30+ Best Things to Do in Half Moon Cay Cruise Port 2024

Half Moon Cay Cruise Private Island

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If you’re visiting Half Moon Cay, Bahamas on a cruise, you’re in luck! Half Moon Cay is a private island that cruisers love. In fact, many avid cruisers consider Half Moon Cay to be the best private island.

At Half Moon Cay, you’ll find a beautiful beach, fun activities and excursions, and an included beach barbecue. Carnival Corporation privately owns Half Moon Cay, so cruisers use this stunning island exclusively.

There are many great ways to spend your day visiting Half Moon Cay. Whether you want to relax on the beach or go on a thrilling Jetski adventure, there is something for everyone. Recently, we visited Half Moon Cay and had an unforgettable day!

In this post, I share everything you need to know about Half Moon Cay and the best things to do in Half Moon Cay, Bahamas.

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Half Moon Cay Cruise Port

Half Moon Cay Bahamas with Holland America cruise ship

Cruise Ships arriving in Half Moon Cay will anchor near the island, and cruise passengers will be tendered over. The tender ride lasts for around 10 minutes, and it is an excellent opportunity to get pictures of your cruise ship and the beautiful crystal clear waters.

Once you arrive at Half Moon Cay, you’ll find a map of the island, places to take photos, and an entranceway to the central area. You’ll see an information desk, the Rumrunners Bar, shops, and live musical performers in the central area.

Passengers who booked shore excursions will meet near the information desk. If you want to book a last-minute excursion, this can be done at the information desk on the cruise line private island.

The Half Moon Cay cruise port is very easy to navigate. There are maps, signs, and crew members to help you find your way around the island!

What Cruise Passengers Need to Know About Half Moon Cay Cruise Port

carnival cruise in Half Moon Cay

Where Is Half Moon Cay?

Half Moon Car is located roughly 100 miles (160 KM) southeast of Nassau. The island is midway between Cat Island and the islands of Eleuthera in the Bahamas.

Half Moon Cay was formerly known as “Little San Salvador Island.” However, the name was changed to reflect the crescent-shaped beach at the island’s west end.

Which Cruises Go to Half Moon Cay?

Holland America Line and Carnival cruise ships visit Half Moon Cay. Although, it’s important to mention that not all cruise itineraries include Half Moon Cay as a port of call.

Additionally, Half Moon Cay was owned by Norwegian Cruise Line in the past. However, it was sold to Holland America for 6 million dollars in 1996.

How Do You Get to Half Moon Cay?

Since reefs and shallow waters surround Half Moon Cay, passengers must be tendered to and from the Cay. Furthermore, there is no deep-water dock, which makes it impossible for cruise ships to dock at Half Moon Cay.

The ferry ride lasts for around 10 to 15 minutes. However, getting everyone onboard and off the tenders can add 10 to 15 minutes to the whole process.

If you want to spend the full day on Half Moon Cay, you should get up early to be the first in line for the tenders. Tender lines can get long for disembarkation because many people are simultaneously trying to leave the cruise ship.

Half Moon Cay Map:

Map of Half Moon Cay

Half Moon Cay Shore Excursions

1. Horseback Riding by Land & Sea

The Horseback Riding By Land & Sea excursion is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. On this shore excursion, you will ride a horse through a picturesque trail to the island’s highest point for an incredible 360-degree view.

As the tour continues, you can ride your horse in the water. This is a unique experience as the horses swim along the shoreline.

Price: $120 Per Person

2. Jet Ski Adventure

Half Moon Cay Jet Ski excursion

The Jetski Adventure is a thrilling excursion and a great way to see natural reef formations and marine life. Although this is a guided tour, the tour guides let you operate your jetski freely.

On our recent trip to Half Moon Cay, my father and I booked the Jetski Adventure. We had tons of fun navigating the inner saltwater lagoon, and we even had the chance to go into the open ocean.

Overall, this excursion is an incredible experience if you’re adventurous and enjoy jet skiing.

Price: $115 Per Person

3. Glass-Bottom Boat

The Glass-Bottom Boat shore excursion is a great way to explore Half Moon Cay’s undersea world while staying dry.

On this excursion, you may see stingrays, angel fish, snapper, sharks, and other marine life. You will also get the chance to see various species of corals.

The glass-bottom boat has two viewing areas. One area is enclosed and air-conditioned, while the top deck is open-air so you can soak up the Caribbean sun. It’s important to note that both decks offer a view into the ocean.

Price: $45 Per Person

4. Kayak at Bonefish Lagoon

You will love the guided kayak adventure through Bone Fish Lagoon if you’re a nature enthusiast. On this excursion, you will board a two-person kayak and adventure across 1,400 square acres of mangrove forest.

On this tour, you will see seabirds, sea urchins, jellyfish, and other tropical fish in their natural habitat. During this excursion, you will get the chance to hold starfish, conch, and sea cucumber!

Price: $55 Per Person

5. Half-Moon Cay Snorkel By Boat

The Half Moon Cay Snorkel by boat is a great way to enjoy the crystal-clear Bahamian waters while exploring and observing the sea life in their natural habitat. On this excursion, you will have professional snorkeling guides to assist if needed.

While snorkeling, you will see new and old strands of coral, sponges, and various fish, and you may even see a turtle or stingray if you’re lucky!

Price: $60 Per Person

6. Stingray Adventure

On the Stingray Adventure tour, you will get the chance to learn, interact with, and gently touch the stingrays. During this excursion, you will snorkel in waist-deep water, and you’ll get the opportunity to feed the stingrays and touch their silky wings.

If you’re looking for a unique and personal experience with stingrays, then you will really enjoy this excursion.

Price: $50 Per Person

7. Eco Bike & Hike Tour

The Eco Hike & Bike tour is a great way to explore the island’s highlights, including Pegasus Rance and the island’s plant nursery.

During the hike, you will learn the history of Half Moon Cay’s early settlers while taking in the magnificent views. On your hike, you will get the chance to see Bone Fish Lagoon and Stingray Park.

This excursion is great for those nature-loving and adventurous travelers.

Price: $38 Per Person

8. Island Bike Tour

The Island Bike Tour is great for nature enthusiasts to explore Half Moon Cay. On this tour, you will bike on an oceanfront path while learning the island’s history from a tour guide.

Price: $25 Per Person

9. Island Tram Calypso Tour

If you’re looking for a laid-back excursion, then check out the Island Tram Calypso Tour. On this guided tour, you will see the island highlights while seated in an open-air tram.

During this excursion, you will see the island’s chapel, the Exuma Channel, the famous Captain Morgan “On the Rocks” Bar, and the Pegasus Ranch, home to the swimming horses.

This tour lasts around 45 minutes, and it’s a great way to see the island’s highlights.

Price: $30 Per Person

More Caribbean Cruise Port Guides:

Free Things to Do in Half Moon Cay


10. Go For a Walk on the Beach

Half Moon Cay is a beautiful island known for its white sand beaches and crystal-clear waters. If you’re looking for the perfect way to pass some time, walk down Half Moon Beach!

As you walk down the beach, you will see Captain Morgan’s Pirate Ship, the beach villas, and a great view of your cruise ship.

11. Go Birdwatching

If you’re a birdwatching fan, then you are going to love Half Moon Cay. Half Moon Cay is home to over 45 different species of birds.

If you plan on birdwatching, remember to bring your binoculars!

12. Walk Along the Nature Trail

On Half Moon Cay, there are nature trails all over the Island. Some trails are sandy, and others are on hard pavement, so if you plan on exploring the trails, you should bring shoes.

These trails lead to the Island’s shore excursion starting points like Bonefish Lagoon, Stingray Cove, and Pegasus Ranch. Furthermore, the cay has trails for spotting wildlife and a fitness trail that features exercise stations.

13. Take a Photo at the “I Wish I Could Stay Here Forever Sign”


The “I Wish I Could Stay Here Forever” sign is an iconic landmark from Half Moon Cay. There are stories of Life Well Cruised community members who have taken a picture under the sign every time they’ve visited Half Moon Cay for over ten years!

If you’re visiting Half Moon Cay, don’t forget to take a picture under the iconic sign.

14. Play Basketball or Beach Volleyball

At Half Moon Cay, you can visit the volleyball and basketball courts to play sports under the sun! The volleyball and basketball court is near the welcome center, with balls for all guests.

15. Relax On The Beach

When it comes to the best free things to do in Half Moon Cay, it’s hard to beat relaxing on the beach!

At Half Moon Cay, the lounge chairs are free. This means you can walk down the beach, find the perfect place, and lay your beach towels on your chair.

We spent a few hours at the beach on our recent trip to Half Moon Cay, which was lovely. It’s hard to beat the powdery white sand and the calm turquoise waters that you’ll find at Half Moon Cay.

Half Moon Cay tip: As it gets later in the day, the beach will get quieter. This is the best time to get amazing photos on the quiet beach.

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16. Bring Your Own Beach Floatie

If you want to float around in the water, bring your own beach floatie! This is the perfect free way to relax in the beautiful Half Moon Cay waters.

17. Build a Sand Castle

Whether you’re traveling as a family or you like getting creative, build a sand castle at Half Moon Cay. If you’re traveling with kids, building a sandcastle is a great way to keep them busy and having fun.

Half Moon Cay tip: If you’re travelling with young children, bring your own sand toys!

18. Take a Free Tram Around the Island

Transportation on Half Moon Cay

Something that many visitors don’t realize when they visit Half Moon Cay is that there is a free tram. The tram takes you from the visitors center down to the barbecue lunch.

This is a great timesaver if you have trouble walking or if you are in a rush.

19. Enjoy the Free BBQ Lunch

One of the great things about visiting Half Moon Cay is that they offer a complimentary barbecue lunch. You will find burgers, hot dogs, salads, fresh fruit, and other delicious food at the barbecue lunch.

Half Moon Cay tip: The barbecue lunch is open from 11:30 to 1:00, so arrive there early to avoid long lines.

20. Visit the Bahamian Church

On Half Moon Cay, there is a Bahamian church that you can visit. Whether you’re looking to visit or renew your vows, seeing the church is something many cruisers do.

Furthermore, Holland America and Carnival Cruise Line sell wedding packages for those looking to get married at Half Moon Cay.

21. Check Out the Half Moon Lagoon Water Park

If you’re cruising with kids, check out the Half Moon Lagoon water park. This free water park is equipped with sprinklers and water cannons, which is perfect for smaller kids.

Furthermore, the Half Moon Lagoon water park is next to the beach. So you can relax on the beach while your children play at the water park.

Beach Rentals and Water Sports


21. Clamshell Rental

Renting a clamshell for the day is a great way to relax in the shade while laying on the beach. The clamshells can sell out, so make sure to arrive early if you want one in a prime location.

Price: $50 for the day

22. Rent a Tube or Mat

If you’re looking to relax in the water all day long, then consider renting a floating tube or matt.

Price: $20 for the day

23. Rent Snorkel Gear

If you want to snorkel on your own, you can rent snorkel gear! One of the great things about Half Moon Cay is that they have a beginner’s snorkel area near the welcome center.

If you’re more advanced, have fun observing the coral reefs and marine life in the open ocean.

Price: $25 for adults and $15 for children

24. Rent a Kayak

If you like to Kayak, then you will enjoy the kayak rental. This rental lasts an hour, and you can choose between a single or a double Kayak.

Price: $30 for a single person Kayak and $46 for a double Kayak.

25. Rent a Paddle Board

Since the water is very calm at Half Moon Cay, it is the perfect place for paddle boarding. The paddle board rental lasts for an hour, and it is a fantastic experience.

Price: $40 per paddle board

26. Rent a Water Bike

Renting a water bike is something many people do in Half Moon Cay. The water bike rental lasts 1 hour, and many people have enjoyed this activity.

Price: $39.99 per water bike

Additional Rental Information:

Umbrella Rental:

You can rent an umbrella if you want to lie down by the beach while having shade. Your umbrella has a carry bag and towel hooks, enhancing your Half Moon Cay experience.

Price: $35 Per Umbrella

Locker Rental:

Half Moon Cay offers locker rentals for those looking to store their valuables and personal belongings. The lockers are conveniently located near the beach so you can check on your belongings throughout the day.

Price: $10 Per locker

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Half Moon Cay Food Options

27. Food Pavilion

The Food Pavilion is where you will find the beach barbecue. This is a great place to grab a bite and take a small break from your activities.

The Food Pavilion is near the cruise port. If you have trouble walking, a free tram ride will bring you back and forth.

It’s important to note that the Food Pavilion is open from 11:30 to 1:00. Once it is closed, you must either head back to the ship or visit the Lobster Shack if you want to eat.

28. Eat at the Lobster Shack

If you’re looking for an enhanced culinary experience, try the Lobster Shack. The Lobster Shack menu has a la carte pricing and includes lobster, lobster rolls, and chowder.

Half Moon Cay Bars

29. Visit Bar – Half Moon Cay Bar Hop

What’s a day at Half Moon Cay without grabbing a drink at the bar? Whether you’re having a drink or going bar hopping, the bars are a great time at Half Moon Cay.

Half Moon Cay tip: Your drink package does not work on the island. Keep that in mind when you are ordering drinks on Half Moon Cay.

Here is a list of the bars you will find on Half Moon Cay:

  • Rum Runners Bar
  • Lookout Bar
  • Bell Bar
  • “I Wish I Could Stay Here Forever” Bar


30. Straw Market

If you’re looking to pick up souvenirs in Half Moon Cay, check out the Straw Market. You will find locally made jewelry, beachwear, and other nautical souvenirs at the Straw Market.

31. Visit the Post Office

At Half Moon Cay, you will find a small post office where you can purchase Bahamian stamps and postcards. You can even mail one to yourself as a memory from your cruise vacation!

Villa and Cabana Rentals

Private Oasis

The Private Oasis is a 1,620-square-foot grand cabana with a hot tub, water slides, and a walkway that leads straight into the ocean. The private luxury cabana is perched over the crystal-clear water, so you can enjoy the view all day.

In Private Oasis, you will have a team of dedicated staff who will serve you a delicious meal, cocktails, and other drinks. Renting out the Private Oasis is an unforgettable experience and a great way to spend your day at Half Moon Cay.

The Private Oasis can fit up to 24 passengers. However, the initial cost includes 12 passengers and there is a flat fee for each additional passenger.

Price: $1850 for the day

Beach Villa Rental

The Beach Villa is a two-story deluxe villa with an unobstructed beach view. This villa features a hot tub, an inside dining area, and a shower.

This villa fits up to 18 people. However, the first 8 people are included in the price, with a surcharge for each additional guest.

When you book the beach villa, you will have access to snacks, fresh fruit, water, and soft drinks.

Price: $800 for the day

Beach Cabana Rental

The Beach Cabana is a great option for those who want to relax on the beach while enjoying a bit of privacy. This cabana includes chips, dip, fruit, soda, and water.

The Beach Cabana fits up to 6 guests. However, the first 4 guests are included in the price, and there is an extra charge for the additional two guests.

One of the benefits of booking the Beach Cabana is getting access to snorkeling gear and floating mats.

Price: $500 for the day

Picnic Bana


The Picnic Bana is a floating platform that fits up to six passengers. This is a great way to hangout in the water and have a relaxing day.

Price: $450 for the day

Party Cabana

The Party Bana is a floating platform that can fit up to 6 people. This Party Bana is shaded and quite comfortable to sit on.

Price: $350 for the day

Caribbean Cruise Port Guides

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Final Thoughts On Best Things to Do in Half Moon Cay

Well, there it is, everything you need to know about Half Moon Cay!

Half Moon Cay has a lot to offer, whether you’re going on excursions, exploring the nature trails, or relaxing on the beach. The great thing about Half Moon Cay is that there is a great mix of activities that appeal to everyone.

In this post, I shared the best things to do in Half Moon Cay, Bahamas when you visit on a cruise.

Happy cruising!


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