Ireland Island is home to the Royal Naval Dockyard in Bermuda.
Built in 1809 as a British naval base, the Royal Naval Dockyard's main function was to supply British ships in the War of 1812 and the American Civil War. Largely abandoned after World War II, the Dockyard was repurposed as a cruise ship wharf in the 1980s and now features an eclectic mix of tourist attractions, historic monuments, restaurants and shops.
By Cruise Ship: Most large cruise ships to Bermuda dock at the King's Wharf adjacent to the Dockyard.
By ferry: Hourly ferries during the day from Hamilton ferry terminal to Dockyard are comfortable, air-conditioned and fast. $4.
By bus: Most buses on routes #7 and #8 from Hamilton have "Dockyard" as their western terminus. They run every 15 minutes during the day and once per hour from 6:15 pm to 9:15pm (final bus from Hamilton: 10:45 pm). $4
By taxi: a taxi from Hamilton to Dockyard costs about $60.
By scooter: the 15km ride from Hamilton to Dockyard takes about 45 minutes.
The Dockyard area is small and easily walkable. In the summer, a free trolley-train carts the elderly, infirm and lazy around the Dockyard area and the adjacent cruise ship wharf.
- Bermuda Maritime Museum: Preserving many of the Dockyard's historic military buildings, the Maritime Museum (rebranded "National Museum" in 2009) houses displays about Bermuda's colonial and shipfaring past. The view of the entire island from the second story of the "Commissioner's House" (the main building of the museum) is worth the $10 admission alone. Open 9-5 daily in summer, 10-4 daily in winter. Museum Website
- Dolphin Quest: Inside the walls of the Maritime Museum is an opportunity to swim with dolphins. You can choose your level of interaction, from a 20-minute introduction to a whole day with the trainers. +1 441-234-4464 Website
- Neptune Cinema: A one-screen theatre in an historic building, with nightly shows (7:30; Sunday 5:30) featuring films usually 1-2 weeks after their U.S. release: http://www.libertytheatre.bm/
- Frog & Onion Pub, in the Cooperage Building, is a pub in the British tradition. Featuring standard pub fare and a few island specialties. Kids welcome.
- Bonefish Bar & Grill, at the ferry terminal, offers a variety of dishes, from Italian to local fish to burgers & ribs. (Not connected to the U.S. "Bonefish" chain).
- Dockyard Pastry Shop, adjacent to the Victualling Yard, is an outdoor tearoom and coffee shop, featuring sandwiches and homemade pastries and desserts.
- Freeport Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar, at the Dockyard gate, is the Dockyard's most casual sit-down dining, featuring Caribbean cuisine, as well as burgers, meat pies and pizza.
- Cafe Amici, in the Clocktower Mall, is an Italian restaurant that also serves breakfast.
- Buzz, inside the Dockyard Pharmacy, is a takeout sandwich shop -- part of a local Bermuda chain.
- Big Eatz, about 100 yards past the Dockyard Gate, is a no-frills takeout place. If you want to know how Bermudians eat, take the short walk.
- Dockyard Brewing Company is Bermuda's only brewery. Featuring wheat beers, pale ales, ambers, porters, and experiments. Available from the Frog & Onion Pub.
- Smoothies are available from the Dockyard Pharmacy.