In an event that marked a cultural festivity and a significant milestone in the Bahamian cruise industry, over 5,000 people recently gathered at The Amphitheatre at Nassau Cruise Port. The occasion was a sold-out concert featuring renowned reggae artist Tarrus Riley, celebrating Nassau’s reimagined waterfront.
The port area in Nassau underwent a vast $300 million transformation, which now blends the areas for cruise ships with entertainment and cultural elements that bring the Bahamian culture to life for locals and cruise passengers.
A Night to Remember
On October 28, 2023, downtown Nassau was enveloped with reggae tunes as Tarrus Riley, accompanied by the Blak Soil Band, took the stage.
The concert, part of the 30th-anniversary celebrations of local radio station 100 Jamz, also featured Bahamian artists Julien Believe and Jah Hem, showcasing a blend of international and local talent at the new Amphitheater at the recently upgraded Nassau Cruise Port.
Nassau Cruise Port CEO, Mike Maura, Jr.: “This event was so much more than a concert – it was a musical experience of the highest quality. Our sincere thanks to the promoters and the 100 Jamz team for partnering with us to celebrate the Jamz anniversary and for bringing so many people to enjoy this incredible venue for the first time.”
When the revitalization of Nassau Cruise Port started in 2019, the aim was to bring entertainment to the port area in a manner that locals could also enjoy instead of the area dying down at night. The port has succeeded in that, bringing thousands to the state-of-the-art waterfront Amphitheater for a musical experience.
“We know that now that they’ve had a taste of the kind of international acts and world-class performances that we will bring to the waterfront, they will definitely return for more,” Maura said.
A Gateway to the Bahamas
The Nassau Cruise Port, a $300 million project initiated in 2019, has revitalized Prince George Wharf, enhancing its capacity and infrastructure. Now able to accommodate six cruise ships daily, including three Oasis or Icon Class cruise ships, the port’s daily maximum passenger capacity has surged to 30,000.
The port’s redesign has been more than just an infrastructural upgrade. It’s a cultural revamp, prominently featuring the Nassau Cruise Port Junkanoo Museum, an immersive tribute to the Bahamian festival of Junkanoo, and the Amphitheater. Local vendors and 40 retail spaces offer guests a taste of Bahamian culture and craftsmanship.
Although the first phases of the project have been completed, Nassau Cruise Port is set for further advancements. By 2024, additional attractions will be added, including a signature restaurant and more family-friendly amenities.
And that’s not all. In 2025, Royal Caribbean will introduce The Royal Beach Club on Paradise Island, an exclusive beach club for its guests within easy reach of Nassau Cruise Port.
Nassau Cruise Port Exceeding Expectations
This rejuvenation hasn’t just been about aesthetics and capacity. It has been a crucial factor in driving Nassau’s tourism and economic resurgence. Despite the challenges of the post-pandemic restart, 2022 saw Nassau welcoming just over 3 million cruise guests, a number close to the 2019 record of 3.85 million.
However, the start of 2023 broke all records as the new cruise port came into full operation. On January 8, the port broke the one-day visitor record when a staggering 26,396 cruise ship passengers arrived on the same day onboard Carnival Liberty, Carnival Sunrise, Norwegian Escape, Liberty of the Seas, Wonder of the Seas, and Freedom of the Seas. That record was broken again when 28,554 cruise guests visited in a single day on Monday, February 27, 2023.
For the entire of 2023, the count now stands at 3,224,210 from January through September, beating the record for 2022, and setting the stage for an incredible record-breaking year for the port.