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Horseshoe Bay Beach. Courtesy Akem on wikipedia.org

Horseshoe Bay Beach

One of the favorite stops and also one of the most beautiful beaches in the world is Horseshoe Bay in Bermuda.  For those thrifty cruise travelers that don’t wish to book a fancy excursion and pay per person rates, this itinerary below may be right for you if you just wanted to do your own tour.  Our do it yourself excursion is for a 6 – 8 hour trip, but you have to watch your time if your ship leaves the same day. Horseshoe Bay Beach is a Public Beach and has restroom and changing facilities.    So, to plan your trip, you can pack your towels and a bag.  Be sure to ask for a map of Bermuda as you leave the ship. They usually provide a map for shopping that has the details on Hamilton.   For the island, when you buy your transportation pass, they usually provide a small map with the routes.   For planning, Horseshoe Bay Beach has chair and umbrella rentals so take some cash if you are planning to rent (No Credit Cards) or purchases snacks.  You are probably wondering about the money used in Bermuda as I mention cash needs for the transportation, shopping, and public beaches.  Bermuda has Bermudian money, but they also accept US Dollars.  However, you do want want to have on hand smaller bills in Bermuda as getting change for larger USD could be a challenge in some stores and shops.  Some stores do take credit cards, however the public beach chair rentals and the public transportation was a cash only transaction.  Horseshoe Bay Beach has beach chair rentals and rest room, and changing room facilities.    For this trip, you want some good walking shoes and beach attire.     So with these plans made ahead of time,  let’s start our excursion!

Horseshoe Bay Beach in Bermuda

Horseshoe Bay Beach in Bermuda

First, if you are docked at Kings Wharf, or Hamilton Bermuda, we recommend that you split your time up into 2 visits.   If your disembark in the morning and sail late afternoon, you do have time to do both a sight-seeing trip to Hamilton and then venture over to the beach.    At King’s Wharf, you want to get off the ship and purchase an all day Ferry and Bus pass for about $15.00 USD.   If you plan to take a ferry to Hamilton, then use a taxi for the remainder of the trip, then you can purchase a 1 way ferry pass.    After purchasing your pass, follow the side walk around the port to the ferry. Be sure to ask what line is for Hamilton as they have a Ferry that goes to other destinations.  If you didnt want to use the public transportation, there is Taxi service from the ship for around 40.00 one way.  The taxi’s usually hold 4-5 people. If you have a group, ask about a min-bus.  The Mini-Bus usually charges a straight head count fee for 1-way trip. Typically, the bus is about 7 dollars from the ship to Horseshoe Bay Beach.  And, be sure to return from the beach in plenty of time. When you walk up from the beach stand to the Taxi, there are usually plenty of taxi’s waiting, and if you look around, you will find the min-bus attendant as well.  So, getting to Horseshoe Bay Beach from the ship, you have 3 options.  1) The Public Bus system.  2) Taxi, or 3) Mini-Bus.  Or through the Ship’s Excursion tour if you want to count that!

 

A bit about Hamilton Bermuda.  Just a Water Ferry Ride away from Kings Wharf!  

Once you arrive in Hamilton, you will be dropped off at Front Street at the Front Street Ferry Terminal. 

Front Street in Downtown Hamilton Bermuda

Front Street in Downtown Hamilton Bermuda

The Ferry arrives on Front Street,  you can walk around and if you want to do some shopping there are plenty of store front shops on front Street and this vicinity.   If you stay within a few blocks of front street you will find cafe’s, stores and plenty to see.  We were lucky enough to see a parade both times we visited Bermuda, so ask at the information desk if any special activities are occurring.    On Queen Street, there is the historical society museum.   The museum pass was about $10.00 per person.  One thing you will notice about Bermuda are the wonderful flowers on the trees.   There is a local artist who paints these blossoms and has a store at 81 Front Street.  Be sure to stop in and check out the prints.  Back towards the Ferry Terminal, we found a small shop right on Queen Street called Flying Colours that had a variety of shirts, hats, and Bermuda souvenirs.  On the other side of the street was a small mall with more shops and cafes.     And further up the top of the hill and to the right on Church Street you will find the bus station to the right of Town Hall and Arts Center.    This is where you will head when you are ready to travel over to the Horseshoe Bay Beach.    There are plenty of shops.  If you are pressed for time, you can hail a taxi in this same vicinity.  A min-van taxi fare will run about $27.00-$35.00 each trip but does save you some time and can take up to 4 to 5 people.   If you take the bus, you want to look for the route that goes on the beach route.  When we are in town in 2012, Route 7 was the one we needed that goes from Hamilton to Kings Wharf (Dockyard) by way of the outer roads.   As you board the bus, just make sure you tell the driver you will want to stop at Horseshoe Bay Beach.   The bus trip from Hamilton to Horseshoe Bay Beach is not far by one of the bus routes.  Just walk up to the bus station in town, or you can consider a taxi for faster time.  One thing you do want to do is plan your trip in Hamilton and at the Beach to allow enough time to get back to the ship and checked in at least 30 minutes prior to their call.  In general, we allowed a full hour before anchor up.  So, plan your time accordingly.   We took the bus, route 7, from Hamilton Bus Station at Church and Washington Streets.

Upon arrival at the Horseshoe Bay bus stop, there is a walk from the main road down hill to the beach area (Click HERE to see).  Its about 1/4 mile walk down a path.   It’s not too bad of a walk going down, but coming up could be a challenge for some.  The taxi’s have a shuttle at the bottom of the hill to the top for  about $2.00 per person.  (Or if you plan to take a Taxi back to the Dockyard in lieu of the bus system, you will have the opportunity to pick up a cab after your stay at the beach.  If you are pressed for time, you may want to think about a taxi  for about $40.00. – otherwise, the walk up to the bus stop is needed to pick up the bus.)   If you have a group, please check out the mini-bus person that usually sits opposite of the Taxi stands. The minibus is about 7.00 per person one way.   And, if you do walk up the hill to the bus stop,  just make sure you pick the correct bus headed for the dockyard for those ships at Kings Wharf Port.  Otherwise, cross the street and look for the bus returning to Hamilton, Bermuda.

Bermuda’s Horseshoe Bay Beach Restrooms

 A bit about Horseshoe Bay. 

Horseshoe Bay Beach is a Public Beach and has restroom and changing facilities.  The beach also has a rental stand where you can rent Umbrellas and Beach Chairs for about $15.00 each.   There is also a snack stand set up  for some light refreshments.  And, while we were there a tent outside the rental shop had beer and wine sales.   Once you are a changed, settled and on the beach, you will find this to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.  It’s fine coral sand is not silicon based, so it has a warm, but cool and soft feel to your feet.  The public beach has a food snack stand, beer, soda, and light snacks.  We had no issues renting a chair and umbrella even at a peak time when the Cruise Ship guests were on the beach.   It is well maintained area.

Bermuda’s Horseshoe Bay Beach Rental and Snack Stand

Bermuda’s Horseshoe Bay Beach Rental and Snack Stand

When you are on the beach, you may want to go to the far left if you don’t like crowds. Typically, the far left side of the beach has less people. Also, if you venture over that way through a path, you will find another cove that is absolutely breath-taking.  Be sure to to look around.  On the right side of the beach, is another cove and we saw some guests with small children using that beach because the it was shallow and a bit more contained than the open beach in the front.   In August, the water and air temperatures were in the low 8o’s and you can see from the picture below how spectacular the beach and water is in Bermuda.  This beach is absolutely stunning.  See the picture below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s water is crystal clear as a swimming pool, and you can snorkel or swim.  It had a lifeguards on duty when we were there.  We did not see anyone with flotation devices such as rafts or mats, etc.   The water and sand was absolutely beautiful.  It was a very nice beach and worth the visit for a fraction of the cost of a tour.  It has plenty of room even when it was crowded with the Cruise Ship crowds.

Horseshoe Bay Beach Bermuda

 

 

Cruise Lines: Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Princess, Disney, Celebrity
**This article and post has been updated since the original post in 2012.

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One Response to Hamilton and Horseshoe Bay Shore Excursion in Bermuda

  • CruiseDirector says:

    One of the most beautiful beaches, also check out the article on Half Moon Cay on excursionstoday.com!