Freeport (Lucayan) Port of Call
Banana Bay, Bahamas © Pietro
There are various Eastern Caribbean cruises that feature Freeport as a port of call, bringing passengers from all over the world to revel in the natural splendour, beautiful beaches and near-perfect weather of this island paradise. Once there, passengers will find Grand Bahama is an idyllic island of white sandy beaches and beautiful waters.
In town there are plenty of boutiques and bazaars to explore, and a variety of restaurants to dine at. Local attractions include a number of casinos, Lucayan National Park, acclaimed dive sites and the island's natural flora and fauna. Kayaking in the mangrove creeks is also popular. Cruise ships dock at Lucayan Harbour, a ten minute drive from Freeport, on Grand Bahama Island. Lucayan Harbour has more than 100 berths, accommodating boats of up to 170ft (52m). The Lucayan Harbour Cruise Facility is a modernized cruise-passenger terminal featuring a Tourist Information centre and retail village.
Lucayan Harbour Cruise Facility: www.bahamas.com/vendor/lucayan-harbour-cruise-facility
Lucayan Harbour is a 10-minute drive from Freeport. Taxis are available from the pier and are metered but often charge a flat fee regardless. There are also vans to ferry passengers into town. Rental cars and scooters are available to hire.
Port Lucayan's Dolphin Experience, where guests can watch and swim with dolphins, is a great tourist attraction on the island. And then, of course, there are the beaches - Lucayan, Taino and Gold Rock beaches are the most popular, while diving at Paradise Cove to see Deadman's Reef is a must.
Red Beard's Pub is a lively restaurant and bar with island food and cocktails.
For a homey coffeeshop with great pancakes and fresh gelato, look no further than Island Java.
Pisces Seafood House and Pizzeria serve up fresh seafood and pizzas, along with a good selection of cocktails.
Conch fritters are a Bahamian favourite. Conch (pronounced 'konk') is the meat from a large trumpet-shaped mollusc and is considered a Bahamian delicacy. In this dish, the meat is chopped and blended with herbs and spices, deep fried and served with a variety of dipping sauces.
Grand Bahama Island has many shopping options for visitors to enjoy. Freeport's International Bazaar boasts more than 100 shops, with themed subdivisions representing different parts of the world, while Port Lucayan Marketplace and Marina is another major shopping area where tourists will find any number of bargains, from local produce to designer labels.
Artisanal, locally produced bottles of perfume, from The Perfume Factory at International Bazaar, are of high quality and a good buy for the discerning shoppers who want to take the fragrances of the Bahamas home.
Eleuthera Island's Glass Window Bridge is a favourite among travellers and is most certainly worth the trip.
Take in the mysterious stone blocks off of the Bimini Islands, which locals claim to be remnants of the lost city of Atlantis.
Long Island boasts the world's deepest blue hole, called Dean's Blue Hole, a fascinating dive site which hosts the world championship for freediving.
The snorkelling on Paradise Island is world-renowned and beginners and seasoned ocean-lovers are sure to impressed.