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Long pier on the blue-green water in the Bahamas

Guide to the Best Islands in the Bahamas

Sparkling, crystal-clear waters. Pristine, white-sand beaches. Palm trees swaying in the breeze. The Bahamas beckons cruise travelers seeking a slice of paradise. And this tropical haven delivers, brimming with enchanting islands at every turn. From the bustling streets of Nassau to the serene shores of Bimini, each island offers a unique blend of beauty, adventure, and relaxation. Ready to get away from it all? Find your perfect escape with our guide to the best islands in the Bahamas. 

Kayakers on Bahamas Island Eco Lagoon Adventure

Half Moon Cay

Step into a postcard-perfect paradise on beautiful Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line's private island retreat. From snorkeling, kayaking, and paddleboarding to horseback riding, feeding gentle stingrays, and relaxing on the powder-soft beach, this stunning island is your tropical playground. With so many things to do on Half Moon Cay, visitors are truly spoiled for choice. 

Learn more about the island’s lush landscape and diverse marine life on our Eco Lagoon & Kayak Adventure shore excursion. Glide through the protected habitat of Bone Fish Lagoon, where you can get up close with local sea creatures.

Aerial view of Bimini Island in the Bahamas


Find your bliss on Bimini. Compared to some of the larger and more bustling islands in the Bahamas, Bimini offers a quieter and more laid-back atmosphere for those looking for a serene retreat. Immerse yourself in the island’s natural beauty with a relaxing beach day. For a change of pace, venture out to the S.S. Sapona Shipwreck for a snorkeling adventure, or boat to Honeymoon Harbor to interact with gentle stingrays in their natural habitat.  

Enjoy the ultimate beach day at Resorts World Bimini, a stunning luxury resort. On our Resorts World Pool & Beach Experience with Lunch shore excursion, you can take a refreshing dip in the lagoon-style pool, stroll along the pristine shoreline, and savor the flavors of the island with lunch at the resort’s beachfront restaurant. 

A beach along Port Nassau in the Bahamas

Nassau (New Providence)

New Providence, the most populous island in the Bahamas, is home to Nassau, the nation’s vibrant capital. As you step ashore, you'll be greeted by the kaleidoscope of colors adorning the colonial-style buildings that line the streets. Nassau’s bustling markets, lively music, and tantalizing aromas of local cuisine create an irresistible atmosphere that's both exciting and welcoming. 

Take a panoramic sightseeing tour of the city’s top attractions on our Easy Nassau Island Drive shore excursion. You’ll get to visit the iconic Queen's Staircase and historic Fort Charlotte, and shop local crafts and gifts at the famed Straw Market. 

A beach on Paradise Island in the Bahamas.

Paradise Island

Just across the harbor bridge from Nassau is Paradise Island—and the world-famous Atlantis Paradise Island resort. Accessible to cruise passengers with a day pass, this sprawling family-friendly resort offers a wide variety of attractions, including five miles of white-sand beaches and a 141-acre waterpark. Don’t miss a visit to the resort’s marine habitat, home to over 50,000 marine creatures.

Get a glimpse of this iconic resort and other top attractions on our Charm & Beauty Of Nassau & Paradise Island shore excursion, or purchase an Atlantis day pass for the full resort experience. 

A beach in Freeport, Grand Bahama.

Freeport (Grand Bahama)

Grand Bahama, the Bahamas' northernmost island, is a nature lover’s paradise. In Freeport, the island's main city, the Rand Nature Center offers a glimpse into the island's wildlife, while Garden of the Groves showcases the area’s lush botanical beauty. Venture outside the city to Lucayan National Park, where nature trails, mangrove swamps, and an extensive underwater cave system captivate explorers of all ages. 

Set Sail on an Unforgettable Cruise Journey

Visit the Bahamas’ best islands on a cruise with Holland America Line and experience a true taste of paradise. Explore our Bahamas cruise itineraries and book your dream vacation today.