Cruising around the Caribbean is great, but half the fun is being able to step off the ship onto dry land to experience exciting new cultures and experiences. In the Caribbean, because of the close proximity of everything, you are spoiled for choice when it comes to destination options, and for those doing an Eastern Caribbean cruise, you have the good fortune of stopping in the Bahamas. There is no shortage of things to do in the Bahamas, and whether you’re just here for a quick few hours or longer, the moment you step off the boat, boredom will be the furthest thing from your mind.
If you can’t get enough of being on the water, why not trade in your mega ship experience for something a little more tactile? With two departures daily, one in the morning and one in the early afternoon, the Barefoot Sailing tour affords you the opportunity to climb aboard a beautiful yacht, and spend the next three and a half hours really exploring the island. Throw on a mask and flippers, and dive into the warm Caribbean Sea for a once in a lifetime Nassau snorkeling tour. With the depths being no more than twelve feet on average, it’s an excursion the whole family can enjoy. An hour and a half of engine-free sailing will give you an idea of what life was like back in those swashbuckling days when only the wind’s power helped navigate the likes of Blackbeard and his notorious sea scallywags. Unlimited drinks are provided on board, and the short duration of the trip gives you ample time to make your ship’s departure or check out another activity.
No trip to the Bahamas is complete without a dolphin encounter and you’re certainly not going to get one 12 decks up in a gigantic cruise ship! The Blue Lagoon Dolphin Close Encounter has long been a beloved Bahamian activity and has been delighting cruise ship passengers for years. Take a quick boat ride from the Paradise Island Ferry Terminal to Salt Cay (also known as the Blue Lagoon). Guests are thoroughly educated about the social and biological anomalies we call Atlantic Bottlenose dolphins. And after you’re good and ready, guests are invited to wade into waist deep water to have a hands-on experience with these clowns of the sea. Dolphin trainers are only an arms length away, and will direct you on how to make these amazing creatures do some fun tricks. Professional photographers and videographers are on site to capture your every moment, so you don’t even have to worry about bringing a camera.
The Bahamas are rife with history, and you would be remiss not to come and learn about the unique beginnings of this very iconic place. Stepping foot on the same soil that Christopher Columbus once did is pretty exciting, and though the Bahamas are known for being a former slave refuge, and buccaneer capital, it is also the site of an indigenous group of aboriginals called the Arawak. These are just some of the things you’ll learn on a Nassau or Freeport sightseeing tour. Visit the beautiful colonial Parliament buildings in Nassau, as well as Fort Fincastle and Fort Charlotte. Take stroll along the seaside, and bring your camera, because the quaint blend of pink, blue, and yellow painted homes is a sight to be seen. In Freeport, visit the Port Lucaya Marketplace and shop for locally made curious, and spend an afternoon wandering the world renown Garden f the Groves, an 11 acre botanical garden housing some of the most beautiful and vibrant fauna the island has to offer.
This sampling of excursion options should be enough to jump start the imagination. The Bahamas are far more than a stretch of beautiful islands, and if you have the option to leave the cruise ship for a spell, you won’t have any trouble finding something truly unique to experience.