The world’s last frontier—the ocean—is the domain of the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute (BUEI) (40 Crow Ln., East Broadway, tel. 441/292-7219, ticket desk 441/297-7314, fax 441/236-6141, info [at] buei [dot] org, www.buei.org , 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Sat. and Sun, last ride at 4 p.m., $12.50 adults, $10 seniors, $6 children 6–17, kids under 5 free).
Opened in 1997, Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute’s mission to advance understanding and appreciation of the world’s oceans is carried out through a small but interesting array of hands-on exhibits and eye-popping artifacts. The notable collection of early diving apparatus includes a diving bell, exo-suit, and a bathysphere replica of the famous metal pod in which William Beebe and Otis Barton descended a half-mile down off Bermuda in the 1930s. The adventure starts with a simulated (and rather hokey) submersible dive to the 12,000-foot bottom of Bermuda’s seamount.
The Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute is a tribute to the career of world-renowned Bermudian diver Teddy Tucker, who has retrieved artifacts and dived on most of the island’s 150 or more known shipwrecks. The Tucker Shipwreck Gallery features a map of known wrecks, and exhibits of their contents, including cannons, bottles, and clay jars.
The Treasure Room displays Spanish gold and pirates’ booty collected from local dive sites, as well as a replica of the infamous “Tucker Cross,” which mysteriously disappeared from Bermuda Maritime Museum  shortly before the Queen’s visit in 1975.
Science at Sea uses interactive exhibits to teach visitors about the body’s reaction to the pressures of the deep, and a wall of bioluminescent creatures down a darkened tunnel mimics the feel of the deep ocean.
Kids and ichthyologists will especially like the video-simulated shark cage that allows you to experience the charge of a Great White. Upstairs, don’t miss the Jack Lightbourn Shell Collection, showcasing some 1,200 of the Bermudian diver’s own shells, including 1,000 different species, of which 110 are Bermudian.
Oceans Gift Shop sells marine-inspired books, games, and toys, including pirate gear and Christmas ornaments. A gourmet restaurant, The Harbourfront, is located on the site’s waterfront.