Freeport cruise port is located on Grand Bahama Island (Bahamas), approx 50 ml (80 km) from USA Florida's coast (direction East). The nearest US port is Miami FL. Freeport is the second biggest Bahamian cruise port - after the country's capital city Nassau (New Providence Island).
The city has population around 270,000. It is served by Grand Bahama International Airport, also by domestic ferries (operating regularly scheduled itineraries to other Bahamian islands) and by regularly scheduled fast ferries to USA (Fort Lauderdale FL) operated by the Spanish shipping company Balearia Eurolinias Marítimas SA.
Tourism is the island's main source of income, with around 1 million international visitors annually. Several medium- and large-sized cruise ships call at Freeport weekly. Most hotels on Grand Bahama Island are along its southern coast. The primary tourist shopping area is the International Bazaar located near the downtown Freeport. The other major shoping area is the Port Lucaya Market Place.
The Freeport port is a major seaport since the early 1960s. It is a free trade zone featuring numerous hotels, casinos, restaurants, the great Port Lucaya‘s beaches, a huge variety of shopping and shore excursion possibilities.
Port Freeport Bahamas
Port Freeport Bahamas is operated via joint venture between Hutchison Ports FHC (privately owned company) and The Port Group (Grand Bahama's Port Authority).
- FHC is one of the world's largest artificial harbors, and also Caribbean's deepest harbour waterway.
- Port's entrance channel and turning basin (swinging basin) were dredged to allow vessel draft of 16 m (52 ft).
- Businesses at the FHS harbor include daily sheduled ferry and cruise ship visits, roll-on/roll-off (Ro-Ro ship) facilities (handling containerized and LTL / "less than truckload shipping" cargos), also facilities serving car transshipment, wetdocking (two 900-ft / 274-m berths) and shiprepairs.
- Port's facilities can accommodate at a time 3 cruise vessels and 5 Ro-Ro vessels. Vessels with max draft 9 m (30 ft) are berthed alongside. Tugboat support and pilot services are also available.
Grand Bahama Shipyard (Port Lucaya, Freeport)
Freeport Bahamas is also famous with its ship-reapair yard often used by Bahamas-flagged cruise ships for regularly scheduled repairs, maintenance and drydock refurbishment works. Among the shipyard's regular customers are the cruise companies Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Princess, NCL Norwegian, Walt Disney, MSC, Oceania, RSSC Regent.
The drydock facility is owned by the GBSL company (Grand Bahama Shipyard Ltd). The shipyard has three floating dry docks, as well as mechanical and steel workshops (updated in 2016 with new equipment).
- Dry dock 1 has LOA length of 268 m (880 ft), width of 33,5 m (115 ft), max vessel draft 8 m (26 ft), lifting capacity 27,000 tons. Floating dock 1 is served by 2 cranes.
- Dry dock 2 has LOA length of 300 m (985 ft), width of 58,5 m (192 ft), max vessel draft 9 m (30 ft), lifting capacity 82,500 tons. Floating dock 2 is served by 4 cranes.
- Dry dock 3 has LOA length of 310 m (1017 ft), width of 54,5 m (179 ft), max vessel draft 8,5 m (27 ft), lifting capacity 50,000 tons. Floating dock 3 is served by 3 cranes.
- Finger Pier has LOA length of 300 m (985 ft), max vessel draft 14 m (42 ft), max water depth 16 m (48 ft) and is served by 1 crane.
- North Beach Wharf has LOA length of 300 m (985 ft), max vessel draft 14 m (42 ft), max water depth 20 m (60 ft) and is served by 3 mobile crane.
- The on-site workshops provide the following services - steel and pipe fabrication, mechanical services (machinery and equipment overhauls), woodworking, electrical services, Clean Rooms (pumps-, valves- and thruster overhauls), separate (dedicated) repair area for cruise ship's life boats and tender boats.
- In March 207, Royal Caribbean signed an agreement with The Bahamas government to increase the cruise company's employment of Bahamian citizens. By this agreement, Royal Caribbean also has joint ownership of the Freeport shipyard where major drydock refurbishments and ship maintenance works on many RCCL ships take place.
- For 2018, the shipyard reported a record year with a total of 29 cruise vessels scheduled for drydocks (over 2017's 23 ships). Generally, refit works include propulsion system (thrusters, azipods, stabilizers) and technical overhauls, hull treatments and repainting (hull blasting, silicone coatings), staterooms and public areas upgrades. More complex refit projects include adding new onboard facilities (like waterparks, cabin balconies), steel replacement (in areas below waterline), pipe replacements, adding new diesel generator sets, installing cyclo-converters.
Highlights: Shopping Bazaars, casinos, beaches
Freeport cruise terminal
The Freeport cruise port terminal is located in Lucaya Harbour - approx 10-min drive distance from the city. Freeport's tourist centre Port Lucaya is at approx 25 min from the cruise ship terminal.
- The passenger terminal as facilities offers sheltered waiting areas (for passenger pick-up / drop-off), retail shops, craft market (including locally made merchandise), redesigned / optimized landscaping.
- The taxi rate to Freeport City from the terminal is around USD 15. Rates for group vans to Port Lucaya’s Bazaar is USD 5 per person.
- The official language in The Bahamas is British English. Be aware to look to your left as the driving is on the road left side due to country's British heritage.
- The currency is Bahamian dollar, but US dollars are also accepted.
- ATMs can be found at all banks.
Around the cruise terminal there are only a few bungalows and a gazebo where you can listen live music performances by local bands.
Freeport tours, shore excursions, hotels
City Tours and Shore Excursions
- Port Lucaya: the top attraction is the Port Lucaya Marketplace. It is a m”must-see” for all shopaholics. Another popular place to visit is the Count Basie’s Square. There you can enjoy live music while drinking local cocktail or party with the locals.
- Rand Nature Center: it is located on the East Settler’s Way in Freeport. The nature center is impressive and here is the headquarter of the Bahamas National Trust. The area spreads over 100 acres and it is a pineland sanctuary. The site is crisscrossed with nature trails and houses native flora and many tropical birds. You can visit the Rand Nature Centre /educational centre/. You can join guided tour on Tuesday or Thursday at half past ten. It takes around an hour to see the major centre sights.
- Garden of the Groves: located on Midshipman Road in Freeport. The amazing botanical garden spreads over 12 acres. You can see stunning waterfalls, beautiful fountains and a lot of (over ten tousands) native plants species. There is a petting zoo, cafe and arts village. You can walk alone or join one of the guided garden walks.
- Snorkeling and scuba diving: Port Lucaya offers great possibilities for snorkeling and scuba diving. The excursions take not more than three hours and visit famous sites for diving including Theo’s Wreck, the East End Paradise coral gardens, the Caves, Treasure Reef and the Wall.
- Boat trips: join one of the glass-bottom boat tours and spend amazing ninety minutes discovering the beauty of the reefs.
- Fishing and deep-sea fishing: the best place is the North-West Providence Channel, which is extremely deep. There are a lot of snappers and barracudas.
Next are listed the most popular Carnival Cruise Lines tours in Freeport, with USD prices per adult:
- catamaran and snorkeling ($60)
- kayaking ($60)
- jeep tour ($60)
- parasailing ($90)
- historical tours ($45)
- scuba diving tour ($130)
Port Freeport cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port's schedule lists all ships (in links) with cruises going to or leaving from Freeport, Grand Bahama Island. To see the full itineraries (ports of call dates and arrival / departure times) and their lowest rates – just follow the corresponding ship-link.
The Freeport cruise port map is interactive. It shows the port's exact location, along with the real-time cruise ship traffic (if any) in its vicinity - today, and right now. By zooming-out you can see other cruise ship ports located near Freeport, Grand Bahama Island.
If you lose the Freeport location on the map, simply reload the page (also with F5 button). This feature is integrated with the CruiseMapper's cruise ship tracker tracking the vessels' current positions at sea and in ports.
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