Nassau is a popular port of call for cruise passengers. Located on New Providence Island in the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, the capital city of Nassau is a lively spot. Nassau is home to a bustling Straw Market and many duty-free shops and is connected to nearby Paradise Island via a short bridge.
Both Nassau and Paradise Island are filled with a wide variety of activities, attractions, resorts and dining options. In addition, the clear turquoise waters surrounding this port of call are a water sports lover’s delight. Conch is a popular dish here – get it fresh at Arawak Cay or prepared in a number of ways at local restaurants.
Here are five popular things to do during your port day in Nassau:
1. Be Thrilled at Atlantis: AQUAVENTURE, the 141-acre waterpark at Atlantis, Paradise Island includes a seven-acre snorkeling lagoon, a mile-long lazy river with intense rapids that make it anything but lazy, massive Mayan-themed water slides, and Splashers – a children’s water play area for kids under 54 inches and their parents. Over 20 million gallons of water are used in this extravagant development. The resort’s incredible marine habitats, including 14 lagoons and giant aquariums, are filled with over 50,000 sea creatures. The Dig, a maze of underground passageways with plenty of sea life views, is also amazing. Shore excursion passes to Atlantis and its waterpark are usually sold through cruise lines. Passes are also often available directly through the resort, but call in advance to check and make reservations.
2. Stroll Through Tropical Gardens: Take an excursion to Ardastra Zoo, Gardens and Conservation Centre to walk through four acres of lush tropical gardens and view over 300 animals. Here you'll see pink flamingos marching and have the opportunity to feed colorful lorry parrots by hand. Ardastra's gardens contain a wide variety of flowering plants including orchids and hibiscus. It also has the world's largest collection of indigenous Bahamian animals.
3. Swim with the Dolphins: Dolphin Cay is a dolphin interaction and education center located at Atlantis, Paradise Island. Here, guests and visitors can interact with the Atlantis ‘Katrina’ dolphins. This is one of the most popular attractions at Atlantis and a highly sought after cruise tour, so make sure to make your reservations early. Dolphin Cay is accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, as are all of the Atlantis facilities. For more information on Dolphin Cay and the various programs it offers at Atlantis, Paradise Island, visit the Dolphin Cay website.
4. Get a Day Pass: Many cruise passengers prefer to spend their port days chilling on a white sand beach and enjoying watersports activities with friends and family. In Nassau, there are several options. The Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort & Casino has two Day Pass packages for those who want to relax and enjoy the amenities of this resort. The Sheraton's room-inclusive Day Pass provides day use of a room for two and access to property's three freshwater pools, a 1,000-foot white sand beach, towels, and non-motorized watersports. For those who don't need a room, the resort’s standard Day Pass provides access to the resort's pools, beach and non-motorized watersports. Both Day Pass options allow cruise passengers to use the resort's on-site restaurants and lounges, but food and beverages are not included. Additional options for purchasing resort day passes can be found ResortforaDay.com.
5. Go On - and Under - the Sea: If getting out on a boat and snorkeling is what you have in mind, take a look at the Athol Island snorkeling tour. You'll board a motorized catamaran for a short trip out to a lovely snorkeling site near uninhabited Athol Island, where you'll be able to view the sea life found in the Bahamas. Guests must be at least six years of age to snorkel and must be able to swim. Blue Lagoon Island (officially known as Salt Cay) is another popular spot for snorkeling and lounging on the beach, as well as dolphin and sea lion encounters.
For more information on Nassau and Paradise Island as well as the area's many attractions, visit http://www.nassauparadiseisland.com.