Easy step by step directions to get to Paradise island.
Cruise ship shore excursions offer pricey packages to Atlantis for its 141-acre Aquaventure water park complex and beautiful beaches. If you are just a curious cruiser who wants to see Paradise Island and Atlantis, there’s a simple and easy way to get to Paradise Island from the Nassau cruise port: a 15-minute ferry boat ride.
Getting to the Ferry from your ship
Once you enter Festival Place Welcome Center, walk through and go straight when you exit the building. Keep walking straight ahead until you reach the crosswalk. Don’t cross the street but instead turn right. Follow the sidewalk along the waterfront. You’ll see a bank across the street on your left and if you kept walking, eventually you’d be across from the Straw Market.
Within about 100 steps, you’ll see a blue and white stand on the sidewalk with someone selling tickets for the ferry, Be sure to bring cash with you from the ship, including several $1 bills. They don’t take credit cards.
The ferry charges $4 for one-way and $8 round-trip. Put your return ticket somewhere where it won’t blow away.
Once you have your ticket, you’ll be shown to the ferry to board. If you like sun, go up the narrow ladder to the top deck. The views are beautiful from up there. Keep in mind there’s no covering so if you don’t have sunscreen, this might not be the best place to sit for the 15-minute ride to Paradise Island. Also, hold on to your hat; it gets pretty breezy up top, too.
What you’ll need to carry with you from the ship:
- Cash in small bills
- Bottles of water
- Comfortable shoes or sandals
- Hat or cap
- Your ship’s ID card AND your driver’s license or government photo ID
During your short ride from the Nassau Cruise Port to Paradise Island, a local Bahamian will provide a guided narration and point out homes of notable celebrities and quirky points of interest. It’s customary to tip the guide, usually $1-$2 per person. He’s not an official employee and this is how he earns a living.
Once you’ve docked, it’s a 10-minute walk to the entrance of Marina Village and Atlantis. From the ferry, simply follow the crowd. We docked to the left of Margaritaville and then walked under the toll bridge that connects Nassau with Paradise Island.
Just follow the sidewalk (and the crowd) until you reach the traffic light. Cross straight ahead, turn right and cross again. The entrance to Marina Village will be on your left, about 200-ft ahead.
Turn left into in Marina Village and keep walking straight ahead. The path winds a bit to your left. Keep walking and pretty soon you’re at Atlantis. On your right is Murray’s Deli and straight ahead is a wide stairway leading into a side entrance to the hotel.
You’re allowed into Atlantis but you can’t do much except pay a visit to the Casino, the designer shops and the restaurants. If you’re not doing any of those things, plan on maybe 20-30 minutes inside, just to take a look around.
Outside, it’s easy to spend another half-hour ogling the spectacular yachts in the marina. But don’t lose track of time. If you’re running late, you can always catch a taxi back to the port. It’ll run about $8-$10 for the ride but traffic at rush hour in downtown Nassau can come to a stand-still.
Going back to the ferry
Simply retrace your steps from Atlantis to the ferry boat. You might want to leave an hour or so for a snack and a drink at Margaritaville. The location is perfect – just a 5-minute walk to the ferry boarding area – and plenty of shade to relax and wind down your day.
Depending on how many ships are in port, there will probably be a long line of people at the ferry boat for the return trip to Nassau. Remember…the ferry only runs every half-hour and the last ferry is at 6:00 p.m.
Back at Festival Place, you will need to show the security guard your ship’s ID card and a government-issued photo ID.
Have a fun day at Paradise Island!
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