Bermuda is in the midst of its greatest celebration in history, the 400th anniversary of the founding of Bermuda. In 1609, the flagship of the second expedition sent to America by the Virginia Company of London, named the Sea Venture, was wrecked off the shores of Bermuda (providing the theme of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”). The subsequent rescue one year later of the Jamestown colony in Virginia by the survivors of that shipwreck, is one of the most important stories of the western world.
This milestone is an opportunity to honor and showcase the people, the culture, and the events that have helped to build Bermuda over the past 400 years and make it what it is today.
“This year of celebration has been like none other,” said the Hon. Dr. Ewart F. Brown, JP, MP, Bermuda’s Premier and Minister of Tourism and Transport. “We invite locals and visitors alike to come ‘Feel the Love’ and join in celebrating this monumental occasion.”
Upcoming events and celebrations include:
Tall Ships Atlantic Challenge 2009: June 11-15, 2009
The Tall Ships Fleet will race from Vigo, Spain to Halifax, Northern Ireland with a stop in Bermuda on June 11-15. It will be a historic moment for all to witness the Tall Ships arrival in Hamilton Harbour to celebrate Bermuda’s 400th anniversary.
Cup Match Cricket Festival: July 30-31, 2009
This two-day cricket match between East and West End cricket clubs is an annual favorite. The concurrent and equally important commemoration of both Emancipation Day, the 1834 freeing of Bermuda’s slaves, and Somers’ Day, which observes the discovery of Bermuda by Sir George Somers in 1609, make this festival a not-to-be-missed event.
PGA Grand Slam of Golf: October 19-21, 2009
Visitors to Bermuda will once again have the chance to see some of the world’s top golfers compete in the PGA Grand Slam of Golf, the season-ending showcase featuring golf’s premier foursome. Returning to Bermuda for its third time, the high-stakes tournament will be held for the first time at the newly-renovated Port Royal Golf Course.
In honor of Bermuda’s 400th anniversary, the Bermuda Department of Tourism thought it was time to set the record straight and let travelers know the truth behind the triangle.
Bermuda is not located in the Caribbean. Contrary to popular belief, Bermuda is actually located 650 miles off the coast of Cape Hatteras, NC, and less than a two-hour plane ride from New York City!
Bermuda goes one to one with the US dollar. Bermuda does not have its own currency nor does it rely on the pound.
Visitors cannot rent cars in Bermuda. Due to a strong environmental commitment, visitors may not rent a car when visiting Bermuda, and residents may only have one car per household.
Bermuda is the oldest British Colony and has the second oldest parliamentary democracy in the world (after England).
Travelers clear customs at the airport in Bermuda before the flight back to the United States. This makes the arrival home pleasant, easy, and custom free.
Bermuda does not allow chain stores or franchise restaurants on the island. However, Bermuda offers a wide range of restaurants with the finest chefs featuring French, Italian, and Japanese, to all American cuisine.
Bermuda is home to more golf courses per square mile than anywhere in the world, truly making it a golfer’s haven. This year, the PGA Grand Slam of Golf will return to Bermuda for the third time and will be held at Bermuda’s newly-renovated Port Royal Golf Club, October 20-21, 2009.
Tennis was introduced to America by Bermuda. In 1874, Miss Mary Ewing Outerbridge, an American sports woman, purchased tennis equipment from British army officers in Bermuda and set up the first US tennis court on the grounds of the Staten Island Cricket Club, New York.
Made from Irish linen, Bermuda shorts are considered an acceptable part of everyday wardrobe in Bermuda and can be found on most businessmen. Bermuda shorts originated with the British army when they came to Bermuda from India.
Bermuda’s signature pink sand comes from a combination of crushed coral, calcium carbonate, and foraminifera.
Bermuda’s rich literary heritage has attracted and inspired the likes of Mark Twain, Noel Coward, James Thurber, Eugene O’Neill, and John Lennon.
Before publishing The Secret Garden in 1911, Frances Hodgson Burnett, the English-born writer, stayed at The Princess Hotel, giving rise to the rumor that the secret garden was located somewhere in Bermuda.
William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” was inspired by a shipwreck that occurred near St. George in 1609, the year before he wrote the play. Bermuda has also been the destination of choice for Eleanor Roosevelt and Prince Albert of Monaco.
And finally, the Bermuda Triangle. The Bermuda Triangle is not recognized by the US Board of Geographic Names. However, Bermuda remains the world’s number one wreck-diving destination.