Nassau, the capital city of The Bahamas and one of the most popular ports of call for Caribbean cruises, has set a passenger record with an astonishing 28,554 guests visiting from cruise ships in a single day on Monday, February 27, 2023.
The huge number is largely due to expanded berths at the newly renovated port, as well as the fact that the visiting vessels included the world’s largest ship as well as larger vessels from three major cruise lines and other massive ships enjoying a day at the tropical destination.
Nassau Sets One-Day Passenger Record
Six ships from four different cruise lines visited Nassau Cruise Port on Monday, February 27, 2023, setting a one-day guest record for the port with an amazing 28,554 passengers. Docked side-by-side, the vessels made an impressive sight at the port, showcasing the value of the newly expanded dock facilities in Nassau.
“We are extremely pleased to report another record-setting passenger day here at Nassau Cruise Port,” said Mike Maura Jr., CEO of Nassau Cruise Port.
“The expanded berths are certainly delivering on the sizeable investment that we have made in them, creating the additional capacity required to achieve this extraordinary new record today.”
The ships in port included two of Royal Caribbean International’s Oasis-class vessels, Wonder of The Seas and Harmony of the Seas, ranked as the first and third largest ships in the world respectively.
Also in port was Carnival Cruise Lines’ Excel-class Mardi Gras (14th largest cruise ship in the world); Celebrity Cruise Line’s Solstice-class Celebrity Reflection and Edge-class Celebrity Beyond (50th largest); and MSC Cruises’ Meraviglia-class MSC Meraviglia (17th largest).
The number of visitors is even more impressive when considering that, collectively, the six ships also brought 10,302 international crew members to the port, for a grand total of 38,856 guests in a single day.
Of course, not every guest would automatically debark while visiting Nassau, and not all crew members have time off in each port of call to go ashore as visitors. Still, the impressive numbers are a great sign for Nassau’s economy.
“That’s thousands of visitors exploring downtown Nassau, learning about our island and culture through our restaurants, taxis and tours, and making wonderful memories of The Bahamas that will surely drive them to return,” said Maura.
Why Is Nassau so Popular?
Nassau is a popular port of call for many reasons. The port is just 305 miles (491 kilometers) from the world’s busiest passenger cruise port, Port Canaveral, and even closer to PortMiami (185 miles / 298 kilometers) and Port Everglades (190 miles / 306 kilometers).
This makes Nassau Cruise Port especially convenient for short itineraries of just 3-4 nights, and it is also easy to add to longer itineraries as an additional port of call.
The capital city of The Bahamas is rich in culture, history, art, watersports, marine wildlife, and other great features to appeal to a wide variety of cruise guests, and is also close to many cruise lines’ private islands, making it even more desirable a destination.
Port of Nassau is currently expanding its docking facilities and upgrading other port features, a $300 million project that began in 2019 and will be finished in just a few more weeks, in May 2023.
The expansion will permit the port to welcome as many as three Oasis-class vessels simultaneously, further increasing its guest capacity. In total, the upgraded capacity is expected to be approximately 33,000 per day.
In 2016/2017, the last time frame for which full data is available, Nassau was the fifth busiest passenger cruise port in the world with 3.5 million annual visitors. This ranks only slightly behind Cozumel, Mexico, with 3.6 million passengers.
The first three ports ranked by passenger visits are all cruise ship homeports – Port Canaveral, PortMiami, and Port Everglades.
With the expansion of Nassau’s docks and ship capacity, the destination is expecting as many as 1,260 cruise ship calls in 2023, for a total of nearly 4 million passengers.