11 Best Beaches in Nassau For Cruisers

Did you know that James Bond’s movie Casino Royale was filmed at the iconic Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island? The breathtakingly beautiful beach also appears in Holiday in the Sun (2001), Thunderball (1965), and After the Sunset (2004).

Interestingly, the Bahamas were dominated by pirates in the 17th century, but thankfully, that all changed by the 18th century! Currently, Nassau beaches consistently rank as the best in the Caribbean. 

The turquoise water of the Bahamas is so clear that you can watch marine life 200 feet below. It’s not surprising that about four million cruise passengers come to Nassau each year. 

If you are looking for the best beaches in Nassau for cruisers, you don’t have to go far. Located off the coast of Florida, Nassau is a popular stop for cruise operators on three-to-seven-night sailings.

nassau bahamas cruise ships
Nassau, Bahamas


The weather is mild almost year-round in Nassau, with temperatures ranging from 66 degrees in the winter into the 90s in the summer. The dry season runs from December to May, so you don’t have to worry about rain and hurricanes. Most rain comes in the summertime with up to eight inches in the summer months.

Getting Around

There are many beaches in Nassau, including some that are very popular with cruisers. Depending on the beach, these are the options you have to get there: city bus, taxi, shore excursion, water shuttle, or walk.

If you’re on a cruise ship, you can take a local bus to the beach from the port. It will cost you about $5 each way, just make sure you have appropriate change.

You can also take a taxi to one of the beaches from the port. There are no rideshare companies in the Bahamas, so a taxi is the best option if you want to get there with no lines or waiting. Cabs are always lined up at the pier, be aware they typically charge a per person fee.

Make sure you add a cushion when returning to the ship in case of an accident or road closure. The taxi driver can tell you when you should head back to the ship. Most beaches have taxis lined up at the entrance, especially on days when there are many ships in Nassau.

Cruise ships docked in Nassau, Bahamas.

If you plan to head over to Paradise Island to check out the beaches, you can take a water shuttle for a few dollars per person each way and enjoy a scenic boat ride from Nassau’s Harbor to Paradise Island.

(Note: Check to make sure the water shuttle is operational. After the cruise industry shutdown, they have been hit or miss. What we know, is that they reopened in 2022, and are now running regularly, but it’s best to be sure)

11 Best Beaches in Nassau, Bahamas

1. Adelaide

adelaide beach map nassau bahamas

The beach on the west side of the island is known as Adelaide. It is a long and quiet beach, which is ideal for relaxing. It is not overrun by water sports, so you can enjoy the peaceful ambiance. 

  • Location: Southwest of cruise port
  • Driving time: 34 minutes
  • Distance from port: 15 miles

2. Cabbage Beach

cabbage beach nassau paradise island
Cabbage Beach (Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons/yucamole)

Cabbage Beach is the most popular beach in Nassau. Located on Paradise Island (just down from the Atlantis resort), it offers a mile of clean white sand, clear sparkling waters, and a variety of fun activities like parasailing or hopping on a jet ski. 

Its white sand and pearly blue water make it a favorite among cruisers. There are also several great restaurants and guided tours that you can take to learn about the history and culture of the islands, including a stop at Cabbage Beach.

  • Location: Paradise Island
  • Driving time: 11 minutes
  • Distance from port: 3 miles

3. Cable Beach

cable beach nassau bahamas
Cable Beach (Photo courtesy of Nassau Paradise Island, The Bahamas)

Cable Beach is arguably the best beach in Nassau. Located about six miles west of the city and the cruise port, Cable is the perfect spot for families with young children. The turquoise water is shallow, and there are plenty of activities for the little ones.

This beach is popular with locals and has a volleyball court. You can rent lounge chairs and snorkel gear from the locals, or you can bring your own gear. Cable Beach has some resorts that sell day passes to cruise guests that include beverages, food, and a spot on the beach. 

Vendors do hang out on the beach here, trying to sell you a t-shirt or a bracelet.

  • Location: West of cruise port
  • Driving time: 17 minutes
  • Distance from port: 6 miles

MORE: Bimini Cruise Port: Everything You Need To Know

4. Coral Harbour Beach

coral harbour beach bahamas
Coral Harbour Beach (Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons/shareski)

Coral Harbour Beach is an undeveloped beach in the downtown area. It could be called a remote beach, with the tree line almost reaching towards the shoreline. Although it is a busy beach, it is a great place for picnics. Various local stalls are located along the shoreline to sell Kalik beer and traditional Bahamian dishes.

Moreover, the scenic Fort Montagu is located adjacent to Coral Harbour. In addition to relaxing on the beach, you can also enjoy horseback riding and fishing.

  • Location: Southwest of cruise port
  • Driving time: 30 minutes
  • Distance from port: 15 miles

5. Goodman’s Bay

goodman's bay map

Another popular beach with cruise passengers visiting Nassau is Goodman’s Bay. This beach is also relatively close to the US Embassy, which can help if you lose or misplace your passport. 

  • Location: West of cruise port
  • Driving time: 11 minutes
  • Distance from port: 4 miles

6. Love Beach

love beach nassau bahamas
Love Beach (Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons/st3wy)

Love Beach is a short drive from the cruise port. It’s a small beach that’s famous for the scene from James Bond’s Thunderball. It’s also a nice place for a romantic day, and its white sand and blue waters are beautiful. There’s a shack on the beach with snacks and exotic drinks, and if you like the water, this is a great place to snorkel the reefs right off the coast. You can rent snorkel gear for a small fee.

  • Location: West of the cruise port
  • Driving time: 24 minutes
  • Distance from port: 11 miles

7. Jaws Beach

jaws beach nassau bahamas
Jaws Beach (Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons/bryce_edwards)

Jaws Beach is located near Clifton Heritage Park. It is a hidden paradise that most tourists never visit — only locals. This beach is relatively undeveloped, and there are few facilities, so it’s a good option for families.

The Clifton Heritage Authority manages the area. It has both rocky shorelines and sandy beaches. The Clifton Heritage Center rents snorkel gear for you to explore the man-made and natural coral reef systems off the coast. 

Because of its distance from downtown Nassau, this is the perfect beach if you want to escape the thousands of other cruisers and tourists spending the day on the island. 

  • Location: Far west end of the island
  • Driving time: 33 minutes
  • Distance from port: 16 miles

8. Junkanoo Beach

junkanoo beach nassau
Junkanoo Beach

Junkanoo Beach is a popular destination among cruisers and is within walking distance of the cruise terminal, a short walk down West Bay Street. While the island has friendly locals, they’re unlikely to be in the area to disturb you (unless they’re trying to sell you something). 

You can swim in the crystal-clear waters of this beach and enjoy a romantic stroll on the white sand. There are food trucks set up along Junkanoo Beach offering local fares like conch and island beer.

An added perk is that you can see the cruise ship pier from Junkanoo Beach.

  • Location: West of the cruise port
  • Driving time: 6 minutes (15 minutes walk)
  • Distance from port: 1.6 miles

9. Saunders Beach

saunders beach nassau bahamas flickr
Saunders Beach (Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons/tulloch)

Saunders Beach is another great beach in the Bahamas. It is close to downtown and has plenty of parking. The family-friendly beach boasts soft white sand and calm turquoise water. There are onsite restrooms and changing facilities.

Security guards are present on the beach, which makes it especially safe for families. However, if you’re looking for a quieter atmosphere, Saunders may not be for you because it is very popular with cruise guests.

  • Location: West of the cruise port
  • Driving time: 9 minutes
  • Distance from port: 4 miles

10. Blue Lagoon

blue lagoon island bahamas
Blue Lagoon (Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons/k1rsch)

Blue Lagoon is a unique beach in Nassau off the mainland. It’s extremely popular for cruisers, but it’s not located on the island of Nassau. It’s accessible primarily by boat.

This is a tropical paradise often offered as a shore excursion from cruise ships or resorts. There are bars and restaurants on the island, in addition to water sports on the Blue Lagoon. 

Besides the blue waters, this beautiful beach is also home to a lazy river and slides, making it perfect for kids. 

If there ever was a spring break beach, Blue Lagoon Island would be it.

  • Location: Off the coast of Paradise Island
  • Water shuttle time: 45 minutes
  • Distance from port: 5 miles

11. Balmoral Island

balmoral island nassau bahamas
Balmoral Island (Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons/aerialcamera)

Guests can enjoy a private island escape while taking a dip in the ocean and swimming with marine life. A 30-minute boat ride from downtown, Balmoral Island offers an elevated plunge pool and lounge area.

The Frozen Tropical Drink Bar serves signature frozen drinks and burgers, wraps, and sliders. The indoor food venue has a poolside bar where patrons can relax and enjoy the ocean views.

A terrace area offers views of the ocean and nearby islands. Loungers are available on a first-come-first-serve basis here, or you can rent a cabana for an extra fee. 

  • Location: Island north of Cable Beach
  • Water shuttle time: 40 minutes
  • Distance from port: 4 miles


Q1: How to get to Cable Beach from Cruise Port?

Cable Beach has stunning scenery, endless activities, and some of the best resorts in the Bahamas! You should definitely try to go there. It’s only six miles from Cruise Port, and there are many transportation options.

Here are some suggestions: 

  • Rent a car: This is the most convenient method to get around, especially, since the car rental offices are a 5-minute walk from the port. Hertz, Avis, and other major service providers are there. It would cost you around $50-$70 per day, but it’s worth it, especially if you have all the family with you.
  • Take a taxi: The next best thing is getting a taxi, and they’re in plentiful supply around the port. You can get a two-way ride in a 4-passenger car for around $40. Remember to set the price before hopping into the taxi. 
  • Use the shuttle bus: Shuttle buses run between the entrance of the port and Cable Beach, and they’re usually nice and practical. The trip costs $5 per person in each direction. 
  • Try the water taxi: This is a fun ride away from land traffic. You’d have to go to Prince George Wharf, which isn’t too far from the port. The fare is around $12 per person per trip.
  • Take a long walk: This is the best way to take in the sites and beauty of the area. It takes from 1 ½ to 3 hours to get to Cable Beach from the port, depending on how fast you’re walking. 

Q2: What are the best public beaches in Nassau?

Many beaches in Nassau require passes or hefty entry fees. Here’s a list of some wonderful public beaches that do not ask for either. 

  • Junkanoo Beach
  • Cabbage Beach
  • Montagu Beach

Q3: What Beaches in Nassau are best for families? 

Families need child-friendly beaches and an assortment of activities suitable for the little ones. Here are some suggestions: 

  • Western Esplanade: The grassy areas are great for playing, and there are plenty of vendors nearby. 
  • Cable Beach: Its shallow waters are ideal for the young ones, plus, there are water sports for all ages. You can get day passes at one of the resorts to use the amenities. 
  • Saunders Beach: The kids can build all the sand castles they want on the long stretch of soft sand. The water is great, and there are changing rooms on site.

Q4: Which Nassau beach is best for snorkeling?

If you’re into snorkeling, you can’t miss these destinations!

  • Paradise Island Beach: You can explore the reefs and all the marine life around it. If you’re a beginner, you’d easily find trip operators for the best spots.
  • Blue Lagoon Island: If you’re the adventurous type, this beach is for you. You get to swim around sharks, sting rays, and sea lions. Make sure that you’re well-equipped and well-trained for these encounters. 
  • Love Beach: This is a less crowded beach where you can rent snorkeling equipment and explore the magic of the reef.

Q5: Do you have to pay to access beaches in Nassau?

Most public beaches in Nassau do not require passes or tickets for entry. However, you’d need to pay for umbrellas, chairs, loungers, food, and drinks. You’d also need to get day passes from nearby resorts to access their amenities.

Final Thoughts

The crystal clear waters of The Bahamas rival some of the best beaches in the Caribbean. There’s so much to see and so much to do, so plan your visit well, and experience as much of that magic as you can! 

As with any place you visit, stay vigilant at all times. The country has a strong police presence, and you can avoid risky areas by sticking to familiar beaches in Nassau.

Enjoy your vacation!

READ NEXT: Nassau Cruise Port, What You Need to Know

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