Bermuda really is one of those dream destinations that has the “something for everyone" so many lay claim to. Along with fantastic beaches, wonderful food and plenty of interesting history, there's a host of excellent cultural attractions for those who want to delve a little deeper than the end of their toes in the sand.
I've been helping clients find their ideal Bermuda accommodation for a long time and, over the course of my own many visits, I've visited a very healthy selection of the island's attractions. One that I keep coming back to is the excellent BUEI: The Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute.
No matter where your Bermuda accommodation sees you based, I highly recommend jumping in a taxi or on a bus to visit this fantastic place.
Exploring the BUEI
You can hardly visit an island (or, strictly, islands) without taking at least a passing interest in the ‘big blue' that surrounds you on every side. The BUEI provides a superb resource to help you get to grips with everything concerning Bermuda's oceans and the importance of preserving them. Over two action-packed levels, you can explore interactive exhibits that introduce you to subjects as diverse as shell collections, shipwrecks and shark attacks!
The Jack Lightbourn Shell Collection is the most extensive private shell collection in the world, with more than 1,200 exhibits of every conceivable shape, size and colour. (Mr Lightbourn himself is quite often in attendance. )
The Teddy Tucker Shipwreck Gallery and The Treasure Room take you on a watery walk back in time beneath the surface of the waves to encounter a host of artefacts and fascinating maritime history. With hundreds of wrecks that have come to grief in the shallow surrounding reefs, there is plenty to learn and, unlike pioneer Teddy Tucker, you won’t have to get your feet wet.
The newly completed, interactive Living With the Oceans exhibit is possibly the most important of all, depicting our complex and sometimes controversial modern-day interaction with the world's oceans. Using state-of-the-art technology, you're in control as you head beneath the waves (virtually) to explore the coral reefs and encounter such contemporary issues as global warming, pollution and overfishing.
Built to Win is another of my favourite exhibits at the BUEI. It follows the history and ever-evolving technology of the world's most famous yacht race – The America's Cup. (One amazing fact I found out here is that it's one of the oldest sailing races in history and has been around since 45 years before our modern Olympics!) Via the virtual reality technology on show, you can feel the wind in your hair (well, almost) as you skipper your own vessel through the race. You'll also learn the ins and outs of boat construction and just what it takes to be a winner of this prestigious race. (Tip: the answer is grit, determination and a LOT of money. )
Other exhibits include:
Bioluminescence – an absolutely fascinating (and beautiful) ocean food chain mural
Bermuda Revealed – packed with history and local information
The BUEI is located at 40 Crow Lane, in Pembroke Parish. It's open seven days a week from 10am to 5pm. Entry is $15 for adults and $8 for children aged 6-17.
As well as the permanent exhibits, there's a regular schedule that includes expert talks, film festivals, story time events and markets.
You can purchase a membership to the institute, which, aside from entitling you to discounts on events, lectures and boat trips, can be used reciprocally in over 350 science centres and museums around the world. (Prices start at $40 per year. )
Don’t Miss the BUEI
The beauty of choosing an island destination as compact as this is that you're never very far from wherever you want to get to! So, no matter where you choose your Bermuda accommodation, make sure you set aside some time to visit the fun and fabulous BUEI. I absolutely guarantee you'll learn something…
John Dixon is an experienced world traveller and the Managing Director of Prestige Holidays. For over 30 years, he has been providing luxury Bermuda accommodation, as well as holidays to Croatia, Sicily and many other destinations around the globe. John tries to visit each of the destinations regularly in order to ensure the quality of his properties, and stay up-to-date about the latest local news and events. He has a taste for the finer things in life and has an interest in arts, history and culture.