From the top deck of our ship at the pier, a view of Nassau, Bahamas
The Bahamian capital of Nassau blends colonial British heritage with a beach lifestyle in the warm waters south of Florida. In addition to sunbathing, snorkeling and fishing, most visitors make time for shopping the luxury retailers along Bay Street and pick up a conch shell or straw hat at the Nassau Straw Market. Crossing the bridge to Paradise Island, visitors can experience the high-rolling restaurants and casinos of the Atlantis resort. While modern influences are apparent throughout the capital, imposing Fort Charlotte’s dungeons and battlements convey historical tales from pirates to cargo smuggling. Bahamian culture is best seen in its vibrant art, delicious conch salad or potent Yellow Bird cocktail, with the native “rake and scrape” music playing in the background.
The road from the pier is an extension of East Street in Nassau, Bahamas; many restaurants, bars, and cafes line Woodes Roger’s Walk (the street in the foreground), while, a block behind that, Bay Street is full of souvenir, jewelry and clothing shops
A close-up of the restaurants and shops along Woodes Roger’s Walk, fronting Nassau Harbor
The pier in Nassau harbor is always full of cruise ships (from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
Dating from 1790, the early British local government legislature met in this building on Bay Street, the site of the main viewing stands for seating at the end of December for watching the New Year’s Junkanoo Parade
New Year’s Junkanoo Parade: Junkanoo began as a celebration of freedom by African slaves in the Bahamas who were given a few days off at Christmastime. Slaves gathered, played music, danced, and celebrated their brief freedom along with their African roots. After the abolition of slavery, a few islanders kept the tradition of Junkanoo alive, and today it remains a celebration of freedom. The Junkanoo Festival begins in the early morning hours of 26 December, with a parade on each island kicking off the day’s events. The celebration is now repeated on New Year’s Day and has evolved into an elaborate display of hand-made costumes and floats, organized by neighborhoods that vie for best presentation. This National festival of the Bahamas is a joyful expression of Bahamian art and culture. In Nassau, the parade runs down Bay Street. You hear the drums, horns, bells, and whistles, as thousands watch and dance along.
Next to the Straw Market is the woodcarvers’ lane where local artisans demonstrate their craft and sell loads of carved palm trees, fish, turtles, cars, etc.
The stained glass windows were installed with a Church restoration in 1866 at the Christ Church Cathedral (the Anglican/Episcopal Church on George Street in Nassau, Bahamas); the Vestry of the Cathedral was established in 1723 and is the oldest elected Board in The Bahamas
The iconic Atlantis Paradise Island resort features the Caribbean’s largest open-air marine habitat; the Aquaventure waterpark with waterslides, river rides, and 11 swimming pools; 20 restaurants; haute couture shopping; a casino offering 85 games tables and over 700 slot machines