The numbers are officially in, and Nassau Cruise Port has generously surpassed its previous annual passenger record, welcoming more than 4.4 million cruise passengers in 2023.
This record-breaking year showcases the phenomenal growth of the port, highlights the upgrades and investments in port infrastructure, and exceeds the ambitious projections for 2023 by thousands of guests.
Nassau Cruise Port Sets New Annual Record
Nassau is consistently one of the most convenient and popular cruise ports for travelers to visit, and that popularity has been confirmed by the 4,490,802 cruise passengers who called on the capital of the Bahamas in 2023. This is 14% higher than the previous record set in 2019.
Mike Maura, Jr., CEO of Nassau Cruise Port, thanked everyone for their support and highlighted that the port’s success is a joint effort of the entire industry and community.
“A huge thank you to the cruise industry and its passengers, the travel agents championing The Bahamas, our government partners, the Nassau Cruise Port businesses, the entire community here in New Providence, and of course, our incredible team at Nassau Cruise Port,” Maura said. “Each of you make a difference every day, owning your share of this success.”
With the opening of the new cruise terminal facilities and sixth berth at the port in May, Nassau Cruise Port has demonstrated its commitment to continued growth and revitalization.
In addition to the developments and projects completed in 2023, plans are already underway for further downtown revitalization in 2024 to enhance local experiences for visitors.
“The newly revitalized Nassau waterfront offers unique finds, fantastic entertainment, and delicious food and drinks, with even more on the horizon for 2024,” Maura said.
A Very Successful Year for the Bahamas
The astonishing annual total is no surprise, as Nassau Cruise Port has been breaking records throughout the year. The port set an all-time, one-day high for passenger visits in March with 28,554 guests in a single day, and broke that record before the end of the year with 29,316 cruise visitors on December 27.
Looking beyond the cruise port to all of the Bahamas, more than nine million visitors arrived in the island nation in 2023. While final numbers have not been confirmed for all types of arrivals, this figure is expected to be more than one million visitors higher than the initial projections for the year.
This is astonishing tourism growth that demonstrates confidence in the Bahamas as a world-class destination, and has brought more than $6 billion in visitor spending and economic impact to the nation.
The port is already looking ahead to 2024 with the ambitious goal of welcoming 5.6 million passengers. With new, larger ships – including the upcoming Utopia of the Seas, the last of the Oasis-class vessels – scheduling calls to Nassau, that goal may not be as out of reach as it might initially seem.
Who Visited Nassau?
A total of 1,210 ship calls were made to Nassau in 2023, from short weekend cruises and quick getaways to longer sailings, transatlantic crossings, and repositioning cruises.
Most major cruise lines regularly feature Nassau on different itineraries, including Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International, Norwegian Cruise Line, Disney Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, and more.
The port also offered alternative arrangements many times throughout the year when poor weather or hurricane forecasts prevented ships from calling on private islands or other destinations.
The nation’s convenient location just 180 miles (290 kilometers) from PortMiami, 185 miles (298 km) from Port Everglades, and 305 miles (490 km) from Port Canaveral – the three busiest cruise ports in Florida and the busiest three cruise homeports by passenger numbers in the world – makes Nassau a top destination for many cruisers.