Snorkeling Around Bermuda

Photo credit: © Andrey Armyagov |

The snorkeling off the shores of Bermuda is unlike any you'll experience elsewhere in the world. The crystal clear waters of the Atlantic are home to an array of stunningly beautiful coral reefs as well as numerous shipwreck sites.

Vacationers can explore these brilliant underwater treasures on a snorkeling excursion; all you need is a snorkel, mask, and fins and you're ready to go. Just like scuba diving, snorkeling can be done year-round, but in the wintertime, the ocean waters can reach temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, so you may want to wear a wet suit especially if you're going to be in the water for a long period of time.

The best snorkeling spots are located off the coasts of public beaches. One of the most popular places to snorkel is Church Bay on Bermuda's south shores. Avid snorkelers frequent this little cove, which was formed by coral cliffs. Snorkeling hot spots on other areas of the island are located on the eastern and south shores. Places like John Smith's Bay, Tobacco Bay Beach, and West Whale Bay are great for an afternoon snorkeling adventure.  If you decide to snorkel on your own, but don't bring your own kit along, there are a number of shops that rent them out for between $10 and $20(USD) a day.  

Some of the best areas for snorkeling can only be reached by boat. You can rent a boat if you are comfortable with your nautical skills, but navigating the reef-littered waters off of Bermuda is no easy task. Many boats have been sunk off of the island's shores, so you should stay near protected areas such as sounds, bays, and harbors, or just let someone else captain your vessel. You can hire a charter a boat or take a snorkeling cruise, which will take you out to the reefs.


You can take a snorkel cruise from April to November. These ships carry up to about 40 passengers to snorkel sites, so this method of snorkeling may feel a little less intimate. With music playing and bars serving drinks, snorkeling cruises focus more on the social aspects of the outing. You can cruise on smaller boats, which carry only about 10 to 16 passengers, for a more intimate experience on the water. These smaller cruise lines offer trips that are more focused on the snorkeling sites. You'll pay between $45 and $65(USD) per person for these trips.  

Regardless of how you get out to explore the gorgeous underwater world of Bermuda, you'll be able to interact with a wide variety of sea life, including sergeant majors, snappers, groupers, wrasse, moray eels, octopus, sea urchins, sea puddings, and a wide variety of coral species.  

Snorkeling Sites

If you're ready to see what's down below you might enjoy Snorkel Park Beach. Featuring a pretty and shallow reef that is home to numerous tropical fish and coral this is a very popular site, and can get crowded. Also remember not to touch the coral, as it kills it. This snorkeling site is located on Ireland Island North, Bermuda.

Harrington Sound is another place you might enjoy. When the area waters become rough as a response to winter weather, it is this body of water that remains calm enough for snorkeling to still be safe. New snorkelers are often pointed here, where they will encounter coral without a reef system to speak of.

A third place to consider is Tobacco Bay Beach. A less crowded option than many of the other beach snorkeling on Bermuda, this site offers a nice look at limestone rocks that form the foundation of a marine habitat that is full of small fish. These smaller fish and clam water make this a good option for children and adults that need a little more practice before heading too far offshore.

A fourth place where you can go snorkeling is John Smith's Bay. Pink sands give way to crystal clear waters at this great spot. There are a few rock croppings to the west where snorkelers will find parrotfish among many others. If you're interested, this site is located within the eastern part of Bermuda.

Gibbons Bay is a fifth location to consider. So popular among snorkelers that you can rent equipment right at the edge of the beach, this location is great because it has a shallow reef that is easily accessible. The waters here are extremely tranquil, and the small schools of fish are abundant.

View the following table for a listing of 26 of the best locations to go snorkeling in this area.

Snorkeling Sites Near Bermuda
Site Location Island
Snorkel Park Beach 3.4 mi. Northwest of Central Hamilton Bermuda
Harrington Sound 1.0 mi. South of Central Henrys Hill Bermuda
Castle Harbour 1.3 mi. East-Southeast of Central Castle Harbour Bermuda
Tobacco Bay Beach 0.6 mi. North-Northwest of Central St. George Bermuda
John Smith's Bay 2.1 mi. South of Central Henrys Hill Bermuda
Gibbons Bay Hamilton Parish, Central Bermuda Bermuda
Elbow Beach 1.6 mi. South of Downtown Hamilton Bermuda
Warwick Long Bay 2.8 mi. South West of Central Hamilton Harbour Bermuda
Horseshoe Bay 3.8 mi. South West of Central Hamilton Bermuda
East Whale Bay 3.9 mi. South West of Central Hamilton Bermuda
East Whale Bay 3.9 mi. South West of Central Hamilton Bermuda
Horseshoe Bay 3.8 mi. South West of Central Hamilton Bermuda
Church Bay 2.2 mi. Southeast of Central Hog Bay Bermuda
Daniel's Head Beach Park 5.3 mi. West of Central Hamilton Bermuda
Blue Hole 6.8 mi. Northwest of Central Hamilton
Montana 8.1 mi. Northwest of Central Hamilton
Constellation 6.3 mi. West-Northwest of Central Hamilton
HMS Vixen 3.5 mi. Northwest of Central Hog Bay
North Rock 5.0 mi. Northwest of Central St. George
Somerset Long Bay 0.4 mi. North-Northwest of Central Somerset Village Bermuda
Whitney Bay 0.7 mi. South of Central Hog Bay Bermuda
East Whale Bay 3.9 mi. South West of Central Hamilton Bermuda
Pollockshields 2.3 mi. South of Central Hamilton Bermuda
Natural Arches 3.5 mi. South of Central St. George
Fort St. Catherine 0.7 mi. North-Northeast of Central St. George Bermuda
Southwest Breakers 7.6 mi. South West of Central Hamilton

Snorkeling Boat Trips

For some people, the best snorkeling is located off shore.

If you want to go snorkeling during a boating adventure, you can check with Captain Kirk's Coral Reef Adventures. Their collection of tours vary to some degree, but typically include sailing trips out to see several notable underwater sites via glass bottom boat and either snorkeling or fishing.

Another option to investigate is Blue Hole Water Sports. A premier watersports facility, you'll find everything you need for a great day on the water is available to you here. They offer a collection of beach toy rentals, allowing you to head out and enjoy a day of independence as you explore the beauty of the surrounding area. They're found in Hamilton Parish, Bermuda.

Still another option is H2O Sports. Consider them your watersports concierge, helping you to create your ideal day on the water. Interesting in zipping around above water on a motor boat or jet ski?

Some details regarding boat operators that offer snorkeling are provided directly below.

Day Sails and Boat Trips On Bermuda
Name Phone Location Island
AJ's Wings (441) 534-7669 1.7 mi. East-Northeast of Downtown Hamilton Bermuda
Aquatic Bermuda (441) 236-2200 0.5 mi. North of Downtown Hamilton Bermuda
Blue Hole Water Sports (441) 293-2915 0.9 mi. South West of Central Henrys Hill Bermuda
Captain Kirk's Coral Reef Adventures (441) 747-2204 5.0 mi. West of Central Hamilton Somerset Island
Escape Charters (441) 737-2273 Smith's Parish, Central Bermuda Bermuda
H2O Sports (441) 234-3082 0.5 mi. North of Downtown Hamilton Bermuda
Hattrick Charters (441) 335-5077 Somerset Village Somerset Island
Jessie James Cruises (441) 335-1072 Downtown Hamilton Bermuda
Ocean Breeze (441) 334-9846 St. George's Parish
Oyster Point Yacht Charters (441) 238-7245 Southampton Parish Bermuda
Sail Bermuda (441) 737-2993 1.2 mi. Southeast of Downtown Hamilton Bermuda
Sand Dollar Cruises & Snorkelling (441) 334-8218 St. George's Island Bermuda

Snorkeling Services

If you looking for a place that offers snorkeling excursions, rentals, or other services, you can check with Snorkel Bermuda. Bermuda's only two hour shipwreck snorkel trip, this operation is a great choice when you have a limited amount of time to spend snorkeling but still want to make sure you get to see the best sites available. Sure, you can stick to the shore, but why would you when you can explore a mysterious ship wreck? They are located in Par-la-Ville Park, in the central part of Bermuda.

A second company worth knowing about is Triangle Diving Bermuda. If you're curious about Bermuda's reef and wreck sites but don't know how to scuba dive, there is another option for you. This dive shop offers snorkeling excursions specifically for this type of tourist, which encourages snorkelers to join in on daily dive trips, but stick closer to the surface than their divers.

A third company worth contacting is Blue Water Divers. Over 300 ship wreck sites surround the island, and more of them are shallow enough for snorkelers to enjoy. Here, they specialize in making sure visitors snorkeling in these waters get to see the best of the best. They're located on Somerset Island, in the western part of Bermuda.

The chart directly below summarizes some key facts regarding 6 companies that provide snorkeling services.

Snorkeling Services On Bermuda
Name Type Phone Location Island
Blue Water Divers Snorkeling Tour Operator (441) 234-1034 0.7 mi. North of Central Hog Bay Bermuda
Dive Bermuda Snorkeling Tour Operator (441) 238-2332 3.9 mi. South West of Central Hamilton Bermuda
Fantasea Snorkeling Snorkeling Tour Operator (441) 236-3483 3.2 mi. Northwest of Central Hamilton Bermuda
K.S. Watersports Snorkeling Equipment Rental Service (441) 238-4155 0.1 mi. South-Southeast of Central St. George St. David's Island
Snorkel Bermuda Snorkeling Tour Operator (441) 747-7245 0.5 mi. North of Downtown Hamilton Bermuda
Triangle Diving Bermuda Snorkeling Tour Operator (441) 293-7319 5.8 mi. Northeast of Central Hamilton St. David's Island

For more information about snorkeling, including suggestions and helpful tips for beginners and "pros" check out this exhaustive discussion of snorkeling in the Caribbean.

Because of its location in the Atlantic, you may have to pay more attention to weather than elsewhere in the Caribbean region when it comes to planning a day of snorkeling.  But even if it means putting it off a day or two in order to achieve optimal conditions, seeing what these waters have to offer is an essential part of any great island adventure.   


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