On the water: Snorkellers explore the pristine reefs of the island, off Fantasea’s glass-bottom boat, the Looking Glass. *Photo supplied
On the water: Snorkellers explore the pristine reefs of the island, off Fantasea’s glass-bottom boat, the Looking Glass. *Photo supplied

From chartering boats to riding Jet Skis, Fantasea Bermuda can meet all your boating needs.

The watersports company is the largest on the island and offers a wide variety of tours and craft for hire.

From 60 ft catamarans to motor cruisers or speed boats, Fantasea can find a charter to fit your budget.

Amy Da Ponte, charter and tour administrator, said: “We have a variety of boats to choose from, starting from $150 an hour for a 27 ft speed boat for 10 people, to a 60 ft catamaran which holds 120 passengers for $550 an hour.”

The company has 15 vessels to choose from and  can also find alternatives through its contacts with other boat operators.

Sunsets

Miss Da Ponte said: “We have large and small craft and everything in between.

“Each charter comes with a captain and crew, and we can organize a bar and catering as well.

“Sunset cruises are very popular, and we also get a lot of bookings from the corporate sector. Some companies like to hold social events for staff on the water.

“We also get a lot of bookings from wedding parties. When family and friends fly in from overseas, taking a cruise is a great way to get to know one another.”

She said: “We can cater for all kinds of events and parties, from sit-down dinners to cocktail cruises.

“We really do our best to try to accommodate everyone’s needs and requests.”

Fantasea started out in 1987 as a dive operator and still runs dive trips and courses.

The company was formed by Michael Heslop. Michael Peers became a partner in 1993 and two years later, Ken Dallas became a third partner. From 1995-2005 the company expanded to encompass other watersports activities and tours.

Today it offers a wide choice of snorkelling and sightseeing trips, eco tours, glass-bottom boats excursions, parasailing, Jet Skis, kayaking, fishing trips and also whale watching.

Fantasea currently has about 10 staff but this increases between May and September as the company takes on students for the summer season.

Miss Da Ponte added: “This year we’ve just started paddle boarding. It’s quite popular everywhere else so we are hoping it will catch on here in Bermuda as well.”

Even if you don’t have a group of family or friends or the cash to charter a boat yourself, you can join a Fantasea trip to escape out onto the water for the day.

Miss Da Ponte said this was also a popular option for island residents with visitors from overseas.

“We encourage a lot of locals to book with us,” she said.

“People who don’t have access to boats often book on our snorkelling trips when they have friends and family down, just to be out on the water.

“Our whale watching trips and Jet Ski tours are popular as well.”

In the summer Fantasea offers trips every day.

It also manages the bookings for other operators, such as the Jolly Roger reef fishing boat.

“We are an island tour centre and a booking agency, and so have about six subcontractors (operators) with their own boats who we sell tours for,” said Miss Da Ponte.

Rum

“We’re the biggest watersports and tour company on the island. We have the widest range of activities as well.”

Two of the most popular trips which Fantasea runs are the Gosling’s Taste of Bermuda Rum Cruise and the Famous Homes and Hideaways cruise.

On the Rum Cruise, a Gosling’s representative gives an educational talk and there are samples of Rum Swizzle and Dark ‘n’ Stormy to drink.

The Famous Homes and Hideaways cruise travels around the Great Sound and Fairylands, passing homes of the rich and famous while passengers  learn about the island’s unique architecture.

All Fantasea’s trips can be booked directly online for added convenience. You can also buy Gift Certificates for that special occasion.

For more information and to make a booking, go to www.fantasea.bm or call 236-1300.