The Bermuda Islands

The Bermuda Islands - landscape
Many visitors have been attracted to the string-of-pearl islands of Bermuda ever since Spanish explorer Juan de Bermúdez sailed by these luxuriant volcanic islands in 1511. As the story goes, Juan “came, saw, left his name and fled”. He did not dare to venture close to shore because of the surrounding coral reefs –the world’s top scuba-diving* destination today-, which were a dreadful sight to 16th-century sailors.
One of the first to set foot on Bermuda was accidental British “tourist” Henry May, whose French vessel was snared by the Bermudian coral reefs and ran aground on them in 1593. Nevertheless, the most famous fortuitous visitors were the shipwrecked passengers of a flagship that was sailing to Virginia in 1609, under the command of British Admiral Sir George Somers with the mission to rescue starving colonists in there. The Sea Venture, as his flagship was called, hit one of the reefs and could not sail any farther. Somers claimed the islands for Britain, and a passenger’s account of the shipwreck that was read by Shakespeare is believed to have inspired him to write The Tempest.
Today the main force working to attract visitors to Bermuda is the Ministry of Tourism, whose tireless minister, D.H. Allen, has launched a promotion campaign. Mr Allen’s aim is to mend the previous government’s neglect of the islands’ main industry and to restore Bermuda to its former glory as an elite vacation site for educated tourists who want more than just sun and sand.
* scuba-diving > buceo

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