June 8, 2023

Explore underwater, visit Atlantis, discover the past, or shop ‘till you drop

For an offshore excursion in the Bahamas, charter a boat for an afternoon of world-class sportfishing for marlin, tuna, and wahoo.
Shore excursions in The Bahamas are so varied that every cruiser will be able to find an option that speaks to their tastes. The following are seven of the best, with options suitable for families, active travelers, beach bums, explorers, and everyone in between.

Paradise Island: Probably the most popular shore excursion from Nassau, the Atlantis resort makes its home here and draws many a cruise passenger. Options at the resort include the Aquaventure waterpark, an aquarium, a beach, and a lavish casino.

Dolphin Encounters: Many lines offer a trip to Blue Lagoon Island, where the Dolphin Encounter brings visitors up-close and personal with fun and friendly dolphins. An alternate – and more exciting – option is a trip to swim with the dolphins in the open ocean.

In Freeport, the International Bazaar is within a few minutes’ walk of the port, offering duty-free goods at more than 100 shops. More shopping can be found next door at the Straw Market, perfect for picking up local souvenirs. Nassau is another prime port for shoppers, where Bay Street is home to an array of jewelry, cigars, and crafts, and the International Bazaar offers around 30 more shops.

History: Nassau’s impressive history is worth delving into. Pay a visit to Fort Charlotte, complete with a moat, drawbridge, and gorgeous views of the harbor. Next, climb the 18th-century Queen’s Staircase leading to Fort Fincastle. Other prime examples of colonial architecture include the parliament building and law courts in the center of town.

Snorkeling: Prime snorkeling can be found all around the Bahamas, but there are a few standout adventures. A trip to the private island of Blackbeard’s Cay gets travelers out in the water to snorkel with stingrays. A boat trip to Rose Island is another excellent choice for colorful reefs and marine life. Active cruisers can also take a kayak trip out to the reefs and coral gardens of Peterson Cay.

Lucayan National Park: The natural beauty of Grand Bahama is on display throughout this nature preserve, which is home to great snorkeling and a huge system of underwater caves. Precolonial history is another draw of the park, as well as the opportunity to kayak through a mangrove forest.

Beach Days: The stunning beaches of the Bahamas make relaxing seaside days a classic choice on shore. Some of the true standouts include Cable Beach on Nassau, Paradise Island Beach, and Taino Beach or Fortune Beach on Grand Bahama.

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