Royal Naval Dockyard

With their defeat in the American War of Independence the British lost the use of the ports of its former colonies. To compensate work began in 1809 at Bermuda’s Ireland Island on the construction of the ‘Gibraltar of the West’, the Royal Naval Dockyard.

The work was carried out using both slaves and convicts shipped from England. Of 9,000 convicts put to work here, approximately 2,000 perished during construction, many from yellow fever.

The Royal Naval Dockyard remained a major Atlantic outpost for the British Royal Navy until 1951, when most of the facility was closed. A limited number of buildings and facilities remained opened for the support of British and NATO ships until complete closure in 1995.

Aerial photograph of the Royal Naval Dockyard in Bermuda showing the Clocktower Mall
Clocktower Mall

Since then the location has been transformed into one of Bermuda’s most popular tourist areas and is the major port of call for cruise ships visiting the island.

Cruise Ship Terminals – King’s Wharf and Heritage Wharf

King’s Wharf and Heritage Wharf are two adjacent cruise ship terminals at the Royal Naval Dockyard. They are the only docks in Bermuda capable of handling today’s larger vessels. All the regular, contracted cruise ships visiting the island now dock here. They depart from New York, Baltimore, and Boston.

The docks at Hamilton and St George are currently only used by smaller, occasional callers.

Tourist Attractions & Shops

The historic buildings of Dockyard would be worthy tourist attractions on their own, but many have been given a new lease of life by WEDCO.

The Keep, a stronghold at the tip of Dockyard, is now the National Museum of Bermuda. It’s dominated by Commissioner’s House, a restored building housing exhibits exploring over 500 years of local history and culture. Dolphin Quest is also here and offers visitors the chance to swim and interact with dolphins.

The Cooperage is directly opposite the museum and was used for making barrels. It now houses the Bermuda Craft Market, the Bermuda Arts Centre, and the Media Lounge cinema.

Snorkel Park lies just west of the museum and is Dockyard’s only beach. Next to it you’ll find Bermuda Fun Golf, an mini-golf course with 18 holes replicating some of the most famous courses in Bermuda, the US, and Scotland.

A row of buildings running along the north-western perimeter of Dockyard were previously used as workshops and stores. They now house a variety of businesses such as Dockyard Glassworks, the Bermuda Rum Cake Company, the Bermuda Clayworks, and the Dockyard Pharmacy.

The Great Eastern Storehouse is now the Clocktower Mall, a shopping centre with a good selection of small stores and galleries. It’s located near the main entrance to Dockyard.

Restaurants & Bars

The list was last updated on Friday 29th of November 2019.

Alex and Pete's Bermuda Artisan Ice CreamDockyard Terrace
Royal Naval Dockyard, Sandys Parish
Desserts$Offers locally-made ice cream.
[Trip Advisor]
Anchor Restaurant, Bar, and LoungeFreeport Road
Royal Naval Dockyard, Sandys Parish
Seafood, International$$Casual restaurant near the entrance to Royal Naval Dockyard.
[Trip Advisor]
Bone Fish Bar and GrillDockyard Terrace
Royal Naval Dockyard, Sandys Parish
Seafood, International$$Bar and restaurant at Royal Naval Dockyard. Close to the cruise terminals. Live entertainment in the summer.
[Trip Advisor]
Cafe AmiciClocktower Mall
Royal Naval Dockyard, Sandys Parish
Italian$$Casual Italian restaurant in the Clocktower Mall at Royal Naval Dockyard. Indoor and outdoor seating areas.
[Trip Advisor]
Frog and Onion Pub4 Maritime Lane
Royal Naval Dockyard, Sandys Parish
Pub, British$$Large pub at Royal Naval Dockyard. Founded by a Frenchman and a Bermudian (the Frog and the Onion). Housed in an old-barrel making building. Features a games room. Close to the Bermuda Arts Centre, Bermuda Craft Market, and the National Museum of Bermuda. Within easy walking distance of the cruise terminals.
[Trip Advisor]
The Dockyard Pastry Shop12 Dockyard Terrace
Royal Naval Dockyard, Sandys Parish
Cafe$$Cafe at Royal Naval Dockyard. Offers afternoon tea, light lunches, gourmet sandwiches, pastries, wine, beer, and cocktails. Dine indoors or on the terrace. Close to the cruise terminals.
[Trip Advisor]

Activities & Tours

Throughout the summer Dockyard is packed with thousands of cruise ship passengers. Many of the island’s activity and tour providers are based here and offer visitors a wide array of things to do.

KS Watersports offer jet ski tours, parasailing, and a high speed boat trip around the island while Hartley’s Undersea Walk offers visitors a unique underwater adventure. The Island Tour Centre/Fantasea Bermuda offers scuba diving and snorkelling trips, kayak tours, fishing trips, and more.

For a unique guided tour of the Dockyard area try Segway Tours of Bermuda.


Destination Dockyard is held every Monday evening throughout the summer months. The street festival features live music, Gombey dancers, food vendors and more.

Other events include historical re-enactments in the Victualling Yard, salsa dancing and live entertainment at the Bone Fish Bar and Grill, and the nightly parties at Snorkel Park Beach.

Transport – Buses, Ferries & Scooters

Getting around Dockyard on foot is pretty easy. It’s fairly flat and you can walk from one end to the other in about 10 minutes. Visitors that prefer not to walk can take the free shuttle bus. It travels a circular route around the area stopping at the cruise ship terminals and all major attractions and points of interest. It runs daily from 8.30 am until 6 pm.

Bus number 7 and bus number 8 run between Hamilton and Royal Naval Dockyard. Bus number 7 is the most popular with tourists. It runs along the South Road and stops at many of the island’s best beaches including Church Bay, Horseshoe Bay, Jobson’s Cove, Warwick Long Bay, and Elbow Beach.

Dockyard is also served by the island’s excellent ferry service. Throughout the year there’s a regular service to Hamilton. There’s also a seasonal service to St George.

Visitors planning on doing a lot of travel on public transport can save money by purchasing a transportation pass. Holders are entitled to unlimited travel on buses and ferries.

Those wishing to see the whole of the island at their own pace should consider hiring a scooter. Oleander Cycles are one of the island’s major rental companies and have a branch at Dockyard.

Services & Information

There are three Visitor Information Centres at Dockyard. The main one is situated on the Dockyard Terrace near the ferry terminal. There are also centres at Kings Wharf and Heritage Wharf that open when cruise ships are in port. Each sells ticket and passes for buses and ferries and can provide general tourist information.

ATMs are located at the Cooperage (near the Frog & Onion) and in the Clocktower Mall.

Internet access is available from local telecommunications company TeleBermuda International (TBI). They recently turned the whole of Dockyard into a WiFi hotspot. It’s not free but is cheaper than the internet service provided by the cruise ships. To connect simply search for the TBI network on your WiFi enabled device and then open your web browser for the sign-up page.


Interactive map of Royal Naval Dockyard. Click on any icon for further information.

Comments and Additional Information

  1. Why no free web cam on this site showing the beauty of the port and cruise ships? Not to mention the great weather !

  2. Are the ferries wheelchair accessible?

  3. This doesn’t look inviting if you are looking for sandy white beaches of Bermuda.

  4. This area is where the cruise ships dock. It is also an important historical site and most of the buildings have been converted to serve cruise ship passengers. It is interesting to look around and quite a large area. If you want to see everything it will take the best part of a full day. I thought some of the items for sale in the mall could be a little bit more authentic. A lot seemed like items mass produced for the tourist market and not authentic Bermuda goods.

  5. A new pirate-themed bar has opened at Royal Naval Dockyard. Calico Jack’s is former Bermuda ferry that has been converted to resemble a pirate ship. The ship can hold approximately 200 people and boasts a full sound system. The ship is moored close to the cruise terminals and is expected to be a big hit with cruise passengers.

  6. Which is the closest beach to Royal Naval Dockyard?

    • See the FAQS for the answer.

    • There is a beach right at the Royal Naval Dockyard. It’s called Snorkel Park Beach and is only a short walk from where the ship docks. It’s fairly small and probably is not the nicest beach in Bermuda but it is the most convenient. There are other beaches of course, but you have to take the island’s transportation system to reach them.


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