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The Bahamas vs Bermuda: The Tropical Showdown

If you haven’t yet made it to Bermuda or The Bahamas, it may be easy to get these two “B” destinations mixed up. These two beautiful island chains are popular with families, adults and couples looking for a tropical cruise vacation. The two British-influenced territories are in the Atlantic (not the Caribbean, as many believe). Both are easily reachable from the eastern coast of the U.S.

The Bahamas, with more than 700 sun-splashed islands and cays, is located just 180 miles away from Miami. The archipelago is bursting with variety. Uninhabited islands, private islands and tourist centers with sleek resorts are all to be found in The Bahamas. About 665 miles directly east of North Carolina lies exotic Bermuda.

This glittering archipelago is smaller than The Bahamas but just as exciting, with around 100 islets and cays to explore.

Between their convenient access from U.S. ports and bounty of sea, sun, and sand, you might be wondering which spot to choose. Read on for more lowdown on Bermuda vs. The Bahamas.

catamaran sailing in the ocean near the bahamas

How are Bermuda and The Bahamas Similar?

Blue skies and sunshine are the norm in these island paradises. Both are pleasant year round, although The Bahamas tends to be warmer, since it’s further south. It can rain in both places, but it’s not likely to ruin your day. The Bahamas can have brief spurts of light rainfall year round, with May and June being the wettest months.

There is technically no “rainy season” in Bermuda and bouts of rain tend to be short-lived. Weather in summer is similar in both places – warm, breezy and perfectly comfortable for a swim, snorkel, or a beach nap.

Both islands are English-speaking and rich with early colonial history. They even continue to drive on the left side of the road! Perhaps more importantly, both appeal to water sport enthusiasts and beach bums alike. Gorgeous beaches, clear waters and shady palm trees are a given.

But you’ll also find plenty of outdoor activities. Snorkeling, diving, sailing, jet skiing and of course, just lounging with a cocktail are all on the menu.

You can travel to either paradise from a number of East Coast port cities including Baltimore, Charleston, Ft. Lauderdale, and Port Canaveral (Orlando).

aerial view of the commissioners house in kings wharf bermuda

How are Bermuda and The Bahamas Different?

Don’t be tricked into thinking these popular cruise destinations are just the same. Each has a unique charm, style, and beauty all its own. Being farther north, Bermuda has a milder yet still subtropical climate. Bermuda weather is slightly cooler in non-summer months, with temps ranging from the mid-60’s to mid-70’s.

In The Bahamas, temperatures rarely dip below 70 degrees. Summers there are even warmer, when temperatures get up to around 80-90 degrees.

When it comes to culture, Bermuda is a bit more formal, upscale, and refined. Partly due to its smaller size, Bermuda may feel reserved in comparison to the Bahamas. The Bahamian islands have a lively nighttime scene which includes plenty of bars and pubs, and of course, casinos and nightclubs!

Bermuda is still a British territory and therefore retains more accents of British culture. If you fancy an afternoon tea or a round of cricket, this might be the place for you!

aerial view of the pirate ship docked on the beach of half moon cay

An important difference if you’re trying to choose between Bermuda and The Bahamas – there are several cruise ports in The Bahamas, but only one in Bermuda. Bermuda cruises sail to the idyllic King’s Wharf (some itineraries also make a stop in Grand Turk).

When you cruise to Bermuda, ships tend to stay longer in port. So, if you like a bit more time in one place, Bermuda might be a good fit for you. For those who like to see it all, cruises to The Bahamas stop in more than one port.

Now for the question on every reader’s mind – which destination has the best beaches? The truth is, they’re both fantastic. It just depends what you’re looking for. Overall, Bermuda has calmer waters, while conditions in The Bahamas may vary a bit depending on your location.

Bermuda is known worldwide for its pink sand beaches. The lovely rosy hue is thanks to the shells of tiny red foraminifera.

You’ll find some pink sand in The Bahamas too, but only on a few of the more remote islands. Meanwhile, The Bahamas are known for their amazing underwater life, excellent fishing and action-packed water sports. Both destinations have great diving. Bermuda’s dive spots are better suited for beginners, while The Bahamas has both beginner and more advanced spots.

clear blue waters at one of the beaches in bermuda

You can cruise to Bermuda with Carnival from April to October. The Bahamas, on the other hand, enjoys a longer cruising season, with vessels departing every month of the year.

If you’re choosing between Bermuda vs The Bahamas, know that you’re in a win-win situation. So, if you’ve come here wondering whether you should visit Bermuda or The Bahamas, the answer is whatever works for you!

One thing that’s certain, whether you cruise to The Bahamas or set sail for Bermuda, you can expect plenty of fun! Both promise beauty, relaxation, and luxury. And either one has the potential to be the vacation of a lifetime.

Note: Onboard activities, shore excursions, and dining options may vary by ship and destination.