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CocoCay Bahamas

Beach on CocoCay

Beach at the CocoCay (Little Stirrup Cay) Island

Just like its name, CocoCay is a short and sweet island, 55 miles north of Nassau, the capital of Bahamas. The island is quite tiny and as such, one is never too far away from the beach. A five-minute walk in any direction will lead the traveler to the beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean. The island is leased to Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, which means the only way to reach this island is to hop aboard a ship from one of their subsidiaries, the Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises or the Azamara Club Cruises.

CocoCay Bahamas Attractions and Activities

As there is no port within the island, ship’s tenders transport visitors from the ship to a sheltered cove on the northern side. Even though lunch is covered as part of the Cruise trip, any other activity on the island has its own charge.

A day at CocoCay begins with a trip to the coconut palm groves or the coral reefs surrounding the island that are home to manatees, rays and many other different types of marine life. In addition to a three-mile long nature trail, CocoCay showcases a sunken replica of Queen Anne’s Revenge, the flagship of one of the world’s most notorious pirates, Blackbeard.

The island has three private beaches, each with its own bar, namely Snorkel Beach, Coconut Willie’s Beach and Barefoot Beach.Lunch on the island is served between 12 noon and 2pm and consists of a complimentary barbecue buffet filled with burgers, ribs, corn on the cob, mac and cheese, salads and desserts.

Towards the late afternoon, one can get a banana raft, floating mats or paddleboats and relax in the water. They can also indulge in a variety of fun sports like swimming, kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, parasailing along with Waverunner piloting. It should be noted that unless the visitor brings the requisite items for these sports, he/she is required to purchase or rent them separately from the island. For this purpose, visitors can use their onboard accounts.

Shore excursions including glass bottom boat rides are quite popular, especially with families. The Royal Caribbean also has programs for children that prominently include a Power Wheels track. The Caylana’s Aqua Park is a water based playground featuring a log roll, water trotter and floating sand castle.

The island does not have any restaurant or hotel but features a straw market that sells purses, souvenirs, clothing, jewelry and even hair braiding services.

CocoCay Bahamas Accommodation

A trip to CocoCay can be spent in the shade of palm trees or lying in a hammock, but the visitors can also rent cabanas for $200. Cabanas can accommodate up to six guests and come with a private ocean view, although that does not include private beach access. In addition to resort style treatment, cabana guests also receive two sets of snorkeling equipment and floating beach mats.

CocoCay Bahamas Map


Facts about CocoCay Bahamas

  • The name CocoCay was coined by the Royal Caribbean Cruises after it became one of the first cruise lines to lease islands for exclusive use. Before this, the island was called, Little Stirrup Cay.
  • CocoCay is a deserted island and the locals selling souvenirs actually stay in the nearby Great Harbor Island. They travel to CocoCay when a ship comes to sight.
  • December 26 is celebrated as the Bahamas’ Christmas celebration or Junkanoo in CocoCay. This is marked by masquerade costumes in which people parade through the streets to honor their West African and slave heritage.

Where is CocoCay Bahamas?

Situated at the north end of the Berry Island chain, CocoCay is a small flat island between Freeport and Nassau. It is adjacent to the Great Stirrup Cay, another island owned and operated by the Norwegian Cruise Line.

CocoCay provides 140 acres of exclusive shopping, activities and private beaches for passengers of Royal Caribbean Cruises. The only way to reach the island is to be part of a cruise ship’s three, four or seven-day cruise to Bahamas from New York, Baltimore, Charleston and Florida ports.

Best time to visit CocoCay Bahamas

CocoCay witnesses a tropical marine climate with hot and humid temperatures during summer months and pleasant winter temperatures. Rain can occur any time during the year but the months from May to October are the rainiest months.

Heavy thunder showers bring rainfall which clears quickly. Hurricanes last from June to November although its peak months are August and September. Most hurricanes track west and south of CocoCay although it’s best to avoid the island during hurricane months.

CocoCay Bahamas Hours

As a convention, ships generally arrive on the island at 8am and leave by 5pm.

CocoCay Bahamas Tickets

No tickets are required to enter the island but every other activity including excursions, hammocks and souvenirs are paid for by cash or the visitor’s onboard accounts.


Image CreditsUpstateNYer 

Published On: Friday, April 10th, 2015