The Straw Market
Japanese gates and little shops
The Port Lucaya Marketplace

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A Tropical Free Port

An MSC Caribbean cruise to Grand Bahama is a unique way to visit its capital, Freeport, which is easy to navigate on foot for visiting shops and restaurants. Freeport’s main commercial district is centred on The Mall, located between Ranfurly Circus and Churchill Square, about ten blocks north.

Tourist activity is focused on the south end of East Mall Drive, around Ranfurly Circus and the International Bazaar, a faded warren of simple shops and cafés marked by red Japanese-style Torii gates. In addition to several restaurants, a straw market and assorted souvenir stands, a holiday to Grand Bahama offers duty-free shops selling jewellery, perfume, Cuban cigars, rum, resort wear and crystal. 

An MSC Cruises shore excursion can show you Port Lucaya and the beachfront hotels of Lucaya which comprise a resort area with a more cheerful atmosphere than Freeport’s, with carefully tended lawns and shrubbery, and tidy, candy-coloured shops and houses. A seaside suburb first developed in the 1960s, Lucaya is dominated by the massive Westin & Sheridan at Our Lucaya Beach and Golf Resort, fronting Lucayan Beach, with two golf courses. Across the street from this resort is Port Lucaya Marketplace, a busy, colourful tourist market overlooking the boats at Port Lucaya Marina, with shops selling the standard duty-free assortment of goods, open-air stalls displaying straw work and other souvenirs, and several lively restaurants and bars packed with vacationers.

The two main attractions outside FreeportLucayan National Park and Paradise Cove – lie on opposites sides of the town. Lucayan National Park encompasses forty acres of mixed forest, limestone caverns and sinkholes, mangrove creeks, a spectacular beach and several nature trails all less than a mile long. A trail from the car park on the north side of the highway leads to a six-mile-long underwater cave system, one of the world’s longest. 

Must see places in Freeport

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Grand Bahama

Crystal clear waters and red coral
Crystal clear waters and red coral

Fifty-five miles east of Miami, Grand Bahama was developed in the 1950s. It sprang up largely as a big playground for North Americans, effectively built from the ground up on a hundred-mile-long flat slab of bleached limestone bristling with towering, thin pine trees and edged by a ribbon of silky white sand and shifting multihued bands of indigo and jade waters.

For those aboard a cruise to Grand Bahama, the majority of life can be found three miles inland in the town of Freeport and her seaside sister suburb of Lucaya. Nearly all of the 47,000 inhabitants reside in these two towns, where they are joined each year by almost half a million visitors. Every year Grand Bahama receives a flow of guests ready to enjoy the island’s new luxury resorts. With golf courses, a casino, shops and restaurants, Grand Bahama has much to attract those looking for an active outdoor adventure, as well as offering a relaxed beach experience with the mile-long Lucayan strand and the less built-up Taino, Churchill, and Fortune beaches. 

To the east of Freeport/Lucaya are the unspoiled and unembellished expanses of Barbary, High Rock and Gold Rock beaches, as well as the Lucayan National Park, which includes mangrove creeks that can be explored by kayak.