Nassau, The Bahamas

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Explore Nassau, The Bahamas

Blessed by balmy breezes and jumping to a bouncy calypso beat, Carnival cruises to Nassau, Bahamas promise sizzling fun in the sun. The historic and cultural heart of The Bahamas is one of the world’s most popular cruise ship ports—one million travelers board cruises to Nassau annually. Carnival cruisers come for fine beaches, shopping, water sports, and the fun-filled attractions at the Atlantis Resort, connected to Nassau by a bridge to Paradise Island.

  • Shop for straw baskets and Junkanoo crafts in outdoor marketplaces.
  • Kiss a dolphin during a Balmoral Island dolphin swim.
  • Relax on the pink sands of Cable Beach.
  • Stroll 18th-century colonial streets and climb the sandstone Queen’s Staircase.

Things To Do

Local Attractions

When your Carnival cruise heads to Nassau, do as the locals do: Sway to the lilting rhythms of steel-pan bands; savor fresh conch in Arawak Cay; and sip cold Kalik beer to beat the heat. The charms of this tropical isle revolve around sun, sea, and sand—so don’t miss a dip in the turquoise Atlantic or a laze on the curving crescent of Cable Beach.

  • Celebrate the colorful festival known as Junkanoo on Nassau streets.
  • Immerse yourself in colonial Nassau on a walking tour of the colorful 18th-century downtown.
  • Thrill to the undersea “ruins” of Atlantis on a tour of Atlantis Resort.
  • Spend an afternoon swimming and soaking up the sun on Cable Beach.
  • Shop at the lively markets in Nassau’s town center.

Fun Facts

  • The limestone Queen’s Staircase was originally designed as an escape route for soldiers. Each of its steps represents a year in Queen Victoria’s 65-year reign.
  • The wide, deep protected harbor has enticed not only explorers by a rogues’ gallery of pirates, bootleggers, and salvagers, who reputedly “encouraged” shipwrecks by placing lights on nearby reefs.
  • Nassau starred in two classic James Bond movies: Thunderball and Never Say Never Again.

Within Walking Distance

The laidback charms of Nassau, Bahamas are easily explored on foot. After your Carnival cruise docks in Nassau, you’ll pass through the covered shops and stalls of Festival Place, piled high with crafts, T-shirts, hot sauces, and other souvenirs. Shop till you drop, or head out to do a little cultural sightseeing.

Nassau Bahamas

Just across Bay Street from Rawson Square are the flamingo-pink government buildings of Parliament Square, constructed in 1815. One block inland, the pink, octagonal Nassau Public Library was built as a prison in 1798. Climb the Queen’s Staircase, crafted out of a solid limestone cliff by slaves in 1793. A few blocks up from the library is Fort Fincastle, an imposing stone battery constructed in 1793 and you can see it with Highlights of Nassau by Jeep excursion.

Beyond the Port Area

Comb the rusted dungeons and ramparts of 1788 Fort Charlotte, a mile west of downtown Nassau. It’s the largest fort in The Bahamas, covering more than 41 hilltop hectares (100 acres). The fort has panoramic views of Paradise Island, Nassau, and the harbor. It’s big, but not so brassy: The fort’s 42 cannons never fired a shot. On the Ardastra Gardens & City Tour you’ll see parading pink flamingoes, parrots, honey bears, and capuchin monkeys are the main attractions at the lush Ardastra Gardens, Zoo & Conservation Center.

Nassau- Bahamas- Ardastra Gardens

On Paradise Island, the fanciful megaresort known as Atlantis is the largest gaming and entertainment complex in the Caribbean. Carnival cruise passengers can sign up for the Discover Atlantis and tour the Dig, where the fantastic undersea “ruins of Atlantis” swarm with sharks, stingrays, and morays. Or have a one-of-a-kind dolphin encounter with a bottlenose dolphin—capped off with a dolphin foot-push with Atlantis Dolphin Cay Deep Water Swimexcursion.

Beaches in Nassau

The Bahamas- Beach

Escape to paradise with a Balmoral Island Beach Day Deluxe where you’ll swim in the turquoise Caribbean Sea. Experience a dolphin swim on Balmoral Island where you can receive a heart-warming kiss, hug and underwater snorkel session with an Atlantic Bottlenose dolphin.

Shopping in Nassau

Grand Turk - Shopping

Nassau’s main shopping area is on and around Bay Street, just steps from your Carnival cruise wharf, where dozens of duty-free luxury-goods stores are clustered. For locally made goods, head towards Victoria and Bay streets, for intricate handmade straw work—and 100% Bahamian made. Or shop for brightly-colored Androsia batik fabric from the island of Andros at Sea Grape.

Travel Tips


  • English is the official language of The Bahamas.
  • Both the Bahamian dollar (B$) and the U.S. dollar are accepted everywhere.
  • Nassau enjoys a warm climate, with average year-round temperatures between 75 and 85 degrees F. Pack for steamy semi-tropical days and balmy, breezy evenings. 
  • Carnival cruise ships dock at Prince George Wharf in the center of town at Rawson Square, in the middle of Nassau’s shopping district.
  • The best way to get around is on foot. Major attractions and shops are concentrated in the town center.