Cruise and Beach Destinations
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Swimming Pigs Shore Excursion at Exuma Cays

Swimming pigs of Big Major Cay
Swimming pigs of Big Major Cay. Credit: Pixabay license

The famous swimming pigs of the Exuma Cays in the Bahamas offer an experience unlike any other in the Caribbean.

Caribbean visitors can swim with dolphins, stingrays, sharks, turtles and other sea creatures off the shores of many islands. No other islands have swimming pigs except for the Exuma Cays.

The 20 or so pigs live on Pig Beach at Big Major Cay. Visitors can both swim with the pigs and feed them.

“Big Major Cay is uninhabited and the pigs are not native to the island. Some say they were left by a group of sailors, who planned to come back and cook them. Or that the pigs swam over from a shipwreck nearby,” the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism says.

Shore Excursion Costs

Visitor feeds swimming pig
Visitor feeds swimming pig. Credit: Pixabay license

Most cruise lines don’t offer a shore excursion that goes from Nassau to the Exuma Cays because of the time and cost. A tour lasts about eight to nine hours. Excursion operators charge between $200 and $400 per person.

Anyone who stays at hotels on Great Exuma may find rates of around $150 to $200 per person for a full-day tour that includes the swimming pigs and other attractions. A half-day tour will cost around $100 person. Young children usually get a discount.

A round-trip ferry from Nassau to George Town on Great Exuma is $130 per person at the time of this writing. The ferry takes two hours to get there. Anyone using this option must then hire a boat or excursion operator on Great Exuma to get to Big Major Cay.

Most excursions include lunch, food to feed the pigs and time on another beach. Other attractions on a typical tour might include Starfish Bay, Thunderball Grotto, Allen Cay iguanas and the nurse sharks at Sampson Cay.

Final Tour Tips

Travelers who are thinking about going to see the swimming pigs should keep in mind that the pigs don’t swim all of the time. They often wander the beach or stand in shallow water.

It’s clear that cruise visitors to Nassau will need their ship to stay in port for a long day in order to make the trip to see the swimming pigs.

Visitors staying overnight in Nassau also need a long day. But at least they don’t have to worry about the ship leaving without them if the ferry or excursion boat has mechanical problems.

Otherwise, people staying at hotels on Great Exuma have the least risky and least expensive option for seeing the pigs.

Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas. He is the author of four books about cruising in the Caribbean, Alaska and Mexican Riviera.
September 03, 2021

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