If you’re taking a cruise, then there is a good chance it has a stop in Nassau. That’s because the port city is a short distance away from the major cruise terminals in Miami and Port Everglades, and has the capacity to handle thousands of cruise passengers in a single day.
In fact, Nassau is the second-busiest port of call in the world with more than 2 million passengers annually. It trails only Cozumel in number of cruise passengers each year.
Of course, once you get there, then you need to figure out how you’re going to spend your day. The port offers all the attractions you’d expect, including swimming, diving, snorkeling, eating, and shopping. In addition, the Atlantis resort offers even more to do, including water parks and swimming with dolphins.
To help you get started, we’ve rounded up a list of popular excursions in Nassau.
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Many cruise passengers make a beeline to Atlantis once they arrive. The towering resort on nearby Paradise Island has a lot to offer — lots of restaurants, gambling, waterslides, aquariums, and more. There’s plenty to do for the entire family, but be warned that it can be pricey. Still, if you want a one-stop place to make everyone happy and spend an entire day, Atlantis is it.
Island Sightseeing Tours
Since the island isn’t that large, it makes it perfect for a day of sightseeing. Numerous tours will take you around the island — ranging from walking tours to biking to automobile. Tours will hit the highlights, including the Queen Victoria staircase, the Governor’s Mansion, and Fort Charlotte. Nassau has a ton of history, dating back to the 1600’s. The numerous tours are a great way to take it in.
It goes without saying that Nassau offers a ton of beach activities. From snorkeling to jet-skis to diving, it’s all available. That includes parasailing. If you’ve ever wanted to try it, a stop in Nassau is the perfect opportunity. Set sail either solo or in tandem, getting stunning views of Nassau, the cruise ships, and the gorgeous water surrounding the area. Costs start at $80 for pre-booked excursions.
Hotel Day Pass
If you want to relax without the crowds, then you can book a day pass to the exclusive Graycliff Hotel. While Atlantis may get the buzz (and the crowds), the Graycliff was the first five-star hotel in the Caribbean. The day pass gets you a 3-course lunch and relaxing poolside. For additional costs you can have chocolate-covered strawberries, a cigar, or a poolside massage.
While Segways haven’t caught on for day-to-day travel, nearly every major tourist city offers tours on them. Nassau is no different. Hop on and get a guided tour of the area without having to walk in heat. There are also tours of nearby Blue Lagoon/Salt Cay.
Cigar Rolling Lessons
If you’re a cigar aficionado, then you may be interested in the cigar rolling lessons offered at Graycliff Cigar Company. Learn how your cigar is made and try your hand and rolling your own. At the very worst, it will give you an appreciation for the hard work that goes into making the perfect cigar.
Visit Blue Lagoon (Salt Cay)
Blue Lagoon Island — also known as Salt Cay — is visible from Atlantis, but it seemingly a world away. The island is now popular as a low-key, all-inclusive. Tourists can book an excursion to come and hang out on the island without all the hustle and bustle of busy Nassau. The lagoon formed in the middle of the island is a perfect place for smaller kids to get some water time as it’s protected from the ocean waves.
Who doesn’t want to ride on a powerboat, exploring some of the less-visited islands of the Bahamas. Hop aboard a fast boat and head out to the Exumas. This all-day trip includes lunch, snorkeling, full bar, and shark/stingray feeding. It’s about $200 per person, but lasts all day and offers the chance to do something you can’t experience anywhere else.
Free Beach Day
Don’t want to spend a ton of cash on excursions? There’s no shame is saving some cash. If you want a freebie, you can head to the beach on Paradise Island, east of Atlantis. Public access is limited, but ask around and you can find the entrance. From there, you have a powder-white sand beach to enjoy and the most beautiful water you’ve ever seen. Be warned, vendors hit the beach when the ships are in port, so be prepared to say a lot of “no thank you” as they pass.