Freeport

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

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Freeport

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

  • Lucayan National Park

    Lucayan National Park

  • Port Lucaya

    Port Lucaya

  • A beach

    A beach

Discover our excursions

8 results found

Limited number of guides in languages different from English. Should your language be not available the tour will be performed in English.
  • BAHAMAS JEEP ADVENTURE

    ACTIVE & ADVENTURE

    FPT22

    Explore the city of Freeport and Grand Bahama island on this guided jeep-based tour, which even gives you a chance to take the wheel yourself. With stops included at points of interest along the route, you’ll also learn about the island’s history, its indigenous population and early foreign settlers. At Freeport’s inner-city Garden of the Groves, a generously proportioned and beautifully landscaped slice of real estate, you’ll stop to enjoy lunch under a vast fig tree that overlooks the waterfalls. Time will also be yours to explore the grounds, visit the on-site shops selling local handicrafts and watch nimble fingers create intricate native strawwork. Last up on the outing is a stop at one of the island’s finest beach clubs, where you can swim or kayak (free of charge, subject to availability) in the crystal-clear water. Your drive back to the pier and your ship then brings the excursion to a close. Please note: guests must be at least 12 years of age to take part. Guests wishing to drive must be at least 25 years of age and in possession of a valid driving licence. Each jeep seats a maximum of four guests; jeeps come with either manual or automatic transmission. Guests are recommended to wear swimwear under comfortable clothing, high-factor sunscreen and to bring a towel.
    • Lunch or dinner included

    • Possibility of swimming

    • Limited seats

    • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Moderate

    • Duration
      5 h

  • FREEPORT BIKING ADVENTURE

    ACTIVE & ADVENTURE

    FPT26

    A bit of healthy exercise, a some enjoyable sightseeing, a delicious lunch with a dessert of retail therapy and a truly divine beach experience all play a vital part in this half-day cycle tour. On your leisurely bike ride around the island, you’ll cover just under 20 km/12 miles in distance and have a chance to learn about local history as you ride through a native seaside settlement. Next, you’ll move on to the Garden of the Groves, a beautiful inner-city area with a large fig tree, under which you’ll enjoy lunch and views of the garden’s wonderful waterfall. Afterwards, you’ll have time to explore on your own or visit the on-site shops for locally made handicrafts, fragrances, books or intricate Bahamian strawwork. The final tour highlight will be a stop at one of best beach clubs on Grand Bahama. This is the perfect spot to relax, take a dip or make free use of the on-site kayaks (subject to availability) before you head back to your ship. Please note: guests must be at least 12 years of age and at least 150 cm/4 ft. 11 in. in height to take part. Guests are recommended to wear swimwear under comfortable clothing, high-factor sunscreen and to bring a towel.
    • Lunch or dinner included

    • Possibility of swimming

    • Limited seats

    • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Moderate

    • Duration
      5 h

  • FREEPORT KAYAK & NATURE TOUR

    ACTIVE & ADVENTURE

    FPT21

    Situated just a short narrated drive to the east of Freeport lies the wonderful Lucayan National Park, an area covering around 16 hectares that not only features every vegetative zone in the Bahamas, but also boasts one of the world’s longest underwater cave systems. Your exciting outing will see you first learn a little about the area’s unique geology and natural history during an orientation session, after which your guided kayak expedition will begin. Keep an eye out for the various birds, plant- and other wildlife that you will encounter during your time in the water. When you return to dry land, it’ll be time for a light lunch and some fun or relaxation on the beach. You’ll also have a chance to enjoy a guided nature walk through the park, during which you’ll also explore some of the caves that the region’s earliest settlers once called home. After your ramble, you’ll return to your transportation for the return drive to Freeport and your ship. Please note: guests are recommended to wear swimwear under comfortable clothing, closed shoes, high-factor sunscreen, sunglases and a hat as well as to bring bottled water and a towel. Kayaks are of the open-cockpit variety and the mostly calm waters are easy to paddle in; each kayak can hold a maximum weight of 263 kg/580 lbs. The tour is considered to be unsuitable for guests with mobility problems or using a wheelchair/mobility scooter.
    • Lunch or dinner included

    • Possibility of swimming

    • Limited seats

    • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Moderate

    • Duration
      6 h

  • BAHAMIAN BREWERY, PERFUMERY & CITY TOUR

    CITY TOUR

    FPT29

    Though the Commonwealth of The Bahamas is known the world over for its free-trade zone and tax-haven status, the islands are also home to a thriving local economy, manufacturing products you are unlikely to find anywhere but here. Aiming to give you a feel for such local enterprises, the outing begins with a sightseeing tour around Freeport, during which your guide will tell you all about the area’s history and development. You’ll be heading for your first stop, Grand Bahama’s very own perfume factory, founded more than 40 years ago by a native New Yorker. After your tour of the facility, you’ll continue on to the Port Lucaya Marketplace, a retail heaven with scores of boutiques, restaurants, cafés and artisan vendors where you’ll have some time to shop. Last up and a chance to get a real taste of local fare is a visit to the Bahamian Brewery. A tour of the production and bottling facitlity will be followed by a chance to sample some of the beers brewed here – which retail only on the islands – in the brewery’s private bar. To round off your experience, also check out the brewery gift shop, you might find a fitting memento to take home. The tour then wraps up with your return to the pier and your ship. Please note: guests wishing to consume alcohol must be at least 21 years of age.
    • Tasting included

    • Limited seats

    • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      3 h

  • GARDEN OF THE GROVES SIGHTSEEING & SHOPPING

    NATURAL WONDERS

    FPT19

    Spend a few hours off the ship to discover one of Grand Bahama’s loveliest sites and do some shopping at the same time. The tour begins at the pier with a narrated drive through Freeport’s industrial area and the city, past the International Bazaar with its Japanese-style torii gate, then along Church Row and past the native pine forest. At the tropical Garden of the Groves, your first stop, you can choose to explore on your own or to join a guided tour of the beautifully landscaped grounds. Signposts provide information on the diversity of plants and animals, some of which are indigenous. The grounds also feature a replica of a chapel from the island’s early logging days, tranquil lagoons with cascades, a labyrinth for spiritual contemplation and an open-air café. The family area offers children time and space to play and the Fern Grove Trail affords leafy shade in between limestone boulders to either side. Uniquely Bahamian souvenir items, books, perfume, jewellery and art – all created by local artisans – are on sale at the Garden Shoppes, while chilled drinks and island fare can be purchased at additional cost at the Garden Café. A further chance to indulge in some retail therapy or simply stroll around then follows at the Port Lucaya Marketplace and its numerous boutiques, speciality stores, restaurants, bars and artisan vendors. Your transport will then be waiting to return you to the pier and your ship. Please note: as the tour involves a longer period of walking at the Garden of the Groves over possibly uneven ground, the tour is considered to be unsuitable for guests with mobility problems or using a wheelchair/mobilty scooter.
    • Limited seats

    • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      3 h

  • ISLAND DRIVE, LUNCH, SHOPPING & BEACH

    SCENIC ROUTE

    FPT13

    Soak up a little of the laid-back island vibe on this leisurely guided tour, which intends to acquaint you with key places of interest on Grand Bahama and will first see you board an air-conditioned coach at the pier. Your drive around Freeport includes a brief stop at the city’s famous fruit market. If you want to do as the locals do, you’ll buy some fruit and eat it on the spot. You’ll then continue on to Freeport’s most upscale neighbourhood, where stunning mansions sit cheek by jowl and provide seclusion for the rich and famous. A light plated lunch with an alcohol-free drink will then be served in the oceanfront Lucaya quarter, after which you’ll have around 2.5 hours’ time to explore the area. Check out the Lucaya Marketplace if shopping is your thing, or repair to the nearby beach to relax, enjoy the sun and cool off in the crystal-clear water of the Atlantic Ocean. The excursion then draws to an end with your return drive to the pier and your ship. Please note: guests are recommended to wear swimwear under their clothes (if wishing to swim), high-factor sunscreen and to bring a towel, sunglasses and cash/credit card for additonal purchases. Beaches are public, without lifeguards and swimming is at the personal risk of each guest. Guests are further advised not to leave any personal belongings unattended throughout the tour.
    • Lunch or dinner included

    • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      4 h

  • BEACH BREAK & SHOPPING

    SEA & SUN

    FPT16

    Uniting two popular holiday pursuits – time at the beach and retail therapy – this tour will see you first board your transport for the transfer to Freeport’s oceanfront Lucaya district, after which you’ll be free to do as you please for around 2.5 to 3 hours. Catch some rays and relax on the warm sand of the beach, with the endless Atlantic Ocean inviting you in for a refreshing dip. Or make your way to the Lucaya Marketplace to browse and shop. This retail emporium boasts more than 40 speciality stores and boutiques, numerous restaurants as well as a huge variety of strawwork vendors and other Bahamian artisan stores. A casino also forms part of the area for those who feel inclined to have a little flutter. The outing then wraps up with your return to the pier and your ship. Please note: guests are recommended to wear swimwear under their clothes (if wishing to swim), high-factor sunscreen and to bring a towel, sunglasses and cash/credit card for additonal purchases. Beaches are public, without lifeguards and swimming is at the personal risk of each guest. Guests are further advised not to leave any personal belongings unattended throughout the tour. Use of beach umbrellas is not included in the price of the tour; similarly, no guarantee can be given that such items will be available for hire, nor any indication provided as to possible costs.
    • Drink included

    • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      4 h

  • BEACH GETAWAY WITH OPEN BAR

    SEA & SUN

    FPT30

    Put on your brightest smile, grab your shades, pick your favourite swimwear and slather on the high-factor sunscreen in preparation for this half-day excursion at one of the best beaches on Grand Bahama. An air-conditioned transfer will first take you to your getaway spot, after which you’ll have plenty of time to savour the surroundings. Next to the warm embrace of the water, you can also look forward to land- and water-based beach games, from volleyball to chess. The nearby “straw market” is also worth a visit for a look at – and a chance to purchase – locally made handicrafts, which make great and uniquely Bahamian souvenirs. And to perfect your outing to the beach, there’s also an unlimited open beach bar. Sip and savour your favourite tipple while gazing out at breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean, a sublime way to relax and recharge your batteries. When it’s time to depart, an air-conditioned transfer will return you to the pier and your ship. Please note: guests are advised that the use of water toys at the beach depends on sea conditions. Guests must be able to swim and know how to use a life jacket. Participating children under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a paying adult throughout the tour and under their constant supervision at all times. Guests wishing to consume alcohol must be at least 21 years of age and be in possession of valid photo ID. The price of the tour includes use of umbrellas and lounge chairs at the beach (availability on a first come, first served basis). Guests are recommended to wear swimwear under light, comfortable clothing as well as to bring a towel and cash/credit card for additional purchses. Paddleboards, kayaks, snorkel gear and lockers are available for hire at additional cost not covered by the price of the tour. Beverages available at the unlimited open bar include Bahamian draft beers, national spirits and a wide variety of cocktails, but exclude top-shelf brands and signature cocktails.
    • Drink included

    • Limited seats

    • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      4 h

The excursions in the programme are intended to provide MSC Guests with an idea of the different tours that can be arranged in each port of call; this programme is merely a guide and confirmation of each excursion and its description and prices will be made during your cruise. 
Shore excursions programs and itineraries may vary depending on local conditions and/or any unforeseen events in relation to the timing on the day of the tour.
 
Some excursions are very popular and therefore availability cannot always be guaranteed, it is advisable to book in advance to avoid disappointment. The guides are guaranteed in English. Only for South America cruises, the guides are guaranteed in Brazilian Portuguese. Narration in other languages depends on the availability of guides. Please note that the final language of the tour will be confirmed on board during the cruise.

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.