Half Moon Cay is Holland America Line’s private island in the Bahamas, and there’s a reason why it keeps winning awards as a top port of call. Among Holland America Line guests it’s the highest-rated port in the Caribbean. From pristine beaches to eco-friendly activities, there’s something for everyone on the island.
What would a perfect day look like on Half Moon Cay? Well, that varies from person to person, so here are some suggestions of activities that guests can do to have the most memorable day on this gorgeous piece of paradise.
Rent a Beach Villa for the day: In 2013 Holland America Line added five new, colorful, two-story Beach Villas available for rent during each call. Each luxury hideaway boasts an exclusive hot tub on the second floor and provides private accommodations for guests while they relax and experience the island’s highlights.
Get a Massage on the Beach: Take time to relax, unwind and enjoy some pampering while listening to the soothing sounds of the sea. Massage on the Beach services are provided by Steiner, operator of the salons and spas on board Holland America Line ships, in two air-conditioned cabanas on the beach.
Get Married or Renew Vows: A Bahamian–style chapel accommodates weddings and vow-renewal ceremonies for up to 20 guests. Champagne is offered following the ceremony and the happy couple is photographed with the ship in the background.
Enjoy Watersports Galore: For the active guest looking to explore the deep blue, three Water Sports Centers are located on the island — two on the beach and one on the lagoon. They rent beach gear and watersport equipment, including snorkel gear, Aqua Bikes, wind surfing boards, Hobie Cats, kayaks and beach floats.
Take a Shore Excursion: Half Moon Cay features an array of shore activities from cultural to adventurous. These include additions of horseback riding by land and sea, personal watercraft adventures on the interior lagoon and a stingray adventure, as well as catch-and-release deep-sea fishing trips, eco-tours by glass-bottom boat, parasailing, guided kayak trips and guided bike rides around the island.
Let Kids Be Kids: The Half Moon Lagoon aqua park offers large water toys in the shapes of whales, octopi, sharks and dolphins for kids to climb on and a pirate ship water slide that sprays water from its cannons. A pirate-themed playground is available with two slides and two kid-sized wooden pirate ships.
Take Time for a Libation: Captain Morgan on the Rocks Island Bar — seating a total of 326 guests, the bar décor features nautical artifacts and historic references to Captain Morgan’s exploits in these waters more than 350 years ago.
Go for a Run: A 5k running course loops through Half Moon Cay, starting at the marina to the lagoon, past the horse corral and stingray park, and ending back at the marina. So don’t forget to pack your running shoes!
Here are some facts about Half Moon Cay:
• The name “Half Moon” comes from both the island’s spectacular mile-long, crescent-shaped white sand beach and the name of explorer Henry Hudson’s ship, which is featured on the Holland America Line logo.
• Only 2 percent of Half Moon Cay has been developed and much of the island remains a migratory bird reserve.
• The Bahamian National Trust designates part of the island as a wild bird reserve. It is a nesting area for waterfowl, including 10,000 sooty terns, noddy terns, shearwaters, Bahamian pintails and 200 pairs of roseate terns.