According to the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation, the number of people visiting the Bahamas via a cruise and air in 2019 was over 7 million. If you have been considering a cruise to the Bahamas, you must ensure you check out Freeport during your stay.
Freeport is one of the most popular cruise getaways because there are so many things to do in Freeport that you cannot do anywhere else. No matter your interests, there is something for everyone in Freeport, including white sandy beaches, cultural experiences, and delicious food.
It doesn’t stop there; there are many adventures and excursion experiences that Freeport has to offer as well. Freeport is the perfect cruise stopover for the entire family, plus it is very safe.
The only question is, with so many options for things to do in Freeport, which activities are the best?
We created this comprehensive guide to save you the trouble of doing all the research yourself. Keep on reading to learn everything there is to know about Freeport, Bahamas.
1. Lucayan National Park
Located about 30 miles from Port Lucaya is the incredibly beautiful Lucayan National Park. This park is a whopping 40 acres large and contains at least three different ecosystems. This national park is unlike any other national park in the world, as its biggest attraction is actually located underneath the ground.
By following one of the nature trails, you will be taken to the underwater cave system, and at over 9.7 kilometers long, it is one of the longest underwater cave systems in the entire world.
It is forbidden to swim inside the caves; however, there is still a lot to discover and incredible photos to take. Make sure you check out the Burial Mound and Ben’s cave for some photos that will make all your friends back home jealous.
After you have seen enough of the caves, head across the highway and check out the boardwalks that lead you through the lush mangrove forests.
Not only are the mangroves an incredible sight to see, but this boardwalk will also lead you to one of the most idyllic tropical beaches you have ever seen.
It’s no surprise that Gold Rock beach is one of the scenes for the famous movie “Pirates of the Caribbean.” With its crystal clear turquoise waters and white sandy beaches, you will feel like you are in a postcard. Bring your snorkeling gear, a lunch, sunscreen, and plenty of water, as you will want to stay for a while.
The park only costs five dollars to enter, and it is truly one of the best experiences you will ever have.
2. Paradise Cove
If you are keen on discovering the best snorkeling spots, there is not much better than checking out Paradise Cove. You can either book an excursion with your cruise ship, or if you are feeling adventurous, you can take a taxi there instead.
Here you can find water activities such as scuba diving, snorkeling, and swimming. Make sure you take your underwater camera as there are hundreds of different colorful tropical fish to see.
If going under the water does not appeal to you, there are also activities such as kayaking, paddleboarding, canoeing, and boat tours to see the scenes.
You can also try out fishing and see if you can catch yourself and your family some dinner. When you are done with the activities, you can relax on one of the many lounge chairs with a frozen beverage in your hand.
Worth Reading: Things to Do in Nassau, Bahamas While On a Cruise
3. Check Out Port Lucaya
Freeport is a common stop for cruise ships not only as a tourist destination but because its harbor doubles up as a ship repair, restocking, and maintenance port due to its dry-docking ability featuring the Grand Bahama Shipyard.
Therefore, expect to dock right at Port Lucaya, no tendering is necessary. The Freeport Harbor is big enough to accommodate at least 4 large passenger ships at any one time.
The harbor is beautiful and is filled with brightly colored little houses that give you the feeling of a candy land kind of vibe. The houses are mostly shops, some bars, and restaurants. Among the restaurants, are popular joints like Senor Frogs and Fat Tuesdays. But the real fun only begins in the nearby Port Lucaya.
A 10-minute taxi ride will take you to the Port, which costs anywhere from $15 one way. Or you can take a shuttle bus, which costs $5 per person one way. Note, however, the buses or vans only take off when they are full, so you might wait for some time.
It is also so large that it can dock up to four major cruise lines at once, including Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Norwegian, and Celebrity, amongst many others.
Among this area, there are dozens of shopping stalls offering local artesian goods, handicrafts, and local foods to try. Make sure you bring enough cash and get ready to do some hard bargaining!
You can also take a quick 10-minute taxi ride to the port, where on the way you can visit areas such as millionaire row, which holds the casinos and stunning 5-star resorts.
4. Enjoy the Local Bahamian Cuisine
Among the many things to do in Freeport is to enjoy the mouth-watering local cuisine. Freeport Bahamas has among the most unique cuisines in the world with a fusion of many different worldly cuisines.
In Freeport, you can enjoy Bahamian dishes such as:
- Conch fritters
- Conch salad
- Fried fish
- Fried plantains
- Rum cake
- Guava Duff
- Goombay Smash
- Pigeon Peas and rice
It doesn’t stop at the above dishes; there are endless options when discovering the local delectable Bahamian cuisines.
Even though the cruise ship meals are delicious, make sure you catch a shuttle or taxi into town where you can savor the local dishes.
Head to the main market for some cheap eats, or to central to some nice restaurants such as Tony Macaroni’s Conch Experience, Robinson’s seafood delight, and the Flying Fish Gastrobar.
5. Play a Round of Golf
After all that talk about food, you are probably craving some exercise. Thankfully, golf is among the best active things to do in Freeport, Bahamas. Freeport has among some of the most beautiful golf courses in the world. Whether you are a beginner or a golfing pro, you will find a course that suits your interests.
Some of the best golf courses in the Bahamas are:
- Fortune Hills Golf and Country Club
- Ruby Golf course
- The Reef golf course
- Grand Lucayan Golf and Country Club (one of the top 100 courses in the world)
We suggest showing up early as the sun can get really hot during the day and wear enough sunscreen. After a round of golf, stop in any of their clubhouses for a nice, cold beverage.
6. Garden Of the Groves
Among the area of Freeport lays a 12-acre luscious park named “Garden of the Groves.” This park is named after the founders of Freeport, Mr. and Mrs. Wallace Groves, who discovered it in 1973.
Since then, this park has become a must-see attraction with over ten thousand different plants, exotic foliage, rare tropical birds, local wildlife, and more.
Take a stroll along the marked walkways and discover iguanas, alligators, parrots, orchids, and a fun petting zoo for the whole family to enjoy.
7. Taste Some Local Craft Brews
Suppose the hot heat of the Bahamas has you craving a cold beverage, head down to the local Bahamian Brewery to try some of the local craft brews. This brewery is on a giant 20-acre property, with beer gardens and tours to teach you all about the brewing and distribution process.
They first opened with their first beer, “SANDS,” and now they offer multiple flavors, including a Grapefruit Radler, High Rock, Sands Light, Strong Back, Bush Crack, and Triple B.
After your tasting, check out their gift shop, and even ship some beers to your home.
8. Board a Glass-Bottom Boat
If swimming isn’t your strong suit, that doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on the incredible sea life of the Bahamas. Instead, climb aboard the glass-bottom boat to check out the sea.
You can book a tour through your cruise ship that will take you to the pier where this uniquely designed boat is located. Then you can join a cruise that will take you to stunning coral reefs, see many tropical fish, sea turtles, and even a shipwreck.
The Port Lucaya Marketplace is a dream for shoppers alike. It is located inside a giant warehouse which is the biggest shopping location on the entire island. Here you will find local art, sculptures, artesian goods, souvenirs, woven items, toys, straw hats, and more. The art is from Freeport and other local Bahamian islands.
Make sure you check for the “authentically Bahamian” label on a product before you purchase it so that you know you are supporting local.
10. Go Horseback Riding
Horseback riding is one of the best things to do in Freeport for animal lovers. Book your excursion with your cruise ship to go to Pine Tree Stables to ride one of their well-trained horses. Not only are their horses very well trained, but they are also very well taken care of.
The tour begins through a beautiful pine tree forest and finishes off on a white sandy beach. There you can ride the horses right into the ocean and help them to cool off after a hot ride. Your tour guide will also educate you on the local tropical flora and fauna along the ride.
11. Go To Pirate’s Cove Waterpark
One of the best things to do in Freeport for the whole family is to explore the Pirate’s Cove waterpark. Here you can keep yourself cool from the hot sun while having fun splashing around with your family. There are trampolines to play on, a long zipline to ride, and plenty of on-shore activities to be enjoyed.
This waterpark is perfectly situated on the coast, which allows for ocean activities such as banana boat rides, jet-skiing, snorkeling, and paddleboarding. You can even rent a kayak and explore the nearby mangrove forests.
We suggest going early so that you can avoid the long lineups and get the most of your time there.
12. Join a Boat Tour
There are numerous different types of boat tours available if you are keen on exploring the nearby coastline of Freeport. You can either join a sunset catamaran cruise, a family-friendly snorkeling adventure, or a party cruise.
You can also join a fishing tour where you can try to catch some of the local fish such as Snapper, Grouper, Marlin, Barracuda, Mutton, Tuna, Kingfish, and more.
While you are on the seas, you will be able to spot dolphins, sharks, giant sea turtles, manta rays, stingrays, and maybe even a manatee if you are lucky. If fishing isn’t adventurous enough for you, you can also try spearfishing- a local’s favorite activity!
13. Explore Unexso Marine Sanctuary
One of the most popular things to do in Freeport is to explore the Unexso Marine sanctuary. There is fun for the entire family here, as you can do anything from swimming with the dolphin, dive with sharks, shop, and enjoy tasty seafood.
The dolphin lagoon contains the infamous Bottlenosed dolphins, which were made famous from the movie “Flipper.” You get to do more than just watch them play; here, you get to play with them! You can get pushed around the lagoon by your feet, hold onto their fin and get pulled around, receive a dolphin kiss, and so much more.
If that isn’t adrenaline-spiking enough for you, you can dive with sharks instead. Here you do not need any previous diving experience. You may also get the experience of both dolphins and sharks in one place!
14. Take a Jeep Tour
Head inland and get the opportunity to drive your own jeep on the other side of the road on Freeport island. You can follow a convoy of jeeps as you explore the backcountry, check out waterfalls, and capture some beautiful photos.
You can book the excursion from your cruise ship to save you from leaving the port and having to bargain with tour companies—otherwise, book with Grand Bahamas Nature Tours.
Even if you have driven a jeep before, nothing beats this experience driving in the lush, tropical inland areas of Freeport. This is one of the best things to do in Freeport with your whole family!
15. Go On a Bicycle Tour
If you need some more exercise, try joining one of the many cycling tours on Freeport island. Here you can stop at many sights for photos, enjoy a delicious lunch, and make new friends along the way.
The size and terrain of Freeport make for the perfect location to explore by bicycle. Many other islands in the Bahamas do not offer this intimate way of exploring their landscapes.
No experience necessary, and this is a great activity for the entire family. Safety is their priority, so you will have to wear a helmet and stay with the group as you explore.
Book with the concierge on your cruise ship, and make sure you ask for a better deal if you are going with your whole family. Otherwise, try booking with CocoNutz Cruisers or Bahamas Cycling tours.
Also Read: IDEAL Things to Do in Bimini, Bahamas
Freeport Bahamas FAQs
We get asked a lot of questions about Freeport, Bahamas, so check out these frequently asked questions for more information.
Yes, Freeport is completely safe, as it is a major tourist destination. While there are locals that live on this island, they are all very friendly and want to ensure every tourist feels safe and welcome on their island.
If you crave the heat, then make sure you visit during June, July, and August. If that is too hot for you, try to visit in early May, when it is a bit cooler. Freeport is generally warm all year long, so you cannot go wrong in terms of weather!
Port Lucaya is the cruise ship port in Freeport Bahamas, and it is located only a short 10-minute drive from the city of Freeport. You can either take a shuttle or hire a taxi for a quick ride into town.
The taxi costs about $5, and the shuttles are usually a round-trip ticket.
Learn More Fun Things to Do in Freeport, Bahamas
Now that you know some of the best things to do in Freeport, Bahamas, it is time to book your trip!
The best way to get to Freeport, Bahamas, is to arrive by cruise ship. This way, you do not have to deal with the stress of looking for flights and trying to find the right hotel.
Numerous cruise lines stop at Freeport, including Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Celebrity Cruise Lines, Carnival, and more.
Check out our handy cruise tips and guides to choosing the best cruise line so that you can make the most out of your Freeport experience.