The Bahamas is made up of 700 islands off the coast of Florida, it’s a popular spot with cruise lines thanks to the variety of activities on offer. Its capital, Nassau, is packed with tempting shops, bars and restaurants, as well as world-class resorts, while you can also explore Freeport, a resort where it’s impossible not to relax and soak up its reefs and forests as any stresses and strains simply disappear.

Popular ports in the Bahamas

Nassau

nassauWhen you disembark at Prince George Wharf, you’ll walk through the colourful Festival Place Welcome Centre. It resembles a traditional Bahamian village and you can buy everything from arts and crafts to tempting treats like pineapple tarts. It’s in the heart of Nassau, so you’re a short 15-minute walk to the downtown part of the city. On the island of New Providence, just off the coast of Southern Florida, Nassau is the capital of the Bahamas. There’s plenty to do around Nassau, from relaxing in the huge resorts to exploring the island’s piratical history. Just wandering around Nassau is an experience: its tropical tree-lined streets and pastel-coloured buildings are an unbelievable sight. The Atlantis Resort on neighbouring Paradise Island is a big draw: it’s got everything from a huge water park and casino to 21 restaurants and an 18-hole golf course.

Freeport

freeport bahamasFreeport is the main city on the Grand Bahama island, situated in the north-west of the Bahamas. Its gorgeous forests, coasts and reefs draw visitors from all over the world, who fall in love with the city’s laid-back atmosphere. You’ll dock at the Lucayan Harbour, which is full of brightly coloured shops, bars and restaurants. The real action is over at Port Lucaya, a 10- to 15-minute taxi journey away. The port is the best spot for shopping in the Bahamas, and you’ll be able to try the local cuisine. Fajitas, conch fritters and Bahamian fusion dishes are among the most popular. There’s plenty to do outside of the city, too. If you’re a golf fan, you’ll be inundated with choice: from beginner set-ups to world-class courses. The beaches around Freeport are unbelievable, as is the range of nature parks, forests and underwater caves.

What are the best cruise ships for a cruise to the Bahamas?

Start your trip to the Bahamas in style, with these decadent, innovative cruise ships.

Norwegian Bliss

norwegian blissWith her launch in 2018, Norwegian Bliss is the newest and most advanced Norwegian Cruise Line ship. Not only does she guarantee the ultimate in luxury cruising, but the exclusive Haven accommodation is perfect for those extra-special occasions. You can enjoy spectacular panoramic views from the two observation lounges: one has its own bar and is open to all, while the other is exclusive to Haven guests. The Haven accommodation even has its own 24-hour butler service! Alongside a spa and fitness centre, guests have access to the Bliss Theatre and its range of big-scale musical productions, acrobatics, themed bars, a large nightclub and casino and even a craft beer hall. That’s in addition to the 11 restaurants, two pools, mini-golf course and waterpark!

Enchantment of the Seas

From adrenaline-fuelled activities to relaxing treatments, Royal Caribbean’s Enchantment of the Seas has it all. Enjoy lofty views over the ocean on the ship’s rock-climbing wall, or reach greater heights with the newly installed Bungee Trampoline. The on-board casino is guaranteed to keep you entertained, while the adults-only solarium provides respite when you need some peace and quiet. Enchantment of the Seas has a fabulous range of restaurants and bars on board: from succulent steaks at Chop’s Grille to delicious ice cream at the Ben & Jerry’s parlour. During the evening, the lounges and dancefloors soon fill up while the bars serve delectable drinks and high-quality spirits. This charming ship is sure to make your cruise around the Bahamas a pleasant one.

Shore excursions

While there’s plenty to see and do in and around Freeport and Nassau, some of the Bahamas’ most eccentric, amazing activities lie slightly further out.

Diving adventures

divingThe Bahamas is famous for its exquisite coral reefs and there’s no better way to explore it than donning a snorkel or going diving. Head out into the Caribbean ocean and submerge yourself into the exotic marine world. You’ll swim through clouds of tropical fish, explore old shipwrecks and get a taste of pirate life from days gone by. For an unforgettable experience, head to the Exuma Cays and the Thunderball Grotto. You may recognise its natural beauty from the Bond movie Thunderball – and you’ll soon see why Hollywood producers love it so much.

Lucayan National Park

One of three national parks in the Bahamas, the Lucayan National Park has everything from underwater caves to beaches that starred in Pirates of the Caribbean. Start off on a short nature trail that takes you to the underwater caves system – Lucayan’s is the largest in the world at 9.7km long. You then swap the mesmerising caves for a walk through dense tropical mangroves, which bring you out at Freeport’s most perfect beach: Gold Rock Beach. You often have its fine, white powdery sand and dazzling turquoise waters to yourself: it’s a secluded area that’s perfect for relaxing.

Pig Beach, Big Major Cay

While most people go to tropical countries and swim with dolphins, visitors to the Bahamas can go one better – and swim with pigs! Set on a white-sand beach with shimmering waters, you can spend the day swimming in the warm sea, sunbathing on the beach or playing with your children – all in the company of pigs. The pigs supposedly arrived on the island after surviving a shipwreck and swimming to the nearest bit of land and living off scraps. It’s a unique experience that you won’t get anywhere else in the world, and it’s well worth visiting these cuties!

Atlantis Resort, Paradise Island

This mega resort is the main attraction on Paradise Island. Recreating the legend of Atlantis, it has everything you need for a perfect day trip. If you love water parks, then head to its lazy river ride, high-speed slides and 20 swimming areas. It’s also home to the largest open-air marine habitat in the Caribbean – and the largest casino, too. There’s 21 restaurants to choose from, as well as 19 bars and lounges, so you won’t go hungry! Atlantis even has its own 18-hole golf course and set of souvenir shops.

Top ports of call in this destination