It used to be said that when a pirate slept, he did not dream of Heaven but of being able to return to Nassau, Bahamas.  Now pirates may be a thing of the past, but Nassau’s warm sunshine and tropical breezes still enchant travelers from all over the world.

Since the Bahamas sit less than 200 miles off the coast of Florida, the islands are a popular tourist destination.  Nassau has been a frequent setting for movies, from the Beatles film Help! and James Bond’s Thunderball in the 1960s, to the 2006 Bond film Casino Royale, starring Daniel Craig.

With gentle waves of aquamarine water, soft white sand beaches, and a welcoming laid-back attitude, it’s easy to see why Nassau has attracted such a starring role.

Ahoy! Step Back into Pirate History

The Bahamas may be famous for sun and sand now, but it was the very heart of the golden age of piracy back in the early 1700s.  Nassau was the perfect location for pirate ships to hit important trade routes between Europe and the Americas, and it attracted pirates from far and wide.  It was home base for the greatest concentration of pirates ever seen in the New World, including the famous Blackbeard and Calico Jack Rackham.

A great shore excursion, either for kids or pirate-lovers, is a visit to Pirates of Nassau, a fantastic interactive museum in the heart of downtown Nassau, where you can board a replica of the pirate ship “Revenge” and learn more about the colorful life of a pirate.  You can also book a package tour of the Nassau’s historic Fort Charlotte, the largest fort on the island.

If you prefer a more modern culture to explore, you can get up close and personal with Flipper, another movie that was shot in Nassau.  The most popular shore excursions in the Bahamas are the dolphin encounters.

Book a shore excursion to Blue Lagoon or Dolphin Cay Atlantis, where you can learn about dolphins and then have the opportunity to touch and interact with these incredible creatures.  It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to be able to hold a dolphin gently in your arms, or even dance with one of the ocean’s most intelligent animals.

A Nassau tour to Blue Lagoon Island also gives you a chance to snorkel with stingrays, or learn about sea life on a glass bottom boat.  At the Atlantis resort, you can also swim with sea lions, or check out the barracudas at Predator Lagoon.

If you prefer to experience the wilder side of underwater life, there’s plenty of that in the Bahamas as well.  Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas in Nassau has been operating since 1978, and can even give you a James Bond experience of your own, since at least one ship and one airplane from the Bond movies has been sunk off Nassau to be used as diving sites.

If you don’t have any scuba or snorkeling experience, you can still see the world underwater by booking a SUB aquanauts tour.  It’s a seahorse-shaped submarine that propels you around the coral reefs like a personal scooter, giving everyone the chance to experience the beautiful underwater landscape.

Whether you just feel like kicking back with an icy Goombay Smash, a delicious mix of different rums and pineapple juice, or if you are inspired by Flipper, James Bond or Pirates of the Caribbean, there are plenty of opportunities waiting for you when your cruise docks in Nassau, Bahamas.

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