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Cruises to Freeport

Freeport (Photo:Cruise Critic)
Freeport (Photo:Cruise Critic)

About Freeport

Editor's Note: On September 1, 2019, Grand Bahama Island (along with the Abaco Islands) were impacted by Hurricane Dorian, a category-5 storm and the strongest to make landfall in The Bahamas in 80 years. Freeport reopened to cruise passengers on September 27.

Freeport, an industrial center, is located on Grand Bahama Island, the archipelago's northernmost island. Grand Bahama, just 70 miles from Palm Beach, Florida, is a regular stop on the short-cruise circuit from South Florida. But the fourth-largest isle in the Bahamas' 700-strong chain, also owes its popularity to its smooth white-sand beaches and water sports, from snorkeling to deep sea fishing.

In the 1950s, the island realized its potential for tourism-related revenue when Wallace Groves, an American financier from Virginia, proposed building a town that both appealed to visitors and sufficiently supported industry. Since then, Freeport has boomed with hotels, restaurants, casinos and ecotourism attractions like Lucayan National Park. Its island atmosphere and miles of sunny beaches coupled with its close proximity to the United States makes Grand Bahama Island a top vacation spot for Americans.

Port Lucaya and its marketplace have evolved into the tourist hub of the island, partly through design and partly because of hurricane damage to other parts of the area. Freeport's got everything from shops and beaches to restaurants and a casino -- not to mention a handful of major golf courses.

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DAY 1: Miami

4 Night
Cruise to Freeport

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
Freeport, Great Stirrup Cay ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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DAY 1: Tampa

5 Night
Cruise to Freeport

Leaving:
Tampa
Visiting:
Key West, Freeport ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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7 Night
Cruise to Freeport

Leaving:
New Orleans
Visiting:
Key West, Freeport ...
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Cruise Line:
Carnival Cruise Line
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DAY 1: Baltimore

9 Night
Cruise to Freeport

Leaving:
Baltimore
Visiting:
King's Wharf, Freeport ...
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Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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8 Night
Cruise to Freeport

Leaving:
Galveston
Visiting:
Key West, Freeport ...
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Cruise Line:
Carnival Cruise Line
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4 Night
Cruise to Freeport

Leaving:
Jacksonville
Visiting:
Freeport, Nassau ...
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Cruise Line:
Carnival Cruise Line
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7 Night
Cruise to Freeport

Leaving:
New Orleans
Visiting:
Perfect Day at CocoCay, Freeport ...
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Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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8 Night
Cruise to Freeport

Leaving:
Galveston
Visiting:
Key West, Freeport ...
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Cruise Line:
Carnival Cruise Line
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7 Night
Cruise to Freeport

Leaving:
Baltimore
Visiting:
Nassau, Princess Cays ...
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Cruise Line:
Carnival Cruise Line
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7 Night
Cruise to Freeport

Leaving:
Baltimore
Visiting:
Princess Cays, Nassau ...
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Cruise Line:
Carnival Cruise Line
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5 Night
Cruise to Freeport

Leaving:
Charleston
Visiting:
Freeport, Nassau ...
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Cruise Line:
Carnival Cruise Line
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7 Night
Cruise to Freeport

Leaving:
New Orleans
Visiting:
Perfect Day at CocoCay, Freeport ...
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Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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5 Night
Cruise to Freeport

Leaving:
Norfolk
Visiting:
Nassau, Freeport ...
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Cruise Line:
Carnival Cruise Line
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6 Night
Cruise to Freeport

Leaving:
Norfolk
Visiting:
Nassau, Half Moon Cay ...
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Cruise Line:
Carnival Cruise Line
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4 Night
Cruise to Freeport

Leaving:
Port Canaveral
Visiting:
Freeport, Nassau ...
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Cruise Line:
Carnival Cruise Line
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5 Night
Cruise to Freeport

Leaving:
Port Canaveral
Visiting:
Key West, Great Stirrup Cay ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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Cruise Critic Favorite

7 Night
Cruise to Freeport

Leaving:
Baltimore
Visiting:
Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay ...
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Cruise Line:
Carnival Cruise Line
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4 Night
Cruise to Freeport

Leaving:
Port Canaveral
Visiting:
Nassau, Freeport ...
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Cruise Line:
Carnival Cruise Line
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Cruise Critic Favorite

7 Night
Cruise to Freeport

Leaving:
Baltimore
Visiting:
Grand Turk, Princess Cays ...
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Cruise Line:
Carnival Cruise Line
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7 Night
Cruise to Freeport

Leaving:
Galveston
Visiting:
Key West, Freeport ...
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Cruise Line:
Carnival Cruise Line
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5 Night
Cruise to Freeport

Leaving:
Charleston
Visiting:
Nassau, Freeport ...
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Cruise Line:
Carnival Cruise Line
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6 Night
Cruise to Freeport

Leaving:
Charleston
Visiting:
Freeport, Nassau ...
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Cruise Line:
Carnival Cruise Line
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6 Night
Cruise to Freeport

Leaving:
Charleston
Visiting:
Freeport, Half Moon Cay ...
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Cruise Line:
Carnival Cruise Line
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7 Night
Cruise to Freeport

Leaving:
Baltimore
Visiting:
Half Moon Cay, Nassau ...
see more
Cruise Line:
Carnival Cruise Line
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4 Night
Cruise to Freeport

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
Great Stirrup Cay, Freeport ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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Why go to Freeport?

Pros:

Freeport is easy to reach from the U.S. East Coast and appears on many Bahamas itineraries

Cons:

Its location leaves it vulnerable to hurricane damage that sometimes goes unfixed

Bottom Line:

Although this port is cheerful and beachy, it's a bit run-down

Freeport Cruise Port Facilities?

There's very little in Freeport Harbor. Sure, the port facilities look mighty pretty -- passengers arriving might spot pastel-colored bungalows selling souvenirs scattered about, plus a gazebo where a Bahamian band plays from time to time. But very few of the bungalows offer useful shops or services, with the exception of a snorkel and beach tour. Chain restaurants Fat Tuesdays and Senor Frogs and Pier One (a waterfront seafood restaurant) are located at the harbor, but that's about it. Industrial factories and refineries surround the port for miles before reaching anything of interest.

Good to Know?

Pickpockets and thieves target tourists, so keep your belongings protected. Also, while travel guides might still mention the International Bazaar (a once a robust collection of shops and restaurants), because of hurricanes, it's essentially a ghost town and not worth visiting the few remaining vendors.

Getting Around?

Taxis line up at the pier. If you are taking a taxi to a beach, arrange a time for your driver to pick you up to return. A taxi for two to Lucaya will cost about $25; if you ride in a collective van with other visitors, the fare would be about $5 per person each way. Otherwise, you can rent a car; Avis (800-331-1084) and Hertz-Red Kap Car Rental (242-352-9250) will send a courtesy van from the airport. Important note: Drive on the left! Motor scooters are also available for daily rentals from Island Jeep and Car Rental (Freeport Harbor; 242-351-7333) and cost around $65.

When you exit the port, you can hop on a local bus as it turns around and heads back to Lucaya. However, there's no schedule posted; they simply run when they're full, so you might be waiting a while. This could be an option during the week for those on a tight budget, but they rarely run on weekends.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

The currency is the Bahamian dollar, but U.S. dollars are accepted throughout the islands. ATMs are available at banks, but few provide U.S. dollars. For updated currency-conversion figures, visit www.oanda.com or www.xe.com.

Language?

English is the official language -- British, not American -- but it might be laced with Bahamian dialect.

Where You're Docked?

Ships dock at Freeport Harbor, an isolated area that is a 10-minute drive from the city of Freeport and about a 25-minute ride from Port Lucaya. Taking an excursion or renting a car (or scooter) is an excellent option: The island is dotted with quiet beaches that are perfect for escaping the crowds.


Freeport Cruise Reviews

Celebrity Equinox
HelenCG
Sail Date: Aug 2019
Our trip was cancelled, instead we went to Freeport to drop off emergency supplies which was a great gesture hence our score. We donated the cruise refund we were given to the appeal, hope others did the same.... Read More
Carnival Liberty
Jaz52002
Sail Date: Aug 2019
Took a taxi to Freeport shopping area which was aimed at tourists. We were disappointed here and returned to the ship within one hour.... Read More
Carnival Ecstasy
honeychile
Sail Date: Jan 2019
Freeport cruise terminal was boring. I saw mostly overpriced items from India and China. And the same thing at soooo many shops. I purchased nothing here, although I had money to spend! That's a terrible feeling... Read More
Carnival Liberty
cruiserbrianj
Sail Date: Dec 2018
All that was done in Freeport was shopping but we enjoyed ourselves. Like most markets, it's the same stuff from shop to shop but nonetheless it was a good time.... Read More
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