For decades Nassau in The Bahamas has been one of the most visited cruise ports on the planet. Each year, nearly 4 million cruise passengers — and up to 30,000 people in a single day — visit the city according to the Nassau Cruise Port.
But anyone who has visited in recent years knows that unlike many destinations, there wasn’t much of a first impression when you left the ship. Until now, the port facility lacked a terminal that matched the size and scale of the number of visitors to the island.
Now that’s dramatically changing. After years of construction that started in late 2019, the Nassau Cruise Port is set to open a brand-new $300 million passenger terminal downtown on May 26.
“After three years of planning, and three years of development and construction, we are so thrilled to be able to unveil the new Nassau Cruise Port to cruise passengers, tourists and the Bahamian community,” said Mike Maura Jr., CEO and Director, Nassau Cruise Port Ltd.
The new facility covers 11 acres, has added a sixth berth and will be able to welcome three Icon-class ships (the largest class of cruise ships on the planet) at once.
But it’s not just the ability to dock more ships. The port complex is now a destination in and of itself. There is a new arrivals area, a Junkanoo museum, food and drink venues, retail options, ground transport to areas around the island, and even a new amphitheater.
For anyone that’s visited Nassau in recent years, the new facility stands to be an impressive change.
“We want each and every visitor to have a remarkable, memorable experience in Nassau, and we are excited to proudly display Bahamian goods, culture and warm hospitality to our guests,” said Maura.
Even with the new port, passengers shouldn’t feel “trapped” like they might in some of ports of call where the enclosed terminal areas seem to cut off access to the rest of the region. Instead, the port still has easy access to downtown Nassau. This includes Bay Street, the Nassau Straw Market, and Parliament Square, all just a short walk from the port.
While this new terminal is definitely impressive it also marks the start of a building spree in the area. In March, Royal Caribbean announced plans for a new “Royal Beach Club.” This new destination is slated to be on the west end of Paradise Island on a narrow strip of land that’s just across the channel from the new Nassau terminal.
This spot will feature a beach, pools, cabanas, and more, all designed for Royal Caribbean passengers. The 17-acre development is a public-private partnership with The Bahamas and is set to open in 2025.