Cruises to Freeport

1,129 Reviews
Freeport (Photo:Cruise Critic)

About Cruising to 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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Carnival Liberty
Carnival Liberty

7 Night
Eastern Caribbean

1,586 Reviews
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Adventure of the Seas
Adventure of the Seas

6 Night
6 Nt Western Caribbean Holiday

2,226 Reviews
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Carnival Elation
Carnival Elation

5 Night
Bahamas

1,138 Reviews
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Carnival Dream
Carnival Dream

8 Night
Eastern Caribbean

1,967 Reviews
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6 Night
Bahamas

1,424 Reviews
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9 Night
Bahamas

95 Reviews
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4 Night
Bahamas - Short

2,598 Reviews
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4 Night
Bahamas - Short

2,165 Reviews
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4 Night
Bahamas - Short

2,165 Reviews
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4 Night
Bahamas

1,138 Reviews
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5 Night
5 Nt Eastern Caribbean Holiday

1,831 Reviews
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Cruise Critic Favorite

7 Night
Bahamas

1,598 Reviews
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7 Night
Bahamas

1,598 Reviews
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9 Night
Bahamas

95 Reviews
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Cruise Critic Favorite

7 Night
Bahamas

1,598 Reviews
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More about Freeport

Why Cruise 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
Taino Beach in Freeport, Bahamas—it will remain in my memory as the most beautiful place, both in terms of scenery and the people. The color of the sea was incredibly beautiful, and I am still grateful to the owner oRead More
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Kevin Kim
This is third time we have sailed into Freeport and it is so amazing each time. The people that work on the island are very helpful and welcoming. There are two amazing places, Mini Donut King and Mike's that are rigRead More
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Mullrich21
Freeport has been our least favourite port, but this time we took a cab to Taino Beach, and we sat just down from the paid Pirate Beach. Bernie's Tiki Hut, man that was right up our alley. SUPER nice people, cheap drRead More
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ReinandLance
Freeport was very nice. Certainly not the flashiest place, but the beaches were lovely and the people were so so nice. We stayed the day at the Grand Lucayan Resort, and enjoyed it. The food and drinks were fine, butRead More
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NikkiGoons

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