Cruise Port Atlas | Nassau, Bahamas Day Trips | Attractions

Nassau, Bahamas Day Trips | Attractions

With limited time in port, planning is the best way to make the most of your time. Should you strike out on your own? Should you hire a local guide? Or should you book a shore excursion offered by the cruise line or an international tour company? Below we have listed the attractions and activities that many other cruisers have enjoyed. This information should help you plan.

The advantage to cruise line tours is that they are timed for your visit and give you flexibility to change your mind after your trip begins. The advantage of using a large international firm is that tours are often less expensive than cruise sponsored tours. The advantage to using a local tour company or guide is that prices can be significantly lower or you may be able to get a customized trip just to see the attractions that interest you most.

Cruise lines that visit Nassau: Oceania, Regent Seven Seas, Silversea, Celebrity, Cunard, Holland America, Princess, Carnival, Costa, Disney Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean

Key Attractions: Straw Market, Bay Street, Parliament, Christ Church, Pirates of Nassau Museum, Junkanoo Beach, Arawak Cay, Atlantis Resort and Casino, Blue Lagoon, Cable Beach, Crystal Palace Casino

Nassau AttractionsGovernment House and Columbus Statue

Port to City Center - 0.5 - 0.7 KM, 5-10 minute walk

Nassau is an historic city with a wide variety of interesting building and sites, but for the most part the city has turned itself over to the commercial opportunities of duty free shopping. In fact, Bay Street has a good number of jewelry stores, liquor stores and other emporiums offering excellent values for Americans. There is also the Straw Market, which was once a straw covered collection of craft stalls with both cheap and quality inexpensive crafts. Since the old building burned down it has been replaced by a more permanent structure. The Government House and the Parliament along with some other 19th century buildings are Colonial Georgian architecture painted pink (or other pastels). The rather comic statue of Columbus in front of the Government House portrays him as a brigand. There are important old churches in the middle of town including the Anglican Christ Church Cathedral (1690) and St. Andrews Kirk (1810). We did not get a chance to visit the Pirates of Nassau Museum about a block from the British Colonial. Children seemed to enjoy it.

Photo by CruisePortAtlas

Many historic buildings of the colonial era   Churches and Colonial Architecture  

Uneven surfaces and hills    Somewhat Wheelchair Accessible

Junkanoo Beach and Arawak Cay BeachesJunkanoo Beach on a quiet day

Port to Junkanoo Beach - 1.5 KM, 8 minutes (taxi), 15 minute walk
Port to Arawak Cay - 2.5 KM, 10 minutes (taxi), 25 minute walk

Because of its proximity to the US, Nassau has become a Spring Break magnet and during the late Winter you may see a large number of American college students doing what they do. One popular place for this is the in-town Junkanoo Beach with its colorful cocktail huts. The most popular drinks are the local Kalik beer and locally distilled Bacardi. At other times this beach can be a lovely spot for a bit of sun and relaxation without traveling to far. A little way down the coastal road is the entrance to Arawak Cay, famous for its Fish Fry, where locals and tourists come to taste the freshly caught cracked conch and to experience the relaxing culture of the islands.

Photo by CruisePortAtlas

Beaches   Water and Sun!   Limited Water Sports Available  

Varied Walking    Somewhat Wheelchair Accessible

Atlantis ResortAtlantis from the Dock

Port to Atlantis Resort - 4 KM, 10 minutes

Atlantis Resort was once called Paradise Island Resort and owned by Merv Griffin. In the 1990s it was purchased by Sol Kerzner of South Africa and converted to the mega-resort that it is today. It has one of the two casinos that cruise passengers can visit from Nassau. In addition, it boasts a massive water and oceanographic park with both active and passive water activities available. Most cruise lines offer a wide variety of tours that go to Atlantis. They can be inexpensive (a transfer to play in the casino) or pricey (a dolphin experience) or in-between (a pass to the water park). Whatever the price, the Atlantis is an incredible experience and a place designed to bring out the child in you.

Photo by CruisePortAtlas

Atlantis has several lovely beaches   Water Park and Oceanarium   Lots of Water Sports  

The Resort is huge and requires a lot of walking    Somewhat Wheelchair Accessible

Other Nassau Attractions

Port to Cable Beach - 9 KM, 12 minutes
Port to Pirates of Nassau Museum - .0.7 KM, 3 minutes, 10 minute walk
Port to National Art Gallery - 1.5 KM, 5 minutes, 13 minute walk
Port to National Ardastra Gardens and Zoo - 3 KM, 7 minutes
Port to National Junkanoo Expo - 3 KM, 7 minutes

New Providence has a well developed tourism industry that focuses on beach and water activities. We didn't have a chance to do it but other cruisers seemed very enthusiastic about the Dolphin and Sea Lion (California) Experiences at Blue Lagoon, which is a short ferry ride to a private island off the coast. Snorkeling and a well-developed beach area are available at Sandy Toes on Rose Island. The Cable Beach area has the highest concentration of beach activities and water sports, along with Nassau's second casino, The Crystal Palace, between the Wyndham and Sheraton. This is also the location of the Cable Beach Golf Course (currently being renovated. The Ardastra Gardens and Zoo is enjoyed by many visitors and is only a short distance from downtown. The Pirates of Nassau is a small museum that brings the history of piracy in the area to life. The small National Art Gallery featuring local artists and is well-regarded for its bright and vibrant collection. If you happen to be in Nassau at Christmas you will have a chance to see the all-night Junkanoo Parade with whimsical floats and massive costumes. At other times you have the option of going to the Junkanoo Expo (Museum) which features displays of the floats and costumes.


Atlantis has several lovely beaches   Water Park and Oceanarium   Lots of Water Sports  

Difficult Walking    Not Wheelchair Accessible

Interests Key:

Art Architecture Beach Children Wild Animals Local Cuisine Flora Gardens-Parks Geology

Diving UNESCO Views Wine Dance Music Shopping History Hiking

Walking & Wheelchair Accessibility:

No Walking Easy Walking Normal Walking Difficult Walking Accessible Limited Not Accessible