Popular Cruise Destination: Is Nassau Port Safe for Cruise Visitors?

Nassau Port: Your cruise will likely stop in Nassau, Bahamas, if you are taking one. With over 4 million passengers expected to arrive in 2023, the port of call is among the most popular on the planet.

It is not flawless, though, only because it is a busy port. Some cruise passengers believe that Nassau is a more risky port than other ports. The US State Department has issued a security notice on violent crime for Nassau.

So, is it safe to take a cruise to Nassau? Before you disembark from the ship, consider the following:

What You Should Know About Crime in Nassau Before You Go

Nassau is a little bit different from many other ports of call. Nassau port is much more than just a popular tourist destination, unlike many cruise ports that primarily serve travelers. It’s a real city where the government of the Bahamas is headquartered.

Because of this, there’s much more to the area than just a peaceful area with a few hotels and activities for visitors. In actuality, the city is home to some 270,000 people, which makes up more than half of all Bahamas residents.

You’ll discover that most folks are quite hospitable and kind overall. And literally, tens of thousands of passengers come here every day without any problems. Nonetheless, there is crime in the city.

The island of New Providence, which is home to Nassau, saw 113 killings in 2022, according to figures from the Royal Bahamas Police Force. 536 armed robberies took place.

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Best Time to Board a Cruise Ship, When Do Cruise Ships Leave, Cruise Ship Departure and Boarding Times, Cruise Ship Boarding time
(Credit: Nassau Cruise Port)

In all, 31.2 murders per 100,000 people were reported in The Bahamas in 2022. The national rate in the United States was 6.4. However, some states, such as Louisiana (21.3) and Mississippi (23.7 per 100,000 in 2021), are significantly closer to what is observed in The Bahamas.

The most unsettling statistic may be that 118 robberies (not including armed robberies) were reported in 2022, or around one every three days, according to the police. “Friday and Saturday are the days on which this crime occurs more frequently than any other day of the week, and these incidents peak between the hours of 8 am and 4 pm.” Cruise ships are in port during this period, and visits are at their busiest.

An official “Security Alert” for Passengers

Tens of thousands of passengers pass through the city without incident every day, but crime does happen there, even to visitors. It’s undeniable that there is cause for concern regarding crime in Nassau. In actuality, there have been 18 killings since the year’s beginning, according to a “Security Alert” released by the American Embassy in Nassau in January 2024.

“Murders have happened on the streets at all hours, even during the day. The main reason behind 2024 murders has been gang retaliation, according to the notice.

The Bahamas as a whole received the designation of “Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution” from the State Department.

It should be noted that the Dominican Republic, Denmark, Germany, Italy, and over sixty other places all have the same Level 2 classification.

Experience Cruising Through Nassau

Even the most seasoned visitor might become uneasy when they read State Department advisories and hear firsthand accounts. On the other hand, the sensation on the ground may differ.

Recall that you will spend the majority of your day at port, usually in densely populated tourist areas. Although there is still a chance of crime, your chances of becoming a victim are slim.

Is safety guaranteed in Nassau?

Nassau, Bahamas
(Credit: Go port)

Tens of thousands of passengers visit Nassau without any issues, literally every day. Throughout the year, that number approaches the millions. We have personally been there multiple times and have never felt in danger, even when we were on our own.

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Nevertheless, there’s no denying that crime occurs in Nassau—to the extent that American government authorities feel compelled to warn citizens.

We think that being aware of your surroundings and exercising common sense will help keep you safe. Avoid a person, location, or circumstance if it makes you feel uneasy. Ostentatiously using jewels or cash is likewise a terrible idea. Alcohol abuse is another “no-no.”

We believe that knowing about safety and crime in Nassau is important, but it shouldn’t stop you from having a great time on vacation.

Options for People Who Are Concerned About Safety

Let’s say that after everything you’ve heard, you’re just not at all at ease in Nassau. You are not required to remain on the ship as a result.

Cruise passengers who are worried about their safety can book shore excursions that the cruise line has endorsed instead of going it alone. You go on these guided trips in a group and are provided with transportation, knowledgeable guides, and local knowledge. This ought to significantly allay any concerns.

Do not desire a trip? As you leave the ship, there’s an enclosed port area that’s restricted to authorized port officials and passengers only. Security guards stand guard and ensure that nobody enters the area that isn’t supposed to. This neighborhood offers eateries and drinking establishments in addition to stores and a museum.

Lastly, you might feel more at ease if you wish to explore Paradise Island, the location of the Atlantis resort. Across the canal from Nassau, this island is more prosperous and popular with tourists.

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