Nassau, The Bahamas
The lively port of Nassau is the capital of the Bahamas and home to pristine beaches, vibrant local culture and sunny, blue skies. The city is located on the island of New Providence, which has a harbour sheltered by the stunning Paradise Island.
This Caribbean paradise has tree-lined streets and horse-drawn surreys, while also offering visitors the pleasures of duty free shopping and glamorous casinos. Cross the bridge from Nassau to Paradise Island and sunbathe on the soft sand beaches, or book into a luxurious resort and unwind in style. Dine on the beachfront overlooking turquoise waters, or explore underwater with a snorkelling adventure.
Nassau is a popular stop on cruise itineraries around the Caribbean and the Bahamas, offering visitors a glimpse into Bahamian culture and history. There is plenty to do and see in this idyllic part of the world, from the relaxing, sunny days to the pulsing nightlife; you may never want to leave.
As a busy port, Nassau has an expansive dock at the Prince George Wharf, which can dock up to seven ships at once. The Wharf is right near downtown Nassau and is an easy walk from the Welcome Center at the dock to the city.
Nassau is a major city so has all the facilities visitors could require. On Prince George Wharf, Festival Place houses a Welcome Center that offers visitors the chance to purchase Bahamian souvenirs or sample local food and drink.
Other facilities nearby include:
- Tour desk
- Transport information point
- Post office
- Communications centre with Wi-Fi and payphones.
How to Get Around
The port is located within easy walking distance from Rawson Square, Bay Street and the Straw Market, which is the tourist heart of the city. Much of downtown Nassau can be navigated on foot, but there are plenty of other transport options available to visitors. It is possible to rent a car from Prince George Wharf, though this is expensive.
There are lots of taxis and buses to take tourists around town and beyond to popular spots like Cable Beach and Paradise Island. A water taxi departing every half hour between 9am and 6pm will also take visitors from the dock to Paradise Island and back for USD$6.
It can also be fun to take a horse-drawn surrey from Rawson Square, which costs around USD$15 per person for a 25-minute trip.
Travel times from Prince George Wharf:
- It is a 2 minute journey to Rawson Square
- It is a 10 minute journey to The Queen’s Staircase.
- It is a 12 minute journey to Paradise Island (approximately USD$11 taxi fare)
- It is a 22 minute journey to Cable Beach (approximately USD$15 taxi fare).
- Currency – In Nassau the official currency is the Bahamian dollar. U.S. dollars are often accepted as well as most major credit cards. There are ATMs located throughout Nassau.
- Time Zone – Nassau utilises Eastern Standard Time (EST), which is 5 hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). As part of the Bahamas, Nassau switches to Daylight Saving Time (DST), setting the clocks back an hour during March. The region returns to EST in November.
- Weather – Nassau enjoys a semi-tropical climate, meaning that for most of the year temperatures are generally warm and pleasant and days are bright and sunny. In the cooler months between September and May, temperatures average between 21 – 24 degrees Celsius. The rest of the year is a few degrees warmer with a higher level of humidity.
- Straw Market – The Straw Market is a Nassau tradition that is not to be missed. Situated on Bay Street amongst the high-street stores, the Straw Market is home to local vendors selling a variety of crafts, from handmade straw items to woodcarvings. The lively, colourful market is open every day from 8am to 8pm.
- Swim with Dolphins – If you’ve ever wanted to get up close to these most playful creatures, Nassau is the place to do it. On Paradise Island, Atlantis Resort at Dolphin Cay offers intimate dolphin encounters beginning from USD$150.Alternatively, a short boat ride away is Blue Lagoon Island, where Dolphin Encounters makes it possible to swim with bottlenose dolphins or even meet a sea lion. You can book a ticket from their window at the Paradise Island Ferry Terminal and prices begin from about USD$115, including transport to and from the island.
- Beach Time – Above all else, Nassau is famous for its beautiful beaches. So explore the glistening waters off Cable Beach or relax in the soft white sand that stretches along Paradise Island. These Bahamian beaches are great for people watching, and you might even spy a celebrity soaking up the rays as well.