Record Single Day Passenger Arrival in Nassau as Cruises Grow

Nassau passenger record
Nassau set a new single day record for the number of passengers while also receiving the largest cruise ships in the world (Nassau Cruise Port)

Published Mar 2, 2023 2:37 PM by The Maritime Executive

Nassau in the Bahamas set a new record for the highest number of passengers to arrive at the port in a single day. Two of the world’s largest cruise ships along with four other large cruise ships were docked at the port illustrating the industry’s growth and the Bahamas’ efforts to expand its facilities to support increased tourism.

Nassau Cruise Port received a total of 28,554 passengers on February 28 with six cruise ships including both the Wonder of the Seas (235,600 GT) and the Harmony of the Seas (226,963 GT), from Royal Caribbean International, which are currently the largest cruise ships in the world. In addition, Carnival Cruise Line’s Mardi Gras (181,808 GT) and MSC Cruises’ MSC Meraviglia (171,598 GT), also among the largest cruise ships, were in port. Rounding on the day was Celebrity Cruise Line’s Celebrity Beyond (141,420 GT) and Celebrity Reflection (125,366 GT). Port officials highlighted that in addition to the passengers, there was a further 10,302 crewmembers aboard the six ships. 

“We are extremely pleased to report another record-setting passenger day here at Nassau Cruise Port,” said the port operator. “The expanded berths are certainly delivering on the sizeable investment that we have made in them, creating the additional capacity required to achieve this extraordinary new record today.”


Four of the world's largest cruise ships were among the ships in port (Nassau Cruise Port)


This week’s record passenger count was almost a third above Nassau’s previous highest single-day total, which was over 21,000 set in December 2022, and rivals the volumes handled at PortMiami in a single day. Nassau has recently completed dredging and expansion efforts for its docks so that it can regularly accommodate six of the largest cruise ships at one time. On December 5 and 6, 2022 the port marked the first time it had received six large cruise ships on consecutive days. Dredging work at the port in 2022 increase the capability for large ships to access more of the piers at the cruise port.  

The Nassau Cruise Port company was launched in 2019 as a consortium including Global Ports Holding and the Bahamas Investment Fund. They are investing $300 million for a redevelopment project that includes the repair and expansion of Prince George Wharf and the addition of a sixth berth that gives the port the capacity to accommodate three Oasis class vessels simultaneously. They are also building a three-story, 30,000-square-foot Arrivals Terminal that will serve as a welcome center and house immigration, customs, security, and administrative offices. There will also be a museum, event and entertainment spaces, an amphitheater, shops, and food and beverage facilities. Passenger flow is also being redesigned to provide easier access to downtown for the thousands of cruise passengers.

The “new” Nassau Cruise Port is scheduled to open in May 2023. It is expected to have an increased capacity to handle 33,000 people each day. The company expects the port will receive four million passengers this year.