Did You Know Roughly 60 percent of Bermudians have African ancestry; many are descendants of enslaved persons from the West Indies and West Africa brought here during the 18th Century.
Not too long ago, Bermuda tourism officials announced an ambitious goal of doubling the number of black travelers to the island by 2025.
The announcement by tourism officials was publicized after a report revealed that African-American spent nearly $63 billion on tourism in 2018.
- Best Time To Go
Bermuda is a year-round destination (it has a subtropical climate), but the best time to visit is September and October, when the humidity of summer disappears but water temperatures remain warm enough for swimming. Bonus: This is when hotel rooms typically become less expensive, since autumn is the start of shoulder season.
- Getting around in Bermuda
Bike and motorcycle hire are both popular options, especially as it’s not possible to rent cars on the island. It’s worth noting, however, that thanks to the often hilly, narrow roads you’ll need to be very fit to get the best out of your bike hire. As an alternative, there’s a good bus system which connects with most attractions. Public ferries are more scenic and, as the distances across water can be shorter than the land routes, they can be quicker too.
If you’re planning a trip to Bermuda, Here are some activities you should add to your itinerary.
- THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF BERMUDA
At the National Museum of Bermuda, head to the first floor of the Commissioner’s House and explore an exhibit devoted to 200 years of enslavement in Bermuda from the early years of settlement after 1612 through Emancipation in 1834. Showcasing the artisan and maritime occupations of Bermudian enslaved and free men, this exhibit offers first-person narratives, images, objects and shipwreck artefacts, all detailing the evolution of trans-Atlantic enslavement and its links to Bermuda.
- Central Bermuda
A powerful reminder of the hardships of slavery, this sculpture by local artist Carlos Dowling depicts an enslaved grandmother standing defiantly before her executioners. Her name was Sally Bassett, and in 1730, she was burned at the stake for allegedly leading a rebellion, encouraging others to use poisons to harm their masters. Sally maintained her innocence ‘til the end, and over the centuries she has become a symbol of resilience and defiance in the face of injustice. It is said that a Bermudiana – the national flower of Bermuda – grew from her ashes. The 10-foot statue paying tribute to her stands on the grounds of the Cabinet Building in Hamilton.
- BERMUDA HERITAGE MUSEUM
The Bermuda Heritage Museum highlights the social, cultural and political achievements of black Bermudians. During your visit, you’ll learn the history of Cup Match (the a two-day cricket game match which includes a public holiday celebrated celebrating during the Bermuda’s Emancipation and Somers Day holidays), Bermudian black lodges and the 1959 Theatre Boycott, the event that ultimately ended segregation in Bermuda.
- LOST AT SEA MEMORIAL
Prior to Emancipation, the island’s enslaved individuals as well as free residents of African descent embarked on fishing and whaling vessels. Whether they were voluntarily at sea or not didn’t matter when it came to many of their fates. Due to rough seas, many were forever lost. This monument pays tribute to those who never returned from their maritime voyages.
- BARR’S BAY PARK
This scenic spot right off of Front Street has deep ties to Bermuda’s African heritage. In 1835, an American schooner named the Enterprise landed here, sent off course by a storm. Onboard were 78 enslaved men, women and children. Since slavery had been illegal in Bermuda since Emancipation a year earlier, members of a “Friendly Society” in Bermuda took the ship’s captain to court and soon the enslaved on board were given a choice: return to the United States or stay on in Bermuda and be free. Almost all opted for the latter – and their descendants still live here today. “We Arrive,” a striking statue, graces the park to commemorate this event in our history.
- CRYSTAL CAVES
Believe me it’s simply beautiful! Deep, clear underground pools of azure blue water. You will witness incredible formations of every size and shape imaginable.
Cave ceilings adorned with rare chandelier clusters and delicate crystallized soda straws. Each cave is uniquely beautiful and is a new adventure to discover. Be sure to explore them both. It’s a not-to-be missed, favorite family activity in Bermuda.