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By Keith A. Forbes (see About Us), exclusively for Bermuda Online.
One of the many spectacular Bermuda beaches.
Location: W064 44, N3219. Time zone: Atlantic Standard Time, one hour ahead of the USA and Canada's EST and four hours behind GMT.
Hear Bermuda is Another World.
Daily except Sundays and Bermuda Public Holidays. 2 Par La Ville Road, Hamilton HM 08, Bermuda, P. O. Box HM 1025, Hamilton HM DX, Bermuda. Established in 1828, incorporates The Colonist and Daily News (established in 1866). A subsidiary company of the Bermuda Press (Holdings) Ltd. Telephone (441) 295-5881. Editorial fax (441) 292-2498. News-stand price $1.50.
Bermuda, 900-1100 miles north of the Caribbean, gets no snow in winter. A 21 square mile (56 kilometers) in total land area cluster of mostly-interconnected small islands in the north west Atlantic Ocean. One of the nine smallest places in the world in total land area. Bermuda (Somer's Isles) has 6 main islands and 120 others. With nine parishes (counties), each 2.3055 square miles (3.68 square kilometers. Bermuda has about 68,600 residents and about 500,000 visitors mostly from cruise ships. It is located about 600 miles due east of the nearest mainland, the USA's North Carolina. It is not in the Caribbean but 900 miles north of it. There are no regular airline or shipping services between the Caribbean and Bermuda, only with the USA, Canada and Britain. Bermuda is Britain's oldest British Overseas Territory, self-governing, with its own laws including those on citizenship, commerce, companies, corporations, customs duties, employment, government administration, finance, health, hospitalization, insurance, investments, immigration, marriages, medical, pensions, social security, taxation, trade, welfare, etc. It is not part of the European Community, unlike Britain. Despite its small size, an important offshore business jurisdiction, with a significant number of Bermuda-incorporated but mostly non-Bermuda-based multinational business entities, especially in aviation, insurance and reinsurance, investment holding, mutual funds, shipping and other companies.
The correct word is Bermudian, like Bahamian, Bostonian, Canadian and Floridian. The incorrect usage of "Bermudan" indicates an unfamiliarity with Bermuda. .
Bermuda Government ferry "Bermudian" - not Bermudan - used by many locals, business visitors and tourists.
The average nightly rate for visitors' Bermuda accommodation in mid 2018 is $378.26, according to Trip Advisor.
Enhanced security and hand baggage restrictions affect all flights between Bermuda, UK, Europe, USA and Canada.
Bermuda is not part of the USA but a foreign country with its own laws different from those in the UK. Bermuda requires valid passports for every visitor or newcomer from all countries including USA, Canada and United Kingdom, plus valid visas when applicable. (Non-citizens of the USA, Britain and Canada must also carry a Green Card or equivalent, showing them to be legal registered aliens there and have a valid US or UK or Canadian re-entry permit and visa if required if entering Bermuda from the USA or UK or Canada and not a citizen of that country).
Bermuda's 36 legislators in our 21 square miles recently approved many substantially increased taxes affecting all Bermudians, residents, companies, tourists and corporate visitors, to help offset huge government debts. The airport departure tax per passenger for visitors and locals increased by $15 from $35 to $50 and by a further $25 per person from August 2015 and then a further increase of $3 per person in early 2016, to a total of $78 per person,, to help finance the planned new airport. The tax on fuel, already hugely more than in the Caribbean, Canada, USA, about the same as in the UK, rose by five cents a litre in 2015 and a further 5.5 cents a litre from April 1 2016.
Questionnaire forms are distributed by airlines and cruise ships to passengers to present on arrival. All visitors and residents arriving or returning by air or cruise ship or yacht are given a detailed questionnaire form by airlines, cruise ships and yacht clubs and are required by the Bermuda Government to complete them on both sides before they arrive at Bermuda Customs and Immigration.
Highest in the world by for residents, tourists, visitors and senior citizens.
Most international credit cards are accepted in Bermuda but not debit cards of not local. Visitors should check this out in advance with where they will be staying. Expiry dates need to be double-checked. Prudent visitors inform their banks of their travel plans.
See under Money.
In the event of any such emergency, locally-based consulates for citizens of those countries may need to be called, in addition to family or friends at home.
An American gallon - same as in Bermuda - is 3.785 liters, and local gasoline prices - fixed and heavily taxed by the Bermuda Government, are about three times higher than the average USA-wide price and significantly higher than in Canada or anywhere in the Caribbean 900 miles to the south. Bermuda, isolated and tiny island of only 21 square miles, with no oil or natural gas resources of its own and with a total population of about 69,000, has gasoline prices about the same as London.
Before they arrive in Bermuda, visitors of all ages visitors are urged to get adequate travel insurance for their Bermuda stay. It should cover all their Bermuda activities and provide coverage for all possible medical bills; reimbursement for hotel or other accommodation payments made or due; an air ambulance in case of any need to be flown home; pre-existing medical conditions; and bringing a body home in the event of a death.
British National Health Service (NHS) provisions don't apply in Bermuda. There are no free medical treatments or services available to visitors or residents There are no reciprocal health insurance arrangements with Britain, USA or Canada or Europe or any other country. The European Health Insurance Card is not recognized. For senior citizens living in Bermuda, whether Bermudians or other citizens, medical services are more expensive than in USA, with medical services not as extensive. Hotels, guest houses, apartments, efficiency units and tourist-rented private homes will generally not allow cancellations at no charge in the event of a sudden illness, death or tragedy of a person or couple or family. Airlines, travel agents and tour operators are under no obligation to cancel in the event of such tragedies. Travel and medical insurance can cover these unhappy circumstances, to help ensure a holiday or vacation is not spoilt financially.
All visitors by air or cruise ship need to be aware that Bermuda has some of the strictest rules in the world and a zero-tolerance policy for all drugs/narcotics, guns or other weapons and ammunition, pornography and much more. If they are from any part of the USA or Europe where they are allowed it will not excuse them at all if such items are brought to Bermuda. They will be fined substantially or imprisoned or both and will be on an international stop-list. Visitors who have allowable prescription drugs they will take during their stay should bring medically-appropriate evidence. They may need to check with their hotel or where they are staying or with their cruise ship if applicable to determine if their medication is legal in Bermuda.
Bermuda's official currency is the Bermuda Dollar which is fixed to the US Dollar. The US dollar is accepted everywhere here at par and this alone is the money visitors should bring. Visitors will not be able to use British Pounds sterling, Canadian dollars, Euros and other currencies. Major international credit cards (not debit cards) are accepted from visitors. Traveler's checks are no longer accepted.
Required from all visitors and returning residents. Airlines and cruise operators expect them to have at least six months validity on your return date. Wise travelers make a note of their passport number, take a photocopy of it and store it safely at home where it can be reached or take it with them. Next-of-kin details should be shown on passports. Passports should be kept secure at all times.
Visas are not required for visitors who are citizens of the USA, Canada, UK, European Union and have return tickets but may be from other countries. Prospective visitors from those countries should check with their nearest British Consul or consulate.
August 16, 2018
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