The National Museum of Bermuda, formerly known as the Bermuda Maritime Museum, is a fascinating place to discover the interesting history of Bermuda.
Spread over several acres and many buildings, the National Museum of Bermuda is located in a fort at the old Royal Naval Dockyards. This unique layout makes the museum ideal for families. The grounds have room to run, statues to explore, and plenty of cannons and beautiful views to make moving between buildings and exhibits interesting.
The museum, built on a former navy base, has nine or ten buildings with exhibits, the largest of which is the Commissioner's House. It would take several hours to see every exhibit.
As we entered the fort, we were confused about where to begin. We picked up a map and decided to start at the nearest building, the 1850 Ordnance House. This house showcased an exhibit called “Shipwreck Island: Sunken Clues to Bermuda's Past.” I was fascinated by the history of early shipwrecks and the castaways that stayed and settled Bermuda. I read every detail.
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Our favorite part of the museum was exploring the ramparts. You can walk around and explore the cannons and gain a better understanding of how this British stronghold defended their land. The ocean views from the top of the fort are incredible.
The exhibits in the Commissioner's House were interesting, but there was no air conditioning and on a humid August day we hurried through the house to get back outdoors for some fresh air. The other buildings we visited were air-conditioned.
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Located within walking distance of the cruise ship port at Royal Naval Dockyards, a visit to the National Museum of Bermuda would be a wonderful day excursion for cruising families.
In addition to the great musuem, the National Museum of Bermuda houses Dolphin Quest, where guests can swim and train with dolphins. We didn't do Dolphin Quest, but it was fun to sit and watch the trainers interacting with the dolphins.
Right next to Dolphin Quest was this fun family playground, opened in May 2014. The National Museum of Bermuda is currently working on an interactive exhibit for children called the Museum Playhouse. My children weren't with me on this trip, but they would have loved this museum.
Good to Know
Location: Walking distance from Royal Naval Dockyards, Somerset, Bermuda.
Cost: $12 per adult. Children under 16 are free. Dolphin Quest is an additional fee.
Hours: Spring and summer, 9:30-5:00 p.m. (last admission at 4:00 p.m.). Check their winter schedule.
Amenities: Restrooms. There is a small gift shop at Dolphin Quest. They do not sell food at the museum, but we had a delicious lunch at the Frog and Onion Pub within walking distance of the museum.
How long? You could easily spend a half day at the National Museum of Bermuda, especially if you do Dolphin Quest.