Caribbean Cruise Ship Destinations

The Bahamas are a chain of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, southeast of Florida and northeast of Cuba.

Tropical Weather

Atlantic/Gulf Coast

All Clear for Cruisers

 

Eastern Pacific

All Clear for Cruisers

Nassau Weather

News for Nassau

Nassau Straw Market Reopens

Posted Dec, 23, 2011

The historic Straw Market, destroyed by fire in 2001, officially reopened  in December 2011. The new market is open on all sides permitting excellent cross ventilation. The openings are full door-sized and are outfitted with easy roll-down shutters to provide protection against the elements and security when the Market is closed.

Historic Museum Destroyed

Dec, 3, 2011

The Pompey Museum at the historic Vendue House on Bay Street caught on fire and the Vendue House was totally destroyed. Sadly, the artifacts showcased at the Vendue House were also destroyed. It is believed that the fire started at the site of the old Straw Market tent. Pompey Museum opened in 1992 as a museum of slavery and emancipation. The Vendue House is the oldest building in Nassau, dating back to 1769.

Medical Services

High-quality medical care is generally available, but expensive, in Nassau and Freeport.  Medical care is limited outside of Nassau and Freeport.  Bahamian doctors and hospitals do not usually accept U.S. medical insurance policies and typically expect immediate cash payment for professional services.  It is the patient's responsibility to seek reimbursement later from their insurance companies.

Bahamas Ministry of Health for health announcements.

Dengue Fever

U.S. citizens should be aware of the recent Dengue Fever outbreak in The Bahamas. The Bahamas Ministry of Health has reported over 1,000 reports by individuals suffering from symptoms similar to Dengue Fever. The Ministry of Health has begun spraying local communities to reduce the mosquito population to combat the outbreak and has stressed to the public the importance of prevention.

Shopping

Duty free shops and the local Straw Market is just a short walk from the Pier complex. Nassau's Straw Market has been a popular tourist attraction for many years. Bahamian women sell handmade woven baskets, hats and valises - all made from straw, reeds and grass.  Duty Free shopping at international boutiques located on Bay Street.

Marina Village at Atlantis is a large, high-end shopping center with 21 shops and boutiques located next to the Atlantis Marina.

Marlborough Antiques offers a selection of Bahamian art, rare books, and a wide selection of antique items. It is located on Marlborough Street.

Pick up shipwrecked coins from Coin of the Realm, located at Bay Street, on Charlotte Street.

Area Events

Junkanoo

Takes place twice a year - Boxing Day Dec 26 and New Year's Day, Jan 1st. Nassau's Bay Street lights up each year for Junkanoo - an adrenalin rush of colors, costumes and floats driven by the beat of the goatskin drum.  

All For One Regatta

Come the end of January a colorful sailing regatta sets off from the coast of Nassau's Montagu Bay. Between 30 and 40 ships, all built in the area, compete in the All For One Regatta every year.

Emancipation Day

August event. Bahamians look for any excuse to stage a Junkanoo festival and Emancipation Day is the best excuse of all. The celebrations are mainly concentrated in Fox Hill village, Nassau.

PokerStars Caribbean Adventure

January event. Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas Event welcomes 25 of the greatest legends in sports history and 25 world famous Poker Pros.

Bahamas International Film Festival

Annual December event. Famous actors and actresses mingle with film buffs at the annual Bahamas International Film Festival. Around 80 international films are screened. Click on the link for more info.

ports > destinations > Nassau 
 

Nassau, Bahamas

Princess fleet webcam links Nassau Pier Webcam

Nearly 3 million cruise passengers visit Nassau, Bahamas each year, making it one of the Caribbean's busiest ports. It is known for its turquoise waters, shopping, and wildlife encounters.

Map of the Bahama Islands

Nassau is the capital, largest city, and commercial center of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. The city has a population of 220,000 (2006 est.) nearly 70 percent of the entire population of the Bahamas (303,611).

The Bahamas extend 760 miles from the coast of Florida on the north-west almost to Haiti on the south-east.

Good to Know Personal Safety
News Medical
Things to Do and See Shopping
Area Events Beaches
Reef Diving Cave Diving
Family Attractions Wreck Diving
Local Cuisine

Good to Know

The city, which functions much like a federal district, is located on the island of New Providence.  While there is no local government, it is governed directly as an administrative division of the national government.   

Port of Entry

Prince George Wharf at Rawson Square. The wharf can accommodate up to seven vessels at a time.

rawson square nassau bahamas

Time Zone

EST - observes US daylight savings time.

Map Coordinates

25°06′N 77°.34′W

Currency

Local currency is the Bahamian dollar (BSD), but US dollars, traveller's checks, and credit cards are accepted almost everywhere.

Average Temperatures

Water: 83º Summer - 78º Winter

Air: 86º Summer - 80º Winter

Dry Season is November-May.

Rainy Season is June-October with the wettest months between June-August.

Personal Safety

Shots Fired in Downtown Nassau Sends Tourists Running for Cover

Posted Feb 26, 2013

Police fired shots at a fleeing suspect in downtown Nassau. The shooting occurred around noon at Prince George Wharf and Frederick Street. No injuries were reported and the suspect was apprehended.

Security Message: Increase in Armed Robberies in The Bahamas

Posted 1/14/13  Nassau US Embassy

The Royal Bahamas Police Force recently issued a message citing concerns about the increased number of armed robberies in Nassau. In this message, the Royal Bahamas Police Force urged the public to be aware of their surroundings and remain alert to avoid being a victim of crime. In light of this, and a corollary increase in robberies against U.S. citizens in 2012, the U.S. Embassy advises U.S. citizens living in or visiting Nassau to remain cautious and vigilant with regard to their personal safety and security.

Armed robbery continues to be the primary criminal threat facing U.S. citizens in The Bahamas. According to local media reports based on police statistics, 1,099 cases of armed robbery were reported in 2012, a 10% increase from 2011. Shootings, sexual assaults and rapes also continue to occur in Nassau. For crime statistics for 2012 recently released by the Bahamian Police Commission on their website, click here.

If you are the victim of a crime abroad, you should contact the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. This includes the loss or theft of a U.S. passport. In The Bahamas, the nearest U.S. Embassy is located at 42 Queen Street in downtown Nassau, and can be reached at 242-322-1181. The Embassy staff can, for example, help you find appropriate medical care, contact family members or friends, and explain how funds may be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of crime are solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.

Local Cuisine

Conch: A local favorite that be prepared as a fritter, in chowder, or in a salad. Conch is the meat of a large shellfish. Fried Conch Fritters are very popular.
 

Boiled Fish and Grits: The fish is simmered until it's done just right.

Stew Fish: First the fish is lightly floured and fried then added to a tomato-based sauce.

Peas and Rice: Another customary dish served with lunch and dinner.

Souse: A stew made from peppers, onions, lime juice, and meat, typically oxtail, pig's feet, or chicken.

Guava Duff: A empanada-like pastry that is boiled so the guava melts inside the dough. It's served with sugar and egg white sauce.

 

Things to do and see

Graycliff Estate

British colonial style estate built in the 1700s by the privateer John Howard Graysmith and established in 1844 as Nassau's first inn.

Fort Charlotte

Built in 1788, Fort Charlotte is the largest of the three major defenses on Nassau, with a moat, dungeons and underground passages to explore.

Paradise Island Attractions

Jokers Wild Comedy Club located at the Paradise Island Casino; Columbus Tavern set on a balcony overlooking Nassau harbor; Marley Resort and Spa;  16 luxury villas; an organic produce restaurant and an extensive spa.

Atlantis Resort and Casino

Located along the northern shore of New Providence Island. Take the 20 minute water taxi over from the Prince Edward wharf. The Resort offers a Marine Park with a seven-acre saltwater snorkeling lagoon, majestic waterfalls and the underwater ruins of "Atlantis" itself to explore.

The Atlantis resort unveiled Reef Atlantis in 2010  with the expansion of its Blue Tourism project: a collaborative effort aimed at studying and conserving natural reef habitats.

staff photo of atlantis resort

The Retreat

The Retreat is one of the Bahamas' national parks and the headquarters for the Bahamas National Trust. Open on only weekdays.

Hope Town Settlement on Elbow Cay

18th-century village built around a protected harbor - family-friendly spot .

Arawak Cay

The site where the Junkanoo Summer Festival takes place.

Fort Montagu and Montagu Beach

Historic fort east of Paradise Island, constructed in the 18th century to guard the eastern entrance to Nassau Harbor.

Ardastra Gardens & Conservation Center

More than 300 birds and reptiles and botanical gardens.

Parliament Square

Buildings built in the 1800's and currently houses the Bahamian government offices.

Potter's Cay Dock

Local vendors selling fresh fruits, seafood as well as the government's Produce Exchange. There is also a cafe that offers local specialties such as conch salad. Located on the Nassau side of Paradise Island under the eastern Paradise Island bridge.

Pompey Museum and the Historic Vendue House

Museum of slavery and emancipation opened in 1992.The Vendue House is the oldest building in Nassau, dating back to 1769.

Update: Dec 10, 2011

The Vendue House and Artifacts of the Pompey Museum were destroyed by fire on December 3, 2011

Beaches

Cable Beach

3 miles west of downtown Nassau.

Goulding Cay

Small island one mile offshore. Excellent snorkeling site.

Goodman's Bay

Just before the Cable Beach Resort. This beach has restroom and recreational facilities for children.

Saunders Beach

Located just east of the Cable Beach resort area. Popular with locals. 

Cabbage Beach

Located between the Atlantis resort and the Ocean Club on Paradise Island. Offers water sports such as water-skiing, snorkeling and parasailing.

Long Wharf

The beach of the Western Esplanade area

Reef Diving

Southwest Reef

15-30ft depth.

Elkhorn Gardens

Snorkeling just offshore of Goulding Cay.

The Cannonball Reef

Another site also filmed during many movies and known for great snorkeling and shallow diving.

Thunderball Reef

One of the most filmed reefs in the world (used in many James Bond movies). The reef starts in 5 ft. of water and reaches depths of 25ft.

Cave Diving

The Lost Blue Hole

A natural hole in the open ocean floor measuring about 100 ft. across and 220 ft. deep.

Trinity Caves

Shallow caves with 3 major openings. In 45 ft. of water, the caves go in about 30 ft. with the largest opening being 8 ft. across and 4 ft. high.

Pieces of Cake

Caverns located at a depth of 25ft.

Wreck Diving

The Mahoney Wreck

The site dates back to the 1800's and was a navigational hazard until it was blown apart. The remains are scattered in 30ft of water.

The Miranda Wreck

90ft wreck in medium depth water.

The Grennen Wreck

 Located at a depth of 60ft of water.

The Shipyard

 Consists of 4 wrecks that sit in 90ft of water. the 150 freighter, The Ana Lise; the 95ft Helena C; the 90ft Bahama Shell and a wooden-hull cargo ship sunk in 1994.

Click here for a complete list of dive sites.

Family Activities

Pirates of Nassau

Stepping back in time to the Golden Age of Piracy (1690-1720), the Pirates of Nassau promises a great family day out.

Blue Lagoon Island Close Encounter

Swim with the dolphins for approximately 30 minutes. Home of Universal Pictures Flipper.

Glass Bottom Boat Ride

Boats depart every hour to view the reefs and sea gardens of Athol Island from Woodes Rogers Walk which runs parallel to Bay Street along the harbor's edge.

Stingray Adventure at Blackbeard's Cay

25 minute boat ride aboard the Coral II, 65ft catamaran with a capacity of 250 passengers to Blackbeard's Cay to swim with Atlantic Southern Stingrays.  The tour costs $42.00 for adults and $37.00 for kids. All prices subject to change

 

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