People sunbathing on beach in Nassau Bahamas

50+ Unique Things to Do in Nassau Bahamas on a Cruise

In the heart downtown Nassau rests the busy cruise port receiving multiple cruise lines every day is the ideal launching point for incredible beaches, fun water activities, marine life encounters, historical landmarks, and more. Here I’ll unveil the (over) 50 unique things to do in Nassau Bahamas on a cruise to entice the history buff, adventure seeker, foodie or other to step off the cruise ship for an unforgettable day in The Bahamas.

As you’ll notice from the tips throughout, this Nassau itinerary is intentionally written for the first time Bahamas solo traveler and/or older traveler (I am over 50 and have been traveling solo FOREVER). Yet, anyone can use this Nassau itinerary it to plan and book a 4 day Nassau adventure.

Like this? Share it with others!

This post may contain affiliate links for your convenience. For products, the goal is to first provide direct links to eco-friendly, ethical, and sustainable companies, and then to those same type (i.e., Climate Pledge Friendly Certification), of brands that use Amazon, if possible. Therefore, you may see multiple links for one option. Should you make a purchase through any link, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. See my Disclaimers & Disclosures and Privacy Policy for more information.

Is it Worth Getting Off the Ship in Nassau?

That is a big, fat yes. I revisited Nassau this year after a 23 year gap and spent a fantastic 4 days in Nassau solo and feel I only scratched the surface.

I feel for those only spending one day in Nassau, but you’ll soon find one day in Nassau on a cruise ship is better than none at all.

Gwen diving with Stuart Coves Nassau
Morning dive with Stuart Cove’s

Can You Walk Around Nassau from a Cruise Ship?

Since the cruise port is in the heart of the capital city center, there is much to see and do on foot once you get past the shopping stalls, crowded bars and throng of other tourists disembarking from the cruise ships.

Nassau wooden street signs
Junkanoo Beach

Do I Have to Do an Excursion in Nassau?

Of course you can explore Nassau without an excursion. Many activities downtown and beyond are free things to do in Nassau, Bahamas, which is beneficial if you are traveling Nassau on a budget.

Without an excursion, you can just walk around Nassau or make use of the taxis, The Jitney public bus, water taxis, or tours to cover more of Nassau.

Despite the free Nassau activities, however, I highly recommend supplementing your day in Nassau with one excursion or tour to maximize your Nassau experience if your Nassau port time and budget allow.

You do not have to book your excursion from the cruise ship, or at the cruise port, either. In fact, depending on time of year and the limited time you have in Nassau, I recommend booking your Nassau excursion before arriving.

Boating off Nassau Bahamas
Boating off Nassau

Ultimate Nassau Bahamas Travel Guide Video

Need Nassau travel planning help before you arrive? Discover the 15 things to know before you go to Nassau, from getting there, getting around, the best time to go, top things to do in Nassau, Nassau budget tips, safety tips, and more to plan your first time travel to Nassau.

If you’re a first-time traveler to The Bahamas, also use my ultimate Bahamas Solo Travel Guide full of tips on culture, entry requirements, currency, tipping, using electronics, safety, and a lot more.

Nassau Bahamas Packing Essentials

Here some ideal Nassau travel essentials to make your day of tropical paradise, relaxation, and diversity of exciting activities in the Bahamas much easier, if not more eco-friendly.

50+ Things to Do in Nassau Bahamas for a Day

The “gateway to The Bahamas”, New Providence and Paradise Island offer an immersion into award-winning beaches, colorful marine life, delectable dishes and cocktails, unique art, history, shopping, festivals, and friendly locals.

Let’s explore the top 10 categories of things to do in Nassau on a cruise that encompass over 50 unique, possible activities and attractions to fill a day. If you don’t get off the cruise ship in Nassau to try some of these, you’re going to kick yourself.

Nassau in a Day Pro Tips

  • Disembarking by 8am allows more Nassau excursions available. Confirm port times in advance with your cruise line.
  • Most of these Nassau activities can be accessed on foot, or you can take a taxi, bus, or water taxi.
  • Traveling Nassau in the peak season is the best for enjoying walking and outdoor activities.
  • Wear marine-safe sunscreen year-round to protect yourself and The Bahamas’ marine environment.
  • Walking considerably on concrete, dirt paths and beaches, wearing comfortable walking shoes is ideal.
  • Practice caution walking along and crossing streets. Bahamians drive on the left side of the road and may not always stop for pedestrians. Plus, many tourists are not familiar with driving on the left side of the road.
  • Avoid hauling or leaving valuables unattended by bringing only the day’s essentials with you and saving shopping for last.
  • For safety precautions, avoid the “Sand Trap” area west of Arawack Cay, and “Over the Hill” area, south of Nassau’s city center.
  • Book all Nassau excursions and tours well in advance to secure your spot for your limited time in Nassau.
Bar hut on Junkanoo Beach

1 – Nassau Public Beaches

Yes, you can walk to the beach from Nassau port. Nassau’s public beaches are limited, but here are some accessible for a day:

  • Junkanoo Beach – has water sport, lounge bed and umbrella rentals, and multiple outdoor dining and bar huts, is a public beach a mere 10 minute walk from the cruise port.
  • Walking west toward Western Esplanade Beach and Long Wharf Beach, closer to Arawak Cay, provide a quieter beach experience.
  • Cabbage Beach on Paradise Island can be accessed via a water taxi and walking, or catching a taxi. The entry is at Paradise Beach Club. There are no lifeguards or rentals on this expansive, quiet beach. Cabbage Beach is also closed on weekends. Enjoy a seafood lunch and local Sands beer at the outdoor friendly and fun Cabbage Beach Bistro at the beach public access way.
  • Cable Beach has private and public entrances. Cable Beach must be reached by either the #10 Jitney or by taxi. Private entrance can be accessed through purchasing Baha Mar Resort day passes. Cable Beach also offers water sport, lounge bed and umbrella rentals.
Cabbage Beach Paradise Island Bahamas
Cabbage Beach

2 – Local Flora and Fauna

From preserved local wildlife and colorful birds, to wandering lush gardens and boardwalk parks to spy pristine nature and ecosystems, visit any of the following for an hour or two:

Pink flamingo Ardastra Conservation Center Nassau
Bahamian national bird, Ardastra Conservation Center

3 – Marine Life Excursions

Enjoy the colorful marine life in their natural Caribbean habitat. These are 2 to 4 hour adventures that will not disappoint.

  • Stuart’s Cove – this Bahamian dive shop offers 4-hour morning SCUBA, SNUBA and snorkeling adventures 7 days a week with complimentary shuttle service. Schedule your excursion and rental gear in advance.
  • Green Cay Swim with Seat Turtles – before lunch Bluefinn Charters will whisk you away to Green Cay for 2 hours to snorkel and observe sea turtles feed on sea grass and swim with remora. Drinks and snorkel gear is included. You’ll be back in Nassau in time for a late lunch.
  • 3 Island Reef, Pig and Turtle Snorkeling Tour – visit Rose Island, Pearl Island and Green Green Cay for 4 hours of playing with pigs and snorkeling with sea turtles and swimming with fish for the ultimate half-day Nassau adventure. Depart at 9 or 10am.
  • Spearfishing The Bahamas – for groups up to 8 people, enjoy a half day of spearfishing seafood that will be caught, cleaned and cooked just how you want. Your desired catch dictates your fishing destination. Select morning departures from 9-11am.
Sting ray and fish Nassau Bahamas
Sting ray and fish, diving Nassau

4 – Island Hopping

Discover idyllic islands, swim in clear waters, interact with pigs and iguanas, and more with any of these half-day Bahamian island trips, most of which depart from Paradise Island Ferry Terminal and can be cancelled with a free refund. Check all terms and times to meet your schedule.

  • Pearl Island Trip with Lunch – White sand beaches, kayaks and stand-up paddle boards, snorkeling, and lunch included. Just show up ready for 5 hours of fun. Depart at 10:30am.
  • 3 Island Reef, Pig and Turtle Snorkeling Tour – visit Rose Island, Pearl Island and Green Green Cay for 4 hours of playing with pigs and snorkeling with sea turtles and swimming with fish for the ultimate half-day Nassau adventure. Depart at 9 or 10am.
  • Rose Island All Inclusive Private Beach Club Access – take a motorboat to snorkel a tropical reef, watch turtles at the Green Cay sanctuary, then end at 007’s Private Beach Club serving unlimited drinks and lunch. Departs at 9am.
  • Swimming with Pigs on Pig Island – boat to Pig Island to interact and swim with pigs. Lasts 3 hours and departs at 9:30am.
Yachts at a Bahamian island
Bahamian islands to explore

5 – Paradise Island

You could take a taxi to Paradise Island, but save money by walking a few minutes to the middle docks to find the Paradise Island ferry booth, and ride 15 minutes to Paradise Island for $5 (each way) for exploration:

  • Marina Village – steps away from the Paradise Island ferry for shopping and dining.
  • The Cloisters and Versailles Gardens – on your 25 minute walk to Cabbage Beach, stop to view the beauty of the 14th-century Augustinian monastery, imported from Europe by William Randolph, and gardens that over look the water.
  • Atlantis Resortthis massive beach front mega-resort is a short walk past Marina Village. It houses restaurants, bars, a casino, aquarium, and the well-known Aquaventure waterpark with water features, nine water slides, and a shark-filled tank. You can book a day pass in advance for a hefty $190, which does not include food, drinks or, of course, gambling.
The Cloisters Paradise Island
The Cloisters

6 – Food in Nassau

Take a flavorful exploration of Nassau to sample savory seafood dishes of conch, rock lobster and shrimp, fluffy light rum cake, or indulge in the local rum with a vibrant spectrum of Bahamian cocktails like the refreshing coconut-based Bahama Mama or Bahamian Sky Juice. Try the following for culinary experiences:

Traditional lunch and cocktail on Nassau food tour
Traditional lunch and cocktail on food tour

Better yet, take a guided food tour of Nassau for enjoying the most local cuisine you can indulge in in one day. I highly recommend the Nassau Bites and Sites Food & Cultural Tour for a yummy 3-hour tour downtown involving some of the above while learning about Nassau. Start times available for 10:30am and 12:30pm.

Woman making cigars at The Graycliff Nassau
Cigars made by hand at The Graycliff

7 – Art & Culture

Part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, Nassau is not short on art and culture opportunities. Why not try stopping in at any of the following for an hour or so and support Bahamian culture and local artists?

  • Hillside House Gallery – stop in to the gallery to enjoy local art when you’re enjoying your cocktail on the patio.
  • National Art Gallery of Bahamas (NAGB) – glimpse Bahamian history and culture through the art of its people. Adults $10. Closed on Mondays and public holidays.
  • Doongalik Studio Art Gallery – gallery promoting Bahamian artists. Free.
  • Popup Studios – independent art studio and gallery dedicated to the preservation and advancement of contemporary Bahamian art and culture. Free.
Hillside House artwork Nassau
Hillside House artwork

8 – Historical Sites & Museums

Since its founding in 1670 by the British, the port city of Nassau has been burnt down, rebuilt, renamed and colonized, and has been the center of wars, pirates, slavery, international trade, and tourism. Keep in mind, Nassau is also the capital of The Bahamas.

So, it goes without saying there are quite a few historical sites, landmarks and museums ideal for the history buff to expand his or her knowledge of Nassau. Even better, many of these are free.

  • Fort Charlotte – the largest of the three remaining forts on New Providence Island. Adults $5. Closed on weekends.
  • Fort Montegue – the oldest of the three forts, it rests on the water front and is free to enter.
  • Fort Fincastle – towering 18th century limestone fort built in the shape of a paddle steamer, this fort sits on top of Bennett’s Hill, highest point in Nassau, and holds views of the harbor and Paradise Island. Best to visit during the day. Free.
  • Queens Staircase – steep set of 66 stairs carved by slaves at the end of the 18th century and measuring 100 feet. The stairs lead to the top of Bennet’s Hill to visit Fort Fincastle. Best to visit during the day. Free.
  • Pirates of Nassau Museum – learn all about Caribbean pirate history in an interactive pirate experience. Adults $14.
  • Balcony House Museum – the oldest wooden home in Nassau refurbished into a museum. Free.
  • Nassau Public Library and Museum – circa 1797, this former town jail now houses books inside the former jail cells. Free.
  • Parliament Square – downtown square surrounded by “Victoria Pink” governmental buildings with a statue of Queen Victoria in the center. Free.
  • Pompey Square – vibrant downtown square named after the slavery rebel Pompey. Free.
  • Government House – imposing pink building on top of hill overlooking downtown Nassau, this is the official residence of the governor-general of the Bahamas. Check to see if tours are available.

Don’t want to explore alone? Take a 3-hour guided Cultural Walking Tour of Downtown with an 11am start time. Don’t feel like walking, opt for an eco-friendly 3-hour Segway guided tour of historic Fort Charlotte, beaches and lunch at Arawak Cay, which conveniently meets at 8:30am or 10am at the Nassau Cruise Port.

Fort Fincastle Nassau Bahamas
Fort Fincastle

9 – Resorts

Here are the top three Nassau resorts where you can access beaches, activities, restaurants, bars and more should you wish to spend a lazy day in Nassau. Check in advance for day pass requirements and costs.

  • Margaritaville Resort – at the base of Junkanoo Beach, this resort is a 10 minute walk from the Nassau cruise port. In addition to restaurants and bars, you can purchase a day pass to Fins Up Aqua Park. Adult passes cost $110, but do not include water sport rentals, food or drinks.
  • Atlantis Resort – access via water taxi and walking, or taking a taxi. The Jitney bus does not go to Paradise Island.
  • Baha Mar Resort – access via taxi or the #10 Jitney bus.
Atlantis Resort on the water Nassau
Atlantis Resort

10 – Shopping

You’ve probably heard you’ll be bombarded by vendors to buy their wares and hand-made crafts when you step off the ship in Nassau. Well, tell them you’ll be back and save this activity for last.

As you navigate Nassau, you’ll soon find shops of all kinds dot the port area, in the city center and surrounding downtown, for locally made crafts to high-dollar free items.

  • Heritage Village – pop in to spy the multiple shops after your visit to The Graycliff.
  • Bay Street – the main strip downtown, this area will be packed full of cruisers in port for the day perusing the stores, restaurants and bars.
  • Rawson Square – has pop-up stands for browsing local crafts.
  • Straw Market – this imposing, yet colorful, building on Bay Street is packed to the gills with independent vendor stalls selling anything from touristy t-shirts to hand-crafted woven baskets and hats. It closes at 5pm.
  • Festival Place Welcome Center – This yellow building you’ll see from cruise ship contains the gauntlet of vendors and excursion sellers to dodge when you disembark.
Shops at Heritage Village Nassau Bahamas
Shops at Heritage Village

5 MUST DOs in Nassau Bahamas

Believe or not, all of these must do Nassau activities are doable from the Nassau cruise port. You can’t do them all in one day, but partaking in one of them is a must. They will also inspire you to come back to Nassau for more.

The Perfect Day in Nassau Downloadable PDF Itinerary

Now that you know the plethora of the amazing things you can see and do in Nassau from the cruise port, would you like my recommendation on how to spend the perfect day in Nassau? One with a mixture of beaches, water sports, food, culture and shopping?

Having just revisited Nassau for 4 days, you know I’ve got the skinny on the top things to do in Nassau you don’t want to miss. And I’ve prepared it in a sleek PDF for you to have at your fingertips. You know this Nassau Itinerary is from actual Nassau travel, not a crappy, AI-generated itinerary with stock photos and misinformation.

I’ve done all of the work for you so you know it’s a Nassau day itinerary you can trust to get some of the best activities, fun and relaxation Nassau has to offer that can fit into an 8-hour cruise docking time. Whether you’re a solo traveler, older traveler, or budget traveler, this Nassau Itinerary is a steal.

So, why spend more time researching and planning? Grab this Nassau 1 day itinerary as a PDF. Formatted for sleek use on all devices, it not only gives you the realistic itinerary with walking maps, it also gives a complementary Nassau Travel Guide. Check out all you get, with clickable links, taking out all of the guesswork so you can go ahead and enjoy your epic day in The Bahamas:

Nassau 1 Day Itinerary PDF
  • Links to the top Nassau attractions and activities you’ll enjoy with clickable walking maps for your day in Nassau,
  • Local transportation methods, including additional walking and e-bike tour options,
  • What to eat and where to eat dining suggestions,
  • City, historical and food walking tour options,
  • CORR Travel Bahamas Travel Guide,
  • Nassau events and holiday schedule, and
  • Eco-travel and ecotourism resources.

Let Me Hear From You

I would love to hear if my top things to do in Nassau, Bahamas on a cruise for a day was helpful to plan your Bahamas solo travel. Post me your thoughts or questions in the Comments section below. Thank you!

More Solo Travel Guides You’ll Like

Like this? Share it with others!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CORR Travel
error: Content is protected
Scroll to Top