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Top 5 Shore Excursions in Freeport, Bahamas

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The Bahamian cruise port of Freeport is one of the first stops for a lot of Caribbean cruises leaving from Florida, making it one of the most popular destinations in the area. While not technically not in the Caribbean, it has everything you would get from a Caribbean destination. Whether you are looking for pristine beaches, vibrant nightlife, or geological wonders, you can find it in and around Freeport. With so much you can do during a cruise day here, it can be difficult to narrow down your choices. To give you a helping hand, we’ve got our picks for the top 5 shore excursions to do during a cruise day in Freeport.

Swimming at Paradise Cove Beach

A woman swimming with sting rays

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Paradise Cove is an easy pick for first-time visitors, providing everything you would expect from a Bahamian destination. Here you will find one of the best beaches on the island, where you can sunbathe, swim, and enjoy concessions to your heart's content. If you are looking for an underwater adventure, this also happens to be one of the most popular spots for snorkeling in the Bahamas. With plenty of fun to be had both in and out of the water, and tons of food and drink available nearby, there is something for everyone at Paradise Cove, making it an easy choice to please your whole group.

Caving at Lucayan National Park

The entrance to a cave in the Bahamas

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Established in 1982, Lucayan National Park is the perfect spot for nature lovers, thanks to its nature trails, deep cave system, and diverse wildlife. It is a half hour’s drive from the cruise port, so you will need to hire a taxi or book a tour to get there, but it is well worth spending your cruise day here. One of the best features of this park is the extensive underwater cave system, which is one of the longest in the world. These ancient limestone caves offer an unforgettable adventure through a surreal world full of stalactites, stalagmites, and a host of other geological formations. There is plenty more to do at this wondrous park, but if you do nothing else, you owe it to yourself to explore these magical caves.

Shopping at Port Lucaya Marketplace

A colorful boutique storefront

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A visit to the marketplace at Port Lucaya promises a day full of good eats, refreshing drinks, and exotic souvenir shopping. Here you will find dozens of specialty shops and boutiques, along with two straw markets and two craft centers. You can pick from 11 restaurants and just as many bars for your food and drink. At night, everything livens up with live music and dancing. Start the day with window shopping and people watching, pick up a souvenir or two to commemorate your trip, and then end the day with drinking and dancing. If you are looking to get a taste of the local community and culture, then the Port Lucaya Marketplace is the spot for you.

Take a Grand Bahama Island Jeep Adventure

A forested road in the Bahamas

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Another unique adventure you can take is a Jeep safari tour that you can drive yourself. You will travel both on the road and a little off road through pine forest and along a scenic coastal trail with a convoy that is led by experienced guides. Along the way, you will get the opportunity to take a dip in the water, enjoy local food and drink, and take a break in a lounge chair or hammock at Gold Rock Beach. This excursion takes about 5 hours to complete, so it is a great excursion if you are only stopped at port for a short time. You will also get a small taste of the best of the Bahamas, from swimming, to dining, and even shopping, so you won’t feel like you are missing out on anything. 

Snorkeling at Peterson Cay National Park

A pair of bridled terns, which nest at Peterson Cay

(Image provided by Adobe Stock)

The small, unassuming cay off the coast of Barbary Beach is actually a protected marine reserve that is home to gorgeous coral reefs and unique bird species. While it isn’t much to look at from the surface, it is a popular destination for snorkelers, kayakers, and bird watchers. To get there, you can book a private charter, take a tour, or experienced kayakers can sail to it on their own. While there is a beach to enjoy, all the real action is under the waves, so you’ll definitely want to bring your snorkel or scuba gear so you can swim among the colorful schools of fish and other marine life that lives here.

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