Cat Island is one of The Bahamas' central islands/districts, popular for having the country's highest elevation point (Mt Alvernia/aka Como Hill) - 206 ft (63 m) above sea level. On Como Hill is the Franciscan monastery "Alvernia Hermitage" (designed and built by the priest-architect John Cyril Hawes /1876-1956, commonly known as Father Jerome).
Cat Island has a permanent population of around 1,500 and a total area of 150 mi2 (389 km2). The island was first settled by Loyalists (American colonists loyal to the British Crown) in the late-18th-century (1790) and named after the buccaneer/pirate Arthur Catt. Initially, the local economy was based on cotton Plantations. The current-day economy is based on growing cascarilla (Croton eluteria/flowering plant) which scented bark is used for flavoring the aromatized liqueurs Campari (Italian) and Vermouth.
Cat Island's main/largest settlements are New Bight and Arthur's Town (district's capital). Other settlements include Orange Creek and Port Howe. The island is served by two airports (New Bight/the larger, and Arthur's Town), both handling only domestic flights that link to Nassau (New Providence Island). The airlines operating the route are two - Southern Air Charter, and Western Air (Bahamas' largest privately-owned airline).
The Alvernia Hermitage monastery is accessible only by trekking a steep rocky incline. The island has three freshwater lakes - Boiling Hole, Mermaid Hole, and Big Blue Hole. Located near Orange Creek, Big Blue Hole is very deep, with numerous underground caverns and has strong currents flowing into the Caribbean. Other popular tourist attractions on the island include Old Bight's St Francis of Assisi Church (also built by Father Jerome), the ruins of the cotton plantations Armbrister and Deveaux House, the Columbus Museum (in Knowles).
As cruise port destination, Cat Island was first included in the 2021 schedule of Crystal Cruises' ship Crystal Serenity. Serenity's summer 2021 season (July through November) was included total 38x departures (roundtrips from both Nassau and North Bimini Island (Bailey Town).
Next table shows the 7-night/8-day Nassau roundtrip itinerary (named "LUXURY BAHAMAS ESCAPE") as call ports and times.
|Day / Time||Port|
|DAY1 19:00||Departing from Nassau|
|DAY2 08:00 - 18:00||North Bimini Island, Bailey Town|
|DAY3 13:00 - 19:00||Cat Island Bahamas, New Bight|
|DAY4 07:00 - 19:00||Great Exuma Island, George Town|
|DAY5 07:00 - 19:00||San Salvador Island, Cockburn Town|
|DAY6 07:00 - 17:00||Long Island, Clarence Town|
|DAY8 06:00||Arriving in Nassau|
Prices started from USD 2000 per person (EUR 1680 / GBP 1445 pp) with double occupancy.