King’s Wharf Bermuda
King's Wharf Bermuda is a cruise terminal located in Bermuda's west end, at the Royal Navy Dockyards. This cruise port is one of 3 cruise ports in Bermuda. While smaller ships may dock in downtown Hamilton or in St. George's, large cruise ships dock at King's Wharf Bermuda.
Bermuda lies approximately 665 miles off the coast of the United States, in the North Atlantic and is the fourth oldest country in the British Commonwealth.
King's Wharf Bermuda, otherwise known as The Royal Naval Dockyards was at one time, Britain's largest naval base outside of the UK, it was active up until after the second World War. There are wonderfully restored buildings, remnants of walls and the old jail. Warehouses have been turned into museums and art galleries and the clocktower building is now a shopping area.
Many shops, restaurants and a beach are within walking distance from where the ships dock at King's Wharf, making it easy to navigate for quick trips on and off the ship.
Safety: Bermuda is an extremely safe country with a low crime rate. The locals are very friendly and helpful, but as a tourist it is still wise to leave valuables in your cabin safe.
Helpful King's Wharf Bermuda Links
Sub-Tropical, Mild in Winter. May to October temperatures often above 75 F. High humidity in summer
Bermudian Dollar, US Dollars are widely accepted but you will often get Bermudian Dollars in change. There is an ATM located in the Clocktower building and in the Victuals Yard which is within easy walking distance of where the ships dock in King’s Wharf Bermuda.
Free WiFI is available around the Visitor’s Center. Just connect to “Bermuda WiFi” and open your browser. If the Bermuda Tourism Authority page doesn’t come up, type in “login.com” and that should take you to the connect page. The Frog & Onion Pub also has WiFi available with a purchase.
Where You Dock in King’s Wharf Bermuda
King’s Wharf Bermuda is one of 2 ports that receive cruise ships, depending on the size. Small ships will dock in Hamilton Bermuda, while larger cruise ships will dock in King’s Wharf Bermuda, otherwise known as the Royal Naval Dockyards. When you visit King’s Wharf by cruise ship, you will immediately see The Commissioner’s House sitting high above harbor, within the walls of the arsenal and citadel known as the Keep. It is home to a number of exhibits from Bermuda’s history.
Getting Around King’s Wharf Bermuda
Public transportation in Bermuda is widely available and stops at or near most destinations of note. It is a good idea to buy a transportation pass at the Visitor’s Center located right at the dock, which costs $19.00 and is good for 1 day on both buses and ferries, across all transportation zones. Multi day passes are also available in Hamilton, but no longer available at the Dockyard (new for 2016). See here for more information. Remember that most locals commute into Hamilton to work, so the buses and ferries are quite busy during morning and afternoon “rush hours.”
The central bus terminal is located on Washington Street in Hamilton, near City Hall and is the hub for the 11 bus routes across Bermuda. Schedules are available at at the terminal wherever you purchase tokens or a transportation pass. Take the times on the schedule as a guideline, not a rule. If you need to be back to the port at a certain time, don’t cut it too close. Hamilton is about an hour bus ride from either St George’s at one end to the Dockyard at the other.
If you want to catch a bus, look for the blue and pink poles along the side of the road. Pink poles are for buses heading to Hamilton. Blue poles are for buses heading away from Hamilton.
If you are looking to just go to the beach, there are designated Beach Express buses within walking distance of the pier. They don’t work on a set schedule but wait until the bus is full before leaving.
Sea Express is the company which operates the water ferries and they can be a quick way to get from one point of the island to another. Plus, its a nice way to see Bermuda from a different vantage point. There are four different ferry routes, of different colors and they follow the schedule fairly closely.
A water ferry is the quickest way to get from the Dockyards to St. George’s or Hamilton if you are not taking a tour which includes these destinations.
Taxis are available at the Kings Wharf & Hamilton ports, St. George’s and outside of most major hotels and resorts. Fares are regulated by the government at a current cost of $7.90 US for the first mile and $2.75 each additional mile for 1-4 passengers. Taxis do offer tours of the island with prices that start around $40 per person for an hour. Because the speed limit is only 22mph (the roads can be narrow with lots of twists and turns) you wouldn’t get too far in just an hour. Usually there is a 3 hour tour minimum. Look for taxis with a blue flag – these have been vetted as qualified tour guides.
You will notice that scooters are a main mode of transportation for locals. While rentals are available around the island, most cruise lines don’t recommend their passengers doing this. It’s an economical way to tour the island, however there can be some crazy drivers and the roads in some spots are so narrow that two vehicles can barely pass each other, let alone a scooter on the side of the road. Plus, because it’s a British Overseas Territory, people drive on the left side of the road.
At Kings Wharf Bermuda and throughout the island, only locals can own or rent cars, primarily because driving can be hazardous, with blind curves and narrow roads, most of which have no shoulders.
There is a free trolley that goes right from the ship through the Dockyards at Kings Wharf. It makes several stops where you can hop on and off. It’s great if you have mobility issues to get to some of the shops or restaurants around the Dockyard, however there are few benches right by the dock and there may be a 10-15 minute wait for the next trolley.
Shopping In King’s Wharf Bermuda
Note that store hours are typically 9am-5:30pm Monday-Saturday and closed on Sunday. If large ships are in port, some stores may have extended hours.
The Dockyard is located at King’s Wharf Bermuda, which is home to some great shops specializing in arts and crafts. Check out the Bermuda Craft Market, home to locals selling handmade goods. The Bermuda Arts Centre is also home to local artists selling their crafts. The Clocktower building also houses different specialty shops and people selling souvenirs. Check out the Dockyard Glassworks & Bermuda Rum Cake Company for a great demonstration and some delicious cake.
Along Hamilton’s waterfront is a key shopping area, with boutiques and unique shops offering British items. Look for department stores such as A.S. Cooper & Sons (since 1897), or Cooper’s Cachet for jewelry, crystal and high quality clothing. Check out Cecile or Calypso for high end fashion or colorful European style clothing.
Also in Hamilton, Reid Street runs parallel to Front Street and offers department stores such as Marks & Spencer or Gibbons Company which offers duty free fragrances or premium fashions with no sales tax. Visit Benetton or Nine West for high quality fashion.
The Town of St. George’s Bermuda is filled with history, and many different artists have galleries and shops where you can purchase their works of art in various mediums.
It was named after Sir George Somers after he and others were shipwrecked nearby, on their way to Jamestown, Virginia. A few men stayed behind and within a few years, St. George Bermuda became the capital of Bermuda until it was changed in the early 1800’s.
St. George is home to small shops, cafes, restaurants and plenty of history. It’s narrow streets and alleys are a great way to spend the day.
Dining In King’s Wharf Bermuda
Bermuda is not really known for innovative cuisine since most of their food has to be flown in. There are a few local favorites including spiny lobster, Bermuda Rockfish, a black-eyed peas and rice dish called Hoppin’ John, conch dishes and shark hash.
While Bermuda’s restaurants have improved in the last several years, the prices are higher than one would typically pay in the US or Canada. You will also notice that there are no chain fast food restaurants. A Kentucky Fried Chicken managed to set up shop before the government stopped allowing franchise and chain restaurants from outside Bermuda.
Also, since Bermuda is a fairly conservative country, ensure you are wearing a cover-up over a bathing suit. Also, jackets are often required for men during dinner. Ask about the dress code when making reservations.
Although most diners still prefer to tip a small amount if the service is exceptional, there is an automatic 10-17% service charge added to each bill.
Restaurants Near the Dock
Bone Fish Bar & Grill – Lunch ($$) Dinner ($$$) – Seafood, Pasta
Frog & Onion Pub & Dockyard Brewing Co. – Lunch ($$), Dinner ($$$) – Pub Fare, Burgers, Live Music. Free WiFi with purchase. They make their own beer on-site.
Hammerheads Bar & Grill (inside Snorkel Park Beach) – Pub Fare – $$
Cafe Amici (Clockwork Tower) – Breakfast ($), Lunch ($$), Dinner ($$$) – Italian Fare, Pizza
Freeport Seafood Restaurant – Lunch ($$), Dinner ($$$), Seafood, Sushi
Things To Do in King’s Wharf Bermuda
Dolphin Quest – at the Dockyard, within the walls of the Keep. Swim with Atlantic Bottlenose dolphins.
National Museum of Bermuda & Commissioners House – if you’re a history buff you’ll love the exhibits and artifacts including many from shipwrecks
The Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute – a world-first in deep-water exploration. It has a fantastic shell collection and undersea submersible simulator.
The Bermuda Aquarium, Natural History Museum & Zoo – see the large collection of marine life, including a huge 7 foot moray eel. They have exhibits on deep sea exploration, humpback whales and the geology of Bermuda
Golfing is a huge draw in Bermuda. It has more golf courses per square mile than anywhere else in the world. Some great courses are:
Mid-Ocean Club – rated one of the best in the world. Private, but open to visitors on Monday, Wednesday & Friday. Tee times may be made up to 3 months in advance. $250 per 18 holes
Port Royal Golf Course – one of the most popular on the island. Public course, tee times may be made up to 7 days in advance. Club & shoe rental available. $180 per 18 holes.
Riddell’s Bay Golf & Country Club – Bermuda’s oldest course. Private, but open to visitors. Call in advance to book a tee time and inquire about rates.
Snorkel Park – Within walking distance of the dock. There is an admission cost and cost to rent equipment, but if you just want a place close by with beautiful shallow water, this is the spot.
Church Bay (Southampton) – this little out of the way beach is great for snorkeling
Mangrove Bay (near Somerset Village) – calm waters, perfect for kids – no restrooms, however
Horseshoe Bay Beach – Southampton Parish – most famous beach in Bermuda. It is quite a hike down a hill to get to the beach and even worse going back up. There are entrepreneurs that offer rides for as little as $1 per person, one way. The undertow can be rough, so keep an eye on the kids
Tobacco Bay Beach – St. George’s Parish – great for snorkeling & has equipment rentals
Resort Day Pass – Spend the day enjoying the amenities at a beach resort, including daybeds, pools, restaurants, drinks and of course, the beach. Check out ResortPass for more info.
Top Tours & Excursions In King’s Wharf Bermuda
Best of Bermuda Complete Island Tour Experience the main sites of Bermuda, from one end of the island to another with short stops at Gibbs Lighthouse and St. George. Tour ends in Hamilton where you’ll have opportunity to explore before catching the ferry back to the Dockyards....
Golf at Belmont Hills Country Club Golf at one of Bermuda’s premier golf clubs! Designed by Algie Pulley, these 6100 yards are surrounded by narrow fairways, multi-tiered greens and Bermuda’s naturally gorgeous surroundings. Price includes golf cart....
Catamaran Cruise & Snorkel Board a spacious catamaran to a secluded shallow water cove where you will snorkel in some of the most beautiful water seeing marine life and coral. Complementary beverages & fresh-baked cookies provided...