Hamilton Shopping and Gallery Tour
Duration: Half Day
Located in the Atlantic Ocean, approximately 650 off the coast of Cape Hatteras in North Carolina, the paradise island of Bermuda is actually an archipelago, comprising 138 coral islands which resemble the shape of a hook from the air. Often regarded as one island, Bermuda’s main islands are connected by bridges and causeways, and the total land mass covers just 21 square miles, making it one of the smallest countries in the world. Bermuda is a British overseas territory and the oldest British colony in the world, and influences are evident throughout the island. This tour will show you the highlights of the vibrant city of Hamilton, Bermuda’s capital and the commercial heart of the island.
Your day will start by taking a boat trip across sparkling turquoise waters from King's Wharf to Hamilton Harbour, a natural deep water harbour protected by coral reefs. Bermuda is divided into nine parishes, and the city of Hamilton is actually located in Pembroke Parish rather than Hamilton Parish. This beautiful, bustling port town can easily be explored by foot. Stroll along the picturesque waterfront, past boats, cruise ships and pastel-coloured Victorian buildings and houses with white-washed rooftops, surrounded by lush tropical flowers.
Before you explore the city, you will get the opportunity to visit Bermuda's National Art Gallery, which houses several outstanding permanent and temporary exhibitions, including both historic and contemporary international art. Here you will find a collection of historic European paintings, known as The Watlington Collection, as well as several masterpieces created in Bermuda by Georgia O'Keefe and Winslow Homer. The gallery's permanent collection also includes century-old masks, sculptures and photos, some of which reflect African culture, as well as watercolours and drawings by Bermudian artists. This fascinating gallery has developed over the years and is now the island's premier arts museum as well as an educational resource and an entertainment venue, showcasing exhibitions and special events which reflect Bermuda’s diverse artistic heritage.
After your visit, you will have free time to explore the charming city of Hamilton, which was once known as the "show window of the British Empire”. The main sights include the beautiful Neo-Gothic style Bermuda Cathedral and the 19th century Fort Hamilton. Both offer wonderful panoramic views of the town and harbour. Or perhaps you would rather browse the many shops and boutiques for gifts and souvenirs. Your tour guide will point out the best shops, most of which can be found along Front Street and down quaint side alleys, where you will find everything from cashmere, china and crystal to antiques, European fashions and designer perfumes. If you are looking for unique Bermudian crafts made by local artisans, jewellery, hand-blown glass and watercolours of local scenes make excellent souvenirs. Shopping in Hamilton is an experience not to be missed.
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P&O Cruises has made history recently after becoming the first British cruise line to offer same sex weddings at sea. The first wedding ceremony will take place on the island of Azura in the Caribbean in January, 2018, after a Supreme Court ruled that same sex marriages are now legal in Bermuda, where the majority of P&O’s ships are registered. The wedding next year will be conducted by the ship’s captain.
Carnival Cruise Line's largest ship to date is set to make its maiden voyage in the spring of 2018. Carnival Horizon, the second ship in its Vista line, will begin its career between Barcelona and New York before transitioning to a permanent base in Miami. From there, Horizon will make regular trips to Bermuda for six- and eight-night voyages.
Ritz-Carlton has announced it will open a new luxury hotel in Bermuda in 2018. The Ritz-Carlton Reserve will be situated on a site boasting 2.5 miles of sandy shoreline and will operate under a management agreement with George's Bay Hotel Ltd and George's Bay Residences. The property will be the second Ritz-Carlton Reserve hotel to open in the Caribbean.