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Cruise Diva Goes Ashore: Sights to see, things to do, where to shop & hit the beach

Freeport/Lucaya ~ The Bahamas

The second most popular port in the Bahamas is glitzy and glamorous compared to the more staid capital of Nassau.


When docking you’ll wonder where on earth you are—Port Lucaya appears at first glance to be a dreary commercial area. Once ashore, you'll find a small but spiffy shopping area dockside; however, a taxi ride is necessary to reach the center of the action while ashore in Freeport.  

While most ships offer a “highlights” tour, visitors determined to sightsee are better off on their own by renting a car or hiring taxi to see the sights. Garden of the Groves, a lovely preserve of waterfalls and flowering shrubs, was Grand Bahama Island’s primary attraction before suffering hurricane damage. Happily, it was scheduled to reopen in 2007. Other botanical preserves are Lucayan National Park, a 40-acre seaside land preserve, and Rand Nature Centre, the regional headquarters of The Bahamas National Trust, a nonprofit conservation organization.

Gambling is serious business in Freeport and the casinos in the center of the action are located in Port Lucaya, the massive resort complex. Taxis run continuously between the resort area, which includes the Port Lucaya Marketplace, and pier.


There’s no place in the Bahamas quite like Freeport’s International Bazaar. It’s a shopping theme park, as tacky as it is fun. From African masks to Columbian emeralds, you’ll discover fabulous finds as well as white elephants. For items with Bahamian flair, head next door to the Straw market.

The Port Lucaya Marketplace is another spot to find local crafts and enjoy free steel drum bands and other entertainment in a festive atmosphere. 


One of Freeport’s premier beaches is Xanadu Beach near Freeport; however, most popular tourist beaches are east of Freeport in the resort area near Lucaya. All are open to the public, but most have no public facilities. 

Fine beaches include Taíno Beach, Smith’s Point, and Fortune Beach. One of the island’s hidden treasures is the lovely and secluded beach on the property of Lucaya National Park.

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