Sailing the Seas in Bermuda
How to experience the waters off Bermuda like a local.
Boasting steady ocean breezes and flat protected waters, the island is a sailors’ dream filled with hidden bays, secluded islets and calm coves. It’s also a place where one will never lose sight of land since Bermuda is an archipelago comprised of about 180 small islands in the turquoise mid-Atlantic. Because of these near perfect conditions, spending time on the water is an essential activity for most islanders – in fact, it’s not uncommon to see large flotillas on any given weekend, when rum-fueled locals attack the afternoon at sea while their boats rest happily at anchor.
Fortunately for visitors, an equally authentic experience can be had by chartering a sailboat, most of which offer a combination of sailing and snorkeling on a half- or full-day cruise, but can also be customized for a once-in-a-lifetime waterborne luxury experience.
At the beginning end of the scale, on the Ana Luna—a 45-foot catamaran that sails from Grotto Bay Beach Resort on Bermuda’s east end—guests can cruise the tranquil waters of Castle Harbour or set sail for the windy south shore. Large groups interested in exploring uninhibited islands in Bermuda’s calm Paradise Lakes can also board the Shekynah, a 51-foot monohull with room for 25 passengers. Alternatively, guests can also sail to a shallow wreck site like the HMS Vixen, a British steamer that’s now home to hundreds of Bermuda chub.
Most boats offer light bites and soft drinks plus beer and wine while aboard, but for a truly luxurious experience – one that includes high-end cocktails, premium champagne and gourmet food for the duration of the charter – look no further than a pair of blue water catamarans that operate near the City of Hamilton.
On the 41-foot catamaran Chelonia, Captain Paul Terceira and his wife Monique create bespoke sailing experiences like snorkeling on barrier reef shipwrecks, sunset cocktail cruises, biodiversity tours and private sit down dinners for up to eight guests. These are unforgettable sailing experiences that include use of the boat’s underwater scooters, glass-bottomed kayaks and stand-up paddleboards. Large groups looking to celebrate a special event like a birthday, wedding or anniversary should consider the 77-foot Zara, an ultra-luxury fly bridge catamaran with capacity for up to 70 passengers.
Ana Luna Adventures: 11 Blue Hole Hill, Hamilton; 441-504-3780
Sail Bermuda (Shekynah): 71 Harbour Road, Paget; 441-737-2993
Chelonia: 36 Pompano Beach Road, Southampton; 441-334-9771
Zara: Bermuda Yachts, 85 Harbour Road, Warwick