The sugary, white sand beaches, calypso rhythms, and easy-going lifestyle of Freeport have drawn Royal Holiday Cruises travelers for relaxing ocean vacations for years. This island city possesses an uncommon natural beauty and vibrant nightlife certain to please every beach-loving vacationer lucky enough to take a voyage through the Bahamas with Royal Holiday Cruises.
The Garden of the Groves
Originally the meditation garden of Wallace Groves, the founder of the city of Freeport, the Garden of the Groves offers 12 acres of serene natural beauty, with cascades of island flowers, soothing waterfalls, and tropical birds. The playground will keep the kids busy, while everyone will delight in glimpses of the native Bahamian raccoons that call this lovely park home.
Lucayan National Park
Covering only about 40 acres, Lucayan National Park still miraculously contains five distinct ecological zones and a wide variety of plant and animal life. Royal Holiday Cruises guests will enjoy a stroll along wooden bridges beneath the shady canopy of a mangrove swamp as they walk to gorgeous Lucayan Beach, one of the most beautiful on the island of Grand Bahama.
A friendly restaurant and scenic beach make Banana Bay a favorite for many visitors to the Bahamas. With white sands, comfy hammocks, and delicious conch chowder and cocktails in the casual eatery here, this spot is the quintessential Bahamas experience.
Port Lucaya Marketplace and Straw Market
With several dozen shops and restaurants, the Port Lucaya Marketplace on the Port Lucaya Marina hosts the area’s premier shopping and dining destinations. Right next door, at the Straw Market, tourists with Royal Holiday Cruises can peruse dozens more stands selling a wide variety of local arts and crafts. Shoppers will have plenty of opportunities to buy gifts and souvenirs, munch on excellent Bahamian food, and enjoy the energetic tunes of steel drum music from nearby Count Basie Square.
A nature preserve and bird sanctuary, Taino Beach is an exceptionally well-maintained park where the city of Freeport annually hosts a number of events, including the Junkanoo Summer Festival. Aside from enjoying the pristine beach, visitors and locals alike can wander the many trails to appreciate the diverse wildlife of the Island of Grand Bahama.
Unknown to casual visitors, a network of natural submerged caves winds beneath the island. Any interested Royal Holiday Cruises visitor to Lucayan National Park can take stairs down into the cave complex’s only entrance above the water line, while highly experienced divers can access the mysterious caverns from a handful of different points below the waves.
The International Bazaar
A fun retro experience, the huge 1960s era International Bazaar is divided into several sections, each inspired by a different world culture. This was once the city’s most sophisticated shopping center, and is now a favored stop of tourists looking to experience a blast of vintage Bahamian kitsch.
At the super-casual and laid-back Billy Joe’s on Lucayan Beach, hungry Royal Holiday Cruises beach-goers can sample some of the best conch chowder on the island while kicking back and enjoying one of the prettiest beaches around.
The Underwater Explorers Society (UNEXSO) treats guests to a genuine dolphin experience, where Royal Holiday Cruises visitors can get up close and personal with the graceful creatures in the facility’s nine-acre lagoon. Overseen by a highly experienced training staff, the UNEXSO programs are as educational as they are fun.
Today a popular tourist beach with all the amenities, Xanadu Beach and resort has a storied past as one of the favorite destinations for Hollywood jet-setters during the 1960s and 1970s.