Glass-Bottom Boat Shipwreck and Coral Reef Cruise
King's Wharf, Bermuda
- Sea Gardens: This is an especially pristine area of the world's northernmost coral reef, and the views of this teeming ecosystem through the glass are mesmerizing.
- The Vixen: Visit a sunken British gunboat rich in history, with a backstory almost too absurd to believe.
- Secrets and seascapes: Your captain and crew will relate little-known facts and insights about Bermuda's marine life, history, and people.
About this King's Wharf tour
She was never sexy, or even graceful – she was a bulky, decidedly unglamorous armored gunboat. So you'd think the Royal Navy had the female fox in mind, and not a seductive female human, when they christened her the Vixen in 1864. But she vexed the men in her short life from the day she left the shipyard.
Her ample, ram-type bow protruded nearly nine feet beneath the water line. Her robust, iron hull was enrobed in teak and copper – an experimental design that would, her builders hoped, repel clingy, corrosive marine critters. But her voluptuous proportions left her too slow and heavy to maneuver safely, and sailors did what they always do when weighed down: They dumped her.
They brought Vixen to Bermuda, where she was brusquely stripped of her upper-deck fixtures, rigging, and masts. For a time, she endured the indignity of housing dirty dockyard workers in her berthing compartment. Her four guns were plundered and sold for scrap, sealing her fate: She was to be scuttled. In 1896, explosives ripped through her keel, and she sank in a spot chosen to plug an opening in Bermuda's offshore defenses.
But Vixen is a survivor, and her spirit, if not her hull, remains unbroken. In her second incarnation – motherly protector – she's blocked torpedoes, nurtured countless species of coral and tropical fish, and still enchants those who come calling, her bow pressed proudly above the surface. She doesn't mind if you peep below; ever the vixen, she'd be disappointed if you didn't.
After we've looked over the wreck of the Vixen and the Sea Gardens reef, there's still more to see when we pause over beds of seagrass waving in the Gulf Stream. Many transient sea turtles take refuge in this Mid-Atlantic asylum, and it's a common dining spot for juvenile green turtles. You might spot a few of them, looking right back at you through the glass.
Please proceed to the Dockyard Watersports Centre - next to the Dockyard ferry stop to meet our GoBe Rep.
Bermuda's environment is heavily protected; removing coral, shells, animals, plants, etc. is strictly prohibited and subject to fines. Do not touch the coral - you will harm it, and it may harm you.
Travelers must be able to walk short distances, get on and off the boat, with limited assistance. Walkers and canes can be stowed on-board. Non-Wheelchair accessible.
Boat Tour, Family Friendly, Scenic, Wilderness/Wildlife
40-60 foot custom built glass bottom boats.
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated mild. To participate fully, you may be required to walk over primarily even surfaces at a leisurely pace. You may encounter a limited number of steps, cobblestones, or uneven surfaces, and you may have to stand for extended periods of time.
Suitable for all ages.
Suitable for travelers weighing up to 300 lbs.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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