3/5/2024     by Justin Gibson

Discovering Bermuda's Underwater Mysteries

Often known in popular culture as the cradle of deep-sea supernatural activity, the truth behind the Bermuda Triangle is far more rooted in some combination of the following: the perils of primitive navigation in centuries past, surprisingly sudden violent weather along the Gulf Stream and the law of proportionate averages — a highly trafficked route will naturally hold more shipwrecks. Mystery solved, there are no ghost pirates pillaging the Bermuda Triangle. But: That doesn’t mean it’s devoid of adventure.

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Scuba in Bermuda is your ticket to adventure.

Even without ghost pirates, there are a lot of disappearances and shipwrecks — the island of Bermuda is surrounded by over 300 shipwrecks alone. While this underwater orbit might’ve been a death trap in the days of wooden ships and captains praying that the compass worked, here in the present it’s just an abundance of reefs, translating to a treasure trove of dive-able spots.

Whether you believe, don’t believe or want to believe in the mysticism of the Bermuda Triangle, the island of Bermuda itself is utterly magical (and especially so underwater). For a few spots filled with beauty and intrigue you don’t want to miss discovering, here are a handful of Bermuda’s best shipwrecks hidden along the seafloor.

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Besides the shipwrecks, schools of tropical fish are another must-see.

The King George

The largest fully intact wreck off the coast of Bermuda, the King George is a former dredger of the Bermuda government. With its services no longer needed by 1930, the ship was purposely sunk five miles inside of North Rock. Sitting at a maximum depth of 60 feet and in waters with visibility averaging up to 40 feet, floating about this forgotten vessel is as close to a ghost ship as you can get. 

 

Cristóbal Colón

The Cristóbal Colón holds the title of Bermuda’s largest shipwreck, bar none. Above water, it was the cutting edge of transatlantic luxury — until running aground on a coral reef in 1936. After causing the Iristo to sink (but more on that in just a moment) it became target practice for the U.S. Air Force in preparation for World War II. Today, it lies in clumps and clusters spread along 100,000 feet of the seabed floor. Seeing the massive scraps and ecosystem that have grown around it will take you anywhere from 30 to 55 feet below the surface.

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A starfish: One of the many denizens of the shipwrecks.

The Iristo

The Iristo was unlucky as a ship in that unique way that is too bad at the time of incident, but hilarious almost a century later. The captain of this Norwegian steamer came upon the Cristóbal Colón (which was still propped up by the reef at the time) and was startled at the site of the ship — and believing it to be a fully functional ship traveling along a channel, ordered that his ship change course to follow it. In doing so, he ran his ship into the very same reef, sinking the Iristo about a mile and a half away from the Cristóbal Colón. While the Cristóbal is scraps, the Iristo is comparatively in mint condition: both the stem and bow are intact, providing the outline of a 250-foot wreck if the visibility permits. Coral coats the entirety of the ship and its cargo: a careful look past that provides a glimpse at the fire-truck it was carrying. But, with the coral comes the diverse marine life, making for some competition for your attention.

The Constellation

The inspiration for “The Deep” (both the novel and movie), the Constellation may just be the most famous of Bermuda’s diving spots. A 198-foot wooden schooner in life, it descended into a watery grave in 1943 when a strong current forced a crash. With this ship sitting just 30 feet below the surface of the water, visibility is generally excellent, allowing you to discover remnants of the cargo — petrified cement, cups, nail polish bottles and the occasional morphine ampoules, just like in the movie. Remember, it’s a crime to remove any artifacts.

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Looking to dive right into the mystique and mystery of Bermuda’s underwater worlds? An ideal way to visit the isle is on a cruise with Celebrity. Not only will you have plenty of time to experience the sights listed above, but you’ll also enjoy time to discover the onshore wonders of Bermuda — Celebrity makes it a point to spend multiple nights in port when visiting. Picture it: Your days, spent sauntering about the isle in a perpetual state of awe, and your evenings, living it up onboard a Celebrity cruise ship, where you’ll savor restaurants with Michelin-starred chef-designed menus, sublime digestifs at the Sunset Bar and world-class entertainment at the onboard shows. Our agents know Celebrity well, so we can help you choose, plan and book your cruise vacation to perfection.

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