Bermuda is balmy, beautiful, and oh-so close to home — just 665 miles off the coast of North Carolina in the Atlantic Ocean — but add up the airfare required to get there, plus the high cost of hotel rooms and dining during peak season, and a visit becomes out of reach for many travelers. Luckily, there’s a way to visit this inviting island that even frugal vacationers will love. Here’s how cruising to Bermuda can save you money.
Land vs. Cruise: The Basics
Peak season on the island is May to August, when both air and water temperatures are inviting but the Atlantic hurricane season isn’t yet in full swing. If you’re thinking about a land-based vacation, this is when airfare and hotel rates skyrocket. It’s typical to see prices for flights in this period top $350 from the East Coast, and hotel rates bounce up to $300 to $500 per night.
The cruise lines often market summer deals, including cruises to Bermuda, in May. Do your research and you can easily score a promotional fare for $499 to $799 per person for a seven-night cruise in an inside cabin. (Upgraded cabins cost more.) Even though you’ll only be in Bermuda for three of those days, you’ll get a full week’s vacation (including meals) for the same price as only two or three days on land.
The Cruise Options are Plentiful
Five cruise lines — Carnival, Celebrity, Holland America, Norwegian, and Royal Caribbean — have ships visiting Bermuda from May to October. You can find four- to seven-night itineraries departing from Baltimore, Boston, Cape Liberty (New Jersey), and New York City during this period.
If you’re interested in a (very!) quick getaway, Carnival offers a four-night cruise (with one day in Bermuda) from New York City this summer on Carnival Triumph. For a longer cruise (and three days in Bermuda), Norwegian Escape sails a seven-night itinerary, while Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas has five- and seven-night itineraries. Celebrity Summit has seven-night sailings from Cape Liberty, NJ.
Travelers who live in New England can board Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of the Seas, Holland America’s Veendam, Norwegian Dawn, or Norwegian Gem for seven-night sailings from Boston. Residents of the Mid-Atlantic states can cruise to Bermuda for five or seven nights from Baltimore on Royal Caribbean’s Grandeur of the Seas or Carnival Pride.
Your Meals Are Covered
One of the biggest budget busters in Bermuda is the cost of dining out; Bermuda’s restaurants offer a bounty of fresh seafood, but “cheap” isn’t a word generally associated with this upscale island. (Expect appetizers at entrée prices, no matter the quality of the meal.) With a cruise, you can eat breakfast onboard your ship, then re-board again for lunch and dinner. Thanks to the island’s manageable size, there’s plenty of time before and after lunch sightsee, go to the beach, or take a tour. Eating on board your ship, even for one or two meals each day, will save you hundreds of dollars.
Free Beverage Packages Let You Save
Watch for promotions and your Bermuda cruise could become almost all-inclusive. For example, Celebrity is currently offering a free beverage package on seven-night Bermuda sailings in July and August on Celebrity Summit when you book an oceanview cabin or higher by the end of May.
Cut Expenses Even Further With Credit
Cruise lines also entice travelers to book with special promotions offering free onboard credit (typically $100 to $200 per person or cabin), which you can use to offset your bar bill, enjoy a massage in the spa, or take a shore excursion such as a catamaran sail or snorkel trip.