Nassau, Bahamas

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Cruising to Nassau, Bahamas

While a lot may have changed in the Bahamas over the past 500 years, one thing has remained the same ever since colonial times: an abundance of treasure. However, while the most common method of extracting the local riches in centuries gone by may have been piracy, these days the island nation is a haven for shoppers, with duty-free prices available on all luxury goods.

Nassau, the capital, is the place to be if you're looking for some high-end shopping, with Bay Street being the retail epicentre of the city. Here, you'll find fashion boutiques, jewellery stores and much more, with prices considerably lower than anything you would expect to pay elsewhere, thanks to the fact that the Bahamian government abolished the import duty on luxury goods back in 1992. Bay Street is also home to the Straw Market, which is the number one place to come for local handicrafts.

However, if shopping isn't your thing then you'll find loads of other amazing attractions in Nassau, many of which will transport you back to the days when pirates used to roam the waters of the Caribbean. Several colonial forts – such as Fort Fincastle and Fort Montagu – can be explored here, with the famous Queen's Staircase – which provide access to Fort Fincastle and took 16 years to carve out of rock – being one of the must-see attractions. Nassau is also a great place for art lovers, with the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas being the top exhibition space in the capital, while the Doongalik Studios Art Gallery showcases works by some of the best local painters, sculptors and other creatives.

Of course, as this is the Bahamas, spending some time on the beach is likely to be high on many visitors' list of priorities, and Nassau Paradise Island is sure to live up to all expectations, with its white sand, turquoise water and colourful reefs making it fit for a postcard.

When you get hungry, be sure to head over to Arawak Cay, which is known for its many excellent restaurants serving up local delicacies like fried snapper and other seafood dishes.

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