Cristobal Colon

sights / Military

Lonely Planet review

This 1923 Spanish liner, which ran aground 13km (8 mi) north of Bermuda in 1936, is the largest ship ever to wash up in Bermudian waters and makes a fine wreck dive site. The cruise ship ran aground on a reef rather than sinking and became an easy target for pilferers. However, much of the ship's contents - including chandeliers and plumbing fixtures - were salvaged and auctioned off in 1941.

During WWII, the US military used the Cristobal Colon as a target ship and blew it in two: one half settled on either side of the reef. This was probably a wise move since a Norwegian cargo ship had, in 1937, lethally gashed its hull when it mistakenly assumed the Cristobal Colon to be sailing through the reef and followed her course. Both boats now sit in about 50 feet of water. The Norwegian cargo ship still has a fire truck it was about to deliver to Bermuda sitting on its forward deck.