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Excursion Review: Zara Luxury Catamaran Excursion in Bermuda

Bermuda is an excellent port of call for many summer cruises leaving from the Northeast. One of the best parts of this port is that your ship typically docks for multiple days, so you can easily book an excursion on your own without worrying about missing the ship. Bermuda has a lot of options for things to do there, from museums and vibrant downtowns to one of the most photographed beaches in the world. In June 2023, I visited Bermuda aboard the Liberty of the Seas, and this is my review of the “Zara Luxury Catamaran” excursion we booked for our second day in Bermuda. 

How we picked the Zara Luxury Catamaran Excursion

This cruise was a 5-day sailing that I was taking with my family: my parents, three siblings and their spouses, and my nieces and nephews, 15 of us in total. We already knew that on day one of our time in Bermuda, we would visit Horseshoe Bay Beach using the cheap shuttle (see the details here), but for the second day, we wanted something a bit more adventurous. 

We looked through the excursions provided by Royal Caribbean, but by the time we got around to making decisions (six weeks before sailing), many of the excursions were already sold out. So, I decided to look at other options for using Viator. While many options on there were fully booked, there were still a few left. One that caught my eye was the Zara Luxury Catamaran Excursion

zara boat bermuda
The Zara Boat was rated for 75 people but out sailing only had 40 including the crew.

The excursion description was fairly straightforward, with no marketing fluff or gimmicks, which was refreshing. 

“Join us for a half day VIP experience on our custom-made Catamaran. Enjoy a leisurely sail to anchorage, before finding the best place on deck for sun, views, and cocktails. Dive into crystal-clear water to cool off and play with the variety of water activities on board. Don’t miss out on the memorable addition to your Bermuda holiday. “

It sounded exactly like what we wanted, and at $85 per person, it was about $30 cheaper than Royal Caribbean’s offerings. This fee also included one rum swizzle or two sodas (Note: the cost for the 2024 season is now $95). Out of our group of 15, seven of us decided to do this excursion, while others chose to explore the island more. 

Starting the excursion on Zara

Starting the excursion was extremely easy. Liberty of the Seas was docked at the Royal Naval Dockyard, and the pickup spot was just a few minutes walk from the ship. The company sent us a map to help us find the spot. All we had to do was show them our electronic tickets from Viator, and we were all set. 

zara boarding location
The staff sent us the boarding location before we left for the cruise.

The Zara was a sight to behold, boasting a sleek exterior and warm wood tones inside. Zara had a variety of seating all over the boat, both inside and outside. On the inside, there was also a restroom and a small bar. I was so used to being packed like a sardine on cruise line excursions that I was caught off guard by how luxurious this experience felt.

boarding zara boat in bermuda
We boarded the Zara right in the Royal Naval Dockyard, less than a 5 minute walk from the ship.

Despite being rated for 75 people, our sailing hosted just 40 passengers, providing ample space for everyone to spread out. After stowing our belongings, my family and I found a cozy spot at the front of the boat, complete with bean bag chairs and nets—a perfect perch for soaking in the experience.

We left at precisely 9:15 and made our way out. The crew briefed us on the itinerary: a 45-minute journey to our destination, an hour and a half of exploration, and a smooth 45-minute return journey. While there, we’d have a chance to snorkel with the provided equipment. 

Our sailing on the Zara

As we set sail on the Zara, the weather couldn’t have been more perfect. We enjoyed the fresh air as we made our way towards Long Island, nestled in the heart of Bermuda. Along the way, we were treated to glimpses of magnificent and exclusive estates, including the private enclave of Hawkins Island.

bermuda coast
The Zara dropped anchor off a rocky coast

We arrived at some rocky cliffs, and the boat made anchor. We could still see the cruise ship far off in the distance, and the deep blue water behind the boat looked so inviting. It was just us, some cliffs, and the boat; there were no beaches or shore to go up on. 

The staff provided us with snorkels, and we jumped into the water to explore. Unlike other snorkeling I’ve done before, this one didn’t require us to wear life vests and they didn’t provide swimming fins. They did have tons of foam pool noodles to use, though. 

The area where the ship was anchored was pretty deep water. I put on the snorkel and searched for fish among the underwater formations. The water was a little cloudy, but after looking closely enough, the underwater landscape would come into focus, and I could see lots of fish swimming around the plant life. It was like those Magic Eye books; I was looking underwater, and suddenly, everything appeared. They weren’t overly colorful fish but striped with more muted tones. At first, I just tried swimming, but it’s much more work with fins. I ended up grabbing a pool noodle to make it easier. 

swimming off the zara
After snorkeling for a bit, we relaxed in the beautiful blue water.

After my family saw all we could while snorkeling, we relaxed in the water. The Zara provided paddle boards, so my niece, nephew, and brother all gave them a chance. My sister-in-law isn’t a strong swimmer, so she stayed on the Zara after a quick dip and watched us. Quite a few people were on the deck enjoying the beautiful weather while “Yacht Rock” played in the background; it was a lot of fun. 

The staff said we could jump off the boat if we wanted to, so several people were having fun doing that. My seven-year-old nephew loved doing “flips,” which, in reality, were like falling sideways into the water, but he had a blast.

Heading back to Royal Naval Dockyard

After an hour and a half, they called us back onto the boat to head back. Each guest received one drink ticket that was good for one rum swizzle, or half a ticket could get a soda or juice (for the kids or non-drinkers), so we grabbed our drinks for the ride back. The sweetness of the rum swizzle hit the spot after all that time treading water. Other alcoholic beverages and beer were available to purchase with cash or card. 

We sailed home using wind power.

To get back, the staff unveiled the massive sail, and we used wind power to coast to the Royal Naval Dockyard. Everyone relaxed and enjoyed the music and sun as we glided back to the ship in the Dockyard. 

Seeing Zara on TV

Fast forward to 6 months later. I’m sitting on my couch and watching the most recent episode of “Real Housewives of Salt Lake City.” On the show, they traveled to Bermuda to visit one of the castmate’s families. While they were there, the ladies went on a luxury sailing for the day. As I watched, I thought, “Wow, that looks so familiar.” A few seconds later, I saw the crew and recognized them from my trip. These very wealthy women were on the exact same trip I went on. Now, their trip had a lot more yelling and drama than mine (I believe there were shoes thrown), but it speaks to the level of quality of the Zara. 

Would I recommend Zara Luxury Catamaran?

If you’re looking for a relaxing day in the beautiful Bermudian waters, I’d 100% recommend this excursion. The staff was friendly, the boat was immaculate, and the views were amazing. It truly felt like a VIP experience, way more exclusive than a standard cruise ship excursion and fancier than I’m used to. 

That being said, it didn’t offer the most adventurous snorkeling experience. We still saw quite a few fish and enjoyed our time in the water, but if your main priority is the snorkeling experience, you might want to try a different excursion. For example, this one takes you to a shipwreck site

I also wouldn’t recommend it for young children. My nephew was 7, and I’d say that would be the cutoff I’d recommend it for. The water is deep, so young kids won’t enjoy it as much, and there’s no sand or beach to play on. You also wouldn’t want them running around on this catamaran. 

Follow along on the 5-Day Bermuda cruise on Liberty of the Seas

Liberty of the Seas – Cruise Blog - Day 1 – Bayonne

Liberty of the Seas – Cruise Blog - Day 2 – Sea Day

Liberty of the Seas – Cruise Blog - Day 3 – Bermuda

Liberty of the Seas – Cruise Blog - Day 4 – Bermuda Still

Liberty of the Seas – Cruise Blog - Day 5 – Final Sea Day

5 Hits and Misses on Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas

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Randy Young

Randy Young is the founder and editor-in-chief at Cruise Spotlight. He has been in marketing for 19 years and has been cruising for just as long. Over the years, he's worked with products like TVs, copiers, light bulbs, and EV chargers, but cruising has always been his passion. There's nothing Randy likes more than the first couple of hours on a ship, exploring every nook and cranny and seeing how it's different from everything else out there. He's known for providing detailed and analytical coverage of cruising to help cruisers get a comprehensive picture of a ship's offerings.