Thanks to its proximity, Nassau in the Bahamas is often the first place that many cruisers experience their first time “at sea”. Cruises leave from Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, or Port Canaveral to sail the short distance to Nassau or to Freeport (the largest and most populated islands in the Bahamas), giving first-time passengers a taste of cruising. In fact, when someone does take a cruise to the Bahamas, often the destination is Nassau or Freeport.
The short 50 mile distance from the United States, makes it quite easy for a long weekend get-away.
While thousands of cruisers are in Nassau every weekend, the size of the beaches, and Bahamian law, prevent too many people from arriving and making it feel crowded.
What makes the Bahamas, and Nassau in particular, such a popular cruise destination is a perfect combination of British heritage and colonialism along with modern resorts and picturesque beaches. The “exotic feel”, the police officers in their old english style uniforms, and the European method of driving on the left let you know right away that you aren’t in the states anymore.
However, the island contains all the modern conveniences to make your stay familiar enough that you aren’t left wondering what you’re supposed to do.
When you are in Nassau for the day, you can either take a shore excursion sponsored by the cruise ship, book an excursion on your own, or use the time to explore the city, the island or a beach. Short “day trips” to the other island are readily available, and I highly recommend a trip to Sting Ray City, a small island near Nassau. There you can snorkel with sting rays, even feed them. Other shore excursions include a tour of Nassau or the island, boat trips, snorkeling or diving, golf, swimming with dolphins, or exploring on a submarine. I hesitate to use the cliche, but … There is something for everyone.
Another incredible thing to do in the Bahamas is a “tour” in a glass bottomed boat. These give you the chance to see some of the incredible sea life and even some historical underwater sites without needing to get wet and sandy.
And lets not forget one of the incredible “dolphin encounter” excursions. While these are among the more expensive things you can do, IT IS INCREDIBLE to be able to spend time with the dolphins.
This article only just scratches the surface of all the things you can do when you cruise to the Bahamas. I will say this though. One of the things about the Bahamas that makes it such an incredible location to cruise to is the picturesque beaches. Don’t forget to take some time to just layout and relax.