The capital of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, Nassau is located on the 21-mile-long-island of New Providence and is connected, via bridge, to Paradise Island, another famous Bahamian destination. The Bahamas are only 50 miles from the United States and although the Bahamas have over 700 islands, less than 50 are inhabited.
Nassau is a picturesque blend of British heritage and colonialism along with modern resorts and scenic beaches, helping it become one of the most popular cruise ports. All of the major cruise lines, along with many smaller ones and yacht charters, include Nassau as a port of call.
Where you’ll dock:
Your cruise ship will dock on the north side of the island, a 10 minute walk from the center of the city. The modern pier, Prince George Wharf, is only one block from famous Bay Street, the main shopping street of Nassau. Transportation from the pier is plentiful; you can find plenty of taxis, car and moped rentals, and tour companies waiting to show you around the dynamic island.
What to do:
When in Nassau for the day, here are just some of the highlights to try and fit in:
– Bahamas Ministry of Tourism is a great source of information: maps, directions and tour suggestions. They are located right outside of the cruise ship pier, you can’t miss it. They are able to give you insight on what to do and see while on the island.
–Duty free shopping is offered along Bay Street. A must see is the Straw Market, a Nassau tradition. Here you can find, right now all under one large tent, anything from purses to coconuts. The earlier market was destroyed by a fire in 2001; the Bahamas government has recently concluded a deal to construct a new $12 million dollar straw market. It is to be built in the location of the old market which was destroyed by fire in 2000. Reports are that the new 37,000 square foot market will open in Spring 2011.
–For a bit of history, head on over to Fort Charlotte. It is a true fort with dungeons, passageways and a moat. The best part, the unbelievable views of the harbor!
–The tropical weather makes it easy for Nassau to offer many water-related activities: boat trips, snorkeling, diving, submarine explorations and even swimming with dolphins!
–Or spend the day at the 34-acre Atlantis Resort, just a short water taxi or cabin ride over the bridge, on Paradise Island. Some cruise lines have shore excursion packages you can purchase which include a hotel tour and use of the facilities. Or you can purchase a day pass which are just $25 for adults, $19 for children and FREE for children under 4. This will give you access to the Dig, aquariums and beach.
Cruises to Nassau: