Bahamas Cruises Going on a cruise to the Bahamas

Bahamas cruises will take you in the wake of some famous seafaring characters especially pirates. Sadly, Captain Jack Sparrow is just a made up character, but Blackbeard and Calico Jack really existed (you can, like me, at least imagine they looked like Johnny Depp). And although modern Bahamas cruises may involve somewhat less plunder and pillage, it won't take long to see what attracted the scores of swashbucklers who have coloured the region's history over the past few hundred years. Because the Bahamas has it all. Natural beauty, an interesting mix of cultural influences, an ideal sub tropical climate, and of course, all that history.

But before we get to the history, let's talk about the beaches. Seen from space, it's reported that the Bahamas waters are the clearest in the whole of the Caribbean. Its coastline is studded with shipwrecks some no doubt courtesy of the aforementioned pirates and aquatic flora and fauna which make snorkeling and diving trips well worthwhile. Nassau and Paradise Island alone have nearly thirty beaches, and on Harbour Island there's the three mile Pink Sand Beach. If you're interested in eco tourism, it's worth visiting Grand Bahama Island. Grand Bahama, the fourth largest of the country's islands, offers nature tours and various nature friendly ways to explore its parks and gardens, including horseback riding and kayaking. The botanical Garden of the Groves (10,000 plant species) and the caves of Lucaya (six miles of them) are notable attractions. For sport fishing, try Bimini, 50 miles away from the Florida coast, while the Bahamian sailing capital is Abaco. And if you visit Eleuthera try a pineapple the island is famed for them. Fort Canaveral, Nassau and Freeport are the big ports for shopping and the other trappings of 'civilisation'.

And now for the history bit. The Bahamas a Commonwealth of 700 odd islands and 2,500 cays are just 100 miles away from Florida, yet they only gained independence from Britain in 1973. Indeed, among their other visitors over the years were groups of Loyalists fleeing the American Revolution. Bahamian culture, consequently, has a mixed feel European influences mingling with Afro Caribbean food, art and linguistic forms. The country brews its own beer, Kalik. Although there are hundreds of islands, 50% of Bahamians (there are 250,000 of them altogether) live on the island of New Providence, home to the Bahamas ' capital, Nassau. Nassau's proximity to Florida makes it a popular cruise port. It sees several ships a day, for short and long trips around the Caribbean.

The cost of Bahamas cruises, like other cruises, will generally include the cabin, onboard entertainment, meals and activities, plus port and other admin charges. Excursions, tips and alcoholic drinks will usually be extra.