Half Moon Cay Bahamas is a Carnival private island designated exclusively for the guests of the popular cruise line. Despite being a relatively large island, the majority of it is left wild and uninhabited. This truly unique experience is one you can’t get just anywhere in the Bahamas. And though you can still do the normal Bahamian tourist activities like lazying on Halfmoon Cay beach, you can also find unique activities such as nature hiking which is what makes this island a favorite of the guests of Carnival cruise lines.
Once known as Little San Salvador Island, Half Moon Island was leased and turned into a Carnival cruise private island over 20 years ago. Shortly after, the island was renamed to Half Moon Cay Bahamas but the Carnival private island is still known as Little San Salvador, too.
It is located nearly 100 miles southeast of Nassau making Half Moon Cay excursions a popular attraction to guests of the cruise line. The island is over 2,400 acres, of which, only 50 acres have been developed for tourism. The Carnival private island has been designated to stay as uninhabited as possible to maintain wildlife. In fact, cruise ships can’t even dock in the shallow waters around Half Moon Island which means the use of tenders are required for the cruise passengers to visit the island.
Despite being mostly undeveloped, there is still much to do on this Carnival private island — especially for wildlife enthusiasts! In the article below, we have highlighted a portion of those things to do on this Carnival cruise private island.
One of the top attractions in the Bahamas is the Swimming Pigs, and you can visit these on a Bahamas Day Trip to Staniel Cay Exuma from Nassau or Miami. Visit the Swimming Pigs on your cruise stopover in Nassau OR visit them when you return to Florida with our Staniel Cay Tours from Miami and Fort Lauderdale.
Things to do in Half Moon Cay: Carnival Private Island
Don’t underestimate the amount of things to do to keep your itinerary full on all excursions to this untouched island. Below, we have curated a list to help you get started on your research so you can make the most of your experience:
Go on a hike
Like mentioned before, only 50 of the 2,400 acres of Half Moon Cay have been developed for tourism. That leaves a lot of room for majestic green and deep blue landscapes and it is beautiful.
Throughout the island, there are trails and Carnival is constructing more trails every year. Some of the trails are paved but a lot of them are sandy or dried dirt which gives it an exotic appeal. The trails are mostly used to lead you to the starting points of many of the excursions around the island such as Bonefish Lagoon.
Do a shore excursion
Shore excursions on Halfmoon cay beach are extremely popular among cruisers. That is because these are the easiest to arrange and can provide cheap entertainment compared to some of the other pricier excursions mentioned in this guide.
Among some of the fun ones are snorkeling, kayaking, watercraft excursions, boat rides and bike rides, and island tours. Those are only a few of the many options you have at Half Moon Cay.
Shop local at the Straw Market
Souvenirs are a great way to remember a trip or you can bring home a taste of the Bahamas for your friends and loved ones back home. The Straw Market is the perfect place to go to buy locally crafted arts and food.
For example, you may be interested in purchasing jewelry made in the Bahamas. You can purchase a clam shell and have a pearl ring made on the spot in front of you. Other Bahamas vacationers enjoy buying handcrafted artisan postcards from the Post Office and take the liberty to write their future selves a recount of their experience to send home and be reminded of their week in the sun.
Escape on a stingray getaway
Ever been up close and personal to living stingrays? Now, you can by journeying to Stingray Cove where you can learn all about stingrays including misnomers, their diet, life expectancy, and how they communicate. Your guide throughout the tour is a trained expert who should be able to answer many more questions than we can in a short description of the place.
You will even get the chance to stroke their slimy wings as they glide on by you.
Take a romantic horseback ride
On a cruise with a special someone? This is the perfect excursion for you. What is more romantic than a horseback ride through Half Moon Cay. It is a great way to see the island and all it has to offer.
You will be guided by a professional through many of Half Moon Cay’s best trails and surrounded by the best nature settings on the island. You will march to the highest point of the island where you will get a good scope on things followed by a refreshing wade in the clear blue waters of the Caribbean. That’s right, your horse is going to take you swimming. Well. . . kind of.
Ride the tram around the island
Another great and unique way to see the entirety of Half Moon Cay on your day stop is to take the tram around the Carnival private island. The Calypso Tram was built for easy access around the island and it will take you to some of the best spots and hard to access spots if you are on foot.
The best part is the full tour only takes around an hour and gives you ample time at the beach afterward. However, it will show you more than enough in that hour-long ride to be worth the time invested. This is great for handicapped visitors or those prevented from high activity on their vacation. It gives them another option to be able to see the beauty surrounding them.
Party it up VIP style
The beach on Half Moon Cay is fantastic. White sand, turquoise waters; who can complain? Well, it is great for a while but you are soon to recognize there are no palm trees along the entire 8-mile-long shore which can shade you. Therefore, you might get tired of the sun and go looking for some shade.
Luckily, Carnival provides the possibility to rent shade. You can rent clam-shaped umbrella shades from multiple vendors along the beach or you can jump straight into a cabana. You can also rent a beach villa or something Carnival calls a private oasis.
Cabanas can shade up to four people. The two-story beach side villas can fit five people. And the private oasis can accommodate up to 11 people for the afternoon.
Of course, these luxuries aren’t for budget vacationers, however, if you want to party it up like a true VIP, these are excellent options.
Staniel Cay Day Trips to Pigs in the Bahamas
Still haven’t had enough of the Bahamas on your Carnival Private Island Half Moon Cay excursions? Take Bahamas day trips by plane with Bahamas Air Tours aboard our flights to Bahamas in a Bahamas air charter Cessna Grand Caravan.
Your trip to Bahamas vacation will not be better than if you choose to join one of our Florida to swimming pigs tours to Pig Beach at Pig Island to see the famous Exuma pigs. Take one of our Staniel Cay day trips on a one day cruise to Bahamas to go swimming with pigs Bahamas style.
Travel from Florida to Bahamas in luxury aboard our private plane and be treated to a day trip to Bahamas you won’t soon forget. Dont have time on your Bahamas Cruise to see the Swimming Pigs? Then visit the Famous Pigs from Florida; Miami or Fort Lauderdale. Book your Miami to Bahamas day trip today!
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