If you’re visiting Nassau on a cruise, you’re in luck! Nassau gets some mixed reviews. However, it is a beautiful and fun cruise port of call with many great things to do.
Nassau is the largest city and the capital of the Bahamas. In fact, Nassau is one of the most popular cruise ports, attracting over 3.7 million cruise passengers annually.
Nassau, Bahamas, is home to beautiful beaches, rich historical sites, and, of course, the Atlantis resort.
Cruise ships dock in Prince George Wharf, which is conveniently located near the downtown district and Bay Street. Cruisers can do a lot of sightseeing by foot, which is why Nassau is such a popular destination.
There are so many great things to do when you are visiting Nassau, from beautiful beaches near the cruise port to island tours and all-inclusive resorts. Recently we visited Nassau by cruise and had an amazing day!
In this post, I share everything you need to know about Nassau, Bahamas, and the best things to do in Nassau cruise port.
Nassau Cruise Port
Cruise ships arriving in Nassau, Bahamas, will dock at the Prince George Wharf. The cruise port is conveniently close to Bay Street and the downtown district. There are many shops, restaurants, and activities within walking distance of the cruise port.
Passengers who have booked shore excursions through the cruise line will find their tour operators stationed near the dock. Those who have booked their shore excursions privately must meet their guides further down the dock.
The Nassau cruise port can feel quite hectic, as up to 6 cruise ships can dock at a time. It is a good idea to plan something to do in advance, as it will be jam-packed when you leave the cruise port.
To be safe, cruise travelers are best off staying within the busier tourist areas or taking a reputable tour.
What Cruise Passengers Need to Know About Nassau Cruise Port
The official currency for the Bahamas is the Bahamian dollar. However, the Bahamian dollar is equivalent to the U.S. dollar, and both are widely accepted.
In Nassau, most businesses and restaurants accept U.S. cash or credit cards. You can also use US money when shopping for souvenirs or with local vendors.
If you want to exchange money, you can onboard your cruise ship. However, the exchange rate from a local bank or ATM will be better.
There are several banks and ATMs located near the cruise port on Parliament Street or in the downtown area.
In the Bahamas, the official language is English. However, some locals may speak Creole or Bahamianese. Overall, nearly everyone speaks and understands English in Nassau.
In the Bahamas, they operate on Eastern Standard Time. Furthermore, the cruise ship time will typically be the same as the time on land.
Nassau, Bahamas, has a tropical climate and experiences sunny and warm temperatures year-round. Nassau can experience higher humidity and tropical storms during the summer months, which is why Winter is typically the best time to visit Nassau, Bahamas.
Getting Around Nassau
The best way to get around Nassau is on foot. The downtown area, Bay Street retail district, and many of Nassau’s historic sites are within walking distance of the cruise ship pier.
One of the great things about going to Nassau is that you can easily visit historical sites, eat at a restaurant, and go shopping on foot. The downtown area is easy to navigate, and it’s quite safe.
If you like to explore cruise ports by foot, then you will enjoy visiting Nassau.
Taxi operators are located around the Prince George Wharf area. In Nassau, the taxis are not metered, so it’s a good idea to negotiate the ride fare before entering the car.
Nassau’s public buses, also known as jitneys, are an economical and convenient alternative to taxis and car rentals. The bus runs from 6:30 AM to 7:00 PM, costing $1.50 per person for a one-way ride.
There is a bus stop conveniently located near the cruise port, and it stops at popular locations like downtown Nassau and Cable Beach.
Car and Scooter Rental:
For those interested in exploring Nassau on their own, you can do so by renting a car or scooter. There are car and scooter rentals available through Trip Advisor.
However, this is a potential cruise port mistake. If you’ve never driven in the Bahamas, be aware that the rules of the road can differ from the United States.
Most cruise travelers choose to take a taxi or walk in Nassau to avoid the risk of an accident.
Best Things to Do in Nassau Cruise Port
Nassau offers a variety of exciting attractions, activities, and historical sites for visitors. Here are the best things to do while you’re in Nassau:
Best Public Beaches in Nassau
There are some free public beaches in Nassau. If you’re trying to save money on excursions during your cruise, these free beaches are the most popular and recommended.
1. Junkanoo Beach
Junkanoo Beach is the closest public beach to the cruise ship port. This free Nassau beach is a good option for cruisers who want to stay within walking distance of the cruise ship.
The local beach is a about a 15-20 minute walk from the cruise port, or you can take a taxi.
At Junkanoo Beach, you can access restrooms, showers, and changing facilities. There are also local vendors who offer chair rentals.
If you get hungry or thirsty, there are various restaurants and bars nearby.
2. Cable Beach
Cable Beach is often called “Nassau’s best beach”, as it is 2.5 miles long and has white sand and crystal clear waters. This beach is lined with famous resorts, including Baha Mar and Sandals Royal Bahamian.
It can take 25-30 minutes to get to Cable Beach by taxi. A cheaper alternative is taking the No. 10 bus, which costs $1.50 per person.
At Cable Beach, you can do watersports, snorkel, and relax under the sun!
3. Cabbage Beach
Cabbage Beach is a public beach which is located on the north side of Paradise Island. You can get to Cabbage Beach by taking a short water taxi ride to Paradise Island ($10 round-trip) or walking for around 20 minutes.
At Cabbage Beach, you will find crystal-clear water and soft sand. Local vendors offer on-site chair and umbrella rentals.
At times, the water can get quite rough at Cabbage Beach. However, you will be right next to Atlantis, which makes for some amazing photos!
4. Saunders Beach
Saunder Beach is a 10-15 minute taxi ride from the cruise part. It is known to be one of the quieter beaches in Nassau, making it the ideal choice for families. At Saunders Beach, you can access restroom facilities and a playground.
Be sure to bring towels, as there are no vendors at Saunders Beach.
5. Love Beach
If you’re looking for a free beach with stunning water, check out Love Beach. Love Beach is located a bit further than Cable Beach, and many people say it’s one of the most beautiful beaches in the Bahamas.
At Love Beach, there will be chair rentals and the Nirvana Beach Bar, a fan favorite among cruisers!
6. Jaws Beach
Jaws Beach is the furthest beach from the cruise port. However, it was the filming location for the movie Jaws III!
Whether you’re a movie fan or you enjoy snorkeling, this beach is definitely worth checking out. There are Hollywood memorabilia and sculptures located underwater, which is super fun.
If you get tired of the beach, you can walk to Clifton Heritage Park and enjoy a picnic lunch there.
Best Island Beach Escapes in Nassau
These island beach escapes are excursions that can typically be purchased through the cruise line. This makes for a hassle-free experience as you won’t have to worry about transportation and planning.
In most cases, you will meet your shore excursion guide at a designated sport before being guided to a bus or boat. From there, you can enjoy your day before returning to the cruise port.
7. Pearl Island
Pearl Island allows guests to relax on the beach, explore the island’s walking trails, explore a lighthouse, and enjoy a traditional Bahamian lunch. Pearl Island is on the pricey side. However, there is a lot included in the price.
Through Carnival Cruise Line, Pearl Island costs $95 for adults and $75 for children. This includes transportation, a lounge chair, a signature cocktail, lunch, and watersports like kayaks, paddleboards, water trampolines, and water mats.
The boat ride to Pearl Island takes roughly 30 minutes, and the excursion lasts approximately 5 hours. At Pearl Island, you will have access to bathroom facilities, changing rooms, and showers.
If you’re interested, VIP cabanas are available at an additional cost.
8. Blue Lagoon
Blue Lagoon is a small island located off the coast of Nassau. Typically, a Blue Lagoon island excursion combines the beach with other activities like sea lion encounters, dolphin encounters, or segway tours. If you want to spend the day at the beach, you can also do that.
Depending on the shore excursion and what cruise line you are sailing with, day passes range from $90 to $200 per adult.
9. Balmoral Island
If you’re looking for a great way to spend your day in Nassau, check out Balmoral Island. Unlike the other islands, Balmoral Island has two freshwater pools available to guests who want a break from the ocean.
The downside to going to Balmoral Island is that your food, drinks, and water sports are not included. If you enjoy doing water sports, it may be a better value for you to try one of the other excursions!
10. Royal Beach Club
Royal Caribbean cruise line is opening the Royal Beach Club in 2025. This beach club be available exclusively to guests onboard Royal Caribbean cruises.
This 17-acre resort is located on Paradise Island, a short water taxi away from the cruise port. At the Royal Beach Club, there will be four pristine beaches for guests to enjoy (Tranquility Beach, Sapphire Beach, Hideaway Beach, and Harbor Beach).
There will also be various restaurants, bars, and pools at the Royal Beach Club. Once the beach is open, it will be the ultimate beach escape for families.
Best Resorts in Nassau (Day Passes)
Resort day passes give cruise ship passengers access to hotel and resort amenities. Depending on the resort, you may find all-inclusive passes.
The resorts typically feature access to the beach, private pools, restaurants, and bars. These day passes can be purchased individually through the hotel or resort.
11. Atlantis Paradise Island
Nassau is one of the main attractions in Nassau, Bahamas, but it is undoubtedly a pricey way to spend your day. A day pass to the Atlantis Aqua Adventure Water Park starts at $210 for adults and $150 for children if you purchase it through the Carnival Cruise Line.
A pass to Atlantis Adventure Water Park includes access to 141 acres of pools, water rides, Atlantis beaches, The Dig, Marina Village, and casino. Food and drinks may or may not be included depending on the conditions of your ticket.
Another option is to purchase the day pass directly through the Atlantis website. The admission price varies on what day you are going, and there is a good chance that you won’t save any money this way. Furthermore, you will be responsible for your transportation.
Atlantis offers additional activities that cruise passengers can do. However, they do cost extra.
Atlantis offers various dolphin experiences, sea lion experiences, stingray experiences, and more. These experiences range in price, but they generally cost $335 for adults and $285 for kids.
You can access certain areas of the Atlantis resort without paying any admission fee. The casino, indoor retail, specific dining venues, and Marina Village are available to the public.
Remember, if you are going to Atlantis without the cruise line, you are responsible for returning to the cruise ship on time. Keep an eye on your watch so you don’t get left behind in Nassau!
12. Margaritaville Resort & Waterpark
Margaritaville Resort & Water Park is a new resort that opened in 2021. This resort features two private beaches, two swimming pools, a lazy river, water slides, and a poolside bar.
The great thing about the Margaritaville Resort is that it’s only a 15-minute walk from the cruise port. Since Margaritaville is a short walk from the cruise port, you can spend the whole day there, and you won’t have to worry about finding a taxi back.
It costs $110 for adults and 55 for children to enter the Margaritaville Resort. This will give you access to all onsite activities, amenities, and Wi-Fi. At Margaritaville, you must pay for the food and beverages.
When we were in Nassau, we spent the day at Margaritaville, and it was awesome! The resort is clean, modern, and the staff is very friendly.
Whether you’re traveling as a family, as a couple, or with friends, you will have a good time at the Margaritaville resort.
13. Baha Mar
Baha Mar is a luxury resort that offers a limited number of day passes. When you visit Baha Mar, you will have access to a 15-acre water park, 24 water slides, a lazy river, an infinity pool, a wave pool, a kids pool, a FlowRide surf simulator, an outdoor casino, and the beach.
Right now, a day pass costs $160 for adults, $65 for guests under 48-inches, and free for guests under two.
14. Warwick Paradise Island
Warwick Paradise Island Bahamas is a resort for guests 16 and up. At Warwick, you will find a small beach and a massive pool with lounge chairs.
A day pass to Warwick Paradise Island costs $130 to $160, depending on if you want the standard or deluxe day package. When you’re a Warwick, your food and drinks are included, which is a huge bonus!
15. Riu Palace
RIU Palace is an adults-only, all-inclusive resort located on Paradise Island near Atlantis. When you’re at Riu Palace, you will have access to a swim-up bar, two swimming pools, and a dedicated beach area on Cabbage Beach.
A day pass for RIU Palace starts at $129 per person. This includes premium cocktails and a poolside “jerk” barbeque station.
When you spend the day at Riu Palace, you must pay for transportation from the cruise ship pier. You will also have to pay $10 for Wi-Fi if you want to stay connected, and there is an additional charge for spa treatments.
16. Breezes Resort & Spa
Breezes Resort & Spa is an all-inclusive that costs $125 for the day. This includes access to the beach, pools, swim-up bar, jacuzzi, land activities, water sports, and your meals and alcoholic beverages.
The resort is located on cable, which is a 15-20 minute drive from the cruise terminal.
Exploring Nassau Bahamas
17. The Straw Market
The Straw Market is a large market with handmade Bahamian straw products like purses, bags, and hats. You can also find factory-made souvenirs like shirts, bracelets, and magnets. Before you make any purchases, be sure to negotiate on the price!
The good thing about the straw market is that it’s extremely close to the Prince George Wharf cruise port. If you want to get off the ship and shop for souvenirs, the Straw Market is only a 6-minute walk from the port.
18. The Queen’s Staircase
The Queens Staircase is named after the late Queen Victoria. This historic attraction is a 66-step staircase that was carved out of limestone in 1793.
This staircase provides a direct route from downtown Nassau to For Fincastle. Furthermore, there is no charge to go up the historic staircase.
19. Fort Fincastle
Fort Fincastle is a historic fort that was built back in 1793 to protect Nassau from pirates. At Fort Fincastle, you will gain access to some incredible views of the cruise port.
When you visit Fort Fincastle, you will be near the Queen’s Staircase and the Pirates of Nassau Museum. If you’re exploring Nassau on foot, checking out these three attractions is a great idea!
If you want to enter For Fincastle, the cost of admission is $1 for adults and free for kids under 12.
20. Parliament Square
Parliament Square houses the Bahamas House of Assembly, Supreme Court, and Senate Building. This is a great spot for pictures as the colonial buildings are in a pink pastel color, and they look very tropical.
You will also see a statue of Queen Victoria that was built in the early 1900s.
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If you’re looking to spend your afternoon in Downtown Nassau, and you want to visit museums then you’re in luck. Nassau has several museums that are within walking distance from the cruise port.
21. Pirates of Nassau Museum
If you’re traveling with kids, check out the Pirates of Nassau Museum. This is an interesting museum to learn about the history of Nassau and piracy between 1690 to 1720.
One of the cool features of the Pirates of Nassau Museum is that they have a replica pirate ship. This is a major hit among kids as they can walk on it.
Admission to the Pirates of Nassau Museum is $14 for adults and $7 for kids under 17.
22. Pompey Museum of Slavery and Emancipation
The Pompey Museum of Slavery and Emancipation is smaller. Here, you will learn about Pompey, a slave who led a rebellion in 1830 on the island of Exuma.
The museum is located at the Historic Vendue House. This building was built around 1769 and functioned as a marketplace until the late 1800’s. In 1992, it became a museum that was open to the public.
If you want to visit this museum, it is only a 7-minute walk from the cruise port. It’s also located right next to the Straw Market.
23. National Art Gallery of the Bahamas
The National Art Gallery of the Bahamas is the perfect museum for art enthusiasts. This museum features art from the locals and highlights Bahamian history and culture.
It costs $10 for adults, and it is free for children to visit the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas. Furthermore, the art gallery is a 15-minute walk from the cruise port, and it is nearby several other attractions.
24. Heritage Museum of the Bahamas
The Heritage Museum of the Bahamas is a smaller museum with relics dating back to prehistoric times. At this museum, you will see tools used during slavery, items from a Bahamian grocery store in 1900, and a meteorite slice.
When you visit the Heritage Museum of the Bahamas, you will have the choice of doing a self-guided tour or purchasing an audio guide for around $20. The Heritage Museum is a 12-minute walk from the cruise port, and it is near the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas.
25. Educulture Junkanoo Museaum
Junkanoo is a street festival in the Bahamas that happens on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day every year. This cultural celebration includes dancing, spirituality, and listening to music.
The Educulture Junkanoo Museum is a great place to learn about the history of Junkanoo and to see the costumes that are worn during this festival. This museum is the brainchild of Arlene Nash Ferguson, who has been on the National Junkanoo Committee for over 24 years.
Nassau, Bahamas Shore Excursions
If you’re looking to have an exciting day in Nassau, then consider booking a shore excursion. Here are the top-rated shore excursions in Nassau:
26. Snorkeling and Scuba Diving
When it comes to cruise ports, Nassau, Bahamas, is known for having some great snorkeling sports. You can book a snorkeling tour through the cruise line or a private vendor.
On a snorkeling tour in Nassau, you will see coral reefs and a lot of marine life. Furthermore, many shore excursions have a party-like atmosphere on the boat, and they may even have an open bar.
If you’re scuba certified, you can always book a scuba excursion. Scuba diving is a great way to move freely underwater and to feel like you’re a part of the marine life.
27. Bahamian Food Tour
If you’re a foodie, check out the Bites of Nassau Food Tasting & Cultural Walking Tour. For this tour, you will be in a small group and walk the streets of Nassau, learning about the history and trying different local foods.
During this tour, you will get the chance to try classic conch fritter, local fish tacos, baked macaroni and cheese, rum cake, and more. You will also get to meet the chefs and small business owners.
This tour costs $79 for adults, $49 for kids between the ages of 4 and 12, and free for children under 4. This tour is highly recommended, and it is a great way to try local Bahamian foods.
28. Jeep and Beach Tour
The Jeep and Beach Tour is a popular shore excursion offered by most cruise lines. For this tour, you will drive a Jeep Wrangler through downtown Nassau and see some prominent landmarks.
Afterward, you will head over to the beach, and you can spend time relaxing by the water. You will then be served a Bahamian lunch before returning to the cruise port.
29. Rose Island Swim With Pigs
The Rose Island Swim With Pigs is one of the most popular excursions in Nassau. Many major cruise lines offer this excursion, which is an amazing experience.
You will begin this tour by taking a boat over to Rose Island. Once you arrive at Rose Island, you will be greeted by friendly pigs who are domesticated and love attention.
The guide will teach you how to feed the pigs and interact with them while swimming. Afterward, you head to a private beach to relax and enjoy light snacks.
30. Shark Encounters at Blue Lagoon
If you’ve ever wanted to swim with sharks, check out the Shark Encounter & Snorkel at Blue Lagoon. Here, you will be swimming with nurse sharks, who are slow-moving and mild-mannered.
The trainer will stand nearby so you can feed the sharks and cradle them in your arms. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and it makes for an amazing story.
Afterward, you will get the chance to relax on the beach and enjoy some free time before heading back to your cruise ship.
Water Sports and Activities
Nassau is known for its pristine beaches and crystal-clear water. This is the perfect recipe for water sports. Here are some water sports and activities that you can do when you’re in Nassau!
31. Bahamas Jet Boat
The Bahamas Jet Boat is one of the newest attractions in Nassau. This excursion combines a scenic ride with a high-speed thrill ride.
The captain and crew provide a tour of the Nassau Harbor while sharing fun facts about the island. You will then go on an adrenaline-pumping ride that is fun for the whole family.
This tour is educational, exciting, and safe, making it one of the most popular tours in Nassau.
32. Glass-Bottom Boat
The glass-bottom boat is a popular attraction that many people will try when they are in Nassau. Many tour companies combine the glass-bottom boat with snorkeling and drinking afterward.
On the glass-bottom boat, you can enjoy a 360-degree view of the water while looking for sea turtles, dolphins, and other marine life.
33. Jetski Rental
Nassau is one of the best places to jetski because of the beautiful water. If you enjoy jet skiing, then consider renting a jet ski.
There are various places to rent jet skis from. However, the Jet Ski Adventure at Cabbage Beach is highly recommended as they will pick you up at the cruise port and transport you to the beach.
Where to Eat and Drink in Nassau Cruise Port
If you’re into eating local foods, there are great options near the cruise port in Nassau. Here are some recommended sports to eat when visiting the Bahamas.
34. Potter’s Cay Conch Shacks
If you’re looking to try an authentic Bahamian Lunch, then check out Potter’s Cay conch shacks. Here, you will find bright-colored conch shacks that feature dishes from 40 different chefs who are cooking different dishes.
This is a great place to try Bahamian food, interact with locals, and immerse yourself in their culture. It is recommended to go to McKenzie’s shack as he has been in the same location for 25 years and is a former conch fisherman.
35. Pirate Republic Brewing Co.
If you’re looking to get off the cruise for a bit and grab a quick drink, then head over to Pirate Republic Brewing Co. Pirate Republic Brewing Co. is one of two breweries in Nassau, and it is located right next to the cruise port.
This place has a great vibe, and the drinks are amazing! Whether you want to grab a quick drink or if you’re stopping in before heading back to your cruise, Pirate Republic Brewing Co. is worth checking out.
- Bahamian Cookin’ Restaurant
- John Watling’s Distillery & Vell Monkey Foot
- Blackbeard’s Rum Cakes
Where to Shop in Nassau
If you’re shopping for local souvenirs to bring back home, Nassau has many shops near the cruise port. Many cruise passengers will bring back wood carvings, craftwork, original paintings, and handmade garments as they make nice gifts and souvenirs.
Here is where to shop in Nassau:
36. Bay Street
Bay Street is known as Nassau’s retail district, so there will be many local businesses there if you are interested in shopping. On Bay Street, you will find jewelers, clothing stores, gift shops, and more.
37. Festival Place
Festival Place is an outdoor bazaar located next to the cruise port. Festival Place features over 45 vendors who sell crafts, food, and drinks.
When shopping at Festival Place, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings as it can get very busy and hectic. Vendors will approach you, and it will not be a relaxing shopping experience.
If you want a more enjoyable shopping experience, go to Bay Street. However, Festival Place is ideal for cruise passengers looking for a last-minute gift or those who want to stay near the cruise port.
38. Nassau’s Straw Market
Although it was mentioned earlier, Nassau’s Straw Market is a great place to buy local Bahamian crafts, souvenirs, and gifts. The Straw Market is on Bay Street, so you will be near many other retail stores.
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Final Thoughts On Best Things to Do in Nassau Cruise Port
Well, there it is, everything you need to know about the Nassau cruise port.
Whether you’re going on an excursion or walking around on foot, there is a lot to see in Nassau. The great thing about Nassau is that there is a mix of historical sites and beautiful beaches, so there is something for everyone!
In this post, I shared the best things to do in Nassau when you’re on a cruise.
If you found this article helpful, please pass it along. Please feel free to share on Facebook or PIN to your favorite Pinterest board (share buttons at the top). Thanks so much!
Author Bio: Ethan Schattauer has been cruising since he was in preschool! As a frequent cruiser, Ethan now shares his unique perspective on what cruising is like for teens and young adults. Ethan is a freelance writer and also writes about men’s fashion, travel and college advice on the website WhatToWearMen.com.