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A Day at the Beach in Nassau Bahamas

A Day at the Beach in Nassau Bahamas

by Mary Chong
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When you are travelling via cruise ship and your ship docks on the picturesque island of Nassau Bahamas you need to maximise your time in port with only one day to see it all.

When looking for things to do at Nassau cruise port, you can just walk around the nearby downtown area shops or spend the day at the beach in Nassau Bahamas but, many first-timers plan a trip to Paradise Island and the very popular Atlantis Resort.

A Day at the Beach in Nassau Bahamas - Atlantis Paradise Island

Paradise Island / Atlantis Resort

There are public beach areas on Paradise Island, but the problem I’ve found with the beachfront is that it can be very windy; the surf is high, and the under toll is strong. Also, since there are a lot of all-inclusive hotels in that area the beaches can be very crowded especially when you include passengers from the cruise ships.

As a result, lounging in the sand on the beach is a bit uncomfortable, and you can’t swim in the water. So, unless you plan a visit to Atlantis Resort to hang out in the casino or plan on paying the day rate to enjoy the facilities, beach bar and pool, there isn’t anything to do there.

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Here are your Paradise Island transit options from Port Nassau.

  1. Ships tour to Atlantis – full access includes shuttle approx $160US
  2. Local Cab for $4 / person / way + bridge toll
  3. Nassau Water taxi for $4 / person / way

There are various day passes available at Atlantis Resort. Costs range based on what facilities you wish access to at the resort, and many attractions are limited based on occupancy.

My preference is to take the “budget option” and skip Paradise Island altogether and go in search of a free beach / public beaches in Nassau Bahamas.


Beaches Near the Nassau Bahamas Cruise Ship Terminal

When looking for beaches in Nassau near the cruise port, there are 2 beaches to choose from within walking distance to the ship. Refer to this map as a guide:

A Day at the Beach in Nassau Bahamas

To get to both public beaches, walk through downtown Nassau towards the Straw Market along Bay Street and keep going past the British Colonial Hilton.

Junkanoo Beach, Nassau

A Beach Day in Nassau Bahamas - Junkanoo Beach

Junkanoo Beach is where Fat Tuesdays bar is located. Fat Tuesdays has a DJ, food, drink, restrooms and free wi-fi.

A Day at the Beach in Nassau Bahamas - Junkanoo Beach

On the beach itself, you’ll find restrooms, food, drinks, music, water sport and chair rentals.

A Day at the Beach in Nassau Bahamas - Junkanoo Beach

With all these facilities, and the beach’s proximity to the cruise port you can well imagine that it can get very crowded especially when there are lots of ships in port.

A Day at the Beach in Nassau Bahamas - Junkanoo Beach

The further you walk along the beach the quieter it gets….

If you keep walking further along the beach and palm tree-lined sidewalk, you’ll come to our preferred beach place — Saunders Beach.

A Day at the Beach in Nassau Bahamas - Saunders Beach

A Day at the Beach in Nassau Bahamas – Saunders Beach

A Day at the Beach in Nassau Bahamas - Saunders Beach

From the cruise terminal, it’s about a 20-minute walk. It’s pleasant, there are shaded benches along the way should you need to rest or you could take the #10 bus for $1.25 US each.

There are fewer people here due to the distance. Regarding facilities, there is food and drink available but no chair rentals. We didn’t look for restrooms but I suspect that there is one available to accommodate the food vendors.

A Day at the Beach in Nassau Bahamas - Saunders Beach

The water is very shallow on Saunders Beach, and as you can see, there are five ships in port yet our beach is pretty quiet… which to me, is Paradise!

A Day at Saunders Beach in Nassau Bahamas by Calculated Traveller

Heading to the Caribbean for a Cruise?

Check out these other articles:
One Day in San Juan Puerto Rico
An Itinerary for Curaçao in One Day
One Day in Philipsburg St Maarten
Avoid the Cruise Ship Crowds at Sapphire Beach, St Thomas USVI
Ahhh in The Bahamas #ItsBetterInTheBahamas

Do you have a favourite spot for a day at the beach in Nassau Bahamas? Let us know in the comments below, we’d love to check it out on our next Nassau Cruise.

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Brittany wise May 5, 2017 - 4:47 pm

Can you rent chairs on Junkanoo Beach and carry them to Saunders Beach?

Mary Chong May 5, 2017 - 5:19 pm

Hi Brittany! Saunders Beach is more of a “local” beach and from what I recall, most of the people we saw just used their own towels. There are food stalls and other vendors so I wouldn’t be surprised if they also had people renting chairs there as well. I doubt that you’d be able to carry them over from Junkanoo… Happy travels!

Visit Bahamas April 4, 2016 - 8:00 pm

Cherri and Mary- Not the best snorkeling at Saunders Beach but you might find a few fishies here and there by the rocks!

Cherri Megasko February 11, 2016 - 4:11 pm

Was there decent snorkeling from any of these beaches? That’s usually the only think I’m interested in – or at least the first thing!

Mary Chong February 11, 2016 - 4:14 pm

I’m told there is but we didn’t have our gear with us…


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