Travelers looking to explore Nassau from on top of the water will want to take the ferry to Paradise Island. Offering both a convenient mode of transportation and excellent sightseeing along the way, the boat ride offers an enjoyable and memorable experience.
While you can reach Paradise Island by taxi, you might not want to. The ferry to Paradise Island lets you travel to the resort island of the Bahamas by boat, offering up beautiful views and slices of local history along the way. The ease of returning to Nassau once you’re ready makes the boat to Paradise Island a great option to consider.
Nassau and Paradise Island as they exist today have origins in the middle of the 20th century. Around that time, the region began undergoing the process that would allow it to blossom into the vacation epicenter it is today.
In the 1960s, companies and wealthy individuals began building hotels in the area, and Hog Island (as it was previously known) evolved into Paradise Island. Likewise, construction teams dredged the Nassau Harbour, using the earth they dug up to construct other attractions, like Arawak Cay.
As more and more tourists began staying on Paradise Island and New Providence, additional ways of accessing the islands became necessary. While bridges connect the islands, the ferry to Paradise Island quickly became a fun and practical way to traverse the area.
Of course, one of the best parts of taking the ferry to Paradise Island is that it lets you traverse the area. The trip takes you about 10 minutes, which is about the time it would take you to cross over the bridge when there’s a good amount of traffic.
The real magic of taking the ferry to Paradise Island is the sightseeing opportunities it offers. As you leave the docks, you’ll immediately see stunning views of the Nassau Harbour – views featuring cruise ships, land and seascapes, and more.
However, besides just looking pretty, each Nassau Water Taxi also has a tour guide onboard. These local guides offer commentary about the sites you pass by and will point out historical sites, celebrity homes, and other points of interest.
To take advantage of the ferry to Paradise Island, you’ll need to get a ticket. You can purchase these in advance or directly at the ferry terminal.
If you’re entering the capital through the cruise terminal (or are at a similar Downtown Nassau location), the ferry from Nassau to Paradise Island is just a short walk away. You can catch the boat along the water of Woodes Rodgers Walk, which is the main strip in front of the harbor and port complex.
Walk west from the cruise port and you should see a sign for the boat to Paradise Island in around two to three minutes.
When you’re ready to head back to Nassau from Paradise Island, simply head back to the location near the bridge where the ferry to Paradise Island dropped you off.
The Paradise Island Ferry schedule has boats running every 30 minutes, from 9 am to 6 pm. Ticket prices (as of 2023*) are $5 per ride.
While riding the boat is a fun experience, don’t expect a luxury oceangoing liner – most of the boats used by the ferry service are old. They also hold a couple of dozen people, so the earlier you can get there, the better.
If the boat you’re on has two levels, you might want to sit on the lower level if there’s room. The afternoon sun gets hot, and there usually isn’t any shade on the top level.
While the ferry to Paradise Island is a convenient way to traverse the Nassau area, boat travel isn’t always the best way to get across long distances. The Bahamas is an island nation, but the open waters separating different parts of the country can be rough and unforgiving.
If you’re looking to reach an area like the Exuma Cays or Harbour Island, air travel will be faster and much more comfortable.
Paradise Island is an integral part of the capital, so it’s a place you’ll want to explore while on your Bahamas vacation. While you can easily take a taxi to get to the island, consider taking the ferry to Paradise Island instead. From the scenic views to the historical information shared by tour guides, the boat to Paradise Island comes with a lot of perks.
Once you dock at Paradise Island, you’ll have the island’s many attractions within reach. From Aquaventure Waterpark at Atlantis to Cabbage Beach and the French Cloisters, make the most of your time on the island before heading back to Nassau.
Looking for more destinations and travel tips that can help you explore the Nassau area? Spend some time poking through our other articles, and make sure to check out our interactive travel map.Explore our Nassau Travel Guides