Photos: 2011 Christmas Boat Parade

December 11, 2011

Boats decorated with dazzling arrays of holiday lights and equipped with sound systems playing seasonal favourites thrilled thousands of spectators as Bermuda’s Christmas Boat Parade took place in Hamilton Harbour last night [Dec.10].

The always popular event saw over 70 vessels, ranging from expensive yachts to Boston whalers, make their way across the water, starting from the Fairmont Hamilton Princess Hotel, travelling clockwise around White’s Island.

The Spirit of Bermuda led the parade, while the Police Marine section pulled double-duty last night, with the Police boat out monitoring for safety reasons and boasting decorative lights with Santa Claus aboard.

Boat #70 “Santa’s Ride” had two flames shooting out the back intermittently, some boats had Christmas music playing, while Cablevision’s entry had CEO Terry Roberson on board.

Bermudian specific themes could be seen, with a lighted Moongate, Bermuda kite, Goslings Black Rum logo and more on display. The Boat Parade was founded in 1998, and continues as a biennial event.

The night ended with a dazzling firework display [view firework photos here], and the sound of cheers, applause and gasps of delight could be heard echoing across the water as the sparkling fireworks display began to light up the night sky.

Update: Watch videos here, and see full results here.

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  1. 2011 Bermuda Christmas Boat Parade « THE ROCK | December 11, 2011
  1. Gabbani says:

    It was a great night, very nice fireworks the best i have seen in a long time. The weather was perfect, water was like glass, enjoy it very much. See you next year!

  2. Wintersun says:

    OM Goodness! That boat parade was awesome! How about the Star Wars boat, and that jet fire-rapping santa boat really rocked our viewing section with excitement!

    Well done everyone! Let’s see you top that next year! Excellent…

  3. freddyg says:

    There’s no place like BERMUDA, THERE’S NO I KNOW !!! Thanks for the photos, BEAUITFUL !!!

  4. Chardonnay says:

    A big thank-you to the sponsors, organisers and all those who decked out their boats. Truly an awesome night! The Best of Bermuda with perfect weather, great fireworks, friendly crowds on land and on water, superb entries. That was a great party for Bermieland.

    • islandgirl says:

      Thank you! God shined on us last night providing beautiful weather. It was truly an amazing parade.

  5. islandgirl says:

    It was a beautiful parade. My only issue was whoever the captain of the Elizabeth was should be banned from the water. This boat was not registered in the parade and it was moving in and out of the parade line nearly missing hitting other boats who were in the parade. I hope whoever chartered that boat realizes how incredibly dangerous it was what they did last night. Such irresponsible behaviour should not be tolerated.

    • Shaking the Head says:

      Agree totally on both points. The Elizabeth’s captain’s behaviour was crass and dangerous.

    • IslandBwoy says:

      Stop Bad Mouthing the Elizabeth. I saw the boat in the water , was actually right next to my boat and the Captain had the boat under control.

      • HP viewer says:

        We paid for a room at the Hamilton Princess to watch the parade. The Elizabeth parked itself right in front of us.
        Very rude behavior.

    • Babs says:

      Agreed! The boat obstructed our view as well. Very selfish behaviour indeed.

  6. Mama Mia says:

    i would like to see more articles on how expats contribute to the island in different ways….volunteers, organizers etc..

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      Sorry there MM, this has just what to do with the boat parade????

      If you look at the sponsor list there are at least 5 IB companies on the title sponsor list.

      Another way that IB silently contributes to kide in Bermuda.

      The parade costs in excess of $60,000 to put on. Non of parade boat owners costs are included in this cost.

      • Triangle Drifter says:

        Sorry, fingers are stiff this morning. Too long driving a boat last night.

        Should be “life in Bermuda”.

  7. Triangle Drifter says:

    We need a BIGGER harbour.

    Don’t know exactly how many were in it but over 70 boats were entered. The front had run into the back before the back had started. Like a very long freight train all that slack between the cars couplings takes time to get taken up before the last one begins to move. We were extremely lucky to have absolutely perfect weather with no wind to deal with.

    Thanks to all & special thanks to the skippers from the guy running around in the little boat with the flashing blue light for complying with requests.

    Maybe next time we can have more marshal boats to cut down on even more of the herky jerkyness that we had which was minor compared to parades past.

  8. Deck the bows says:

    Having been to every parade since it’s inception , this one was one of the best for sure . The sheer number of entries assured a continuous stream of viewing pleasure. Navigating for the skippers must have been trying though.

    John Carr’s ‘Star Wars’ entry was just over the top , as usual, and the ‘Neptune’ entry was just spectacular.
    The two teams in their rowing shells deserved a special prize for their chutzpah and humour and the wild applause of the crowds when they passed was very welcome and said a lot about the crowd.

    Helene Winter , keeping the tradition alive, continues to put up one of the consistently best exibits every year and whoever it is that owns the little centre console ‘Sylvester’ always comes up up with an entry that is just superb , belying the size of his boat !

    Thank you to all the entrants for your very hard work and effort over the years that bring a night of pleasure and happiness into the lives of so many that need it at this time of the year.

    There is no doubt that our Christmas boat parade would shame many others all over the world.

    Finally , to the originator and organiser , Norma .. You’ve said ‘never again’ before ..time will tell though. Thank you , thank you .. Getting them sponsors on board every year must have been a monumental task .

    • islandgirl says:

      It takes a lot of time and effort to put this event on. We struggled a bit this year but pulled it off thanks to all our local and exempt companies’ support.

      The truth is that the parade would not exist without the support of the boats who sign up put all the effort they put in. That’s why it is so unfair that other boats go out and get in their way and actually don’t realize how incredibly dangerous it is to do this.

      Next time we will have more marshall boats – that’s for sure! for now I thank you all for your comments and do accept the fact that we have a very special thing going on in Bermuda.

      It’s not my doing 100%. People like Jim Butterfield, Steve Thomson, Kirk Davis, Vernon Pemberton and Brian Billings also deserve a huge thanks.

  9. Doug says:

    great photo gallery! thanks

  10. SMH says:

    People Need to stop taking Shots at the Spectator Boats !! All of you are sounding Jealous cuz you can’t afford Boats. I know one thing, they better not try to stop me from driving my boat into the harbor for the next Boat Parade.

    • Babs says:

      SMH = Selfish and Mean-Hearted. Please, stay out on your boat, you wouldn’t fit in with the friendly, kind-hearted souls on shore who made sure that the elderly, handicapped and very young were able to enjoy the parade regardless of the selfish behaviour of a few boat-owning individuals who felt that they were the only ones entitled to an enjoyable evening.


    Absolutely Awesome Parade,Our family enjoyed it thorougly…

  12. Jai says:

    I enjoyed the Boat Parade…. Well done!