The Landmarks
of Nassau Cruise Port
Guide and Review (2022)

Photo by IQCruising of Bay Street in Nassau cruise port

All you must know about the historical landmarks to visit on a cruise to Nassau port: Fort Fincastle, Queen's Staircase, Christ Church Cathedral, Fort Charlotte, the Woodes Rodgers Walk, and more.

Updated: September 10, 2022

The cruise port in Nassau has quite a few historical landmarks close by that are very interesting to visit - be it on a shore excursion, or “on-your -own”.

Although it will only be possible to explore Nassau on cruise excursions until the end of the Covid-19 crisis, you will find in this article reviews of the most relevant historical landmarks visited on tours. And which, sooner or later, you will also be able to explore independently.

Some of these landmarks are within walking distance and easy to explore on foot, once local authorities lift the Covid-19 restrictions - the Parliament Square, the Garden of Remembrance, the Public Library and Museum, or the Christ Church Cathedral.

The famous Fort Fincastle and the Queen's Staircase are not far from the cruise port terminal but require some guidance and are highlights of most excursions of the highlights of Nassau.

Fort Fincastle

One of the most impressive 18th-century forts in Nassau with good signage and exhibits. It's named after Viscount Fincastle who was the governor of The Bahamas when the fort was built (c. 1793) to protect Nassau's town and harbor. Daily tours (8:00 AM to 4:00 PM) - $1 per person. It is usually included on Highlight Excursions organized by cruise ships.
Cruise port tip: don't miss the Queen’s Staircase very close by

Photo of Fort Fincastle in Nassau

Fort Fincastle in Nassau

Photo ©

Where:Up on a hill southeast of Bay Street (1/2 mile) - five-minute walk from cruise terminal.
What:Historical Landmark
Open:Daily between 8:00 AM and 4:00PM
Look For:Great Views

Queen’s Staircase

Included in historical highlights tours, the Queen's Staircase is within walking distance from the cruise terminal. On the top of the stairs is the Fort Fincastle. At the end of Elisabeth Avenue, after passing the entrance to the Princess Margaret Hospital on your left, it looks like there is nothing else further but if you keep walking through what looks like a tropical gorge (blocked to traffic) you will reach the Queen's Staircase - 66 steps carved out of limestone by slaves (1793-94).

Photo of Queen’s Staircase in Nassau

Queen’s Staircase in Nassau

Photo ©

Where:Southeast of Bay Street (1/2 mile) - five-minute walk from cruise terminal
What:Historical Landmark
When:Always Open
Getting There:The easiest way is to see the Queen's stairs is to walk to the Princess Margaret Hospital side entrance on Elisabeth Avenue. A path that leads to the stairs is behind a traffic barrier.

Fort Charlotte

Known as Fort Charlotte in honor of King George III's wife, this military structure is, in reality, a complex with 2 other forts (Fort Stanley in the middle and Fort D’Arcy in the west). Built with solid rock on top a ridge, the construction of the forts started in 1787 and was completed in 1819. The impressive military complex as dissuaded any and all potential adversaries - not one single gunshot has ever been fired in battle.

Photo of the Fort Charlotte in Nassau.

Fort Charlotte - Nassau

Photo ©

WHERE1.5 mile from Downtown - 15 to 20-minute walk
WhatMilitary complex
Entrance$5.00 (adults); $2.00 (Children 6-12); FREE (Children 5 and Under)
When:Sunday to Saturday 8:00am – 4:00pm and Holidays except Christmas Day
Nearby:Adastra Gardens and Arawak Cay

Christ Church Cathedral

Christ Church is the "Mother Church" of all of the Anglican churches in The Bahamas. Three previous churches in wood existed in this spot but two of them were destroyed by the Spaniards (in 1684 and 1703) and the third one (built it 1724) was replaced in 1754 by a solid cut stone church with a square tower. However, it was only in 1841 that a fifth church (the present one) incorporating the tower opened for services.

Photo of Christ Church Cathedral Interior in Nassau.

Christ Church Interior - Nassau

Photo ©

Address:George Street and King Street
When:Everyday - Morning and Afternoon
Sunday Service:7:30am, 9:00am, 11:15am and 6:00pm
Look For:Baptismal font. East windows. Memorial plaques and engravings.
Nearby:Bay Street and the Pirates of the Caribbean Museum.

Parliament Square

Built in 1815 the Parliament Square has a number of very interesting government buildings that are a testimony to the British and American colonial architectural heritage. The Senate occupies the central building, whilst the House of Assembly (on the right) is the Parliament and the building on the left houses the Opposition offices. Right in front of the Senate stands a statue of Queen Victoria's (1905) and behind the central building you will find the Supreme Court, the Garden of Remembrance and the Public Library.

Photo of Parliament Square in Nassau.

Parliament Square - Nassau

Photo ©

What:Historical buildings
When:Everyday - Morning and Afternoon
Nearby:Bay Street, Rawson Square, Garden of Remembrance and the Nassau Public Library and Museum. Cafe Matisse.

Garden of Remembrance

Located behind the Parliament Square, on Parliament Street next to the Supreme Court, the Garden of Remembrance is a quiet, beautiful and very well-kept spot in the heart of Nassau. At the center of the garden, a Cenotaph serves as a memorial to the Bahamians killed in both World War I and II.

Photo of the Garden of Remembrance in Nassau.

Garden of Remembrance - Nassau

Photo ©

When:Everyday - Morning and Afternoon
Look For:Official Buildings and Cenotaph.
Nearby:Nassau Public Library and Museum, Parliament Square and Bay Street. Cafe Matisse.

Nassau Public Library and Museum

In 1797 the first edifice ever built in Parliament Square was a jail with an unusual octagonal shape. A century later it was transformed into a museum, library and reading room where the cruise ship traveler can appreciate displays of historical documents, charts, and Arawak artifacts.

Photo of Public Library and Museum in Nassau.

Public Library - Nassau

Photo ©

Address:Parliament Square and Shirley Street
What:Library and Museum
Open:Monday to Thursday: 10:00am - 8:00pm | Friday: 10:00am to 5:00pm | Saturday: 10:00am to 4:00pm
Closed:Sundays and Holidays
Nearby:Garden of Remembrance, Parliament Square, Bay Street and the Bahamas Historical Society. Cafe Matisse.

Government House

The pink and white building standing on Mount Fitzwilliam just off Duke Street is the official residence of the Governor General of The Bahamas and a testament to both British and American architectural heritage of the islands. Although an original building existed on the 10-acre estate dating back to 1801 the present house was built in 1932. In front of the building, on a regal staircase, stands a statue of Christopher Columbus.

Photo of Government House in Nassau.

Government House - Nassau

Photo ©

Address:Duke Street and Blue Hill Road
When:Everyday - Morning and Afternoon
Look For:Changing of the Guard on Saturday at 10:00am
Nearby:Graycliff Hotel, Balcony House and the St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Kirk.

Woodes Rodgers Walk

As the cruise traveler exits the gated area of the terminal, you will be straight on the Woodes Rodgers Walk that many are lead to think to be the main street of Nassau. In fact, this street is parallel to Bay Street (the shopping heart and main street of the city) and has a few side streets that connect both. This is where you will find the Ferry Boats to Paradise Island.

Photo of Woodes Rodgers Walk in Nassau.

Woodes Rodgers Walk - Nassau

Photo ©

Pompey Square

This large square connects the western ends of both Bay Street and Woodes Rodgers Walk. The famous Senor Frogs (on the waterfront), the Pompey Museum and the Conch N'Kalik grill are places to look for on Pompey Square.

Photo of Pompey Square in Nassau.

Pompey Square - Nassau

Photo ©


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