The name is a real mouthful so from now on we’ll just call it the BUEI. Opened in 1997, the BUEI’s purpose is to enhance our understanding of the mysteries of the ocean. Set in an impressively constructed modern building, it accomplishes this through a series of exhibits, many of them interactive. It’s a great attraction for families and kids and a good option for a rainy day.
Visitors enter on the upper floor. A life-size replica of a 500 pound, 27 foot long squid hangs in the entrance hall and reminds you that it’s not just pretty fish that live in the ocean. One of the highlights on this level is the amazing collection of shells collected by a local man, Jack Lightbourn. There are over 1,000 shells on display, less than one quarter of his entire collection.
The Teddy Tucker Shipwreck Gallery showcases many of the items discovered by its namesake, a renowned Bermudian diver, archaeologist, and honorary chairman of the BUEI. Among its many exhibits are ampoules of opium from the Constellation which sank off Bermuda in 1943. The wreck inspired Jaws author, Peter Benchley, to write his novel The Deep. The subsequent movie, starring Jacqueline Bissett and Nick Nolte, was shot largely on location in Bermuda.
The Treasure Room displays gold, coins, and other items recovered from some of the hundreds of shipwrecks around Bermuda. One of the most interesting items on display is the replica of the Tucker Cross, a gold cross recovered by Teddy Tucker in 1955 from the wreck of a 16th century Spanish ship. In 1975 Queen Elizabeth II visited the island and opened the Bermuda Maritime Museum. Teddy Tucker was supposed to show her the cross, but on unpacking the box discovered that it has been stolen and replaced by a plastic replica. Since then the cross has not been seen or heard of. A recreation of the cross is now on display.
Another highlight is a full size replica of the Bathysphere. It was in this steel spherical device that Charles Beebe submerged to a depth of 3,028 feet off the coast of Bermuda in 1934. The dive smashed the previous record depth for a human dive (525 feet) and stood for 15 years. Also on show is an Exosuit. Similar to an astronaut’s suit, but constructed from titanium, it allows divers wearing it to reach depths of 600 feet and can be used for rescuing the crew of sunken submarines.
If you need to eat, the BUEI offers a fine onsite restaurant. The Harbourfront boasts magnificent views of Hamilton harbour and offers steak, seafood and sushi dishes. The BUEI also has a lovely gift shop with and is fully wheelchair accessible.
Admission to the BUEI costs $15, $12 for seniors, and $8 for children (7 to 17). Kids aged 6 and under enjoy free entry.
The attraction is open every day of the week. Opening times are 10 am to 5 pm daily. Last admission is at 4 pm.
Several buses stop outside the facility; #1 (Hamilton to St George), #2 (Hamilton to Ord Road/Warwick Parish), #7 (Hamilton to Dockyard) and #8 (Hamilton to Dockyard). There’s free parking outside for those travelling by scooter.
If you’re visiting early in the morning you can combine your visit here with a trip to see Johnny Barnes, the friendliest man in Bermuda. Every weekday morning he can be found at the nearby roundabout. Waterville and Fort Hamilton are also close by.
Tourist attractions and things to do near Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute include:
- Waterville (0.2 miles) - National Trust headquarters
- Johnny Barnes (0.2 miles) - A Bermudian legend
- Fort Hamilton (0.3 miles) - Offers spectacular views of Hamilton
- Arboretum (0.4 miles) - Park with collection of trees and shrubs from around the world
- Cabinet Building (0.5 miles) - Elegant 19th century building
- Cenotaph (0.5 miles) - War memorial
- Sessions House (0.5 miles) - Bermuda's parliament
- Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art (0.6 miles) - Art gallery of the Masterworks Foundation
- Paget Marsh Nature Reserve (0.6 miles) - Nature reserve
- Bermuda Cathedral (0.6 miles) - Offers great views of Hamilton
- Camden (0.6 miles) - Official residence of Bermuda's Premier
- Bermuda Botanical Gardens (0.7 miles) - 36 acres of trees, shrubs and flowers
- Victoria Park (0.7 miles) - Hamilton park
- Bermuda National Gallery (0.7 miles) - Home of the national art collection
- City Hall and Arts Centre (0.7 miles) - Impressive building housing the offices of the Corporation of Hamilton
- Bermuda Society of Arts Gallery (0.7 miles) - Art gallery at City Hall
- Perot Post Office (0.8 miles) - The best place in Bermuda to send postcards
- Bermuda Historical Society Museum (0.8 miles) - Museum illustrating Bermuda's history
- Queen Elizabeth Park (0.8 miles) - Park in Hamilton
- Albuoy’s Point and Point Pleasant Park (0.8 miles) - Small dock and park in Hamilton
- Barr’s Bay Park (0.9 miles) - Waterfront park in Hamilton
Restaurants and places to eat and drink near Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute include:
- Harbourfront Restaurant (0 miles) - Restaurant at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute. Offers a sushi and tempura bar. Stunning views of Hamilton Harbour.
- Rosa's (0.4 miles) - Established Tex-Mex restaurant in Hamilton. Offers burgers, burritos, quesadillas, tacos, fajitas, steaks etc. Located above Docksider.
- Docksider (0.4 miles) - Pub and restaurant at the eastern end of Front Street. Menu offers pub grub, burgers, sandwiches, and pizza. Popular watering hole. Live sports, DJs etc. Reasonably close to Fort Hamilton.
- Bolero Brasserie (0.5 miles) - Upscale brasserie on Hamilton’s main street. Chef owned. Offers a small balcony with view of Front Street and Hamilton Harbour.
- The Dog House (0.6 miles) - Popular bar on Front Street. Live music and Premier League/NFL games. Outdoor terrace.
- Rock Island Coffee (0.6 miles) - Coffeeshop in Hamilton known for its delicious baked goods. Walls display works by local artists.
- Ruby Murrys (0.6 miles) - Indian restaurant just off Front Street. Reasonable prices.
- House of India (0.6 miles) - Indian restaurant at the northern end of Hamilton. Specialises in Tandoor-cooked dishes. Takeaway service available.
- The Astwood Arms (0.6 miles) - British style pub on Hamilton’s main street. Friendly staff. Live music and NFL/Premier League games.
- Flanagan's (0.6 miles) - Irish pub located in a prime spot on Front Street in Hamilton. Veranda offers excellent views of Hamilton Harbour. Incorporates a separate sports bar.
- Ice Queen (0.7 miles) - Takeaway in Paget Parish. Offers burgers, chicken wings and nuggets, fries etc. Open late.
- Barracuda Grill (0.7 miles) - Seafood restaurant in Hamilton, just off Front Street. Specialises in seafood but also offers meat options. Located above the Hog Penny pub.
- Hog Penny (0.7 miles) - British-style pub just off Front Street. Cosy wooden interior. Reputed to be the inspiration for the Cheers pub in Boston. Live music in the evenings.
- Devil's Isle (0.7 miles) - Busy cafe and bar in Hamilton. Hip and casual.
- The Terrace on Front Street (0.7 miles) - Restaurant on Front Street. Outdoor terrace has fantastic views of Front Street and Hamilton Harbour. Formerly Red Steakhouse.
- The Pickled Onion (0.7 miles) - Bar and restaurant on Front Street, Hamilton. Veranda offers excellent view of Hamilton Harbour. Live music and DJs.
- La Trattoria (0.7 miles) - Family-friendly Italian restaurant in the centre of Hamilton. Known for its pizzas; cooked in a wood-burning brick oven.
- Angelo's Bistro (0.7 miles) - Italian cafe in the Walker Arcade in Hamilton. Indoor or atrium seating. Italian food with a local twist.
- Art Mel's Spicy Dicy (0.8 miles) - Takeaway renowned for its fish sandwiches. Located a fair distance from the centre of Hamilton.
- L'Oriental (0.9 miles) - Asian fusion restaurant in Hamilton’s business district. Best known for its sushi and teppanyaki. Situated above the Little Venice.
- Little Venice (0.9 miles) - Founded in 1971, the Little Venice is Bermuda’s oldest Italian restaurant.
- Portofino (0.9 miles) - Established Italian restaurant in Hamilton’s business district.
- Lobster Pot (0.9 miles) - Seafood restaurant established in 1973. Close to Queen Elizabeth Park.
- Mad Hatters (0.9 miles) - Innovative restaurant offering an eclectic menu. Restaurant is loosely theme around Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Diners can don one of their wacky hats for the night. Located in Pembroke, near the Robin Hood pub, and just a short walk from Hamilton.
- Bouchee (1 miles) - French bistro at the western end of Hamilton, close to the Hamilton Princess. Formerly Monty’s.
- Robin Hood Pub and Restaurant (1 miles) - Popular pub on the outskirts of Hamilton. Shows Premier League games.
Nearby Transport Links
Transport links near Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute include:
Map showing location of Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute.
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Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute
40 Crow Lane, East Broadway