With just 179 miles separating Miami and The Bahamas, it’s little wonder that so many US east coasters use the idyllic Caribbean islands for weekend getaways and extended breaks.
Boasting some of the most stunning emerald waters in the world, life in the Bahamas revolves around the sea, making it – inevitably – a mecca for cruise liners. Here we present our top three Miami to Bahamas cruises, taking into account value for money, convenience and customer reviews.
Fit for an Empress (4 nights)
FROM $323 PER PERSON
Comprising a cluster of 30 cays, the Berry Islands are often referred to as “The Fish Bowl of the Bahamas” owing to their popularity as a fishing destination. It is here you’ll find yourself on day three of this popular cruise aboard Empress of the Seas, which begins in Florida and makes its way through Key West before the short but spectacular cruise to The Bahamas where you’ll stop off in Nassau, Grand Bahama Island and Great Stirrup Cay. One of the jewels in the Berry Islands crown, Great Stirrup Cay offers visitors the chance to indulge in an array of water sports including swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, parasailing and scuba diving. But if there’s one time you’ll want to be back on-board, it’s Saturday night, when the ship hosts live music and entertainment in the Boleros Latin lounge.
A Fantasy Fulfilled (3 nights)
FROM $269 PER PERSON
Your cruise begins with a leisurely 8-hour journey aboard Carnival Fantasy from Miami to Nassau and Great Stirrup Cay. Located on New Providence, the capital of The Bahamas, Nassau is teeming with entertainment, from sports facilities to shopping to casinos. It is also home to a giant waterpark at the famous Atlantis resort, but if you fancy some high-octane aquatic action in the comfort of your cruiseship, then Carnival Fantasy also boasts its own version, called WaterWorks. Other on-board amenities include an adult-only retreat called Serenity, and a state-of-the-art spa. Your final day will be spent at sea, lapping up the region’s jaw-droppingly beautiful scenery, before the return trip to Miami.
Sky’s the Limit (3 nights)
FROM $369 PER PERSON
If both of the above cruises appeal, but you can’t choose between them, this could be the one for you. Combining visits to both Nassau and Cococay in the Berry Islands, it presents visitors with two perspectives on The Bahamas. Nassau is the country’s administrative centre as well as home to international shopping and vibrant nightlife, whereas Great Stirrup Cay is the out islands at their finest, teeming with stunning natural scenery and wildlife. Day one of the cruise aboard Norwegian Sky – boasting 10 bars and lounges, 13 dining options, a spa and a casino – starts with an overnight run from Miami to Nassau, where you’ll arrive in the morning for a full day’s exploration. That night, the ship will make its way to Great Stirrup Cay for another action packed day. The following morning you’ll head back to Miami to complete your trip of a lifetime.