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Bahamas

Best Beaches Near Nassau Cruise Port

Junkanoo Beach
Junkanoo Beach. Credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons license

The best beaches near the Nassau Bahamas cruise port require a taxi, rental car or excursion bus to reach them.

Cruise visitors, who dock on the northern coast of New Providence Island at downtown Nassau, have one small but decent beach within walking distance of the cruise terminal.

Junkanoo Beach, also known as the Western Esplanade, is a half mile west of the cruise docks or about a 10 minute walk. Walkers can get there by going right onto East Bay Street as they walk out of the cruise terminal. It’s an easy walk in a nearly straight line along East Bay. East Bay is the main tourist. It has the Nassau Straw Market along with plenty of shopping and dining.

Before going, look around the cruise port to see how many cruise ships are docking there. If it’s busy, the odds are good that Junkanoo will have quite a crowd. In that case, look for other beaches that will require transportation.

One of the most popular is Cable Beach, which is six miles or 15 minutes west of the cruise port. It is more than two miles long and has a cluster of hotels, resorts and restaurants. It also has a golf course, nightlife and the largest casino in the Bahamas.

The least expensive way for cruise port visitors to reach Cable Beach is the public bus system, which travels along East Bay and then West Bay. Bus users won’t get lost or confused about their location. Expect to pay about $1.25 per person.

Otherwise, taxis are the next option. The island has zoned rates. Expect to pay $12 one way for two people with $3 apiece for each additional person.

Paradise Island Beaches

Cable Beach

Paradise Island also offers good beaches near the Nassau cruise port. This small island, which cruise visitors can see from the terminal, is famous for the massive Atlantis resort complex. This is a good option for cruise visitors who want to explore Atlantis and spend time on a decent beach.

Besides the resorts and water park, the island has about a half dozen beaches. Cabbage Beach is the best known.

Visitors can get there by taxi or a 15-minute ferry ride. The ferry docks are outside the terminal on the right by the Straw Market. Round trip tickets are $8.

Cabbage Beach is about a mile from the Paradise Island Ferry Terminal. Visitors can walk—especially if they want to explore the resort area and water park—or they can take a taxi for $4.

For quieter beaches on Paradise Island, consider taking a taxi to Colonial at the far west end or Arawak or Smugglers at the far east end.

Other Nassau Cruise Beaches

Cable Beach Map

Montagu Beach is worth mentioning for anyone who goes east on East Bay Street. It is a little more than two miles from the cruise terminal.

A small fort called Fort Montagu by the beach makes this one worth considering for anyone with an interest in history. The fort is more photographic than the more popular Fort Fincastle.

One interesting beach excursion involves taking a ferry to Balmoral Island for a half day. The package includes transportation, lunch and beach chair for about $80 per person. Recreational activities include volleyball and swimming pools.

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.
January 01, 2021