Bermuda has been a popular cruise destination for years due to its ideal summer climate, stunning Bermuda beaches, and wealth of activities. The island is conveniently located in the North Atlantic Ocean, just 7 hours away from New York City by ship. As a result, you’ll find a wide range of cruise options available that vary in length and price.
So, what is the best time to cruise to Bermuda? Not surprisingly, it depends on what you’re really looking for in your cruise vacation. Keep reading for tips on key scheduling factors.
Bermuda: Quick Climate Overview
Bermuda has a long history as a worldwide beach destination, and it remains one of the best beach destinations outside of the Caribbean. Many argue that its temperate climate makes it even more desirable than similar Caribbean islands.
Compared to the Caribbean, Bermuda is very far north, at the same latitude as the Carolinas in the United States, but it enjoys a subtropical climate due to the warm Gulf Stream that flows toward the islands. Its temperatures dip between December and March, but it never gets below freezing.
The climate makes it comfortable to visit Bermuda year-round, but there are some things you should consider if you’re planning to cruise there.
Cruise Schedules: Bermuda As a Seasonal Destination
Most cruises only sail to Bermuda between April and November as the winter temperatures dip into the mid-fifties, which, for most people, is not suitable for a beach destination, not to mention all the other outdoor activities that get chillier in the winter.
However, this is beginning to change, and more cruises may also offer cruises to Bermuda in the colder months, which also means rates can be found at a steep discount. If you see a cruise to Bermuda in the winter months, check the prices, but remember that you probably won’t be doing a lot of swimming.
April-May: Best Time to Cruise to Bermuda for Exploration and Festivals
April through May is widely considered the best time to visit Bermuda. The weather is low to mid-seventies, making it perfect for exploring the island, golfing, touring, or whatever else you want to do. However, the water temperatures are still in the low fifties, so if you want a beach vacation where you’re swimming and playing, opt for the summer or fall months.
Instead, April and May are best for the opening of the festival season, the holiday of Easter, and several world-famous yacht races that attract the best sailors from the world over. If you time your visit with Easter weekend, you can enjoy Bermuda’s Kite Festival in Horseshoe Bay, where locals and tourists alike fly kites high in the sky. Indeed a sight to behold.
Easter is a huge holiday for the island, and you’ll find plenty to see and do while visiting. Happen to visit during the end of April instead. You’ll be able to see the Bermuda International Invitational Race Week, a highly anticipated yacht race with competitors from all over the world.
May is Bermuda Day, when Bermuda celebrates its history as a colony, and if you visit at the beginning of the month, you can catch the end of Race Week. You may also see warmer temperatures and more rainfall, so pack accordingly and prepare for beach time this month.
Unless you’re visiting during a festival or holiday, you won’t have as many crowds to deal with as during peak season, and the opening of the tourist season can see up to 30% discounts on cabins and onshore accommodations.
Given the fewer crowds, better deals, and all the festivities, April and May are hands down the best months to cruise to Bermuda during the year.
June-August: Peak Season, but the Best Time to Cruise to Bermuda for Beaches
June is the opening of hurricane season, though that’s less of a concern than you might think for Bermuda. The summer season on this island is mainly known for lots of festivals, crowds, high prices, and packed beaches.
June through August is the best time to hit the beach in Bermuda. The weather is in the nineties, the ocean is in the eighties, and it’s a fantastic time to hit the beach and enjoy the balmy weather.
These months are a must if you want your plans to revolve around the beach. However, it’s also peak season for Bermuda, and plenty of other people enjoy the coast and the islands.
Cabins and onshore accommodations are expensive, so book anything ahead of time if you’re planning to visit during this season. Luckily, the festival season is still going strong through these months, with plenty of small street festivals, longer holidays, and boat races to enjoy.
The Annapolis Bermuda Race, the Newport Bermuda Race, and the Carnival-style Bermuda Heroes Weekend take place in June and make great visits.
If you visit during July, participate in the Bermuda Triple Crown Billfish Championship where the best anglers compete to catch the most impressive of the predatory fish species.
August has a cricket tournament called the Cup Match that takes place during the Non-Mariners Water Raft-Up, where boats of varying sizes and seaworthiness take to the sea to party. Celebrations are always happening this time of year, so you’ll be spoiled with things to do and see.
Ensure you pack a poncho for the occasional shower and that you’re aware of any tropical storms or hurricanes in the region. While nothing will likely happen, it’s good to be prepared in an emergency. The last hurricane that hit the islands was in 2003. They occasionally make landfall every six or seven years.
Thunderstorms are more common, though they fly by fairly quickly, and most rainfall is at night. But you should be packed in case a sudden bout of rain interrupts your tour or activity. Otherwise, pack lightly for hot weather, and break out the swimsuits, Bermuda shorts, and sundresses to get your feel of sunshine while on the islands.
September-November: Shoulder Season, Best Deals
Once summer is gone, so are most of the tourists. The islands begin quieting down mid-September, and most cruise lines run until the end of November, making this the best time to score great deals on cabins and accommodations. While festivals are fewer, there’s still plenty to see and do in Bermuda, like golfing, touring historic sites, and even going to the beach.
The temperature varies between the lower and the upper seventies during the fall, with more rainfall. Still, the ocean is around the same temperature, making swimming pleasant. While Bermuda doesn’t have a traditional rainy season the way Caribbean islands do, it’s good to remember there is more rain in these months and prepare accordingly.
If a few raindrops don’t stand in your way, then you’ll have islands all to yourself. Bermuda is still beautiful this time of year, and it’s the perfect time to get some beach in before winter hits. Beaches, historic sites, tours, accommodations, and cruises are offered at a steep discount.
September has a Sand Sculpture Competition, where you can show off your skills on the beach, and it rounds out the festival season for Bermuda. However, you can still attend noteworthy events, like the City Food Festival in Hamilton in October, where you can enjoy the best Bermudan food on the islands, or the World Rugby Classic in November, a must-see for rugby fans.
Keep in mind it gets colder the further you get in the year, and the last swimming temperatures would be in early October. However, Bermuda is a lot more than just stunning beaches, so there’s sure to be an activity you want to do.
Hurricane Season: Not a Concern
Hurricane season is from June through October, and Bermuda is at an elevated risk of westerlies coming in from the Gulf Stream. However, hurricanes rarely make landfall–only once every six or seven years. Many hotels and cruises offer “Hurricane guarantees,” where if a storm does throw off your plans, they’ll give you complimentary stays and free nights.
Overall, it’s good to be aware of possible hurricanes and tropical thunderstorms, but they shouldn’t be a determining factor when planning to cruise to Bermuda.
The best time to cruise to Bermuda for hot weather and beaches is definitely during the peak season from June to August, but if you’re not concerned about swimming temperatures, you may enjoy visiting in spring for festivals or from September to November for the best deals with still decent weather.