Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas Port
Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas Port
This privately owned Berry Island is for the exclusive use of the Norwegian Cruise Line. Located in the idyllic Caribbean Sea, Great Stirrup Cay has a rich history that was first populated in 600 AD by the Lucayan Indians. The island later became a rich pirate hideout until the British, and later the Americans in WWII, used it as a military lookout point. Much of the old buildings are still available to be explored on the island. Today, the 250 acre Bahamian island offers visitors a true tropical paradise and from the moment your ship arrives by her soft white sands you can relax and unwind.
Sightseeing in Great Stirrup Cay
Because the island is privately owned by the Norwegian Cruise Line it is only accessible when its ships arrive, making it quieter for visitors and ensuring there are always some excellent organised activities to enjoy. Here are just some of the things you can enjoy during your time on the island:
The island boasts vast stretches of pristine white sandy beaches with crystal clear waters that are perfect for swimming. With the palm trees lining the beach, you can find a quiet spot to lie back and relax in the shade, or rent a Cabana for the day which provide comfortable accommodation and are pre-stocked with bottled water and fruit. There are towels and floats on hand as well as the convenience of being able to have food and drinks delivered to your hut. You can lounge out in front of your cabana on one of the day beds or hammocks provided and are just far enough away from the main beach to be able to appreciate total peace and quiet.
If you are feeling a bit more active then you can go on a kayak tour which will take you round the South side of the island. It’s the ideal place to enjoy seeing some of the beautiful marine life including friendly stingrays, starfish and conch. Guests will have a short introductory lesson on how to operate their kayaks before setting off on the calm tranquil waters. If you are in a slightly more adventurous mood then you can rent a stand up paddle board and make your way over to Bertram’s Cove which affords some beautiful views across the island’s beaches.
For a bit of history mixed in with adventure, the island has its very own shipwreck which can be explored on a snorkelling trail. The Fancy was last spotted in April 1696 sailing towards the Berry Islands at night when it mysteriously disappeared. Its wreck can be seen from the surface and is a popular attraction with visitors to the island. There are also 17 mini reefs that have sprung up where artefacts from the ship have laid to rest, including treasure chests, cannons, swords and a piano.
Shopping in Great Stirrup Cay
Being privately owned by a cruise company, the island isn’t geared up for extensive shopping opportunities but it does have a Straw Market where you will find a substantial range of Bahamian Crafts which make perfect souvenirs and gift items. Most of the items are locally produced and reasonably priced. There are essential products for sale including sunglasses and sun cream, along with cover up clothing if you have forgotten to bring your own.
Dining in Great Stirrup Cay
Diners are well catered for on the island with a large BBQ taking pride of place at the edge of the beach. The Jumbey Beach Grill serves hamburgers, hot dogs and vegetarian options along with an extensive salad selection, fruits and sweet treats. You can also get a wide range of pizzas which are baked throughout the day so you won’t go hungry. Across the island you will find small picnic areas, or you can sit and eat in the shade of one of the many palm trees. There are 3 main bars as well as smaller satellite bars dotted around the island, all serving alcoholic and soft drinks in relaxed surroundings. The main feature bar is housed in the converted lighthouse and has large flat screen TVs showing sports and music videos for visitors’ entertainment.