Will be docking in St. Georges for 4 days. NCL has posted no shore excursions and I'm getting anxious to know what is offered. Any suggestions for what we can book outside of the cruise lines? I'm interested in snorkeling, bike riding, and clean beaches. Also, any suggestions for excursions for my parents (75/84 years old) that don't require a whole lot of walking or climbing??
Excursions off the ship in Bermuda are not necessary. This is one place that is very easily explored on your own.
Where to begin. In St Georges the town itself is a historic destination in and of itself. Shopping here is excellent and there are sevreal pubs to go to to try a locally brewed beer or ale or to have a Dark and Stormy (Rum and ginger beer).
Beaches to try would incude Tobacco Bay or St Catherines . Both have facilities, Tobacco Bay will be busier. Just 100 yards on the other side of Ft St Catherines is a smaller more private (but quite public) beach Achilles Bay. Use facilities at St Catherines Beach. There is a mini bus system that will take you from town to any of these locations. Round trip is $2.00 (maybe a bit more). There are several historic sites in town and a nice glass bottom boat trip can be taken from the harbor.
Take a bus to Hamilton for shopping , more historic sites. On the way there is Crystal Caves and a Glass blowing factory.
Other famous public beaches (all accessable by bus from Hamilton include Elbow Beach and Horseshoe Bay. There are many others.
Like snorkelling? Try Jessie James cruises out of Hamilton. Their 3 stop trip is one of the best I've done and the family running it are great folks.
From Hamilton take a ferry to Dockyards and spend a few hours in shops and galleries here as well . There is a Dolphin Encounter run out of this area as well.
Lots more on this great place to see and do. Suggest bermudatourism.com
as a source of information and Frommer's sells a good Bermuda guide book.
Buy a 3-day pass, I think it's about $28 pp and you can use the busses and ferries on an unlimited basis. This is is the best way to get around.
We took the bus to Horseshoe beach (beautiful beach) then down to the Dockyard and took the ferry back to Hamilton.
We got up one morning and took the ferry from Hamilton to the Dockyard, then caught the another ferry to St. Georges then took the bus back to Hamilton. The bus goes to the Aquarium as well. You can get on and off.
Seeing Bermuda from was the water is wonderful. You also get a chance to meet the locals going to work.
I went to Bermuda last May and the weather was wonderful. Hope you have the same.
The most thrilling excursion that we ever did was a Helmet Dive in Bermuda. We don't swim well or snorkel so this was as good as it gets for us. My husband wears glasses and I won't put my head under water even when I swim. I read about it on the internet and booked by email before we left. The owner's name is Hartley and it's a family business that's been around for years. The Empress was docked at the Dockyard for two nights and we got a bus from there to Hartley's office. The third night we were docked in Hamilton.
Hartley takes you out a couple of miles to a shallow marked area that he visits. You get wet suits and a helmet (that fits over your head and on your shoulders) that traps air from the surface. He leads you around the ocean floor as you walk and kneel on the ocean floor while he points out coral and fish for maybe a half hour. You can't talk but he has signs. The fish are regulars and have pet names. We even touched a moray eel. Underwater stuff on TV gives me the creeps but I was determined to conquer my fear and was sooo proud of myself for doing this. For me, it was the scariest thing I've ever done.
We also bought the three-day bus pass, went to St. Georges, the lighthouse and climbed to the top (great views), Horseshoe Beach (no shade, brought our own umbrella), the caves, horse and buggy rides in both St. Georges and in Hamilton at night when we were docked there. We also parasailed (surprisingly tame) at the Dockyard, went to the glass shop... so much to see and do, but never ate off the ship as it is very expensive. Hamilton had a street party one evening where they shut down the street for local venders and music.
As you are docked in St. Georges, your parents should enjoy the courtyard at the dock and a horse and buggy ride that you can catch right there that takes you up a hill and has great views of the harbour. The driver talked about the homes and other things of local interest. There was no need for us to do an "island tour", because travelling on the local buses gave us tour enough.