It’s been a challenging year for The Bahamas, the island group that lies just 50 miles east of Miami. During the first few days of September 2019, Hurricane Dorian caused extensive damage and loss of life on several Bahamian islands. Recovery efforts continue, and the islands are looking forward to welcoming cruise passengers again soon.
Proximity to the U.S. is one of the things that makes a Bahamas cruise special. Sailing there provides an exotic island getaway, but it’s amazingly close to home. That’s why The Bahamas are a top choice for first-time cruisers who want to get their sea legs. Experienced cruisers also enjoy a quick, relaxing, and affordable getaway to The Bahamas.
The low-lying islands are fringed with sandy beaches lapped by calm water, lovely for swimming, snorkeling, and water sports. Cruise ports include Nassau and Freeport. Depending on the cruise line you choose, you may also spend a day on a well-equipped private island, such as Disney’s Castaway Cay, Holland America’s Half Moon Cay, Royal Caribbean’s CoCoCay, Norwegian Cruise Line’s Great Stirrup Cay, Princess Cruises’ Princess Cays, or MSC Cruises’ Ocean Cay.
Nassau, on New Providence Island, is a vibrant mix of cultural influences from West Africa, Great Britain, and the U.S. Along the charming, tree-lined streets, you’ll find restaurants and cafes, Las Vegas-style casinos, and duty-free shopping. Still, many cruise passengers head straight for a beach resort or to tour historic Fort Fincastle or Fort Charlotte. Excursion opportunities include ATV adventures, food tours (think conch fritters and guava pastries), or a trip to nearby Balmoral Island for a stingray encounter.
Freeport is on Grand Bahama Island, one of the islands still recovering from Hurricane Dorian. Grand Bahama also features white sand beaches, as well as several golf courses. The Port Lucaya area has lots of fun shops, dining, and entertainment. The water around the island is populated by coral reefs and several shipwrecks, so there are great snorkeling and diving opportunities. You can also visit beautiful Lucayan National Park to stroll the nature trails, go kayaking through the mangroves, or explore underwater caves.
Most Bahamas-only sailings are three or four nights, departing from one of Florida’s cruise ports and calling on Nassau and Freeport. You can also visit The Bahamas as part of a longer cruise that includes the Eastern Caribbean, with departures from ports all along the Eastern Seaboard. For help choosing your Bahamas cruise, talk with Anita, your professional travel advisor.
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