Flights land at Lynden Pindling International Airport (tel. 242/377-0209; www.nas.bs), formerly known as Nassau International Airport, 13km (8 miles) west of Nassau, in the pine forests beside Lake Killarney.
No bus service goes from the airport to Nassau, Cable Beach, or Paradise Island. Your hotel may provide airport transfers if you've made arrangements in advance; these are often included in package deals. You'll find any number of car-rental offices here, though we don't really think you need one.
If you don't have a lift arranged, take a taxi to your hotel. From the airport to the center of Nassau, expect to pay around $27; to Cable Beach, $18; and to Paradise Island, $34, a rate that includes the bridge toll for passage between New Providence and Paradise islands. Drivers expect to be tipped 15%, and some will remind you should you "forget." You don't need to exchange currency before departing the airport: U.S. dollars are fine for these (and any other) transactions.
By Cruise Ship
Nassau has spent millions of dollars expanding its port so that a number of cruise ships can dock at once. Sounds great in theory, but practically speaking, facilities in Nassau, Cable Beach, and Paradise Island become extremely overcrowded as soon as the big boats arrive. You'll have to stake out your space on the beach, and you'll find downtown streets, shops, and attractions overrun with visitors every day you're in port.
Cruise ships dock near Rawson Square, the heart of the city and the shopping area -- and the best place to begin a tour of Nassau. Unless you want to go to one of the beach strips along Cable Beach or Paradise Island, you won't need a taxi. You can go on a shopping expedition near where you dock: The Straw Market is at nearby Market Plaza; Bay Street, the main shopping artery, is also close; and the Nassau International Bazaar is at the intersection of Woodes Rogers Walk and Charlotte Street.
The government has added Festival Place (tel. 242/323-3182) to the Prince George Wharf (where cruise ships arrive). Designed as a welcome point and service center for cruise-ship visitors, it's a multicolored structure with about 45 shops selling sundries, gift items, duty-free luxury goods, and Bahamian-themed arts, crafts, and souvenirs. There's also a tourist information booth (tel. 242/323-3182 or 323-3183) and various snack bars and cafes. You can lounge and have a daiquiri while you listen to the live calypso entertainment, or get your hair braided. This mall-like facility is open daily from 8am to 8pm, but if cruise ships are in port, closing may be extended to as late as 10pm. From a point nearby, you can catch a ride by horse and surrey, or take a water taxi across the channel to Paradise Island.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.