My wife and I went out on Captain Smitty's Catamaran, (Sunday, July 12, 2009) and had the BEST snorkeling adventure of our lives!! It was truly a storybook day, from start to finish. The boat was beautiful, the reef was spectacular and the crew was outstanding! And on top of that, Captain Smitty serenaded us all on the trip back. What a day!