Cruise NewsCarnival Cruise Line Looking to Add Private Port in the Bahamas

Carnival Cruise Line Looking to Add Private Port in the Bahamas

Carnival Cruise Line has sent a proposal to the Bahamian government to build a private port in eastern Grand Bahama, one of the largest islands in the Bahamas.  It is also the closest major Bahamian island to the United States.

Although Carnival Cruise Line is the largest cruise line in the world, they currently do not have their own private port/island.  Other cruise lines that have their own private islands are:

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  • Norwegian Cruise Line – Great Stirrup Cay
  • Royal Caribbean – Coco Cay and Labadee, Haiti
  • Princess Cruises – Princess Cays
  • Holland America Line – Half Moon Cay (a few Carnival ships already stop here since it is owned by parent company Carnival Corp.)
  • Disney Cruise Line – Castaway Cay

Locals in Grand Bahama are afraid that Carnival will replace ports stops in Freeport with the new private port if the proposal passes.  Freeport remains one of the least popular cruise ports among cruise passengers largely due to the fact that the port is located in an industrial area with very little offered at the port itself.

When will this private port experience open if the Bahamian government accepts Carnival’s proposal?  No timetable has been given at this time.  However if approved, it will likely be welcome news to cruisers who either stay on the ship in Freeport, or who bypass cruise itineraries that stop there.

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Ben Souza
Ben Souza
Ben is a world traveler who has visited 40+ countries, taken over 70 cruises. He is one of USA TODAY's experts for their 10Best Readers' Choice Awards. His writings have appeared and been cited in various media outlets such as Yahoo News, MSN, NPR, CNN, Fox, and ABC News. Ben currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio. Follow Ben on Instagram. Visit Ben Souza on Linkedin. You may email Ben at [email protected].
Cruise NewsCarnival Cruise Line Looking to Add Private Port in the Bahamas


  1. I can remember when Nassua was nice, but have seen it decay over the years. Now I try to avoid cruises that have the Bahamas on their ports of call. The panhandlers are aggressive, the stores carry nothing but junk, the streets are filled with trash. I can not wait for Havana to open as a port!

  2. You can keep the Bahamas! Nothing to do,expensive, boring! Beaches are jammed packed and lots of panhandling. Save your money and either skip it, or stay on the ship.Better yet,find an itinerary that doesn’t stop there.

  3. Recently visited Freeport, (2 week ago) I would not go back. There is nothing to do. Carnival doesn’t even have to build up the port. Just add a nice beach and or more things to do. Out of 15 plus Caribbean islands I’ve been too it’s the worst. Nassau isn’t near as bad. Atlantis is costly but nice, Bamoral island is nice too. Ps I think this article was written by someone who doesn’t cruise often. I’ve only sailed carnival and been to half moon cay plenty of times .

    • Unfortunately, none of the cruise itineraries sailing from the Port of Galveston, Texas visit Half Moon Cay when they cruise to the Bahamas. I have been to HMC once when cruising from Port Canaveral. It was great!

  4. This sounds like great news. I’m so sick of all the cruises going to Nassau & Freeport. Nassau is terrible and the only time I’ll sail on a cruise that goes there is when it’s super cheap just because I love cruising. I really hope that this goes through. They need to expand their Charleston, SC & Jacksonville, FL cruises.

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