Help us plan 1 Day-Cruise Stop Kings Wharf

Feb 10th, 2008, 12:43 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 11
Help us plan 1 Day-Cruise Stop Kings Wharf

Please help us plan our day in Bermuda in mid April. We've decided against water activities so we can see/learn more about the island.

Also, can anyone recommend a reputable tour company for an overall island tour? (The cruise line isn't offering one.)

Thanks in advance.
kjweller is offline  
Feb 10th, 2008, 02:58 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,076
Hi! You don't need a tour company - Bermuda is very user-friendly and you'll have an easy time exploring on your own. www.bermudatourism.com has great links to the bus and ferry routes. King's Wharf (we call it Dockyard) is at one tip of the island. I would recommend picking a few things you'd like to see, hopping on a bus leaving Dockyard and stopping where you want to, making your way in to Hamilton (the big city!) and taking a ferry ride back across the Great Sound to your ship. Along that route alone are walking trails created from the old railway system, forts, the prettiest beaches, a great lighthouse, and places to eat. There's a one-day bus pass that will get you on and off the bus and ferry all you want, and the visitor's center at Dockyard has maps,etc. What else are you interested in? Let me know if I can help any more!!
txgirlinbda is offline  
Feb 10th, 2008, 03:23 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 14,082
Another option would be to hire a taxi for a tour of the island. Many of the drivers are professional guides. I can recommend Kendall Minors, email him at [email protected] or call him at 441-534-9120. He will meet you at the dock. Bermuda is wonderful, have a marvelous time!
cmcfong is offline  
Feb 12th, 2008, 01:09 PM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 11
Thanks, txgirlinbda and cmcfong. I do have a few questions. At the risk of trying to do too much, I think we'll need to limit to Hamilton and the Dockyard areas. I am probably wrong, but I really have no concept of how big Bermuda is and how much transportation time we have to allow.

Can you give me an idea of how long it takes to walk from the cruise ship dock to the shops at the Clocktower Mall or the Glassworks and Rum Cake Factory? 15 min.? 30 min.?

Same for the ferry in Hamilton to the main street (would this be Front Street?) area.

Which of the museums is best for the history of Bermuda?

Is the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute worth a few hours?

And the fun question...what are your favorite casual lunch restaurants in these areas?

I'm hoping that a museum or two, lunch and a little shopping should fill the day. Feel free to comment.
kjweller is offline  
Feb 12th, 2008, 01:42 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,076
How much time do you have?

The dock to the Clocktower mall and other Dockyard attractions will take you all of two minutes.

The ferry in Hamilton is literally on Front St. - cross the street and you're shopping!!

BUEI is great, but if the weather is nice, there's so many other ways I'd spend one day here.

The island isn't that big at all, 21 miles tip-to-tip, and only a mile wide at most. The bus from Hamilton to Dockyard takes almost an hour. The direct ferry across the Sound takes about 20 minutes.

I like to take the South Shore bus out to Elbow Beach Resort and have lunch at Mickey's on the beach, get my walk-on-the-beach fix, take the bus to Somerset Bridge for the picture of me standing on the smallest drawbridge in the world, continue on to Dockyard for a little shopping and a drink, then take the ferry back to Hamilton. Frog and Onion in Dockyard is a great casual place for lunch, but if I'm just getting a sandwich, there's a great deli/coffee shop in the alley off Front St called Common Grounds. Flanagan's on Front St has a second-story patio overlooking all the goings-on of Front St - good for a burger and people watching. If you just need a coffee, try Rock Island on Reid St, one block off Front.

IMHO, if the weather is fine, you can really spend an afternoon just walking and exploring, but then I'm not a huge museum person, either.

Hope this helps!
txgirlinbda is offline  
Feb 12th, 2008, 01:43 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 14,082
It would be a crime to visit Bermuda and not see her gorgeous beaches! Do try to include a ride down the South Road in your itinerary. Bermuda is about a mile wide at its widest point and about 22 miles long (my numbers are guesses, but I am in the ball park).

It will take you about ten minutes to walk from the wharf area to the shops in the clocktower. The glassworks, etc are another five minutes on. The ferry from Dockyard to Hamilton takes around thirty minutes I think.

The Underwater Exploration Museum is quite good, but since your time is limited, I say enjoy the country and its natural beauty.

The shopping in Bermuda isn't fabulous. Those days are gone. You will find some lovely jewelry at Crissons and some pretty pieces in Bermuda cedar at the Craft Market. Gorgeous linens are for sale at the Irish Linen Shop in Hamilton.

In the Dockyard area Beethovens or Frog and Onion will both offer inexpensive and good lunches. In Hamilton I recommend the Lemon Tree. Don't let its humble appearance put you off. Take your food out back into Par La Ville Park and enjoy the day. Another option is to pick up a picnic at Miles Market (next to the Fairmont Hamilton Princess).

Take a few minutes to visit one of the Bermuda forts. Great views from there and very interesting. I think it is a great opportunity to see Bermuda history. There is an exhibit on the Blockade Runners at Dockyards you might enjoy.

Have a wonderful time!
cmcfong is offline  
Feb 18th, 2008, 09:19 AM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 11
We are on a cruise that arrives in Bermuda 4/16/08 at 4:00 pm and departs at 4:00 pm on 4/17/08.

Since my last post, the cruise line has posted a few more shore excursions. I know these are usually more expensive than if we planned on our own, but I am not really adventurous when I have to worry about being back to the ship on time. Since this is our first time in Bermuda, I was hoping to choose from what they offered, but we're not interested in what they have.

They do have a night time glass bottom boat tour and a day time boat tour of millionaire's home that we might do. I don't know what tour operators they use but if you are aware of these, please comment.

So far, this is what we're coming up for sightseeing.

Arrive at 4:00 pm: It sounds like we can walk around the Dockyard area pretty easily and cover it quickly. I've read that the shops stay open longer when the cruise ships are in. Then we can catch the ferry to Hamilton for the festival on Front St. (Does this start at 7:00?) After a while back to the ship for a 10:00 pm glass bottom boat excursion.

Next morning: Take the bus to BUEI, then to Elbow Beach Resort for a walk and lunch, bus to the Gibbs Lighthouse (Do you know if it's open to climb to the top?) and bus back to the ship.

Is there a bus schedule that show what attractions are at which bus stop? The bus schedule is the time table but I don't know where to get off. It looks like Route 8 might be the best one to get to all three places.

Do you know if the ferry and bus day pass is based on the date or a 24 hour system? It would be great if we could get a pass that would be valid for the 24 hour period that we would be there.

Thank you again for the help.
kjweller is offline  
Feb 18th, 2008, 11:55 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 14,082
I believe the bus passes are issued on a calendar day basis. The routes, etc are available here
http://www.bermuda.com/transportation/buses/ The drivers will tell you where to get off.
You can walk to the top of the Lighthouse and then refresh yourself with tea in the Tea Room at the base.
Personally I am not familiar with either of the boat tours you mention.
I hope your time in Bermuda is beautiful.
cmcfong is offline  
Feb 18th, 2008, 12:46 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,076
Hi kjweller!
OK, after I looked at your proposed plan and the bus schedule, here's what I have come up with.

Your first evening in Dockyard sounds good, with one exception. There is a 6pm ferry direct to Hamilton, which would give you time to have a stroll around the Harbour Nights and get some supper, but the return ferry at 9pm is the multi-stop run, which will put you back in Dockyard just in time to get your glass-bottom boat ride. That doesn't leave with you with lots of time to linger in Hamilton, and restaurants tend to be busy when the ships are docked, so if you are going to eat in Hamilton, you might need to do the quick-tour of Harbour Nights. (We like to get to Pickled Onion early and get a table on the patio overlooking Front St, so we can eat and just watch the festivities.) If you're going to eat in Dockyard before you go, then no problem.

You've got a little back-tracking on your next-day plans.

To do what you want to do in without retracing your steps, you would leave Dockyard on the #7 at 8:50 - any earlier and you'll be on a school bus. Get off at the Lighthouse (just tell the driver when you board where you want off and he/she will stop). Do the Lighthouse - it's a bit of a walk from the bus stop but well-marked. Walk back down the hill and catch the next #7 (there is one every 15 minutes.)

Continue on to Elbow Beach for your lunch and beach walk - Mickey's on the Beach is great - I can check with them about the need for reservations if you want.

Back to the #7 bus towards Hamilton (bus stops marked with pink poles - bus is going towards Hamilton. Blue pole - bus headed out of town.) Get left off at BUEI, visit there.

At this point, you can either take the #7 at 2:30 or #8 at 2:15 back to Dockyard from BUEI, or you can hop any inbound bus to Hamilton, get off at the ferry terminal and catch the direct to Dockyard at 2:30 or 3:00. I do not know how long BUEI takes to explore - cmcfong might be able to answer that for you.

This sounds like a tight schedule for after lunch, so I'm wondering if you wouldn't be better off NOT doing lunch at EB, and heading in to town for lunch after BUEI - that would put you near the bus/ferry when you needed to leave, if the morning plans take longer than you anticipate.

OK, now that you're thoroughly confused, about the fares. A two-day pass will run you $20 each. You can buy individual tickets and ferry tokens, but I did the math for that based on the routes I gave you and that would be $36, so for $4 more, you get more flexibility.

As far as your tours go, I haven't heard anything overly negative about any of the glass-bottom boats, but if you had a company name, I could check them out.

Hope this helps!!
txgirlinbda is offline  
Feb 19th, 2008, 06:45 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 817
We're in a similar situation as kjweller.
We're arriving at King's Wharf at 7 PM April 14, a Monday, and leave at 5 PM April 15.
I've enjoyed everyone's input on this thread and have printed out your replies and wonderful suggestions. Since we're arriving so late in the evening, would you advise just hanging out in the Dockyards the first night, or should we head out to another part of the islands?

The bus itinerary sounds like a good idea the next day. We've read that St. George is very picturesque, but it seems like it might be too far to reach in our short stay.
Thanks for all the great info, and kjweller, hope you don't mind my joining in here!
Hagan is offline  
Feb 20th, 2008, 03:39 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 14,082
St.George is indeed very picturesque and worth a visit. If you were to take a cab you could easily visit all the points of interest. Ask the cab driver to return you to Hamilton and do some exploring on foot. Take the ferry back to Dockyard when you are through for the day. If the weather is fine, I recommend skipping the museums and spending as much time as possible enjoying the gorgeous Bermuda outdoors. A walk on the Railway Trail, a ride on the ferry, a visit to Gibbs Lighthouse and one of her beaches will make for a very full day.

I would say it takes about 1.5 hours to tour the underwater exploration museum (I am a scuba diver and I did enjoy the museum but as noted above, if it is pretty I would rather be outdoors).

On your first night you will find plenty to entertain you in either Hamilton or Dockyard.

Have a wonderful time. I hope txgirlinbda will post, she is a terrific resource with great local information.
cmcfong is offline  
Feb 20th, 2008, 06:09 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,076
Thanks cmcfong!! I agree - if the weather is nice - nothing is getting me inside a museum here. We save those things (and Crystal Caves) for our visitor's rainy-day activites.

Hagan, I'd also agree with staying in Dockyard the first night - I think there's more than enough to keep you occupied for a few hours. I love St. George's and if that sounds like your cup of tea, I'd say go for it. DO make the short walk up the hill to the Unfinished Church. ** The catch is that the ferry from Dockyard to St. George's is a summer run only. I checked the schedule and they still have last year's dates posted. I called, but couldn't get anyone to verify the start date for this year. Last year they started the Orange Run (DY to SG) on April 16th, a Monday. So, reasonably, I would think it would start the day you arrive this year, but I can't assure you of that. The ferry would make all the difference in the amount of time you had to spend out and about. Unless you're springing for a taxi!

I'm, however, way too cheap for taxis here, so here's how the bus/ferry schedule looks, assuming you are doing St. George's.
If the ferry is running, the first one leaves DY (sorry, King's Wharf)
at 9am, arrives SG 9:35. Return 1:30 or 3:00. Or if St. George's doesn't hold your attention for that long, you could always hop the #11 bus back to Hamilton, nice ride along North Shore, and have a few hours in town before catching the 3pm or 4pm Blue ferry back to DY.
Those are 30 minute runs to get you back to the ship in time.
Have fun!

txgirlinbda is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2008, 06:22 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 817
Thanks, txgirl, for your wonderful advice.
Sounds like we're coming in just a little early for the season, but I know we'll enjoy just being there. After all, we're seeing a place we've never seen before - how can we go wrong?!
Hagan is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:10 AM.