The location of Nassau
New Providence is the main island of the Bahamas. It lies 40 kilometres to the east from Andros and 50 kilometres west of Eleuthera. The island is app. 34 kilometres long and 11 kilometres wide. Nassau is the Capital of the island and of the entire Bahamas. This is the commercial, educational and public administration centre of the country. Paradise Island is located next to Nassau; the two islands are connected by a bridge. Nassau has its own marina and international airport, and occupies most of the territory of New Providence and Paradise Island.
The history of Nassau
Nassau was established by British settlers, and it got its current name in honour of William III of England, who was a member of the Orange-Nassau house. It was a popular hiding spot for pirates in the 18th century, as they dominated the seas of the region at the time. There were around a thousand pirates around Nassau back then; the island was even nominated the Republic of Pirates. Trade was flourishing.
During the American Revolutionary War, the island was operating as a British naval base, but it was captured by the Americans at the beginning of 1776. It was only after the peace negotiations following the war that the island was ruled by the British again. In the beginning of the 1900s, during the American Prohibition, it became the main centre of alcohol smuggling. After the prohibition was lifted, the island “switched profiles” with the flourishing of tourism. Today, Nassau is among the most popular tourist destinations worldwide.
Climate of Nassau
Nassau has a subtropical climate, characterised by moderate warm weather during the entire year. The average annual temperature is 28° Celsius; this means 21° Celsius in the winter and 27° Celsius in the summer. The temperature rarely drops below 16° Celsius or above 32° Celsius. The dominant wind blows from the northeast in the winter and from the southeast in the summer, freshening up the air a bit. The velocity of the wind is an average of 15 km/h during the entire year. Most of the precipitation falls in the summer months. At the end of the summer – during the period between June and November – tropical cyclones (hurricanes) may be a threat.
The strong wind (with a blast of over 90 km/h) and the seawater that rises, as a result, may cause heavy damage. The weather is usually pleasant in Nassau during the whole year, meaning that sailing is also enjoyable in all seasons. We should definitely avoid the hurricane season though, as storms may be very challenging.
Main sights in Nassau
One of the most exciting things about this wonderful town is that it is a unique mixture of the nostalgic past and the convenience of the modern world. The old city has preserved beautiful memories including amazing architecture, gardens and museums. If we want to dive deep into the history of the island, we can visit the Nassau Public Library, the Heritage Museum or the Pirate of Nassau. The Government House and Parliament Square represent the combination of Bahamian and British architecture with their unique colours and shapes. There are several monumental forts; the most famous ones are Fort Fincastle and Fort Charlotte.
We can participate in special rum tasting tours at John Watling’s Distillery where we can also get an insight into how authentic Caribbean rum is made. The most famous resort on the island is the Atlantis. It is a giant entertainment complex with exquisite restaurants, shops and casinos. The most interesting attractions include the aquarium with a sunken city theme and the enormous waterpark Aquaventure. Besides the several interesting sights, there is another advantage of visiting Nassau: thanks to its favourable location, we can easily get to the other unspoiled islands of the Bahamas from here.
Gastronomy of Nassau
During our holiday in Nassau, we should try the local cuisine as well. Not surprisingly, frutti di mare plays a key role in Bahamian cuisine. The surrounding waters supply the island with fresh seafood, for instance, the conch. They prepare it in several different ways including frying, and they also put it in soups and salads. Other specialties include the roasted spiny lobster, the baked snapper or the grilled perch. As for soft drinks, the two most famous sodas are the Goombay Punch and the Bahama mama. For those who have a sweet tooth, we recommend the rum cake and the guava duff.
Beaches in Nassau
Junkanoo Beach – also known as Western Esplanade – is located near downtown Nassau. The beach is covered by fine white sand, and the water is incredibly clear. If we get hungry or thirsty while sunbathing, we can get a refreshing drink or a delicious snack at one of the beach huts. Life on the beach is buzzing; for instance, locals often organise charity events such as cooking contests. Thanks to its enchanting atmosphere, it is one of the most popular beaches around Nassau.
Cable Beach is a beach of almost 5 kilometres in length, located west of Nassau. It is perfect for a peaceful walk while we can enjoy the pleasant warmth of the sun and the view of the glorious ocean. If we need an adrenaline boost, we can also try the watersport opportunities offered on the beach. There is a beach volleyball court that anyone can use; they are always happy to take new players in, even if it’s just a short game.
Jaw’s Beach is located on the western coast of Nassau in Clifton Heritage Park. This is one of the most popular beaches in the region. Its beauty will make us forget all our problems; we will definitely want to capture the breathtaking sight. Many visit the beach due to its cinematic reputation – the famous Steven Spielberg movie, Jaw was partly shot here. In fact, the beach is not so scary: it is one of the most famous places among locals for a reason.
Cabbage Beach is among the most popular beaches on Paradise Island. The most exciting activity people do here is gliding. Flying over the ocean while admiring the sun disappearing behind the sea is an unforgettable experience. If we feel that we just need to be alone for a while and have a swim, we should go a little further to the east. There are fewer people in these parts, but the beaches are beautiful all the same.
Boat rental in Nassau
Thanks to the fact that it is a central town in the region, locals will always help us as they know exactly what boaters need. The town has a giant and beautiful natural marina, and we can anchor near the bridge of Paradise Island. The main island and Paradise Island both offer well-equipped, impressive yacht marinas. It is definitely worth visiting these; if we are planning to explore the Bahamas on a boat, Nassau will be a perfect starting point.
Nassau Yacht Haven
Nassau Yacht Haven is the largest and oldest yacht marina on the island. The marina has 135 wide and spacious moorings. Every dock has access to electricity and drinking water. Guests can also use the laundry and the showers. There is a famous restaurant here, too. Thanks to the favourable location, we can find several types of shops within a walking distance including a boat supply store, groceries, bottle shops and a bank.
Bay Street Marina
Bay Street Marina can be found in the centre of Nassau. They accommodate 120 boats, the depth of water is app. 6 metres, and they also have a fuel dock. They provide electricity, water and Wi-Fi for all boats. The marina is also convenient thanks to the air-conditioned toilets, showers and laundry. They have their own restaurant, too, and we can reach downtown Nassau as well as Paradise Island easily from here.
Palm Cay – a smaller town in Nassau – can be found on the eastern edge of the island. It has a soft, white sandy shoreline of nearly 500 metres, with 400 metres constituted by the beaches. It is a perfect spot for fishing. The yacht marina has a full-service; they accommodate 150 boats, and the depth of water is 2.5 metres around here.
Atlantis Marina is the most important yacht marina on Paradise Island. It can be reached directly from the marina of Nassau via the 30-metre-wide canal west of the bridge connecting Nassau and Paradise Island. They accommodate 63 boats, and the depth of water is app. 3.5 metres during low tide, and the area is protected well. They meet all expectations with a great staff. If we want to visit the Atlantis, we can hitch a boat ride from the marina.
Hurricane Hole Marina is located in the centre of Paradise Island. This is among the safest and most developed yacht marinas in the region. Their services include a fuel dock, a laundry, a fitness centre and different maintenance services. There are great restaurants, a mall as well as great clubs within a relatively small area.
Find yacht routes in Nassau or choose another yacht charter in the Bahamas
More information about Nassau
Rent a boat in Nassau, and cruise around Nassau
A week Nassau sailing plan
During this 7-day round trip, we will sail to the Exumas from Nassau. It is a beautiful trip with breathtaking stops. Most of the islands belong to Exuma Land and Sea Park, which is among the most beautiful protected areas on the Bahamas. Every place has something unique to offer, and all the marinas are beautiful. The Highbourne Cay yacht marina, the iguanas living in Allan’s Cay as well as the sandbanks scattered around in the sea are all among the countless beautiful things that we can encounter here.
Day 1Nassau Yacht Haven – Palm Cay, 12.00 km (7.46 mi) Day 2Palm Cay – Highbourne Cay, 57.05 km (35.45 mi) Day 3Highbourne Cay – Allan’s Cay, 6, 00 km (3.73 mi) Day 4Allan’s Cay – Warderick Wells Cay, 47.20 km (29.33 mi) Day 5Warderick Wells Cay – Shroud Cay, 21.15 km (13.14 mi) Day 6Shroud Cay – Norman’s Cay, 6.80 km (4.23 mi) Day 7Norman’s Cay – Hurricane Hole, Paradise Island – Nassau, 72.35 km (44.96 mi)
7 Days the Nassau sailing tour
During this round trip, we will sail over to Eleuthera, passing by almost every island of the archipelago. The chain of islands is very long and narrow at the same time. The eastern shores overlook the Atlantic Ocean, while the western shores face the Great Bahama Bank. The giant pineapple fields and pink beaches make this one of the most popular beaches in the region. Its gorgeous marinas are surrounded by turquoise waters.
Day 1. Nassau Yacht Haven – Paradise Harbour Club Marina 1.35 km (1 mi), Day 2. Paradise Island – Egg Island 64.75 km (40.23 mi), Day 3. Egg Island – Spanish Wells 15.50 km (9.63 mi), Day 4. Spanish Wells – Governor’s Harbour, Eleuthera 72.30 km (44.92 mi), Day 5. Governor’s Harbour – Harbour Island 51.90 km (32.25 mi), Day 6. Harbour Island – Hurricane Hole, Paradise Island 102.05 km (63.41 mi), Day 7. Paradise Island – Nassau 1 km (0.5 mi)