5 Best Beaches In Nassau for cruisers close to port

Nassau as a whole has a number of beaches around the island however not all of them will stack up to being the best beach in Nassau much less for cruisers. With time being a limited resource for cruise ship passengers, beaches close to the cruise port would be the best beaches in Nassau for cruisers.

The best beaches in Nassau for cruisers would have to be

All these beaches are close to the Nassau port however some are within walking distance and others require a taxi ride.

What beach is closest to Nassau cruise port?

Junkanoo beach and long wharf beach are the closest beaches to Nassau port. Both are side by side are are within walking distance from the port.

On average with a leisurely stroll it would take about 10 minutes from the cruise port to arrive at Junkanoo beach. If you walk a bit faster without any distractions you can cut that time down in half to 4-6 minutes of walking time.

Another 2 minute walk from Junkanoo beach is Long wharf beach also know by the locals as the Western Esplanade or Arawak Cay beach. Long wharf is a more common name as there are two wharfs extending into the harbour separating junkanoo beach from the western esplanade.

Beaches in nassau

Best beach for cruisers #1 – Junkanoo beach

This beach is littered with small wooden stalls with local vendors that will provide you with anything from a cold drink of water or alcoholic beverage to a lounge chair and towel.

This is the most popular beach for cruise ship passengers because it is soo close to the port. It has all the amenities of a busy beach and the the view, water and sand all stack up to what you would expect of a beach in the Bahamas.

The downside is because it is such a popular beach it can get really crowded especially when multiple cruise ships are in port.

There are persons spread all over the beach, some playing volley ball some soccer and others just walking up and down the shoreline. Its not the best if you want something more quiet not to mention the locals may haggle you to purchase some sort of trinket, a towel, souvenir or something.

On the silver lining of things there is a police station directly across the street from the beach and they frequent the beach to keep visitors safe while they enjoy their time.

Beaches in nassau

Best beach for cruisers #2 – Long Wharf beach

Just another 2 minute walk west from Junkanoo beach is the western esplanade also known as long wharf beach. This beach is not frequented by many tourist because it is not recommended by many locals to visit it.

NOTE there is nothing wrong with this beach except that locals tend to frequent it more than Junkanoo beach to relax. There is not shade on the beach and locals will park their cars along side the beach to eat lunch or have a conch salad and chat.

The beach is open to all and you can spread out your towel and enjoy the beach with no crowding, loud music or haggling but you also should bring all that you need to enjoy your time such as;

  • Water
  • Sun screen
  • Towels
  • Food if needed
  • An umbrella or tent if you require some shade
  • All other amenities.
Beaches in nassau

Best beach for cruisers #3 – Saunders Beach

Saunders beach is one of the best beaches for cruisers because of its proximity to the cruise port however it is a bit of a walk if you so choose to take a stroll.

It is located roughly 2 miles west of the cruise port which makes it within the driving range of beaches. The good news however instead of catching a taxi a cruiser can catch one of the public busses that run past the beach for a $1.50.

This is what make Saunders beach such a great beach for cruise ship passengers. It is far enough that you most likely will not see much passengers there, its a beach that locals prefer and it has great sand, and clean waters with none of the crowding and other issues from Junkanoo and Long wharf beaches.

If you decide to rent a bicycle, scooter or other vehicle there is ample parking and a bathroom available. Local vendors sell hotdogs and other snacks just across the street but there is also a gas station where you can purchase snacks or water.

KFC and Burger King are also in the vicinity however if you are not up for fast food you also have to pass the Fish fry where you can get local foods and The New Duff a local bakery

Beaches in nassau for cruisers

Best beach for cruisers #4 – Cabbage Beach

Cabbage beach is the taxi drivers dream to suggest to cruise ship passengers. For some reason the trip between the cruise port and cabbage beach over Paradise island is the perfect distance to charge a few extra dollars for the ride and toll.

While cabbage beach is very impressive as a beach you will run into several expectations much like Junkanoo beach.

Amenities are available at a cost, water, drinks, souvenirs, lounge chairs and even water sports are all available at cabbage beach. The sandy beach is on of the thickest and powder fine you will find near Nassau and the view is a direct horizon view of the Atlantic ocean.

This beach can get crowded with lots of cruise ships in port and it sits next to the private beaches of the Riu Hotel and Atlantis Hotel. You will want to gauge the point of crossing over to the private beach as security may be called to escort you from the area.

Cabbage beach is best enjoyed if you walk a bit down to the west away from the private beach and away from the local vendors. Once there this beach is remarkable and you will not be disappointed.

Beaches in nassau for cruisers

Best beach for cruisers #5 – Montagu Beach

Montagu beach is a beach that many cruise ship passengers will not hear about. Instead cruisers who undergo an island tour will most likely get a glimpse of this beach.

Montagu beach is located about 2.5 miles east of Nassau cruise port at the entrance to Nassau habour and is a apart of fort Montagu.

This beach is usually frequented by locals and visitor rarely visit because they do not know about such a great beach.

The beach stretches about 1000 feet in length and has sand breakers that keep the white sand from eroding.

This area is complete with a playground, park, food, drinks, bathroom and a historical site all wrapped up in one. There is little shade so you will have to bring something if you require shade while on the beach itself.

Montagu beach is one of the hidden beaches on Nassau not usually on the typical tourist information guides. but can be enjoyed by anyone.

How many beaches are on Nassau?

There are well over 22 public beaches on the Island of New Providence Nassau. However there are far more if you include all the private beaches owned by hotels, resorts, gated communities and private owners.

Many of the beaches in Nassau are considered private beaches and although some may be accessible by the public if the owner request that you leave it is best that you simple leave without them having to contact the police.

Beach Access

Access to a beach by the public has received some spotlight in recent years as the Bahamian people demanded that the government change laws pertaining to what is considered a private beach.

By law all beaches are public beaches however only up to the high tide water mark. What this means is that from the high tide water mark toward the sea is public and anyone can walk, swim or relax in this area.

However from that high tide mark inland is considered private beach owned by the person or company that owns that land.

courtesy of Wikipedia

To put is in perspective and break it down the parts of a beach are as follows

  • The Swash
  • The Beach Face
  • The Berm

The swash zone is that part of the beach between where the high tide mark starts and where the low tide mark ends. This part changes with the tide exposing more sand or consuming it during high tide.

The high tide mark is easy to spot as ether it will be where the sea weed gathers or often there is a difference in texture from the soft powder sand to the harder wet sand. That transition is the high water mark.

Moving inland from this mark is considered private land. It doesn’t leave much for a beach goer to use especially if tide is ‘coming in’ hence the term all beaches are private but only up to high water mark.

Beach access is another issue as trespassing on private property cannot be avoided in many instances to gain access to the beach. the Bahamas government has provided many areas about the island that allows beach access.

Beaches in nassau for cruisers

How far is Jaws beach from Nassau cruise port?

Jaws beach was made popular and named after a popular movie called Jaws. Parts of the movie was filmed at this beach on Nassau and it became a popular destination for visitors ever since.

Jaws beach unfortunately is approximately 13 miles in a direct line from the cruise port but via roads and general traffic its a about 17 miles and a 25-40 minute drive away from the cruise port.

If you have the time to hire a driver or drive yourself it is well worth the visit.

Much like other beaches frequented by locals the beach is not crowded and is relatively quiet. Locals will visit this beach much like long wharf beach to eat lunch or just to hang out but actual beach is rarely crowded.

Jaws beach is less than 500 feet long and is attached to the Clifton heritage site beaches. It has a wide beach with tree shade and an area with direct sunlight. There are no bathrooms, no food or water available and not locals selling items.

During the weekday this beach is virtually secluded aside from the occasional 2 or 6 persons that may pass by. Occasionally the part rangers for Clifton heritage part may pass by to check the beach. It is recommended that you utilize a taxi driver to take you there enjoy the beach for a few hours and then return you to the cruise port on time.

Are there sharks in Nassau beaches?

Yes sharks can be seen along the beaches in the waters around Nassau. the most common type of shark would be the nurse shark.

The nurse shark is not considered a predator like other sharks such as the bull or tiger shark as they mainly eat conch, lobsters, small stingrays etc.

You may have seen image of visitors floating or swimming with dozens of sharks around them on the internet, these are the nurse sharks. They are relatively harmless tohumans.

NOTE – The beaches are where wild life live hence occasionally larger more ferocious animals may venture closer to the sea shore.

Typically certain beaches are frequented by southern and eagle rays, and once in a while a hammer head or even a tiger shark may be seen off shore.

Stay close to shore at all times and practice safe swimming while remaining away of your surroundings as well as you can.

Lifeguards are not available on many of the beaches in Nassau so it is best to be safe rather than sorry.

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